Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grand Lodge - Cornerstone Ceremony

These pictures were sent to me by Brother Bill Crawford. They are of the Cornerstone Laying Ceremony held here last Saturday.
The building is the new Social Security Building here in Ames. It is very nice and it was nice of them to ask the Masons to lay the cornerstone. Masons have been laying cornerstones for ages. George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol building in Washington DC in full Masonic regalia.

From Bob Kelly

Northwest Iowa Landscapes

I went to north west Iowa on Saturday for a family anniversary celebration, and on the way home, the corn crib and the barn with their quilt designs spoke to me. Both of them are in Sac county, an area that has these pieces of colorful artwork on several farm buildings. The always captivating wind generators were at Mt. Carmel, a small hamlet located north of Carroll. I enjoyed the views...hope you will also!

An Invitation

Join Bob Kelly, the Ames Photowalk group leader on Saturday morning, July 18th at 9 AM and have a fun morning. Here are some details and a couple of web links where you can learn more and sign up. At this moment we have 13 people going, but have room for more! There is no cost...just enjoy the fun of seeing, feeling, and capturing images of "old town" Ames through photography.

Please join me for the first ever Ames Photowalk on July 18. A Photowalk is a loosely organized walk of photographers who move through a designated area and record what they see, feel and wish to communicate photographically. Following the walk selected images from each photographer will be submitted to me, and I will post them on the Ames Photowalk web page for the world to see. A walk similar to this will be going on all over the world on July 18 in over 750 cities (and
still counting). The total number of photographers doing this may total 25,000 before the final numbers are compiled.

Anyone can go on the walk, using whatever equipment they want, regardless of their skill level (digital is preferred). It is a time to enjoy the morning with other Ames photographers, and perhaps rediscover some of the rich photographic sites along Main Street, Fifth Street, and the alley between them. We will meet at the bandshell in Bandshell Park and have a brief orientation at 9:00 AM, take a group photo, and then meander on our way, completing the walk and ending up at the Old Main Brewing Company for luch and sharing of our adventures. There is no cost for anyone, other than the cost of your lunch at Old Main.

The specifics for the Ames Photowalk are:

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2009 (rain or shine)
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Meet At: Bandshell park, in front of the bandshell

End At: Old Main Brewing Company
End Time: Approximately 11:30 AM

If you go to this site http://worldwidephotowalk.com you can read about the Photowalk concept in general, see a cool informative video about what it is, read a FAQ with lots of answers, and explore other cites, states, and countries around the world that are also participating.

To register for the Ames Photowalk and learn more details, go to this site: http://worldwidephotowalk.com/ames-ia-usa/

We are limited to 50 persons to go on this walk, and not knowing what the response will be by the time it rolls around I would encourage youto sign up soon, so you can be part of this special event. Please DO feel free to forward this email to other friends of yours in the area that may be interested. I have walked the route of the Photowalk a couple of times and found many dozens of interesting, graphically pleasing, and colorful images waiting to be captured. I am anxious to the experiences with you, and I do hope you will choose to join in and enjoy the morning!


Bob Kelly
Ames Photowalk Leader

Monday, June 29, 2009


Tonight the History Channel had a program, The Secrets of the Founding Fathers. - I started watching it and wrote these notes.

Secrets of the Founding Fathers

What a pile of crap! This show is starting out with accusations that the Founding Fathers were members of hundreds of secret organizations for sex and drinking. And the Freemasons are just a front for these groups.

It is unfortunate that so many fine upstanding Masons allowed themselves to be interviewed and quoted for this piece of pure unadulterated junk. Of course if you listen to them what they say is pretty good stuff. However, they brought in the nuts and the conspiracy theorists who want to blame us for the Revolution, accuse us of stealing from the May sonic (The narrator could not even correctly pronounce Masonic but pronounced it May sonic.) Constitutions and placing the ideas into the U S Constitution.

George Washington was a member of the so called “Star Families” who inherited the secrets of the Knights Templar which were hidden in the Rosalyn Chapel

Christopher Knight thinks that this is a secret society to create a world order that is good enough for Yahweh to rule over. The Knights Templar found the secret document and brought the secrets back to England, The documents are hidden in a secret location and the secret knowledge has been handed down from generation to generation through the star families. George Washington was a member of these star families.

It was also obvious to me that the PHD from Columbia university is a first class ___________(fill in your own word) who is delighted with the idea that Ben Franklin was a womanizer who was so very interested in “sex clubs”, etc.

Nefarious activities were hidden under secret societies which were all over the 18th century. Franklin belonged to dozens of secret societies. He was a womanizer who attended and belonged to the Hell Fire Club in England and brought it to the USA.

And it goes on and on and on.

I googled the professor?? who looked like he was just a little manic.
It said this on Wiki
David Eisenbach CC '94 TC '?? MA '?? PhD '?? is a crazy professor who has hung around Columbia forever but seems to have no academic home. He's tangentially affiliated with the History Department, where he received his BA in modern European history and his PhD in American history, but is officially a "Core Lecturer". Consequently, he not only teaches history but Lit Hum, Contemporary Civilization, Music Hum, and classes on the media and Shakespeare. He also teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, where the equally crazy anti-Columbia songstress Nellie McKay was his student. She subsequently wrote a song about him.
Eisenbach's activities have included advocacy on behalf of presidential candidate Mike Gravel, for whom he served as communications director, advocating the return of Minutemen head Jim Gilchrist (to debate student agitator Karina Garcia in a forum he created called "Friendly Fire"), and hosting a classtime appearance by the Obama Girl.
Cementing his reputation for offbeat craziness, Eisenbach will soon attain his lifelong dream of hosting a History Channel show about Washington sex scandals. Really.
Christopher Knight was also on it plus a couple of other conspiracy theorists.

There were some creditable Masons who were interviewed also, Mark Tabbert, Chris Hodapp and S. Brent Morris. If you listened to just what they said you got some factual information. Reasonable and authentic information from them was interspersed with a bunch of just plain awful speculation and innuendo. I was really upset. Upset that my fine fraternity would be trashed in this manner.

Oh yes and Hemp was a big crop in the Colonies and the Colonists (the Masons) drank and smoked hemp and grew a lot of tobacco and sold it to the British and also used it for clothing and making paper and wrote the Declaration of Independence on Hemp Paper. I mean So? Of course it was used. As for smoking it I am not sure but if they were high on booze and hemp when they put this country together they did a pretty good job.

Folks the fraternity is not like that. Social networking, yes. Brotherhood, yes. Worldwide, yes. Secret conspiracy to take over the world. I don't think so. 33rd degrees who run the fraternity. Not really. They run the Scottish Rite. Each Grand Lodge is sovereign. They set their own rules and police their own ranks.

Anyway I am sorry I watched it. I am sorrier still if anyone else watched it and my cancellation to the History Channel magazine will be in the mail tomorrow. Jeez - thanks for stopping by. Hugs, j

Addendum - Facebook Coment by one of the participant Masons:

If you missed "Secrets of the Founding Fathers" last night you missed: sex, drugs, "star families" Templars, ghosts, Hell Fire Club, Freemasons, stacks of bones, strange graphics, a English old lady saying "comparing penises," non-sensical writing, poor reenactments, bad editing and the most convaluted crap imaginable. So if you missed it, stay-tuned, the History Channelis bound to show the more of the same today!

Mark Allen Tabbert

Recommended Reading

OK, I have my phone and my Internets back and I was just checking with my blogs. I found this over at the papers of Robert G. Davis. I recommend you read it. Especially if you are responsible for setting the "tone" of your Lodge.

Mediocrity in Masonry . . . Shame on us!
One of the questions that occasionally eats at me when I am driving home from a Masonic event, degree, or function that has been woefully mediocre is how our members can sit through such Masonic happenings month after month and still believe our fraternity is relevant and meaningful to men’s lives? How honest are we in claiming we make good men better while persistently repeating practices and behaviors which are so distinctively average, or worse? Self improvement involves some form of positive change. It requires some level of progress; entails some elevated sense of being. Explain to me how a lodge facilitates self improvement by offering its members a venue that doesn’t “feel” any different when they are inside the lodge than outside of it.
Click here to read the rest of this important article.

I will be back later but really nothing I can write is going to beat what Bob wrote.


Sometime this morning my phone service should be restored and I can resume blogging as usual. Actually I could probably blog now but the wireless I am stealing from someone isn't mine and I don't feel right about it. I did get in touch with the phone company and it is their problem and someone will be out to fix it this morning. The sooner the better. Patience my peeps. j

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Wisdom

I think of prayer as communing with the holy, that which is transcendental, the power of life, the consciousness of the divine, the Ground of Being or perhaps the source of love. I do not commune with God in order to seek divine favor or to engage in religious flattery that people call praise. I commune to discover God within me and to be more open to that presence. I do not separate prayer from life. I do not think prayer is something I do, so much as it is something I am.

– John Shelby Spong

My phone service is acting up. I cannot reach Qwest to get it fixed so blogging is going to be very light until I can take care of it. Right now I am having to "borrow" service from elsewhere so I will not be sitting on top of the computer and your e-mails may take longer for me to respond to them. In the meantime I found the above to ponder for this week. Somewhere in the Bible I read the phrase "Pray without ceasing." (at least I think it was in the Bible) - Seems to me that Bishop Spong has hit on the way to do that. Have a great week.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturdays Can Be Special

This is what it looked like as I drove up to Stratford, Iowa this afternoon, I could see for miles south towards Ames. I love driving in the country on our Farm to Market roads, especially on a perfect summer day like this one.
There was water standing in the fields from the recent rains. The crops looked great. I think it is going to be a great year for our farmers.
At Stratford my destination was the Tea House "In Good Company." The lady who owns the place has a special event periodically and tonight was one of those nights. She has a dinner and entertainment and the entertainment was the Al Landon Band. The pictures aren't really great because of the background but the music was great. I got there about 5:30 and they had just started playing. Actually warming up but it was good to listen to also.
Two accordions and one guitar.
This is Jessie. He is originally from Oklahoma. His wife is a waitress at the Grove Cafe and I met him there. (Actually he and Christie met there also but that is another story. Jessie has a government job. He is also a Mason - Well, imagine that, I met a Mason. I tell you we are everywhere. He has a great voice and sound like a combination of Dean Martin, Elvis Presley and can sing just about anything.
Kaylee (I hope that is spelled correctly) is his daughter and she helped out singing also. She has a sweet voice.
Christie (I hope that is spelled right also) works at the Grove and is a great waitress and has become a good friend. I found out tonight that she used to be a Rainbow Girl. - See, I told you - everywhere.
The place was full and the music went until almost 9:00 PM. They only stopped once to eat. The meal was absolutely perfect. Salad, Rib Eye Steak with a Jumbo Shrimp on top. Just the right amount of potatoes (mashed) and veggies. Topped off with a Brownie ala mode for dessert. There is a little video at the end of the post which will give you an idea. The sound quality is not great but you know it doesn't matter. I have my memory and it was one of the best evenings I have had for a long time.
And then I drove home through the evenings twilight and as I got back to Ames I saw this view of our own Ada Hayden lake just north of town. A perfect ending of a perfect day.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope your day was as nice as mine. ARTYAL. Hugs, j

Specialis Procer Lodge

Specialis Procer Lodge, Under Dispensation, held a Festive Board Meeting last evening at the Old Chicago Restaurant in Ames, Iowa. The Brothers enjoyed the fellowship and meal and then we adjourned to the Board Room of the Grandstay Motel to listen to a paper given by Most Worshipful Past Grand Master, Don Mosier.
That is Don on the right.
Our Senior Warden, Kurt Hoffmann
James Musal, a new Mason from Arcadia Lodge in Ames joined us for the event.

Specalis Procer has as its purpose to bring solemnity to ritual, understanding of its meaning, education and understanding of the historical, philosophical, moral, and virtuous facets of Masonry; and brotherly love to its members.

In Masonry much is made of the attentive ear. This was one of them.

P.G.M. Don presented the paper, Hiram and Beowulf in which he compared the Masonic Legend of Hiram, the Widow's Son, with that of the Hero, Beowulf. Once a paper is presented at our Lodge we share it at our site Scire Facias. (That is Latin for "to cause to be known") - For those interested the paper is there to be read and studied.

Last year about this time several of us met and decided to try the experiment of starting a different type of Lodge. We are not trying to put ourselves "above" anyone else. As I have said before Masonry is a "big tent" there is room for all types of Lodges. We just happen to really like some of the things that go with a more traditional concept of the Lodge and all of us like to read and study various aspects of Masonry. Last night's event was very special as M.W. Don was the Grand Master who instituted our Lodge and it was his first meeting after he had joined our Lodge as a plural member. Since I have gotten to know Don I have gained great respect for him as a Masonic Scholar. His paper is way head and shoulders above the poor piece I presented back last Fall. It was good work, true work, square work. Just such work as we are pleased to receive.

One of our guests over the past few meetings and a Brother who is also going to join our Lodge is going to give the paper at the next Festive Board in August. In September we hope that the Grand Lodge will vote to give us our Charter. It is very exciting to be a part of this new (to us) Masonic adventure.

Friday, June 26, 2009


As always click on the button to see the guidelines.
And don't forget to go to Raven's Nest to see all the others.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: Chorus line, clam chowder, apples, jack-in-the-box, puddles, Iran, quarry, housekeeping, speed, letter

For the mini challenge: motorcycle, grandiose, summer, flying off the handle, blue jays

Now, what does that mean? Phrog wondered. He had never heard a disembodied voice at the end of the enrollment ceremony before. Just then he was distracted by a flock of blue jays flying off the handle of the summer motorcycle. It looked rather grandiose in a strange way.

"Oh wow!" he exclaimed as he turned around. He picked up a letter from his desk. He scanned it with all speed, grateful that the housekeeping staff had not tossed it. The letter told him that his quarry had escaped to Iran. Well I guess that is that, he told himself. One more has escaped to the land of many puddles. The last one to go was Jack-in-the-box of apples. (He had shipped himself off in a large tub of apples - subsisting on a case of clam chowder.) He had run off to join the Chorus line in a way, way off Broadway musical. Unfortunately he broke his leg while dancing with a troop of whirling dervishes and had to retire.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: Florida, spit, child bride, operatic, busy, holding pattern, sunflowers, ginger jars, office, superintendent

For the mini challenge: music to my ears, plot, powerful, braggart, super model

Found for Friday

Follow the doctor's orders!

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!
Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!
Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you? Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle? A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans ! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

Buttercups and Golf balls...

Towards the end of the golf course, Tom hit his ball into the woods and found it in a patch of pretty yellow buttercups. Trying to get his ball back in play, he ended up thrashing just about every buttercup in the patch.
All of a sudden . . . POOF!!

In a flash and puff of smoke, a little old woman appeared. She said, "I'm Mother Nature!"

"Do you know how long it took me to make those buttercups?"

"Just for doing what you have done, you won't have any butter for your popcorn for the rest of your life; better still, you won't have any butter for your toast for the rest of your life ... As a matter of fact, you'll never have any butter for anything the rest of your life!!!"

Then POOF! . . . she was gone!

After Tom recovered from the shock, he hollered for his friend, "Fred, where are you?"

Fred yells back, "I'm over here in the pussy willows."

Tom shouts back, 'DON'T SWING, Fred; FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T SWING!

New Treatment For Sunburn.

A guy fell asleep on the beach for several hours and got horrible sunburn, specifically to his upper legs.

He went to the hospital, and was promptly admitted after being diagnosed with second-degree burns.

With his skin already starting to blister, and the severe pain he was in, the doctor prescribed continuous intravenous feeding with saline, electrolytes, a sedative, and a Viagra pill every four hours.

The nurse, who was rather astounded, asked, 'What good will Viagra do for him, Doctor'

The doctor replied, 'It won't do anything for his condition, but it'll keep the sheets off his legs.

An elderly couple, Margaret and Bert, moved to Texas.

Bert always wanted a pair of authentic cowboy boots, so, seeing some on sale, he bought them and wore them home.

Walking proudly, he sauntered into the kitchen and said to his wife, 'Notice anything different about me?'

Margaret looked him over. 'Nope.'

Frustrated, Bert stormed off into the bathroom, undressed and walked back into the kitchen completely naked except for the boots.

Again he asked Margaret, a little louder this time, 'Notice anything different NOW?'

Margaret looked up and exclaimed, 'Bert, what's different? It's hanging down today, it was hanging down yesterday, it'll be hanging down again tomorrow!'

'Nope', she replied.
Without changing her expression, Margaret replied, 'Shoulda bought a hat, Bert, Shoulda bought a hat

A bachelor tried to take a vacation every summer. He was a golf nut and spent two weeks at Hilton Head. Last summer he met a woman out there and fell head over heels in love with her.

On the last night of his vacation, the two of them went to dinner and had a serious talk about how they would continue the relationship. They agreed that total honesty was important so there would be "no surprises" later that would destroy their love.

"It's only fair to warn you! , I'm a total golf nut," Ed said to his lady friend. "I eat, sleep and breathe golf, so if that's a problem, you'd better say so now."

"Well, if we're being honest with each other, here goes," she replied. "I'm a hooker." "I see," Ed replied, and was quiet for a moment.

Then he added, "You know, it's probably because you're not keeping your wrists straight when you tee off."

Actually, this seems to describe how our economy works most of the time. Credit allows stuff to work, as long as there are no defaults anywhere down the line.

Subject: A Stimulus Story

It is the month of August, on the shores of the Black Sea. It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to townHe enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the butcher. The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig grower The pig grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.
The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town's prostitute that in these hard times, gave her services on credit. The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there. The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the United States Government is doing business today.

Moe: 'My wife got me to believe in religion.'

Joe: 'Really?'

Moe: 'Yeah. Until I married her I didn't believe in Hell.'

A far more accurate account of the events of that fateful morning...

Baby bear goes downstairs, sits in his small chair at the table. He looks into his small bowl. It is empty. 'Who's been eating my porridge?' he squeaks.

Daddy Bear arrives at the big table and sits in his big chair. He looks into his big bowl and it is also empty. 'Who's been eating my porridge?!?' he roars.

Mummy Bear puts her head through the serving hatch from the kitchen and yells, 'For God's sake, how many times do I have to go through this with you idiots? It was Mummy Bear who got up first. It was Mummy Bear who woke everyone in the house. It was Mummy Bear who made the coffee. It was Mummy Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night and put everything away. It was Mummy Bear who swept the floor in the kitchen. It was Mummy Bear who went out in the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper and croissants. It was Mummy Bear who set the damn table.

'It was Mummy Bear who walked the bloody dog, cleaned the cat's litter tray, gave them their food, and refilled their water.

'And now that you've decided to drag your sorry bear-asses downstairs and grace Mummy Bear with your grumpy presence, listen carefully, because I'm only going to say this once....


(My Aunt Jean used to tell this with the punch line - "Bitch Bitch Bitch I haven't even made the damn porridge yet.)

Twelve Indicators of a Bad Economy

12. CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

11. I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

10. I went to buy a toaster oven and they gave me a bank.

9. Hotwheels and Matchbox car companies are now trading higher than GM in the stock market.

8. Obama met with small businesses - GE, Pfizer, Chrysler, Citigroup and GM, to discuss the Stimulus Package.

7. McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

6 People in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and are learning their children's names.

5. The most highly-paid job is now jury duty.

4. People in Africa are donating money to Americans.
Mothers in Ethiopia are telling their kids, "finish your plate; do you know how many kids are starving in America ?"

3. Motel Six won't leave the lights on.

2. The Mafia is laying off judges.

And my most favorite indicator of all.

1. If the bank returns your check marked as "insufficient funds,"
you have to call them and ask if they meant you or them.

The graveside service just barely finished, when there was massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance. The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, 'Well, she's there.'

A Montana rancher got into his pickup and drove to a neighboring ranch and knocked at the door. A young boy, about 9, opened the door.

"Is yer Dad home?" the rancher asked.

"No sir, he ain't," the boy replied. "He went into town."

"Well," said the rancher, "Is yer Mother here?"

"No, sir, she ain't here neither. She went into town with Dad."

"How about your brother, Howard? Is he here?"

"No sir, He went with Mom and Dad."

The rancher stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other and mumbling to himself..

"Is there anything I can do fer ya?" the boy asked politely.

"I know where all the tools are, if you want to borry one. Or maybe I could take a message fer Dad."

"Well," said the rancher uncomfortably, "I really wanted to talk to yer Dad. It's about your brother Howard getting my daughter, Pearly Mae, pregnant."

The boy considered for a moment. "You would have to talk to Pa about that," he finally conceded. "If it helps you any, I know that Pa charges $500 for the bull and $50 for the hog, but I really don't know how much he gets fer Howard."

Earl and Bubba are quietly sitting in a boat fishing and drinking beer when suddenly Bubba says, "I think I'm gonna divorce my wife - she ain't spoke to me in over two months."

Earl sits there real quiet for a spell and sips his beer and says, "Better think it over... women like that are hard to find."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jon Stewart on Governor Sanford

"Just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis."

Doing Only Half the Work - Rant

I found this in the Mt. Vernon Lodge Newsletter -

...the lodge that simply makes Masons, and does not teach Masonry, does only half its work, only half way. If we do not know Masonry ourselves, if we do not know how to teach it to our young initiates, if our lodges become simply mills grinding out degrees; our freemasonry will sink to the level of a club- useful as such but in no way unique - losing its original purpose and power and its great opportunity in our own day.
Joseph Fort Newton, 1923

Brother Newton was speaking to The Masonic Service Association. I think what he said was prophetic. I also think he did not go far enough. Of course he was speaking to a Masonic Education group and that was the focus of his talk. I would add that not only does a Lodge need to teach Masonry it must serve the entire Mason. There is nothing more stagnant than a Lodge that just holds stated meetings and does degree work, no matter how excellent and well practiced that degree work is. In my opinion there must be ACTIVITY and FELLOWSHIP, and true BROTHERHOOD. And you can say the same thing about the York or Scottish Rites.

To me, it is the leadership of the body that sets the tone. It is truly unfortunate when a Lodge goes down hill because of lack of leadership. It is sort of like planning a well balanced meal. In order for the body to be healthy you must have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc. In order for a Lodge to be healthy the yearly program must also be balanced. If not, you will have a sickly lodge which may have candidates for degrees but not nearly enough participants in the life of the Lodge.

I hope I have given you something to think about. Thanks for stopping by - j

Catching Up

I also do the Consistory Blog and I did it first and it is late so I stole the entire post from there. For the past several years we have gone to the Royal Mile (an English Pub) in Des Moines to celebrate the founding of the Grand Lodge of England. Now Masonry is a lot older than than the 292 years that the Grand Lodge has been in existence. But we need to celebrate so we picked this date. It is also the festival of St. John, the beginning of summer and anything else you can think of and it is a terrific event.

So I picked up Trevor and he and I drove down and picked up Kurt and Severn and went to the RM. We had a great time. Good Food, Great Companions and I just wish I could do it again tomorrow night. The event is so large they have to hold it twice.

Trevor leaves Friday to go back to New York City. I will miss having him around. For someone so old it is cool to have these young guys accept me as a friend and Brother. That is one of the great things about Freemasonry. The Inter generational aspect of it. In fact I told one of them that I was Grand High Priest before they were born. I think I was 40 - It was in 1981 and I am now 67 (will be 68 in November OMG) - But then you know I worked with kids all my life so I do kind of relate to them. And besides they are really pretty great guys. Anyway enjoy the pictures and the little movie at the bottom.

Oh I caught heck from Craig for not posting on Monday. I posted about Monday on Tuesday and I really didn't do anything worth mentioning yesterday. I am very proud that my counter has passed the 90,000 number. Thank You all for visiting, ARTYAL, Hugs,

Toastmaster Ron Lindhart once again let the toasts and gave us the history of Table Lodges and toasting at Masonic functions. Master of Kadosh Mark Clark is on the right.
It was a sold out event and will be repeated tomorrow evening and that event is also sold out. Perhaps next year they should hold it on three nights.
There were a lot of the Ames Masons who came down tonight. This is P.M. David Dickson.
Greg Andersen and Wade Sheeler
David Baker, Rusty Hill and Greg Andersen
Personal Rep Bill Knoll is anticipating his Guiness Pie which was delicious.Justin Dodge. All of the pictures are below as well as a little movie demonstrating one of the toasts.

Click on arrow to play movie.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Severn's Eagle Scout Project

Kurt and I went to practice last night and on the way down we stopped at his church so I could see the painting above. One of our Lodge Brothers (Severn Lang) designed it for his Eagle Scout Project. I am very impressed with Eagle Scouts. Both Kurt and Severn are Eagle Scouts and I am very impressed with them also. They are good friends.

Kurt and I practiced, solved all the problems of the world and then met Severn at Djangos for supper. We like it there. We solved some more problems and had a good conversation.

Night before last my air conditioner stopped working and the house got hot. So I got up in the middle of the night and read. I am reading "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. Not a real positive read. I mean it is well written but it is a "postapocalyptic" novel and I am enjoying the writing if not the subjet matter. I don't think it will "end well."

Max went to the dentist yesterday and had his teeth cleaned and I am about $300 poorer. But it needed to be done. Brenda picked him up in the morning and Jon went up and got him in the afternoon. It worked out and it was good for Jon to go there. The last time he went there was when he had his other dog euthanized. So he needed to go there to drive the ghosts away. When I got home Bailey was locked in the bathroom. I am sure Bailey isn't going to like it but when I get the new carpet that will happen more and more.

We are getting thunderstorms but it is still 84 degrees outside. It was hotter earlier. Perhaps I will sit out on the back porch and watch the rain when it comes. Thanks for stopping by ARTYAL. Hugs - They keep us going. j

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Was An Iowa Sky Show Today!!

Bob Kelly went out and took some more photos to share. He writes:

The late afternoon sky put on quite a show for those lucky enough to see the large cumulus clouds to the east of Ames. The sky was crying for some landscape photos to be taken, so I did so!! The countryside, the barns, the rows of crops, the cow standing atop a hill for a better view, the eco friendly wind generator, and the beautiful sunset captured the essence of Iowa in the summer. I enjoyed the several hours I spent capturing and processing these. Days and scenes like these are good for the soul! Enjoy!