Friday, February 27, 2009

It was supposed to be a "dance"



I think this speaks for itself...

Oklahoma's First Baptist Church


Click on image to enlarge

On US Hwy 69, just south of the Muskogee Turnpike Overpass, there is a sign placed by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Historical Commission. I have passed by it for years, never stopping to see what it was about. Recently, the Historical Commission had the sign refurbished and, since I had my camera with me, I decided to stop and see what it was all about.

Evidently, in 1832, a few folks got together and planted the first Baptist Church in Oklahoma. Click on the plaque to enlarge and read the inscription. This is located right here in Wagoner County!

Pretty cool stuff. By the way, Oklahoma didn't become a state until 1907.

Spring is in the Air!

Yesterday, we broke the old high temperature record of 79 in 1996 with a whopping 81 degrees! Today, however, it is a different story. By 6 am this morning, it was 26 degrees.

However, we do have a bit of spring-like things going on. Here are a couple of pictures of the quince blooming in our yard. You can click to enlarge.



Fun at the Formal


Daughter and Dad


A moment to smile!

E A R P L U G S ! ! ! !



See number 5 in the post below.

Rick - The Chaperon

Yes, I'll confess: I was at a dance last night.

Well, it was a 7th & 8th Grade Winter Formal Ball.

OK. Let's start off by making some observations:

  1. There was hardly any dancing. What little there was shouldn't be classified as dancing.
  2. Formal means formal. It doesn't mean jeans and tennis shoes with a tie.
  3. Winter: we set the record high temperature for NEOK yesterday. 81 degrees.
  4. I recognized a total of 4 songs last night. Since when did rap constitute music for a formal ball?
  5. Anyone anticipating being a chaperon to a Jr. High dance should invest in a good set of ear plugs. It doesn't really matter how silly or old it makes you look, as long as you are able to hear the next day.
  6. 7th and 8th grade boys haven't grown into their feet yet.
  7. 7th and 8th grade girls are part girl-part woman. They haven't come to terms with the "part woman" yet. (thank goodness!)
  8. What ever happened to punch at a school dance?
  9. Some of the young boys can be incredibly sweet and thoughtful.
  10. You can actually chaperon a school dance without embarrassing your daughter to death and come off looking rather cool. (except for the earplugs, but see #5 above)
I should have a few pictures of the event to upload later. I have a video of something to illustrate #1 above. and #2.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking back: Senegal


The Boyne Family in 2000

After we lived in Guinea, we were given the opportunity to change our ministry focus. It would entail our studying French in Dakar, Senegal. So, we crated up our stuff and sent it to the Ivory Coast, while we packed suitcases and headed for Senegal. We studied French for 10 months or so and became "functional". I hesitate to call it fluent; that came after much more time in the language, living in the Ivory Coast.

Living in Senegal was almost like being on vacation, compared to living in Guinea. They had traffic lights that worked most of the time, restaurants, things to do and see, and much less government/police corruption! So, here are some of the things I like to remember about Senegal: (There are many more I didn't include)

  1. Les Almadies Restaurant on the most western tip of Africa.
  2. The lighthouse and the view from it!
  3. The Baobab Forest! (Like driving through a Salvador Dali painting!)
  4. The French Fry store (the name given to a store because of a sculpture across the street)
  5. Cool weather in January! What a relief!
  6. LGM - Le Glacier Moderne (an ice cream/pizza joint)
  7. Car rapides - ok, not that I ever want to ride on one, but it was always fun to see how many people were hanging off the back!
  8. Gorée Island - full of such history and heartache - but a trip back into time!
  9. Chep-bu-yap (Fat Rice with beef). Our house helper, Helen, taught Sally how to make it! YUMM!!
  10. Saly was a wonderful place to go!
While we were only there for a short time, Senegal will hold a special place in our hearts. The folks there treated us like family, even though they knew we'd only be there a short time. The Senegalese folks that we got to know were wonderful. I'd have no problem going back to Dakar!

Happy Birthday, Meme


Emily, Meme, Audrey

My grandmother, Meme, turned 93 last Saturday. When I was little, I called her by her first name, because she didn't think she was old enough to be called "grandma". My little sister didn't think it was right to call our grandmother "Audrey", so she started calling her "Meme". I didn't like it. It thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard in my entire life. But, I was shamed into calling her Meme and Meme is who she is today!

We had a nice party for her and a few other friends of the family who were celebrating this month. Meme didn't want another birthday party until her 95th, she got one anyway.

My grandmother has always been a bulwark in my life. She is loving, generous, and kind. The most important thing you can know about her, though, is that she loves Jesus! Her life is a testimony of a Godly woman.

I love you, Meme!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Looking back: Guinea


The Boyne family in Mamou, Guinea, in front of our banana trees in Oct/Nov 1998.

We first arrived in Guinea, West Africa in October 1998. There were lots of hard things about living in the Futa, but there are some good things that I wanted to remember:

  1. The rainforest was incredibly wonderful!
  2. The smiles of the children were incredible.
  3. The pine forest in Dalaba was unexpected.
  4. Amadou (our house helper) had a gold tooth right in the front. He was always smiling.
  5. The first rain of the rainy season washed all the dirt away and everything was green again.
  6. The mangoes. Fresh mangoes everywhere, in season. They were wonderful!
  7. Maffee Soupou was the preferred dish. I'm so glad Sally learned how to make it.
  8. Every store that we went to in Conakry (the capitol) gave Audrey a special gift. She knew what to expect at each store!
  9. It was fun to see baboons, chameleons, and exotic birds every time we went out somewhere.
  10. We had orange and banana trees in our yard. That was fun.
We lived in the small mountain city of Mamou. There were so many fun times there. Many hard times, too. I did learn that you should never, ever, under any circumstances, try to burn your garbage pit with gasoline instead of kerosene! But that is a story for another post!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Scamming the scammers

A friend of mine had his/her Hotmail account hijacked. The hijacker then sent out letters to everyone in the address book asking for help. He made the mistake of contacting me.

The following is the actual correspondence that took place between me and the scammer with my commentary in green.

m [mailto: @hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2009 8:55 PM
To:
Subject: I Need Your Help
Hello,

How are you doing? hope all is well with you and family,i am sorry that i didn't inform you about my traveling to England for a program called Empowering youth to fight racism,Hiv/Aids,and lack of education.

I need a favour (British spelling) from you as soon as you recieve this e-mail because i misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money,and other valuable things were kept i will like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently (definitely not an American term) with the sum of $2,500 US Dollars to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.

I will appreciate whatever you can afford and i'll pay you back as soon as i return,Kindly let me know if you can be of help? so that i can send you the Details to use when sending the money through western union.

Regards,
M

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 16:54:42 -0600

I had no idea that you were in trouble. Please contact me immediately so I know what to do. (I knew it wasn't my friend!)
Rick Boyne
Pastor

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
m [mailto: @hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 5:23 PM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help Hello Pastor,

Thanks for your help, Here is the details need to use when sending the money through western union.
Receivers : m
Address : 166,Borough High Street
Zip code : SE1 1JR
State : London
Country :England

After you have send the money, email to me the western union money transfer control number or you can attach and forward to me the western union money transfer receipt so that i can pick up the money and leave.

Thanks
m

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 17:27:12 -0600

M,

Do you have a phone number that I could call? I needed to talk with you anyway about the donation to the children’s fund. (What children's fund?)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: m [mailto:@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 7:15 PM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

Here is the hotel management phone number +447024076913 i will be expecting your call now. (I didn't think they'd actually send me a phone number!)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 08:50:34 -0600

M,

So sorry for the delay. I had a death that I had to attend to. Mrs Johnson’s niece, Roberta, (Who?) died in a car accident last evening. She burned alive. It was a horrible scene. I don’t think I have ever seen anything as grisly as that lifeless body lying on the street. (Sounds just awful!) To make matters worse, Rollston’s (who?) dogs where there and kept trying to “eat” the body. (Gross!) The police had to shoot the dogs. It was awful. (I'll bet they were pitbulls; sounds like something pitbulls would do)

A couple of things: 1)the church has agreed to dispatch $2000 to get you back home. (yea, right!) I’ll complete the transaction online at noon our time.(fat chance) 2) for some reason, our exchange is not allowing me to dial your number. (it might have gone through if I had actually tried) What hotel are you staying in? 3) I have some missionary friends in London (this is true, but I'd never get them involved!) who would be able to provide you the assistance you need at their guesthouse. You can check out of the hotel and into their guesthouse. It is only ?25/ night, it is safe, and it is comfortable. (Sounds like a deal. too bad it doesn't exist) It is not too far from the Western Union location that you specified below. If you want, I’ll get you their contact number. 4) what is your flight arrangements to come back? I’ll personally meet you at the airport. (oh, I'd like to meet him, all right!)

I’m sorry that you are having to have such a disastrous trip! I would have thought, with as much as you have traveled, that you could get yourself out of this mess. It must be a hum-dinger! When you get back, let’s go play some golf. By the way, when are you coming back to church? I haven’t seen you in 2 months or so? That is too long, my friend.

By the way, have you reported your lost wallet to the police? From my experience in London, the people are very honest and would have turned it into the police, unless it was some wretched foreigner from Nigeria or some other African country. (no offense intended for my friends from Africa I just reckoned it was a Nigerian doing a scam) (or it could have been a French tourist that took it! We all know how those French people are!)
Take care, friend.

Rick

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: m [mailto: @hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:28 AM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help Hey Pastor,

Am so sorry for death of mr johnsons may his soul rest in perfect peaces. (perfect peaces? Maybe he meant "pieces"? But the sentiment was a nice touch.)

The embassy here have already promised to give me a covering traveling papers that i will need to have my way back home, all i need right now is the money to settle up the bills and leave. Because the hotel managment dont allow me to move to any were now all because there money. all i need now is the money to settle up the bills and leave. I promise to pay the money back as soon as i return.

Thanks
m
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 11:40:20 -0600

I understand about moving from the hotel. They can be very strict about things like this. Which hotel is it? I can use my influence to make them be nice to you. (my influence? ha!) We will send the money in 1 ? hours time. (don't hold your breath) We have to make the arrangements here on our end first. $2000 is a lot of money! ;-) Janice will be doing it via the Western Union Website. ( I wish I had someone like Janice to do my bidding!) Send me your flight details. I’ll pick you up at the airport.

Rick

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: m [mailto: @hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:52 PM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

I have to pay the hotel management their money frist before going to the Airport to know my flight schedule, please you can try him again and talk to him so that they can gave free movement here call him now +447024041933 tell him you want to speck to the person in suit 206. (I don't think I want to "speck" to any "suit".)

Thanks
m
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 12:58:21 -0600

M ,

That is a different number than the one you gave before. What hotel are you in?

Rick

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: m [mailto:@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:23 PM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

The first number i gave to you is the hotel phone number,the second one is the hotel management personal phone number, right now an in london city hotel. (good cover)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 13:24:01 -0600

Janice is working on sending you the transfer via Western Union. She seems to be having some difficulty. What is the name of the hotel you are staying in?
Rick

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: m [mailto: @hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:30 PM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

London city hotel, if difficulty sending the money online through western union, look for any outlet around you to send the money. (I'm glad to know you're not chosy about how you get my money!)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: Rick
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:41 PM
To: 'm
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

M,

Janice got the transaction to go through. The $2000 should be there waiting for you. Time of transaction: 7:29 pm GMT. Amount US$2000.00. Sender: Janice Johnson. (not the aunt of the recently deceased Roberta, but a cousin, I think) Please let me know if it didn’t! That is a lot of money to send through the internet.

Send me your flight information as soon as you get it. I hope the Western Union office isn’t closed! I didn’t realize it was 7:30 pm there! (Oh rats! I hope this didn't cause you undo inconvenience!)
Rick

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 15:50:26 -0600

M ,

Were you able to get the money yet?? Please let me know as soon as possible. (because I'm really concerned)
Rick +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: m [mailto:@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:54 PM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

i have been in western union office they ask me the sender name i told them also the MTCN but you have not send me the mtcn all i need now is the mtcn. (Oh rats! I hope this didn't cause you undo inconvenience!)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: Rick
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:06 AM
To: 'm
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

M,

I AM SO SORRY!!!! Since I have never done this before (and since Janice was the one who actually completed the transaction), I didn’t know you needed that. (Oh rats! I hope this didn't cause you undo inconvenience!) She tells me it is: Western Union MTCN #5993705206. (I looked up "western union MTCN" on Google and found that this number was being used on Nigerian Fraud stuff, so I thought he might try that one)

I wasn’t in the office when you sent the other emails. I had to attend to Mrs. Johnson and start making funeral arrangements. It seems that the coroner won’t release the body because there is now some suspicion that Roberta may have been involved in some sort of scam (the plot thickens)and this might have been a revenge killing. I am totally amazed at the gall of some people who try to get something for nothing! (can you read between the lines?)

Please let me know as soon as possible if this works and then let me know your flight arrangements. Hopefully, they won’t interfere with the funeral arrangements for Roberta. (that would be too bad)

Also, here is my American Airlines Frequent Flyer Account Number.: AA-BR5-49-867-5309. (OK, here is the fun part: recognize BR549 from Hee Haw? 867-5309 was a song by Tommy Tutone) I have over 600,000 miles racked up and it is transferable. Go ahead and see if American Airlines will upgrade you to first class. After all, with the problems you’ve been through, it’s the least I can do! (oh brother!) I wouldn’t give your problems to a monkey on a rock! (David Letterman)
Rick
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: rick
To: @hotmail.com
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 16:12:46 -0600

M,
I MADE A MISTAKE!!! (Oh rats! I hope this didn't cause you undo inconvenience!) I’m so sorry. I accidentally copied down the wrong MTCN number. It SHOULD BE #5993750206 not #5993705206. I looked at it again this afternoon. I hope that you are able to get it.

Please send me your flight information as soon as possible.
Rick
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: m [mailto: @hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 4:51 PM
To: Rick Boyne
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

Thanks for your help, i have receiverd the money (how interesting! are you sure you just didn't get tired of me jacking you around?) i will send you my flight information as soon as i know my flight schedule tomorrow morning.

Am so greatfull pastor I promise to pay back as soon as i return home.
Thanks
M
+++++++++++++++++++++

From: Rick
To: 'm
Sent:
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 5:09 PM
Subject: RE: I Need Your Help

M,

I am so glad you received the money. I want to tell you a story about a little boy named Jaguda. (Jaguda is Nigerian for thief or fraudent person) He thought he was smart; but he was so stupid he thought he could swindle a kind pastor out of some money. But what Jaguda didn’t know was that the pastor had notified the London police (true) and is pressing charges against him for fraud.( I would if I could) Jaguda also didn’t know that he was recorded on surveillance cameras at the Western Union office. (Most likely to be true) Jaguda didn’t know that the kind pastor had given the London police copies of all the emails between him and Jaguda. (I've offered to give it to them, but copied down most of the pertinent info in the report I made) Jaguda also didn’t know that Ogum (a Nigerian god of vengence) would soon come to kick his sorry rear end (I had to keep this PG) all the way back to Lagos! (Capitol of Nigeria) I think your visa/resident status in the UK is now in jeopardy. (possibly so if the London police actually look into this)

Surely you don’t think I am as stupid as you? Marty is a person who would NEVER travel to the UK. Marty notified me as soon as the email account was stolen.

Now then, please return Marty’s hotmail account back. Please reset the password then notify me when this is done and I will drop the pending legal charges. Don’t think about it; just do it. It is the right thing to do.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Now for the best part of the whole thing!?! I got an email from my friend this morning saying that their Hotmail account had been restored to them! I told them to go immediately and change the password, just incase our friend in London has second thoughts.
What a story!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day


John 3:16

The love that we celebrate on this day pales in comparison to the love that God shows us through Jesus Christ. May you find His love for you.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial




200 years ago today, Abraham Lincoln was born in a one room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky.

While his religious views have been debated to death, his greatest earthly accomplishments were eliminating slavery in the United States and preserving the Union. It is said that when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation that he had been shaking many people's hands that day and when he started to sign, he put the pen down. Someone asked him about it and he said that this would be the greatest moment in history and he didn't want a shaky signature making people think he wasn't sure about what he was doing. With that, he picked up the pen and signed the document.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tulsa


Click to enlarge

This is a picture of the Tulsa Skyline. No big deal. But, if you have never seen it, I thought you might like to take a look.

The tallest building to the right happens to be the tallest building in Oklahoma. There is another with more stories, but it is taller. In fact, it is the tallest building in the Plains States. It used to be a part of the Williams Brothers Petroleum empire, but it now belongs to the Bank of Oklahoma. It was designed by the same guy that designed the World Trade Center in NYC a couple of years afterward.

I took this picture from the roof parking at Hillcrest Hospital last summer.

Small Town Livin'

There are still simple pleasures in living in a small town. One of them is the one-chair barber shop!


Jerry Luellen is my barber. While he isn't like "Floyd the barber" in Mayberry, the shop sure does remind you of that! His price sheet reads only: "Haircut $8.00- Long Hair $10.00"



The shop is open Wed-Sat. Jerry opens for business at 8:00 am. There are six seats for waiting. Retired men occupy the seats and fill the room with talk about the weather (big topic of conversation today with all those tornadoes in the State last night) and local goings-on.

You don't get a cup of cappuccino nor do you get your hair shampooed with a nice relaxing scalp massage like in Chiang Mai or China. But the eight bucks transports you back to a more simple time and place, when no one was in a hurry, and everyone knew everyone else's business and was concerned about everyone else's troubles.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Create a Caption



(BTW- you can find the story about this bizarre photo here)

Obama does the "bump"



If this keeps up, maybe we've got another Gerry Ford! I wonder what (if anything) SNL will do with this?

For M. Steve Heartsill

SOMETHING

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Do you want your socks blessed off?

Take 9 minutes and watch this video. Actually, just listen to it.



Oh! To be like this man!

Office Funny

OK, I've been in my office for a little over 2 hours now. I turned the heat on when I arrived, for it was 45 degrees in here. 2 hours later, it is only 55 degrees in here. My hands were cold, I haven't taken my coat off yet, and I've had three cups of coffee. I'M STILL COLD!

So, I get to thinking "maybe something's wrong with the furnace". I go over to the vent in the ceiling to feel if air is warm or cold. Then it hits me.

Last Sunday morning, the men gather in my office to pray for the service and for me, before the service starts. On of them is very tall and he was standing right in the line of fire of the vent, so he reached up and closed it.

He never re-opened it!

Well, just since I've started typing this post, the temp has already raised to a balmy 59 degrees!

Yeah furnace!!!

Snow still on the ground

Well, it has been more than a week and there is still snow on the ground here in Wagoner, OK. OK, not everywhere on the ground, but only where the sun doesn't shine. There is still 2-3 inches of sleet/snow on the north side of just about every building.

It made it to 70 degrees last Saturday, but in the shadows, the white stuff remains.

I noticed that some of the greenery for the spring flowers are starting to emerge. The daffodils and naked ladies are starting to show.

I can hardly wait for spring. (but I guess I have no choice)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Change? What change?



It isn't a matter of people littering the nation's capitol; it is a matter of not having enough trash cans, right?

[HT: Matt Harmless]