December 31, 2013

Book Review

One Perfect Life by John MacArthur

This book is an interesting compilation of the life of Christ. MacArthur has a unique way of harmonizing the life of Christ as recorded in the Gospels with relevant Old Testament and New Testament Scripture.

While the book is large, over 500 pages, it is separated in such a way to make a nice easy read. The book is divided into 11 major parts of Christ's life. Within each part are sections dealing with a topic or event related to the main part. In traditional MacArthur style, each portion of Scripture has relevant notes to explain the passage as needed.

While not my most favorite life of Christ book, I recommend this to anyone interested in the harmonization of the Gospels and the life of Christ.

December 10, 2013

The Interpreter Magazine Question

The Interpreter Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine from the United Methodist Communication Office of Public Information. They are adding a new feature starting in January 2014 where they ask readers a question and print some of the responses. Below is the question for January and my response is listed below that.

With what kinds of personal issues are United Methodists dealing that might benefit from spiritual support?

United Methodists struggle with the same personal issues as any other Christian. Living in a fallen world has been a challenge and will be a challenge until Christ returns for His children. The unique struggles that United Methodists would be dealing with are those that originate from the United Methodist Conference. How does a Christian following the teachings of a church when the church no longer stays true to the Word of God? No doubt, at the next General Conference there will be a battle over issues that are clearly addressed in Scripture.

December 09, 2013

Guns & Ammo Question

Here is a letter I sent to the editor of Guns & Ammo regarding an article about caliber calculations. The author's calculations for 9mm and below are more than what I was calculating manually. We'll see what the response is.

Mauser’s Metrics?

I was not able to duplicate the Mauser’s Metrics  calculations of Craig Boddington in the January issue of Guns & Ammo.

Based on my calculations, I get the following:

6.5mm = 0.256
7mm = 0.276
8mm = 0.315
9mm = 0.354
9.3mm = 0.366
9.5mm = 0.374
10.75mm = 0.423

Am I missing something?

October 31, 2013

Shadow Adventures: Last ride of the season?

I haven't had many adventures recently for a various number of reasons.

Yesterday, however, was an excellent riding day. I decided to take advantage of the situation and go for at least one more ride this season.

I have been wanting to stop by the Staple Bend Tunnel at Mineral Point for some time now, so I decided to take a ride and check it out. The ride was pretty uneventful and most were rural roads with very little traffic, so the ride was enjoyable. The weather was sunny and about 65 degrees.

I wasn't really sure what to expect to see, but when I got to what I thought was a tunnel was just a small overpass. Here is a picture of what I thought I drove 24 miles to see.

There isn't really anything spectacular about it, except for the fact that once you drive through the "tunnel" there is a 90 degree turn on the other side. Hence the stop light directing traffic one way at a time through the tunnel.

After driving through the "tunnel," I decided to continue on down the road a little ways before I turn around. It's a good thing I did, because the "tunnel" was not really the tunnel! I came across a nice parking lot with a trail to access the real tunnel!

This will have to be another adventure to hike the two mile trail to see the tunnel.

The return trip home was a nice ride, I decided to take a different route home. It total it was a 47 mile trip and a great afternoon!

Until the next ride.....

August 23, 2013

Shadow Adventures: Commuting

I haven't really gone for many joy rides on the bike recently.
I spent some time working on my saddle bag brackets and finally got them installed.

They didn't turn out too bad. Some schedule 40 PVC pipe and mending braces is all it took. They may not look pretty, but they work just fine.

Since the bracket install, I have been taking the bike to work on sunny days. It is a great way to start and end the work day for sure. Plus, I get the added bonus of around 60 miles per gallon. The coldest morning temperature has been 41.9 degrees. I was comfortable, but the ride home was rather warm wearing all of the cold weather gear! I am hoping to continue riding as long into fall as possible.

August 22, 2013

Book Review

At The Throne of Grace: A book of Prayers by John MacArthur

Inside the book jacket summarizes this book perfectly. "At the Throne of Grace is your invitation to more intimate, more worshipful prayer." There is no better summary description.

The book is divided into 6 sections.
Prayers on Worship and the Attributes of God
Prayers on Joy and Longing
Prayers on the Cross and the Gospel
Prayers on Personal Holiness
Prayers on Useful Service
Prayers on Holy Seasons

Before each prayer there is a passage of Scripture. MacArthur then prays through that Scripture and includes other portions of Scripture as well.

This is a powerful and deep practice of praying. It isn't just shallow prayers about asking God for "stuff", it is praising God and worshiping Him during prayer time.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in deepening their prayer life.

July 02, 2013

Not You Too Minute Maid!

It happened again. I was looking at Orange Juice and Minute Maid has taken their 64 ounce container and sucked out 5 ounces while keeping the price the same.

See for yourself.

How will they scam us next?

June 20, 2013

Shadow Adventures: Official Business

As mentioned in a previous post I had a doctors appointment last Friday and was hoping to take my bike on an official trip, not just a joy ride. Well, that didn't happen. I had other stuff to do, like drop off the recycling, and the storage capabilities of a motorcycle are somewhat lacking. Plus the weather didn't look too promising.

Thankfully, the doctor decided I needed some fasting blood work done, so Saturday morning at 6:30 I am on my way to the hospital lab for blood work. On my bike of course. It was 48 degrees out and pretty foggy. I closed the vents on my helmet, but it was still a pretty chilly ride. By the time I got to the lab, I was also pretty wet driving through the fog. It is amazing how much moisture is in fog. The ride home was much warmer with the sun shining brightly.

No problems on the ride, in fact it was nice to ride the open road. Of course, at 6:30 on a Saturday morning there isn't much traffic either.

I was able to carry my paperwork and other items in a backpack I purchased. It worked perfectly.

This weekend is Thunder In the Valley. I am not sure if I will attend the main event in Johnstown or some of the surrounding events like the Nanty Glo Pool n Pork or the Ebensburg Wheels and Wings. Either that or I will be a rebel and have my own one man ride! Thunder at Doe Valley!

Until then, keep on thinking....

June 13, 2013

Cell Phone Use, Which Ear / Hand?

The other day I read a study from JAMA about which ear is used to listen on a cell phone. Here are the results:

Results  A total of 717 surveys were returned. Ninety percent of the respondents were right handed, and 9% were left handed. Sixty-eight percent of the right-handed people used the cell phone in their right ear, 25% in the left ear, and 7% had no preference. Seventy-two of the left-handed respondents used their left ear, 23% used their right ear, and 5% had no preference. Cell phone use averaged 540 minutes per month over the past 9 years.

You can read the entire report for yourself here: JAMA: Hemispheric Dominance and Cell Phone Use

After reading these results I thought they were crazy. Why would a right handed person use their right hand to talk on a phone? It doesn't make any sense. How do you write things down or perform other tasks while talking on the phone and your right (dominate) hand is holding a phone.

Today, I decided to take my own survey and prove the medical professionals wrong. Obviously, my sample size was significantly smaller, however, my survey data provided the same results as the medical professionals.

It just doesn't make sense to me. When I talk on the phone I use my left hand, holding the phone to my left ear. My right hand is dominate and free to do other things while talking on the phone. It just makes sense!

Am I crazy or is everyone else?

Still thinking here in Doe Valley.

June 12, 2013

Not so fast Florida's Natural!

While I was grocery shopping last week at Wal*Mart, I noticed a new item, Grower's Pride juice made by the parent company of Florida's Natural. The price was lower than the Wal*Mart branded Great Value product. I picked up a carton and something caught my eye. See if you see what I saw.

Yep, there it is. 59 ounces. Not the 64 ounces that we are all used too! When you factor in the 5 missing ounces, the product is not cheaper per ounce than the Great Value brand.

Nice try Florida's Natural, but you can't catch me!

June 11, 2013

Response from Rep. White

I knew when (if) I got a response from Representative Don White it would not be supporting my position. Rep. White is a cosponsor of the legislation that will raise the gas tax for Pennsylvanians. For whatever reason he does not e-mail. He chooses to use the postal service with his fancy bonded letterhead. It seems to me, that is just another waste of taxpayer money.

June 10, 2013

Shadow Adventures - First Fill-up

I bought some biker boots on Saturday and was itching to try them out. I wasn't sure what I wanted for boots and most are expensive. I saw a great deal on some Harley Davidson boots, but they were too tight. So I got these GBX Dorado boots, not bad for $9!

I knew that I needed some gas in the bike as well, so what better way to test out the boots than to do a road trip for fuel.

The local gas station is about a mile away and should take about 5 minutes to get to. But of course that is not the gas station I opted to patronize. I went to Sheetz, which is several towns away. It was a great ride. The boots felt perfect.

The trip involved some rural roads, two lane and four lane highways. There wasn't much traffic. The temperature was nice with a light breeze. The trip was about 35 miles and took about an hour.

I filled up with 104 miles on the tank and it took about 1.6 gallons, so that equates to around 63 miles per gallon. Not too bad.

I am hoping for a road trip on Friday where I will actually have several stops to make. I still need to research saddlebags or some other type of storage options.

June 07, 2013

Response from Rep. Reed

Below is the response I received from our local PA Representaive Dave Reed regarding my email to him about the gas tax. I wonder what other states do to finance their roads and infrastructure?

Wesley –

Thank you very much for your follow-up e-mail to our town hall meeting with your support for fixing our roads and bridges as well as your opposition to raising the gasoline tax.  I certainly agree that before any fees or taxes are raised that more efficiencies should be implemented within government and especially within the Department of Transportation.  Do you have any thoughts or ideas on how the additional dollars to fund such upgrades should be raised once such efficiencies are enacted?  I am more than open to any suggestions you may have since the maintenance of our infrastructure is a core function of government as well as one of proper places for government to invest in supporting our free market economy.


June 05, 2013

Shadow Adventures - Nature Area

My adventures continued last night with a ride to a local nature area. The weather was perfect, sunny and a comfortable 70 degrees.

Before the trip, I needed to check the coolant. I started the bike to let it warm up a little. All of a sudden the bike stalls. I start it up and it stalls immediately once again. I start it up and open the throttle a little, stalls again. It was as if it wasn't getting any fuel. Then I remember to turn the fuel value to the "on" position. The bike fired back up again and continued running.

I looked at the coolant reservoir but I couldn't see any fluid in there so I drove the bike up to have my brother check it out with me. Up there we were able to see the coolant level and it was fine. It appeared to be blueish so I'll have to research that a little more. I gave him my trip details and off I went.

This trip was going to involve a short run on two major highways in the area. One is a two lane and the other is a four lane. I started my journey. As I approached the first major highway there were three other bikers in front of me so I followed them and to my surprise they were turning onto the same road I was going.

Apparently, they were not out for a joy ride, because as soon as we turned onto the rural road they took off! I kept going about the speed limit which was 45 mph. As I approached the four lane highway I wasn't sure which way to go because of the way the intersection is laid out, but I always say when in doubt go right. So right it was!

There weren't many cars on the four lane so it was a nice ride for about half a mile, then I turned off onto the road to the nature area. The exit ramp was recently repaved, but as soon as you crest the little hill the paved road turns into a shale road. Thankfully, I was not traveling fast and had no problems making the adjustment to the road condition.

The nature area was about a mile down the road. As I approached the parking lot, I saw the biggest black bear I have ever seen in my entire life. He looked at me and started to walk away. Then he turned and looked at me again, so I revived up the bike and he continued on his way. I was not carrying my gun at the time either. Even if I was, I don't think my 9mm would have done much too him. Time to start researching .357's again!

I hopped off of my bike and snapped this picture of the sign.

I looked around briefly at the nature area and it didn't look like it was maintained very well. The trails were not trimmed. Obviously there is at least one gigantic bear that roams the area. I may head back again to check it out, but I think I'll take some protection with me next time!

Back on the bike to the four lane highway. Another half mile to the next exit and then back home. It was a great ride, about 25 miles in 45 minutes. The next ride will be to the gas station. Until then.....

June 01, 2013

Book Review

I finished reading "The Chronological Life of Christ" by Mark E. Moore this week. The author takes the life of Christ, mainly from the Gospel accounts, and harmonizes them to create a story of Christ's life. The author provides his commentary on each section. The language is a more of a conversational and contemporary style than academic.

Mark Moore was a college professor at Ozark Christian College and taught 4 courses on the life of Christ. He has his lectures and notes available on his website. I listened to the lectures as I read the book.

While I do not always agree with the comments many commentators have, it is always interesting to read different perspectives. I found a few places where the author takes great lengths to explain something that seems pretty straight forward and doesn't, in my opinion, need a great deal of explanation. Other times, however, I found myself wanting more of an explanation on other passages.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in studying the life of Christ.

May 30, 2013

Shadow Adventures - Memorial Day Ride

I was fortunate enough to go for another, longer ride on Memorial day. This ride was about 30 miles and formed a circle through 7 or 8 small towns. There was no traffic on these roads and it was an excellent time to continue to build my riding confidence level. I really enjoyed all of the smells from the cookouts everyone was having.

On the way home, I ended up riding by Duman Park again, so I stopped to snap a picture.

There were several campers and many families fishing at the lake.

Overall, it was a great ride. 

I purchased some pledge multi-surface wipes to clean the bike after every ride to keep it looking good. I also noticed there was no coolant in the overflow reservoir, so I'll need to check that before the next trip.

Until the next time.....

May 27, 2013

Shadow Adventures - First Ride

After a week of sitting on my motorcycle in the garage, I finally got to take it for a ride on Saturday. The weather was sunny, but cool. Around 60 degrees with a 15 to 20 mph wind. My first stop was to get the bike inspected.

After the inspection, I decided to get some practice in on the back roads. It didn't take long to find the sweet spot on the clutch. I decided to cruise to a local county park. I did a drive through and turned around to head home using a different route. Round trip it was about 12 miles or so.

I pulled into the driveway and was telling my brother all about the excitement of the ride. He walked over to my bike and said "What happened to your cover?" I looked and the side cover that holds the manual was missing.

I was not too happy. I thought maybe I just left it off when I took the manual out to read it. So down to the garage. Nothing there. I decide to head back out and retrace my ride. I get to the park and turn around. On my way back I find my cover sitting in the middle of the road.

I pulled off and grabbed the cover. It was scratched up, but otherwise okay. As I am putting the cover back into place another biker approaches. When he gets to about 25 feet away he guns his bike and takes off. What an idiot.

I return home and tell my story to everyone, but I am sure they are already sick of hearing about my biking adventures! So my 12 mile ride turned into about 25 miles! The adventure continues.

May 26, 2013

Shadow Adventures

Last week I picked up my first street motorcycle. It is a 2001 Honda Shadow with about 13,000 miles on it. The bike is in great shape and I think I got a pretty good deal on it as well. Riding it home was pretty nerve racking once I got to the main highway, but I had my brother following behind me to keep traffic back. I made it home successfully.

I thought I would start sharing my motorcycling adventures on my blog as well. This way everyone gets to share in the joy of a motorcycle ride.

April 22, 2013

Gas Tax

Here is a quick email I sent to our local representatives for the PA House and Senate regarding the Governor's proposal to raise the gasoline tax in Pennsylvania. If the Governor gets his wishes, Pennsylvania will have the most expensive gas in the continental United States.


The idea of raising the tax on gasoline has been floating around Harrisburg. This is not something we need. I do not support increasing the tax on gasoline. Yes, we need funding for transportation, but we cannot continue to throw money at the inefficiencies and corruption of government. Thank you

March 19, 2013

Boycott RiteAid

Doe Valley is officially boycotting RiteAid stores and pharmacy. Read on to find out why.

Last week the doctor prescribed a vitamin drop for my daughter. I had the doctor send the prescription directly to RiteAid so it would be ready for us when we got there. I entered the store and headed to the pharmacy counter and stood there waiting as 3 people behind the counter looked at me and then looked at each other to see who would be the first to give in and actually see what I wanted.

After a minute or two, one of the ladies walked over and asked what I needed. I said I was there to pick up a prescription. She brought the prescription over to me and said that would be $16.19. I said I have met my deductible on my insurance for the year, so I shouldn't need to pay anything.

She said she didn't have my insurance information, so I gave her the card and she processed the transaction. She came back over to me and said your insurance does not cover this since it is considered over the counter.

By this point in the conversation I just wanted the prescription to get home so I just paid the $16 for it and left. When I got home I found out they gave me the generic version and the doctor specifically requested a name brand.

To make matters worse, I decided since it was an over the counter prescription I should just be able to walk into any store and purchase it. Sure enough, I checked Wal*Mart and the name brand was on the shelf for about $8 and the generic version that I paid $16 for was sitting right next to it for $4.

I don't mind paying a little extra for convenience. However, Wal*Mart was about 100 yards away from RiteAid. I could have easily went into Wal*Mart and bought the name brand vitamin drops for $8 rather than pay double for generic!

Good bye RiteAid!

February 05, 2013

Response from the White House

Below is the response I received from the White House regarding my email after the election.

Dear Wesley:

Thank you for sharing your perspective.  I appreciate your taking the time to offer your comments on the issues facing our Nation.

My Administration will continue to take bold action to move our country forward and secure a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.  In our democracy, each of us has our own opinions and deeply held beliefs, and it is not necessary for everyone to always agree.  But in the days and months ahead, we must all remain engaged and committed to work together as we build a stronger, fairer, and more prosperous America.  

To learn more about my Administration or to contact me in the future, please visit  Thank you, again, for writing.


Barack Obama

January 07, 2013

Book Review

Grace for the Moment Morning & Evening Edition: Inspiration for Each Day of the Year by
Max Lucado

I have enjoyed reading several of Max Lucado's books and was very excited to read a daily devotional by Max as well. As the name suggests there is a brief morning and evening inspirational reading each day. The reading includes some scripture, an excerpt from one of Lucado's books, and a couple of questions to think about.

I must say, I was disappointed in this book. It seemed like this was more of a way to sell a book or books rather than actually get people into thinking about Scripture. There didn't seem to be any type of theme from day to day or even morning to night. Often times the excerpt from one of Lucado's book didn't really even match the Scripture for the day. I also found the thought provoking questions to be rather non thought provoking.

I don't think I would even recommend this book to people as a way to introduce them to a daily devotional or to Max Lucado. It does not do either of these justice.

I enjoy reading Max Lucado. I enjoy reading daily devotions. I enjoy reading and thinking about Scripture. I did not enjoy this book. There are better devotionals out there. Sorry Max.

I hope this helps you.