Des Moines Chess Camp 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

For me there could have been no better way to celebrate my 20th birthday than to enjoy teaching chess at the 2014 Des Moines Chess Camp!  Chess is my all-time favorite game, invigorating the mind and challenging it to ever deeper thought.  So, when Hank Anzis, who introduced me to tournament chess years ago and blogs at Broken Pawn, asked if I'd be interested in teaching at the chess camp again, I enthusiastically agreed!  
The first day of camp started at 10:00 A.M.  While Frank started the day for the fun class by teaching how to avoid Scholar's Mate, I taught the serious class by going over three of my own chess games and pointing out the mistakes and good moves of both sides.  Below are a few tips I gave the students, which all chess players would do well to heed.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Teenage life cannot be complete until one has visited Culver's, so on my last day as a teenager, my dear Papa took me to Culver's in Marshalltown on our way home from chess camp where I was an instructor (more about that in another post).   

We each ordered a single-patty Cheddar Butter-Burger ($2.69).  The burger was very flavorful, and I loved the fresh tomato slice; it was a lot better than many other fast-food burgers.  And, did I say fast?  Culver's service is lightning speed!  I got our drinks and no sooner had I sat down when a waitress brought us our dinner.  


Sunday, July 20, 2014

I see perfection: the cry of beauty.
I see perfection: the crown of thorns?

I see perfection: the long sought for goal.
I see perfection: a sword-pierced side to nations shown?

I see perfection: the love of God.
I see perfection: the agony of a dying man?

I see perfection: Jesus Christ, He, and He alone loves me so.
I see perfection: 'tis perfection, 'tis greatest love.
I see Jesus, beaten, dying, and alone.

And what have I, what am I, that He should love me so?
What am I, that He would call my name?
What am I that my Savior, bruised and beaten, should make me His own?
© 2009 Bethany Carson

2014 Iowa Games Table Tennis

Saturday, July 19, 2014

This morning I woke up at 6:00 A.M. as usual and subconsciously mentally prepared myself to manage the Daily 5 0, a chess tournament I direct every weekday morning on FICS.  Then it struck me: today was Saturday and instead of playing chess I would be going to a table tennis tournament!
I ate a little cold cereal, and Papa and I started our drive for Ames.  On our way a Ford F650 passed us; it was a big pick-up truck (I don't think I've seen one quite like it before).  We also noticed road work being done.

Liebster Awards

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Many thanks to Noémie and Paige for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is a way for bloggers to learn more about each other by asking 11 questions and posting 11 random facts about themselves.

11 Random Facts:
1. Until recently I didn't realize powdered peanut butter was available.  Just add water!
2. I was a 5-time Iowa Girls Chess Champion
3.  As a small child my dream job was owning a doughnut shop
4.  I play the piano, guitar, accordion, and harmonica
5.  I've read the Bible through 14 times
6.  I've seen limestone fence posts in Kansas.

Hansen's Dairy

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our time machine today will take us back to June of 2009 when we toured Hansen's Dairy near Hudson, IA.  Hansen's milk comes from cows not injected with rBST/rBGH hormones, and their milk is non-homogenized (the cream floats to the top).  My family has enjoyed drinking their milk for years.

The dairy offers tours at $12 per person for a hands-on tour and $8 for a walk-through tour.  In 2009, when  I think (but am not sure) that it was less expensive; we took a hands-on tour.

The Nebraska State Capitol

Friday, July 11, 2014

Today I'd like to take you back in time with me to 2010 when my family and I visited the Nebraska State Capitol on our way to Texas.  It was one stop on one of the most memorable and exciting trips of my life.  At 400 feet high, the capitol is the second tallest statehouse in the nation.

The Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

We recently visited the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop in Haverhill, Iowa.  Matthew Edel immigrated to the United States from Germany. He opened his blacksmith shop in 1883.  Until the family could build themselves a house, they lived above the shop in the attic.  They were avid gardeners, growing and preserving food from their own large gardens. This photo from 1915, which hangs in the shop, shows Mr. Edel (center) with his then 16-year-old son Louis on the left and a customer on the right.  

Encroachment of Religious Freedom in the US

Monday, July 7, 2014

The search for religious freedom is what brought the Pilgrims to what is now the US in 1620.  As William Bradford wrote in his History of Plymouth Plantation, they were determined, "whatever it might cost them, to shake off the anti-Christian bondage."  

Still, the colonies, and later states, persecuted believers of other sects.  For example, Baptists in Episcopalian Virginia who preached, did not pay taxes to the state church, or failed to baptize their infants were jailed, beaten with bludgeons, whipped, stoned, tortured, shot, or accused of child abuse.  Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams after he was exiled from Massachusetts for his divergent Christian beliefs.  Maryland was founded as a safe haven for Catholics who were banned from various other colonies.  
A Virginia Baptist pastor is waterboarded in 1778 by Episcopalian church-state authorities.
The Founding Fathers, descendents of those who fled persecution in Europe, saw firsthand how religious establishment worked in their own states and determined to take extreme diligence and care to ensure the federal government would not make any laws concerning religious establishment or encroach upon religious freedom.  They considered this right so important they defended it in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Hence, it is unlikely that freedom of religion in the US will ever be attacked blatantly and directly.  Instead, freedom of religion today is insidiously attacked through attrition.  Two of the most egregious encroachments apparent to me are through:
The Establishment of Statolatry
Tithes to the Established Deity of State  

Independence Day 2014: Part 2

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Throughout the parade were many neat looking old and new cars.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Independence Day 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Today 238 years ago, the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain claiming the unalienable rights with which God has endowed each person: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and assuming among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitled them.  

Since, the 4th of July has been a celebration throughout the country.  This year we joined family in Shell Rock, Iowa to watch the town's Independence Day parade.  

We arrived 20 minutes early and set up our lawn chairs; we were surprised to see that the streets of this small town of 1,300+ people were already lined everywhere with people.

Sunflower Blogging Award

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Many thanks to Cryslyn for nominating me for my second Sunflower Award.  The Sunflower Award is a way for bloggers to learn more about each other by asking 10 questions.  Here are my answers to Cryslyn's questions: 
1). What is your dream home?
I *really* like my current home, and I'm liking it even more as we're doing small remodelling jobs to fix up parts that have aged and make the house exactly as we like.  My dream home might have milder winters.

2). Do you have a current occupation? If not, what would you like for your future job to be?
Currently I work as marketing and sales manager and as a general laborer for the concrete division of Carson Welding and Concrete.  In other words: I mix concrete, weld rebar, create invoices, and mail advertisements.  Seasonally I work as a fruit-picker at a local orchard and do occasional jobs like shovelling out grain bins, house cleaning, pie-making, and teaching chess at Hank Anzis' Des Moines Chess Camp.  I enjoy the freedom of being able to work with my family and do a bit of everything.