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Thursday, February 22, 2018

My brother's ear




Now, isn't this most interesting! 
My brother has an ear! I want one too! Or, while you are at it: Gimme two!!



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Best of the Best

Now I've seen it:
The Best of the Best!
The Most Beautiful of the Beautiful!
The Most Elegant of the Elegant!
I saw the Canadian Figure Skating Pair, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir,
skate to the Gold Medal in Ice Dancing.
They were closely followed by the pairs from France and the USA.
While the runner-ups did their utmostr and skated brilliantly,
they could not match the Certainty, the Elegance, the Panache
of the Canadian Duo.
Do you remember the British team of Torvill and Dean?
They, who made the "Bolero" famous among people who had never heard of Ravel before.
They were the Icons of Ice Dancing at the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984.
Judges gave them a never before heard of twelve 6s and six 5.9s.
Well, Torvill and Dean have just been dethroned
by Virtue and Moir as the greatest ice dancers EVER.

I know that Canadian athletes have achieved other great results
about which I have not written.
I just figure that you will hear about all of it in the papers and on the TV News.

Let me just tell you: If you are a Canadian: Be proud !

Bertstravels
certainly is

Thursday, February 15, 2018

In the deep of Winter


It's been snowing for three days without let-up. 
Today, however, the Sun shines again from a blue sky.
So, I decide to go for a little drive into the snow-covered countryside.


Amidst dense forest this farm house nestles.
I wonder how the people who live there get in and out.
Slower than a person can walk I drive along, 
but I can see not even a path leading to this 
fairy tale scene.



The road wanders up hill in s-curve after hairpin curve.
Finally I get to the top of the Schaidasattel ( Schaida pass )
It's only 1069 meters above Sea level, but it seems much higher.



From the top of this pass, the valley opens in a breathtaking view.
The little Village of Zell - Cele nestled between gentle slopes.
 The back-stop, however, consists of a forbidding range of the Karawanken Mountains. 


Snow is everywhere,  but the road is well cleared 
and without difficulties I reach the Village of  "Zell-Cele"...



While the Village Sign is almost totally snow covered,
I find, without difficulties, the "Cafe Carmen."


Six noble citizens of Zell occupy what the sign identifies as 
the "Favourite Table of the Citizen Group."


Are you the "Citizen Group" ? I ask them.
"Yes" comes the reply. 
"Anybody who sits here, is the "Citizens Group"



Since this area is "Bi-National" and "Bilingual"
even this hand written sign tells the message in German and Slovenian.




Through the window I see a little bird house.
The intricate design and the bright colours
tell of an artistic people.
The snow cap tells of a hard Winter.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

What is Faith?

Not that tired subject again!

A long ranging discussion lead us exactly nowhere, since there are many different interpretations of this concept.
I share the interpretation of the British Philosopher, Bertrand Russell, who, along with many other thinkers maintained that 
“we may define “faith” as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of “faith”. We do not speak of “faith” that two and two make four, or that the Earth is round. We only speak of “faith” when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.”
Others described “faith” as a process of active non-thinking, of the acceptance of ideas not only in the absence of evidence, but in fact sometimes in spite of existing evidence to the contrary.
In the Roman Catholic Faith, for instance, it is necessary to believe that during the celebration of a Holy Mass, the waiver of bread actually changes into the body of Jesus Christ, while the sip of Red Wine within the chalice changes into the actual blood of the “Son of God”. 
Now, this requires a good portion of “Faith.”
In both, the Catholic, as well as in the Protestant version of Christianity, Faith is an absolute necessary ingredient of getting to heaven.
The big difference, as I understand it, is, that The Roman Catholic teaching requires Faith and Good Works, while the Protestants and in particular the “Born Again Christians” require Faith alone.
In both cases “Faith” is the number one requirement. Without Faith, there is no ticket to Heaven. There is only the slippery Road to Hell.

Billy Graham, surely one of the most important proponents of the “born again doctrine” said this in his book ”How to be born again”: While morality or Do-Goodness may win the approval of men, it is not acceptable to God, nor does it reflect His full moral demands.

Now we come to a very tricky part: You or I can decide to do good works. I or you may make a decision to feed the hungry and clothe the naked to the extent of our ability and without hesitation we may go about doing exactly that. 
But we just don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God, in fact we are not even sure that there is an entity with all the powers of a God. We just lack that “Faith.”

How about Faith? Can you decide tomorrow to have Faith? Can I truly state that as of right now I will have the degree of Faith required to achieve heaven? I can do that no more than I can decide that tomorrow I will have green eyes, and as of right now I shall be 6' 6” !

Now I have to decide to believe ( have Faith ) in something for which there is not one shred of evidence, which, in fact, often is contrary to existing evidence.
The absurdities, contradictions, and downright inanities of the entire Bible are, for me, completely impossible to believe.

Do I believe in the existence of God? There is no evidence! Therefore I cannot be a Theist.
Do I believe in the non-existence of God? There is also no evidence! Therefore I cannot be an Atheist!


Bertstravels
is left with the little but honest corner of the Agnostic.



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pix for JO











Lianne and her Big Brother



Steven and Lianne





Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Steven and his parents



1956/57
Steven Reitter and his parents in Ottawa (above)

and in Niagara Falls (below)