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Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend Update

With apologies to Saturday Night Live, I thought I'd simply call this post Weekend Update because, well, that's what this is!

Friday evening I went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday. I had only seen tv commercials on this place and was intrigued, and lo and behold, there is one just 5 miles or so from where I live! I ordered the "triple prime" hamburger expecting delicious beefy goodness. I was surprised by the relatively high brow decor and design of the restaurant, being that they have a salad bar and their primary dinner plate is a hamburger. When my dinner arrived, I was rather shocked and disappointed at the rather diminutive portions, considering it was about $11 for a burger and fries. However, once I took my first bit
e, I was hooked. It was likely the best tasting hamburger I've ever had. Not the biggest, not a lot of frills, just a very good hamburger.

After dinner, I returned home in time to watch the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing. I was completely blown away. Having been to China back in 1996, I was especially intrigued by how the Chinese would present themselves in this show. Yes, it's a Communist country. We all remember the images of unrest in Tiananmen Square back in 1989. These things can not, and should not be forgotten. However, the Olympics are supposed to transcend these things, and I believe they should. So wit
h that in mind, I could really enjoy the spectacle with an open mind. And what an amazing show it was. And frankly, I wasn't surprised. When I was in China, I could see even then, without the eyes of the world trained upon them as closely, the Chinese government does everything it can to show the world how beautiful it is and how happy the people are. I remember large, brightly colored banners, such as those in this picture I took in Shenzhen, strung along the roofline of buildings which, despite the fact that I couldn't understand what was written on them, they were clearly messages of propaganda. However, if you looked between and beyond these banners, you could see the facing of the delapidated building they were designed to shield. The Chinese government is quite adept at utilizing the "oooh, shiny" factor to mesmerize the world and try to distract from the oppressive nature of their leadership.

Saturday was a pretty uneventful day, which was just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday was a really nice day. I went to church at Sunset Christian Center in Rocklin. The service was very nice, and as a special treat, The Katinas were on hand to lead in worship. They will return to SCC about every 6 weeks for the next year for the purpose of worship leading, so that should be interesting. After church, I had lunch with the Bethke family. Dennis and his wife were in town visiting their sons Kyle and Todd and their families. We had a great time, and it's always special to see some familiar faces in my new home town.

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