Tuesday, September 26, 2006

spinach scares and the mall of america

First of all, Minnesota is beautiful. The above is a jankily thrown together panoramic picture showing the view from the farm where our friends Tim and Tiffany were married. We spent Friday and Saturday in Minneapolis, drove with our friends Eric and Clare to Grand Meadow (pop. 963) on saturday, and drove home via Minnesota Route 16 (one of the most scenic drives I've experienced) through "Bluff Country" (I didn't know there was a bluff country in Minnesota). Anyways all this to say that on Friday we happened to pass by the Mall of America, which ominously imposes on the Minneapolis landscape. As I gazed in wonder and fear at this multiplex, a quote that Wendell Berry used in the preface to his essay "Life is a Miracle" popped into my mind:

"We are not getting something for nothing,
We are getting nothing for everything"
- Lionel Basney

In contrast to the gorgeous Minnesota countryside and the appealing old buildings and cathedrals in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Mall of America offers nothing aesthetically and serves only as a monument to materialism. All the while we bipassed the Mall and headed to the adjacent IKEA (equally as ugly, and even more so a monument to superficial materialism). Wallowing in my own hypocrisy, and since it was a gloomy day, I started thinking of ways in which we are getting nothing for everything. Immediately I started thinking about the whole spinach scare (the next day I would thoughtlessly order a spinach omlet at a restaurant, to which our waitress replied: "where have you been?"), and how a Maryland woman who dies from eating contaminated spinach grown in California is the most recent example of getting nothing for everything. And while sulking over the woes of industrial farming practices, I remembered a Wendell Berry essay The Pleasure of Eating that really changed the way I view eating. So I thought I'd share it with you (read here) and if you don't read the whole thing at least skim through his seven points on how to eat responsibly. So there you have the progression of my thinking whilst in Minnesota. It really was a great trip.

One way to act on this is to get your food directly from a local farmer via a CSA (community supported agriculture program). I found CSAs in Pinckney, E. Lansing (this is our new neighbor...TOTALLY ORGANIC!), LA, and Fort Wayne at www.localharvest.org

Alright time to get off my soap box, see y'all Cali's in a few weeks (Can't Wait!!). See the Mitten Staters soon too!! Love --- wesley

Monday, September 25, 2006

J & A Dine with the Commander in Chief

Tonight Abigail and I dined with the foremost leader of the free world. We were sitting in the little Indian joint right off Colorado Blvd in Old Town Pasadena when Dennis Haysbert walked in with his teenage daughter and sat down across the way from us. Who's Dennis Haysbert you might ask? Well, you 24 addicts know him as none other than David Palmer, the President of the USA on the Emmy award winning drama. He's also the one in the Allstate commercials emploring you to drive safely to keep all of our premiums down. I must admit that it was hard for me to keep from calling him "Mr. President" but alas, we ate our Chicken Tikka, Dal and Naan, and went our separate ways. Seems like the SoCal Gaines' are having quite the run ins with the cast of24 of late. First Kief and now Den. Have a great week. 2 weeks and counting!

Friday, September 22, 2006


Kief, originally uploaded by andrewgaines.

Whenever I see Kiefer Sutherland around town I usually ask him, 'Hey Kief, do you ever take a break?!'

'haha' he laughed.

an awkard pause.

Then I tried to say something about Jack Bauer, but he was saying something at the same time and we interrupted each other.

"what was that?" I said.

"No, nothing." answered Kief.

And then he lit a ciggarette and walked away into the Santa Monica evening.


Happy Birthday Sarah and Shea!


And for those of you who don't know, I'll be in Germany from November 1st until December 7th. I have no real agenda , other than I need a break and I need to see something new. I look at it as sort of a research trip into the idea of an unfolding final causation. I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Birthday x2

Happy Birthday to two special pregnant ladies who share the same birthday, due date, what's next??

Sarah, my faithful friend, gracefully pregnant, and wonderfully 23 today. Happy Birthday. We'll have some good ole Minnesota fun this weekend (we're in Minneapolis)!

Shea, hands down the 2006 MVP (Most Valient Pregnant woman). We're almost there!! We love you guys. Have a wonderful birthday!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another ingenious creation for Moms

I came home from work today to see my beautiful esposa and lil peanut and had to take a pic of the new "peanut shell." I guess it can go like hundred (hyperbole) diff positions. Steph loves it! I can't wait to strap it on! Anyways, much amor......the waiting game Cub and ABS!! SO pumped and for the December babes...a healthy last trimest. Peace out!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Readers of the World Unite

We heard Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, speak at IPFW last night. She told her story of living through the Islamic revolution in Iran, and why she continued to hold secret meetings to read and discuss "Western" books that had been banned during this time. She then turned the discussion to how the practice of reading in our country has declined alarmingly in recent years. We have chosen Baywatch over Bellow and Friends over Fitzgerald, this resulting in a loss of eloquence and thoughtfulness in politics and society (compare to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address to the speeches of our current politicians). She explained how reading and discussing books was as important as any other revolutionary act in Iran because in literature you have a true form of democracy. This because in reading, the stories on the pages are translated into the imaginations of the readers, so each reader is able to become a part of the story and make it their own. She closed with admonishing us to continue reading and discussing literature with eachother. So...in response I've created a "What We're Reading" section to this blog (on the sidebar). If you would like to share something you are reading, send me an email and I'll post it for you. Just thought I'd share that with y'all.

Bless You Boys - Restore the Roar of 84 (Come on Tigers HOLD ON!!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Chariots of Fire!

Today we make history..the first Cross-Country meet in Gaines' family history..(i think). Wish us luck as the Gladstone Gladiators run into the record books!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hey Hey Family

8-2-06 Pics 014
Originally uploaded by stevelamps.
Just a quick update on new things in the life of the mt. P. Lampi's. Shea can't wait for work to be done and for baby. I'm with her on that one. The church is going great. i have an amazing job that I love. This is the new sanctuary, and that is some guy that, by the looks of it, is going to have his hands full if this place is going to be packed with high schoolers and young adults. Yikes! In the words of Martin Smith "Every little thing is gonna be alright." Anyway, I've met superintendants, principals, coaches and a good amount of kids. Let the fun begin. Good things to come for the town of Midland and Bullock Creek. Shea and I are looking to move in the area and we've seen some great houses and great land. A lot of new things coming our way. See you all soon

Love Ya'll,


Thursday, September 07, 2006


Just had to post these pictures of the cousins! Brenda is quite the sassy cutie!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dylan Review

Last night was our Bob Dylan show. First props to Sarah who weathered a little rain and a crisp fall night so I could get my music fix. She did get a Bob Dylan poncho out of it though. The first three acts set the stage nicely (a mix of country and blues), Junior Brown is incredible to watch live! By the time Bob took the stage the rain had passed and an orange glowing moon rose over our house to the southeast. The lights flick on there he is with his band belting out
The Cats in the Well with what little voice he has left. Typical Dylan show (from what I've heard) he plays for almost two hours with out looking or addressing the crowd once, finishes the last song All Along the Watchtower comes to the front of the stage with his band, takes a bow and walks off the stage. Leaving most of the crowd with their jaws dropped. Great show, special to have him in the Fort, his new CD is worth getting, he continues to write songs that are gripping lyrically and comforting musically. My favorite line is from Ain't Talking.
"I practice a faith that's been long abandoned
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road
Ain't talkin', just walkin"

Monday, September 04, 2006

Guess who's back... Debbie's BACK...back again

My goal this summer was to blog at least once.....AND I DID IT!!!
My new goal is to read it weekly...ok? (BY the way, Jeff is typing this)


Ben and Becky...Brenda is soooo cute...but still don't think she looks like either of you. Ha

Bill Gaines....you talk a lot of smack, but ncan yopu back it up? (Jeff wrote this...you bandwagon DRIVER)

To everyonhe else, it was great seeing you'all...and a special thanks to Andrew for going WAAAAAYYYYYYY out of his way to see us. I'm sorry we got disconnected by phone. But great to talk to you.

Awaiting all the new babies...OCTOBER is coming so quick!!!!!! Excited for Lena.....and yeah....Bill. Grandparenting is the best!

Popcorn and melon and "Meet Joe Boxer",

Debs (Jeff again)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Are You Ready For Some Big 10 Football?

Well, another Big 10 season is upon us and so I thought I'd ask for some predictions. I've been amazingly accurate at picking Wolverine wins and losses the past 5 years (ask Ben Brus), so I thought I'd involve the rest of you. Go ahead and blog your predicted outcomes for both the Wolverines and Spartans. Some questions to ponder... Can you spell Lloyd without two or more L's? Will they tank an early season road game in the 4th? By what week will dad turn the game off in disgust to go bag leaves and the season? Will the Spartys be all hype for the first 5 weeks and then fade like a Gary Gentry driver? Is it the Spartans year to steal one in AA? Will Mike Hart stay healty? Will the Wolverines K.O. Drew Stanton by halftime?

Sept. 2, 2006 Vanderbilt
Sept. 9, 2006 Central Michigan
Sept. 16, 2006 at Notre Dame
Sept. 23, 2006 Wisconson
Sept. 30, 2006 at Minnesota
Oct. 7, 2006 Michigan State
Oct. 14, 2006 at Penn State
Oct. 21, 2006 Iowa
Oct. 28, 2006 Northwestern
Nov. 4, 2006 Ball State
Nov. 11, 2006 at Indiana
Nov. 18, 2006 at Ohio State

Sept 2 Idaho
Sept 9 Eastern Michigan

Sept 16 at Pittsburgh
September 23 Notre Dame
September 30 Illinois
October 7 at Michigan
October 14 Ohio State
October 21 at Northwestern
October 28 at Indiana
November 4 Purdue
November 11 Minnesota
November 18 at Penn State

19-12 Brighton wins

pinckney left reeling...