Friesian churches face closure

I’m posting this for my dad and a distant cousin who read the blog. My dad is probably one of the only people I’ve ever met who speaks the Frisian language, because he grew up near the area and he learned it in school.

The northern Dutch province of Friesland has the highest density of churches in Europe. But the number of worshippers is falling, and this is creating financial problems for the churches. As a result, 100 of the province’s 700 churches are going to have to close.

Home stretch

Tina and I are six hours from Chi-town. We stopped to eat at the same place outside of Cleveland that we stopped on the way to DC. Tina’s now driving and I’m relaxing my back for a while.

Apart from my back hurting from sitting so damn long, we are having a decent drive. The highway through Pennsylvania is a pleasant curvy ride. It’s always fun to drive fast on a curvy road. Illinois lacks that kind of thing where we live.

We’ve been listening to a book on tape called, “The art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. It got 5 stars on iTunes, which is why I got it. I never heard of it otherwise.

It’s about a dog, named Enzo, telling the story of his life from his deathbed. He taught himself English by watching TV. The problem is that evolution didn’t equip him with the proper physiology to be able to speak what he thinks.

It’s an endearing story, and at times has render heartfelt tears from us both. On the way to DC, Tina couldn’t see through the tears and made me turn it off.

Yesterday we had to sit and listen to a sales pitch for two hours. One reason we decided to make the trip was to fulfill a trip I bought for $100 last spring. It included three nights in a hotel. Only catch was we had to sit in on a “presentation” with absolutely no obligation to buy anything.

I felt like a naive son of a bitch at the time i bought the hotel stay and now I feel like a sucker. I didn’t buy anything yesterday, but enduring the presentation was hell.

I agreed to buy the hotel offer last spring because there was ostensibly no obligation to buy anything more. The sales lady was older and her pitch captured my emotions in just the right way.

There may have been no obligation to buy, but the sales tactics that we faced yesterday were thick with every trick in the book.

I’m going to write an entire post about it when I get back. The entire organization is a hoax. It’s called Wyndham Vacations or something and they admittedly have nothing to do with the hotel chain. But this asshole had the audacity to tell me bald faced that his company is going to get my money whether I spend it now or if I buy vacation at my own leisure.

There he was with his pictures of his family, his little silver cross decorative trophy with a bible verse printed on the front, telling us bald-faced lies that this was my only opportunity to get such a great deal, that he would send me home with info if I required that, and that he would call me in a week to follow up, and Tina and kept politely saying, “no thank you.”

How that guy sleeps at night, I may never know.

Like I said, I’ll write in more detail when I can link more to the sites I found exposing their illegitimate business practices and when I’m not writing on my iPhone.

I don’t really care if you read my rant about it. I hope people researching info in the company will find it and learn how slimy the company is.

I hope you’re having a lovely Monday, November 1.

I’ll leave you with the Jon Stewart’s closing speech from the rally on Saturday. There’s a lot of great moments and it’s a well written speech. My favorite part is when he says we work together all the time to get stuff accomplished everyday in the real world. It’s politicians and media who are stymying progress a lot of the time.

There’s more to the sentiment than that, but that’s it in a nutshell.

Look closely, Tina and I were part of the 215,000 in attendance, baby!