Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Day of the Year

Yay, We've made it through another year.  When I was a kid, I realized I might see a year that didn't start with 19.  But I didn't think I'd see years all the way to 2007.  Wow.

But here I am at te computer in the middle of the night...AGAIN.  After many nights of solid sleep and having to be waked in the morning.... Alas, I am up in the middle of he night after tossing and turning for an hour or more.

May be what I eat.  Supper was not to my liking: Macaroni and cheese and ham casserole.  So I ate an avocado I happened to have, but it was not fully ripe.  Then along about bedtime I ate some left over pie and some Top Ramin.  And now I wonder why I am not sleeping... who could?

My Grandson turns 22 today, the 31st.  Makes one feel old.  (And I have older Grandkids, too.)

Kellen O'Grady conducts a trivia tournament with some really tough questions, but I missed the deadline.  I really wanted to play, too.  Alas.  Maybe you can see the questions if you check this link.

Enough rambling...back to bed.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

You CAN say No

It was very flattering, to be asked to be the New Years Eve entertainment.  To play my keyboard, doing my improvisations. I certainly like the applause, and I like to curry the favor of the old folks.

So I tried to select some material and decide what new materal to make...say, and new patter song with everyone's name in it.  And I tried the keyboard for loudness and decided it needed an amplifier.

I rooted around and found an amp, and it needed a power supply.  That took some real digging in the junk box, and moving furniture to get at it.  By then I realized.  I just cant do this anymore.  All this rooting and digging and scrounging parts and moving equipment and selecting music and making up words and printing song sheets, and so forth.

I was flattered.  They said "we liked your playing last time."

But  I had to say, "That was THEN.  This is NOW.  And NO, I  just can't."  But oh, how I wnated to.

You can say no, but it takes something out of you.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I was simply astounded.

I am a disabled veteran, with a service connected disabilty. I went to the the veterans administration hospital for an eye examination.  I lost an eye in combat in WWII and the other eye was injured.

I got my eye examination. 

The Veterans Adminstration billed My Bluecross Medical Insurance   Huh?  Yep.  The Veterans Administration charged my Bluecross Insurance $63.52 for the examination, of which they paid $12.31.

Twelve dollars is not a lot of money... but how come Bluecross, and ultimately my former employer who pays Bluecross, has to pay because I was injured in WWII?

Does this make sense to you?


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Day and Night, Night and Day

Silly old Earth, is so tired it leans to the side.  But it is the leaning that makes the seasons, and the fact that the length of the day and night vary according to the season.

I asked myself a question in entry below ...Called Drat... if days and nights are all the same length at the equator.  So I printed a picture of the globe and the sun and reasoned it out. 

You have noticed that world maps on globes are always mounted so that the Globe tilts to one side.  The globe tilts because the Earth tilts, 23 degrees in fact, from the plane of its orbit.  So, as the Earth orbits around the Sun, the north pole is pointed away from the sun and then toward the sun, once each year. When the north pole is pointed toward the sun, it is summer (in the Northern half of the world) and when the north pole is pointed away from the sun it is winter in the north.

"Ah, hah," I hear the brighter children ask, "But what about the Southern half of the world."  They don't know the word hemisphere

"Just the opposite," I tell them.  "When it is winter in the northern half of the world, it is summer in the southern half."

"But when is Christmas," they cry.  First things first for kids.

"Chrismas comes right in the middle of summer."  The children fall back in their chairs aghast.  Santa in a fur trimmed red suit being pulled in a sleigh thrugh the summer heat is more than they can deal with.

But what has this to do with the length of the day? Well, Big Children, when the northern hemisphere is pointed at the sun, any location gets more sun, and the day is longer. When it is pointed away from the sun, the opposite is true.  There are longer nights. 

The farther north you go, the longer each summer day is.  How long can it get?  Well, at the north pole, a day can be 24 hours long.  Huh? 

That's right.  At the north pole, the sun comes up on March 21st and stays up, until September 21st.  How's that for daylight savings time? 

Of couse, when it sets, it is gone for six months. Alas.

But my original question was, Are the days and nights always the same length at the equator?  Looking at the globe and the sun, I would say "yes.  Days and nights at the equator are always the same: twelve hours each."



I have been sleeping so well, that it is distressing to find myself back at the computer in the middle of the night. (4:45 AM)

I love rambling on, and I do it best at night, but I loved the sleeping until dawn much more.

Christmas Eve was a delight at the old folks home.  My  son-in-law and my grandson, musicians, and I, no musician but an old timer with a harmonica, had a Christmas music Jam session, in the parlor of the home. About ten residents came along for the fun.

Grandson would start a Christmas song on his bass violin, (Doghouse), Son-in-law, on piano,  would begin Jazz improvizations, and I would hang on with whatever accompaniment I could muster.  The result was music, real music, for over and hour.  It was delightful fun.

It was such fun, I forgot the pain in my side, and went to bed satisfied.  I was soon up again, and trying to sleep in my chair to be comfortable.  I slept a bit in the chair, returned to bed, and slept...wonderful sleep, and I woke with a dream.  A soothing voice was saying "You've had a miraculous cure.  Your pain is gone.":

It was such a wonderful dream that I was afraid to move, fearing that the pain would still be there.  But, the pain was actually gone.  I was practically cured.  I have been able to sleep on either side, hardly any discomfort. 

So what am I doing up?  Dunno, except appreciating the fact that I can go back and lie down, and have a final snooze before dawn....which will come along about as late as it can get this time of year. 

Silly old Earth is tired and leans to the side and that makes the seasons with l-o-n-g nights and short days.

Question: are days and nights the same length on the equator?  I will have to look into that.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Patrick's Weekender

1. How many Christmas Cards did you receive from people you hadn't sent cards to, after the "mailing deadline?" Did you send a card anyway? Didn't send any, received about half a dozen.  May answer one.

2. At this point, do you weigh more or less than you did on January 1, 2006? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Less.  Not sure that is too good.  Was result of illness, not reducing effort.

3. When the clock strikes Midnight on New Year's, will you be at home, at a party, or somewhere else? Will be asleep in my bed at old folks home, as will about 89 of our 90 residents.

4. Take the quiz: What's your holiday stress level?  Didn't take the quiz, but pretty high.

5. Have you ever been the designated driver at a party or outing with your friends? Don't think so.  Usually partied along with others.

6. Have you ever taken the keys and driven home a friend that you felt was too drunk to drive? If not, do you think you would attempt to if that situation ever arose? I think I have let people drive home, even when I thought they were a bit too far advanced down the tipsy scale.  As far as I know, there were no bad results, but that is just chance.  Friends don't let friends drive drunk.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dinner at Eight -- Huh? No Way.

For seven years at the old folks home we had breakfast, dinner (at noon), and supper (at five).  The big meal of the day was dinner.  Supper was light.

It was that way in the military, too.  Dinner at noon.  K rations came in little boxes marked breakfast, dinner, and supper.  Note.  there was no such thng as "lunch".  So okay, we all adapted.

Then we changed cooks.  New cook serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Now "supper" is the orphan and all communication about meals has been lost.

I tried to order four meals for Christmas eve, I called them "supper", and four meals for Christmas day, I called them "dinner".  Cook called the supper "dinner" and the dinner "lunch", and it took us five minutes to get it straightened out using a routine that would have made Abbot and Costello happy.  Who's coming to dinner?  No, he's on first base.

What we need to do is get rid of the word "dinner".  Half the world eats dinner in mid-day, and the other half eats dinner in the evening.  I'd like breakfast, lunch, and supper.  That preserves the precious late breakfast meal, known as "brunch".  So would our cook. Who would like to sleep in on Sunday morning and then go to "brinner"?  No one. Dinner is out, and lunch stays in.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Time Magazine, Dec 25, 2006

Wow, what an issue, their annual double issue.  Person of the Year, and loads of articles about the web, the web-2, YouTube, Blogs, and Bloggers.

Makes the point that suddenly Media, broadcasting, news, entertainment is changing, and that we, the people, are making it happen.  We have embraced the digital information age and things are not the same in politics, art, interpersonal communication. 

I have never felt so empowered.  I love this issue

Double Header

It is very rare, but as I was reading the obituaries today, I found TWO of our residents.  That was a shock.  It is very humbling.  One was two years older than I, and the other was two years younger.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chuck -- TIME's Person of the Year

Time Magazine has named me Person of the Year.  My copy of Time will arrive with a mirror on the cover, with a caption, "picturre of the person of the year"

I don't mnd sharing this honor with a lot of other people.  We deserve it.  Time cites us and sends us kudos for making the "information age" work.  We users of the internet, the "information highway".  We have revolutionized business and society like nothing since the printing press, and maybe even more.

Here sit I in my room in the old folks home, writing a journal that is read across the country, and in UK too.  And you, you post comments on it too.  You are persons of the year.

I get most of my news  from the internet.  I buy lots of things...books, toys, musical instruments, clothes, medicine... on line.  I haven't sold anything yet, but I could easily.

I have made motel reservations online.  I have bought airline tickets online.  I keep in touch with my daughter online.  We play games as easily as if we shared the same parlor. 

I met a lady on line in a game room, and we became romantic, took vacations together.  I have a girl friend online, though I will never get to meet her in person.  And pen pals, I have made lots of pen pals. 

Thank you, Time magazine, for recognising what I have contributed to society.  I was glad to do it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I'm back from four days in the hospital where they cauterized an ulcer in my stomach and gave me lots of blood to make up for the blood the ulcer had robbed me of.

Feeling pretty good considering.

Hope you are all well.  I've missed reading journals.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Am an American

I have swum in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and sun bathed on the sands of Hawaii.

I have seen the Grand Canyon from the south rim, and Yosemite valley from the top of Half Dome

I honeymooned on Catalina Island.

I have crossed the Goldden Gate bridge and ridden on a San Francisco cable car. 

I have ridden a New York subway, and climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty. 

I have visited the White House (outside), the Capitol, and the Supreme Court (in session), and seen the Spirt of St. Louis hanging in the Smithsonian.

I visited the presidents at Mount Rushmore.

I have walked naked on the only legal nude beach in U.S.

I have visited Disneyland, (Disneyworld too) Universal Studios, and Knotts Berry Farm.

I have seen the HOLLYWOOD sign from the ground and from the air.

I have seen the Rockettes dance.

I have dined in the Space Needle, on a train, and in the air.

I met a movie star, John Travolta, and had a hamburger with him, and we talked about our airplanes.

I have ridden in the Goodyear Blimp

I have kissed the president of the teacher's union, and shaken the hand of the governor, and said, "Hi, Gov."

I have been to the lowest point in North America, Death Valley, and walked underground at Carlsbad Caverns. 

I have driven a car higher than I ever flew my airplane, over 10,000 feet. (In Hawaii)

I have driven the streets of of an underground city, Subtropolis.

I have gambled in Reno, Las Vegas, and on a Riverboat on the Missouri River.

I have ridden out magnitude six earthquakes. (More than twice)

Next I think I need to make a list of things I never got to do.  (Visit the Empire State Bldg, follow the Lewis and Clark trail to the Pacific, etc.)

Busy Night

Busy with five distinct dreams... but they are fading fast now that I am up.  Snoozed some in my new recliner.  In fact, woke up and didn't know where I was for a moment.

Gotta get those dreams into the Dream Despository.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gospel Quiz

Here's a Gospel Quiz.  It may be a repeat, I am not sure, but it is seasonal anyway.

GOSPEL QUIZ Run your mouse over the question to reveal the answers. 

1 Name the four Gospels. 






2 Two Gospels tell about Jesus birth. Which two do NOT? MARK, JOHN

3 Who baptized Jesus? Mary, Joseph, John, Rabboni JOHN

4 Where was Jesus baptized? In Manger, Dead Sea, River Jordan, In the temple. RIVER JORDAN

5 After he was baptized, how long did Jesus go without food? FORTY DAYS

6 Who nailed Jesus to the cross? Zealots, Romans, Sanhedrin, Jews ROMANS

7 What did they do with the robe they stripped from Jesus? Gave it to Mary Magdalene,

 Gave it to Mary,

Gambled for it,

Made Judas wear it. GAMBLED FOR IT.

8. Who "washed his hands of the whole crucifiction matter"? Pilat, Co-pilat, Sanhedrin, Judas  PILAT

9 When Jesus could no longer carry his cross, who carried it? Romans, Simon Peter, another man named Simon, Joseph, ANOTHER MAN NAMED SIMON

10 On what day of the week did Jesus die? .. FRIDAY

11 On what day of the week did Jesus rise? SUNDAY

12 Which disciple refused to believe the testimony that Jesus had risen? Peter, Judas, Simon, Thomas THOMAS

13 What convinced that disciple that Jesus was risen? Met him on the road to Damascus, Saw him in a cloud with Elijah, touched the wounds in his side, Heard the sworn testimony of Mary. TOUCHED THE WOUNDS.

15 At Pentecost, the disciples were baptized with ..water from the Jordan, a tongue of fire, a divine wind, the gift of tongues. TONGUE OF FIRE

16 Which of these was a disciple: Peter, Paul, Mary. PETER

17. What was Peter’s name before Jesus named him Peter? SIMON

18. Why did Jesus name his first disciple Peter? PETER COMES FROMPETROS, ROCK. “AND ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY TEMPLE”

19 Which one was not a disciple. (Matt 10,1) Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Timothy, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Simon, Judas, Thaddeus TIMOTHY

20. The river Jordan runs into what body of water? Mediterranean, Dead Sea, The Nile, The Red Sea. THE DEAD SEA

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday Six and Sunday Seven



Name seven things you like to order in a sea-food restaurant. 

Scallops, fish pieces, swordfish, chips, shrimp, but NOT  hush puppies or chicken strips.

1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so, do you write any notes inside the Christmas card or include a "newsletter" about your family, or do you basically just sign your name? No longer send cards, but used to send cards with preprinted name on them...not even signed.

2. Are you more likely to shop in a store that has returned the phrase, "Merry Christmas" to its holiday signage? I appreciated the switch to non-christian biased greetings.  Thought it was more proper to include ALL folks in seasons greetings. So the change back in not any incentinve to me.  Besides what shopping I do is done online or in huge discount stores.

3. Do you buy your pets Christmas presents? Used to buy dog a new chew toy, but the cats and bird were ignored.

4. Take the quiz: Are you more cat or dog?

Quis said I was 80% Dog.  I wouldn't bite the quiz director for that

5. Which have you owned more of during your life, cats or dogs? Owned more cats, but my dog was a real companion.

6. If you had to come back as one or the other, and assuming you'd belong to an owner who would treat you well, would you rather be a cat or a dog?  Dog.... just see the results of the quiz above.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Weird Geriatric Overeater

I would have been satisfied with just cornbread, OR I would have been satisfied with just baked potato, OR I would have been satisfied with just fish and squash, BUT, I had to eat ALL of all three.

So I am paying the price of my foolishness.

The waiters were surprised to see me refuse a strawberry tart in order to finish the potato skins.

Everyone has his own tastes, I guess.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Life Goes On

I got a midnight phone call.  I am a Great-Grandfather.

My grand-daughter, who has been expecting a girl, delivered a boy.  There are still some surprises in the process, it seems. This is my first great-grandchild.

Being a new great-grandfather is not going to cut an ice around the old folks home.  Great-grandchildren are as common as fleas around here. One of my tablemates had a great-grandson serving in the army in Uzbekistan.  I didn't even know we had an army in Uzbekistan.  His great-grandson was awaiting his return to see his son, tablemate's great-great-grandson.

I did beat tablemate, Wilma, in the great-race.  Her grand-daughter is expecting.  Will be Wilma's first great-grandchild, too. 

And earlier in the evening, I got to deliver news that I received e-mail that Cousin Bertha is a great-grandmother.  Again.  Her grand-daughter in Costa Rica delivered a boy, too.  Those two new babies, my great-grandchild and Bertha's great-grandchild are Fourth Cousins.

I had three or four living great-grandparents when I was born, but only got to know one of them. 

My five grand-children respectfully call me "Grandfather", not "Grandpa" or "Grampaw".  I hope I live long enough to have my first great-grandchild call me "Great-grandfather".  I will call him "Kid". . 

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Just a Little Growl

Not my usual mddle-of-the-night rant.  Just a little growl because I feel so much better.

Ah, the "golden years".  I was up FOUR times during the night to go to the bathroom.  And that is GOOD night. 

I had a "treatment" on my prostate last Monday and have been knocked out all week.  If "treatment" makes you feel this bad, woe is he who has to do without it.

Anyway, here I am, on my way back to bed, and looking foreward to a couple more hours sleep

Morning:  Eight hours sleep is not all it is cracked up t be.  Had my eight, less bathroom time, and still wake up logey and disoriented. 

It is going to be a good day, eventually..

Friday, December 1, 2006

Btain Teaser

There is a new trivia game in which contestants have to research the answer.  Sounds like fun. 

Here are two sports questions for which I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER. 

Ifyyou know the answers, or can look them up, let's hear from you.

1,  What was he first year in which college football allowed unlimited substitutions?

2.  What was the first year in which college football was allowed the "forward pass"?

No prizes.  Just a chance to show how smart you are or how well you can look things up,

Oh, You Poor Cold Folks

Six thrity, got so tangled in my blankets, I had to get up.  Glad I live in snow free California

Hang in there, friends.  TV shows me how miserable I could be.

Who Am I?

What a strange phenomenon.  To say your name, and not recognize who that is.  Just happened to me.

In bed,  I was reading Michael J. Fox's book about his life as an actor before Family Ties.  He was negotiating a seven figgure salary while standing in a phone booth without fundss to buy a chicken dinner that cost less than two dollars. 

I so identified with the twenty something year old Fox, that I suddenly felt I was twenty, in an eighty two year old body, prostate problemss, vision problems, diabetes problems, and insomnia.

For a brief moment of two I literally did not know who I was.

I got up and took my blood pressure...about normal for me, but very fast  pulse.  I felt light headed.  I took my blood sugar.  Took four attempts to get the meter to work...four stabs on the finger.  I got a reading that I considered low.  So I called the caregiver here at the old folks home.  She brought me an apple, and orange, and some orange juice. 

   It is sure nice to live in assisted living faciltiy and have people to help when you feel scared and helpless.  I discovered some peanut butter in the refrigerator.  I ate it by the spoonful.

   I feel better.  Well, enough to write this...but not enough to proof read it... you'll have to take me as I am,  Whoever that may be.

Chuck...three am, Friday morning.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

How to Make Histry

See how to make history.  Read Dream Depository.

One of These Days...

...I have got to get organized.

               The East wall of my room. 

Cluttered? Well, I would say so.


I am up to eleven medications.  That is eleven, count 'em, eleven.

They are either (1) keeping me alive, or (2) killing me.

The world around me is sort of a miasma, a dream, even when I am awake.  I see strange shapes in front of me when I try to read, and I still see them when I shut my eyes.

At least my daughter pointed out to me a simple fact that will help.  "Just because they prescribed pain pills for you, you don't have to take them when you are not in pain." Logical.  Why didn't I think of that?  I have been slugging down pain pills like candy, and living in a dream world. 

I got out of bed to watch Letterman last night, and propped myself in my wheel chair so I wouldn't fall out if I dozed.  I made it through without falling and even visited Leno for a bit.  I prefer Letterman to Leno.  Leno seems to redirect conversations so as to get a double meaning out of guest remarks. 

Letterman seems more relaxed and is someone whom I  would like to know and visit.  I would like a ride with Leno in some of his cars, but a visit with him would soon tire me out.  Seems a bit too frenetic. 

Letterman is possibly the worst interviewer on the talk show circuit.  His interview questions start with "Well, how is your summer going?"  He may have a senator who has proposed some earth shaking legislation, and Letterman asks, "How is your summer going?"

He doesn't ask about the senators proposal to end the war in Iraq or bring peace to the Middle East, he asks "How is your summer going?"

He does keep current by changing the seasons though.  "How is  your Thanksgiving going?" or "Are you having a good New Year?"

Still, I prefer Letterman to Leno.

Speaking of indirect, how did this entry get from drugs to late night television?


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Weekend Assignment #141 - Traveling

Weekend Assignment #141: Do you enjoy traveling? What I'm asking is if you enjoy the journey as much as you enjoy the destination.

Oh how I used to love travel in the car.  We had a great big Packard seven passenger sedan.  The back seat was all mine.  It had, if you please, a bear rug on the floor, jump seats, and comfortable bench.  I had a playhouse all to myself, but I could open a jump seat and sit right behind grandmother, the driver.

Grandfather rode in the right seat, and made up games to pass the time.  He liked to count the cars we met on the road. 

Imagine grandmother wrestling that huge Packard Eight, with no power steering nor power brakes.  We were in a luxury place going to some other place, such as one trip to the San Diego zoo. 

In those days you could not travel from one city to the next wihout coming upon one bloody accident or another.  That was not a pleasant part of the trip, but it was an expected one.  There were no seat belts, no safety glass in the windshield, tires were lucky to last ten thousand miles. 

But travel was an adventure.

Extra credit: Any more travel planned for 2006, or are you home for good for the rest of the year?

I am pretty much at home from now on.  I have a van, but only use it when my daughter drives me somewhere in it. 

What in the World I doing up this time? 

1:45 am. WWII pains shooting through my body and fears and anxieties racing through my brain. Old age aches compound the issue.

I  ought to be asleep.  I ought to be bed. 

I had two and half hours sleep.  Not enough.  Morning is so far away.  I am surrounded by people who care and surrounded by all  my toys.  I should sleep like a baby.  But the tapes in my head keep playing their endless loops. 

My biggest problem is "what shall I play with, tomorrow."  I have no job to hurry to  I could sleep until noon like two of my tablemates.

At least, I am not keeping anybody else up.  I just took a pain pill, I don't want to take a sleeping pill on top of that. 

I am shakey and clenching my teeth to keep them from chattering. Baby, it's cold outside, but nice and warm in here. 

I wonder what is on TV?

3:15 am.  Here I am again.  This is getting to be an ordeal.  But I slept since I wrote the last paragraph, anyway At least AOL has new material on the opening screen. And why did the size of type change?.

Seven am.  I am up.  whew. what a night.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Collection Of .....

Some people collect stamps.  So do I.

Some people collect coins.  So do I.

But I seem also to collect musical keyboards.  My sixth has just arrived. (I can't read music.) I just fiddle around with them

While I am on my sixth, I should point out that I have given three away.  I have, in my apartment, only three.

Each one is a Casio, and each one I get is larger than the one before it.  My favoite up to now has hundreds of tones and over a hundred rhythms. My fun has been to choose a rhythm at random, listen for a moment, and then begin improvising a simple melody line that seems to fit. 

I make what passes for music at the old folks home. 

My newest Casio keyboard is model WK-3300 and has even more rhythms and tones, AND IT RECORDS.  So these "gems" I create can be saved.  Huzzah. 

Needless to say, I bought it online. 

My plan is to make some simple improvizations, record them and then play my harmonica in accompaniment. 

AND with my laptop computer, I can even put them on CD's. 

Nashville, here I come.

Photo Shoot

Scalzi asks us to find a pretty picture for his Monday Photo shoot.  This one will be easy.  Pardon me for a moment while I check my photo bucket. 

Ah, here is one.

The back walkway behind the old folks home.

Old Habits Die Hard -- Insomnia Almanac

There is no reason for me to be up at three AM.  I have my plumbing attached to a bag attached to me.  My usual call at night will jot be a problem for the next twenty nine hours.

So why at I up at computer, reading journals, writing in mine?  Force of Habit. 

Not insomnia.  I could go back to bed and sleep.  Maybe. 

Looks pretty inviting right now. 

Monday, November 27, 2006

Asleep at the Keyboard

Started my day by taking a very powerful tranquillizer.

That was to get me through a very uncomfortable office treatment on a very personal part. 

Now I am home again sitting at the computer, and the effects of the tranquilizer are not worn offl  I go to sleep in front of key board

   Ooops, here's problem to wake me up.  Drug store says the sent perscription, caregiver says they didn't.  And my daughter has to do the running between the store and the old folks home. 

Nervous time.  Alas, and my wheel chair is mighty unformtable, and bed rest is worse.

ahhh.  Delivery just made by messenger.  All is hunky dory.   All I have to do is get well.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Linguists, M'aidez (Mayday)

Help me, Linguists.  I recently said that the Winter Roses were "trying to attract attention to themselves."

That was anthropomorphism.  I am proud to say that I know the word that means "attributing human characteristics to animals, objects or Gods."

In a different entry I said that when I awakened, I was in a circle of blankets and bedding. I concluded that I was "nesting, like a bird"  I looked up anthropomorphism in the unabridged dictionary seeking the antonym, a word meaning "attributing animal characteristics or behavior to humans", like nesting or territorialism.  No luck.

Linguists, help me.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Snow on the Roses -- Part II

I recently wrote about winter roses, how they stand taller, blossom bigger, and reach out to be noticed. 

I made this a metaphor for old age, saying we make a final effort to be noticed and to leave a legacy, and strive harder.  I anthropomorphized the roses, saying they were striving to catch the attention of the last bees of the season, the last hummingbirds who have not migrated, so they could be pollenized, like their spring forebearers. 

But I failed to show the pictures that prove my point.  So here are the winter roses, reaching higher, striving to be noticed, with their biggest blossoms of the year.

And as an added bonus, a carpet of autumn leaves, to make a belated entry into the Photo Scavenger Hunt, "Leaves".


Friday, November 24, 2006

1914-D Penny

I had a dream about a 1914-D penny which I have put in my Dream Depository.  The dream reminded me of a time when I was working at the Griffith Park Zoo in the change booth.  I was a school teacher who supplemented his teacher's pay by working week-ends and summers at the Zoo, making change so people could use the coin operated turnstiles.

It was pretty routine and boring work, making change, and to pass the time, we employees used to screen all the change for collectible coins.  The 1914-D cent was one of the rare coins we sought.  For some reason, in 1914 few pennies  were minted in the Denver mint, and so pennies marked 1914-D became valuable because they were so scarce.  Of course we sought other scarce coins too.

Tom and I were on duty.  He in the booth with coin tray and I outside ushering folks through the coin operated stiles.  It was a slow day and time was heavy on our hands.  Tom suggested we trade jobs for a while.  I was glad to get into the booth and sit.  Tom took my station outside.  We bantered back and forth between the occasional customers.

To pass the time I started scanning coins for scare dates, and LO and BEHOLD, I found one of the rare 1914-D pennies.

"Wow," I shouted to Tom.  I raved about my good luck.  Tom was pleased, but expressed sorrow that he had not checked the coins while he was in the booth.

Then I took a closer look.  The coin was not a 1914-D coin at all, but a common 1944-D, that had been carefully altered to look like the premium coin. I was crushed and angry.  Tom was sympathetic.

"Who would pull such a mean trick," I blustered.  "Who would go to all the trouble to make a common 1944-D look like a 1914-D," I complained.

"And why," Tom added.

"It must have taken hours to doctor that date like that," I whined.

"Yes," Tom said, "And weeks on top of the coin booth to get it aged to look normal again."

The light dawned. 

"You did that?"

"Yep," Tom said grinning.

"But WHY?"  I was dismayed..

"To give you a thrill," he said.  "And I did."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Early Thanksgiving at the Old Folks Home

Today was Thanksgiving at the old folks home.  It was scrumptious.  The works. 

Only thing, there was nothing for the chronic complainers to complain about.

Oh, well, perhaps the left-overs tomorrow will be cold.

Ground Zero

Today is Travel Day, 2006.  Everybody, who is anybody, is travelling today. 

Whoops, my dear.  In Merced it is visibility ZERO.  Pilots know it as Ground Zero: the clouds come down to the ground amd make visibity zero, too. 

Take off and landing?  Nada.  Driving down Highway 99: Zilch.  Stay home? Yep.

Big airports have FIDO. "Fog Something Dispersal Units"  Wonder what F-I-D-O stand for?

Bet I can find the dining room in the old folks home for breakfast. Fog, my foot, I smell pancakes and bacon.  Follow my nose. Ah, coffee brewing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Latest Doodle

Here is my latest Doodle.  I love to doodle in the Paint program, the one that comes with windows

Have you visited my collection of Doodles in my separate Doodle Blog?  (<<- Link)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Last Lines -- Anoher Re-run

Here is another re-run.  Each of these sentences is the last line of a song.  Can you name the song from the last line?

As usual, run your cursor over the answer to reveal it.

The home of the brave STAR SPANGLED BANNER

From sea to shining sea AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

His truth is marching on BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

That I overlooked before FOUR LEAF CLOVER

Let freedom ring AMERICA

And the band played on STRAWBERRY BLOND

My home sweet home GOD BLESS AMERICA

I owe my soul to the company store SIXTEEN TONS

With my banjo on my knee OH SUSANNA

So I lost my Clementine CLEMENTINE

We will kill the old red rooster when she comes SHELL BE COMING ROUND THE MOUNTAIN

Ours will still be hot FRIENDSHIP

Betrayed by a maid in her teens DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE

On our golden wedding day PUT ON YOUR OLD GRAY BONNET

Playin on the old banjo WORKING ON THE RAILROAD

Love my baby, Deed I do FIVE FOOT TWO


Tell ya boys don’t we have fun LITTLE BROWN JUG

I do hope that doggie’s for sale HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW

Put them turnips in my soup TRICK QUESTION NO SUCH SONG

So If she’s the one, don’t let her run away APRIL LOVE

I’d lay me down and dee (die) ANNIE LAURIE

Spend a little time with me HEY GOOD LOOKIN

Without a love of my own BLUE MOON

Wont you please come home? BILL BAILY

King of the wild frontier DAVY CROCKETT

Wont you choo choo me home? CHATENOOGA CHOO CHOO

Just waiting for you

Makes the world taste good CANDY MAN

Hear the wind blow TOM DOOLEY

Disturb not my slumbering fair FLOW GENTLY SWEEET AFTON

Has anybody seen my gal FIVE FOOT TWO

The old gray goose is dead GO TELL AUNT RHODY

Learning about you day by day

And I’ll give it right back to you GIMMIE A LITTLE KISS

I’ll be there ere long GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY

O’er the deep blue sea GOOD NIGHT LADIES

I hope you’re satisfied you rascal you GOODY GOODY

The skies are not cloudy all day HOME ON THE RANGE

Your golden sun will shine for me SAN FRANCISCO


None other has ever known IN THE GARDEN

You oughta see me do my stuff I’M A DING DONG DADDY FROM DUMAS

Waiting to find a little blue bird in vain I’M ALWAYS CHASING RAINBOWS

You aint no friend of mine HOUND DOG

My knapsack on my back THE HAPPY WANDERER

I’ll be waiting at the k k k kitchen door…K K K KATY

And you’ll be my queen LAVENDER BLUE

Meet me at the fair MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, LOUIS

A word that means the world to me MOTHER

Listen to the Jazz come out MUSIC GOES ROUND AND ROUND

It’s a grand old name MARY IS A GRAND OLD NAME

The One day I need a little rest NEVER ON SUNDAY

Everything’s going my way OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING


Many long years ago THE OLD GRAY MARE

Why, oh why, can’t I? OVER THE RAINBOW

Come make your home in my heart PEG O MY HEART

Make it mine, make it mine make it mine THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN

Like a diamond in the sky TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR



I’ll tell you mine YOU TELL ME YOUR DREAM

Wonderful feeling, wonderful day ZIP A DE DOO DAH

All the years are met in thee tonight O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHAM

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Book Review -- Continued

Book Review -- Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore.

I finished the novel last night.  Good news, the good guys won and sent the demon back to Hell to be chained to a rock.  It took ingenuity and the cooperation of the whole town to manage to outsmart the creature.  It was a fanciful and charming novel from start to finish, but you gotta understand Moore.

Moore mixes fantasy and homespun reality in all of his works. It shows how real people would deal with magic if they suddenly were confronted by it. 



Friday, November 17, 2006

My Sports Car

My old Packard looked more like this illustration by the time I got it.  The side mounted tires were gone, and the tires were blackwall. 


Note the door in the side for one's golf bag.  Classy, and the hood had little door that open along the side for cooling the giant eight cylinders.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Old Bastard

Right after WWII, cars were scarce and money was plentiful, prices were still cheap, and ex-GIs still had dreams to fulfill, so I bought a 1930 Packard Converttible I saw sitting on a street corner with a For Sale sign on it.

It was OLD, and it was forlorn.  The top was long gone and it was hand painted blue.  It should have looked like this factory picture, and perhaps once it did.

1930 Packard Convertible Runabout, as it looked new

But when I got it, it looked more like this doctored picture.  And it smoked, like a chimney, it smoked.

The way "The Old Bastard" looked by the time I bought it.

My buddy and I rode around it some, but we never took that cross-courntry trip GIs were all promising themselves to take.  We didn't go far at ten miles per gallon of gas... or less.

We took matters into our own hands and with more chutzpah than know-how we replaced the piston rings.  Somehow we got those pistons out of the car, fitted them with new rings, .040 thousandth oversize to compensate for the wear. And we got them back in the engine.  It needed a re-bore, but we didn't bother. In fact a re-bore would have cost more than the Packard did.  

   One memorable moment was when my buddy asked, "what's under this cover plate?"  It was a cover plate that did not seem to be part of necessary openings.  In the spirit of experimentation he removed it, and found only a HOLE in the crankcase.

"Hah," he shouted, "The old bastard threw a rod."

That must have been one tremendous clatter.  Seven giant pistons pounding away and one loose rod poking it's way through the crankcase. 

We put the cover plate back over the hole, put the pistons back in the engine, and fired the behemoth up. What do you know... it ran.  But it smoked as badly as it did before.  Alas.

LaterI sold the Old Bastard to two other guys for $100 payable at $20 a month. I am still owed $40 on the deal.  I wonder where those guys went and where the car ended up. Sixty years later, I still have the pink slip.  Let's see: $40 compounded over sixty mind.


I bought a pint jar of Paul Newman's All Natural Chunky Mild Salsa to put on potatoes and noodles.

But, spoonful after spoonful, little by little, I have eaten it all, right out of the jar, leaving none for use on scrambled eggs or potatoes  or noodles.

It is that good.

Greei Myths in California -- Book Review

Book Review -- Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore.

The trouble with my book reviews, Fluke, Lamb, Running with Scissors, is that I review the book when I have read only the first third.  But, since this is Dribble, not the Saturday Review, I guess I will continue the practice.

What if the characters, Gods, Demons, and semi-mortals, in Greek Myths were real and lived in California?  That is what Christopher Moore likes to explore.  Pine Cove, California, a sleepy coastal community made up by Moore, becomes the site of a panoply of supernatural creatures.  Real hippies, pool sharks, tired saloon keepers meet a Djinn, a Biblical character, an immortal human, and a demon.  It is a delightful mix-up. 

All of Moore's books so far have dealt with supernatural beings in real life surroundings, and because he makes his human characters so real, so down to earth  you suspend your disbelief in the supernatural and enjoy the frenetic action.

But to be honest, I didn't realize there was a plot to the story until I got to chapter 11.  That's where I am now, and the plot has just appeared.  It is human Alonzo Brine VS the creature from Hell.  I am entranced.  How can Brine, a shop keeping, wine drinking philosopher, defeat a demon who can make himself invisible, change shapes, and eats people.

It's going to be a fascinating read.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Patriotid Song Program

A great big yellow bus pulled up to the old folks home, and sixty, count 'em, sixty, second graders poured out.

That would be two platoons in any army.  The second graders marched into the parlor, stood wiggling, and they began to sing....LOUDLY.

They had memorized every patriotic song you have ever heard.  And they had a chorus of kids to announce each song, when it was written and by whom.  America the Beautiful, Grand Old Flag, Yankee Doodle, Star Spangled Banner (two verses), and God Bless America, among others.  The  chorus explained what caisons are and what aweigh means in the Navy and Field Artillery hymns.  Have you ever paid attention to the Marine Corp song words?  They are stirring.  The kids knew them.

   Then they recited the preamble to the constitution.  Second Graders, most of us old citizens can't do that.

   They paid their respect to one of our residents who has been a long time suppiorter of their activites.  Then they marched out, in order, mounted the huge bus, and it rolled away.  The military would be proud of such precision and discipline.  I was astounded.

   One little second grade girl was obliged to sit in the audience and not participate.  I wanted to ask what terrible transgression she had committed so as to be excluded from the group.  What ever it was, she learned her lesson.  She watched while the others put on their patriotic show.  I'll bet that next time, she will be in the front row singing her loudest, too.   (<Link)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Name That U.S.River -- a rerun

Name that River -- a rerun.

Drag your cursor over the answer to reveal it.

1. Joins Lake Erie and Lake Ontario: Niagara

2. Runs past Louisville Ohio

3. Joins the Allegheny at Pittsburgh. Monongahela

4. With the Stockton, flows into San Francisco Bay: Sacramento

5. Forms the border between Texas and Mexico: Rio Grande

6. Carved the Grand Canyon: Colorado

7. Flows past Memphis: Mississippi

8. Lewis and Clark spent their FIRST winter on its banks: Missouri

9. Lewis and Clark spent their SECOND winter on its banks: Columbia

10. Laughably called a river. carries only urban run-off most of the year: Los Angeles River

11. Can be navigated by use of the Beauharois Locks: St. Lawrence

12. Runs through Tulsa: Arkansas River

13 flows north to Hudson bay Red river


I started wondering which tools that I use daily are the most important. I wasn't able to rank them in order of impotance, but here are some I would hate to be without.

back scratcher -- funny stick with minatue plastic hand on it, used for scratching where you cannot reach with your own hand.  For a person who inadvertantly bathes in disinfectant, see entries below, and who itches when he drinks wine or beer, it is an essential

pyrex measuring cup -- big one, well over a full pint.  I don't measue ingedents that often,  but I use it in the microwave to heat water for soup, tea, and cocoa.

wheelchair --  my ability to move about, to get to the bathroom from the bed.  I live in my wheelchair, plus some time in battery powered scooter and power chair. 

computer -- my life.  I connect with the outside world with my computer, online.  I write, I read, I do art work, I research.  I love wikipedia, an ever changing encyclopaedia.  I love to google, type in a word and get ten to fifteen thousand links to articles about that word... in seconds.  (How do they do that?)

digital camera -- always ready.  Need to capture my tracks in a mud puddle, or a funny car in the parking lot, or a new face among the residents.  Camera is ready, and prints can be made in minutes.

keyboard --  stores hundreds of melodies and chords, and musical patterns.  I turn it on, select a rhythm at random, listen a moment, then inmprovise a melody to go with it.  I entertain myself for hours this way.  Too bad nobody else cares to listen.  I leave the door open, but  nobody stops or drops in.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I am eighty two and I still like the kids' trick of pulling the covers over my head, raising my knees, and enjoying the little tent, or cave, or cocoon I have made.

The rest of the world, everything else, is outside and you are inside.

They say that Michael Jackson used to like to sleep in a hyperbaric chamber.  Well, no wonder.  What a neat cocoon, away from turmoil, away from everything outside.

In this populous land, there must be some people who set up tents in their bedrooms to sleep inside.  I don't know any, but I understand them, I do.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Bath in Disifectant

Sunday night is bath night for me, and I elect to take it in the whirlpool tub.  Caregiver helps me in and we put up the retractible side.  Big argument.  I want water 105 degrees, and she wants to fill it with 98 degree water.

"Too hot," she says.

"It is a HOT tub: it is supposed to be hot."  At 82 you can be pretty stubborn and I win and I settle back in nice warm water.  The care giver leaves.  As soon as the water reaches the jets, I turn on the whirlpool.  Ahh.  Oh, oh.

Bubbles.  Bubbles begin building up.  In a moment I look like Marilyn Monroe in a tub scene, covered with bubbles.  I laugh, good joke, someone put bubble bath in hot tub.  The bubbles reach my arm pits.  I luxuriate.

The jets continue and the bubbles reach five feet high.  Now I look like Jack Lemmon in Mr. Roberts, when the laundry aboard ship blew up and covered him with suds. I could have filled the room with suds, but I turned off the whirlpool.  Now the caregiver returns, gasps, and calls her supervior. 

I laugh and tell the supervisor that someone put bubble bath in the spa.  Supervisor inspects the controls and says, "That is not bubble bath   That is the disinfectant we use to clean the spa between bathers.  You took a bath in disinfectant."

They hose me off with plain water, and I go home singing a kids' song. 

"There may be bugs on some of you mugs,

But there ain't no bugs on me."

Things that used to cost a Dollar a Dozen

Things that used to cost a dollar a dozen>>>

Doughnuts -- and coffee was a dime, but refills were only a nickle.

Gum drops --  from the big glass jar at the candy shop, and that goes for licorice whips, too

Stamps --  when first class postage was six cents, airmail took a separate stamp worth eight cents.

Eggs --  a bargain when you consider each egg is a day's work for a chicken.

Limes -- only two weeks ago at Sav-Mart.  I bought two dozen, and they lasted only a week because I love 'em so

Jelly glasses --  You wonder why juice glasses are so small?  Because that's the size jelly came in, and you saved the jar as a drinking glass.  They must have cost more with the jelly in them.

Pepsi-Cola --  Introduced in 12 oz bottles when Coca-Cola came in eight ounce bottles.  Their jingle was "Twelve full ounces, that's a lot...nickle,nickle, nickle."

Cookies --  Yum

Saturday Evening Post --  The weekly magazine cost a nickle, delivered by a kid earning pennies on his magazine route.  Liberty, too, but Life was a dime.

But that is all I can remember right now.  Perhaps you can think of some more.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hide the Jam -- Wilma is Home

Wilma got home just before supper, and did she relish it.  She absolutely hated the hospital, thinks it should be closed by the state.  Even the hamburger supper tasted good.

She even played rummy after supper and we showed her no mercy.  After four hands the score was Ted 178, Jim 155, Chuck 98,  Wilma 29.  She laughed and said she was glad to be home anyway.

She also thanks folks who commented and wished her well. She says the jam will be back in the cupboard tomorrow morning.  She also says I make her look like an idiot by telling about the jam.  Sorry, I thought it was cute.

The weather has turned cold.  My "nest" will feel good tonight.  I went out and latched the garden gates and in the three minutes it took, my teeth began to chatter.


It's Saturday. Time for Joanne Update

Saturday is the one day of the week that Joanne, owner of the '67 Mustang, is on duty.  She s a student nurse.

She reports that in her nursing training next week she has to do duty in the ER (Emergency Room).  She is "very nervous".

People who come to the ER are acutely ill and that is serious business.  "After all," she says, "I am NOT an adrenaline junkie."

History Repeat Itself

Heard in the hall of the old folks home:

Mother: (82, to visiting son, 63.)  Don't you have some homework to do, Son?

Son: Aw, I got it all done, Mom.

He probably told the same lie when he was a kid, too.

Wilma, Out Riding in the Hall

I called the hospital after supper.  When I was connected to Wilma's room, a roommate told me "She is out riding in the halls."

So I left a message and went and played Rummy

Ted has a new power chair, so I mounted mine and we took a tour of the old folks home. He was not ready to try it outside yet, so I left him in the hall, and went out to latch the garden gates. It is dark after supper and rummy nowadays, and I enjoyed that.  It is a bit spooky though, driving a power chair in the dark, when you are out of reach of the street lights.

In the dark you feel alone and independent.  But there was a strange car in the parking lot, so I hurried and latched the gate and came back inside. Chicken!

Anyway, if Wilma can prowl the halls of the hospital, maybe she will be able to come home tomorrow after all.  Will I tell her I missed her? No way.  I will merely give her an up date of the Republicans who resigned during her absence. That's our way. She will remind me that Schwartzenegger is still governor, no matter how I voted. 

Stream of Consciousness

I was sleeping, really sleeping, and getting rest.  I got a bit cold, so I reached out without getting up, and pulled the first thing I touched over me.  It happened o be a lap robe, and later I reached again and grasped a terry cloth beach towel. And I snuggled down and slept again.

Eventually I stirred, and by the dim glow from the street lights outside, I could see  what I had created. "My God, I have created a nest for myself."

What am I, a bird?  A perfect nest, in the tree top that is my bed.

Then my left brain wakes up a bit and begins to search for the word that describes what I have done: ascribed an animal trait to my human behavior.  I fancy myself a writer, so my writer's brain should know the word.

Maybe I can think of the word if I find its opposite: the word that attributes human traits to animal or plant behavior.  That is what I did when I wrtoe about the winter roses.  I said they were striving to be noticed by the few humming birds or bees who have not hibernated or migrated.  The winter roses grow taller and put forth more gaudy blossoms, because they want pollenation. 

Finally that word comes to mind: anthropromorphism.  Let the spell checker deal with that. But what is the opposite? What word descibes my attributing animal characteristics to my building a nest?

It is three AM and the body wants to sleep but the brain does not.

If I fall asleep on my back, the base of the brain gets the full blood supply and the autonomic systems take over.  My breathing becomes deep and regular, my heart beats rugularly, and I sleep restfully.

Soon I roll to my left side and the left brain gets the nourishment and begins word searches, and I begin composing chapters for my novel.  But nothing new happens. 

I roll to my right and the creative side of my brain begins to stir.  I create, in dream form, a land with a shoreline where creatures from the sea come forth and meet the land creatures, humans with four legs.  I compose music and the creatures dance, and I choriograph their movements: patterns my left brain could never describe.

Finally I roll face down and the frontal lobes of the brain begin to stir and I remember things. I remember the pleasures  of the past, and of the past day.  Alas, I remember the pains and anguishes, too, and the "tapes" begin to play that contain the anxieties and worries of the past, over and over

At last, I get up, pull on a shirt for warmth, and lo and behold the computer is ON.  Did I leave it on?  I am sure I turned if OFF.  Yet, it is going.  Hooray.  I sit down and write this.

I will sip some tea I have in the microwave and read this entry.  I will not edit it... it is a stream of cannot edit that.


Friday, November 10, 2006

If I Were Twenty

If I were twenty again, I would get a Mustang convertible, like Joanne's, and go for a long, I mean a LONG drive, perhaps across the whole US.


When I was twenty, I longed for an antique Packard convertible. I actually bought one, but I grew wiser quickly.  I sold it for $100, twenty dollars a month.  I am still owed $40.  I wonder what happened to that guy (or the car).  (Let's see $40 at compound interest for sixty years would be...ah... well, never mind.)

Lost in the Internet

Today is a slow day.  I got lost in my computer.  I had clicked on an art site, and was presented with dozens of examples of different artist's work, but I dozed off while gazing at them.

Off I whirled, to another planet apparently, where four legged people abounded.  But they were mixed with familiar earth locales.

It seemed curious, and then I blinked and realized I was staring at the computer screen and the work of a contemporary artist.

I wonder what that artist would think if he knew where I had gone, riding on his painting.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Weekend Assignment #138: Your Favorite Kid's Books

Kabumpo in Oz.  One of the follow up Oz books.  The series was continued by Ruth Plumley Thompson, as I remember.  It was started by L. Frank Baum, and it included The Land of Oz and The Wizard of Oz.  I guess we all know about the Wizard

Kabumpo was an elephant...a talking elephant.  He and the Prince of a suburb of Oz set off so the Prince can marry Ozma, the princess of Oz who lives in the Emerald City. Grandfather used to read a chapter a night as a bed time story.  I loved it and the characters and especially the sardonic elephant.  When I was old enough to read a book by myself, I reread it... and then again and again. 

"Oh, my purple socks and soup spoons," cries one of the characters who is wronged by the villian, Ruggedo, the Red, who lives underground, right under the palace of the Emerald City.

   See, I remember it still.  That is the sign of a good children's book. 

   Later I read other Oz books, The Cowardly Lion, and one featuring Notta Bit More a circus clown.  I also read the Baum Oz books.  The Baum books were more literary, filled with adult references and parodies, while the Thompson books were mere narratives.  If there was any social commentary, I didn't see it.

I think they all need a reread, now that I am eighty two.

Wilma Update

I was able to phone Wilma in the hospital.  She said her MS was "acting up" and boy "Am I sick."

Said she even though she is just lying there drinking her coffee, she probalby won't be home tomorrow, but hopefully by Saturday.

She jokingly asked me to get on my scooter and come visit her. She knows that is improbable, but if the scooter were new, and the weather were nice, and I were a young man, I would do it. 

My son-in-law, Roddy, has students giving a recital this evening.  Roddy's recitals are different, in that the student and Roddy perform together.  This gives the student the confidence he needs, and Roddy, being a professional musician, knows how to make the other performer look his best.  His recitals make an evening of charming entertainment, not a series of shaky solos.

The Jam was Not in the Cupboard

The jam was on the table, not hiding in the cupboard. A grapefruit sat as usual in front of Wilma’s place. I put jam on my oatmeal, and then my toast. I did not have to go to the cupboard to get it out. I wish I had.

Wilma, I was told went to the hospital last night. I am not “family” so, I am sure, no one will tell me what is wrong. “That is private information.”

We went and got our flu shots yesterday, and it was quite an adventure. Twenty of us, five of us in wheel chairs, strapped into the bus, and then wheeled into Costco, and lined up for flu shots. It was one of Wilma’s rare excursions. At supper, Wilma took a bite, then left the table. She did not come and play in our usual “rummy” game. With Wilma and Burnie both absent, three of us played a bit, then quit early.

Life in the old folks home is transitory. People come and go. Someone in our “family” is always in the hospital. I, myself, was early this year. Yesterday they showed a film of one our activities taken just four years ago. Almost all of the residents in that film are no longer here. Four years ago I was walking around at the party. Viewers shouted, “Look, there’s Chuck, walking around.” They’re used to seeing me in a wheel chair. I’m used to me in a wheel chair.

I’m used to seeing Wilma, in her wheel chair, across the breakfast table.

Wilma was raised in Holtville, CA, in desert.  She'd rather sit in the sun than in the shade.

Five AM

Five AM, and I guess I will get up.  Why not?  I went to bed at 10:30.

Once when playing a word game, the question was If you could sleep as late as you wanted,  what time would you get up? Since at the time I could sleep as late as I wanted and I got up early I blurted out "five AM".  Bad answer...the object of the game was to give the most popular answer... which was probably 'nine' or "noon" .

Anyway, five AM in a nice time to get up.  It is quiet; you can microwave some tea and put your bare body in front of the computer, and no one cares.  My brand of tea bags are rediculously hard to open. (Well, Bigelow, if you asked.) They seal in the flavor, and you need scissors to get it out. Constant Comment is my favorite, but this is Green Tea with Lemon. 

(Limes were back to "six for a dollar" yesterday, so I only bought a dozen.)

You may note that this entry was posted well after five am because it takes me a long while to compose, edit, and un-scramble my brain at five AM. 

This morning a tooth hurts.  Now how am I gonna fit a trip to the dentist in with my trips to regular MD and the variety of specialists he sends me to.  With a special doctor for each part of the body, it is a full time job trying to live pain free.  For most aches and pains the answer seems to be "grin and bear it".

If this journal entry rambles, what did you expect at five (six) AM?

I give up... I cannot get this to print in 12 pt. type... why?  Three tries or more....gad.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Harmonica Solo

Feeling Limited?

A harmonica has twenty notes.

But it can play 17,168 Songs

All Warmed Up

On way from bathroom to bed, I noticed the computer was on.  I guess it never turned itself off after I hit "Off" Silly thing, as always with a mind of it's own. 

Anyway, since it was all warmed up and ready to go, I made this entry.

Must be time to defragment the hard has been taking long minutes when I boot up.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Snow on the Roses

First, I went to vote.  Then I went out to un latch the gates to the garden.  We keep it locked at night just in case any transients try to stroll through.

What impressed me were the roses in the rose garden.  Here it is November, and there are the second blooming roses blissfully unaware that it is nearly winter.  They are big and they are gorgeous.

Not every rose bush produces blooms this late, but the ones who do really make a show.  They are fewer in number of  blossoms, but each one is bigger than the spring blossom that preceded it. It is as if they are trying to make one final burst of glory before going to bed for the winter.

How appropriate for a garden at the old folks home.  We are in our November too.  Our kids are grown and have kids of their own, and only if we make a special effort can we blossom now, and show what root stock produced us.  It is easy to grouse and grumble, but we can, if we will, see the beautiful side of life.  We can produce one more bloom before winter, and it can be the most beautiful one of all.

I once read a poem about snow on the roses, but I had no idea what it meant until I visited our rose garden today in November.


P.S.  Jackie in Alabama just sent me the link to the song and lyrics....Snow on the Roses.  Beautiful

Monday, November 6, 2006


I have made a lot of friends with my journal. And I am very happy and proud of that.

One was a businesswoman, who was very depressed and feeling miserable. I was able to calm and support her. We were friends. Through silly emails I cheered and amused her. She cheered and charmed me. She hung in there. She got a better job. Pessimism gave way to optimism.

She likes to forward amusing and clever emails to friends. I have received many and enjoyed them. BUT the most recent was one of those “send this message to five of your friends and you will have good luck….BUT UNLESS YOU SEND THIS TO FIVE FRIENDS YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.”

I let this silly, childhood game annoy me. And annoy me so much that I sent a rebuke to my friend. Since she had only meant to amuse, she was hurt by my rebuke she wrote: “Don’t worry. You will never receive another email from me.”

I have lost a friend.

How sorry I am that I could not take a joke, an amusing email in stride. I am sorry I could not control my temper. And I have had this reaction before, to similar letters demanding a response or receive bad luck. My friend could not have known this was a pet peeve of mine. There were kinder simpler ways to react.

I am sorry. I hope she reads this and can accept my apology.

Remorseful old man.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Joanne's 1967 Mustang

I found a picture of Joanne's 1967 Mustang.  It was hiding in the files.

Dreaming of Pools

Today's entry is in Dream Depository.

To get there, click on Dream Despository above.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Follow Up, Joanne

Joanne who drives a white on whte Mustang convertible has updated her journal information.

First, the Mustang is a 1967.  There was no Mustang in 1961.

Joanne is a nursing student at nearby Merced College.  After graduation are nursing board exams and then work.  She has several places in mind.  One is state prision.  Good retirement., And several institutions have inviged her to turn in applications. 

Give 'em Hell, Harry

Weekend Assignment #137: Recount the first time you voted in a local, state or national election.

   How I happened to choose Democratic Party, having been raised in Republican family, I am not sure.  But Truman had integrity, was earthy and forthright.  He confronted the most popular general in the nation and was not aftraid to "fire his ass" when he expressed dangerous politics.

   But he was a sure loser.  Dewey was touted as "Next President of the United States".  But I voted Truman, my first vote.

   I listened to election returns on my car radio on way to a college class.  I was astounded.  I entered the classroom where my classmates sat unaware of run away election. 

   "Hi," I said, "Are you coming to my party?"

   "What party," they asked.

   "The Democratic Party," was my smug reply.

Extra credit:  Are you going to vote next Tuesday?  You bet.  My polling place is in the lobby of the old folks home.  I will have to roll ten feet to vote: Democratic, as usual.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Still Struggling

Still strugging with getting the journal page to look the way I like.  New reader, Helen, (see comment in entry below) says write in large type. Then highlight the whole item, select size I want finished project to be, click on it, and then save.

Well, Helen, thanks and here we go.

Trial joy.

Here is trial joy

Here is trial three..


For years I have entered my journal entries in blue Comic Sans type.  It became a trademark, so to speak.

It was a strain because the type in the entry window was not the type that appeared in the displayed journal, but much smalled making composition and editing very difficult.

I was going to write an entry in which I whine about that. 

I thought I would just use the default font and size and let the trademark go.  But when I started to make the entry, a NEW ENTRY WINDOW aooeared, with nice big type.

Maybe I should try again to use my blue comic type, 12 points in size.

Nope, it is tiny, and who knows what typeface it is. Try again.

That's to go back and blow up the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Another Link to Dave

Here's another entry you have to fetch. 

I won't do this again.  Promise.

Dave's Journey

To read this entry, you have to make a little journey yourself.

You can see this entry at Wandering Dave. <<Link


Then while you are there use the links on the site to find out about Dave Burke and his great upcoming adventure:  a year long cross country tour of Rural America.

Three AM... no problem

Three AM is no problem.  I went to bed at nine.  Up getting my anti-oxidents with green tea.  But it is hard to type at this early hour.  Make lots of typos.  For instance, here is an IM (Instant Message) exchange with a lady in Alabama.>>>

 Chasferris:  it wrong icon    jot   hit wrong I con  lol.... I hit tje wr...shdeeit...  I hit the wrong icon... sorry
still rainjng?  Stars fell on Alabama.  george played yesterday... delightful
one thing about three am... it is sure hard to type
what are you going up at three am?...ah, not to worry... I went to bed a nine.
Chasferris: nine
I was going to make an entry in journal, but considering the typos I am making, it would be a waste of time
aren't you dressed yet?
Chasferris:  oh, making tea? How can you do that with the screen barking at you.

And the lady is not answering?  I wonder why.

One last word on Halloween: Of the kids who came by for candy treats dressed in Pooh Suits, Ranger uniforms, or Super Batman Capes, not one looked happy. Where were the happy children last night? They looked like they were being pushed along by squads of mothers who had to prompt them to say "thank you" for every nickel piece of candy they bummed off folks.

Note next year Halloween will come during daylight savings time. (They're changing the time, not the date.) At least they wont start coming at five pm.  We can have dinner in peace.

Better yet, let's ban Halloween.  The kids don't like it, parent's hate it, and adults who have no kids hate it most of all.  Teachers will love to teach school on Nov. 1 without having to remind pupils to "spit out that chewing gum".