Monday, August 28, 2006

Keeping up with the International Astronomical Union

For your kids to copy and take to Science Class....

Transneptunian objects
















Sunday, August 27, 2006

Farewell, Pluto; Hello, Rhadamanthus

Remember Pluto, the "ninth planet", in the solar system?  Well, the International Astronomical Union says it ain't.  It is a "dwarf planet".

This was not unexpected.  I know a fellow who knew the fellow who discovered Pluto.  (I am only three degrees separated from Pluto,) He was Clyde Tombaugh, who once said, "They're only waiting for me to die before they reduce Pluto from the status of planet." It seems heartless to demote Pluto, yet they abstained until it's discoverer had passed on. That's astronomical compassion, I guess.

Ironically, I understand that Tombaugh's cremated ashes are being sent to Pluto by a space probe.  It will take eight years to get there, imagine. But it seems sort of appropriate, that will be his final resting place...but so far away.

Pluto must now take its place with other dwarf planets, transneptunian objects, such as centaurs, Neptune Trojans, Kuiper Belt Objects, such as cubewanos, Plutinos, and Twotinos, and Scattered Disk Objects, and Oort cloud objects. 

You can tell, I've been to Wikipedia. It lists about a hundred Transneptunian objects...too many to be named,  in fact.  Only thirteen are named.(Fourteen counting Pluto)

Here, so you can teach your kids about the new Solar System are the named objects that you used to call planets:

Logos, Deucalion, Quaoar, Huya, Rhadamanthus, Ixion, Varuna, and Chaos.  (Chaos is right.) And more....see the list.

You might try naming some yourself, but I suppose the astronomers who have discovered each are waiting to name them after themselves, their girl friends, or their "significant others".


A Creepy Crawly Question

Here's a creepy story, followed by a creepy question.  I hope one of us J-landers is also a gardener and an expert n identifying vines.

Here at the old folks home, someone planted a few ivy sprouts between the walk and the wall.  They must have been thinking, "Wouldn't a little green growth look nice on that wall?"

It would, and it did.  And time passes.  The ivy climbs the wall, covers it, spreads to the walk, keeps a team of gardners busy trimming it away from the walk,  it climbs the tree, covers the trunk, climbs out of sight everywhere.

Now, from over the wall comes another vine, bright green, and begins creeping over the creeping ivy.  It sends its shoots over, under, around and through the ivy.

Now my creepy question is: what the HECK is this new creeper?  Look at those leaves. Can you identify it?  What grows on the ivy that grows on the wall and the trees?

To me they look like grape leaves.  I would be nice to have a vinyard in our courtyard.  Since it is rooted in the neighbors yard, can we harvest the grapes? We already pick the lemons that hang over the wall.

Help, please, you Arborists, what have we creeping over our creeping ivy?


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another Imported Car

Parked right in the old folks home parking lot, what's that?  Another racy import, probably lost on the way to Le Mans.  What lines.  Looks like it is speeding even when it is parked there.  Take a look, what do you think?


What's that you say? Not an import. A what?  Not ANOTHER CHEVROLET. Fooled me the other day with a sporty pick up, but a racy coupe? 


Let's take a look at the name plate:  EGAD  It is a Chevy.

Well, here's a financial tip: It's okay to invest in Chevrolet again.  They have discovered a new product to produce:  Italian Sports Cars.

Why I Like My Hearing Aids

Because they do not make things LOUDER; they make them CLEARER.

How can that be, I hear you ask.  Because, they only amplify the sounds I cannot hear without them. 

Speech to me, without hearing aids, is like someone is talking to me from the next room with the door closed.  It is muffled, and hard to understand.  I say, "huh?>" a lot. But with the hearing aids, it is as if someone has opened the door.  It is clearer.

When you go to buy, the dealer makes an audio-gram of your hearing loss, showing which frequencies are the most affected and by how much.  In my case, anything over 4000 cps is Pfft, gone.  Say miss or mitt or miff to me, and it is all the same. Ask me to kiss you and I may give you a boot in the ankle, thinking you said kick

Anyhow, the dealer, a charming lady named Rene,  looked at my audiogram and set the hearing aids to amplify the very high frequencies I need, but not the ones I am already hearing normally.  Presto-changeo the world becomes clearer. 

Now, if you ask me a question and I say "huh?", it is because I was in a dream world of my own.  I still walk around dazed, but I hear better.

In case you care, the make is Widex.  The model is elan SD-9Me.  And they are made in Denmark. Huh?.  Denmark, and no, that is not in China.

Weekend Assignment -- The Place Where I Live

John Scalzi asks us what is the most interesting thing about the place where you live -- in my case, Merced, California.

Merced is known as the Gateway to Yosemite.  That is not exactly earth shaking... to be known as the entrance to some place important. Yosemite is unique, and to get to THAT place, one way is through THIS place.  Nice to be a gateway, but there are other ways to get to Yosemite, say Fresno, California, or Lone Pine, California.  But if you come by bus or train, sure enough, you stop at Merced...and take ANOTHER bus.  It is worth a visit, really, and say "hi" as you pass through.

Merced is a nice enough town, as a town, or city.  It has one of the campuses of the State University, and that is nice, being a college town.  We're not RAH RAH drinkin' beer college town yet, but there is hope. The city's lake, named Lake Yosemite, naturally, is not big enough for crew racing, but it is big enough for naked college hi-jinks if they will only get the idea sooner or later.  Maybe when they get some fraternities and sororities.



Saturday Morning

....What good is Saturday Morning?  It's too Early for Patrick's Saturday Six, and too early to think about Scalzi's assignment, or even Photo Scavenger Hunt.  I guess it just, me.  Just ennui.

    What I need is a cup of coffee. 

   See you later   >>>>   

Ah, later, >>>>          

Was dining room coffee, but hot.

Friday, August 25, 2006

And Just in Case ...

... you wanted to try to work the maze I started in the entry below, here is a detail ...

   Enter at the top


And exit at the bottom.

There are 54 of these little mazes in the big one..

Next Paint Project

You have been kind and following my Paint program projects. 

Here is the next one that I have started.  Not sure how this will copy to the journal from Photobucket.  Let's take a look together.

Sure is complicated.  And I plan to take my time with it.

So far it is a maze, and the completed part is in red.  When it is done, I will simple turn the red to white and let my eye wander through to winding paths.  So far there are no false trails.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not Your Grand Dad's Chevy

While passing by the Starbuck's parking lot, I was struck by the beauty of one particular little red pick up.

I had to get closer.  It looked like a custom built truck.  When I saw the name plate, I was shocked and didn't believe my eyes.

It was a Chevrolet.

First car I owned was a Chevy.  And I have driven Chevy models from 1917 to 1995, the one I own now.  And this was like nothing I had ever seen from Chevrolet.

Maybe they're getting them designed in Indonesia, or someplace.  Doesn't look like Detroit Iron to me.

Here is a close up of the nameplate: Maybe on of you car buffs can explain what has happened.


Finished Product

Thank you for your kind comments.  And because you have followed so faithfully, here is the finished paint project.

It is hard to know when you're done.  The tendency is to keep adding little touches.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Still in Progress

You may wonder how my design below, led to the one below it.

This is the design in Paint that I showed the other day.

And here is the comment I made about it...

If I were going to do this again, I would use the "curved line" tool, and have the lines all emmanate from some "vanishing points".  That would give the design some depth and composition.  Also they would bleed off the page at some points. 

That is what I did. And this was the result. 

Unbeliveable? is still a work in progress.

When Strangers Meet

Park Merced Left Hand, may I present Park Merced Right Hand.

Obviously you two have never met.  Otherwise the left hand would know what the right hand is doing.

1.  I went to the office and asked if I could sign up for Dish Network, satellite television.  It would mean installing a dish antenna on the apartment building.  The manager called landlord and got the word, can't attach anything to building.  So the manager said, "You can put it on a pole."  Then the manager went on vacation.

   So I ordered the installation.  I told the maitenance man what the installation date was, and he shook his head.  He called a different person on the head quarters and got a different answer.  No pole either.

   I called and cancelled my satellite TV.  The left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.

   2.  I volunteered to do the Tuesday morning entertainment for a couple of weeks while the regular volunteer was on a trip.  I had my keyboard carried to the parlor, and did my stint which went all right.

   Today was second week.  I got help and transported my keyboard to the parlor and set it up.  I was testing it when a couple of ladies bustled in and began setting up a party for the activity director.  It was scheduled for ten am...MY TIME TO PLAY.

   "OH, didn't anyone tell you?"

   No, they didn't, because the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

   In they Army they had a slogan, "Don't volunteer for anything."  Funny, I never learned that lesson.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another Design -- Ho Hum

Herewith, another one of my "paint" projects, just because I have nothing to write about at this moment. 

We all get a Paint program with our computers, but many of us never open it nor play with it.  I use mine all the time to doodle in color.  My hard drive is filled with my drawings


It is called Ersatz.  It is completely abstract and does not represent anything. 

I am thinking of taking my lap top with me to art class and trying to reproduce the art projects on the screen.  My art teacher encourages me to do so, but maybe it is because she is my daughter

If I were going to do this again, I would use the "curved line" tool, and have the lines all emmanate from some "vanishing points".  That would give the design some depth and composition.  Also they would bleed off the page at some points. 

Well, live and learn, stay tuned.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Two Entries in One

I don't understand -- sometimes when I call up my journal to make a new entry, I find no "add entry" button.  I wonder why?  So, now that I found one... I had better add both entries I had in mind -- as one.

1.  Went and listened to progressive jazz for an hour.  I don't understand it: it seems to be going somewhere, but I am not sure where.  Anyway you don't come home whistling the melody.

   It was enjoyable because it was my grandson on bass with two of his friends.  They play for tacos, coke, and tips at a J and R Tacos in Merced, CA. Mostly they are just jamming and entertaining themselves and we are invited to listen in. It is a way for them to spend Friday evening, and with gas prices so high, it beats cruisin' main street.

   It makes me proud because he is an acompished musician.

2.  Movie review:  Lemony Sniicket's Series of Unfortunate Events.  I couldn't finish it.  If you liked Jim Carrey as Animal Detective or as God it is possible you still may not like him as Count Olaf.  A dismal series of events is what I experienced.  The special features on the DVD were somewhat they created the characters using experimental make up and improvisation.  I was surprised to see Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman in this film.


Shower - Part II

The bridal/house warming party for the cook went well, even without my gift of an Oreo Bag Clip (see entry below).

The first "game" was to wrap a couple of volunteers in toilet paper wedding gowns.  This was cute, so I hurried home and got my camera.  I got back in time to snap a picture of the winner, and took some pictures of attendees.

Then while they played an embarrassing version of the newlywed game, I escaped to my room, and avoided having to sing a solo of God Bless America as part of a another game, and printed out a few of the pictures, and put them in a page protector.

I got back in time to give the honorees picture souveniers of the party while they were opening presents. They can't clip a bag of Doritos shut with an Oreo clip, but they can look at rhe pictures and remember how silly they felt answering personal questions in game form.

I hated the Newlywed Game on TV and I am glad I escaped it today.


Our cook is getting married.  Her children will attend the shower that they are giving her in the parlor.  Since it is not her first wedding, and we are not rich retirees, it was suggested that we take a field trip to the 99 cent store and buy a gim-crack for the couples new motor-home/honey-moon cottage.

My 99 cent selection was a bag clip for closing opened packages of crackers and cookies, and it was shaped like an Oreo cookie.

Meanwhile there were so many complaints about residents being asked to "kick in" for employee girfts, that I lay it aside..and then LOST it.

Today, the day of the party I made a frantic search for the Oreo clip token gift.  And I finally found it,and then had the bright idea that I should clip it to a bag of Oreo cookies.  So I made a quick trip to the market..and found the bag of cookies, on sale, and hurried home.

Now to put the token gifts together and take them to the party.  I tried to clip the Oreo clip onto the Oreo bag and found...IT IS BROKEN, AND USELESS.

I threw the clip away, will eat the cookies myself, and offer the happy couple my congratulations and a hearty handshake.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Time magazine (Aug 21, 2006, Page 48) wonders why the Segway never became popular.

Well, duh, I can answer that.  $5000 for a what is essentially a skateboard. ($3000 used on eBay.)

They came whirling onto the scene in 2001, and it was thought that EVERYONE would want one to scoot around the house, the yard, the factory, the school, the store.  And they might have, but I, for one, have never even SEEN one, let alone try it out. 

All I know is President Bush fell off his.  Thank goodness President Ford didn't have one, he might have killed someone.

Think I will wait for the next great invention that everybody wants... like a flying belt.

West Nile Virus

Up before dawn - again.  It is dark and quiet outside.  Nice and peaceful.

Then the sound of a motor idling, slowly drawing near.  It is funny, but it reminded me of my little propeller driven Ercoupe I used to fly, and made me nostalgic for flying -- the joy of a dawn flight. The sound of a running motor slowly moving was curious.  I thought it might be a sweeper in the Starbucks parking lot next door.  But it was closer than that.

Then outside my window, in the driveway that runs past the old folks home, appearing through the dark,was a truck with a tank attached and a motor running.  It was apparently spraying insecticide to kill mosquitoes.  I had heard about the spraying program on television.

Apparently it is working, I have not heard of felt a mosquito is some time.  My how annoying they are when you are trying to sleep.  A little buzz in your ear, which you try to brush away, but somehow escapes your waving and comes back again.  You pull the covers over your head and try to sleep that way, and that's a nuisance.

A mosquito abatement team is spraying the whole area, and it is reassuring to have them right in our own drive way -- except my eyes sting and I am coughing some, but I suspect that is imaginary suggested by the thought that the whole district is being sprayed.

Seems like our response to the mosquitoes is like our response to terrorists -- over reaction.  A dozen terrorists have restructured the whole aviation industry and affected every passenger -- which is the terrorist goal.  Six cases of West Nile Virus in California Central valley, and the whole population gets sprayed.  There was ONE new case of West Nile Virus reported this week, the victim was treated at home, not requiring hospitalization.  The News reports that most victims of West Nile Virus don't even know they have it.  And for this we spray everybody? 

Last year an aerial applicator -- read that "crop duster" -- flew over the neighborhood spraying us all with bug juice.  He flew LOW over the neighborhood, and I thought he was going to take the roof off with his low pass.

Yes, the West Nile Virus has killed people, some, but it is rarer than the bite of the tse-tse fly, and I am glad I can sleep on top of the bed and not have to pull covers over my head nor rig a mosquito netting in the bedroom

Spray on, cough on, and call the environmentalists in the morning. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Reviews Are In

I had my guest shot as morning entertainment at the old folks home, using my Casio Keyboard.  The Keyboard did very well, playing its myriad of instruments and dozens of rhythms, and I did well too.

I started with improvisations, wherein I make up a simple melody to match the rhythm the keyboard is playing.  Since one of my two listeners at the start was Ted, a country music lover, I chose a country rhythm, made the keyboard sound like a banjo, and picked out some hoe down tune.  Was off to good start.

Ted left, but others drifted in and at one point I had a dozen listeners, a rather large crowd for morning music program.  I kept up the playing for about forty five minutes. 

Then I used the built in songs on the keyboard and we played Name that Tune for another twenty minutes.  by then most of my audience had drifted off.

I hung around for a while longer and explained the keyboad to a couple of folks who were interested.

Then we all went to lunch.  I have another session scheduled for next week.  We'll see who comes back.

Guest Star

Guess who is the Tuesday morning entertainment at the old folks home today.  It is someone you know, but is not a star and will never be on American Idol. He and his automatic Casio Keyboard will be appearing at ten, just an hour from now.

Why, yes  It's me.

Our regular piano player, George is on a cross country trip and will be gone for a couple of weeks, and I, foolishly, volunteered to fill in.

I am NOT a musician.  I pick out melodies with one finger, and I use one finger on my left hand to choose the automatic rhythm on the keyboard.

Anyway, I plan to entertain myself for an hour, much as I do in my room, except, I will let other folks listern.  When they get bored, we will play "name that tune" using the built in song bank...(demonstration numbers)

Break a leg, Chuck

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hungry for Certain Sounds

Much of stuff I thought I could not live without is locked up in a storage locker on the other side of town.  When I moved into a studio apartment, many treasures were left with no place in my new home.  I could not part with like many of us, I STORED THEM.

I never see them, I don't go near that locker for which I pay yearly.  I know they are there, and perhaps that is some comfort.  Would Linus be happy if his security blanket was locked up and not handy?

What is there that I have no room for?  A short-wave radio.  I am (was) a Ham radio operator.  There are couple of rigs there, with the wires needed for an antenna. I should part with them. My license has expired, I will never send out another CQ.  There are receivers there too.  I get hungry for the sound of Morse code. 

I struggled to learn Morse code in the Army.  But once I had it, it stuck with me.  I would love to sit down and copy more.  The news sounds newsyier when you take it down from dots and dashes. (Dits and dahs, we say now)

And records... 45's and LP's.  I would probably have to go to an antique store to get a player for them.  But I would like to hear Time is Tight, Hot Toddy, The In Crowd, and Night Train again.  I have half a dozen different versions of Night Train.  I would love to compare them again. I even have Harry James' Trumpet Blues on 78 rpm, and, get this, Glen Miller's In the Mood.

There are books I loved, and books I never got around too.  Can't throw them away.

There are home movies of the kids growing up, and then the same movies on video-tape.  Time to get 'em on DVD. And boxes and boxes of photos.  Somewhere in the locker are the collected negatives of all those snapshots.  I bought a scanner that takes 35mm negatives, just so I could see them all again...but never got the scanner and the negatives together. 

I have a stamp collection, started by my MOTHER a generation ago, that ought to be worth something...someday, to some of my heirs, I seem to have lost interest in collecting more  The same with coins.  I havecomplete sets of coins -- up to the time I locked them up-- and no interest in continuing...yet no inclination to get rid of them.

I won't go into the psychological term for people who collect, collect, and cannot stop.  The kindest part of the term is "retentive".  That's me, I am afraid. 

And now my compulsions drive me to write a journal, and I will, until I find a way to lock them all up in a locker.

Journal video

John Scalzi says we can add video to our journals now, and even made some to prove the point.  I've got to learn how to do that.

Just spent an afternoon looking at video blogs... fascinating.

Here's one, and it will lead you to others.






Sunday, August 13, 2006

My Past Year in J-Land

Krissy Fisher has proposed that all of us journalers write an entry called "My Past Year in J-Land" in honor of the AOL Journals' third birthday.  Good plan, but rather difficult.

In past year I have written 252 entries.  I astounded myself when I discovered that fact.  A review of the titles showed me that I have an eclectic mind.  (That's eclectic, wide ranging, not electric, powerful.)

I have covered personal history, such as celebrities I have seen, life in the old folks home, with profiles of he characters I live with, personal non-adventures, such as buying avocados and limes, personal opinion, like movie reviews and political points of view, and philosophy, mostly diatribes that I composed late at night when insomnia plagued me.

I have made up quizzes for fun, using the simple trick of blacking out the answers which could be revealed by use of your mouse.  I have shown my efforts to create art with the Paint program we all get with our computers.  I have taken part in photo scavenger hunt, Scalzi's weekly assignment, Patricks' Saturday Six and Sunday Seven, and, now, Krissy's AOL project.

I have received tons of comments, and I love those best of all.  I have made lots of friends.  I lost one friend...and I may get courage to write about that someday. 

Curiously, I got more comments about the cat, Jasmine, than I did about my sincere efforts to explain my philosophy of life. Go figure.  Human interest stories are more readable than soul searching.  Ah, well.

It has been a wonderful year.  In fact it has been a wonderful three years.  Thanks, friends, thanks, AOL.  Thanks, Krissy, for suggesting this topic.

PS OOPS...We were supposed to post these entries on the 21st, AOL journals birthday.  But I jumped the gun.  No matter, I think I'll leave it..may inspire someone else to write one too.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mission to Mars

Lies, and especially outrageous lies, become facts at an old folks home.

My neighbor and I were sitting side by side in the sun on our scooters when he said, "Well, we have a man on the way to Mars."


"We have a man on the way to Mars."

I am accustomed to distortions, rumours, and hallucinations at this facility, and usually I smile and agree, but this one is too much for me.

"We do NOT!"

"Yes, we do.  I have a son in the space program, so I know."

"We do NOT have a man on his way to Mars," I insist.  I may live among the demented, but  do not have to be one.

"Oh, well, not a man.  But a test to see if we could send a man."  He is retreating.  He is still spouting screwball stuff, but that can pass for normal around here.  And after all, in the broadest sense, the Mars probes are gathering data that would be useful in space exploration.  I hate confrontation, so I relent.

"Oh, good," I say.

Bon Voyage, Mars Rover III, happy landing.  Send us a post card.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

TIME to Say "Bye-Bye"

LIFE sent me a beautiful book: Heaven on earth.  Subtitled 100 Places to See Before You Die, it is a gorgeous book of pictures taken the world over.  They said, "Thank you for your order" and sent a bill for $34.95 (plus shipping).

Trouble is: I don't remember ordering it.  But just maybe I did, in a weak moment, or thinking I was ordering something else.

So now I have three options. (1) Keep the beautiful book and pay for it, (2) send it back, (3) forget it; put the book in the lobby so others can see it, and let LIFE whistle Dixie for their money.

Did LIFE send you an unsolicited copy too? What are you going to do?

My choice is to send it back... I may have ordered it.  However, I am going to cancel my subscription to TIME too.  I am not reading it thoroughly as I used to, and this probable SCAM has soured me on the whole company.

So, it is TIME to say "Bye Bye", TIME/LIFE.  We used to be friends, but you've made me mad. 

And I'm telling my friends, too.


I'm Hooked

I have to face it.  I'm hooked.

Thank goodness it is not on drugs, or alcohol.  But on my Casio Keyboard.  (Model LK-90tv, if you care to know)  I bought it refurbished for less than one hundred dollars, and it has been sitting in my room for nearly a year, but now I have DISCOVERED it.

I played it for hours this past week-end, and all afternoon yesterday, AND I got up at five am, connected some head phones, so as not to disturb the neighbors,  and began playing and suddenly it was six am.  If you'd rather play than sleep, you're hooked.

I can't read music.  I play by ear, with one finger. So what is the attraction?

The Casio keyboard does it all for me.  I t has 119 different thythms BUILT IN.  I can play a fox-trot, a march, a waltz, a rhumba, a Tango, or anything, at the touch of a button.  With one finger of my other hand, I play chords.  I touch one key, and it plays rhythm..with a nice combo back up.

So I improvise a few notes with my right hand, playing any one of 256 different instruments, piano to flute to tympanii to steel drum, my choice, and play a simple chord progresssion C-G7-F7 with one finger of my left hand, and I have REAL MUSIC. 

LIKE MAGIC.  It keeps me transfixed for hours at a time.

I can hook it up to the computer, once I learn how, and who knows what it will do.  AND I can display the music and the chords on the TV if I choose. 

Is this a marvelous electronic age, or not?  Here sit I, just as I rolled out of bed, playing music, and then bragging about it to the world in my electronic journal. If I could read music, my keyboard and I would be stars on American Idol. That would be a hoot, wouldn't it: an eighty two year old idol, playing big band swing on his bargain keyboard.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Enjoyed Being a Sucker

Stacey (Monponsett) in comment to entry below, points out that I was a "sucker" to put up with the "52 Pick Up" gag.  Yes, but I learned something I could use later.

It was the same, years later and also years ago, when I visited a topless bar.  The waitress was wearing nothing above the waist but a piece of tape between her breasts that had this slogan:







When I grew bold enough to speak to her I asked what that slogan meant.

She said, "Your Curiosity Just Cost You one-half."

Gladly I paid my half dollar, and chalked it up to my education.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

52 Pick-up

Know-it-all-kid:  Hey, you wanna learn a new card game?

Naive-kid:  What's it called?

Know-it-all-kid:  Fifty-two Pick Up.

Naive-kid:  Sure.  Show me.

Know-it-all-kid: (Throws deck of cards to floor, scattering them.) Pick 'em up, all fifty-two.

   And everybody laughs, even the poor victim, who has learned his lesson. 

   Now turn the clock ahead.   The poor naive kid is eighty-one, in a wheel chair, and the 52 Pick up has become FIVE HUNDRED PICK-UP.  I spilled my pill tray, over twenty square feet of floor.

   I could have called for help, but they probably have some silly rule about pills that have been on the floor not being allowed back in the bottle. I have a rule that says Thou Shalt Not Make a Trip to Costco to replace pills that have Lain on the Floor for a few minutes.

   Anyway, it was a bad way to start the day.  I took a picture, but of course, that did NOT come out.  Hope the rest of the day goes better.


Saturday, August 5, 2006


   Desannie and I have common problems.  We are wheel chair bound and live in old folks homes.  We both find the food boring.  She doesn't post nearly often enough, but she makes regular comments in my journal, and that is fun.

   She is a cat lover.  I find cats amusing, and have owned many in my life, but I am a dog lover.  I never met a dog I didn't like...I have said, but not sure I really live up to that slogan.

   We are both retired Special Education teachers.  I was a speech therapist. 

   Her picture and that of her cat are in the lastest entry in her journal.  Worth a look. 

Good Taste, Bad Manners

   I was rolling into the dining room and met Grace, from the next table, rolling out.

   "Not staying for lunch," I asked.

   "My husband told me to 'get out'," she said somewhat abashed.

   "Why?  What did you say?" I asked.

   "I just said, 'I'd rather eat dog food than the Salisbury Steak they serve here.'"

    Well, you can't fault her good taste, just her bad manners.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Insomniac Almanac -- Chapter Five

   Last chapter was on June 1.  (I don't think I have been sleeping any better.... just haven't used the sleepless time to reflect on life and write about it)

   Four AM.  It has been two hours since I was last up.  Good.  I can get up again. I go to the bathroom, and then come sit at the computer.  Oh, why does it take so LONG to boot up.  Why do I even bother to turn it off?  All those pop ups about the anti-virus blocks, and then the up-dates available, and FINALLY the welcome screen. 

   Thank you AOL for making my journal possible, and thanks for keeping all those journals in an archive.  I go back and read old, old, old entries, and laugh at my own jokes all over again.  That makes good reading for an insomniac

    A recent notice issued from AOL says they are making if free for anyone who wants to join -- if I am reading that right.  I wonder if that means they are going to stop billing my credit card every month?  I cannot imagine their doing that.  They say the advertisers are paying the tab now. But I hate all the ads.  Curious: someone else is going to be paying the bills, and I am ungrateful.

   Anyhow, whomever is paying, I am thankful for this place to hang out during the night.  Oh, how soothing a little rain on the roof would sound right now.  This night I got to thinking how a visit to a neighborhood bar is a metaphor for my life. 

   Imagine a guy, me perhaps, goes into a bar looking for companionship.  If there are ladies there, he smiles, brushes up on his "come on" lines, and starts mixing, flirting his best, fending off the rebuffs, responding with charm to the friendly responses.  If only men are there, he joins them and adds his tales of auto repair into the conversation, and even tosses in an adventure of two about fixing his airplane with auto parts, and flying it that way.  If he is skillful, he wins a friend or two.

   Isn't that like life?  Except the meetings, the relationships occur in everyday living, not just in a bar.  We meet, make friends, some casual, some deep and lasting.  And that is life... whom we meet and relate to.

   Anyway, that metaphor passes for philosophy at four AM. 

   Now, back to bed.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Shoe string catch

You know you've made a Shoe String Catch when you're the only one between the star fullback of the cross town rival in the "big game" and the goal line, and he fakes you out of your shoes, but you still get ONE hand on his foot and trip him up so he doesn't score.

You know you've made a Shoe String Catch when you get the last piece of left over pizza in the fridge and it had your sister's name on it.

You know you've made a Shoe String Catch when you are served the nice brown end slice of the rump roast, and you didn't even have to ask for it.

You know you made a Shoe String Catch when you meet a charming lady at the veterans Hospital and SHE asks YOU if you want to take a walk after dinner.

(Her name was Kathleen.)