Saturday, September 30, 2006

Insomniac Almanac -- I forget what number

Here I am EARLY in the morning, just up from tossing and turning. Maybe I can't sleep now, because I slept two hours yesterday afternoon. 

Also it is a good time to remind myself how lucky I am to be living in this old folks home. I, and 93 other old folks, are safe and secure, in a comfortable, clean, beautiful apartment house next to a bank, shopping mall, a coffee house, a market, and inexpensive restaurants gal ore. And we don't even need the restaurants because some fixes us three meals a day.

There are folks who come at the tug of a cord to help us if we fall, or can't reach something, or forget the day of the week. The halls are flat and easy to navigate in a wheel chair.  And excuse me for being so scatological, but the toilet is chair height, and flushes with the force of a hurricane. (Well, that is important these days.)

Oooh, I get so mad at the management sometimes, for the things they ought to do, for the meals that do not appeal, but then they turn around and arrange for me to call the city bus, or make an appointment for me here or there.

No need to feel lonesome.  Open your door and someone will wander in. Or go to the parlor, there is someone there.

In eight years here, there has been no crime except a room burgled while the resident was away.  One time.  Compare that with your neighborhood for past eight years.

This is just a reminder to myself.  You are feeling cranky cause you have old man's complaints and aches, but you are LUCKY, Sir, to be where you are.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Movies in my journal blues -- continued

Spent an hour on fone with technical expert from Polaroid.  Together we were not able to get movies to transfer from camera to computer. 

His thought I must have a conflicting video program.  So I left it there and said I would seek it out. 

But I forgot to tell him... same problem on new Dell Laptop computer too. 

I found another video program but not the program to erase it...but now I don't think it is that either.  I am beginning to think it is the camera.... hope I can find someone with a Polaroid to come and try his camera.  I don't feel like spending money on a replacement...when it may not be the camera's fault. 

Bit by bit, I am finding things that are NOT the fault. And I am learnin what the camera is SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.

By the way, I have forgotten what I wanted to put movies in my journal for, anyway.

Phoney Mnemonics

Thirty days hath September

April, June, and November.

All the rest have thirty-one,

'Cept for Dromidary,

Which has none.

Project Continued

Second stanza of class project called Where are you from?"

I am from Missouri, so you’ll have to Show Me.

Show me Harry Truman’s home in Independence.

“Are these just like the plates Trumans ate from?”

“No, Sir, these ARE the plates they ate from?.”

Show me the steamboat that sank right here.

With all its cargo and a mule tied to the deck.

Show me where Lewis and Clark trudged by.

I’ll wade where they waded in the very same mud.

Show me a riverboat, that goes nowhere,

Floating in the river, gambling cruises hourly,

Built on dry land, they brought the river to it.

Show me a city, a whole city underground.

Trucks and trains, cars and bars, lighted twenty four

Signs say EXIT, Lord help us if the lights go out.

Show me the Mississippi, with all its four eyes.

Where Huck and Jim rafted from slavery to freedom.

Show me a cannon ball stuck in a court house wall

Fired in civil war, where brother shot brother.

Show me the field where the F one bomber took off

To fly to Iraq and bomb and then come home to land

Show me the center of the nation, then and now.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where Are You From

Some blank verse, a project in progress


Where Are You From?


I am from the old school.

Raise your hand before you speak.

Keep your feet beneath your desk.

Don’t chew gum, Don’t pull hair

Don’t put that gum anywhere.

Bring a pencil, number two,

Hold it in your right hand, just so.

Slant your letters to the right,

Bring your folks to “Parent’s night”,

Join the P.T.A.

Be Creative. Draw anything you want.

Don’t copy your neighbors, Do your own.

Use your imagination. We’ll put it on the board.

YOU, who drew that toilet! To the principal…right now.

Movies in My Journal Blues -- continued

A technical report to those of you who are trying to help me get a movie in my journal.  Others can tune out...this ain't one of my funny blogs.

Where I stand: I can load movies from my computer to my journal through MYTUNES. I can make movies with my digital camera. What I can't do is load the movies from the camera to the computer.

The Polaroid manual, and my advisors who have written, say "Connect the camera.  Go to My Computer.  Open Devices with Moveable Storage. Select the Icon for your camera and click on it. "

So far so good.  But when I click on it, a question pops up that says What program do you want to use to open this... select one.

But the box is empty...nothing to select.

This tells me that I have not the right program for downloading the movie.  But where is it?  I went to my newest computer, put in the Polaroid camera operating disk. And the result is the same.

The programs that download my still pictures say NO PICTURES IN CAMERA, But the movie is there...I can watch in on the camera.

Where is the program that is supposed to take the program from the camera to the computer?

Your still lost blogger, Chas


I went to the Writing for Seniors class at the Senior Center yesterday.  It was fun, and stimulating, to be among seniors whe keep blogs, journals, diaries, and who keep writing because it is in their blood.

Most of the writing seems to be nostalgic, and also seems to be for the future.  It is an attempt to preserve the past, our little personal bits of history.

At one point the leader gave us one word, STANDARDS, and asked us to write whatever came to mind.  In about twenty minutes all fifteen seniors had written something, and read it aloud.  Interesting, each writer, except me,  ended with a little "kicker" or concluding comment and summed up the essay. Here is my effort


To the musician:

  I've got the world on a string

  When the saints go marching in

To the School teacher

  No chewing gum in class

  Raise your hand before speaking

To the Parade Marshall

   The American Flag goes to its own right

   and never touches the ground.

To the Preacher

   The ten commandments and the beatitudes

   The Lord's Prayer, and the Golden Rule

To the Writing Instructor

   No double negatives at ANY, not "no", time

   No narratives in the second person

So mine had no "kicker" summing up.  Should have been about blogs or something.  Guess I'll let you finish it for me.

A Quick Lesson in Semantics

Jane: (A new resident) Can I get someone to take me home.

Caregiver: You are home.

Jane:  This is not my home.  I want to go home.

Caregiver: This is your home.

Jane:  No, I mean "home".

Me: Good, Jane, don't let them confuse you.

   I had no business intervening in the caregiver's business.  But I thought she was mixing Jane up, even more than she was mixed.  Jane thinks we all in a ski resort and that her family is out on the slopes, and that they will soon come and get her and they will all go "home". The caregiver was trying to make Jane understand that this is where she will live and be "at home".  But she was contradicting Jane, and telling her that her thinking was wrong.  Jane could only resist and keep her "sanity". 

   I wish the caregiver had said, "Sorry, Jane, there is no one who can take you home.  But we will make you comfortable here.  Stay with us.  We need you."  Jane would feel a loss, for certain, but not a loss of frame of reference.  Home means "home".  An old folks home is not a "home".  Home is where the heart is.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Smell Smoke

It is a clear day in Merced, CA, and I smell smoke.  I presume the smoke is from a wild brush fire in Los Angeles County, some 300 miles away.

That is some fire.

I could Google "Los Angles Fire" and "Merced CA" for you, but you can do that too.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Very Good Humor

One day when I was a kid, the Good Humor man came by, jingling his bells. Ice cream trucks did not play a tune in those days. They just jingled, but a kid could hear him coming from blocks away.  It is a natural kid talent.

I stopped him an bought a Milk Nickel.  Five cents bought an ice cream on a stick. (Wages were about a dollar a day for adults, and kid's allowances were small.. Good Humor also had a ten cent ice cream and was it SMOOTH, but we got very few of those.)

I enjoyed my Milk Nickel.  And LO and behold, it had a FREE stick inside.  A FREE stick could be turned in for another ice cream.  But by now the ice cream wagon was blocks away. 

No matter, I knew where he parked his truck by the side of Wilshire Blvd to catch the evening traffic. So I hiked to Wilshire, found the ice cream man, and turned in my FREE stick for another Milk Nickel.

Believe it or not, that one had a FREE stick in it too.  Gleefully I turned in the FREE stick and got my third ice cream bar.  Now, a miracle happened.  The Good Humor man offered me a free Milk Nickel if i would pick up the littered sticks and wrappers that had collected around the truck.

So I picked up wrappers and was awarded my fourth ice cream in a row.  I ate it, and then went home to supper.

I don't imagine I ate much supper, but I was sure in a good humor.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Patrick's Weekender

Patrick in his Weekender, asks us to take a dating quiz. This was my result.

Dating Strengths Dating Weaknesses
1. Flirtiness - 100%
2. Adventurousness - 75%
3. Independence - 71.4%
4. Confidence - 61.1%
5. Optimism - 57.1%
1. Selfishness - 90.9%
2. Negative Reputation - 77.8%
3. Appearance - 66.7%
4. Arrogance - 62.5%
5. Closed-Mindedness - 54.5%

Dating Strengths Explained
Flirtiness - Flirting is a good way to break the ice, and you are a pro at it. Being flirtatious will open up many dating opportunities.
Adventurousness - You are willing to try new things and be spontaneous. You want to get out there and really live, and you will attract people with a similar love of life.
Independence - Your strong sense of independence comes in handy while dating. You are not held back or tied down; you are free to pursue your interests.
Confidence - You are sure of yourself and confident of your abilities. Displays of confidence go a long way when attracting a date.
Optimism - People are drawn to your positive outlook. Your optimism attracts others to you.
Dating Weaknesses Explained
Selfishness - You think too much of yourself and your needs. You must learn to put your partner first and tend to her needs.
Negative Reputation - Your reputation may be working against you. Sometimes this is impossible to control, but try to counter-act it by presenting yourself in positive ways.
Appearance - Devoting a greater effort at making good first impressions is a must. Try to be fit and develop a style if you want to catch a woman's attention.
Arrogance - You are a bit full of yourself. You need to practice a little humility now and then, as arrogance can be a turn-off.
Closed-Mindedness - You are very fixed in your world-view, but if you open up a little you will see that people can hold different beliefs and still get along well.
Take the Dating Diversions Latest Online Dating Quiz


He asks were there any surprises.  Only that I was considered Closed-Minded.  I thought I was open to new ideas and adventures...but others may not consider me so.

Patrick also asks if we would date anyone based on email experience only.  I would have to say..yes.  I have and it resulted in a very pleasant romance.  It is only too bad that the lady lived 2000 miles away and it was so hard to get together.

Movies in my Journal -- Losing Ground

Sad report.  I am losing ground in the battle to get movies in my journal.  Where I WAS:  I had a short video on my entering the lobby of the Old Folks Home where I live.  It was in the digital camera.

I had transferred a movie from computer to journal. It was silent and all the wrong color, but it MOVED.

What I couldn't do was load the movie from the camera to the computer. I still can't.

What happened next: (1) while trying to transfer the movie for the tenth time or so, I ERASED IT.  Now I had nothing to put in journal even if I counquered the beast at the impasse.

So I (2) set up the camera near my keyboard.  I went and practiced playing and singing "Bill Grogan's Goat" several times.  When I had that ready, I started the camera, tried rolling to the keyboard in my power chair, got tangled, knocked off one shoe, continued anyway, started keyboard, played and started to sing the old folk song.  But being on camera so bollixed up my mind that I forgot the words, (to that old saw I have done a million times before), got off rhythm, and tried to shut off everything.  In the excitement I wet my pants.... I used to have a puppy that did that...lose control when she got excited.

I hope no one invites me to sing in Carnigie Hall. 

I got control, shut off and erased that horrible experiment.  That's where I stand.  I don't even have a movie to put in my journal even if I learn how to transfer it from camera to computer.

I have learned two things (1) rehearse until you can do it in your sleep, and (2) have a camera man to start and stop the camera.

Orson Welles used to write, produce, direct, and ACT in his own movies.  I am no Orson Welles.

So the saga continues.... you will stay turned in, won't you?


Another representative of the Big Three Heard From

I have been raving about the styling of the new Chevys.  Now, in the parking lot, I have found another representative from the big three.

Well, I will have to tell you.  You'll never guess: It's a FORD.

And while we are at it, guess this baby below.  Hint: It's been modified by our young waiter, Joe.  It's  not your production model anymore.

Did you guess?  It is a HONDA CIVIC.  LOL..gotcha.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rat the Bird

Remember Anna?  The youngest resident, and most willing volunteer to help the activities chairman.  She is dyslexic, and her speech is as confusing as her written notices: Orio Bosco.

Today she told me, "Gotta rat the bird an wash the momenmites/"

Good, Anna.  Go to it.

So she wrote (rat) the notices on the bulletin board (Bird). Then we went to watch (wash) the Mennonite Choir (Momenmites)


Gad, I passed a milestone I have been awaiting for twenty seven years.

When I was teaching, I made a big TO DO about my 20,000th day on earth. I put it in the school bulletin.  I asked students to calculate my birthdate using the date and the figure 20,000.  And I pointed out that I would be retired when 30,000 came along. 

Then I forgot about it. 

30,000 days

came and went day before yesterday.  I hope it is not too late to pat myself on the back and chant "thirty thousand, thirty thousand, thirty thousand."

Insomniac Almanac -- Chapter Eight

Here I am at three am at my familiar post, the keyboard. Not really an insomniac tonight.  Has a good sleep earlier.  I was not tossing and turning. Was passing computer on way back from the bathroom, and thought I'd just take a peek at the comments left in my journal. They are precious to me. (Thank you, kindly.)

At this hour I spend brain time programming my day.  The van needs washing, and how will I fit that in?  I use my van so infrequently now that the question is...will it start?  High gas prices don't bother me... I haven't put in any gas THIS YEAR. And it is September. I am still operating on December gasoline. And it hasn't been washed this year, either.  Imagine how it looks. 

I plan my attack on the Movies in My Journal Project, too.  I will load the Polaroid camera program in my Dell lap top, and try to follow the manual protocol in it.  It is newer.  The H-P desktop is an antique...(2001).  With the desk top I can go so far, and then the instructions and the screen don't match. 

Computers get out of date very quickly.  I started in 1979 with a TRS-80.  Got me started fine with 4K memory. That was it...4K total. (Up to 40 GB now.)  Have owned about three of those, and a Commodore 64 or two and about three tiny 1K gizmo(*) that use the TV for a monitor. Then a Mac, and finally two H-P and the newest, Dell Lap top.  Let's see, let's count them up...ah... thirteen computers.  Plus,the bank loaned me one free to try video banking... That was only a moderate success and I soon returned the computer and did my banking in the normal way... from the window of my car at the drive up teller.

Well, here it is three forty... back to bed for a couple more hours.  The morning hours are the best and most restful.  Been fun chatting with you..

(*) TI99...Texas Insturment... a one K machine sold in drug stores for as little as $49 at one point.  Never made much of a splash in the computer world, but was a fascinating device, more a toy than a computer.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another Slice of Life at the Old Folks Home

"Can you imagine that happening?" said one table mate to another.

I butted in, "What's the matter now?"

"Oh, nothing. (Pause) Why do you say 'now'?  I"m not always complaining."

Well, she is.  But I am the pot, calling the kettle black.  I complain as much as anybody. They put up with my idiosyncrasies, my obsessions. I have no right to complain about complaints.

I was dead wrong. There was nothing to say, so I rolled away. Any answer would have been argumentative. Better retreat now before the verbal blows start.

But I have an outlet. So I came to my journal to vent. Bless you folks, you are here to hear. Next to having a dog to talk to, a journal is "man's best friend". 

Can I get you some more Kibble?

Space Flight

An advantage to being up at this hour is that I can watch the approach and landing of the space flight.  It is a touchy time... NASA shows a map with an icon of the shuttle.  Right now over Mexico...and the little Icon has fired it's retro rockets with a zzzzt. 

I may stay up for the touch down.  CNN news on TV, NASA on computer.

Safely down... 3:22 iy time

Insomniac Almanac -- Not

Here I am, up at two AM, making an entry in my journal, but for some reason, I do not feel like an insomniac.  Sometimes I feel cheated, not getting my sleep, but tonight, I am just a guy rolled out of a bed who is ready to write in his journal.

I guess the visit to the doctor yesterday, which I dreaded, turned out positively.  Doctor said he was glad to see me looking so well.  Well, that's swell.

Maybe I am imitating Karen who seems to stay up at all hours to write in her novel, Maverin.  Perhaps my muse is busy elsewhere during the day.  I guess that's it: my muse was busy yesterday on my "music" project.

My grandson recently used my lap top Dell to record the music of our volunteer piano player, George, who wanted to make a CD of his repertoire. Grandson brought a pre-amp, a special mike, a mile of wire, and a new software.  He recorded George, and burned the CD, all on my little portable computer.  I was impressed.  I sought to imitate George and burn a CD of my keyboard playing.  But alas, I didn't watch grandson close enough.

Grandson came back and tutored me, but we didn't have the mike or pre-amp.  Yesterday, I rooted through the junk box and found an old tape recorder mike.  Then in another stash I found an old Radio Shack audio amplifier, and rehabilitated that with a new battery.  I hooked up a pair of spare computer speakers.  Now with hay-wire spread all over a table, the software fired up, I was ready for my debut as a recording artist.

I was however in my power wheel chair and my keyboard was several feet from the assortment of electronic parts.  So I started the recording, backed my power chair to the keyboard, and pulled the mike and pre-amp off the table. The first thing I recorded, in full  fidelity, digitally preserved forever, was "Oh, Sh*t", expletive NOT deleted.  However I rolled on, played my keyboard, not well, having been shook up.

But the odd assortment of parts worked, and I made my first sound recording on a computer.  My muse was hard at work yesterday.  The possibilities are endless.  I am looking forward tomaking a CD soon.

And, oh, I need to learn how to edit the recordings, too, in case I have more expletives to delete. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Visit to the Doctor

Around the old folks home, I feel like a king.  I have been here longer than most, so I know the ropes.  I am the only senior here with a journal, and readers on two continents.  Makes one proud.  I know how to use a computer, a digital camera, a video camera.  I make movies of our senior activities to put on the closed circuit television system.

People call on me to set their clocks, get their television tuners working to buy them stamps, or talking watches from a catalogue.  I play the harmonica with the piano player who comes twice a week.  They ask me to write letters to the management when things are not working properly.  I am somebody, I take care of myself and others.

But when I have to go  to the doctor, I am an abject creature who cannot take care of his own body.  I have to present myself with all my flaws and weaknesses for him to see, to  tsk tsk over, to medicate and study. I cannot sleep the night before I see him. I fear him, though I know he is trying to help me. 

"Go to bed early, get a good night's sleep before you see the doctor," counsels my daughter.  Fat chance.  I will get little sleep tonight.  Here I am up again, having lain in bed tossing and turning.

Maybe writing this, and stating my anxiety out loud will help.  I will go back to bed...and try. 

My ordeal is at Eight AM

ps. worked... slept okay after wrting.   Dr. appointment went well.  The Dr said he was glad to see me looking so well. The ordeal was not an ordeal.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Video in Journal -- Step two: analyze

Let's stop and analyze.  (1) what CAN I do?

I can get a video from computer to YOUTUBE and then to journal...see entry below.  It was without sound because I made it with the webcam and didn't plug in a microphone.

I can make a sound video with my digital camera.  So far I have one, a movie of me entering the lobby of the old folks home while riding on my power chair.  Not much of a plot, but a slice of life in the old folks home, anyway.

(2) What CAN'T I do?

I can't transfer the video from camera to computer.  Been stuck on this step for weeks. 

An email to Polaroid "Help needed" site brought a snarl from the Daemon... The beast that hurls undeliverable email back at you...I think that should be called DEMON

I installed a copy of the Polaroid manual on my computer.

I installed the Polaroid software that came with the camera on my computer.

According the the manual, I use Windows explorer to find Detached Storage devices.  So I do.  Then I click on my Polaroid camera Icon.  Then NOTHING... end of line.

I have tried each of several photo programs and none of them has a download video step.

And that is where I am now...stalled.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Still trying to put video in Journal

still trying....still no sound....still wrong color.

And no moving...alas it moves.  I will leave this here a sort of progress report.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My first video?

Well, this is an experiment.  I see no icon that says add a video.  I will try add a photo.


Nope, doesn't look hopeful.  Anyway there was no sound and the color was all wrong.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Creeping Menace -- Case Closed

Ah-hah.  You found out what kind of creeping vine was attacking your ivy.

Well, no.

What then?  How can the case be closed?

Well, remember the vine that was crawling over the wall and encroaching into our courtyard?  It looked like this.


I went out to tell the gardner what progress we had made in identifying the dangerous intruder.  And guess what?  He had trimmerd the wall bare and stripped the grape, squash, alien vine out of the ivy.  It looked like this


Case closed.

Another Slice of Life at the Old Folks Home

Me:  I put in my journal that the waiter, 19, had never had a waffle that wasn't frozen, nor had he ever been on a grunion hunt.

Tablemate:  You don't know that.

Me: One of the problems with living in an old folks' home is that you get contradicted no matter what you say.

Tablemate:  No, you don't.  I know I don't contradict people.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Grunion Hunts in the Spring; Snipe Hunts in the Fall

Dear Carlene,
By now you have googled "grunion" and know that it is a little fish, a smelt, I suppose. Believe it not, you are restricted by state law to catching grunion by hand.
Yep, you can only take grunion when they come up on the beach to spawn. They come in grunion runs at certain high tides at certain phases of the moon that are predictable.  Then you go wait on the beach for the right wave. And...if you are lucky enough to be at the right beach, they don't come to all beaches all at wave will bring in millions of dancing little smelt.  Well  they are not dancing...they are mating, they just look like they are dancing.
The male wraps himself around the female and she stands on her tail (I'm not kidding) and burrows tail first into the sand and deposits the eggs,just fertilized. 
His life's work is done:  Her life's work is done.  Grab 'em by hand and put as many as you can catch in a sack. Taint easy, they don't just sit there.  The wiggle, they bounce.
And you gotta be quick.  The next wave washes them all out to sea again.  Grunion run over.
  You can take 'em home, but the romantic thing to do is pan fry 'em whole on a camp fire on the beach.  You eat 'em whole too.  They are tiny, finger sized, and crunchy.
   But the most fun about a grunion hunt is that you rarely ARE on the right beach at the right time.  You are there with your sweetie and a bunch of beach loving friends in skimpy suits in the middle of the full moonlight remember...
   I am 82, and been on a LOT of grunion hunts and have only seen the run about three times.  I think I have caught ONE grunion. (Just enough to prove they exist.  They are not like snipes.)
   And wouldn't this make a neat entry for my journal.  Thanks for asking.

Green Menace

Remember that green crawling vine that was attacking the ivy in our garden?  Well, it is getting bigger and bigger. 

Still no clue as to whether it is a grape, a squash, or an attack from the neighbors yard.

Here is a closer look at one of the leaves.  This leaf is about eight inches wide and eight inches long.  Any ideas?

P.S. So far I have checked pictures if Kudzu and Grape, and it looks a lot like grape, but not not, thank goodness, like kudzu.

Thanks Tammy and Garnett.

Simple Pleasures

"Is that all you want." asked the waiter, 19, as he put down a plate with a single waffle for my breakfast.  It looked pretty stark, a piece of warm bread, small and square, and waffle surfaced.  It wasn't warm enough to melt the butter.  It had been baked somewhere east of the Mississippi in February, frozen, and delivered in an icy case, thawed and warmed to room temperaure and placed on my plate Today in September.

"Waffles are supposed to be HOT," I thought. Should I tell the waiter that?  And then I realized, he had no idea what a waffle should look, smell, or taste like.  He is 19, and never had a waffle fresh from a waffle iron, crusty, hot, covered with melted butter and swimming in Maple syrup.  He, in his entire life has had only frozen replicas of the real thing.

He has never picked an orange from a tree, nor an avocado, or grapes from the vine, nor strawberries from the plant.  He has never tasted ice cream from the hand cranked freezer, packed with ice and ice-cream salt.  He has never put potatoes on the coals and covered them with dirt and let them bake in the ground.

He has never dug clams from the sand, put them in a cast iron bucket with sea-weed, and fired it up until they popped open.  He has never caught grunion on the beach with his bare hands and feasted right there at midnight. He has never picked a watermelon off the vine, and doesn't know they taste sweeter, sun warmed, and stolen from the field.

No sense in my telling him that my waffle should be HOT.  I would just seem like a cranky old man with silly ideas based on simple pleasures that no longer exist.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Dribble -- The Movie --The Saga continues -- Chapter 3

Another two hours...with same results...confusion.

This downloaded a copy of the camera manual.  Instructions say open Windows explorerand double click on "Removeable storage".  That would be the camera.  But I forgot.  The camea has to be ON.  Back to start.

Camera On, on playback, set on first video.  Ooops.  No removeable storage to be found.  Fiddle around looking for removeable storage or something like it.  Hey found an earlier First Video..made with the web cam...but no sound.  I think I reported on that...say a month ago.  Well, it is still here and still silent.  Ho hum

Nearing bedtime.  How can I sleep with all this stuff roaring through my head?


The Great Corn Glut

I didn't know you could do this: put an ear of corn in the microwave and heat it and eat it.

Bought a couple of ears of corn for fifty cents each.  Gorgeous.  Shucked one and ate it raw.  Enjoyed it.

Shucked he other, put in microwave for one don't need to cook the cob. Ate it just as it came out of the microwave, except, ooh ooh ouch... needed paper towels in hands since I had no corn holders.

What a simple snack, and I loved it.  I was reminded of the year of the great corn glut in Riverside, CA.  Bad for farmers...price of corn went down down down.  We drove out to the corn fields and bought directly from farmer... or rather...he gave away his corn for less than a nickle an ear.  Must have broken his heart, but he was getting something.  He couldn't afford to have it picked.

I am sure he remembers that year.  I, a corn lover, sure do.  We ate corn until we could eat no more.  What a glorious summer...for us.

Rewriting History -- Before it Happens

Rewriting history is one thing...and writing it before it happens is another.  In Time Magazine, 9/11/2006, Page 37. Niall Ferguson, a historian, writes the history of the United States as seen from 2031!

That is tricky.  You have to accurately guess what is going to happen, and then then reason what the world reaction to that happening will be.

If you are way off, people will say, "He had a clouded crystal ball."  Sometimes that is fun, like reacting to the 1940 prediction that American's beaches would all be topless and nudist by 1950.  We can whistle and laugh, and say, "Well, they are ALMOST nudist beaches."

Ferguson's predictions are scary, but at least, reassuring.  He sees an end to war on terror, BUT NOT FOR TWENTY FIVE YEARS. But in the end people will say George W. Bush was mostly right...way back then...though people never gave him credit.

I wonder what President Bush thinks of Feguson's history of his administration.


Dribble -- The Movie (Progress report continued)

I have spent another hour of so in La-la land, tryng to figure out movies in blogs.  Thanks to those of you who are helping me.  I need all I can get... but I haven't GOT it yet. 

I used the link supplied and got the form to fill out to enter my video into the uncut video file... but no instructions HOW TO DO IT.  I signed up for Youtube, but couldn't log on with my password. 

I found how to connect my digital camera to the computer.  I downloaded a program called VideoEgg.  I ran my video a couple of times, but somehow it never got to Uncut yet.  I did watch a lot of videos of others.  Looks like fun.  I cannot navigate around the uncut video file yet... keep going in circles. 

I need someone to come and look over my shoulder as I try to manage these new programs.  But that'll never happen.

I finally got to a place wherein I could put pictures in my blog...and that was something.  Thanks Karen and Krissy and others.

Hang in there.  Someday you'll see me moving across these pages on my scooter, and maybe hear me too, on my keyboard...but that is another story...just as long and convoluted. 

Friday, September 8, 2006

Dribble -- The Movie Blog (Progress Report)

The Report: Headway.

I found a button on the camera that says "video".  I had never tried it.  So I took the camera out the front door, I clicked it ON and held it while I drove my scooter through the front door, into the lobby of the old folks home, revealing the receptionist, Debbie, walking to the window with a two way radio in hand to radio the Bus driver, Domingo, to pick up Jocelyn, a care giver.  A typical scene in the life of the old folks home.

I put the camera on play, and there was my first digital home movie: Entering the Old Folks Home on a Scooter. Well, Steven Spielberg had to start someplace too, and it wasn't with Star Wars III. 

YAY, step one was a success.  Headway.  Now I pushed the button again and it said, Connect to a device.  I suppose the best device would be a computer, so I plugged it into the computer and the camera said "Pictize".  I didn't know what Pictize meant, but it was the only choice given, so I pictized it.  and is asked This Image or All Images.  That would be the same thing I suppose since this was the first time I had made a movie image of anything.  So I clicked on this image.  Nothing seemed to happen.  And that is where we stand. 

I have looked in the picture file of the computer and don't find it.

What is next?  1.  Find out what pictize means and where the Pictized file is hiding.  2.  I am already registered with and I have a Unedited Video to worse than some I have seen on you on adding audio.

This a lot to learn when you're already over the hill at 82


Thursday, September 7, 2006

Born Eighty Years Too Soon

Vivian stunned me this morning.  She put a home movie in her journal. It was a tour of her home, with sound and color, IN HER JOURNAL

That means...we could do that too.  I, me, could. Imagine.

When I was a teen, I made home movies, with an 8 mm camera, silent, in black and white... and made them into a Newsreel and showed it in the school auditorium.  That was in 1939...yes, in the last century, way back when.  Was I ahead of my time?  Well, yes, about SIXTY YEARS. 

How I longed for sound movies... how I longed for I hated having to pay for film.Yes, three dollars for four minutes worth. And a had to wait a week or more while it was processed.  Now with video cams or a handy digital camera and a computer, kids have sound color movies and all the "film" they need free.  What a bonanza.

Long ago, 1939, we kids published a newspaper.  In the newspaper I wrote a Blog called "Dribble".  We printed the paper on a Hektograph.  Hektograph was a gelatinous substance upon which we lay the master copy, until the ink transferred to the gelatin, and upon which we lay each sheet of paper until some of the ink was picked up by the copy.  It was a page by page, issue by issue, hand process. Distribution was by bicycle, or mail (at 3 cents per copy)

Now my Dribble goes world-wide, instantly in color.  And I can add a newsreel to it.  All this free...(well, to AOL  members). 

So, soon as I can learn the secrets... my journal will have sound movies in them. You know, I could include some of those old 1939 home movie news reels in them. 

Now that I am 82, there is so much more to learn.  But what a fascinating age.  Oh, to be a teen now, with unlimited free color "film" and bicycle-less world wide distribution.


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Bill Grogan's Goat

Bill Grogan's goat, was feeling fine,

Ate three red shirts from off the line.

Bill took a stick, gave him three whacks,

And tied him to the railroad tracks.


The whistle blew, the train drew nigh,

Bill Grogan's goat was doomed to die.

He gave three groans of greastest pain

Coughed up those shirts, and flagged the train.



--Old song  (and relax, I am done with the old songs.)

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

(L. Singer / H. Zaret)

Recorded by : Bjorn Berge; Ry Cooder; Bing Crosby; Baby Jane Dexter; Ella Jenkins; Mustard's Retreat;
Ann Rabson; Red Clay Ramblers; Annie Ross; The Andrew Sisters; Tinklers; Dave Van Ronk; Josh White Jr.

Little man walked up and down,
To find an eatin' place in town.
He looked the menu thru and thru,
To see what a dollar bill might do.

One meat ball,
One meat ball,
One meat ball,
All he could get was one meat ball.

He told that waiter near at hand,
The simple dinner he had planned.
The guests were startled one and all,
To hear that waiter loudly call.

"One meat ball,
One meat ball,
One meat ball,
All you can  get is one meat ball."

Little man felt so ill at ease,
He said: "Some bread Sir, if you please."
The waiter hollered down the hall:
"You get no bread with your one meat ball."

Little man felt so very bad,
One meat ball is all he had.
And in his dreams he can still hear that call
"You get no bread with one meat ball."

--Old song (used without permission)


One evening in October,

When I was far from sober,

And carrying home a load,

with manly pride,

My feet began to stutter

so I lay down in the gutter,

and a pig came up

and lay down by my side.


We warbled "'Tis fair weather

when good fellows get together,"

'Til a lady passing by was heard to say,

"You can tell a man who boozes,

by the playmates that he chooses."

And the PIG got up,

And slowly walked away.


--Old Song


Monday, September 4, 2006

Slice of Life

Distraut wife, hands on hips, speaking to Husband in lounge chair watching television:  "Now listen carefully.  If you say "huh?" one more time, I'm gonna kill you."

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Saturday Six and Sunday Seven

Patrick gives us the Saturday Six and the Sunday Seven in case we run out of things for our Blog.

Sunday Seven: Name Seven Sunday comics that you enjoy.

Blondie.  Well, Dagwood  really.  He's human and filled with our own foibles. Blondie is too long suffering and patient to be believable, and too smart to be a Blonde

Beetle Bailey: He's just a contemporary Sad Sack.  Remember Sad Sack?

I'll come back to this...check back in later.

Saturday six.

. What was the last charity you donated something to? How long ago did you make your last donation?  To the Salvation army for Katrina relief.

2. Describe the worst weather event/national disaster that you experienced firsthand.The Northridge earthquake in the 90s.  I was sixty miles or more from the epicenter, and my bed went whirling round and round like God was using it for a giant scrub brush.  All the power went off and I went outside.  My it was dark...but I could see the stars and even the Milky Way.  I got on my battery operated Ham radio and reported to the emergency net.  We were all okay.  Then later in the day I listened to hams from other parts of the country report about the damage to Northridge and Los Angeles. They could see it on CNN but WE couldn't...having no power and no local tv stations on the air.  .

3. Did the experience you just described change you in any way, It made me realize that we are all vulnerable.  And since then I have kept a flashlight handy.

4. Take the quiz: What subjects should you have studied in school?  The quiz says Anthropology Economics, Finnance, Law.  And here I wasted my time studying education and becoming a teacher.  Oh well, ?

5. Did you actually study or major in any of the courses suggested by the quiz? no.  I recently bought a book on economics though...Flat World.

6. What's your current screen saver? How long have you had it, and what do you like best about it?v  A maze of pipes...come with windows.

Insomniac Almanac -- Chapter Six

Who gets up at Six AM on Sunday morning? 

Insomniacs, that's who.

Something that does help me rest is a little FM receiver.  Plugs right into my ear so cannot disturb anyone else.  Not much on, and that helps. Get the most boring talk show you can find.  You doze off without knowing it.  If suddenly the talk does not make sense, it is because you slept through part of it. Makes you realize that even though you seem to be not sleeping, you are catching little cat naps.

When Six AM finally creeps by, and there are a few streaks of light in the window you say, "Well, Hell, I might as well be up as lying here with a boring talk show in my ear."

You can check your journal and see in any other insomniacs posted any comments during the l-o-n-g night.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

V-J day

The waiter, 19, said, "Victory over Japan?  Were we at war with Japan?"

He was kidding.... I think.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Cousin Bertha

Cousin Bertha, age 91 is in better shape than I am at 82.  While I am snacking on olives, see entry below, she is eating weeds.

She goes out in the yard and pulls up some weeds, she calls "Lamb's Quarters".  She brings them in and puts them in a sauce pan with a little water and boils them.  "Oh, they taste so good," she says.  And then she drinks the water she cooked them in. 

She walks about half a mile a day.  She walks down to the corral and pets the horses.  They come to the fence to greet her.  If they need water she fills the bucket with a hose.  "They're very friendly," she says, "But I would never think of riding one."

Bertha takes NO pills....not even apirin.  I take nine pills a day.

She says, "Mother lived to 93, and I am in better shape than she.  I may make it to 96."  Her son, Jon, is a physician, 68, and says, "Oh Mother, why not shoot for a hundred?"

More about LambsquartersBon apetite.


As If You care...

There are 58 medium sized pitted olives in an eight ounce can that sells for one dollar at Sav*Mart.

That makes each olive cost 1.7 cents.  I had a snack of fifteen olives.  That was a quarter's worth.  But it is not the quarter that is important; it is the 350 milligrams of sodium.  That is 15% of my reccommended daily intake of sodium.  All in one sitting...and I would have enjoyed more. Olives are cured in salt.

My legs are sore and swollen already, and YET I snack on olives.

And I feel lots of company as I gorge myself.  My tablemate, very overweight, has two helpings of ice cream for dessert  every meal  no matter what is on the prescribed menu.

So why do we do this to ourselves?  Please don't join us.