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".