Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Day of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

Enough rambling...back to bed.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

You CAN say No

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I was simply astounded.

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

I got my eye examination. 

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

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

Does this make sense to you?


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Day and Night, Night and Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Patrick's Weekender

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dinner at Eight -- Huh? No Way.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Time Magazine, Dec 25, 2006

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

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

I have never felt so empowered.  I love this issue

Double Header

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

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chuck -- TIME's Person of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 16, 2006


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

Feeling pretty good considering.

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Am an American

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

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

I honeymooned on Catalina Island.

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

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

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

I visited the presidents at Mount Rushmore.

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

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

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

I have seen the Rockettes dance.

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

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

I have ridden in the Goodyear Blimp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Busy Night

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

Gotta get those dreams into the Dream Despository.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gospel Quiz

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

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

1 Name the four Gospels. 






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

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

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

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

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

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

 Gave it to Mary,

Gambled for it,

Made Judas wear it. GAMBLED FOR IT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday Six and Sunday Seven



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Weird Geriatric Overeater

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

So I am paying the price of my foolishness.

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

Everyone has his own tastes, I guess.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Life Goes On

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Just a Little Growl

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 1, 2006

Btain Teaser

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, You Poor Cold Folks

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

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

Who Am I?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chuck...three am, Friday morning.