Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ghastly Count

It is ghastly.  We have begun to trace the news of the war in Iraq with a tally of Americans killed.

Last Week  20 killed

This Week 12 Killed

Today         5 Killed.

Soon we will print it like a box score:

Wednesday: Colts 16; Bears 11; Americans Killed 5. 

Monday, January 29, 2007

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is coming up on Friday.  That has become my special holiday.  I got out of the service on Groundhog Day 1946.  I used to enjoy reading Grandfather Groundhog stories to my children out of Highlights Magazine. One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day with Bill Murray.

And recently, I have become Grandfather Groundhog myself, coming out of my hole once a year, looking around, and hibernating again.

A professor I know once started a study of hibernation using groundhogs.  He says, "You cannot imagine the mess they make."  He changed his study to chipmunks whose messes he could deal with.

Think of me on Feb 2, Groundhog Day

Righteous Indignation

Is it only I, or does everyone have a storehouse of RI, Righteous Indignation? 

This night, I pulled the plug on my RI storehouse and let the flames drain into the hall.  I am now trying to put the flames back into the box.  This mixed metaphor means only this:  We have a resident who roams the halls at night shouting.  I opened my door and shouted back, expressing my RI.

Once I had flamed, I cooled and reconsidered.  That poor old fellow has an incurable malady, Mesotheleoma. It was caused in his case by his occupation.  He used to work with automobile brake linings and they used to contain asbestos. Grinding the brake linings to fit the brake drums filled the air, and his lungs with asbestos fiber. Now he has trouble breathing...and it is not going to get any better.

No wonder he is in perpetual distress.  And I shouted at him. 

When I got over my Righteous Indignation, I began to reconsider: actually, I like to get up and write in my journal at night. He just gave me an excuse to do so.

My RI flared up at the dinner table one night recently.  Some slight made my temper flare and I tried to stomp out in RI.  But in  a wheelchair you cannot stomp out and slam doors.  Before I was completely out of the dining room I realized how ridiculous it was, trying to roll quietly out in RI.  Just can't have a tantrum in a wheelchair. Instead of swearing, I started laughing at myself.

I am sorry I have an over supply of RI.  I am glad it usually passes quickly.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Gay Marriage

No one has asked me what I think abut Gay marriage, but IF they did, I would say that I just don't know.

I do know that I believe everyone should have the same legal rights, whether they choose a same-sex partner or not.  But that is not what the Gay community seems to want.  They decline "domestic partner: laws".  They want to get MARRIED. 

So the question is "should we change the meaning of the word 'married' to include domestic partnerships." And I am still undecided.

Words change in meaning over the course of time.  Just because a word meant one thing at the turn of the last century, does not mean that it will mean the same thing at the turn of this century.  Take "square".  It used to mean straight shooting upright and honest.  Now it means feeble and old fashioned.  When kids told dad he was square, he didn't know whether to be pleased or offended.  No one wants to be "square" these days.   The word "gay" itself has changed.  It used to mean happy and carefree, but now it means homosexual.  Words change with useage, but can we change a word through legislation?  Can we change "married" from being wedded to a partner of the opposite sex to being partners with a same-sex lover.

AND who gave the government the right to say whom we could be partners with, anyway.  Government seized control of who may marry whom, at what age, and of what relationship and of what race, in some cases.  Also they regulate what sex your partner must be.  Who gave them that right anyway? 

Suppose some nice old lady wants to marry her pet cat, should she have the right?  They sleep together anyway, why not let them marry?  (I am NOT undecided about interspecies marriage...I reject it, but I just brought it up as an example of something that does NOT need to be regulated or legislated.  Maybe marriage does not need to be regulated at all.)

So, I discover, I am against a constitutional amendments pertaining to marriage, for or against.  Let the government butt out.  Marry whom you like, call it what you like, marriage or domestic partnership.  If you need legislation, let it be that all folks, partnered, married, single, separated have the same rights.

So I am neither for nor against legalizing gay marriage.  I am for butting out.  Call me an anarchist if you must, but I think we regulate too much already.



Off to make an entry in my other site:  Dream Depository (<<Link)

Friday, January 26, 2007


My spirits are rising already.

It is wonderful.  I make a journal entry... and WITHIN MINUTES comments start coming in.

And they kept coming in.... when I added this note there were already ten or more.  Thanks folks.  I do feel better.

It is really nice to be heard. 

Thank you, Loves, you are grand.

What Will Happen When ...

I am a little depressed.  (Maybe a LOT depressed.)

I went to parlor to hear live music, but became upset because, after years of suggesting, cajoling, complaining, people ate still seated in the doorway blocking the entrance.  There are empty seats inside that are not available because the doorways are blocked.  I could hear the music okay, but left after a few minutes.  Upset...for no real reason.

Thee are folks who live here who never leave their rooms.  They prefer to sit and watch televsion.  Today, I am one of them.  I prefer to sit atthe  computer to going out of my room.

I had signed up to go on a bus trip to a casino this morning, but cancelled that, too. 

This was the day I planned to go have my car "smogged" (certified smog free) so I could renew my registration, and I am doing nothing about that, either.

I have become a LUMP.  I sit at my computer day after day.  I play my keyboard for myself day after day. I nap in the day time.

What will happen when I become one of THEM? One of those recluses who, like Howard Hughes, prefer to sit in a darkened room watching mvies I have seen a million times before, playing the same songs over and over, typing feeble entries in my journal?

That horrible time seems to be drawng closer.  No wonder I am depressed. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chicken Soup: Some Things Never Change

At suppertime I had an upset tummy, so I skipped regular meal and had chicken soup.  The only thing missing was Grandmother to serve it up for me.

Ethanol? No. Soy Sauce

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered that raising corn for ethanol requires almost as much energy as it produces, and that ethanol does not cut greenhouse emissions.

Didn't anyone notice this before?

What do they suggest for making alternate energy?

Soy beans.

Seems appropriate.  Back in the 1930's, Henry Ford was experimenting with soy beans to make plastic car bodies out of.  Build 'em out of soy beans, run 'em on soy beans.

Word Play

Valerie is collecting "favorite" words. 

She finds that people have favorite words because of meanings, or sounds, or familiarity.

I told her I like GOOGLE,and ADIRONDAK because of their sounds.

I also said I would check my list of Presidents and list of states to see if there were some whose names were more appealing than others.

I like president HOOVER for the sound of his name, and COOLIDGE, though their presidencies left a lot to be desired. 

UTAH, among the states' names ought to appeal because of the "ooo" sound, but the gutteral "h" at the end sort of nullifies it. MISSISSIPPI hisses too much and MASSACHUSETTS is almost impossible to pronounce.  Our governor, SCHWARTZENEGGER, (gasp) cannot pronouce the name of his own state, CALIFORNIA (choke), calling it "Kellyfornyuh".

OHIO, "Oh, Hi, Yo'", is nice, and ALABAMA sort of sings, even without your banjo on your knee.

Some words are so offensive that even newspapers will not print them, using "s***" and "f***" instead.

But words are just sounds... not things.  Custom dictates what we like and dislike.  Even s*** and f*** are acceptible in other languages because they have quite respectable meanings in those countries.

When Alice met the Caterpillar in Wonderland and remonstrated with him about the words he used, he replied, "When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean.  It is just a matter of who is the master: the word or I.".

Phone Book

The new ohone book came the other day.  I think we will soon see the end of phone books.  It weighs several pounds. It needs to be replaced yearly, and all that paper becomes sheer waste. 

It is out of date as soon as it is printed because there are so many changes.  Even the information operator uses a computer, not a phone book, to look up numbers.

I predict the end of the era of the phone book.  It will go the way of the buggy whip, copper wire, typewriter, console radio, milk bottles, cracker barrels, citizen's band radios, automobile crank, pocket watch, film camera, newsreels and tavelogues, loge seating, and single screen movie theaters.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who We Were

This old folks home, and I suppose Old Folks Homes everywhere, are a microcosm.  A universe in miniature.

That feeble old fellow over there, with his walker, once kept the utilities going for a whole community.  Ran the water works and the generating station.

That crabby old lady who dominates the laundry room, was responsible, with other Navy Waves for breaking the Japanese naval code in WWII and saved thousands of American lives and actually shortened the war.

The lady who hides the jam in the cupboard once supported her three kids and got them through school and college by driving three thousand miles a month selling outdoor advertising;

The deaf old codger in the wheel chair next door to me was Superintendent of Schools responsible for the education of thousands of children.

My card playing buddy was a contractor.  Built most of the churches in several coastal counties

Tom Brokaw called us the Greatest Generation. 

Yet, there is another generation coming along.  Time magazine called them People of the Year.  They have changed the world too, with internet, computer, and digital media.  They are the You Tube and the My Space generation.  Their Old folks homes are not built yet... but will be here.

And their kids will be...well, we know not what.  Bless 'em, they will find their niche.  Bless us all.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Coffeepot Invention Continued

No inventors have snapped up my offer of free idea: a coffeepot that pours either regular or decaffeinated coffee.  See a couple of  entries back.

Does no one want to be rich?

I have made initial drawings for you.  Sheesh, do I have to do everything?  Hurry up.  Take my drawings, make a prototype, and get on with it.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I just spent an hour on the bed with a book, and now I am pondering my existence. The book did that to me I guess.

If I am not reading or writing, I am not doing anything. If I am not working on a relationship, I am not doing anything. Relationships are with family, people I live with, and with on-line friends. Also some relationships are with people who are yet to come, my descendants and others who may be interested, my students, my disciples, my followers. They may learn from me or by studying me. I gave some of me in my genes, and I gave some of me in my teaching.

Not doing anything is wasting time, keeping me from what it is that I am supposed to accomplish. Being eighty, with lots of ailments and physical limitations, I have less time to waste.

Before I die, I have something to do. What is it? Am I doing it? Am I doing it well?

Wow, I can’t put this in my journal, it is too egocentric, too egotistical. Yet, it is what I am pondering right now.

Inventors: Million Dollar Idea -- Free

Okay, you inventors, here is an idea I give you free.  It may make you rich; you're welcome.

I'd do it myself, but I am busy with my journal, Dribble.

Perceived problem:  the waitress dashing about the dining room servine coffee... with TWO COFFEE POTS, one in each hand. One had regular coffee and the other had de-caff (decaffenated).  She would pour the kind of coffee each resident requested, using one hand or the other.  It was slow, awkward, and, in fact she says, painful, using both hands that way. 

Proposed solution: a coffee pot that pours either regular OR de-caffeinated coffee at the touch of a button.

Okay, Inventors, here's what you need to do.  Design an insert that will slip into an ordinary Silex style coffee pot that will hold the de-caffeinated coffee.  A simple flapper valve operated by a button on the handle will shut off the regular coffee and let the de-caff flow. 

The waitress can handle the pot  with one hand, dispensing either style of coffee, and with the other she can hold the cup.  At present, she can only fill cups that are sitting on the table. 

Just think of the millions of coffee pots now in service that can be upgraded with your invention.  Hundreds of thousands of waitresses will thank you.  Who knows how far they will go with their gratitude?  You may even get a few proposals...(or propositions). 

Your name may not become a household word, but you will be rich.  If you come to live in our old folks home in retirement, you'll have enough money to pay the rent, and even go to Starbucks for coffee from time to time.  Come to think of it, Starbucks might be your biggest customer.

I don't expect a cut of your riches for giving you this idea, but you can buy me a cup of coffee (regular) at any time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One a Day

I made 366 entries in my journal last year, and it wasn't even leap-year.  Yep, an average of one a day.

Very few of them were short.... like this

Almost Normal

I almost feel normal.  That is, I toss and turn for an hour, then get up and write in my journal.

How I miss Summer.  In Summer one simply lies down on top of the bed and goes to sleep.  In Winter one covers  up with a blanket AND a quilt, and every time you turn, you get wound up in bedding and have to fight your way free.  Getting sleep is a nightmare -- pun intended.

That last paragraph is a mixture of third person and second person references  but who can keep his grammar straight at five am?  Anyway is makes me remember Professor Phillips.  He would have abjured this kind of writing. 

Advanced Composition was a subject required of High School seniors  planning to go to college. I passed the course with an A or B, but then FLUNKED the composition portion of the college entrance exam, and had to take "Subject A", a remedial compositon class. That was a no-no for Enlish Majors. 

I muddled through Subject A and Mr. Phillips writing class, and English 1A and 1B and then English 36A and English 36B. (If the first year is 1A and 1B, why is the second year 36A and 36B?  Why not 2A and 2B? Where is the logic in that, UCLA?)

American Literature was fun, but Enlish Literture was torture.  Who on earth could read all the works assigned?  My idea of English literature was Sherlock Holmes, and theirs was Faerie Queen/

Pope was good with his rhymed couplets, and Shakespeare with Tragedies Hamlet and MacBeth, but his Comedies were unfunny, Taming of the Shrew and Two Gentlemen of Verona.  I loved old Caliban in Tempest.

I met wonderful characters in English Lit.  The witches who vanished "into the air", McDuff who was "untimely ripped from his mother's womb". Henry V who shouted "Once more unto the breech, Dear Friends, or close the gap with our English dead. Prove that those you call fathers did beget thee." Imagine stopping the battle to shout rhetoric.  Heroic indeed.

Once more unto my bed, or else the journal be filled with literary Dribble.

I'll proof-read tomorrow, maybe,


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I expected sympathy and advice.

Me:  Doc, I've got that Noro virus that's going around.

Doctor:  Oh, me too.  Had to cancel some surgery.

Oh, well.

Life in the Old Folks Home -- Horror Episode

Heard in the hallway at a doorway.

Caregiver:  What's that?  Blood?

Resident:  Yep

Thank goodness, it wasn't MY doorway.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday Seven II

Finally found Patrick's Sunday Seven:

Name seven celebrities whom you'd be happy to go a year without hearing another word about.

Well, two would be Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell and their silly feud.

Heard enough about Tom Cruise to last for a while

I applaud Madonna and Oprah for their work with orphans, but spare me the details.

I don't care to hear what happens to ANY rappers next year.

And any newlywed pop singes who separate is okay with me.  Just don't tell me about it.

Dusting Off the Files == The Wright Brothers

It is fun to dig through the old files.  Remember this quiz from an earlier Dribble?

What do you know about the Wright Brothers, inventors of the airplane. Here are some multiple choice questions about them and their airplane. Dragging your cursor over the questions will show you the correct answer…. As if you needed the help.

Orville was older ________________________CORRECT

Wilbur was older_________________________

They were twins__________________________

The “brothers” were actually cousins _________


Orville made the first flight________________CORRECT

Wilbur made the first flight________________

A chimpanzee made the first flight__________

Glenn Curtis made the first flight___________


Orville died in an airplane crash____________

Wilbur died in an airplane crash____________

Orville lived to see jet planes fly____________CORRECT

Wilbur lived to see jet planes fly____________


The first flight was in North Carolina________CORRECT

The first flight was in South Dakota_________

The first flight was in West Virginia_________

The first flight was in Akron, Ohio__________


The Wright Flyer never flew again__________

The Wright Flyer is in the Smithsonian______CORRECT

The Wright Flyer was named the Spirit of Saint Louis


The Wright Flyer crashed and burned in 1912_


The first flight was over a mile_____________

The first flight was just under a mile_________

The first flight was half a mile______________

The first flight was 120 feet________________


Orville was 46 when he made the first flight___CORRECT

Wilbur was 67 when he made the first flight___

The brothers were 33 on date of first fight_____

Wilbur lived to age 81____________________

Here are the facts>>>Wright brothers—Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948)—invented and built the first successful airplane. On Dec. 17, 1903, they made the world's first flight in a power-driven, heavier-than-air machine near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. With Orville at the controls, the plane flew 120 feet (37 meters) and was in the air 12 seconds. The brothers made three more flights that day. The longest, by Wilbur, was 852 feet (260 meters) in 59 seconds.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday Seven

Curious.  I don't find Patrick's Sunday Seven for today.  I wonder what happened.  So, I will use last week's Sunday Seven instead.

What are your seven favorite "end of the series" farewell television shows?

Favorite has to be Newhart's.  It had innkeeper Newhart waking from a dream, with his wife from the earlier Bob Newhart show, waking to say, "Wow, you wouldn't believe the dream I had.  I was an innkeeper in a New England inn and there were all these crazy people around.  Three brothers all named Darrell...etc"

Mash pulled a fast one.  They filmed the next-to-last episode after they had made their final episode.  The end of the series was a complicated story about Hawkeye having a break-down, and then his recovery, in an emotional frightening "war is hell" episode.  Still one of the top three finishes.

Cheers last episode ended with Diane telling Malone she was going to take time off to write and THEN she'd come and marry him...he had FINALLY proposed, and Malone saying "Have a good life"  Oh oh that wasnt the end of the series.  Cheers went on without Diane...I forgot that.  I forget their real end of the series show...couldn't have been so great.

Johnny Carson's last show made him cry, but wasn't really so tear jerking.

I wonder what Patrick's real Sunday Seven is this week.

Saint VS Bears:Patriots VS Colts

Sunday, starting at 3 PM and lasting 'til it's over.

Life Sentence

In adjusting to life in an old folks home (assisted living facility), perception is the key factor.

Long ago one resident looked around the dining room and asked me, "How many passengers have we got here?"  He seemed to think we were on a cruise.

As misperceptions go, that is not bad.  To think you are on a cruise with a lot of other old folks is not a bad idea.  What a fun way to spend your years, sailing down the rivers of life.

On the other hand, yesterday I heard a new resident ask his tablemate, "How long are you in for?"

I guess we can tell what HE perceives his new home to be like.

Saturday, January 13, 2007



              1907 - 2007

Patrick's Weekender

1. If you knew you would die the following day, what would you do with your blog: edit some parts of it and leave it up for posterity, leave it as it is, or delete it?

Use it to say goodbye and tell how much I have enjoyed my contacts with folks.

2. Other than your own blog, what single website do you visit the most?

Scalzi's By the Way, Jackie's Life in Bama, Remo's Screaming Remo.

3. How many different email accounts do you currently own, counting work and home?

One, isn't that amazing?

4. Take the quiz: How addicted to the internet are you?

Didn't take the quiz, but get on internet daily.

5. Are you more likely to visit the internet the first thing in the morning or the last thing at night?

Time of day has little to do with it.  When i feel like buying something or looking up something I go.

6. Who was the last person you had an email/instant message conversation with? When was the last time you saw that person in person?

My online girlfriend.  Have never seen her in person.

Judge Wapner. Please. Where Are You?

Another by-product of my day's confinement due to NORO virus, is being sentenced to watch daytime television.

Remember People's Court?  Judge Wapner was very careful to run his televison court according to standard practices. If a litigant said, "Well, your honor, in a real court..." Judge Wapner woult stop him.   "This IS a real court. You have assigned your case here. The judgements I make here are binding and legal.  I follow California law."

Alas, long ago, Judge Wapner retired.  Now the People's Court is run by Judge Marilyn Milan. Judge Marilyn seems to encourge litigants carping at one another.  "He called me a whore."  "Well she spit on my car."  These are two comments you might have heard in People's Court.  But not under Judge Wapner.  He would be quick to remind litigants that what happened AFTER the tort, did not apply to the judgement.  You get no damages because someone called you a nasty word late in the day. But I hear a lot of that in Judge Marilyn's court.

But that is not all.  Judge Marilyn is only the fourth in a series of daydtime televsion courts. First there is Divorce Court, with Judge Glenda Hatchett, and a couple more courts with Judges Christina Perez and Judge Maria Lopez.  These lady judges seem more intent on scolding litigants than finding truth. 

Why spoil a good domestic cat-fight with name calling by insisting on legal protocol? A good show requires that we get to know the lead characters, so Judges interview the litigants, inquiring into maters that have no bearing on the case.  "I took my life savings and sent it to the defendant," says the Plaintiff.

"Oh," says Judge Marilyn, "what were you saving for?"

"I was saving to go to medical school."

"Oh, good.  My brother went to medical school. and you sent the plaintiff your money?  How could you be so STUPID?"

My, how would you like to have your suit decided by someone who thinks you are stupid, even if she is prejudiced for you because her brother went to medical school.  She ought to disqualify herself, not congratulate you on your choice of careers. And what bearing does that have on the case anyway, what the embezzled money was supposed to be for?

All the lady judges seem to get personally involved.  One says, "You lied to me.  I hate that.  Judgement is for the defendant."  There, a ruling based on which litigant irritates you the least.

Please, Judge Wapner, come out of retirement, so these ladies can go back to law school.  (Last time I saw Judge Wapner, he was on Animal Planet, judging animal rights cases. but we need him now on People's Court. And do we really need five or six Courtrooms on television.)

If Judge Wapner had heard the O.J. Simpon case, it would have fit into an one hour time slot, and NOT taken over a year to settle.

Friday, January 12, 2007

In My Confinement

One of the advantages of being confined for a day or two is that I sat still in my easy chair in sight of the window.  Now, outside my window is a bare tree, its leaves gone for the season.

What I had never noticed before, the were a kazillion tiny birds, about the size of finches, fluttering about the tree.  The tree looked alive, as though it were doing the fluttering.

Then from time to time the birds would all take off at once, leaving the tree bare.  Then later, a few would come back, and then more and more, until the tree was alive once again.

Baby, it's cold outside. Where do those birds go to nest at night?  By five PM they were all gone for the rest of the day, and night.  But where?

I would never have noticed those birds if I had not be recovering from the NORO virus.


Trying to prevent dehydration in my current bout with Noro Virus, I had for breakfast large orange juice, coffee, water, and later diet Shasta Twist.

Now my tummy is making ominous gurgling sounds.

I wonder why.

Got It

I got it.  I got the crud that is going around.  About half of our residents got it.  Me included.

A nearby nursing home has quaranteened all it's residents.  No one goes to the dining hall.  Sane with a rehabilitation hospital.

And yet, I see nothing in the newspaper about this epidemic.  Curious.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wasteful Practice; Generic Lotion

It is wasteful I know, but I put my old 82 year old hands under the faucet and let the hot water run over them.  Wasteful of water and wasteful of energy, but it feels SO good.  Gets the circulation going.  Makes my hands supple, and younger.  (Well, less old.)

Then I add the lotion.  I thought it said "Ultimate Lotion".  Wow, Ultimate.  Won't need anything after the "ultimate" lotion. That will be final.  And it felt good and made my hands and arms feel better.

Then I noticed that it said "Intimate Lotion", not ultimate.  Oh, oh.  Intimate lotion.  Just what am I putting on my hands?  Am I supposed to make love with these hands now?  I wish....

I look for the brand name.  Who makes Intimate Lotion?  No brand name.  Look at the small print on the label on back.  Distributed by Jean Phillipe Fragrances Co. Ltd.  Trust a Frenchman.

This Frenchman lives in New York City though.  I should have known that the ultimate intimate lotion would come from that sauve sophisticated place: New York City.  

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Skyrocket Inflation

I went to the market recently and bought two two-liter bottles of Seven Up.  Each cost 85 cents.  I wish I had bought a dozen, because when I went to market next time each one cost...get this: $1.50.

That is Seventy percent increase in price, in one week.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Movie Review -- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The rented disc sat on my desk and in the DVD player for a month, and then, alas, I finally watched it.

What a horrible movie.  Ghastly computer generated characters with disfigured faces convort and torture one another and wreak vengence for past unspeakable crimes.  Limbs are severed, blood flows as freely as a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. 

The second lead character is murdered while we watch, but Harry is spared to make future horrid movies.

When I think how eagerly this film was awaited and children flocked to see it, I am aghast.  I wonder how this film was rated in theaters.  R would be much too lenient.  Is there a "Nobody is Allowed to See, Parents Included" rating?

Thinking Time

Three AM.  A care giver opens the door and peeks in.

"Hi," I say.

"Hi, Chcuk.  Are you okay?"

"I sure am," I reply cheerily. 

I am up because I want to  be.  This is prime thinking time. No TV, no call to meals, fo announcements by an activity director trying to entertain the old folks.  Just quiet.

Today I won't burden you with what I am thinking about.  No stream of consciousness rambling.  Well, except this...

The computer takes forever these days to start up.  There is so much junk it has to wade through.  From time to time I purge the list of programss and throw out things I seldom use, and yet there are hundreds of strange things I do no dare remove.  Updates with weird names like COMZin22ia.1.  I have no idea what that is, nor how it got there, nor what it does.  I only know if I delete it, tomorow my clock will run backwards and AOL will say "Hola, Usted habana communicado."

I rent a garage sized storage bin that I use to hold my accumlated junk.  Things I dare not part with because, I tell myself, "I may need that someday."  My Ham radio, for instance. It served me well, but I will never use it again. But I keep it.  So it is with my computer.  It is stuffed with copies of letters I wrote to the manager in 2000 for example.  My, it is fun to see what angst I had then by rereading it, when I am looking for stuff to throw out.  I'll just keep it, for now.

I paused here.

To think.  To let my mind wander.

An that's okay, too.

I guess now, I'll go back to bed before the caregiver pops in again, though I hate to waste this prime thinking time.

(Pardon me if I don't proof-read this tonight.)

Sunday, January 7, 2007


The doctor who looked at my insides and fixed the ulcer I had told me that cola is very bad for ulcers. I had been living on Diet Pepsi... in fact I had a refrigerator full.  But I put it aside and replaced it with cola-free Seven Up.

The readjustment problem is this: when I drink Seven Up, I cannot help but think how much better it would taste with a shot of bourbon* in it.

Well, I know what the doctor would think of that.

(* Bourbon is my favorite whiskey. Scotch is my least favorite.)

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Formula for a Good Night's Rest

Put a form fitted sheet on a twin size mattress.  Lay a King size quilt on top, but do not tuck it in.

Lie on the mattress and pull a corner of that massive quilt over you. The rest of the quilt makes a nice "nest" around you. When you get up at night, your return to the nest is inviting and comfy.

On those night when a racing mind keeps you tossing and turning, write those thoughts in your journal, or read a few of your favorite blogs.

An over stuffed chair in front of the Tv is handy. I have earphones so the sound does not disturb my neighbors.  Late night TV is filled with long boring commercials, so it does not require any concentration.

As morning approaches, the best sleep comes after the first call to breakfast, lay your head on your pillow for a few minutes extra rest and you're sure to sleep for an extra hour or more.

And if all fails, an afternoon nap is delicious.

Friday, January 5, 2007

An Extra Day

Woke up thinking it was Saturday.  It is only Friday.  I have an "extra" day, suddenly added to my life.  What shall I do with it?  It would be a shame to waste it.

David Burke, the gentleman who is about to take off on a year long tour of United States was here to work on "Theme music" for his Blog, Podcasts, Radiocasts. We didn't settle on anything, nor even master the recording techniques necessary.  Alas, the things I had prepared...a list of songs, a list of musical instruments producable by the computer...disappeared when I needed them most.  We foundered around with a "haywire" hook up and I enjoyed the visit, but not much was accomplished.  Dave said he was satisfied with our progress, but I think he was being kind. 

The truth is I have lots of "toys", computer, online resources, keyboards, and I have grandiose ideas of what I can produce, but no real skills, musical nor computer.  I cannot put music on my blog, nor home movies.  I have a MIDI connection from keyboard to computer, but I don't even know what MIDI is, nor what it stands for.  If I live another 82 years, I may master some of the potential I have with my toys. 

Back to bed... maybe I can solve some problems in my sleep.  Don't even know why I am up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

How to be Clairvoyant

clairvoyant...just checking the spelling.

Pat Robertson has predicted a disaster in 2007.  Well, duh.  In every year is some disaster.  Like predicting snow in Missoula.  And when something bad happens, he can say, "See.  I knew it.  God told me."

Now let me get in on the game too.  Ah ah... I predict three celebrities will Die in 2007... maybe more. Wow, Chuck, how can you go out on a limb like that?  Because I am clairvoyant/

And Oh, a famous couple will divorce...Can't tell you yet, but you will know them.  They are in show business, and everyone will be stunned. They got married just recently.  Oh, how shocked we will all be.  You'll see.  Chuck is clairvoyant.

Oh, a plane will crash, too.  I can see it coming.  Be careful, make sure you are not on it.  And stay out of Florida, there will be a hurricane.  Didn't Pat Robertson tell you about that?>

Second sight is wonderful... and all you have to do is read the papers for last year, and the year before.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Photography was invented during the life time of my great grandparents. So I have a few photos of some of them.  Mostly they look very stiff and serious, having had to hold very still for the long time exposures.

However it made it possible for me to send to my great grandson, age six weeks, photos of his great-great-great-great grandfather (four greats) for "your baby book. You do have a baby book, don't you?"

They wont mean much to him until he is, perhaps, forty or so. I wonder if he will send them to his great grandchildren when he is 82, in 2088.  I fact, with medical advances and a lot of good luck, he may see the year 2101 or beyond. 

Monday, January 1, 2007

Insomniac Almanac -- Vol 3, No. 1, 1/1/07

Three and a  half hours of sleep this year.  (2555 Last year)  Not enuff.  Should have been four, but I got up for half an hour to "ring in" the new year.  Was very quiet.  A few bangs outside in the distance, and NOTHING in the old folks home.

I looked in the hall and saw two care givers, but they didn't see me.  No shouting "Happy New Year".  I went back to bed.

I remember new year 2000.  I thought people would go nuts at midnight, tear around the halls in their underwear (or less), shout, sing, bang pots and pans.  What an event...changing the calendars from 19 something to 20 something.  Happens once in a lifefime.  But no.  It was almost as quiet that new year too.  A few more bangs, and a auto horn or two. 

I used to take a swim at midnight on new year.  No reason, except to say I had done it.  Yes, it was always chilly, but I didn't stay long.  I used to excuse myself from whatever party I was attending, go out to the pool, (in Southen California there was always a pool), strip off my clothes and jump in.  Made people laugh.  Nobody ever joined me. Once I dove in, at the shallow end, and hit hy head so hard I was lucky I didn't break my neck. Sort of sobered me up suddenly.  I had a stiff neck for some time after that. 

Other than the sock on the head, I cannot remember any memorable new years.  After 82 of them, they all seem pretty much the same.... lots of expectations, very little excitement. You sort of have to force yourself to be jolly, and force yourself to be nostalgic by singing Auld Lang Syne, that draggy tradtion.  The kissing one another is nice though.  I liked that.

My mother used to pass around smoked fish at midnight and make us eat a bite, whether we wanted to or not, to insure good health, (or maybe wealth, I forget) for the coming year.  I guess it worked, I'm here, aren't I?

The new year is four and half hours old.  Think I will turn in again and see if I can sleep until breakfast.  It won't be fried chicken though.  The first thing I ate in 1937 was fried chicken.  Isn't than an odd thing to remember...fried chicken for breakfast seventy years ago today.  Mother and Grandmother were frying chicken in preparatioj for a picnic when I got up that morning, so I had some for breakfast.

Aren't you glad I can tell you these secrets? Midnight skinny dipping and early morning chicken eating.

And Oh, I have been to the Rose Parade a couple of times on new years day, and to the Rose Bowl one year when I was a UCLA student. We lost. 

Hey, that reminds me.... get to bed now...I've got to get up to watch the Rose Parade in a few hours   

P.S.  What I actually watched was a Rose Parade for a couple of floats, Cotton Bowl for a couple of plays, and then over to a  Monk rerun.  What does that say about me?