Monday, April 30, 2007

Rubic Cube - Learning Curve

Time Required to Solve Rubic Cube Puzzle (Using Formula)

First time:  Two Weeks

Second time: Two Days

Third time:   One Day

Fourth time:  Half an hour.

Now:  I have to do it often enough so I learn the formulas and can do it without a "cheat sheet".

A whole new problem.  Well, keeping the brain busy, you know.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another Sunny Sunday Morning at the Old Folks Home

Have I mentioned that Sunday Morning breakfast service is bad at the old folks' home?

Today was the worst.  Never mind the details... it was just awful.

My complaining here won't help, except it helps to "get it off my chest". Thanks for listening.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Try This One at Home

I am sometimes teased about my fascination with games and math problems.  My last entry was one of to measure the height of a flagpole (without climbing it with a tape measure clutched between your teeth).

So, you wont mind if I boast a bit. I did figure out what number that 18 is sixty percent of.

Try that yourself. 

Run your cursor over the answer to reveal it.  Answer Thirty

 67 is is 39 percent of what number? Answer  172 (rounded off)

22 is 77 percent of what number? Answer 29 (rounded off)

Now try this.

I want to make a little wheel out of platic or cardboard that I can roll along the ground and measure feet. What should the diameter of the wheel be, in inches AND 16ths of an inch, so that each rotation of the wheel will mark one foot.  I can count the rotations and know the distance travelled in feet.

OH, I am NOT putting the answer here.  I want to see what YOU come up with. By the way, to actually make such a wheel, you'd need to know the RADIUS too, so you could draw the circle.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you scoffers who laughed at my flagpole measuring gig.

LATER; Great work, Silk. (See comments below)  I made a wheel of paper 1.9 inches in radius.  I tried to wheel it along but it was too floppy.  So I guess I will stick to tape measure, or wheel chair odometer. I had fun with this adventure.


Friday, April 27, 2007

How I Measured the Height of the Flag Pole

Our flag pole is thirty feet tall.  I know, because I measured it.

Oh, yeah, Chuck.  How did you measure the height of the flag pole while sitting in your wheel chair?


First, I had measured the length of the halls inside.  I was making a quiz game for residents, and I asked them to guess the number of times one would have to circle the halls to make a mile.  Then I had to measure the halls, so I could tell if they were right or not.

I cannot pace off the distance, I am in a wheel chair.  So, with help of the maintenance man, Domingo, I measured the diameter of one of chairs wheels.  Twenty four inches.  I remembered from school that the circumference of a wheel is PI times the diameter and PI is 3.14. With each turn of the wheel I was carried 75 inches forward.  (Forget the fractions. This was not an engineering is a game.)

I put a piece of scotch tape on the hand hold on the wheel.  As I rolled forward, down the length of the hall, I counted the number of times the tape brushed past my hand.  I multiplied the number of times the wheel turned times 75 inches, and then divided that total by 12, the inches in a foot, to get the number of feet.  When I had calculated the distance around the old folks home, I divided that distance by 5280, the number of feet per mile, to get a percentage.  Aha, close to 20%.  It take five laps around the halls to equal a mile.

A different question asks How tall is the flag pole.  I can't ride the wheel chair up the flag pole and count the wheel revolutions. 

But the sun was shining, and the flag pole cast a shadow.  Using the wheel chair as an odometer, I measured the length of the shadow.  Eighteen feet.  But how tall is the flag pole?

I had a foot ruler. That happens to be 31 centimeters long. (Remember the fractions don't count... we're not building a bridge. We're playing a game.)  I stood the ruler on end in the sunlight.  The 31 centimeter ruler cast a shadow on the ground, and I marked it with a twig. I measured the length of the shadow.  It was 18 (and a half) centimeters long.  I divided 18 by 31 and got .6 or sixty percent.  The shadow of the ruler was 60% of its actual length. 

Ah. Sixty percent of the flag pole's height is 18 feet.  So how tall is the flag pole? Suddenly my high school math failed me.  A resident was watching my antics, so I asked him "18 is sixty percent of what number?"  He just laughed at me.

I dredged up my memory of Algebra I. I made an equation. 18 (feet) = .6 (sixty percent) times X (height of flag pole).  Divide both sides of the equation by .6 and you get X=18/.6.

The calculator I carried with me did the trick. Eighteen feet divided by .6 is, fanfare please, THIRTY FEET. 

Now ask me how astronomers know the distance to the moon without going there in a wheel chair.  Ask me how the ancient Sumerians knew that the earth was round before Magellan sailed around it.  I know, but I think I will save the explanation for some future journal entry.

Tags: , ,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Second Attempt Completed

Second attempt at Rubic Cube:  Done.  Time: two days instead of thirty. That's a Ten thousand Percent improvement.


                   BEFORE                                   AFTER

Well, yes, I use a formula.  It  took me thirty days first time and two days this time to work, even WITH the formula.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Snapshots at Twilight

I went out this evening after sundown and snapped my favorite subjects, the roses, in the twilight.





Second Attempt

I am going to tackle the Rubic Cube again.  Last time it took me thirty days to solve.

Let's see how long it takes this time.

I Wish I'd Said That

Dave Burke, in his blog Wandering Dave ,(<link)  wrote about my blog.  He expressed much better than I the meaning of the Rose series. 

Recently, Chuck posted a series of photographs focused on a single rosebud. The series celebrates the coming of spring, but it also illustrates the cycle of life as that bud first hesitated before blossoming into its glory. It reached full maturity, spreading wide and releasing a perfume we could almost smell through our computer screens.

Then, inevitably, the rose blossom began its decline. Its form softened and petals began to drop. Less than two months after life began, our subject rose was gone. It gave way to those that follow, greater numbers that fill the view with fresh color.

I wish I'd said that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Busy Brain Says...

The answers to my busy brain quiz below, as I figure them.  I googles, wikipedia'd, and calculated them.  It kept my brain busy for hours.

1. At the Dentist office I noticed that the aquarium was about five feet long, two feet wide and had about 18 inches of water in it. I asked myself How much water is in there? It stood on a normal table, but what did it weigh? If they had been filled with sea water how much more or less would it weigh?

That is fifteen cubic feet and would weigh 936 pounds with fresh water, and with sea water, 33 pounds more or 999 pounds Add two cups more water and make it an even 1000 pounds. Oh, I have to go back and recalculate the number of gallons.

936 (pounds of water) divided by 8 (pounds per gallon) = 117 gallons. (To the lady in the dentist’s office who guessed “100 gallons”, well done.)

Oh, I guessed at the dimensions by casual observation.

2. Two railroad companies made the first transcontinental railroad and met at Promontory Point in Utah. What were their names and how much track did each one lay?

Central Pacific building from California eastward and Union Pacific building from Omaha west ward. I do not find the actual number of miles each company built.

3. What are the names of the three stars in Orion's Belt? How many other stars can you name? (Sol..the sun is one.)

Alnitak..800 light years from sun, Alnilak..1300 light years away.. And Mitaka 900 light years away.

Orion’s left shoulder, North east corner star is Betelgeuse, and the south west corner, Rigel

I named eight stars when the question first occurred to me… in about five minutes. I am sure I could do more if I pondered longer. I Learned some new names and was reminded of others when I looked up answer

4. Doc Holiday was one of the gunmen at the gunfight at O.K.Corral. What kind of a doctor was he? How do you spell his name correctly?Who were the others? Who lived and who died?

We all say Dentist.

Doc Holliday,

Wyatt Earp

Virgil Earp, Tombstone Chief of Police

Morgan Earp


Ike Clanton, head wound

Billy Clanton, Killed

Frank McLaury, Killed

Tom McLaury, Killed

5. What were the six original Jello flavors?

Strawberry, raspberry, cherry, orange, lemon, and lime. I can almost hear Jack Benny’s announcer, Don Wilson, reeling them off, as he did for years.

6. What kind of Amoeba causes amoebic dysentery

Entamebic Histolytica, an anaerobic parasitic protozoan

7. How did the color Burnt Sienna get its name?

pigment: a warm mid brown color. It is also a Crayola color.

Chemically, burnt sienna is formed by burning raw sienna (Terra di Sienna).


8. There are 88 keys on a piano. What is the lowest and what is the highest? What is the frequency in Hertz of each?

I looked at a photo of a grand piano and the lowest note was A… four octaves below A 440 hz the standard. That means the hertz of the lowest key is 55. Likewise the highest key was C four octaves above C 512 hz, or 8192 hz.

Keeping the Brain Busy

I am always asking myself questions. Here are some recent ones.  I will look up the answers and post them - eventually.  Play along if you like.

1.  At the Dentist office I noticed that the aquarium was about five feet long, two feet wide and had abut 18 inches of water in it.  I asked myself How much water is in there?   It stood on a normal table, but what did it weigh?  If if had been filled with sea water how much more or less would it weigh?

2. Two railroad companies made the first transcontinental railroad and met at Promontory Point in Utah.  What were their names and how much track did each one lay?

3. What are the names of the three stars in Orion's Belt?  How many other stars can you name? (Sol..the sun is one.)

4. Doc Holiday was one of the gunmen at the gunfight at O.K.Corral. What kind of a doctor was he?  How do you spell his name correctly? Who were the others? Who lived and who died?

5. What were the six original Jello flavors?

6. What kind of Amoeba causes amoebic dysentery.

7.  How did the color Burnt Sienna get its name?

8.  There are 88 keys on a piano.  What is the lowest and what is the highest? What is the frequency in Hertz of each?

Don't look for the answers soon.  This is going to take a while.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Searching the Dusty Files - June 6, 2003

Cpy of a letter I sent in 2003:

Dear Cousin Bertha,

The Mennonite Youth Choir came this evening to sing for us. There were about eleven of them at the start, but they kept coming and joining in until there were twenty or more. The “youth” are apparently the young married group, for they brought their children along with them. The children were well behaved, but liked to explore the parlor and the living room where the cookies are laid out. While they were singing, one or two adults would have to step out of line and go fetch children from.

They sing acapella, starting to the pitch of a small pitch pipe that one carries.

There were only seven residents to listen, so the choir out-numbered the audience considerably.

I listened and wrote down what they were singing. They didn’t announce any titles, so I wrote down whatever phrase that was repeated most often. They sang Closer to Thee, Power in the Blood, Dare to be a Daniel. I had to ask what the title of that one was. The line I heard most was dare to make it grow. In Power they pronounced power as “parr”, so the line became “There is parr, parr, parr in the blood.“

They asked for requests, and no one said anything so I said, “We like to hear ‘In the Garden’.” So they sang that.

A trio sang Come Home, whose verse included the lines “It is supper time in Heaven, the table is heavy laden, come home.”

After it was over I said it was beautiful, and what did they suppose was served at supper time in Heaven. I was wondering if it were vegetarian or whether there was meat on the heavy laden table.

No one answered.

Then they sang The glory gates are ever opened wide, Sweet Hour of Prayer, and It is Well (with my soul).

After that, they greeted us and went to sing at Hampshire House. I asked if they sang the same numbers at Hampshire house and the young leader said no, they have two leaders and sing different numbers at different places. The singing lasted about forty five minutes.

Tomorrow is Merced Fly-in. Planes from all over the state fly to Merced and tie down overnight. It is fun to watch the air traffic and to walk the flight line and visit with the owners. There are lots of Ercoupes usually. I may even know some of the pilots. One time I took Griff with me, on a leash, and he pulled me along pretty good.

Ercoupes are the little two-place low-winged monoplanes that I had one of. The cockpit cover slides down into the fuselage so you fly along in a convertible, top down, in the sky. It is noisy, but beautiful.

“D-day”, the day the allied forces invaded Europe was just fifty-nine years ago today. I remember it well. We were stationed in Southern England, and the next day we moved to the coast, and later boarded a ship to cross the English Channel. We camped out in the hold of a ship eating K-rations. When we got across the channel the next morning, we climbed down cargo nets, hanging over the side of the ship, into landing craft.

On the landing craft we all moved our possessions to our upper pockets, suspecting we would have to wade ashore. When the ramp on the landing craft went down, we were surprised to have reached land, with only an inch of water to wade through. We laughed.

We landed in France June 12, 1944.


Cousin Charles

Monday Photo Shoot

Just a snap shot to qualify for entry into the "Blue Skies" category for Monday Photo Shoot in John Scalzi's By the Way. (<Link)

Traffic in front of the Old Folks Home.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

To My Secret Cousin, Greeting

Here's a picture of my Great-Grandfather, Wil (William).  I am posting it because I think he looks just like one of my I see him in the side bar to to his journal. 

I want to see if my reader sees the resemblance... and if he thinks it is a family trait.

Surprise, secret cousin.

Great-Grandfather Wil

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I Promised You a Rose Garden - Going, Going, Gone

We have been following the life cycle of one particular rose blossom. We started with twig in the ground, followed it through sprouting, leafing, bushing, budding, and blossoming.  Here is the end of the series.  It is seen in lower left... wilted, and surrounded by new blossoms, now taking it's place.


A twig February 24th (<link)

Beginning to sprout February 26 (<link)

A leaf appears March ` (<link)

Becomes a bush March 12 (<link)

Develops a rosebud March 21 (<link)

Bud struggles to open April 4 (<link)

Becomes blossom April 11 (<link)

Grandest blossom in the whole garden April 20 (<link)

and today, above, replaced by newer blossoms.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Miss Qwerty, Meet Mr. Dvorak

We all type our journals and our comments on a Qwerty keyboard.  That is the standard typewriter/computer keyboard.  It is called Qwerty because the first six letters of the top row spell that "word".

My typing teacher said it stood for Quickly We Educate Rapid Typists. Yet, Understand, I Order Practice. 

But it is not the only keyboard layout.  A Mr. Dvorak, and his associates thought there must be a batter layout. They studied letter frequency, finger dexterity, and handedness and came up with the layout that bears his name: Dvorak. 

They noted that it was easier to type if you use alternate hands on alternate letters.  They also noted it was easier to type if the fingering sequence went from outside toward the center, the way we drum our fingers on the table when we are waiting for our soup in a slow restaurant. They noted that most folks are right handed, so the most frequently used letters ought to be located under the right hand.

They put together typewriters using their new layout, trained typists to use it... and what do you know... those typists became the fastest in the world. Did the world rush to change the standard layout.  Well, NO.

But the Dvorak keyboard hung around for people willing to learn a new system and who wanted to improve their typing performance.

As I grow older, I have been making more and more typos... typographical errors, so I thought I ought to look into the Dvorak layout and at least TRY it.  .But where to find it. Where indeed.

Guess what.  Windows, your and my operating systems, has a Dvorak keyboard BUILT RIGHT IN.  Betcha didn't know that.  Nor did I.

I turned on my built in Dvorak keyboard (<<-LINK) by going to START - CONTROL PANEL - LANGUAGES - DETAILS. And there it was, an option.  I can toggle back and forth between Qwerty and Dvorak by touching ALT-CAPS together.

It has been fun to experiment.  I see the logic of the arrangement of the letters. I can see how it would be a faster, easier keyboard to use.

But I have been typing Qwerty for sixty years, I am not apt to try to change for real.  It is just fun to experiment with.

For example:  If I type the the famous speed sentence "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the partÿ" while toggled to Dvorak, it looks like this: "br, co yd. ycm. urp ann irre m.b yr jrm. yr yd. acp ru yd. lapyfv_ 

Wasn't that fun?  Try it yourself on your computer. 

Tags: , , , keyboard layouts, windows

I Promised You a Rose Garden - Over the Hill

"Our" rosebud, has bloomed, was beautiful, but now is beginning to wither.  It is in the lower left.  Around it are new blooms, that were mere rosebuds in our last pictures.  We have watched the full life cycle from twig stuck in the ground, to bush, to rosebud, to bloom.

And here's a look into the future.  Our bloom will become a carpet of rose petals on the ground. 

Rubic's Cube - Update

Friday Ten AM -- got the Rubic cube back into original configuration. 

It took about one month of twisting, two pages of notes and charts.


I Promised You a Rose Garden - Oh, Chuck, Give Up on the Roses

You thought I was done with roses?  No.  "Our" blossom, the one we have followed from bud to bloom, looked like this a couple of days ago.  And the little buds alongside have bloomed by now.

But, alas, being the first bud to blossom, it is also the first to begin to fade and lose petals, and give way to the buds you see alongside.  I will, in the spirit of honesty, show the demise of our blossom in the next few days.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Am a Snob

The head care giver here at the old folks home met me in the hall and asked, "Ain'tcha goin' down front and getcha no ice cream?"  She wasn't putting on an accent for comic effect.  That's the way she talks.

And snob that I am, I worry because that's the person who is in charge of the life-giving medications here. Sometime I feel more secure living in an assisted living facility.

But sometimes I feel my life is in peril.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Computer Let Me Down

My cure for insomnia...get up and make an entry in my journal.  I had on hand, pictures of "our" rosebud, now in full bloom (and, alas, beginning to fade), and the American Flag in front of the old folks home blowing in the wind. John Scalzi has designated "wind" for this week's picture shoot, and I was ready.

When I got on line at three am, ready to post my pictures, I had forgotten the formula for getting my pictures from computer to journal.  At three am, my brain would not cooperate.

And, in the middle of the night, I was not ready to battle the computer.  I gave up.  My computer, and my brain, had let me down.

Years ago I worked out a formula for solving Rubic's cube.  It involved Trinomials.  Of course you know what trinomials are, don't you.  You know how to count in Binomial. .1, 10, 11, 100, 101. 110. 111/.//etc. Now count, using only 0, 1, and 2 as numerals. 0, 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 20, 21, 22, 100, 101, 102, 110, 111 etc

My formula used trinomials, and adding them.  Using a chart, I could actually solve a Rubic Cube puzzle.  Recently, to exercise my brain, I bought a Rubic Cube, and alas, even using my chart, I can no longer solve the puzzle.

Life is so rich, and we have so many abilities, that seeing them go, even one at a time, is frustrating. Hearing, Libido (the ability not the urge), Mobility, Visual acuity, and now Reasoning.  What's next?  Memory?  

What's next? Memory? Or didn't I just say that? 

Monday, April 16, 2007

Adventure in the Golden Years

Well, Mad-dog caved in.  I cut loose from the hum-drum and went on a wild senior-type spree.  Did I go to New York or the UK for a week end? No.  Just for the Hell of it, without telling anyone, I went out to lunch.

I didn't even look at the menu at the old folk home.  I passed on Roast Pork, scalloped potatoes, and zucchini, and went to A-W Rootbeer/Kenturcky Fried Chicken for some Hometown Chili.

It wasn't bad. Cost $1.84 and came, as I had predicted, in a plastic bowl.  It had good ingedients, was hot and tasty, but, alas was waaay too thin.  Tradition says you are supposed to be able to stand a fork in your chili and have it remain upright for half a minute.  Though it failed the fork test, the fork being plastic too, it made a passable lunch. Next time I go on a spree I may risk the two piece fried chicken and root-beer special.

Then I continued my afternoon escapade by buying a box of soda crackers on sale and a box of graham crackers on sale.  My whole day's entertainment cost less than five dollars.  Gasolene...nothing, since I went on my scooter.

Oh, the residents solved their dispute with the management before I got there so that proved to be useless entertainment-wise.  We compromised.  We agreed to keep our medications in locked cabinets and they agreed not to charge us $400 monthly for managing it.  Cool head prevailed. 

And I have the rest of the afternoon to do whatever I want.  I haven't been to the rose garden yet.

Hobby Needed

Think I will go shopping for some crackers.  I don't "need" crackers right now.... I just need something to do.  Scooting to market will give me something to do.

Tried to strike up conversation with a stonewall at breakfast this morning.  Instead we ate in sullen silence.  I need a new place to breakfast.  Carl Jr's is a breakfast chain across the street. 

LOL.  Carl Jr's merged with the "Green Burrrito".  Doesn't that sound enticing for breakfast...a green burrito?

A few door farther on is a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant that has merged with A-W Rootbeer.  They have chicken, root-beer, and A-W Hometown Chili to-go in plastic bowls. 

Life is growing more complex daily.  And noisy.  There are TWO leaf blowers at work outside my window.  One is deafening, and now there are two. 

Residents are meeting today to protest new fees.  I should go.  I need the enterainment. Listening to leaf-blowers is growing bor-ing.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Patrick's Saturday Six - Reader submittted topics

1. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #90 from Remo: In the event of a disaster or act of disorder, are you currently prepared to remain self-sufficient for a day, a week, or a month until measures could be taken to restore order and services?

Uncharactaristic of Remo...serious.  He is alway in a light vein., alas.  I have a couple of bottles of water in fridge and a couple of flashlights with fresh batteries.  I have canned food, meant for snacking that would last a few days, but I am afraid I would be at the mercy of me, please.  The threat of the "big one", earthquake, is always on our minds in this part of California...but ready, we are not.

2. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #91 from Frida: Feng shui: Totally serious, totally crapola, or just another cool way to get redecorating ideas?

Curious... I have heard the term Feng Shui, but have no idea what it is.

3. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #92 from Call Me Betty: Do you feel comfortable being yourself in public or do you feel you have to hide certain aspects of your personality?

I think most of us have to hide. I am sure I do.

4. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #93 from Wil: Name your favorite flower to appear in the Spring around you?

Of course it is Roses... look at my journal over last few weeks.

5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #94 from Cat.: From this list, are there any places you would never travel.

I looked at the list of twenty five world destinations and didnt see many that I would care to visit.  In fact, I would rather stay in North America, and could possibly visit Europe.  As for the rest of the thanks

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #95 from Kathy: Who is your favorite [motion picture] director?

Spielberg I would guess, but in past Hal Roach for comedy and Alfred Hitchcock for suspense, and hey, Buzby Berkeley for musicals.  Do I date myself?

Fred - The New Guy

I met the new guy.  At breakfast they seated him at his assigned table but no one else was there.  Seemed like a bleak breakfast for one's first morning here.  Our table mate does not come to breakfast so we sent a care giver to invite new guy to join us for his first breakfast.

His name is Fred.  Yes, he has a computer, but, No, there will be no additional blog from the old folks home.  He says he knows nothing about his computer. Well, we can have fun anyway, even though he won't be publishing a journal.

But poor Fred.  What an introduction to the old folks home he got.  I started by telling him that I had lived here for eight years and was happy.  But my table mate, Miss Congeniality, was in rare form.

Miss C: Breakfast is the best meal of the day.

Fred: Oh, yes.

Miss C: But it goes down hill all day.  The evening meal is LOUSY.

   Thanks, Table mate. for helping Fred adjust to his new home. Fred mentioned that he had lived at Hampshire House before he broke his hip.  Oh, oh.  Mentioning Hampshire House to Miss C. is like waving a red flag at a snorting bull.  Without seeing what Fred had thought of Hampshire House, she began: "That snooty place.  They think they're better than anyone else.  Don't they realize that this is Merced...not San Francisco, or New York society?"  And on, and on.

   Whatever I complimented, Miss C. found fault with. I invited Fred to listen to George on the piano this evening and Miss C. pointed out that SHE would be playing cards, not listening to music.  To make matters worse, Fred's new table mates showed up after all, but he was getting brain washed at our table instead of meeting his new table mates.

   Welcome Fred.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Duelling Blogs

A new guy is moving into the old folks home tonight...Saturday night.  Who moves on Saturday night?  Anyway, I saw a load of this new guy's stuff go by.  In the load was a scanner/printer.  Oh, my.  Do you suppose there will be another computer junkie here.

What if HE has a blog, too, and what if his blog is about life in the old folks home?  Wouldn't that be a hoot.  We could link one to the other and you could read two versions of Sunday Morning Breakfasts or Senior Rummy or Smelling the Senior Roses. 

Or as they say in the Tall Tales Club, "The First Liar doesn't have a chance."

Friday, April 13, 2007

I Promised You a Rose Garden - The Whole Schmear

I promised you a rose garden, and here it is.  The whole thing.  Except there are dozens of bushes that haven't blossomed yet.  I even gave you a sample of one of those in the last frame.

I will admit it.  I am hooked on photographing the roses.  It started last year and continued through the season when I showed the last of the blooms standing tall and reaching for the sun so as to be noticed.

I started this season photographing little twigs sticking up in the soil, and followed one bush as it strugged to bloom.  That twig has become the bush in the first picture, and the rest are some of the bushes around it.

I kept my promise.  Here's your Rose Garden.




Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Box of Paints

Robert Genn, the artist, in his newsletter (<link) recently told the story of a would be artist, who put off her artistic career for years  by ignoring a box of painting materials that had been given her.  Finally in her later years she got a new box of paints and went to work, fulfilling a life long dream.

Many artists related to the story, and sent in tales of their own, telling how they started their own adventures in art, after putting them off, by putting them aside "in a box", figuratively. I read their stories idly. 

Then I glanced in my corner and laughed out loud.  There was MY box of paints, not figuratively, but actually, sitting on top of the file cabinet...on top of two unused easels


I guess I need to get it down and start my own artistic career.  It is never too late..

Tags: , , ,Robert Genn,The Painter's Keys

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Promised You a Rose Garden - Ad Nauseum

I know you must be bored with my raving about the garden in the old folks home... especially since this is the second one in same day, BUT..

After I raved, and posted a picture of one specific bloom this morning, I went back in the afternoon.  All those smaller blooms you see in the picture, had a few hours.. and they ALL looked sensational and large.  Our prize bloom was surrounded with like blooms.  Strange how fast things can change with plants.

I have known for a long time that Sunflowers turn during the day to follow the sun, but I had not known that roses can grow and expand in the course of the day.  Live and Learn.


I Promised You a Rose Garden - But Nothing Like THIS

There are a hundred rose bushes in the garden of our Old Folks Home, and consequently, over a THOUSAND blossoms. I went out between rain showers and behold, of the thousand blossoms, the prettiest of all, was the one we pictured "growing up".

No kidding.  The biggest, most gorgeous bloom in the garden is that poor little retarded rose bud that we tracked, and worried about.  It gives a new meaning to the the term "late bloomer".  This late bloomer is the grandest of all.  The ugly duckling has become a swan.

Remember how it struggled to bloom?

Saturday Six - On Wednesday

1. Do you believe that there is some form of intelligent life on a planet other than Earth?
Considering the billions of planets there must be, it figures that somewhere intelligent life has evolved.
2. If there was, and we were to encounter it, which do you think would do more harm to the other: the Earthlings or the Extra Terrestrials? We're not all that intelligent...I suspect we would do them more harm.

3. If a close friend or family member told you that they had been kidnapped by aliens, how likely are you to believe them if they can offer no physical evidence? No way.  I would be concerned that they had "gone round the bend" is all.

4. Take the quiz: How likely is it that you would be abducted by Extra Terrestrials?

17% says the quiz.  It says I don't believe in Aliens, but I should

5. If you could fly in a spaceship to get a close look at any of the planets besides Earth, which would you choose and why? I was thinking Venus.  I actually knew the astronmer who discovered the clouds on Venus.  But then I considered Jupiter whose moons provide insights into how the Earth was formed.  Then Patrick reminded me that Saturn has rings that it would be fun to study close up.  Mars would be far down on my list.  I have seen pictures of it, and it is bor-ing.

6. If you had the chance to live on a fully-developed colony on Mars, would you do so? No, Mars is bor-ing. Even the moon would be a better place to live. Imagine living on the moon and watching the phases of the Earth.  Full Earth would be spectacular.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Promised you a Rose Garden - Reprise

Our series, twig to rose bush, is ended, but here is a "follow up", because I can't help myself.  I love taking pictures of these lovely roses.

Here is a close up today of our bush

Here  is our "twig", pink, and its on right, rose variegated behind, and white on left.

Here is the whole garden, or as much as I can get in one photo.   There are over one hundred roses at the old folks home.  All photos under exposed by one stop to enhance color.


I Stand Corrected - I had to Eat my Words

The menu said we were having Waldorf Salad for supper. My table mates and I laughed when the simple salad was served.  We agreed that it was NOT a Waldorf Salad.

I wrote on the comment card that is left at the table:  "Good Salad, but it was not a Waldorf Salad.  A Waldorf Salad has apples, nuts, and raisins."

I happened to be nearby when the cook read the comment card.  She confronted me.  "That WAS a Waldorf Salad.  I watched the salad cook make it."

I said, "It had no nuts or apples in it."

She said, "I saw it made."

I said, "I ate it."

She said, "Wait."  She went to the kitchen and brought out a bowl with the left-over salad.  She reached in an pulled out a fragment of salad.

"Apple," she said and popped it into my mouth.

"Nut," she said and popped another fragment into my mouth.

I had to change my assertion.  "Okay, It was a Waldorf Salad."

But between us, I am not sure the chef at the Waldorf would have recognized it.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

I Promised You a Rose Garden - Final Episode

At last.  The final episode.  Our "twig" has become a rose bush, with blossoms.  Appropriately, it was Easter Morning.


Sunrise Service for One

As is rraditional, I was up before sunrise.  I wasn't sure when sunrise would be, so I went to the courtyard behind the old folks home.  It was just about dawn.

I took the gift card I had received at Christmas, I scootered to Starbucks.  There with gift coffee in hand I greeted the sunrise.

No Hot Cross Buns this Easter

Figuring the time of sunrise is an art.  The time that the sun appears over the horizon is different everywhere, depending on your lattitude and longitude.  Time zones are an hour wide...that is, if the sun appears at 7 am on the Eastern edge of a time zone, by the time reaches the western edge of the zone, it is an hour later, 8 am.

Furthermore, the farther north you are, the earlier the sunrise.  The sun is up at midnight at the north pole.  The higher lattitudes have longer days.  I was astounded by the sun coming up before 4 am in England during WWII.  (And they were on DOUBLE DAYLIGHT time...clock advanced two hours ahead of Sun time.)

The notion that we need a world-wide time is important. Since the time is different in every community, according to the sun, we keep track of world wide events with UT, Universal Time. Universal Time is the time kept Greenwich, England. Why Greenwich?  Why not, and that's where the Royal Observatory was located.

It is now 8:52 AM in Merced, CA.  What is the Greenwich meann time.UT?  I have NO IDEA. 

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Race Against Time

I feel so OLD.  I have spent the morning carefully prying old photos off a bulletin board so I could copy them on the computer to be printed in a family album for my first great-grandchild.

I am going to see him for the first time this weekend.  I want to have the album ready then.  That is the race against time: copy dozens of old photos and have them comb bound into a handy album.

But the prints are fragile, they fall apart in my hand.  I cannot believe how old they are...after all, I mounted them there myself. And there they have hung for over FORTY years.

Poor great grandson is getting copies of copies of copies. I took pains long ago to gather family albums and copy the pictures with the technology available at the time... a twin lens reflex camera. A lot of detail has been lost.  Not only that, names are forgotten. Great grandson will have the faces of nameless ancestors.

The most recent photo in the batch is SIXTY years old...and it is of my wedding. I remember the day wall. Can I really be that old?


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I Promised You a Rose Garden - A Saga

The whole story.

(1) in February I noticed one rose twig was showing a bit of new growth.

(2) I took pictures as it grew.  I focused on one rose bud.  Today it popped open....only seven weeks from twig to rose bud

(3) Our twig looks like this now...a bush with blossoms

(4) Nearby twigs grew faster and blossomed earlier as seen here.

Tags: ,

Updates on Everything

Alas, I am a Twentieth Century child in the Twenty-first Century.

Remember when I complained about a 35 cent can of tuna costing 65 cents? Cancel it was 99 cents.  Well, there are lots more people who need to eat tuna, and fewer tuna to eat. Figures

Volkswagens are still great little cars.  Too bad they quit producing the BUG however.  That simple, but functional car, would be great in our traffic jammed streets.

Our rose bush is trying hard.  Has lots of buds and tiny blossoms.  Soon it will blossom and I have the camera ready.

Service in the dining room of the old folks home is a LITTLE better...except on Sunday mornings. They still seat people in the doorway to the parlor during gatherings.  I am a bit afraid to go in there because it is sometimes impossible to get out when you want.

David Burke has reached Washington State in his journey around the perimeter of the United States.  Bless his heart, he still reads this journal as he travels.  Are you reading his? (link)

I am putting those old family photos you have seen here, into a Family Album for my new great-grandson.  He is only a few months old, but I am sure his folks will save it for him until he is old enough to appreciate it. Oh...  I have discovered I can restore the old torn prints using the PAINT program.  I didn't know that before.  My first attempt was pretty good, and with patience and practice I am sure I can do better.

Tags: , , , , paint,photo restoration

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Don't You Hate It When That Happens

Three times today I prepared an entry for the journal.  I posted pictures of our rose bush.  Three times I pushed the wrong button and sent it into limbo.  Three times.

I gave up.  Only this feeble entry today.  I have to preserve my sanity somehow.  Taking the day off was the simplest way.

Oh, our rose bush still has one, count 'em, one, blossom, while rose bushes nearby are beginning to bloom.  I just picked the wrong twig back last February.  Oh, well, who knew.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Proud as a Peacock

It is sure nice to find yourself listed in someone's favorites column.  I noticed that Funny Face (<<LINK) had listed "My Yank, Chuck".  I clicked on it, and it was....ME.

Thanks, Hon.

Cooling, But I don't Mean the Weather

It has taken me about an hour to "cool down".  I thought breakfast service was bad last Sunday, and even wrote an entry about it.

But today it was worse. 

I'll be all right... eventually.