Thursday, May 31, 2007

Math Problem

Latvia and Estonia are allowed to remove 28,000 tons of herring from Riga Bay each year.  Each little herring weights 7 grams. 

QUESTION: How many seven gram herring in 28,000 tons of fish?

Conversion chart (<<LINK)

Answer: four billion, sixty-four million baby fish.  Alas.

I Promised You a Rose Garden - Rebirth

"Our" rose bush was trimmed back by the gardeners, like all the plants in the rose garden.  Now it has four blossoms and over FORTY new buds.  I will picture it soon.

Strange, but the shoots that bear the buds are not the shoots that were trimmed back.  Trimming back as enabled new and different shoots to sprout and bud.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Truth in Advertising

Once in a while, something lives up to its television advertisement. 

Alaskan Flounder Basket at Long John Silver's does.

Advertised at $2.99 it offers a good sized piece of fish, corn on the cob, (half an ear), some crispy stuff that crunches nicely but I don't know what it is called, packets of tartar sauce, and even two hush puppies.

Price $2.99 plus tax, minus senior discount came to $2.68, was delivered hot in three minutes or less. It is NOT a filet, as stated, but was a nice piece of fish, and of course you cannot see its license plate, so you have to take their word that s comes from Alaska.  It was on some crispy crunchy stuff, and the corn the cob was nice even though it had been frozen. I ordinarily throw the hush puppies, fried bread dough, away, but today I ate them, too.

I am always surprised when something lives up to its television advertisement, so this was a treat.  I will have another soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another Sunday Morning Breakfast

My confusion started last night.  I went to bed at ten PM instead of my usual 12:30. This caused me to rise early.  So I went to Sunday breakfast an hour early. 

The dining room was dark and empty. Although it was an hour to wait before breakfast, there were old people waiting to get in.  Breakfast is scheduled for eight am but there were people waiting at twenty minutes before seven.

At least, I had time to come home and make an entry in my Dream Depository, and write this entry.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Senior Dementia

One senior lady here locks her door at night, yet, people come in and steal her money, her jewels, and her wine. She reports these thefts to the office, but they do NOT call the police.  She is currently in an argument with next door neighbor lady whom she says stole $80 from her.

My tablemate has someone reach into her room nights and steal her laundry bag, with her dirty laundry.  The bag gets returned but not the laundry.  She says she is running out of underwear.

One of our card players hated rainy weather because "Those people come in from outside and get into my bed with their muddy shoes on."  They also brought animals with them and left them in her room.  There were "animals" on her walls.

It is easy to recognize the senior dementia in my fellow residents.  Not so easy to recognize my own.

A care giver comes and checks on us every two hours.  Sometimes I am asleep when he shines his flashlight on me, and other times, I keep my eyes closed and feign sleep.  He always locks the door when he leaves.  However, between his visits I hear someone walking around in the other room of my two room apartment.

Now, I know the door is locked, but I HEAR someone in the next room.  It sounds so real I sit up in bed and try to peer around the corner into the room, but it is dark. 

I know that senior lady has misplaced her money and jewelry and drunk her own wine, and I know that tablemate's laundry will return, and that the card player's animals require no feeding, but, tell me. who is the person who walks around in the other room of my apartment at night?

Friday, May 25, 2007

I Promised You a Rose Gardern -- Volume II

It has been a while since I last showed you a picture of "our" rose bush.  We followed its growth from twig to full blooming rose bush, then stopped.

Since then, the gardeners have trimmed all the rose bushes back when their blossoms dropped.  That is the proper way to care for roses I am told.  It makes possible a "second blooming" by permitting fresh buds to form.  That is what is happening to our bush. 


Here it is, with second growth buds forming, and one, see it down below, one tiny early blossom.

(In the background you can see some blossoms on a "late bloomer" which has not be cut back yet.)

Telemarketing, Spamming, and Junk Maililing

Just because I have a telephone, I don't think that is an open invitation to send me ads on it.  I get several calls a day about my "mortgage" or my "credit card" account.  I have no mortgage and my credit cards have a zero balance.  Mike from "Dish" calls almost everyday.  My landlord will not allow me to put up a Dish antenna.

Just because  I have a computer online, that is not an open invitation to send me advertisements in my email.  I delete dozens of spam messages daily.

Just because I have a mailing address it is not an invitation to send me dozens of advertisements daily.  I throw away dozens of paper advertisements daily calling it Junk Mail.

Advertisers have gone nuts. 

There ought to be a law against Telemarketing, Spamm, and Junk Mailing.

It would sure put one huge industry out of business.  I know advertisers pay for Google, AOL, and radio and television programs, but we pay the price when we buy, anyway. 

Years ago, advertisers were allowed ONE MINUTE out of evey fifteen minutes on the air.  Wasn't that nice?  We got a two minute spiel about Jello with each Jack Benny show.  He used to sneak in a plug by saying "Jello again, this is Jack Benny."  But that was acceptable. 

We see the same commercials over and over and over.  The advertisers have stolen the airwaves... and they belong to US.

And we accept it.  We are sheep.  We have been brainwashed. I'm mad as Hell, but I will keep on taking it.  Alas.

The Magical Self-Charging Battery

Everybody needs one.  A Magical Self-Charging Battery.

I was on my way to the mall on my scooter.  It seemed to be a bit slower than usual. I noticed the Battery-Charge Indicator was hovering near the yellow area.  Yellow means very low charge.

"Rats," I thought. "Somehow the battery failed to charge when it was plugged in overnight.  I will have to be more careful." I thought I might get stranded at the Mall with a dead battery.  But I was almost there...nothing t do but sail on and trust to luck

At the mall, I did my shopping and cruising of the aisles. I checked out.  When I started home I checked the indicator again to see if I had charge enough to get home. LO and BEHOLD, it was now well into the green, a hearty charge.  It was better than before.

I cruised on home with a comfortable feeling. And a sense of wonderment too.  How could the battery have more charge after half an hour of use, than it did on the way in?

And, by the time I reached home, the indicator was at the near top, telling me I hada full charge. Instead of becoming weaker with use, the battery was getting stronger.

Everyone should have one of my Magical Self-charging batteries.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bonanza II

More about Sardines than you wanted to know:

   I went back to Long's Drug store where I bought the can of sardines for 99 cents.  They still had them on sale.  It was a 5.7 ounce can (not 8) for 99 cents.  A smaller can of "Tiny Tots" sells for about $3.50 at the market.  So this time I bought FIVE.

   I decided to research this bargain a bit.  I opened a can and COUNTED the little fish.  Not easy; they are packed in like sardines. (Joke). There were 28 baby herring in the can.  Each one about three inches long...or would be, except their heads have been cut off. The total weight was 160 grams, so that means each one weighs about 6 grams. According to the label on the can they are 17% protein, and 34% fat. 

   Each fish, a baby Baltic Sea herring, has a food value of 13 calories. They come from Latvia.  (Latvia? I hear you ask. Yep Latvia is on the Baltic shore as I remember.)  They are imported by International Delicacies Inc. in Richmond, CA, not far from here.

   But what impressed me the most is that Long's seems to have an endless supply.  I bought five and there were at least that many more left on the counter.  There are lots of Long's Drug stores, and I presume each has a supply of baby smoked Herring. Just think of the millions of Herring it took to fill the hundreds of thousands of cans at the cannery in Latvia.  How can nature replenish the supply of Herring we take from the sea?  How long can it do so?  If we eat all the baby Herring, where will the next generation of Herring come from?  Just how big does a Herring get to be, anyway?  I haven't Googled Herring yet, That is next.

   I guess it is all right for me to eat the ones I have.  They are already canned and not going to grow up to have babies of their own. 

   And here is another grim thought you weren't going to dwell on if I hadn't started this...what did they do with all thosebaby herring heads they didn't include in the cans?

   I am sort of talking myself out of the notion of Sardine snacks for late night television time. 

   I bought some baby artichoke hearts too, but we won't go into

POST SCRIPT:  I am not the only one to wonder about this.  The European Union has a commission to regulate fishing in the Baltic.  The number of fishing boats is set.  If you bring in a new fishing boat, you have to retire one of the same size. The number of Herring that Latvia and Estonia, and other Baltic nations, can catch is limited. Fishing of Cod has been halted.  But they figure there are enough "sprats", so sardines can be caught. The Herring catch is limited to 28000 TONS. That's a lot of fish..

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


A can of "tiny tots" Norwegian sardines weighs about three ounces and costs about three and half dollars.  Wow.  What is that per pound?  Never-the-less, it is what I grew up on, and when I want to treat myself, regardless of price, that is what I choose. "Tiny tots" are indeed, tiny, being immature herring and are packed a dozen or so..."like sardines".. in a can.

The normal sardines I usually buy cost about a dollar and a quarter.  They are not nearly as tasty.  They are large, like bait fish, and three fill a can. They make a good late night snack, BUT they only whet the appetite for little "real" sardines.

I love to go to Long's Drug store and cruise the aisles in my scooter.  The main center aisle is always loaded with the featured sales items and full of surprises. Sometimes it rivals a tour of the 99 cent store in entertainment value.

While touring Long's bargain aisle I came upon eight ounce cans of sardines for 99 cents.  "Can't be very good," I thought, "but they are cheap.  I'll take a chance."  I bought ONE CAN.

I put them aside when I got home.  Yesterday, I opened the bargain can of sardines, and LO and BEHOLD, it was full of "tiny tot" baby herrings.  For 99 cents I had purchased a wonderful snack that would have cost eight dollars at the market.

What a repast I had.  Baby smoked herring, with crackers, while drinking Mountain Dew, and watching the San Francisco Giants beat Houston on television.

Life can be sweet some evenings.

Apropos - More Than a Funny Word

First, let's see what the spell checker does with Apropos. (You can imagine how I spelled it to begin with.)

But now that I have it spelled right... I wonder how I was going to begin with it.  The Title of this entry was to have been Apropos of Nothing.

Apropos, now I have lost my train of thought, I went to bed at Midnight, and rose at five a.m. and that is five hours sleep, which means I will need a nap this afternoon.  That's okay, I have no appointments.

I pace my life with the appointments I have to make with three doctors (Primary care, Prostate, Kidney), the shots they give, and the Dentist.  A week without an appointment is rare. The Dentist and the Kidney doctor are within scooter distance, so I can go whenever I like, but the Primary Doctor and the Prostate Doctor require that I go on the bus operated by the old folks home, and that is available only on Monday and, well, so that is a headache.

Anyway, I got up at five a.m. and made tea and wrote this entry.  It is apropos of nothing, and that is too bad.  It also explains why my readership is down to you few loyal followers, bless you, who have me on alerts.

Where is the wit and wisdom that got me mentioned twice in AOL "picks of the week"?  Gone, faded, failed. Alas.  It is entries like this that will be the coup de grace. ( Let the spell checker deal with that for a while). 

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Nameless Photoblog

If you haven't visited Chuck's Nameless Paintblog, I wish you would.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

As Is

When you can't get what you order, Verdana 12 pt., you take what you can get. (Default Font 10)

See previous two entries with tiny print.

Someday I will understand computers, composing, and aol. Just not today. 

(I wonder what font and size this entry will be.)

Following Up and Looking Ahead

Following up on Mothers' Day and looking ahead to Fathers' Day

Here is a better picture of my mother than was available earlier.


As long as Fathers' Day is coming up next month, I will get an early start and post these pictures.   My father died when I was one year old and I was raised by Grand parents, but I had a wonderful, kind, humorous Step-father.


        My Father                                     My step-father

Another Sunday Mrnng at the Old Folks Home

Here we go... off to Sunday Morning breakfast at the old folks home.  Will it be the usual hassle?  I will report in the next hour.

(1) The first hassle is I cannot get this to print in 12 point print.


(2) A TINY bit better. Fifteen minutes to get coffee, but there was NO regular, only DECAF. Breakfast served and completed in half an hour.  Biscuits and gravy were tasteless. Breakfast was warm, not cold, for a change.

(2) Tablemate, 93, picks teeth at table, from the moment she sits down until she leaves.  And then she uses the tooth pick to clean her the table.

Me: Thelma, when you finish cleaning your ears with that toothpick, please don't put it on the table.

She didn't.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Entry 874

   This is my 874th entry in my journal.  I recently posted a link to my favorite entry, called House Party.  I think "I Am an American", (<--LINK) December 2006, is Next-to-favorite. 

Monday, May 14, 2007

Born Too Soon

   During the twentieth century, I never expected to see the twenty-first.  By my calculations, I would be way too old...seventy-six. I thought I would remain a twentieth century child.  It was not a bad century.  It saw the first airplane, the first television, the first computer, the first space travel. It was the era of invention and progress.

   And it had some of the attributes of the nineteenth century too.  A doctor would come to your house when you were sick.  If you couldn't pay, he would treat you anyway, hoping you'd give him a chicken or a lamb or a basket full of vegetables. When you paid, YOU paid, not the government. 

   But lo and behold, I lived past age seventy six.  We are well into the twenty-first century, with twenty-first century doctors, and twenty-first century ways of paying for things...or letting the government pay.

   I went to the doctor today... a twenty-first century doctor. I sat in his waiting room for an hour and a half after my appointed time.  THEN I was told they "couldn't see me."  Why?  Because Medicare said my "id number", that is my social security number was wrong and I had to get it cleared up before they could see me.

   I was there, My prostate was there with me. My doctor was there. But they could only give me an appointment for next week.It was a twenty-first century screw-up. I came home. I called a social security representative.. He checked my number and said everything was in order, and asked who told the doctor that my number was awry?  I didn't know.

   He is sending me a letter of verification which I can take to the doctor next time. I will smile and present my letter with a twenty-first century grin. My twentieth century self would like to rub their smug noses in it, but I have grown up. I will behave in a civilized manner.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Shopping Goof

It's only the second time it has ever happened to me.  I get home and find someone else's purchase in my bag.  I bought artichokes (at 50 cents each) and some bargain mayonnaise.  There was long hold up at check out. The person ahead of me was using a debit card and the machine did not want to take it... for three tries. So then she wrote a check. She got cash change, and she bought Lotto tickets.  The clerk was thoroughly flummoxed

When I got home I had a package of salad makings in with my artichokes.  I don't mind, but imagine how that lady is going to react when she goes to make supper.

Thus once happened to me at Wal*Mart.  There was confusion at check out.  When I got home I had items I didn't buy in my bags, BUT this time I didn't have everything I bought and paid for.  Someone else got those.  And it was about forty dollars worth. Oh, my.  I never got that straightened out.

So, shopping today was an adventure, or what passes for adventure when you are old. 

In my life, I have walked away  without my change far more times than I have been short changed.  In fact, I have been over-changed from time to time. At times I have accepted my change and walked away without my merchandise. When I was on the other side of the counter, working at the photo counter of a discount store, sometimes people would walk away leaving their wallets or their purses on the counter.

Mothers' Day

My Mother, Her Mother, and her Mothers' Mother

The Deer Hunter

Early in the morning, and you've slept enough, but it is too early to rise, memories come flooding, taking you back to pleasant times, or some very unpleasant times.

During WWII at one time we were on the front lines in the Black Forest in Germany.  We had outposts, in slit trenches, facing a river.  We were in the woods, the river before us, and more woods across the river. There was no action in our section of the line.  It was sit, watch, and wait.

I was on duty alone, at sun up.  It was just getting light, like it is now as I sit writing about this memory. I had been staring at the woods across the river, watching for movement among the trees, when suddenly I saw a deer come out ot the woods on our side and start drinking from the river.  It was lovely. It was a peaceful moment in a tense situation. I stood up to get a better look.

When I stood my movement startled the deer and he began to run. And his running triggered some emotion in me that I do not understand. I raised my rifle, and - shot - the - deer.

I was a poor soldier. I hated taking orders, as I always wanted to know why.  Why do this or that. I was poor at marching or keeping myself in a military manner.  But what I was good at, is marksmanship. This unlikely soldier was a good shot.  In fact, I had traded my M-1 Garand automatic rifle for a 1903 Enfield bolt action rifle because they were more accurate. For much of the WWII I carried, by choice, a WWI weapon. With my old rifle I shot the deer, on the run, and down it went.

The sound of the shot brought the sergeant and several soliders on the run.  "What's going on," shouted the sergeant.

"I shot a deer," I explained excitedly. Someone manned the outpost and the sergeant, a solder named Jake, and I went forward.  The deer lay mortally wounded, helpless before us.

"You'll have to finish him off," said the sergeant. I shuddered.

"Let me do it," Jake begged. I was very relieved, and gratefully turned my back while Jake killed the deer.

I don't know why I shot the deer. It was the challenge of a moving target, the tensions on the front line, staring, hours of inaction, waiting for action, . Something.  But I have regretted that moment from then on.

We ate the deer. Some soldiers said "Thanks, Ferris". I did not enjoy their praise. I eat meat, but if I were the one who had to kill the animals I eat, I would go hungry. I could no longer kill a steer, a hog, a lamb, or chicken.  I love fish, but I could not even catch and kill a fish now. I'll take my steak at Sizzler or my tuna from a can.  The morning's memories of shooting a deer are too vivid.


Tags: , , , WWII, soldiering

Monday, May 7, 2007

Number 869

This is journal entry number 869.  Started in September 2003.

This is still my favorite. (<-<Link)

Plus and Minus

PLUS:  Living in an old folks home has one advantage. When the old folks around you have a birthday, everybody benefits.  Gordon had his 95th birthday today.  Of course a lot of family came.  And they brought birthday cake for EVERYONE. 

   It was chocolate, devil's food, with creme filling.  I ate two pieces.

MINUS:  My Rubik cube project has had a set back.  In trying to change to a simpler formula, I have become screwed up.  I cannot solve it at all, using either formula.

   I am having to start over....from scratch.

How was the Second Act? You Should Know. You were in it.

Frankie is in the hospital. Irene is dead. But John puts their morning papers on their doors just the same.

Did no one tell John? Perhaps he puts them on the door as a tribute…Perhaps he thinks they will come back and seek their morning paper.

Or maybe, he just doesn't know what to do with the extra papers. The papers were paid for, they have to go somewhere.

It sort of shook me up, seeing Irene’s paper there, on her door, waiting to be read. Irene is NOT gonna get today’s news. In fact, maybe she’s in it. She is it, if she is famous. But most of us pass away, and sometimes even the neighbors don’t know about it.

One morning in Oxnard I greeting my neighbor with a casual “How are you” and got a reply “Not bad, under the circumstances.”

“Oh,” I said, “What circumstances?”

“My husband passed away last Thursday.”

I was shocked. I lived next door and didn't know he had died.

We come noisily and depart quietly.

It is Monday morning and I looked around the dining room. It seemed that everyone had wild un combed hair, myself included. I guess Mondays are “bad hair days”.

At least we are here to appreciate them.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Worst Pun in Journal History

John just laid the world's worst pun on us in his journal.(<link)  As I read his journal I knew a pun was coming, but I didn't know what it was until the punch line struck.

Then, groan. A loud groan is the mark of a good pun.

I have NEVER posted a pun in my journal.  You can thank me later.

Tags: ,

Keeping the Brain Busy

Keeping the brain busy is a virtue

Except at five am on Sunday morning.  You'd rather be sleeping and finishing a nice night's rest. Instead, a busy brain keeps you tossing and turning, until you get up, make some instant grits and instant coffee, and write an entry in your journal.

In the old folks home, many residents have trouble finding things to do.  An activity director presents them with lots of little projects, like making baskets of construction paper, building houses out of cookies, doing word search puzzles, or coloring with paints and crayons.  Those are suitable for folks who forget which apartment they live in, or who need help finding the dining room three times a day.

I, however, measure the height of the flag pole, the distance around the garden path, keep a list of residents by room number, track who sits where in the dining room, write a journal and post it on AOL, photograph the roses' growth, and do art work in the computer's Paint program.  I try to keep my brain busy.

But a busy brain is a restless one, and, Lord, do I need rest.  Especially early mornings.  Especially early Sunday morning.

Oh, dear, another Sunday morning, and breakfast is a couple hours away.  What will Sunday morning breakfast be like THIS week?  It is better to go the dining room with GOOD expectations.  My USUAL expectations become self-fulfilling prophesies.  Expect bad service and you will get it.  I must force myself to look forward to the biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and scrambled eggs.  Today they will be hot, spicy, toasty brown, and peppered to perfection.

Uh-huh.  Stay tuned.

Later: Well, they weren't, but today I didn't let it bother me.  That's progress.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Quiz About Television

Here is a little quiz about televison.  What would YOUR answers be?

1. Currently, what television commercial is your least favorite? The one where the actor says "I hate your commercials, but I love your product"  Who cares? And what is wrong with their commercials?

2. And which commercial is your most favorite?  I am not sure I have a FAVORITE commercial.  And why do we see the same commercial over and over and over?  If their advertisement is clear and convincing, why try to hammer it into out brains.  Once should be enough.

3. Of the sitcoms that are on during "prime time" how many do you watch on a regular basis? Please share. Two and half men.  I think it is funny, blunt, and honest (though it is a caricature)

4. Is there a television series that you enjoy watching that is ending this season? I enjoy Boston Legal, but I hope it is not ending soon.  William Shatner is a hoot. He is making fun of the types of heroes he has played, such as Captain Kirk or Hooker the Policeman.

5. Is there any type of program you'd like to see more of on television? Comedies that depend on clever dialog, like two and half men is one.  Science documentaries like Planet Earth.  And the Colbert Report cracks me up. (Well, of couse it would, I'm a Liberal.)

6. Is there any type of program you'd like to see less of on television? The reality shows are a waste of time.  Who gets kicked off what island is not entertaining.  Nor do I care about American Idol.  None, I say NONE of those singers appeals to me.

7. Is there a series that is no longer aired that you wish would come back? Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld,

8. Do you watch re-runs of anything on television? Those two  just mentioned, and Mash...always Mash.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Rubik Cube - Some Notes

Just saw a teen ager solve a Rubik Cube in 28 seconds

Just saw a Robot solve Rubik Cube in 34 seconds

Just saw a Three Year Old Child solve a Rubik cube in 114 seconds.

Thanks, You Tube, for making me humble again.

Oh, you spell it with a K...Rubik Cube.

Here's an eight minute lesson on how to solve the cube.  'Taint easy.