Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I have heard that November is Blog Posting Month.  I even tried to log on to NaBloPoMo (November Blog Posting Month). I will TRY to post something every day in November.

I may have trouble since I am moving tomorrow and my DSL will be shut off for a few days, but if I can get online DIALUP I will.


Spooks -- One Evening Early

We had an earthquake last night.

I felt the earthquake but thought it was a spook.  I was typing at the moment and someone "bumped" my wheelchair.  I thought someone had come into the room without my noticing and bumped my wheel chair.  I was startled and looked behind me, and then I was really startled: no one was there.

   The thought of an earthquake crossed my mind, but I dismissed it because it was only one quick jostle. The thought of a spook crossed my mind, but I dismissed that because I don't believe in them either...and Halloween was still a night away.
   I said out loud, "What the Hell was that?"  I shrugged and went on with my typing.  I didn't think about it again until I heard on the news that we had had an earthquake.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reality Check

Every now and then reality comes up and bumps you in the nose.  I have lived here at the old folks home nearly ten years, and most of it in the same room. 

Today they were showing MY ROOM to prospective tenants.

Oh, oh, what have I done?



Thank you, everyone.  It is wonderful to be able to get such immediate and great response and support.  I took a deep breath, went and committed myself to the move.

It is time to unclutter.

First, unclutter my living space by taking things to storage.  Then to unclutter the storage space.... and that will take even longer.



What a night.  I had two good hours of sleep before I woke up at two a.m., thinking I had slept the night through. Since then, until now, five a.m., have been stewing about a possible move from my two room apartment to a ONE room studio apartment.

The move would save me a bushel basket full of money, but..... how can I cram all the stuff "I cannot live without" into one ordinary sized bedroom?  I lie in bed thinking, "I;ll take the decorative geese my uncle hand carved, and, oh, I mustn't forget the hanging bird feeder outside my window... and ah..."

No birds have visited the bird feeder for years, and I am scarcely aware of the decorative hand carved geese, but, they are keepsakes, family heirlooms, and I cannot "live without them".   So they must move with me, And on and on, not sleeping, just considering what to take if I move. My life, and rooms, are filled with things I need, in case I want to do some of the wonderful things I plan to do someday.

I don't have to move. But the apartment available is one of the nicest one room apartments at the old folks home.  If I am going to move, now is the time.

I have decided, now in the middle of the night, that I will tell the Administrator that I will make the move.  I am decisive.  BUT morning is hours away.  How many other thoughts and considerations will pop into my mind before she arrives in the morning? 

Moving is trauma and stressful, and I don't need any stress, thank you. But moving is also an adventure, and I do need adventure and new things in my life. 

Dear me, life is so complex... especially at five a.m.

I got out of bed, dressed and mounted my wheelchair and went roaming through the halls, looking for someone to talk to. Silly man, there is no one up and the halls are empty.  However, the caregivers had brewed some fresh coffee, and I helped myself to a cup.  That helps me think...but not sleep.  I am glad I have this journal to expound to. It helps me reason things through... but not enough to make a final decision.

Insomnia, the inability to sleep, has overtaken me.  And no wonder.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some Nerve

How about some "truth in labeling", please.

If you produced a non-dairy coffee lightener, what would you call it? 

Why, Dairy Fresh, course.  What nerve.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Promised You a Rose Garden for Halloween

It has been a while since you've seen Twiggy, "our rose bush".  Here she is, in the last week of October.  Still has two blossems, and maybe even some buds.  It is almost time for the roses to be trimmed back.  We have been following Twiggy's growth since last February.

Split Personality

During exercise I am like two different people.  One is telling me to "keep on" and the other is telling me to "stop".

Today, the Stop person won at a mile and half on the stationary bicycle/rowing machine.  Yesterday I had done two miles, as I had the day before that.  Today I quit after 1.5 miles, but I HAD done a couple of speed sprints... getting up to fifty miles per hour at one brief point.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


John Scalzi says for his weekend assignment: Amuse me.

This will do it, if he has forgotten that I posted it once, long ago.  Worth another look.

Singing Horses.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Getting Nowhere Fast

Listening to my heart, the doctor asked, "How much exercise are you getting?"

"None," I admitted.  Then noting that I have gained a lot of weight in past six months, I sought out the exercise room.  About the only exercise equipment I could easily use was a stationary bicycle. 

I mounted and started using the moveable handlebars. As I "rowed": I noticed it kept track of the "miles" I had traveled. When I reached half a mile, I decided to go for a goal of one mile.  I began to tire at a three quarters and the last tenth was tough, but I finished.

The next day I went back and started rowing again.  I reminisced as I rowed, remembering how, when I lived at the harbor, I rowed a mile a day each morning. So I began to mentally recreate my morning row.

At one tenth of a mile rowed, I said, "I have reached the main channel." At two tenths I said, "I am half way up the main channel to the cross channel." I rowed on.

Farther on I remembered the lady who used to wave at me from her apartment window each morning. At half a mile I said, "I have reached the turning basin."  I stopped and rested on my oars, and I really needed the rest. After my heart slowed to normal, I started toward "home" at a more leisurely pace.

At one mile, I was at my home dock, but I  wanted to do more than the day before, so I slowly rowed up my channel and back adding two more tenths of a mile.

Today, I think I will row south to the bridge and back.  That will be a mile and half.  The scenery wil be different, and I may see a sea lion on the way

LATER: I made it to the "bridge" and back. It was tougher going to the bridge... I guess the tide was coming in.  I will check online and see if I can find a tide table for Oxnard.  I haven't needed one for years. Best time to row would be just as the tide changes, picking my destination accourding to whether the tide is coming in or going out.

   I was very leisurely coming home, and when I got back to my "dock", I still had poop enough for an extra tenth of a mile... say 500 feet.

   I am sad that I have to do this virtually.  I miss the real thing..

Seven New Slogans

Every day I hang a new slogan on my apartment door for passers-by to see.  Some are philosophical but most are just impertinent, and, I hope, funny. Here are this week's entries.









and for Sunday  NEVER ON SUNDAY

and when I leave  THE CURMUDGEON IS OUT

Tags: ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pet Weirdness -- weekend assignment #188

John Scalzi asks "What's the weirdest thing you've ever done with your pet?"

My dog Griff and and I were visiting the harbor in Oxnard, California, and watching the boats ply up the entrance channel. While we sat near the rocks, a sea lion came out of the water and sat on the rocks, and looked at us.

Griff was all alert and friendly.  To him, this was another dog, with big eyes and long whiskers, who wanted to play.  Griff darted after him, and the seal lion slipped into the water, and my big clumsy Golden Retriever jumped into the channel after him.

The sea lion thought this was great fun, and being the better swimmer began circling Griff, who was thrashing around trying to reach the sea lion. But in a moment, Griff was struggling just to keep afloat. I panicked, set my camcorder down, since I eas videoing the whole adventure, and prepared to jump in to save Griff.

Before I jumped in, Griff reached the rocks and dragged himself onshore, turned, ready to start the chase again, but I grabbed his collar.  I led him, protesting, and put him in the car, and closed the door so he could not head back for the water.

Meanwhile the sea lion came out of the water onto the rocks, and looked for Griff. He was ready for more sport with this strange red haired seal with four legs. I retrieved my camera and drove away while Griff and the sea lion looked longingly at one another.

If there had been a  You Tube in those days, you could have watched the whole adventure yourselves. It was on tape. 

    My Golden Retriever, Griff, on dry land.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Going My Way?

The new model cars have unfamiliar names.  Gone are the power names like Starfire, Comet, Astro, and the the cat names like Cougar, Wildcat, Lynx. Impala. Ford has even given up names like Model T, Model A, and V8.

AOL has listed the ten least expensive cars available. Here's a quiz for you. I show you the model name, but hide the manufacturer.  Slide your mouse over the space after the model name so see who made it. (Ann, left click the mouse first.)








3 ....................Mazda


Aveo 5 ...........Chevrolet

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Senior Rummy


Night after nght, a group of us seniors meet after supper to play Rummy for about an hour.

We have taken the kids game,Rummuy, and simplified it so that even we seniors can cope with it.

Doesn't playing a kids' game night after night get boring>

Oh, my, Yes.



New Painting

This is the painting I bought at the downtown Art Festival last week


It is by Deanalynn Schmitz.  It has no name. is her email

Note from the Artist >> Hello Chuck,
  I originally named my painting "Candle in the Wind",but I like your choices much better.  "Carnival" or "Mardi Gras" would be great names.  I am very honored that my painting spoke to you, I felt joyful while painting it.  The art festival was so much fun,meeting people and sharing art.  Thank you again!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Turkey Vulture Culture

Krissy did it.  Krissy made Google come up with the right answer. She asked the right question and got this site: Turkey Vultures.

Yes, those are the babies. And the site shows a picture of over a hundred soaring in one flock. Joan, are you as impressed as I?  Makes my colony of twenty seem pretty puny.

Kern County, the location of the Turkey Vulture Counting project, is part of our central California valley. I think those hundred Turkey Vultures pictured were headed from Mexico to the Eucalyptus trees on my street.

No wonder the neighbors are complaining. They don't know they are a natural habitat for migrating Turkey Vultures.  

Mice and gopher snakes of Merced, beware. Your days are numbered.

Question: how many mice can one hundred Turkey Vultures eat in one week? 

P.S. The Turkey Vulture Watch people have counted as many as 30,000 Turkey Vultures over the San Joaquin Valley. That is thirty thousand.

P.P.S.  One more comment about Turkey Vultures, and this should be my last. I thought they were Turkey Vultures because of what they ate. Not so.  It is because their bald, featherless vulture heads resemble turkeys. They are named for what they look like, not what they eat.

Google Me a Turkey Hawk

Soetimes Google can be so dumb. You ask about "hawks" and it refers you to the Seattle Hawks, a basketball team, or books about hawks, or catalogues of pictures of birds, some of which may be hawks.

My search started because Joan, (see comments in in entry, "Envy", below) asked what kind of hawk I had seen circling in the California sky. She said >>  It is a great sight to see hawks soaring like that in big numbers we last saw something like that in Majorca during a rain storm we had about 40 hawks Black Kite, Short Toed Eagle and Booted Eagle amonst them it was a great sight  for us as we are very keen bird watchers. Do you know what hawks you saw?

Well, no, Joan, I have heard them called Turkey Hawks. They nest in the Eucalyptus trees on our street a few blocks north, and are considered a big nuisance. The city trimmed the trees, but that only deterred them from their nesting sites a short time.  Soon they were back, squawking and messing and being generally annoying to residents.

They are large and dark, somewhat bigger than crows. They seem to fly by magic, since I have never seen them flap a wing. The simply soar on unseen air currents. The flock together; I saw about twenty in one flight. The seem to like the "buddy system" for there are usually sub-groups of two.

But I don't know if they are really Turkey Hawks or not.  Google could show me no "Turkey Hawks". It showed me Turkey Vultures though, except they were huge and live in the Eastern part of the country, not California.  Google showed me pictures of Black Hawks, but they were brown, not black. (White Rhinos are black incidentally.)

I am not much of a bird watcher. I love to see the hawks soaring over, and I have seen hawks perched on fence posts as I drove along a country road, and once or twice in my lifetime I have seen eagles. I saw a couple of eagles nests in Alaska.

I am more of a bird listener than watcher.  I love to listen to the mocking bird who lives nearby.  I have tried to record and chart his songs.  He seems to have a special sequence of notes that he repeats. At first it sounds random, but later you can hear repeats of certain trills. He seems to be saying something, and I  am trying to figure it out.


Friday, October 12, 2007

A Tale of Envy

I went outside between rain showers. There high above me was a flock of hawks. They were soaring, flying without moving a feather or a wing, just riding the updrafts. around and around they went.  It was curious.  Some circled to the left and some circled to the rightl  You'd think they might have a head-on collision but they seem brighter than people, who certainly would smack into one another.

I envied theirskill and comfort in the air.

While they were circling a huge motor home parked nearby.  It was self contained, having everything one would need for keeping house on the road, where-ever one wandered.  On the back were hanging two bicycles, AND they towed a compact car.  I wished I had had one of those a few years back.

I envied their motorhome and comfort on the road.

HOWEVER, I got an email from an old friend who had been talking to the landlord of the house I rented at the coast, with a deck and a dock, where I kept my three boats.  She said that he said that I had been "the best tenant he had ever had."  Made me tear up for a moment. 

And I was reflecting on the fine place I live now.  It is neat and clean, with lots of staff to help and wait on us. We feel cared for all the time. 

I guess some people might envy me


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Creepy Mouse

   One of the weird changes to my computer, due to its recent "illness", was that the repaired unit has a creepy mouse.

   Use the optical mouse to put the cursor on an icon or "button", and leave it for a moment, and it begins to creep away.  Always toward the upper left.  Curious.  Maybe the mouse has a hole up there that I never noticed before.

   Sometimes it becomes a chase.  I put the moving mouse on a button and try to double click before the mouse escapes.  Right now it is sort of sporting, but I think I should try to track down the "bug" that my "mouse" has caught before long. The game is afoot at present, but I fear it will become tedious before long.

  For now the mouse is creepy

Monday, October 8, 2007

Like New

My computer is home. That is a relief.  But it is like new.  That means all my preferences and setting are changed. 

As with a new computer, all your favorite programs need to be reinstalled.  Now, where did I leave those disks? And my journal looks all different.  Hmm.  Is that the way it looks to you? And many programs I downloaded online.  Will I ever get tham all working again?

Oh dear..  Life is so complex.

Bold and Beautiful

Saturday, I boldly mounted my scooter and scooted to downtown Merced, over a mile away. that is "cross country" to us scooterists.  

I passed the "Blues Fesival" enroute.  I would have ejjoyed that, but the Art Festival downtown was my goal.  I arrived at the Art Festival.  About two blocks had been closed and dozens of booths erected for artists and craft makers to display their work for sale.  It is kind of a gigantic yard sale for artists. 

One display was erected by the local Art Gallery and consited of a clothes line a couple of hundred feet long hung with paintings of all sorts. I spotted one watercolor that appealed to me but it was unframed and cost fifty dollars. I liked it but would have to frame it.  Next to that was a watercolor by a familiar artist, my daughter. Same deal, I would have to frame it, and it cost Seventy-five dollars. I passed on that too.

But one bright geometric acrylic painting, on mounted canvas struck my eye. I asked and it was only Twenty dollars.  I bought it on the spot.  I loaded the picture in the basket of my scooter and sallied on.  At the Art Center I found my daughter at a demonstation table showing her technique with water colors. I showed her my purchase and asked, "What have I bought?"

"Oh," she said, "This is by Deannalyn Schmitz. Would you like to meet her." Deanna was at another booth demonstrating her methods. I was introduced to her and told her how her painting had 'spoken to me'." 

I would have liked to visit the street fair more but the battery indicator on the scooter was yellow.  And that is what I was too, Yellow.  I immediately headed for home while my battery lasted.  On the way home I scolded myself for being so timid. I arrived home, proudly carrying my trophy, but with plenty of battery power left. I went to town, shopped, and was home within an hour.

When I get my desk top computer back, I will post a photo of the painting.  I was delighgted with it, but felt foolish for scurrying home so soon. 

PS The computer company called.  The computer is ready.  Whew.

Tags: <beautiful painting,

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Sunday Afternoon

Here I am, at last... Oh, I love you faithful followers...

...what a lot of wonderful support.... thanks folks.  Now here is the rigamarole I use now.  sign onto ie, then google comes up.  then search for ool, then on aol search for dribblebychuckferris, then add comments, and in order to add comments have to sign on to aol using password.  all of that withut missing a single keystroke on the laptops flat unfamiliar keyboard.  wow.  Now that I add comment, I can go back and make a new entry.  such a routine.  then I will copy the comment and make it into a new entry. whee.

Anything is possible... using small screen, cramped keyboard, and reading glasses

Saturday, October 6, 2007


My desktop computer is in the shop.  I am having nothing but trouble with he lap top.  Nothing is the same.  The signin protocol is all changed and I have forgotten my Google pass words, which I seem to need.

I hate being without my Blog "fix"... and it all has to wait until a new power supply arrives from somewhere.

Oh, misery

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lost Sardines

Remember those $3.50 cans of sardines I bragged about buying for 99 cents at Longs' Drug store?  Well, I went looking for more.  There were no longer any on the 99 cent shelf.

I was disappointed. Then I found them... on the Last Chance clearance shelf.

For 47 cents.

I bought four.  Think I'll go back for more.