Wednesday, July 2, 2008



Dear Ones,

He's left the planet, actually, I assume.  Your comments and prayers, your thoughts really worked, Chuck released his body knowing he was truly loved at 10pm PDT July 1st.  He told us weeks ago he wouldn't be around for the 4th, he was correct.

  Your comments are a huge blessing to all of his family, and we thank you soooooo much!  Wish I could be more creative, more like Dad in how I express this to you...but I know he would say it something like this:


Our love and thanks for a great ride for our Dad, Grandfather, Cousin, Uncle and old friend!  You are ALL AWESOME!  I probably cannot respond to each and every one of you, so please know our heartfelt thanks and hugs across the web!  XXXXOOOO

Blessings, Kate and family

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pitch hitting

Hey everyone, this is Chuck's daughter, remember me from when Chuck was in the hospital at the beginning of the year.  We'll I'm pitch hitting again...making it up as I go along though.  No dictation at this time from Chuck./

I was chatting with BAMA who let me know you would all like to be updated on Chuck's progress.  He's had a major downturn. Here's what I think Chuck needs from all you friends now...prayers, thoughts, comments that let him know how much you've enjoyed your relationship with him, and that it is okay to let go, and go on to the next life experience, whatever that may be.  He is struggling and fighting, though his body is ready to lie down and be in bliss.  I will be happy to read them all to him, to encourage him relax and let go.

Sometimes without realizing it friends and family can hold on too tight to a person, and especially one who is so dedicated to all of us...we can hold them back from moving on.  It seems his friends here at the "old folks' home" have been planning a big Chuck fest for 4th of July, and so he's been conflicted in his mind I think.  Anyway, probably more than you needed to hear, or that he would want me to say.  I'm not sure.

Chuck's whole family knows how important all of you have been to him!!! Please hold us all in your thoughts and prayers for a peaceful transition.

Namaste, Kate

Friday, June 27, 2008

Guest Typist

Hello, my name is Stanley Hahn, designated typist for Chuck today. And it is an honor.  Chuck says (he is dictating)...

....I had a bad morning! The staff came in to transfer me from toilet to wheel chair but I was so weak that my legs gave out, and I sank to the floor.  Then it took the whole staff to lift me into my chair. I was exhausted, but unhurt.  Now when I have to transfer, I have to call for help...not one or two...but three care givers come to help me make the transfer. 


....Talk about loss of dignity...but I am well, even if out of breath.

I would like to make this funny, but I don't know haw to make the situation funny. Suggestions appreciated.  Stanley types 10 times faster that I, ( or so he thinks) so it should be easier to read.  Thanks, Stanley for your typing.


Gotta go...time for lunch but I'm not finished with breakfast yet...still sipping on a soda for breakfast.


See you later!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Upside Down Night

Went to bed at eight PM.  Woke up at two AM.  Now everythng is out of whack. I'll talk to you in the morning wehn I am awake again...hope not still.

LATER 7:15 am  Finally got some rest.  Waiting for breakfast now.  Took  tour of garden.  Twiggy has the nicest crop of second bloom red roses in the garden.  More later.

LATER: 8:45 am  cALLED COUSIN bERTHA.NO ANSWER.  nO ANSWER FROM A NURSNG HOME? cURIOUS.  sorry about the Caps Key... too lazy to type ofver.  Breakfast a bite of Oatmeal and one poached egg.  Not  bad.  Off to play music for exercise class.  More Latler.

11AM: They had a doll show here with a lot of pretty dolls; etnic types and I was able to play some music for the fun and fitness..Mandy the nurse came and treated my various ailments. We had a heart to heart talk. More later.

2:30 PM  Lunch was a piece of chcken, mandarine oranges, cottage cheese.  Then a half an hour nap.  ..More later...

3:00 PM  Got put on new protocol.  Every transfer... chair to chair, chair to toilet, chair to bed, bed to anything...will be done with caregivers' aid.  Changes my life style IMMENSELY.

4:00 PM  Girlfriend Anne came over. We had supper together,then held hands through two and half men.

9:00 PM  A caregiver put me to bed where I stayed until four am. Two  caregivers got me up and I wnt out and looked at the waning moon. 

4:00 AM  Wrote this.  That's it for this entry.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beein Too Pooped to Write

 I have been too weak and too tired to write any stories or amusing anecdotes.  How I miss it.  It is the best therapy for me. 

   Meanwhile, the archives are here... going back several years.  All on file, and all as good as new. 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Found: Cousin Bertha

   I  found Cousin Bertha.  She is in a nursing home in Texas. She was mighty uncomvortable... but so  am I, today.  I did my best to be cheery.

   The family moved her on Wednesday, and I learned about it today, Sunday, that same time as her daughter did.

   more news later as it comes in....

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Word about Printers

..and the word is &%#@^. or it might even be "help"


Now, Angie, I am not whining.  This is plain cussing.

Are you in the market for a printer?  I would say avoid HP Deskjet 350 All in One. I bought it because it was cheap. But it was built to gobble ink like a sailor with a 12 hour leave drinks beer.  I paid less than a hundred for the machine, but since then, I have paid over a hundred dollars a year for ink.

But worse than that... the software has some idiosyncratic twist. If you run out of paper, it sulks for days.  It was my own fault.  I let it run out and I knew about the sulk. Now I have no printer for God knows how long. 

But I'm not whining.  I am swearing.

PS... The Inkoholic is working again.  I must remember not to let it run out of paper or ink. 

Snap amd Ginger

Snap and Ginger

When I was a child, my grandmother used o make up stories about two little puppies, one named Snap and one named Ginger. That’s Gingersnap, the cookie, you see, but it was not obvious to me at age six.

When I was a parent I made up stories about Snap and Ginger for my children, AND when they were parents they made up Snap and Ginger stories for their kids, my grandchildren. So Snap and Ginger lived on for six generations. That’s some life span for a pair of playful puppies.

Yesterday I wrote a story for a self-imposed writing assignment called Rover on duty. I put it online in my Blog and later in reading it discovered in wonder what a neat Snap and Ginger story it could become.

I played with the story this way.

Snap on Duty

We bought and moved into the Temecula house because of the wonderful back yard. It was fenced on one side by the house, and on another by spectacular view of the whole valley below, but on the other two sides was a gigantic .fieldstone sculptured wall.

It had been built by an artist whose name was never given to us. Most of the stones were granite stones found in dry riverbeds, but some were bit of lava, rough lava, that contrasted with the main smooth blocks of field stone.

It was plumbed for a fountain, but there was no recycling pump, so obviously when it was built times were different and water was plentiful. It was just as beautiful dry with cactus plants as it would have been with moss and water lilies. One flat fieldstone projected from the wall and was meant, no doubt, to hold a plant

Our two cats, Missy and Goneril liked to climb. Inside the house. they climbed furniture and drapes to sleep on curtain rods or the fireplace mantle. Outside it was bushes or trees or especially the rock wall, and they liked to loll on the projecting flat rock. Snap, the self-appointed leader of the menagerie watched in envy as they scaled the wall to their private sanctuary. After all, he was top dog around here He was master of the feeding dish and got the choice scraps first. He had a spot beneath the kitchen table witn Ginger, and cats were not allowed. But the cats had a place of their own, and Snap was not allowed.

Snap began to climb. He was no cat, so his first efforts were feeble.

Ginger used to say to him, “Cut that out, Snap. You’re not a cat. Why try to climb like one?“

Snap answered with histail drooping, “What a wonderful look-out place. Why should it be wasted on cats?” And he watched as the cats nimbly leaped from stone to stone.

Snap thought if I could just choose the right rocks, I could climb that too.

Ginger, although she did not approve of his cat-like behavior, said, ”Snap, remember when you were a puppy? You were learning to climb the stairs. You had to learn to get one hind foot up before you could get on the next step..”

“Foolishness,” said Snap. “That’s the way humans walk…one hind leg after another, and not using their front legs at all.”

“Well, watch the cats then. See if you steal their secret.:”

Snap just growled at that thought. But later he tried climbing the rock wall by finding places for his hind feet first, and his front feet later. Lo and behold, he made it part way up the wall before tumbling down, painfully striking the sharp stones.

He yelped in pain, but Ginger licked his wounds, and soon he was ready to try again. And this time he got farther before he tumbled again, and the fall was farther too. Ouch.

   Eventually he was able to climb to the flat rock. The cats were promptly evicted and had to settle for individual pieces of lava to nest upon,. It seems a cat can sleep on anything somehow. Rover was king of the mountain.

From his elevated post, Snap had a full view of the whole back yard and the streets and sidewalks in front of the house.

Snap was a “greeter“. That is, any person on the sidewalk had to be greeted by Snap.

If Snap approved the person then Ginger greeted too, but sbe always waited to see whether Snap would bark at the stranger, or happily wag his tail in welcome. If that person had a dog with them so much the better. That meant a smelling contest with each dog trying to smell the other‘s behind.

When the smelling and the greeting was over, Snap dashed back to his elevated post on the wall. and became the lookout for the next visitor. Ginger settled down at the foot of the wall, and said to herself, “Cats are cats, and dogs are dogs, and dogs should not try be what they are not.” .

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dog on a Rock

   I lay in bed playing a writers’ game. There is no need for “writer’s block”. The world is too full of colorful images and adventures.

   Let’s see. Take any simple phase. Dog on a rock came to mind.. Two nouns: dog, rock. Dog is modified. He is on a rock. , We can do anything we like with the dog. We can make him a Chihuahua or a Mastiff or anything in-between and any color or any temperament we want. However, he is on a rock. The rock is unmodified be it Igneous or sedimentary. Is the dog on lava or sandstone? We decide.

I played with the phrase this way.

                                     Rover on Duty

   We bought and moved into the Temecula house because of the wonderful back yard. It was fenced on one side by the house, and on another by spectacular view of the whole valley below, but on the other two sides was a gigantic .fieldstone sculptured wall.

   It had been built by an artist whose name was never given to us. Most of the stones were granite stones found in dry riverbeds, but some were bit of lava, rough lava, that contrasted with the main smooth blocks of fieldstone.

   It was plumbed for a fountain, but there was no recycling pump, so obviously when it was built times were different and water was plentiful. It was just as beautiful dry with cactus plants as it would have been with moss and water lilies. One flat fieldstone projected from the wall and was meant, no doubt, to hold a plant

Our two cats, Missy and Goneril liked to climb. Inside they climbed furniture and drapes to sleep on curtain rods or the fireplace mantle. Outside it was bushes or trees or especially the rock wall, and they liked to loll on the projecting flat rock. Rover, our Australian Shepard watched in envy as they scaled the wall to their private sanctuary. After all, he was top dog around here He was master of the feeding dish and got the choice scraps first. He had a spot beneath the kitchen table and cats were not allowed. But here they were with a place of their own,

Rover began to climb. He was no cat, so his first efforts were feeble. Eventually he was able to climb to the flat rock. The cats were promptly evicted and had to settle for individual pieces of lava to nest upon,. It seems a cat can sleep on anything somehow. Rover was king of the mountain.

From his elevated post, Rover had a full view of the whole back yard and the streets and sidewalks in front of the house.

Rover was a “greeter“. That is, any person on the sidewalk had to be greeted by Rover. If that person had a dog with them so much the better. That meant a smelling contest with each dog trying to smell the other‘s behind.

When the smelling and the greeting was over, Rover dashed back to his elevated post on the wall. and became the lookout for the next visitor.

That’s why when you say “dog on a rock” to me, it brings back images of a wonderful rock wall draped with two lazy cats and a happy greeter. .


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Great Cousin Bertha Hunt

   Hospitals sure are tight lipped. Almost every day I call Cousin Bertha in the hospital and we chat.  Chat about nothing, but we chat.

   Today I called and was told, "She is no longer here." Nothing more/

   Nothing more, just she is no longer here.  Leaves me wondering did she die? Surely the family would have called me. So she must have moved.  But where"

   Stay tuned.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Joke on Myself

Freudian slip, I guess.  I had no intention of adding an entry...but what happened... I meant to flip to another site and instead... I clicked on the add and entry button.  What does that say about me?  I am compelled to write drivel for Dribble, whether I am ready or not.

I am really not... I am drugged out of my skull.  I am on 4 kinds of pain medication.  A patch, a nerve deadener, vicoden, and a lanacaine lotion.  It is a wonder I can write at all.

I seem to have lost my tact.  I was having a conversation with good friend Wilma and I told her she was not diplomatic enough. How's that for my diplomacy. She turned and rolled away silently. I hope the hurt doesn't last too long.  I need friends these days/

Girl friend Anne came to the old folks home to see me, and to make smores.  The activity director was serving smores and Anne knew she would need help in making and serving the thirty or so old folks who remember this treat from their girl scout camping days. Do you remember smores?

And Jackie, a former activity director came to see me, and other old friends here. We had a great time. These visits from old friends, and one from a new friend, are good therapy.  If I am sitting here in pain, but start to chat with a visitor I soon forget the pain and focus on the visit.  Visitors are better than pain pills.

Well, how was this for an entry that I had no intention of making in the first place?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

So. How Was the Music Session?

   The music appreciation lesson was exhausting.  Sheila talked to Doris any time I wanted to speak. How she managed to time it was amazing.  I am sure she heard NOTHING of what I said.
Before the session I took the daily song book with the orange cover and put it out of sight so it would not distract. Today is different..not fun and fitness.  I put it behind the drape but left an inch showing.  Mistake.  Semi-autistic Jeanie spotted it during the lecture.
"Orange paper," she screamed.
"There are 47 strings on a harp," I continued
"ORANGE. ORANGE PAPER." screamed Jeanie..
"And seven foot pedals the harpist has to use." I said.
"That's the song book.  I put it there."
"Oh."Said Jeannie
It was exhausting.  Finally the 35 minutes were over.  I would say "never again" but I am on the schedule for next Saturday too.

Dinner with he Cat (RERUN)

Dinner with the Cat

For a while I lived with my step-dad. We were both single, and he did the cooking.

One day when he was away I had to fix my own dinner. I looked in the cupboard to see what was available. I found a bright red can of Jack Mackerel and I opened that. I had mackerel and crackers.

When step-dad returned he asked, “What did you have for dinner?”

“I had some mackerel from the cupboard.”

“What? I keep that to feed the cat.”

“Tasted pretty good,” I said.

After that he would frequently ask, “Shall I fix us some dinner, or did you have dinner with Missy?”

Still Groggy

   Up at 5:30 am and still groggy.  The reason I am up so early is because I went to sleep early...on he recliner in front of the television.

   I woke up on the recliner after a couple of hours.  The news was on but I had no idea what they were talking about.  Then it was a struggle to get into bed.  A jillion appliances to turn off, pills to take, the john to visit, PJs to don, all almost woke me up before I could flop down and go to sleep again.

   I have a tablemate who sleeps until 11:30 am,  getting up just in time for lunch.  Sounds wonderful to me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Music Apreciation in the Old Folks' Home

   Almost every time I try something serious at the old folks' home,it ends in chaos.  Nevertheless I tr again.

   Because they needed something on the activity schedule, and because there is no staff here on week ends, they put "Music with Chuck" on the Saturday schedule. The old folks are used o hearing my keyboard in the morning at Fun And Fitness. I play background music for exercises.

   But for this session I have chosen THE HARP. A keyboard allows you to substitute any instrument into a recorded number  So for tomorrows session, I will change all the numbers into harp mmusicBetween numbers I will tell what little I know about classical harps. 

   It will be a music appreciation lesson.  The trouble is that attendance in NOT compulsory and my audience will soon escape.  Wouldn't you stay to hear how a Sousa march sounds played on a harp? 

   I will report tomorrow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So, Okay, I'll Explain It

   First,see the entry below to see what the joke was: Turnips really make a strw, but Parsnips stand alone

   You see, the flavor of turnips in a stew make it full and tasty. They add to the stew and make it better.  Parsnips, on the other hand, are strong and root-like. They only make the stew rangy and weed-like.  But boiled, buttered parsnips by themselves are deliciousThey stand alone.

Now, what is the message here? Is this a metaphor for life?  Of course it is  Some people when in a crowd dominate and ruin the conversation.  When some people are there,committees cannot function

   But if you have a converrsation with that person by himself, there is no crowd to impress, and he can be himself and he is delightful company.  He is the parsnip.  Alone he is fine, but in  a crowd (stew) he ruins the business at hand

  There.  NOW do you get it.

I Don't Get It

   I was in my recliner and not abut to move  A visitor stopped by my door and remarked, "I always look to see what slogan you have posted for the day."

   "Oh," said I, "I haven't posted it yet.  But come on in  You can help"

   He came in and I handed him today's slogan  It said, "Turnips really make a stew, but Parsnips stand alone"  He was clearly puzzled.  That amused me.  I asked hm to hang it on the door  He did so with great reluctance.  Clearly he did not get it.

   I said, " Sometimes there is nothing to get. That is part of the fun/" He hung the slogan hesitating and looking at me.  But he hung it, and departed, no doubt shaking his head.

   That, too, is part of the fun...for me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is That All You Wanted?


What human condition warrants thirteen different kinds of medicine?  That s what there were in the tin holder I dropped. Thirteen bottles of prescription meds.  All over the floor.  In the tin holder they were in order...numbered according to when I was to take each. Now they lay like pied type, in disarray.

   I left them for at least an hour while I considered the matter.  I cannot pick up all thirteen from my wheelchair. I pulled the cord for the caregiver. And nobody came. 

   So I got my "grabber", that reaching tool for handicapped folks and began to lift each one onto the bed where  could resort them.  They were round and escaped the grabber easily. Neretheless, I had them all but two by the time the caregiver arrived. She bent over, picking them up easly, and  puting them on the bed.

Then she asked, "Is that all you wanted?"  The "You lazy lout" was in my imagination. No it wasn't all, it is just that your timing was perfect

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More About Sherlock Holmes

   Rarely has a fictional character taken on such complete personality.  You want to know what he looked like?  Yep, Basil Rathbone was the best.  But the non-Doylelike lines he was given to utter somewhat spoil the image  '

   Holmes' roommate and frequent companion in his adventures was Dr. Watson.  Watson's first name is rarely rarely that Doyle himself forgot and give him a different name in some stories.  Holmes himself called Watson by his last name as in "Elementary, my Dear Watson."  Incidentally, that line never appears in any of the stories.

   Holmes has mastered the art of the non-clue in solving cases.  For instance he found Silver Blaze, a missing racehorse by using "The remarkable behavior of he dog in the night time."

   "But the dog did nothing," points out Watson.

   "That was the remarkable behavior," answers Holmes.  He surmised the dog should have barked but didn't... indicating that the dog knew the intruder and leading Holmes to the solution.

   Watson was nothing like the obtuse character portrayed by Nigel Bruce. He wasn't dull or dumb.  He just couldn't keep up with Sherlock...who could? Strangely in the many version of Sherlock Holmes tales in movies if the portrayal of Homes is good, the portrayal of Watson is poor, and vice versa. In very few are both true to the original stories.  A recent PBS series had good versions of both Watson and Holmes, but then... put Holmes' words in Watson's mouth and even worse, had Holes saying things that Watson had said in the original tale.

   But they couldn't fool me...I knew my Doyle, and I knew who actually said what.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Case of the Crippled Penguin

   You're right.  None of Conan Doyle's Tales was ever called that.  But I just wanted to brag a bit.  When I was an avid reader, one of my favorites was Sherlock Holmes.  At one time, if you opened a complete collection of Sherlock Holmes tales at random, and started reading, I could within in a sentence or  two tell you which tale it was from.  I was that familiar with the stories.  In fact, you have probably noticed a few figures of speech from Sherlock Holmes tales right here in Dribble.

   Just bragging.

I've Been Busy

    Have you been missing me?  I've been missing you.  I have been busy.. trying to get my pain medication balanced.  Need enough to ease the hurting, but not enough to make me loopy, confused, lost in a haze.

   I am confused enough as it is.  For example, I cannot do simple mental arithmetic.  I woke at 4:37, but I couldn't rouse myself enough to get out of bed until 4:51.  I asked myself how long it took me to waken.  I tried to subtract 37 from 51 in my head.  I simply could not..nor can I now.  I will need to write it down. That bothers me. Is it the medication that has dulled my thinking?  Or is it just me, dumb as a box of rocks?

  Life in the old folks home goes on... as goofy as ever  A caregiver was leaving my room.

CAREGIVER: Do you want your door open or closed

ME: Open, please.

   The caregiver goes out and shuts the door. I was amused.  But then a different caregiver was in a few minutes later and as she was leaving asked

2ND CAREGIVER  Do you want your door open or closed?

ME: Open, please

   Caregiver leaves...shutting the door.  Now I am laughing out loud.

Life goes on, from one weird thing to anoter.

The Presidmtial Election is Over

   It makes me mad The polls.  Today they announce hat the presidential race has been boiled down to the results of a few states.  Most of us don't count.  Why vote? The surveys have done it for you

   That's what happened to my favorite, Hillary. No need to wait until the delegates meet  You're finished.  Get out. We have decided.

   If I wee a delegate, I wouldn't even go to the convention  No need...except for the gifts and the free booze. (..and tell me, AOL, why did you change my text color in the middle of an entry?)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How Do You Say NO....

   How do you say no to people who won't take NO for an answer?

   Jan means well, but her enthusiasm blinds her to what others are thinking.  She wants this year's Fourth of July activity to outshine last years.  Last year we had wonderful fireworks, but a long dull, uncoordinated waiting period.  Darkness comes slowly in July. No need shooting off pretty displays before 9 PM.  And the old folks usually go to bed by eight.  Waiting until 9 is an ordeal. Year before last we shot off the fireworks in the daylight.  What a waste that was.

   Jan wants community singing before the fireworks, and will not take no for an answer. She expects me to provide the keyboard and amplifier and when I said I couldn't, she ignored that and said Of course I could.

   This  year I am wracked by pain, and loaded with pain pills.  I am so weak I have to call for help to pull up my pants.  But I am supposed to provide the amplifier.

   When next I see Jan I will say, "Here is the amplifier, here is the keyboard...take them NOW. Practice hooking them up before the fourth so you can run to Radio Shack and get the patch cords you need. They will be closed on the Fourth."

   Jan took the address of this Blog.  Maybe she will read this and understand that N  O means No.

DONE...She was delighted wth the keyboard and the amplifier and went off happily to Radio Shack for the patch cords needed.  It is going to be a delightful fourth of July Pageant after all.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Me and My Colaborator, James Whitcomb Riley

 " Chuck, I need a poem to go on the bulletin board, for Father's Day.  Can you find one on the Internet?" Kathy, the activity director at the Old Folks' Home, asked the question while staring at the blank board.

   "Sure," I said automatically. One can find anything on the Internet. Right?

   Well I looked and was directed to book sellers and anthologies of epic odes.  "I could make up one quicker than this," I thought So I did.

   It was simple, told a little story, and was sentimental. "What if she asks who wrote it," I asked myself.  She doesn't want home grown junk.  She wants a classic. Quick I thought, who wrote sentimental stuff. Ah, I will tell her that it is from James Whitcomb Riley. That will satisfy her as to it's worth...he is a genuine author.

   She didn't ask.  She merely said "It's too long. I need one page."  Back to the drawing board. I edited it like mad making compound sentences out of whole paragraphs.

   "Is this all right?"

   She barely glanced at it,....Heck, if fit the space. "Fine," she said.

   So here is the prose piece that James Whitcomb Riley and I wrote for the Father's day bulletin board.


I was too tiny to remember, but Dad took me out of the play pen and put me on the carpet to learn to crawl

Dad held my hand when I began to toddle and held my hand when we went for walks

Dad lifted me high when the waves broke around us and held the back of my swim suit so I could dog paddle and clapped and cheered when I swam across the pool alone

Dad cheered when I ran my first race in high school.,.. And cheered when I came in third…..from last.

Dad taught me to drive and gave me the keys to the car so I could go on my first date.

Dad was my Best Man and held the wedding ring so I could place it on her finger.

Dad walked the waiting room when I waited for my first baby and Dad took the baby out of the play pen so she could learn to crawl.

Two New Photos


   Things have calmed down since my last frenetic entry.  I have located and talked to my Cousin Bertha. Yep, she was in a hospital and resting comfortably.

   I was able to log into Photobucket and upload my two neat pictures.  The first by a professional photographer Roger Wyan who took it as part of a documentary he is making about Hospice Patients. It went along with a long interview and I guess I did all right.. I only cried twice.  It is a neat photo of me at my daily job... adding entries to my blog.  He let me use it here.  thanks Roger.


                                Copyright2008 Roger J. Wyan

   And this homemade photo of me visiting with my great-grandson Evan.  It was the first time I had seen him.  He is four months old and as happy a baby as I have seen.  He smiled at Great-grandfather, and that  means a lot

Shown are Evan, four months, his dad, Luke, his grandmother and grandfather Jo and Steve and me, Great-grandfather.  I guess you can figure out who is who.


I cnnot explain how ctushed I feel this morning.  M toolbar is gone AGAIN and I cannot connect to Dribble without a battle.  Then I try to reach olf familiar photobucket to add a picture of my new great grandson.. and I cannot.  Bucket has about four different main pages and I always reache the wrong one... the tool bur used to keep me straight.  Finally I rech the log in oage and try to log u=in.. it wont accepot my password... somehow I have THAT wrong too.  fo I ask for my opass word and it says..NOT in database.  I paid them real money..twenty five bucks or more..and they dont recognise my name anynore.  so I come back here and thpe this without  proofingin it.  It just shows how depressed I am.  I feel the frustration in the oit of my stomach.  and I dont mine whining about it. sorry angie

   And, that's not all.  I tried to make my usual morning call to my Cousin Bertha, age 92, at the hospital where I talked to her yestrerday mornng, and am told "She's NOT a patient here."  I understand... maybe they/ve moved her to another hospital.. sure..but where?  Can the operator tell me? No, of coursse not. 

   At least she didn't tel me to call the "looooong distance" operatoer.  A grim joke like that wojld have been all I could take this morning. 

   Cursed... I TOLD THE MACHINE... 14 POIHT. And it came jp tiny ten or something less.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hey, I Didn't Get No Brown Sugar

   The first thing we learn as children, as soon as we can speak sentences is "please" and "thank you". And judging by the conversations in the dining room of the old folks home, it is the first to go when we get old.  Here, as a convenience to those you you who may visit an old folks home is an interpretation from old folks lingo to normal polite English.


Hey, I didn't get no brown sugar

Translation: May I have some brown sugar

You forgot my grapefruit

Translation: May I have some Grapefruit, please.

You're in MY chair.

Translation: If you'd like to sit there toeay, I will move over here.


Translastion: May I have a refill, please.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Year and a Half

Answering your question. How many nights does it generally take George to finish the whole alphabet?  Jackie.

George is a wonderful volunteer.  He comes weekly, seats himself aa the piano and plays for TWO HOURS. Most musicians play for an hour when they come, but George is just getting warmed up at the one hour mark.  And he holds his senior audience too,  remarkable feat.

George doesn't take requests...he plays alphabetically through his immense catalogue of songs. Show tunes popular songs ballads, and sing-alongs all order of their titles. If there are four torch songs in a row, that's the way we will hear them.

He used to take requests. He would write down the title of the tune you wanted to hear. During the week he would find it in his library, and bring in and play it the next time he came.  But he found that, even when he done the search, brought it, and played it...the person who requested it forgot to come that evening. Then he had to replace it in its exact spot in the library. So now he sticks to the alphabet.  And we love it.  We hear songs we would never have heard if he used any other system of making his play list.

But to answer your question... what was the question?

How many nights does it generally take George to finish the whole alphabet?

Oh yes, thank you.

We have gone through the alphabet with George at least once... and it took A YEAR AND A HALF.

Shall We Dance?

   John, nearly ninety, loves to dance.  When there is music of any kind he is tapping his toe or bouncing.  He is married but he'll ask any lady handy to dance.

   It is fun to see the ladies he chooses.  Ladies whom you would never suspect could walk across the room will dance with him, polka, foxtrot, jitterbug, or waltz.

   The other evening I was playing a Memorial Day Tribute to our honored dead on my keyboard.  I chose to read In Flanders Fields, a somber poem and play soft elegiac background music.  However I had just started the funeral music when John appeared and started to dance to  the dirge.

   I had to seat him next to me and actually hold his hands to keep him from snapping his fingers in rhythm to the hymn. It was amusing, but it somehow spoiled the seriousness of the moment. Some people were born to matter what.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial DAy

  I have a feeling that Memorial Day will not be very memorable. It started at breakfast with the "silent treatment".

ME Oh, great the pancakes are served with strawberries and whipped cream.  I love 'em like that.

TABLEMATE. (Stares silently at me)

ME (Hearing some some coughs) Do kids still get Whooping Cough? I know they still get measles and mumps but I don;t hear about Whooping Cough anymore.

TABLEMATE (Stares silently at me)

   So I left and began reading journals. My daughter IM'd me and asked "How was 'Fun and Fitness'?"  I had complexly forgotten I was supposed to play my keyboard for Fun and Fitness.  I hurried to the parlor, but nobody was there.  Zero.  No Fitness...No Fun

   The housekeepers are off today... no room cleaning, no bed making.  The laundry lady is here, thank goodness, and picked up clothes to be washed.  But there is no staff, no activity director, the activity board is blank. Even our Rummy game is player got her feelings hurt and has quit, and she was the only one who talked there.  It will be a silent game without her.

Just Dribbling

I sit in my wheelchair dozing. I am just another old man, lost in a dream world. I am still in my pajamas; I had a good night’s rest but still I doze. A dozen ideas for journal entries swirl through my head but I lack the incentive to try to get them typed. I sit by my picture window and look at the world outside. The wild winds have stopped and been replaced by gentle rain and overcast sky. There will be no star or moon gazing tonight.

A mocking bird has built a nest in a bush just outside my window. It is strange to be so low, but it is all right, there are no cats in our court yard. She dashes back and forth, in an out of the bush. I wonder if she is still nest building, or is she busy feeding hungry fledglings. Will I get to see the babies try their wings. I’d love to see that first frantic fluttering flight.

Time to dress and go get a pancake; it is pancake day at the old folks’ home. I wonder which cook is on duty this holiday; well done pancake chef or under-done flabby doughy mess-around in the kitchen self-anointed would-be cook. Pity I finished my store-bought bran muffins yesterday.

The care givers just came in and dressed the old man, and they told me I am an hour early. It is seven, not eight am. Time for more reflections.

I had a nice day yesterday; grandson who lives in Phoenix and his wife, grandson who is single, daughter and husband were all here, and we went to lunch. Grandfather sat in the middle and was the center of attention. I was puffed up plenty. Later we came back to the old folks home and had a good visit with laughter and reminiscences.

In the evening I was responsible for getting our volunteer pianist. George, set up with lights and coffee. I went to the dining room and got some Lentil soup, a favorite of mine, in a coffee cup and took it to the parlor where George was already playing.

George has a peculiar way of choosing the songs he will play in an evening. He has an extensive library of sheet music, sixty one hundred selections in fact. They are all catalogued and in alphabetical order. And that’s the way he plays them, alphabetically. Last night it was the W’s. Every song started with W, and proceeded in alphabetical order. It makes a funny mix. The ballad Waiting was followed by the rousing Waitin’ for the Robert E. Lee with the practically unknown Waiting at the Station alphabetically in between.

Last night in an hour and a half George played one half of his collection of songs starting with W. It takes four evenings to play through the I’s, with all the songs starting with I, I’ve, I’ll, and Is. Is you Is or Is you ain’t my baby.

After George was through and headed for home my responsibilities were finished and I tried to watch a bit of television but I finished the evening with a pain pill and a flop into bed. It was a glorious and fun filled day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Life During a Depression - Meterological, That Is

   There are several kinds of depression. There's the Alan Greenspan type - economic.  We used to blame depression on hapless Herbert Hoover, but now we can blame it on Alan Greenspan although he has retired. And there is clinical psychological depression that incapacitates unlucky folks who could otherwise lead normal lives. But I am talking about the meteorological type.

   A great low pressure area settled in over Las Vegas Nevada and the winds blew like mad trying to fill the void.  The wind knocked down three enormous trees at the old folks home.

   Then that low pressure moved backwards, that is from East to West and settled in over the Pacific states. There it brought rain, welcome rain.  It was our first rain in 86 days. It is strange to wake up in the morning and NOT see the sky. It is a gray day, and it makes our moods gray.

   Gray sky in California used to be limited to June, so that it could sprinkle on outdoor graduation exercises. Strange...when school boards moved graduation to May, Mother Nature moved the rains to May, too.

   Strange as it is, I am glad to see it, but my scooter will have to stay parked for a while. The Low pressure area is due to move eastward again and bring some welcome rain to the rest of North America. Yay, for the depression.

!@#$%^ My Tooklbar is Gone - AGAIN

NOTE TO AOL. My toolbar has been erased Again. I simply cannot understand it, and you do not explain it to me. I am one of the fools who still pay $24.95 a month for service you are offering free to some people, but you cannot tell me why my tool bar disappears.

  Why,Sob, can't I have a tool bar that I can trust.  It is difficult to reconstruct it time after time. At least tell me why it crashes.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


The winds have finaly died down I went ou to take pictures of the trees that had fallen, scaring some residents, and found the landscapers had alrread cleared away one tree and were woring on another

This LOG is all that is left of the giant patriarch of the trees on our place.  The trunk is three feet in diameter.   The tree must be sixty years old.  I loved to sit under this tree and watch the traffic go by whioe sipping my Starbucks frozen drink.  I am going to mis its shade tis summer.





Friday, May 23, 2008

Lucy 77


   Here is my T-shirt with Lucky 77 on it.  It is hard to make is after all a T=shirt with syrup stains from breakfast added.  I don't know an Indian from a Harley so it is up to you folks to decide for yourselves... is this the street bike that saved a dozen lives or not?


   It is calm outside...for the first time in days.  The storm is inside, also the first time in days.

   I cannot access my photobucket account. And after I paid for an upgrade/renewal..  So I opened another account under another screen names and managed after several tries to upload a picture of Lucky 77,  the motorcycle on  T-shirt I wrote about recently.  Then I tried to post it in a Blog entry and it wont take it. Curious. Anyway it has made me stormy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Gods are Angry

The high winds cntinue, exceeding all forecasts.  You'd thin the high pressure area would have emptied into the low pressure area by now but no.

The trees continue to bend and drop branches.  no more collapsing though.  I like extreme weather.  If it is windy, I like a gale.  If it is fog, I like it so thick you cannot walk about. I like torrents of rain, and hot days.  However, that does not extend to cold.  I have seen below zero woeather, and I dont like it at all.

Blow ye winds Heigh Ho

High Pressure

   There's a high pressure area over the Pacific and a Low pressure area over Las Vegas.  All that high pressure air has to rush to fill that low pressure area.  And what stands in the way?


   And the rest of the San Joaquin valley.  My God how the wind blows.And blows.  A huge tree crashed down just missing one wing of the old folks home. It was right outside Emma's room. Emma who used to think that people were out to get her, now thinks the world is out to get her.

   The gardener is programmed to use the blower to collect leaves on Wednesdays brought out his blower to blow leaves into a pile, but he was not match for the wind.  He was blowing from the South and the Wind was blowing from the North and the leaves were caught between and swirled in a sort of reverse tornado and swooped up and were caught by the wnd overhead and carried off to somewhere in the next county..

   I went out at four am to look at the Moon.  It was beautiful. /Thy sky was clear, the Moon was full, and the wind rustled the trees steadily. Within the next twenty four hours the moon will pass within a few degrees of a bright star. I don't  know the name of that bright star, but I can Google it.  You can Google the sky, just like you can Google the whole Earth. I will find a sky chart and see what bright star is due south at 4 am, I was enthralled, but I had to retreat because of the wind chill.

   The ride in my power chair was rough bumping over fallen branches, and a bit spooky, knowing that at any moment a huge branch could break off and fall, or that another whole tree could give up the battle and topple down where you were passing  It was a rewarding adventure and I made it all in my pajamas.  I came in and the caregivers gave me a hot cup of fresh coffee.  I enjoyed the high pressure over the Pacific..

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cast Adrit on a Sea of Insanity

   I live in an unreal world.  My neighbors, all as aged as I, wander the halls looking for their parents, or ask directions to the dining room even in their second or third year of residence, or laugh hysterically at spilled milk or dropped tableware.

   Charlotte and I used to stay afloat on our own little raft of rational thought looking at the waves senility that broke around us. Now she is gone.  I miss her terribly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lucky 77

   Some time ago I bought a bargain T-shirt. It was on a close-out rack. I chose it because it was cheap. I paid no attention to the colorful illustration that was on the front, and I have worn it many times without noticing what it said.

   However a motorcycle buff  stopped me and looked closely at the illustration. "What model is that," he asked.

   I looked at the illustration as though for the first time.  Lo and Behold is was an antique motorcycle and the legend printed beneath it was Lucky 77. He said that it looked like a Harley something or other and asked, "Why was it called Lucky 77?"

   "Oh," I said, lying in my teeth, "I wear this shirt to try to keep the legend of old 77 alive."

   "I never heard that legend," said the would-be biker.

   "Lucky was a street bike, that the owner used to ride to hill climbs. Seventy Seven was the number he had painted on the side for competition. He went right  from street to hill climb without even taking off the license plates."

   "Was he called Lucky because he won a lot of competitions?"

   "Oh, no.  He rarely won anything. He was a street bike remember. He was called lucky because his owners were never seriously hurt.  He rolled down the mountainside more times than..."  I paused trying to think of a metaphor for things that rolled down mountainsides, but before I could my listener said, "Wow."

   I was on a roll myself and I made up some more of the  legend. "He was used by at least three owners for hill climbing.  Long afterother bikers had specially adapted bikes they brought in trailers with imported knobby tires and no license plates or rear view mirrors, Lucky 77 was ridden to the meet, then up the hill and rolled down, without breaking it's owners arms or legs. Few bikes could make that statement."

   When I finish here, I think I will Google Lucky 77 and see if the real legend is any better than mine.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Just Fooling Around

  Just fooling around witn an idea for another quiz.  Don't know what to call it.

  Left click your mouse and run the cursor over the answer to reveal it.


Forrest, Forrest Gump   Tom Hanks

Mickey Mouse  Walt Disney  Created the character and did the voice

Rainman   Dustin Hoffman  Tom Cruise was there too but Dustin was the curious character

Tarzan   Johnny Weismuller  and a dozen others have done that role

Th- Th- That's all, Folks  Porky Pig

"Be vewwy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits,"  Elmer Fudd

"I tot I taw a putty tat." Tweety Bir
"meep meep"  Roadrunner

Sorry about that Maxwell Smart as played by Don Adams

Well you see why this is a work in progress.  Your contributions are welcome.  And Include the Answers, Please.

Public Domain

   Some folks say "Please don't steal my photos. They are copyrighted". Then they show wonderful scenes and florals that everyone would enjoy. My works and writings I love to share. Please copy. I declare tham Public Domain. Enjoy, copy, proliferate. You can find my drawings in Photostream...the link is to the left,... and in Photobucket...I'll post a link when I find it. Look it up and search for Chasferris pictures.

   You're welcme.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mickey Finn

   I don't know who Mickey Finn was, nor why his name became attached to "knock out" drops.  But as kids we all knew that if some one slipped a potion in your drink you passed out immediately. That potion was called a Mickey. Obstreperous customer at a bar? "Slip him a Mickey" and he'll bother you no more. He's out like a light.

   I gave myself a Mickey last night.  I have these new pain pills and I had stomach pains last evening. "Well," said I,"It's time to try the new pills." So  I took one.  A few minutes later I lay down on my bed, fully clothed, to rest a moment before watching late evening TV. Un-huh.  I woke up six hours later, at four am, still dressed on top of my bed. I stopped the pan by passing out.  I guess I snored a roar for my throat is dry and sore.

   I just remembered the name of the "knock out" drops.  It is not the same as the pain pill.  I may ask the doctor for some knock out pills.  They might come in handy when the infrequent but extreme "phantom pain" hits me in my missing foot.  How can you get a pain in a foot the has been gone since 1945?  I don't know how, but it comes from time to time and nothing stops it. A knock out drop could be very handy.Just put yourself to sleep until it passes.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

(Nearly) Perfect Breakfast

   Saturday is Corned Beef Hash day at the old folks home, and I love my hash. When I wheeled up to the table there was coffee before me in seconds. They came by with the mush...cream of wheat. I am laughing because it was so thin, I drank it from the cup.

   I ordered two lightly poached eggs on toast and, of course, hash.  In a matter of minutes here they came, just as ordered, a phenomenon. The eggs were on toast but there was toast for butter and jam too.  The jam was orange marmalade. And there was orange juice to drink.

   It was a perfect breakfast.

   Except, my tablemate, Charlotte, was not there.  She has passed away. I miss her.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Earth, from Chuck

   Hello, from where ever  I am.  I am still on "nerve medicine".  That means that most of me is out past Pluto somewhere, and my body is still in the old folks home.

  I took my medicine and went to bed at ten pm.  Someone woke me for breakfast at eight am.  That means I had ten hours of sleep.  I should be alert and lively.

   Well, I am functioning.  I ate breakfast, played music for the exercise class, played with the visiting dog, Lucy, visited with the visiting nurse, visited with the visiting social worker. And my body was there and acted normally.  I do wish the inner self was there too. 

   The world looks good from here, outer space.  I know what the kids meant when they said someone on drugs was "spaced out".  They knew he was here where I am...somewhere beyond planets.  My, the gala y is big.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


   Driving under the influence, even a handicapped person scooter, is treacherous.  Under drugs, you are"not there". 

   I was driving my scooter down the hall and thought, "Oh, look.  I am driving into the wall."  It was like watching a movie of someone else drive his scooter into the wall. I continued thinking, "That's not good.  Hitting wall is bad. I should not hit the wall." With that thought I became myself again and turned the scooter.  Fortunately I was going slow enough for my impaired brain to recognize danger, and to talk it over with myself, come to a conclusion, and then, after all that, act.

   Interesting reaction.  It says on a lot of my medicines, if you take this don't drive,  I see why

Lucy in the Sky

   Started a new medication last night.  Well, I slept.  And slept.  Eight hours....without bathroom visits even.

   This morning I am drugged higher than a High School Junior on Prom night.  Feeling no pain... or much of anything.  Just floating.

   I usually have two tablemates for breakfast.  Alas, one has passed away and the other did not show up.  I do not like to breakfast alone so I joined a lady nearby who was also alone.  We had a nice chat.  Then she left and her usual tablemate lady showed up. We had a nice chat, too.  Or rather I had nice listen.  She was loaded with things to say... her husband is the hospital and she hasn't had any good listener for a I was it.  But I was able, being drugged, to listen and seem to attend to her plaint.

  I took my morning allotment of the jolly pills and my regular assortment of pills.  And here I am...  Well part of me is... another part is out flying in his old Ercoupe looking down at the world from above like Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

   You are too young to remember Oscar Levant.  He was visible to all of us dally on television. Early he was an irascible outspoken blunt person famous because of his remarkable piano skills.  He was talented and respected for his musical skills even though his interpersonal socializing was rough.  Then he started pain medications.

   Drugged, he became mellow, social, easy going, and amusing. Half asleep he chatted amiably, though sometimes his jokes were understood by himself alone.  He was still loved for being himself, even though he struggled to make the piano behave the way it once did.

   Perhaps that will happen to me. Hopefully the drugged out-of-it me will be able to charm my friends and I can be a good listener for folks who need to talk..

   Stay tuned,  Watch the show.  I don't play the piano much, but the computer keyboard still works.  Learn to "read through" the typos...spell check can't catch them all..  I am hiving fun and the world looks good from up here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Couldn't Find Email Address

   Pardon me while I use dribble for parsonal letter -- I couldn't find Angie's email address...but you can listen's okay.

   Angie asked if my Mother had remarried and how I lost my father at such and early age.  Father drowned before I was one.  Mother dated several fellows, who befriended me, but one was my favorite, Bart, and they were married. I continued living with my Grandparents and they lived next door.

   But here...this link tells trhe story too.

  And, Oh, Mary, I did not shoot any Italians in WWII.  I shot at a German tank, but the shells bounced off.  The rattle of bullets on the outside of their tank may have given them a headache, though.

Chuck's Amazing Answer Machine

   I actually love the consternation I cause with my magic answer machine.

Two comments...

 1 No answers were revealed for me   ;o(

2  These are great and the way it reveals Jan xx
  The answers are printed right alnng with the questions... except they are printed in the color of the background and so are invisitble...until you use your mouse to "select" them.  Then they are visible.  Makes it seem like magic...and adds, I hope, to the fun.
Here are lot more to play with....


Guess to whom each quote is attributed. Left click your mouse and run cursor over the answer to reveal it.

You're Fired -- Donald Trump

Kiss My Grits -- Flo (in Alice)

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn -- Rhett Butler

It was beauty killed the beast -- Denham (King Kong)

I'll be back --Terminator

Tora! Tora! Tora! -- Yamamoto

Sorry about that! -- Agent 86

Life is like a box of chocolates. You Never know what you are going to get -- Forrest Gump

Me, Tarzan. You, Jane -- Johnny Weismuller

If you build it, they will come -- Field of Dreams

Blondie! -- Dagwood Bumstead

They're ba-ack! -- Little Susie

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto -- Dorothy Gale

George, tell me about the rabbits, George -- Lenny Small

I was a better man as a woman, than I ever was as a man -- Michael Dorsey, Tootsie

Bring me an empty horse -- Samuel Goldwyn

Ready when you are, Mr. DeMille -- Old Joke

Make them an offer they can't refuse -- The Godfather

One night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know -- Groucho

I want to be alone -- Greta Garbo

Go ahead, Make my day -- Dirty Harry

Elementary, My dear Watson -- sherlock Holmes

Win one for the Gipper --Knute Rockne

Phone Home -- E.T.

If you want me, just whistle. You do know how to whistle, don'tyou? -- Lauren Bacall

Snootchy bootches ----- Jay & Silent Bob,

This is the begining of a beautiful friendship - Humphrey Bogart

""Did I do that?" --Steve Urkel

Boldly go where no one has gone before --Star

Quiz - Contemporary Quotes

   Had trouble going to sleep last night but once I made it slept all night. Great.  Yesterday I spent the day re-reading old Journal entries. There are about 1,500 of them in all. I found some that I can use for re-runs.

   More Contemporary Quotes

See if you can guess the person to whom this quote is attributed. Left click your mouse and run the cursor over the answer to reveal it.

Got any cheese -- Steve Urkel

I am a wee bit psychic -- Daphne Moon

I am the master of my domain -- George Costanza

I’m king of the world -- Leonardo DiCaprio

You had me at ‘hello’ -- Renee Zellweger

There’s no crying in baseball -- Tom Hanks

When is the next swan due?-- Leo Slezak as Lohengrin

Include me out -- Samuel Goldwyn

That’s a shame -- Jerry Seinfeld

The Dr. is in 5¢ -- Lucy

Fasten Your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night -- Bette Davis

Come up and see me some time -- Mae West

You can't cheat an honest man -- W.C. Fields (?)

You can’t handle the truth -- Jack Nicholson

You’re Fired -- Donald Trump

I tot I taw a puddy tat -- Tweetie

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


   Answers to few questions asked in comments.

   Yes, that is I in the the pictures of my mother.  I am a fat old man, but I was a skinny teen-ager.  The skin and bones teen I see doesn't seem familiar.  I am also the chubby shy two year old clinging to my mother's hem. My. I was cute. The gentleman with her is my father.  He died accidentally before my first birthday.  The dog is Zig, the family Pekinese. I wonder how he got the name Zig.

   When I was stationed in UK in WWII, our units were based at Wells and Glastonbury in SW England. Only we didn't call it WWII then...just "The war". In Wells I saw the Oldest Cathedral in England and took a trip to Cheddar Caves, where the cheese is aged.  In Glastonbury I saw the Glastonbury Abbey where King Arthur is supposedly buried, and I climbed the Tor behind the town to mount the ancient tower.  In fact we were encamped in the Abbey park at the polo field.  I wonder if it is still there.

   On our troop ship, the Aquitania, formerly a luxury liner, the first queen of the Cunard line, the bunk beds were stacked five high. I chose the top bunk which I shared with my duffle bag stuffed with a gas mask and all the clothing we were issued. I was so close to the overhead (ceiling) that I was able to write on it.  I wrote:

Charles Ferris,

Inducted March '43,

Going overseas March '44,

Expects to be wounded and return to U.S. in March '45. 

  That sounds like a grim self-fulfilling prophesy since it came true, exactly like that, March '45.  But consider, that was the less grim outcome since most of us expected to be killed in combat.  We were going overseas with a high expectation of never returning. That graffiti probably remained on the overhead until the Aquitania was scrapped in 1950.

   Why don't I publish my essays about life in the old folks' home?  Well, I do...right here on AOL in my journal. Dribble.  They are all avaiable.  You have only to click on the Archives link and it will take you back to any issue, starting in 2003.  Happy reading.

   Any more questions?

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Atheist on the Power of Prayer

   When I posted my entry, Bittersweet, in my journal, I received as many as eight comments before I could even sign off, and even more since. That was amazing to me and several responders said they were praying for me.

   If you have read many of my entries you know I am a non-believer in anything supernatural.

  AND YET, since I posted Bittersweet and many of you have said you were praying for me, I have not needed a pain pill.  Not one Tylenol or aspirin.

   Thank you sincerely. Your Faith has shaken my Non-faith.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

RX - Laughter is the Best Medicine

  Sorry to so blatantly steal a line from Reader's Digest: Laughter is the Best Medicine.

   This afternoon I was pain free.  Why?  Because my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson came to visit.  We played two games of Scrabble.  I won one. Great therapy.  And, Lo and Behold, grandson beat his mother and me for the first time.  Better therapy.  The next generation takes over.  During our family games we laugh a lot.

   I forgot to hurt.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Ancient Mariner, a character by Coleridge, used to catch people and make them listen to his story. Although they would beat their breasts and try to escape, he held them like a spell.

.He holds him with his skinny hand,
"There was a ship," quoth he.
"Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye --
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner

We have several Ancient Mariners here who have stories to tell, and once they begin, it is difficult to escape without hearing their tales. And like the Ancient Mariner, their stories are fascinating to hear..

For instance there is Charles, an ex-pilot who built his own plane and flew it regularly to a cabin he had built near a lake in the Sierras. He tells his story with enthusiasm, and gestures explaining just how to make an aerial approach to the little lake shore airstrip. Alas, he also tells how many pilots died because they didn‘t make the right approach or take off. And once he begins it is difficult to excuse yourself from the rest of the tale, no matter how often you‘ve heard it.

There is Earl, who was a teamster for fifty years, and tells you who hired him to haul how much of what to where and what he was paid to do it, and, alas, how much they still owe him. He had a beautiful Harley motorcycle. As he holds you to tell you the tale, he points out each Harley motorcycle passing the old folks home and identifies its model number. He hauled the gravel to make I-5 from the gravel pits of Snelling to the road site on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Unlike the Ancient Mariner, Charles, or Earl, Jim is difficult to get started about his tale. He was in England in WWII and as a quartermaster, was pressed into service to distribute to scattered Army units all the vehicles shipped from the US to England. He had to prioritize the army‘s needs and decide which outfits needed the jeeps and trucks and armored cars and get them distributed.

Grace was a Wave and was assigned to a top secret unit in Washington D.C. that was kept isolated from the rest of the Navy as they worked on breaking the Japanese Navy code. It was their breaking of the code that enabled the US Navy to discover the Japanese plan to attack Wake Island, and prepare the defense. That battle was the turning point of the war in the Pacific. Her unit received a special commendation from the War Department. That is a tale that is hard not to listen to…the first time.

We old folks are part of history. We old folks like to tell our histories. We capture our listeners when and where we can.

We are the Ancient Mariners. Coleridge could have been talking about us.

Mother's Day

  A few pictures of my mother on Mother's Day

Crossing the Atlantic

   I have crossed the Atlantic twice.  Once by air...coming home for WWII and once on the way... in the Aquitania.  (<-LINK) Worth a quick look.