29 March 2006


This was done in 1992 by looking in a mirror.

Early Art

Here are some samples of my early work with magic markers and colored pencils. They are of Saguaro Lake in Arizona, Fire Rock Park in Nevada, a shore scene in Hawaii (magic marker) and a copy of a painting by Andrew Wyeth.

25 March 2006

Happy Birthday, Jamie

We used to call you Little Jamie, but now it's Young Jamie.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Jamie.
Happy birthday to you.

And many, many more.
Grandma & Grandpa

24 March 2006

Little Known - to me - History

I have a calendar that has a different book review on each page. Yesterday, the book was "One Thousand White Women: The Journals Of May Dodd: A Novel" by Jim Fergus. Here's the review:
"One Thousand White Women is not your standard Western. Jim Fergus has based his book on a forgotten event in American history: In 1875, Ulysses S. Grant approved the 'Brides for Indians' program, plucking 1,000 white (and black) women from the penitentiaries, poorhouses, and insane asylums from across America and sending them West to marry Cheyenne warriors."

Wow! I guess I'll have to read the book to find out what happened. I can't imagine the logic behind it. Can you?

22 March 2006


When I was in 8th grade English in Monroe High School, taught by Miss Dildine (later, Mrs. Johnson), I remember reading a poem some of which has stuck with me all these years. All I can remember of it is:
"When I am dead and careless hands have thrust
My body downward into ageless dust
I think the grave cannot suffice to hold
My spirit prisoned in the sunless mold."

I've done a Google search on the first few words, but haven't run across the complete poem. It sounds morbid, but is actually about love, much like Christina Rossetti's "Song" or Shakespeare's sonnet LXXI.

Someday, I hope to be able to read the complete poem.

20 March 2006

Happy Birthday, Jeana

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Jeana.
Happy birthday to you.

(You'll have to imagine that Grandma and I are singing it.)

Love ya.

17 March 2006

Jas. Cunningham, Son & Co. Tidbit of Information

In the mid 50s, I was working at Jas. Cunningham, Son & Co. in Rochester, NY. My boss was Andy Vincent, inventor of a crossbar switch. There is a good article about it at http://www.obs-us.com/people/karen/cunningham/chapter6.htm if you want to dig a little deeper.
We started out in a small building on Canal St. and had to go through the main plant, then across Litchfield St. to another building to get to the model makers. One of the men who did a lot of the intricate work was Percy Brown, a former gunsmith from Ithaca, NY. One day, I was over to see Percy about a piece he was working on, and happened to lean on his workbench, and I learned a very important, but little used, fact. It seems that Percy and some of the other men wondered how much weight a person put on a workbench when he leaned on it with his elbow like I had just done. So they got a scales (from where, I know not) and began testing by having various people casually lean on it. Turns out that an average of 30% of a person's weight was transmitted to the bench. So now you know! So now you can go out and prove it for yourselves. Or make bets. Or whatever.

16 March 2006

Dubai and Our Ports

There was a letter to the Editor recently in which the writer, who had been involved in the management of one of our ports, stated that no one company managed all the loading facilities at any of our ports, and that security of the ports was the responsibility of the Coast Guard and Homeland Security. Also, that non-American companies had been managing loading facilities for years, without insurmountable problems. In light of this, it seems to me that the news media has done a very poor job of explaining the situation to the public. Somewhere along the line, someone should have dug a little deeper to root out the facts, instead of fomenting the mass hysteria. Oh yeah, that's right - they're in business to sell papers, not necessarily to investigate thoroughly.

15 March 2006

Illegal Immigration

I was talking with a fellow a while ago about illegal immigration and sugested that our governments get tough with those who hire illegals. He disagreed. His truck had just been hit on the expressway by an illegal who was driving without a license and without insurance. His suggestion was that we let the Border Patrol shoot to kill all the people they see sneaking across the border; it wouldn't take but about 8 or 10 bodies before the word got around, and nobody would try anymore. Well, that would certainly work into the hands of the lawyers. He also said that most of the illegals have fake identification; employers are only to ask for it to be shown, they don't have to check to make sure the names and photos don't match.

As I see it, one of the reasons people risk their lives is so they can have children here, who automatically become American citizens. Change that law, and the numbers should go down.

Another reason is the lack of ability to earn a decent living in Mexico. Of course, all the "haves" in Mexico don't want the "have-nots" to improve their economic position. (Similar to what's happening here?) Unfortunatley, we can't change the Mexican economy.

It'll be interesting to see what our Congressmen and women do to give relief to the problem. I favor the approach taken by Senator McCain.

11 March 2006

A Prayer

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the
opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas
Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to
seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who
call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our
spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it
freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and
set us free. Amen!"
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the
prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev.
Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those
calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international
requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of
the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he
has ever aired.

10 March 2006

Friday 10 March 2006

We went to see "The Three Burials Of Melquiados Estrada" this week. I thought it was a good movie - I like Tommy Lee Jones - but Grandma didn't like the animal scenes. Parts were confusing, because of the flash-backs, and of course I don't care for the swearing. Take out the f and s words and I'd rate it much higher.

When we got home, it actually rained on the patio, but not at the airport, where the official rain gauge is, so we're still in our 140+ days without rain. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not.

I've been downloading CDs to Grandma's iTunes file on her computer and finally finished. Tomorrow, I'll try loading them on her iPod. She has a replacement iPod because the first one went haywire when I tried to add music. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

02 March 2006

It's a really, really, really, really dry heat.

We set a new record every day - today is the 135th day without rain here in the ARID southwest. A few places to the west did get a few drops a couple of days ago, but most of it evaporated before it hit the rain gauges and the ground. The day of the almost storm, the humidity shot up to 45%, but it's back down in the low teens by now.

Grandma and I ate lunch on the patio for the first time this year. Hamburg on homemade roll and sweet potato steak fries, with a demonstration of precision flying by a new group of hummingbirds. We have 4 feeders, and lately, they need to be filled every other day.

This morning, we went with one of our neighbors to Westminster Village, one of the retirement communities we are interested in. They had some nibbles, coffee and orange juice for us while they told us about some of the programs they have each month for the residents. I like this place best of all the ones we've visited to date, but we won't be ready for at least another 5 years.

All of our lemons have been picked, zested and juiced. We had 8 or 9 dozen this year. The tree has new buds forming already! What a beautiful sweet smell.