31 October 2007

Halloween 2007

Boo! Did I scare you?

Grandma and I walked for about 30 minutes this morning before breakfast. We try to get out at least 3 times each week, and do some walking at other times, like cruising the mall. Not really pushing it like we do in the morning, but not coasting either. We both need the exercise, not because of weight loss, but for the cardiovascular system. Do you walk?

This afternoon we are to meet a new - to us - Doctor who will schedule us each for a colonoscopy. I plan to tell him all about my fainting spell in July when I was preping for one with a different Doctor. I don't want to go through that again!

The past two days we have taken Ginger out front for short walks. She likes the grass and will go about two doors down before she looks up at me for pity. That's when I get to carry her home. We keep her weight steady at 28 pounds, which I can manage for a few feet.

Happy Halloween!

24 October 2007

The Party's Over

Most people don’t realize it, but the party’s over. It won’t be long before there will be more mosques in Europe than cathedrals, churches and synagogues. Why? Well, look at the demographics, urges Mark Steyn in his book “America Alone”. Between 1970 and 2000, “the developed world declined from just under 30 percent of the global population to just over 20 percent, and the Muslim nations increased from about 15 percent to 20 percent”. The fertility rate in Europe is BELOW the level needed to sustain the population; in America, it’s about right. So our European cousins will be faced with ever increasing numbers of immigrants from Muslim nations to take up the work that the declining local populations will no longer be there to perform. And will they assimilate into the culture of their new “homeland”? Well, look at what happened in Florida when a Muslim woman went to court to keep her face covered on the picture on her driver’s license.
Better start boning up on “The Koran” so you can converse intelligently with your new neighbors. I already have.

16 October 2007

Split Rock

Well, after writing about Split Rock, I decided I'd better put up a picture or two so you could see just what it looks like. So here are two, one with son-in-law David, so you get an idea of scale. Big, eh?

11 October 2007

A Random Thought For October

I realized early on that I would never make a good ballplayer because I couldn't learn the knack of spitting.

10 October 2007


Ginger, our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is feeling a little poorly today. She's on antibiotics and pain pills for the next few days. She visited the Vets yesterday for teeth cleaning. Despite Grandma brushing her teeth every morning, she had to have 11 teeth extracted - 9 incisors and 2 molars. We had not noticed any signs of discomfort, so were quite surprised. She now gets her dry food smashed up and watered down, and her treats smashed. We'll ease up on the smashing after about a week.

Other than that, she acts as normal as can be expected for a 77 year old with arthritis.

09 October 2007


Youngest daughter, Gail, and her husband, David, recently visited a part of the Adirondacks that we camped in many moons ago. It’s called Split Rock, because of a huge rock split down the middle. The rock is usually dry, but is sometimes almost under water during especially heavy rainfall in the area. By hopping rock-to-rock across split rock, we would be able to fish for trout in a large pool in the Deer River.

The Post Card we received had a copy of a lean-to painting from the 1800s, and revived a memory of a trip to a different area in the Adirondacks. The group included Roger Roberts, an Englishman expatriot engineer working at Xerox, my brother Fred, sons Mark and Jamie, and Fred’s son Rick, Jamie‘s friend Mike, and Rick‘s friend also named Mike. We had rented canoes and paddled our way across Raquette Lake to a campsite that consisted of several lean-tos, where we spread our sleeping bags and cooking gear. Along with our food and clothes, we had packed a large supply of worms, which were our preferred bait.

After we set up camp, Roger rigged his fishing rod and headed to the shore. He was an avid fisherman, and had plenty of experience in the lakes and rivers of England. One thing that we didn’t realize about fishing over there is that they chum the water before trying to catch any. When we did wander over to see how he was doing, we found him having a great time catching Sunfish - about 3 or 4 inches long - not big enough to keep for dinner. What was upsetting to us was that he was chumming - throwing handsful of worms into the lake - in order to catch one small fish. Well, we educated him on the spot; the fish were so hungry that only part of a worm was needed to catch those little guys.

We fished a while on Raquette Lake without too much success, so decided to break camp and head to Split Rock. My recollection is that the weather turned dismal on Raquette, so we sought dryer waters at Split Rock. Unfortunately, it was raining at Split Rock, so we decided against setting up camp and drove into St. Regis Falls and camped at the Waverly Inn, a VERY rustic building but with a well-stocked bar. So we dried out on the outside and watered down our insides.

Not too much later, Roger was called back to Rank-Xerox, but sent some pictures of our adventure, including one of the group of us under a tarpaulin during the rainstorm. About ten years after that, I had word that Roger had passed away. But the memory lingers on.

The Grieving

I had never paid much attention to the period after the death and funeral. People died, were buried and life went on. Actually, it was never that cold a process, but it seemed like that from a distance. However, up close and personal, there is a time period needed by the grieving survivors to be able to come to grips with the empty spot in their lives. So it was after the deaths of a niece, my parents, a step-daughter, my in-laws, that I needed that time to grieve. And so it is now that we have lost our beloved Pepper. It has helped to talk about her life and the suddenness of her death with others who have lost one of their beloved. I still tear up, and may for a long time, she was so special to me. I still talk to her and one day I felt her presence in the room. I know she has no more fear, no more aches and pains, and that consoles me.

04 October 2007

The Flea Problem At Xerox

Dr. John Dessauer was the Vice President of Research and Engineering at Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York. One of his requirements, when the new Engineering building in Webster was being designed, is that it have a fire-proof vault for storing all the engineering drawings. He felt that they were the most important product of R & D and were irreplaceable. So the new facility included a drawing storage vault with a carbon dioxide extinguishing system behind a fire-proof, self-closing door.

Unfortunately, there was a problem associated with the vault.

One day in 1960, not too long after we had moved in, Rita W. and Anna G., two of the Reproduction Area’s clerks, came to Bob J., the Chief Draftsman, to complain that they were being bitten by fleas. Yes, fleas in the vault! Bob wasn’t sure about that, so he asked them to show him a flea. And the next day they did - a dead one of course. And so the vault was fumigated and the flea problem was solved for good.

(As a footnote, the extinguishing system never had to be used.)

01 October 2007

Music, Music, Music

September seemed to be our month for music. First, we went to see the movie "Hairspray" in which John Travolta plays an oversize mother. My toes were tapping all through the movie. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Next we went to a dinner theater to see "Beehive" that again had my feet moving. We usually go to a matinee performance, and have a table in the first row, so we can see all the facial expressions on the cast members. I highly recommend this show, too.

Third, yesterday we went to Gammage Auditorium to see "Jersey Boys" about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The music was great, but the language was mostly gutter talk - too many f and s words for my sensitive ears. It seems that we are being desensitized to such profanity by writers in "the arts". If given a choice, I choose not to wander around in their gutter.