Tuesday, November 30, 2004

quote of the day

Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894), The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858

Monday, November 29, 2004

Sunday, November 28, 2004

wearing purple

One of my postal customers has been getting ready for a "Red Hat Society" shindig. The Society, a group for women over fifty who want to live life with enthusiasm and elan, was inspired in part by the poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph. When I first read this poem years ago it reminded me of my grandmother who lived an independent and free spirited life until the day she died at age 93. We can all learn lessons from older people like her. Here's the poem:


When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples' gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph (1932-)

black friday

Friday morning at 4:00am Dorothy left the house to pick up Kelly on their way to their annual Black Friday shopping frenzy. They made their way around the stores picking up bargains galore, with a minimum of customer to customer friction. They stood in line at the checkstand of one store for over two hours. Such stamina! Although they spent lots and were proud of the amount of money they saved I saw no deposit slips. Whenever someone tells me they saved money by buying something I always want to see a deposit slip. So our Christmas shopping is complete now. I finished my own shopping by sitting at the computer; I'm not aggressive enough to venture out on Black Friday.

quote of the day

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work."
Thomas Alva Edison

over the river and through the woods

Every one on my mail route must have gone over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house for Thanksgiving weekend. As I walked along the deserted streets the sun hung low in the sky and the cold wind scattered the fallen leaves. I had to stop for a moment to watch a flock of geese, silhouetted against the sky, as they winged their way to a warmer clime. I was wishing I could fly away with them.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

quote of the day

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy and men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.
George Carlin

Friday, November 26, 2004

quote of the day

A man's mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1841-1935)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

thanksgiving eve

Boy, am I tired! Not much sleep the last few days. Sunday we had the family over for Tara's 17th birthday. When anyone in the family has a birthday they get to choose the menu for their birthday dinner. Tara chose egg rolls.
At work Monday my postal vehicle broke down twice. They brought a spare to me on the route and towed my vehicle back to the post office. Then at my last stop of the day the spare vehicle broke down and had to be towed. My supervisor picked me up in her car, along with all the outgoing mail and by the time I clocked off it was after five. We had Tara's drama recital to attend so I rushed home and changed. Dorothy had my dinner ready which I ate in the car on the way to the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Back to work yesterday and then ESL class last night in Siloam Springs. I actually got off work early today. I came home, ate, took a shower and was comfortably ensconced in my recliner when Dorothy informed me the water line to the toilet was leaking. Ordinarily that could wait for a day or two, but tomorrow's Thanksgiving and the house will be full of guests and we'll be needing both bathrooms, so out of the recliner and back to Tahlequah to buy the part for the toilet.
The turkey is soaking in a vat of brine and needs to be turned before I go to bed. He's so big part of him is above the liquid. I'm tempted to just let it go and remember the part that is not marinated and not eat from that part. No one will know unless you tell them.

quote of the day

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

quote of the day

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the houses of its children.
This is not a way of life....Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging itself on a cross of iron.
Dwight Eisenhower - General, 34th President of the Unitied States, April 16, 1953

Monday, November 22, 2004

quote of the day

Let no man think that we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves....When zealous agents of the government arrest suspected "radicals' without warrant, hold them without prompt trial, deny them access to counsel and admission of bail....we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity as a shield to every American citizen.
Robert LaFollette, Sr. March 1920

Sunday, November 21, 2004

i like to cook

I like to cook, but working for a living robs me of the energy required to enjoy it. (What work does to the human spirit will be the subject of a future post) When I retire, I plan to cook more and increase my repertoire of dishes. Here are some of the meals I've learned to cook over the years and were hits with the family:

Greek Manicotti
When Dorothy first went to work and I helped with the cooking, I found this recipe in one of her magazines. It's manicotti noodles stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and red sauce containing oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg; topped with a white sauce and served with garlic bread.

Garlic Shrimp with White Wine
This is an easy one. Saute shrimp in butter, garlic, and white wine. Serve with fettucini Alfredo and garlic bread. If you buy shrimp already peeled and deveined you can make quick, simple dishes that will get you the reputation of a gourmet cook.

I like to make my own sauce. Just tomato sauce, oregano, salt, pepper, and I like to add rosemary, fennel, maybe a touch of cumin. Just keep adding things until it tastes like something you want. If you have a little red wine in the fridge add a dash of that. I also like a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it just a kick. Of course, my spaghetti sauce tastes different each time I make it, but I haven't received any complaints. (maybe they don't want to hurt my feelings)

I make my chili with black beans, pinto beans, and great northern beans. For liquid I use a bottle of Negro Modela, a great, dark Mexican beer. When the chili is just about done I chop up a tomato and onion and add them. Yummy.

our back yard Posted by Hello

The neighbor's cows in our pasture Posted by Hello

quote of the day

Why should we be in such a desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Quote of the Day:

I strove with none; for none was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.

Walter Savage Landor -- Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher written on his 75th birthday

Friday, November 19, 2004


My grand daughter, Samantha, is going to be homeless for awhile. She and the rest of the student council are going to live in cardboard boxes on the lawn of their high school in an attempt to raise money for the homeless. They will stay there until their goal of $10,000 is reached. She's a sophomore now; I hope they raise the money before she graduates.
Donations can be mailed in care of the:
Student Council Homeless Project
Fayetteville High School
1001 W. Stone St.
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701

Quote of the Day:

No call alligator long mouth until you pass by.
Jamaican proverb

Thursday, November 18, 2004

i feel better now

I did a Google search on St. Jude. He's not just the patron saint of lost causes but also of hospital workers. I feel better now.

Quote of the Day:

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.
-- Carl Jung

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

st. jude

When I was 19 years old I worked in the kitchen of the Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina, California. When I turned twenty they threw a party for me and my boss gave me a little statue of St. Jude. It had a magnetic base so I was able to put it on the dashboard of my car. It stayed there for years. In school, lots of kids wore St Christopher medals on a chain around their necks, and I understood that the saint was supposed to protect them from accidents. I never knew what St. Jude's specialty was until about a year ago. He's the patron saint of lost causes. Hmmm......


A few weeks ago the company that picks up our trash went out of business. The trash began to pile up. We burned some and tried to recycle the plastic, cans and bottles. It was amazing how fast that stuff accumulated. There's just two much plastic and paper used in packaging things. I can now sympathize with the tree huggers who lament the loss of the rain forests. A couple of acres are mowed down every month just to supply my house with trash. Here's an idea that might alleviate the problem. Not every product you buy needs to be packaged. When you go to the grocery store things like flour definitely need to be in a bag, but couldn't you just fill your pockets full of beans and be charged by the pocketfulls? How about taking some old socks to the sporting goods store and filling them with tennis balls? Just a thought. Just trying to make this world a better place for you and me.

Quote of the Day:

Never make a decision when you're discouraged

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Quote of the Day:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
-- Margaret Mead

Monday, November 15, 2004

Quote of the Day:

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life. -- Sister Mary Rose McGeady

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Oklahoma City Memorial

This weekend we visited the Oklahoma City Memorial for the victims of the bombing by Timothy McVeigh of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building which occurred April 19, 1995. The pictures below tell the story.

mementos left on the fence Posted by Hello

at 9:0l peace, by 9:03 Oklahoma City, and America had been changed forever. Posted by Hello

the empty chairs of those lost Posted by Hello

the reflecting pool was being repaired Posted by Hello

sign left on fence surrounding the memorial Posted by Hello

Quote of the Day:

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
George Bernard Shaw, "Man and Superman" (1903), act 4

Friday, November 12, 2004

from amoeba to man?

There's a controversy brewing in the courts over the stickers applied to science text books in an Atlanta school district. The stickers alert students to the disclaimer that although the book teaches evolution as a fact, it is still just a theory.
Of course, scientists are up in arms over this; they insist that evolution is indeed a fact. Here's my take on this: Scientists believe whole heartedly in the second theory of thermodynamics which states that the entire universe is undergoing a process of entropy; that is, it is gradually decaying, tending toward chaos and dissolution. Entropy and evolution cannot exist together. If there is a force breaking things down to the lowest common denominator then how can things continue to become more complex over time? Well, the answer for me is that there is a force that holds all things together; I believe that evolution is the process that God has used to bring the universe into existence. Scientists make light of the faith of religious people but the leap of faith they make is incredible. There are a few chasms that my mind can't leap over. The first is accepting that something sprang from nothing. I just can't believe that there was nothingness in space (even space is a tangible something) and then suddenly there was matter. The second chasm is how the inorganic became organic; in other words, how did life spring up from the primordial ooze? Sorry, I just don't have enough faith to believe that enzymes, proteins, and molecules, at one point in time came together at random and became life. And there's that enormous gap between animals and man. Although humans share 97% of their DNA with chimpanzees, we are light years away from the chimps in intelligence. No, I believe that God created the universe and is working out a plan for humanity.

Quote of the Day:

Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal. -- Lenore Hershey

Thursday, November 11, 2004

what I'm reading now

Below you'll find a few books that I've read recently or am about to read.

This is what I'm going to read next. It's billed as the one book the Bush family doesn't want you to read. Posted by Hello

A grim revelation of the plight of people on the lower end of the economic scale. Posted by Hello

This is a story of a disabled Vietnam veteran who owns a diner, and the people that come and go in his life. Posted by Hello

100 nuggets of common sense. Posted by Hello

interesting bit of information

In America, more people buy lottery tickets than vote.

six tornados touched down in Oklahoma last night. Posted by Hello

Quote of the Day:

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw, Everybody's Political What's What? (1944) ch. 30

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Normally, by the middle of November we're having freezing temperatures at night, but it's still sultry and tonight there were tornado warnings all over north east Oklahoma. Posted by Hello

This is a painting by my daughter Rachel. It was my birthday present this year. Posted by Hello

at end of day

I spent most of the day installing the window. Now I'm tired, but I've taken a shower, ate dinner, and when I finish this post I'm going to spend the evening catching up on my internet reading, and I'm also trying to finish two books. And then there's "King of Queens" to watch. That's practically the only show on TV that I pay any attention to. (I know, that's poor grammar, but, oh well.)
Speaking of reading books, I'm in the middle of "100 Secrets of Happy People". A pretty good read. One of the secrets is volunteering. I can testify to that. On Tuesday nights I teach an English as a Second Language class. My students are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexico. This is my second year and I've come to know and respect these people. I've learned that we are all alike in spite of certain cultural differences; we all want to obtain a better economic position for ourselves and our families, and the freedom and opportunity to persue our goals. I think if your vocation is your only outlet, and things don't always go well on the job (that's pretty much of a given) you need another facet or facets to your life in order to secure a feeling of worth and satisfaction. So, get out there and help someone even if you don't get paid for it. It will do you good.

I found these funnies in the wall when I was installing the window. The date is Feb 5, 1958. Posted by Hello

This is how I spend my time off. Another project.  Posted by Hello

five days off

I have five days off in a row. yippee! Tomorrow is Veterans Day and also my day off, so that means I get today off. I took Friday and Saturday off with annual leave, and we never work on Sunday so five days.
Dorothy's in the kitchen cooking a breakfast of eggs, sausage, and biscuits. That should fortify me for the job ahead. I'm going to install a large window in the living room. The old window is ancient and I'm replacing it with a new double pane, insulated window. That should help keep us warm with winter coming on. Slowly but surely I'm modernizing and upgrading this old house, and learning how to do it along the way.

Quote of the Day:

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
Robert Wilensky, speech at a 1996 conference

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Quote of the Day:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw

Monday, November 08, 2004

monday morning nausea

I went to work this morning with my usual Monday morning nausea. With only nine months to go before retirment I still dread going to work. Surely, there's a person somewhere who loves his job and looks forward to going to work every day. If there's a reader of this blog that really digs his employment, please post a comment and tell the rest of us about your job. Maybe, also, you could send me an application.

Quote of the Day:

We're a sentimental people. We like a few kind words better than millions of dollars given in a humiliating way.
-- Gamal Abdel Nasser, on refusing Western economic assistance, 'Realites,' January 20, 1969

Sunday, November 07, 2004

as I get closer to retirement I seem to daydream as I deliver the mail. Posted by Hello

Quote of the Day:

One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful. -- Sigmund Freud

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Question of the Week

When Dorothy had the Sweet Shop some of her customers would order a cinnamon roll or donut and they would drink a coke with it. I thought that was odd. I always like coffee with my sweet rolls. In the southern states people like to crumble hot cornbread into a glass of cold milk and eat it with a spoon. So here's my Question of the Week. Do you have an odd combination of food and/or drink that you just love, but others would find strange? Please share it with the rest of us, won't you? We're all eager to confirm that we're not the only eccentrics on the planet.

Quote of the Day:

"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
Orson Welles as Harry Lime in "The Third Man"

Friday, November 05, 2004

international response to President Bush's re-election

Headline from British tabloid the Daily Mirror: "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?"

Headline from Germany's Tageszeitung newspaper: "Oops - they did it again".

From Sweden's L'Hebdo: "Victory for the hothead: how far will he go?"

sign along the highway Posted by Hello

Quote of the Day:

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

Helen Keller

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Quote of the Day:

Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway.
Robert Henri

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

passing the baton

Today the final papers have been signed. The Sweet Shop Cafe now belongs to new owners Bobby and Leisa Blossom.

Dorothy Blue, Lisa and Bobby Blossom (new owners of the Sweet Shop Cafe), Rita Hill Posted by Hello

a rainy day in greater metropolitan Westville Posted by Hello

let me gripe for a moment

Have you ever attempted to exit a Wal-mart store only to be stopped by the greeter when you set off the anti-theft alarm? It's happened to me several times. I can always produce the receipt, but it's embarrassing to be suspected of theft. The cashier who rang up the purchased failed to deactivate the gizmo that sets off the alarm. I've asked many people about this and most of them have had the same experience. This is a real public relations problem for Wal-mart, although I doubt they're concerned, seeing that they have a captive clientele. A friend works at Wal-mart as a greeter so I asked her about it. She said the alarm goes off frequently and the vast majority of times it's simply that the cashier did not deactivate the item. She's complained to management about it, but with no result. I asked her if she ever catches an actual thief. She said that in the last four years they've caught one person who was trying to get out the door with an article of merchandise worth $1.49. Hmm. . .

Quote of the Day:

I am not quite sure what the advantage is in having a few more dollars to spend if the air is too dirty to breathe, the water is too polluted to drink, the commuters are losing out in the struggle to get in and out of the city, the streets are filthy, the schools are so bad that the young perhaps wisely stay away, and the hoodlums roll citizens for some of the dollars they saved in the tax cut.
John Kennetrh Gailbraith

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

the red cheek days are here

Today was cold and dreary with a blustery wind. It looks like winter is upon us. If I can get through this one it will be my last winter to deliver the mail. Today I stopped for lunch at Braum's. (for my global readers, Braum's is a fast food restaurant like McDonalds but found mainly in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas) There were several senior citizens in line ahead of me and they stood motionless staring at the menu. I only have a half hour to eat and I get impatient with people who never give a thought as to what they're going to eat until they take their turn at the register. It's not like they have a long and complicated menu. They probably eat there often, and probably eat the same thing each time, but feel the need to deliberate as if their choices were going to determine the fate of the free world. And when it comes time to pay, they open their wallets and fondle each bill before reluctantly handing it over to the cashier. Oh, I guess I shouldn't poke fun at older people, after all, I'm tottering on the verge of geezerhood myself.
It turned out great though, when I finally reached the counter and gave the cashier my order, my lunch appeared on a tray in front of me. The cook saw that I was in a long line, knew what I usually order, and had it ready for me. There are some people in this world that go the extra mile, and it inspires me to do the same.
Check back often, I have lots of things to gripe about this week.

we're being lied to

Here it is, election day. We Americans are going to decide who will be our president for the next four years (assuming we don't have an election fiasco like 2000). Most people I talk to have strong opinions for one candidate or the other based on the news stories and campaign rhetoric. If you go to www.factcheck.org you'll find that the candidates have been telling lies about each other. Big surprise? Not hardly. An honest politician is an oxymoron. I think you have to know which direction the parties are trying to move the country and vote accordingly. Mario Cuomo gave a speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention that has stuck in my mind for twenty years. You can read the entire speech here. (If it asks you to download Windows Media Player you can click on cancel and still read the speech) So my advice is to have a look at factcheck.org and read Mr. Cuomo's speech, and then think about it.

Quote of the Day:

What worries you masters you. -- Haddon W. Robinson

Monday, November 01, 2004

you've found the right blog

It's just that after reading over this blog, I've come to the conclusion that the above title is more appropriate. What do you think?

Quote of the Day:

Know then that the world exists for you. . . All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house heaven and earth; Caesar called his house Rome; you perhaps call yours a cobbler's trade, a hundred acres of ploughed land, or a scholar's garret. Yet line for line and point for point your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build therefore your own world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson