Tuesday, May 31, 2005

my last night at ESL

Here I am talking to Mario Albuja from Ecuador. His wife Guadalupe is seated facing us. At the end of the table is Abelina Rodgriguez. Posted by Hello

On my last night as a teacher of ESL they had a party for me. We had great enchiladas, rice, and a wonderful Ecuadorian dish that resembled a very thick beef stew. From left Gabriela Rodrigues, Dorothy, Me, George Reyes, Linda (another teacher) Delfino, and Ofelia Reyes. Posted by Hello


One of the things I'm looking forward to in retirement is to post more personal essays on this blog. I've filled a lot of space with photos and quotations, but that's me; I like to share the grandkids and my favorite quotes. Having a time and energy consuming job prevents me from writing. For most of my free time I'm just too tired to think. Pushing 60 years old doesn't help either. But I'm inspired by some of the blogs that I read regularly. There are a few bloggers who have a talent for describing their work-a-day lives with language that pulls us in and keeps us reading and anticipating each post. So I'm learning that it's not the subject matter so much as the words you put together that makes good writing. Two of my favorite writers are Envoy-ette, author of It Could Be Worse. She draws on her traveling experiences and life with her husband and children for her essays. She's funny, interesting, and writes in a way that causes you to visualize the scenes she's describing.
Another blogger I just discovered is Dawn who writes Old Bones . She writes with clear and concise language about every day concerns. I believe she's a natural writer. Check these girls out; you'll enjoy their blogs.

off work

I'm off work this week so I can practice being retired. 74 days! Yesterday, we had the kids down and grilled some hamburgers, and had some potato salad and baked beans, you know, the usual Memorial Day stuff. Today I applied a textured coating to the ceiling of our guest room and tomorrow Dorothy will paint the walls. I was going to post a little more extensively today, but she just brought in the mail and I got the U.S. News magazine and the latest copy of The Sun, so I'm off to the recliner to read them and maybe catch a nap. I'll post later.

addicted to the internet?

My wife and daughters think I'm addicted to the web. Maybe. Yesterday our ISP server was down and I couldn't read email or catch up on my favorite blogs. I kept checking the computer every once and awhile with no luck. It does leave a rather sizable empty space in your day when you can't do your computering. But I'm not really addicted. Really. I can give it up any time I decide. I can.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

what I'm reading now

This is a very readable report on the collapse of ancient societies such as the Maya, Anazazi, and Easter Island. He discusses the possible causes such as environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, unstable trade partners, and pressure from enemies. He also issues a warning and shows signs of possible future collapse of modern societies. Posted by Hello

look at my lillies!

such color! Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

quote of the day

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 'Gift From the Sea'

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I love this young Japanese Maple. See how the sun illuminates the leaves? I was sitting in the shade of a Silver Maple sipping iced tea and taking in the color of my front yard. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

quote of the day

You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.
-- George Bernard Shaw

Monday, May 23, 2005

quote of the day

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
Albert Einstein

Friday, May 20, 2005

healthy eating

Lately, Dorothy has been cooking more healthful menus. We've drastically reduced our intake of sugar; eating more fruits and veggies, etc. Last night she made baked salmon stuffed with spinach. Now there's a healthy dish for you, loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids and all that. But for dessert she made a three layer white cake. She put blackberry puree between the layers and topped it off with whipped cream frosting. It would have been impolite to point out that the cake totally offset the health benefits of the salmon. If I complain she might quit making those delectable morsels. Don't tell her I wrote this.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

quote of the day

The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind. -- Maya Angelou

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

what I'm reading now

This is a compilation of short stories about the futile stuggle to survive the stark geography, economy, and social aberrations of Wyoming. Other books I've read by Annie Proulx are: The Shipping News, Accordian Crimes, and Close Range (Wyoming Stories 1). Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

quote of the day

An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.
-- Bonnie Friedman, in New York Times


For years I've been having toast and coffee for breakfast. I'd never paid much attention to the toast until recently when slices with uncanny likenesses of famous people have shown up on eBay and sold for thousands of dollars.Images of the Pope, the Virgin Mary, and even the runaway bride from Georgia have actually been seen on toast. So, I've been going over each slice as it comes out of the toaster looking for some well known image. The other day I had a piece that bore a vague resemblance to my 9th grade Algebra teacher, but I doubt that would sell. I guess I'll keep scrutinizing my toast. Who knows?

Friday, May 13, 2005

quote of the day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I like to cook. When I started cooking, I thought Dorothy would be so thrilled that she wouldn't mind cleaning up after me. I was wrong. Her statement to me was, "Have you ever cleaned up after my cooking?". What kind of attitude is that? Anyway, she gave me a pasta maker for my birthday, and I made some Ravioli. After I cleaned up, here's what she found: A wad of dough in the corner of the counter. (How'd that get there?) Some flour on the floor. (Oops) And, I really couldn't tell you how that marinara sauce got in the silverware drawer. Maybe I should confine my cooking to the grill outside. At least all the drips and drops will be cleaned up by the dog.

Friday, May 06, 2005

what I'm reading now

What are you reading?

This book was recommended to me by my friend Carol Fagan. Wow! What a book! This is a tale about loyalty, betrayal, family, love, and having the courage to do the right thing. The prose is sparse but it's a story powerfully told. Mr. Hosseini opens a window where we can glimpse Afghanistan and the forces that have shaped the nation for the last 30 years. If you haven't read this book, get it. You won't be sorry. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 05, 2005

classic coke

I've been trying to reduce my caloric intake lately and part of that effort means drinking diet Coke. I've been drinking the zero caloried stuff for about a month. This week I stopped at the station where I usually buy a drink to go with my lunch and they were out of the diet stuff. So I bought a Classic Coke. It was the most delicious thing I've put in my mouth in ages. It tasted like the Cokes I drank when I was a kid. I was swept away in nostalgic reverie. I relived scenes from my boyhood days. Isn't it odd how a fragrance or taste can evoke memories? Well, it's back to diet Coke but I can't wait until next month for another Classic Coke moment.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


A few years ago we had a snake in the house. A four foot long Black Snake. It crawled in by forcing the trim from the side of a window air conditioner. We have reason to believe he probably spent the night with us before we made the discovery. Dorothy and I had just arrived home from work and were talking, when pictures began to fall off of a curio cabinet across the room from us. We looked over and there was that snake. It looked ten feet long at the time. Dorothy screamed at out the front door she went. My daughter Kelly and her friend Wendy were in her room and when they heard the word "snake" they went out the window and locked themselves in the car. That left me, the man of the house, to extricate this reptile from our home. I couldn't leave the room for fear that the snake would move and curl up under the refrigerator or God forbid in the springs of my recliner. My .22 rifle was behind the door, so I grabbed that and took aim. I held my breath and waited for what seemed an eternity for the snake's head to stay still for just a second then squeezed the trigger. It fell to the floor dead. I used a shovel to lift it into a box and took it outside. After that incident we have made sure our house is snake proof, yet we always worry. If it ever happens again, Dorothy will find a new place to live.

Marley bowls with finesse. Posted by Hello