Thursday, June 30, 2005

quote of the day

Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God. The reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientiist will admit that there is much that they do not know, but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering. To admit that there is one who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: This requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him.
A.W. Tozer - Knowledge of the Holy


Every once in a while I can fry eggs without getting eggshell in the pan or breaking the yolks. Today was not one of those days, as you can see. Although not pretty, these eggs were cooked to perfection. Sometimes I like to make biscuits, but today I had the canned ones like my grandma used to make.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

the cogwheels of retirement begin their turn

We just got back from Oklahoma City where I submitted my application for retirement. It was a simple process and only took about 1-1/2 hours. Last night we went to see Toby Keith's new restaurant. It had just opened and the wait for a table was 45min to 1 hours so we didn't stay. However I got a T-shirt for my friend Pat who lives in L.A. I'll get that in the mail tomorrow.

We also visited the Oklahoma City Memorial. We were there last fall but the reflecting pool had been drained for repairs. We wanted to see it again and this is how it looked. It was about 5:45pm when this picture was taken and 101 degrees.

When I retire, Dorothy and I want to travel, but I have a hard time sleeping in hotel rooms. Last night I lay awake for hours staring in the dark as the red light on the smoke detector blinked on and off. I wonder if I should just watch travel documentaries on TV and sleep in my own bed every night.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

mosquito management

For years we've been attempting, without success, to rid our yard of mosquitos. We've tried insecticide, citronella candles, and a few other things, but in the past few years the problem has worsened. In light of the West Nile virus arriving in Oklahoma, it's time to make a new departure. I put up a Martin box to coax a family or two of Purple Martins to take up residence. These wonderful birds make their nest close to human habitation and will eat mosquitos like there's no tomorrow. I'm eagerly anticipating some positive results.

Monday, June 27, 2005

trip to oklahoma city

Tomorrow Dorothy and I are heading to Oklahoma City so I can apply for my retirement. I thought that as the date drew near time would begin to slow down just like when you were in school and longed for that last day before summer. But actually, it seems to be accelerating. I have mixed emotions. I'm looking forward to the leisure, the opportunity to do some things I've desired to do; to just sit in the yard and think, if that strikes my fancy. Yet, I have reservations. Mostly about money. Will there be enough? If not, where in the world would I find a job at 60? What gives me hope is that of all the retirees whose mind I have picked, not one regrets the decision to call it quits. So, August 12, I'm pulling the plug. I'm taking the plunge. I'm bailing out. I'm vacating the premises.

I'm anxious for these tomatoes to ripen so I can have a bacon and tomato sandwich. Posted by Hello

banana peppers ready for a salad Posted by Hello

purple cone flowers Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Grandpa made a tent for Marley Kate and Hunter on top of the storm cellar. Posted by Hello

barney fife syndrome

Have you noticed that people ignore stop signs these days? I even see drivers rolling through red lights. What's going on? Where are the police? My theory is that our local gendarmes have watched too many episodes of Cops. Making traffic stops is just too mundane for small town constables. They long for the high speed pursuit.Throwing suspects to the ground and shouting unintelligibly to confused petty criminals is much preferred to writing tickets. Some of them are even wearing the black uniform of SWAT teams with the word "Police" on the back on their regular patrol. Image is everything. If their motto is "to protect and to serve",maybe they should spend a little more time protecting us from sideswiping scofflaws.

quote of the day

"Men's minds are raised to the level of the women with whom they associate."
Alexandre Dumas Père
(via DailySally)

Friday, June 24, 2005

quote of the day

Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.
-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

quote of the day

When her mother asked if she would like to join a swim team my 5 year old grand daughter replied, "No. It's too much responsibility, and I don't get paid."

Sunday, June 19, 2005

a new chapter looms

55 days till retirement. A new beginning. I'll finally roll over that 25 year speed bump. It'll take awhile for the job to seep from my psyche, but I'm eagerly anticipating the freedom to explore life, to accomplish projects, and who knows, even find out who I am. What am I going to do? Here's a list:
  1. sit on the porch. This won't be my principal occupation, but an ample portion of time will be dedicated to watching the traffic go by, listen to the sounds of the country, and watching the hummingbirds jockey for position around the feeder.
  2. Paint. I haven't painted a picture in years, so I'm anxious to see if the talent is still there. Working for a living can sure suffocate your talents. There's something about a work-a-day job that is soul destroying and it's becoming more so as time goes by and corporations are determined to squeeze the life from their employees.
  3. Commerce is as old as civilization and since it seems to make the world go round, I think I'll try to generate a little cash flow from whatever talents I can put to use.
  4. Travel. This really should be number one. Dorothy and I want to travel while we're still young and have the desire. A road trip out west first. When I was a kid we traveled between California and Oklahoma and my dad would never stop at all those road side attractions like the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. Then as a father I refused to stop at those same places when my kids wanted to. But on this trip, we'll stop at every Indian village and cliff dwellers' ruins. Maybe we'll even see the world's biggest ball of twine. Then next year it's a trip to the Caribbean and after that Ireland, England, and Scotland are calling to us.
  5. There's lots of remodeling projects waiting to be done. We've been working on the house for years and years and now maybe I might just finish.
  6. Gardening. We'll dine on fresh vegetables every summer. The yard will be beautifully landscaped.
  7. Cooking. I like to cook and now I can learn some new recipes. Ravioli. Steak with Cajun Shrimp. Maybe I'll learn to bake bread.

That is by no means an exhaustive list but I think you get the picture. It's all about realizing some dreams and taking advantage of opportunities. I may even have to change the name of this blog. I'll keep you posted with a day by day journal of retirement life.

quote of the day

Why grab possessions like thieves, or divide them like socialists, when you can ignore them like wise men?
Natalie Clifford Barney

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I guess Marley had to apply lipstick to show off her gap. She squeezed the Tooth Fairy for $6.00. Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Marley shows off her very first loose tooth. She hopes the Tooth Fairy will be generous. Posted by Hello

Rachel blows out the candles on her birthday strawberry pie. Dorothy, Sami, and Marley look on. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 11, 2005

no more coffee

I quit drinking coffee. I don't know why but over the last few months I've lost the taste for it. So I went back to tea. It still tastes like it did when I was a kid and used to drink it in the evenings with cream and sugar. I like experiencing tastes and smells that evoke flashes of memory.

Friday, June 10, 2005

quote of the day

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

interesting interview

In the latest issue of The Sun magazine there is an interesting interview called "Crimes Against Democracy". Voting fraud and the right-wing attack on the middle class are discussed. You can read it here.

quote of the day

The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.
Mad magazine

Sunday, June 05, 2005

fun website game

I saw this on another website. Go to Google images and search for the place you grew up, where you live now, your name, grandmothers name, favorite drink, favorite food, and favorite smell. Here are my results:

Place I grew up: Hermosa Beach Posted by Hello

where I live now: Westville, Ok. Posted by Hello

my name: Wally Posted by Hello

grandmother's name: Ada Posted by Hello

favorite food: tacos Posted by Hello

favorite drink: iced tea Posted by Hello

favorite song. The Day the Music Died Posted by Hello

favorite smell: baking bread Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005

All the papers in NE Oklahoma are featuring Carrie Underwood, American Idol 2005 on their front page. Here is one from the Westville Reporter. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

quote of the day

I have the world's largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world. Perhaps you've seen it.
Steven Wright