Sunday, July 31, 2005

youngest photographer

My five year old grand daughter picked up the camera and took this picture. I liked it so much I'm using it as my profile photo.

quote of the day

The conventional "self" or "person" is composed mainly of a history consisting of selected memories, and beginning from the moment of parturition. According to convention I am not simply what I am doing now, I am also what I have done, and my conventionally edited version of my past is made to seem almost more the real "me" than what I am at this moment. For what I am seems so fleeting and intangible, but what I was is fixed and final. It is the firm basis for predictions of what I will be in the future, and so it comes about that I am more closely identified with what no longer exists than with what actually is.
Alan Watts - The Way of Zen

Thursday, July 28, 2005

quote of the day

Ideas of the world and of oneself which are social conventions and institutions are not to be confused with reality. The rules of communication are not necessarily the rules of the universe, and man is not the role or identity which society thrusts upon him. For when a man no longer confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he is at once universal and unique.
Alan Watts -- Psychotherapy East and West

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

quote of the day

From the Taoist point of view, an educated man is one who believes he has not succeeded when he has, but is not so sure he has failed when he fails, while the mark of the half educated man is his assumptions that his outward successes and failures are absolute and real.
Lin Yutang -- The Importance of Living

Monday, July 25, 2005

the top of my dresser

Dorothy has been nagging encouraging me to clean the top of my dresser for some time now. Last night I finally got around to it. There was a lot of stuff on there. Here's a list:

1 package of new crew socks

1 rock

1 disposable camera

1 ziplock bag of chess pieces

1 receipt for the purchase of pipe fittings

1 container of paint brush cleaner

2 eyeglass cases

1 battery charger plug in for a digital camera

1 driver's license (mine) expired 8/89

1 installation instructions for mini blinds

1 gas receipt (12/04)

4 annual leave request forms. (approved) earliest dating 9/03

4 pair shoe laces

1 zip lock bag containg miniblind screws and brackets

1 atm receipt (1/05)

1 phillips drill driver bit

2 packets Hot Hands hand warmers

1 bolo tie?

1 atm receipt (3/04)

1 stick of gum (age unknown)

1 hair cutting kit

1 vibrating massager (for my back)

1 bottle of GermX hand cleaner

1 shoe shine rag

1 portable tv antenna

1 shoe shine kit

1 wall switch cover plate

1 13mm box end wrench (I wondered where that was)

1 bottle of Purell hand cleaner

1 drill motor chuck key

3 two cent stamps

1 7mm socket

6 ball point pens

1 atm receipt (12/03)

1 military can opener ( I've had this since basic training 1966. It was for opening C-rations)

1 12.5mm telescope eye piece

17 guitar picks

1 Alto sax reed

4 pocket knives

4 .22 caliber bullets (you never know when you might find a snake in the house)

1 pr tweezers

1 key chain

25 pennies

1 dime

1 safe driving award pin (23 yrs without an accident)

1 photo of Dorothy, Me, Tara, Samantha at Sea World, San Antonio, 1993

1 set of checkers

1 cassette tape

1 index card file box containing a recipe for pizza dough and some assorted quotations which will be appearing as the quote of the day on this blog.

13 wallet size photos of the grandkids.

After compiling this inventory, I didn't know what to do with it so I put it all back on my dresser. I'll decide where to put it some other time.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

a life's calling

When I was in high school an occupational aptitude test was administered to the entire freshman class. I can't remember the list of jobs that I was psychologically suited for, but I do recall that working outside would appeal to me. Yet, I always worked in offices for most of my work life until 1984 when, at the age of 39 I started working as a letter carrier in north east Oklahoma. I do like being outside. Not only was I able to watch the seasons change over the course of years, but I was exposed to the freezing cold of winter, and heat and humidity of summer. Working on a walking mail route for 21 years has kept my heart in good shape and my blood pressure at acceptable levels. I'm about to retire and I can't help looking back over the years and taking stock of all the experiences that have come my way. I've made many friends, not only fellow employees, but customers that eagerly await my deliveries each day. I'm grateful for the employment I've had with the Postal Service. It's provided a comfortable living for me and my family, and an adequate retirement with health benefits. Over the past twenty one years I've driven over snow covered roads and ice to get to work and deliver the route. I've walked the beat on days when the high temperature was seven degrees. There were days, during spring thunderstorms, when I thought I was going to be struck by lightning. I've delivered mail after dark, reading the addresses by the glow of a porch light. And now, in 19 days it's all coming to an end. I won't miss the aggressive dogs, or the land mines they leave in yards. Nor will I miss the extremes of weather that impeded my progress on some days. But I will miss the opportunity to serve the public, even in a small way. The gratitude on people's faces after receiving a much anticipated mailing, the small talk that occurred at each brief encounter with customers (after all, were only at each delivery for a few seconds), the knowledge that what we do is important to the community and the economy. I'll miss all that.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

quote of the day

For too long we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community value in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product now is over 800 billion dollars a year, but that gross national product, if we judge the United States of America by that, that gross national product counts air pollution, and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic squall. It counts Napalm, and it counts nuclear warheads, and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our city. It counts Whitman's rifles and Speck's Knifes and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet, the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play; it does not include the beauty of our poetry of the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate for the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country it measures everything in short except that which makes life worth while. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.
Robert F. Kennedy - 1968


I'm going to be a grandpa for the fifth time! My daughter Kelly will be having her third child next March. I guess I'd better get busy and pick a name for the little bugger.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

quote of the day

Living apart and at peace with myself, I came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another's way of life - so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit. Hands off!
-- Henry Miller

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

back yard mowed

Our "back yard" has been mowed and rolled into round bales. Our neighbor's house in the background looks closer than it actually is. I was using the telephoto lens. You're looking across five acres and the house is about 800 feet away.

what i'm reading now

This is a book that attempts to answer such questions as: Which is more dangerous a swimming pool or a gun? What do school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? It's essentially a study of incentives; how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

your location?

Don't forget to place a pin at your location on the guestmap. Just click the button on the right side panel.

31 days

Thirty one days until retirement. I wonder how long it will take for my back to feel better; for the muscles in my back, knotted from years of carrying a mailbag, to relax. Or for the cramps in my calves that occur when I stretch my legs. I'm looking forward to it. I'm trying to formulate a post retirement routine. Coffee or tea in the morning out under the maple tree, breakfast with Dorothy, working on a project (gardening, painting, remodeling, eBay, etc.) until lunch, then a nap, maybe watch a movie in the afternoon, then after dinner, reading and writing this blog until bedtime. That's a regimen that appeals to me. I can't wait.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

biker babes

My daughter Kelly and my wife Dorothy at a biker themed scrapbooking extravaganza.


This is a painting that my 16 year old grand daughter, Samantha, painted for her grandma.

quote of the day

You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.
Eric Hoffer

Friday, July 08, 2005


I am in awe of femaleness, especially as it's exuded by my wife, Dorothy. She defies the stereotype of the meek housewife, who stands in the shadow of her husband. Let me give you an example: The evening of the 4th of July, our house was full of adults and kids, the little ones around the TV loud with Spongebob Squarepants, teenagers at the computer, adults around the dining table, and everyone talking at once. You know, the usual cacophony of family gatherings. One of the smaller children began to choke and from the other end of the room, Dorothy was able to filter out the noise and recognize the sound of a toddler in trouble. She shot from her chair, picked up the child and with a few well placed slaps to the back, was able to dislodge whatever was choking the baby before I was even aware that something was wrong.
She went into the "She-Bear Mode". This is something that all women seem to possess than enable them to draw on deep buried strength and courage during traumatic experiences. I think Dorothy has a double dose of it. Don't ever attempt to harm my kids, grand kids, or me for that matter, because she'll put you down in a hurry.

She's beautiful, but doesn't know it. I find that rather odd.

She has the ability to taste any food in a restaurant, analyze the ingredients, then go home and make it herself. I think she's a genius at culinary skills. She and my sister bought a dilapidated old building and turned it into a successful bakery/cafe, where they not only baked sweet stuff and served breakfast, but catered wedding receptions and decorated cakes for all occasions, then sold the business for a substantial profit.

I only hope some of her honesty and integrity has rubbed off on me over the last 39 years. In fact, when I grow up I want to be like her.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I've been hoodwinked!

After spending over $100.00 on a Purple Martin bird house and telescoping pole, I read an article on line that said it's a myth that Purple Martins eat vast quantities of mosquitoes. I read that the birds catch as many mosquitoes as a person riding around on a bicycle with his mouth open. Dang!

getting ready for the 4th

While Dorothy was in the house piddling with things like getting the meat ready to be barbecued, making potato salad, macaroni salad, Calico beans, and black berry cobbler, I was outside, hard at work making ice cream.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

me and the gk

Here's a picture taken just today of me with all the grandkids. I know you all think your's are wonderful, but look at these beautiful, bright, and talented kids. Can you guess who supplied the DNA for all that? On the left is Tara. Samantha is holding Marley Kate. Hunter insisted on sitting in his own chair.

quote of the day

There are two types of people -- those who come into a room and say, "Well, here I am!" and those who come in and say, "Ah, there you are."
Frederick L. Collins