Monday, January 30, 2006
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Since I'm up I checked the Lotto and Powerball numbers. I got four numbers on the Missouri Lotto. Yipee! I checked it out. $29.00 I was going to wake Dorothy up with the good news but I guess I'd better not.
For years I've suspected that historical events have been more often affected by commercial interests than some of the more noble causes like "making the world safe for democracy", "fighting the war over there so we won't have to fight it over here". So I've been reading a book called "The Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy". The book has confirmed my suspicions, but here's what I learned the most from the book: It was hard to read. It was published in 1915 and I was able to obtain a 1965 edition. It was a scholarly work and clearly was not written for a mass audience, but I soon realized it was going to be hard work to digest this book. I think modern readers have been dumbed down by the literature we read. When we read non-fiction we want it to read like a novel. I do. There's nothing wrong with wanting your reading material to be entertaining as well as informative, but good grief, I'm getting to where I'll put a difficult book down no matter how many nuggets of information I'm able to mine from it. But I guess I'll keep reading the hard ones. I want to know the truth and it can't be found in the tabloids, popular page turners, or on the evening news. Truth has to be searched for, I just pray I'll have the wisdom to recognize it when I find it.
While I'm up: I've found the perfect throat lozenge. Do you ever get burned out on cough drops and just can't stand the taste of them by the time you've kicked the cold? I've been using chocolate kisses with caramel centers. A lot better than cough drops.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Dorothy and I drove to the Wal-mart in Stilwell this afternoon to buy more cold medicine. On the way we saw some people burning trash. Although it was raining, those people were risking a $500 fine. That's for burning during a ban. If the fire gets out of control the fines start increasing in proportion to the property damage. But, by some backwoods reasoning, I suppose, the risk of a fine or worse is worth avoiding the $11.00 a month it costs to have your trash picked up.
In addition to the the cough suppressant/decongestant/cold remedy, we bought a cough throat mist. I tried it on the way home. It worked. It also tasted ten times better than cough syrup. That being said, it still failed to make it half way across the taste scale from ptooey to yummy.
I'm glad to be feeling better. I'm still coughing but not so much that I feel like I'm going to lose a lung. My daughter Kelly told me this morning I should be developing a good set of abs from all that coughing. Actually, when I got up this morning I noticed I had a great six-pack showing. I put my glasses on and it was just wrinkles and folds.
Wednesday, and Thursday nights I slept in the recliner. Last night it was the couch. Tonight I'm going to try sleeping in bed. Dorothy's already in bed and I'm giving her a head start on sleep as I write this post before I join her. I'll take a shot of that throat mist and then hit the sack. Maybe I'll sleep all night.
One of the benefits of being sick is losing weight. I haven't felt like walking but I lost about 5 lbs anyway. I don't know why I can't lose simply by deciding to eat less. This whole diet, exercise, metabolism thing is a complicated affair. At any rate, I need to keep my personal tonnage down to avoid high blood pressure and diabetes.
I hope I'm completely over this by Monday. I've got things to do. I have all the materials I need to build a closet for Dorothy in the master bath. I have a masonite panel cut, gessoed, and a scene sketched in for a landscape I want to paint. I also need to clean up the garden area and start tilling the ground and get it ready for planting. Marley (6yrs old) and I went through a garden catalogue the other day and I sent the order off. We'll have plenty of seeds to plant.
Well, I'm going to get a blast of that throat spray and go to bed. Wish me luck. I may be up In the middle of the night with another post if it doesn't last.
-- Thomas Merton, "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander"
Thursday, January 26, 2006
No, I had to sit up to sleep because of chest cold. I can't seem to be able to stop coughing. I'm taking some over the counter stuff that does relieve the symptoms somewhat, but I'll be glad when this is over.
When I was delivering mail I would usually come down with one good cold a year, and I thought after retirement that one cold would be eliminated. After all, I'm not out in the cold air. But, maybe that's where I need to be. I've been going to fire training, and fire meetings, and we try to carpool when we can. Being enclosed with other people has caused be to catch several colds.
Not that I have any plans to return to the delivery of mail. But, I think I need to spend more time outside.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Four jobs I have had:
- Military Policeman
- Bill collector for a finance company
- Research technician for an experimental poultry farm
Four movies I would watch over and over:
- A Christmas Story
- Red River
- Flying Deuces (Laurel and Hardy)
- A Walk in the Sun
Four favorite foods:
- Beans and cornbread
- Peanut butter sandwich
Four places I have lived:
- Hermosa Beach, Ca.
- La Puente, Ca.
- Pomona, Ca.
- Westville, Ok.
Four place I've been on vacation:
- Lake Tahoe
- Asheville, N.C.
- San Francisco, Ca.
- Grand Canyon, Az.
Four Websites I visit daily:
See the blogroll at right.
Four places I'd rather be:
I hate to get philosophical on you, but there's no place I'd rather be than where I am at any given moment.
I'm not going to tag anyone with this meme, but if it appeals to you have a go at it.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
I drove down highway 62 towards town as fast as I could. Mike was trying to get me on the radio; I kept responding but in the dark I wasn't sure I was even on the right frequency. Every time I rounded a curve I could see the flashing lights of the fire truck up ahead in the distance. I wasn't gaining on him. I reached Hall Hill Rd and turned south. I could see the flashing lights ahead and it soon became evident that they were coming back in my direction. This is typical of fire calls in rural areas. The person who called in probably gave the location as well as he could but very often the information is inaccurate. By the time I turned around, the fire truck was headed east along 62 with several responders in their p.o.v.'s behind it. I could see in the distance as they turned south again on Ross Swimmer Rd. As I approached the intersection a truck from Westville came in from the east. I pulled over and let them pass. By the time I caught up with them they were stopped in the Addilee community. No fire. Someone may have seen smoke from a wood burning stove, and reported it as a fire; who knows. We all went back home. Now I'm up at midnight writing this post and drinking a diet Pepsi free to slake my thirst. I'm too keyed up to go back to sleep.
I keep my fire pants folded over my boots (note the obligatory red suspenders) near the back door(just like a real fireman). I can see I need to be even more organized. I think when I go to bed I'll leave my wallet, cell phone, keys, and anything else I might need on the washing machine so I can grab them on my way out the door.
The primary problem is that once I'm asleep and then get awakened by the pager I'm dazed and confused for a few minutes. If Dorothy hadn't been here to steer me around and put things in my hands I would still be stumbling around the house trying to get ready when Mike returned with the truck after the call. Mike Wolf is the official mechanic for the department and usually has a fire truck at his house which is just down the road from me. So as he rolls down the road, siren blasting and lights flashing, I try to be ready and standing out in the road to hitch a ride with him to the fire. This time I just didn't make it. Well, I'm going back to bed now; I'm keeping my socks on just in case.
When I was working I would meditate for about 20 minutes every morning just before I went to work. It really helped to keep my blood pressure down and it enabled me to cope with the stress of the job. Now that I'm retired I find it hard to meditate. There's no stress to be relieved of. (I know, you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition) Maybe I'm just in a state of constant, walking meditation. Retirement is very soothing to the nerves.
In a few weeks we're going to be going up and down ladders in the firefighting class so today I got out my 20ft extension ladder, leaned it against the house and went up and down a few times. I'm going to continue that and get in shape because I don't want to be embarrassed by not keeping up with the "kids" on the department.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
--Rumi - Sufi mystic and poet 1207-1273
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
--President Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis
Monday, January 16, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
- I've been staining and varnishing the bathroom door and towel cabinet. I'll start building a closet in the master bath this week.
- I cut out some masonite boards to use as painting canvases and hope to start a new painting this week.
- I went to a fire meeting in Westville and got caught up on the concerns, both political and financial, of our local volunteer fire departments. The wild fires here in Oklahoma are taking their toll. We've been lucky in Adair County. (I've responded to three fires in the last month) Some firemen in other communities have been using their own personal credit cards to fuel their fire trucks because they've run out of operating funds.
Last night I got a call from a neighbor who's grand kids saw a horse down on the creek behind my house that seemed caught in the fence. I called the neighbor on the other side of me who has horses and he came down and we jumped in my truck and took off across the pasture. The creek is at the bottom of a 30 foot bluff and I parked my truck at the top of the bluff and kept the headlights pointed in the general direction of the horse. We climbed down the bluff and and spotted a big red mule standing in the corner of the fence. My neighbor waded the creek while I kept my flashlight trained on the mule. Another neighbor soon arrived driving his truck up the creek from the south. The two of them found the mule just standing in the corner with a dead limb of a tree pressed against his backside. He thought he was stuck and had been standing there probably all afternoon. Some horses and mules when caught in a situation like that will simply stand until someone comes to help. Others will hurt themselves trying to get loose. This incident turned out ok, in fact, it was kinda comical.
Today, Dorothy and I drove to Tulsa to a Remodeling and Landscape show at the Convention Center. It was a disappointment. There just wasn't much to look at. We like to go to those shows to get ideas for our own place. It was a waste of time except for the Asian diner we went to for lunch. I had a hot and spicy dish called coconut curry pork.
- I stopped in at the post office this week and visitied with my old boss. While I was there, some of the employees whined about having to do without Dorothy's cinnamon rolls, so next week I'll take a couple of dozen right out of the oven and have coffee with them during their break.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Tonight on the 5:00 news the weather man said we might get a few drops of rain from a cold front moving through. I was at the Westville Fire Dept. for the quarterly meeting of the Adair county firefighters when a thunder storm blew up. We interrupted the meeting while the Westville crew moved their trucks back into the fire station to avoid hail damage. We usually don't get storms like this until April or May. I took this picture of dime size hail when I got home from the meeting.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Have you noticed the Geico Gecko is speaking now? In his commercial he mentioned pie and chips and since he speaks in a British accent I did a search for food of the U.K. Pie and chips; a pie containing meat, potatoes, and just about anything else you can think of accompanied by fries (chips). Every year Tulsa, OK. hosts the Scottish Games. When we go we usually buy some Scottish meat pies. They have beef, oats, and some veggies and spices. Very tasty.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
--Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, 1953
Monday, January 09, 2006
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
I think having a huge variety of choices is a marketing ploy directed toward women. (I know, I'm treading on dangerous ground here.) Let's take shampoo for instance. If I go to the store for shampoo (Come to think of it, I've never done that) I will go directly to the shampoo section, pick up a bottle that has the word shampoo on the label, pay for it and bring it home. Dorothy will stand there and deliberate and read labels for what seems like a long time in order to get the perfect shampoo. It has to add body (what's that?). On the front of her shampoo bottle it describes itself as a lightweight formula that boosts hair with volume and body. Wow! I never knew that. It contains amino proteins and a lot of other unpronounceable ingredients, but no Jojoba. There's a shampoo for every scalp condition and type of hair. Of course, I may have chosen the wrong example seeing as how I don't have much hair.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that as I get older I value simplicity. I know the younger generation revels in the multiplicity of car models to choose from, a myriad of electronic devices to serve every need, and a mind boggling list of chain restaurants, each with a menu that takes twenty minutes to read and consider all the entrees. The life we live in modern times is fast paced and when presented with so many choices my baby boomer brain tends to freeze up like my computer when it is asked to run too many programs at once. I think I'll have some Ctrl, Alt, Delete buttons installed in the back of my head so that Dorothy can reboot me whenever she finds me frozen in place, staring off into space, trying to decide which deodorant to buy.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Jimmy Carter -- Our Endangered Values