Monday, November 26, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

remodeling progress

Dorothy's brother Bill is helping me on this phase of creating a dining room. This old house has very uneven floors so we're leveling them.

Friday, November 16, 2007

marley's baptism

Marley and Kelly have their picture taken before the baptism.

The youth minister, Jason Kelly, explains to the congregation that Marley has made a commitment of faith and is now publicly demonstrating her personal identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

quote of the day

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
-- Charles Schulz, Peanuts cartoonist

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

tara's birthday

It's Tara's twentieth birthday and as she attempts to blow out the candles on her cake she gets lots of help from her younger cousins. As per our tradition the birthdayee (I just made up a word) gets his/her choice of cake and dinner. Tara chose a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and for dinner we had tacos.

This is my new keyboard. I'm slowly and haltingly playing "Happy Birthday" as we all sing for Tara.

quote of the day

"Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits."
--Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, November 09, 2007

cyber democracy

This morning I emailed my congressman expressing my concern over the importation of defective and toxic products from China. So far, toxic pet food, tooth paste, toys made with lead and other dangerous substances, and fish treated with antibiotics have been discovered. Who knows what other harmful things have been introduced into this country that haven't been detected? All in the name of global trade. At a time when our government should be protecting us from unsafe imported food, the FDA is closing 7 of 13 laboratories that test for these problems.

Thanks to the Internet, we have opportunities to communicate with our elected Representatives like no other time in history. I urge all citizens to express how you feel about the state of our country to the people you sent to Washington to represent you. Online, you can track your congressman's voting record and see if he is watching out for your interests like he promised when he campaigned for your vote. America is beginning to suffer from the actions of corrupt politicians and special interest groups, and its our responsibility as voters to let them know that we're not going to stand for it.

To email a member of Congress or the Senate use these links:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

quote of the day

A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct of what is beautiful and awe-inspiring is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.
--Rachel Carson

work work work

We need more room. Our extended family is growing by leaps and bounds and our holidays and family get togethers are pretty crowded affairs. So I'm eliminating the wall between a storage room and the pantry to make one room 10X13. We'll make this into a nice dining area. The contents of the pantry were moved into the laundry room, and the stuff that was stored in the other room are now in a storage bin in town. I think we should have had a bonfire in the back yard and burned all those possessions that we never use, but, the chief executive vetoed that idea.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

quote of the day

The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance. Like music, also, it is fulfilled in each moment of its course. You do not play a sonata in order to reach the final chord, and if the meanings of things were simply in ends, composers would write nothing but finales.
--Alan Watts

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

quote of the day

There's a schizoid quality to our relationship with animals, in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side. Half the dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pig - an animal easily as intelligent as a dog - that becomes the Christmas ham.
--Michael Pollan

what i'm reading now

Once in a while I read a book that causes me to take a look at my world in a different way, to rethink my thinking. The Black Swan is such a book. In this book the author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, discusses the impact of the highly improbable. Here's a blurb from the cover:
"A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For the author, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives."

toward another goal

If you've been reading my blog for some time you know that one of the post-retirement goals I set for myself was to learn the piano. I learned the guitar when I was 17 and over the years I've been able to play a few rock-n-roll tunes and sing a ballad or two while accompanying myself on my 6 string. This weekend Dorothy, Kelly, and Karon went on a shopping trip to Branson, and among the goodies she brought home was a 61 key piano keyboard. Well, I sat down and started lessons immediately. I'm taking lessons online to learn piano theory and get acquainted with the layout of the keyboard, but I'm surprised at how quickly I'm picking up chords and melody. I can already play the tunes that I used to play on the guitar, although very slowly. On a guitar you can play chords or the melody but not both at the same time (unless you're Chet Atkins), but on the piano it's great to be able to play chords and melody together. For me playing the guitar was like traveling to Musicland over a twisting, turning trail through the forest, but on the piano I feel like I'm making the same trip on the autobahn.