Thursday, July 30, 2009

what i'm reading now

In the spring, President Obama attended the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad. On the second day of the conference Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, gave our president a book, Open Veins of Latin America. I was curious about the book so I ordered it. It describes five hundred years of exploitation of Latin America by European countries and also by the United States. From the early explorers and conquistadors who enriched Spain, Portugal, and other countries with the gold and silver they sent home to the slave traders and sugar and coffee growers who enslaved native peoples and depleted the natural resourced of the land. I think it's good for Americans who reap the benefits of capitalism to see the other side of the story, where our wealth means the poverty of other people, our comfort is bought by the low wages of people who have no hope of lifting themselves from their condition. Read this book

quote of the day

Ruin in its worst form is inevitable if our national life brings us nothing better than swollen fortunes for the few and the triumph in both politics and business of a sordid and selfish materialism.

--Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This spring Dorothy and I went to Tulsa to the Tomato Man to by our yearly tomato plants. We picked up our favorite Cherokee Purple plants and a few others. Lisa Merrell, the Tomato Man's daugher, gave us a tomato plant called Carbon to try. We recently harvested a one pound fruit and it was just as good as the Cherokee Purple, maybe a tad more tart.

This is the Carbon. This particular tomato is the second one from the vine and not as large as the first. This one weighs 3/4 pound. We'll be having it on hamburgers this evening.

So, we've been eating a lot of tomatoes. We've had them in salads, pico de gallo, on hamburgers, spam, BLT's, and we've even had some BLT burritos.

If you are a tomato grower and live within driving distance of Tulsa , I recommend that you go see the Tomato Man's Daughter for your plants.

quote of the day

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

--Alex de Tocqueville

Friday, July 24, 2009


I caught these Hibiscus this morning just as the early morning sunlight struck them. I like the way the petals are backlit. Their display is all the better with the purple coneflowers growing nearby.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

dogs of our lives

A few days ago Dorothy and I watched the movie Marley and Me. It started me thinking about all the dogs we've had over the years. There's been quite a few. Some of them stayed with us for their entire lives and others were just temporary visitors. My aunt Atha is holding my grandmother's dog, Duke. This picture was taken in 1949. Duke is the first dog I remember. He loved to play fetch but he was a ferocious little feist and would bite with the least provocation. Whenever my grandma would take a trip she would leave Duke with me. He would jump onto my bed at night and burrow beneath the covers and curl up at my feet. If I moved my legs he would bite me.

When I was five I had a little brown cur named Poncho that I loved very much. I liked the way he smelled. My sisters said I smelled just like him. At the time I thought that was a good thing.

Here I am at 14 with Rags. Rags just showed up at our house one day and stayed for awhile. One day he followed me to school and into my algebra class. I put him outside and closed the door. I never saw him again.

We had a very large white German Shepherd, Tippy, who would let our infant daughter Rachel crawl all over him but he scared the neighbors into their homes. We had to find him another place to live to avoid lawsuits.

Then there was Sandy MacTavish, a mentally retarded Scotty. One night he stood on the floor grate of the heater and relieved himself. When the heater clicked on around 3am the odor of burning urine woke us and I spent the next hour pouring hot, soapy water over the burner and scrubbing it until it no longer had a fragrance.

Snoopy and Rachel, 1975. Snoopy's only claim to fame was that he ate the family bible.

We've had mongrels and poodles, shepherds and beagles. Each dog with his own personality. Some were good fits for the family and some were not.

This is Cinder and me. She was the best dog we ever had. We found her outside a supermarket in a cardboard box of puppies that were being given away. She was a loyal friend, a courageous watch dog, and a wonderful playmate for the kids.

Our Cocker Spaniel, Lizzy, is 14 years old and probably won't be with us much longer. She may be our last dog.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

can an academy award be far behind?

Dorothy holds a $100 check she received for being an extra in a public service commercial for her employer, the Cherokee Nation. I'm surprised our phone is not ringing off the wall
with calls from talent agents and movie producers promising stardom.

quote of the day

A minority group has "arrived" only when it has the right to produce some fools and scoundrels without the entire group paying for it.

--Carl T. Rowan

of mice and me 'n' dorothy

Our pasture was recently mowed and when that happens all the critters that normally reside there scatter to find homes in other places such as our house. We were invaded by mice. It was embarrassing because we were expecting company and didn't want those raunchy little rodents to ruin the time we were going to spend with our friends. We set traps in every room and baited them with peanut butter, otherwise known as mouse ambrosia. The day before our guests arrived we caught the ninth and last mouse. Our house is now mice free and I hope it stays that way.

back in business

My computer has gradually slowed down, became unpredictable and unmanageable. It would repeatedly disconnect from the Internet. I finally formatted the hard disk. That wiped out all the programs and files I had installed since the first boot up. Before I started I burned all my photos and documents to a DVD. I forgot to print my email contact list so I guess I'll start over except for the people whose email address I know from memory. So if you've noticed my absence from the blog that's the reason

Saturday, July 04, 2009

quote of the day

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.
--Louis D Brandeis