Sunday, August 31, 2008


Unless I have deliberately decided that my relationship with ... [someone] has no further value in my life, I would do well to consider the long-range benefits of quiet acceptance in times of stress. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 16 August)

Just for today, I will temper my thoughts, restrain my tongue, and put judgmentalism aside. (At My Best, 23 August)

I'm thinking about how to reduce reflections when I'm using my camera copy stand. Even though the photo floodlights are mounted at 45 degree angles to the copy surface there can still be reflections when the surface of the copied picture is on high gloss paper. Can filters be mounted on the lens of a digital camera? Because the lens retracts into the camera when its turned off maybe this isn't possible. There's always so much to learn.

Yesterday I discovered that there's a Facebook group established to protest planned changes in how the service looks and how it works. Many of those posting said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Mr. Dickie
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Saturday, August 30, 2008


Journal writing can be fulfilling and healing. (At My Best, 26 August)

As long as you live keep learning how to live. (Seneca in Courage to Change, 27

I discovered the website of a group that's interested in the lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay.

Years ago I bought two polarizing filters to use when copying images with my SLR camera. I think they worked with two clamp on photo floodlights I also bought. The filters supposedly reduce the glare when the picture being copied is glossy. For a couple of days I have been trying to remember where I put the box with this equipment. When I can't find something it reminds me of our "clutter" issues.

It's comical to listen to the two political parties as the presidential election campaign wears on. The GOP has been saying the the the Democratic candidate, Obama, doesn't have the experience to be president. Do they think for a minute that the current president, George Bush, had the intelligence or experience to be president. The situation went from sad to ridiculous when the Republican candidate, McLain, announced that his running mate would be the woman governor of Alaska. She is forty-four years old with very little experience. Doesn't Mr. McLain realize that he's seventy-two years old. If elected he would be the oldest man to ever hold the office. If he dies while serving would this lady be better qualified to serve as president that Mr. Obama? You've got to be kidding!

Mr. Dickie
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Friday, August 29, 2008

About Photo Resolution

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Lighthouse at Havre de Grace, Maryland)

... I am growing in strength of spirit each day as I seek the guidance of God.
(Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 157)
Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. (William Ralph Inge in At
My Best, 17 August)

I've learned that shooting digital pictures at the highest resolution may not be a good idea. My camera has a number of settings. There are at least two reasons to set the resolution to a lower number of pixels or to the VGA mode.

First, if we aren't planning to enlarge our photos to 11 x 14 or even 8 x 10 it isn't necessary to shoot at 8MP. We can select a lower resolution which will result in smaller files and good 4x6 or 5x7 prints. This can be a good idea when we want to include a photograph in an Email or upload it to the Internet. For example, I can't make the Facebook simple uploader work if the files are big. Changing the resolution before taking the photograph eliminates the upload issue.

Second, taking pictures at a lower resolution increases the number of photos that can be stored on a memory card. For example, at 8Mp my camera will hold 267 photos. In the VGA mode, which is the lowest resolution, the card can hold more than 1,000 pictures.

On another topic. There are two photograph formats: landscape and portrait. Moving a portrait image from your camera to the computer will store the image on its side. That's not suitable for showing to others. There are more than one way to rotate the portrait images. I found that the way that works best for me is to used the camera editing capability before I move the photographs to the computer. This process is very quick and easy while the photos are still in the camera and only the rotated image is saved on the memory card. If the need to rotate the portrait images has been annoying you, investigate whether your camera has the capability to rotate the images while they are still in the camera.

Mr. Dickie

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Copy Stand

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Melva's salvaged quilt which she gave to our friend, Iris)

Many people wait for something to happen or someone to take care of them. But people who end up with ... good ... [results] are the positive ones who are solutions to problems, not problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with correct principles, to get the job done. (Stephen R. Covey, Daily Reflections For Highly Effective People, 22 August)

It is not healthy or productive to remain in a relationship that makes us happy sometimes, sad most of the time. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 18 August)

Yesterday I put my copy stand together. I was pleased when I tested the two photo lights. Both worked. During the afternoon and evening I used the digital camera to copy several 5x7 and 8x10 photographs. I had to review the camera user's guide as I learned the settings I should use on the camera. For example, it's probably a good idea to turn off the "date stamp" option. Also, I needed to turn off the "sleep" option because I couldn't get the photograph I was copying centered in the view finder quick enough. I'm still learning. The camera seems to always give me a "focus" warning whenever I try to copy a black and white or sepia photograph. Maybe I can find something about this topic in the user's manual. At any rate, I'm impressed with the first results.

Perhaps you noticed that the prints used in the quilt blocks in today's photo look "out of date." If you noticed you're right. Melva bought this quilt already pieced together at a yard sale. She added the hearts on the pink blocks and added quilt batting, the back and the border. She used her sewing machine to sew the three layers together.

Our county published "homeowner rules" in both Spanish and English. The county inspector gave me seven copies in Spanish. Yesterday I went for a a two and a half mile walk in the neighborhood. I left the seven copies of the booklets at the houses where I thought they might do the most good. I probably need about seven more if every house where they speak Spanish is going to have one. There are about 120 houses in our neighborhood. Six of the houses are "group" homes. I don't mean occupied by more than one family. I mean operated by some agency that operates "group" homes.

There are quite a few of the other kind of "group" houses. The ones where two or more families are living in the same house. There are so many cars parked on the streets it's now a concern whether emergency vehicles can get to the people in distress on time. Wouldn't it be a "hell" of a note if your house burned down because the firetruck couldn't get to your house because the street was blocked by the cars and trucks of illegal aliens?

How things have changed.

Mr. Dickie

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More About Facebook

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Fountain at The Tides, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)

I have one life and one chance to make it count for something ... I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference. (Jimmy Carter in Thinking Outside the Church by Jennifer Leigh Selig, Ph.D., p. 264)

Last night I continued to work on trying to find a way around the problem I'm having uploading photos to Facebook. After doing a test with a small photograph of a cross on the top of a white church I realized that the size and resolution of my photos is probably what causes the problem. It's strange that the Facebook software doesn't give feedback when it can't process the uploaded file.

Using AOL Email and it's capability to include one or more photos in the body of the Email I was able to alter the characteristics of a couple of my own photos. There were two settings I could change. First, I could select the option for "fast" uploading. This reduces the resolution of photos sent in Email or uploaded for viewing on the Internet. Second, I could right click on my mouse and select from one of several options to decrease the size of the image. I need to do further tests to determine what option or options work best. By the time I stopped testing last night I was confident that if I'm willing to go through this multi-step process I will be able to upload the photos I want to share. Of course it is disappointing that it's necessary to give up some resolution to do this.

Yesterday morning was quite cool. It's starting to feel like fall. I used the opportunity to go up in our attic to find and bring down my Polaroid copy stand. This is a device that holds a camera when you want to do close-up copy work. I bought it a long time ago and never used it. Because the digital camera can focus, in close-up mode, down to about six inches I decided it's time to set up the copy stand and try it out. I brought down another box that Melva and I wanted and some suitcases and the dog carrier that neither of us thought about. We're working on our clutter issues.

This morning I couldn't post to my Arrow Prayers blog because AOL had problems.

Mr. Dickie

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On The Road Again

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Flowers at Tanger Outlet - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)

    • ...whatever the cause, if our intimate relations aren't satisfying our emotional
      needs, we owe it to ourselves to confront the problem. (Vanceburg and
      Silverman, Family Feelings, 19 August)
    • I will try to pay attention to the "details" of my life. These are the
      things I will someday wish I could remember. (Jonathon and Wendy Lazear,
      Meditations for Parents Who Do Too Much, 21 August)
    • The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. (Thales in At My Best, 18 August)

Our Ford minivan was at the dealer's shop all day yesterday. When I put gas in the van to get ready for the trip to the beach the engine light went on. The shop talked about three things that needed to be replaced. The only one I understood was "software upgrade." What are we supposed to do with these modern cars? If the mechanics say something needs to be done we are at their mercy. We really don't have a clue. When I left the shop the mechanic told me, "Watch the engine light for a few days to see if it comes back on." Good grief!

I'm "on the road again."

I'm frustrated with Facebook photo uploading. Sometimes the "slow" way works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't understand how to install "Active X" so i can't try that method. There's a similar photo uploading problem on AOL when I try to load a photo to my blog from the computer. It takes too long and I often get frustrated and abort the process.

Yesterday I worked on trying to eliminate the paper clutter around my computers. The paper shredder was a big help. I made new file folders and managed to find enough room in my file cabinet to put quite a bit of paper away. I don't think my filing system is very good. Sometimes after I put something in the file cabinet, it's lost. That's when I think my "piling" system works better.

Mr. Dickie

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Minivan in the Shop

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Black-eyed Susans in our yard, border added with my digital camera.)

"The horror of that moment," the King said, "I shall never, never forget." "You will, though," said the Queen, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." ((Lewis Carroll: Thought the Looking Glass) in One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 18 August)

Spend time alone in objective thought as you consider the direction of your life. (I Ching (The Receptive) in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 17 August)

Yesterday something went wrong with posting this blog to Facebook. First the entry posted without all of the text. Later I went to Facebook and deleted the entry. Then I did a minor update to the Google blog entry, hoping that it would post again. It didn't. Oh well.

Before we left for a short trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware the minivan cut out went I went to buy gas. We were lucky to discover the problem before we left town. This morning I took the car to the Ford dealer. Nowadays you just have to expect that any repairs will be expensive. Since this car has given us long faithful service I try not to get to upset when they tell me what it's going to cost. We've taken so many nice trips in this vehicle. I'd really miss it, if we didn't have the minivan.

Today we ordered a quilting foot for the Kenmore sewing machine that Melva bought a while back. We expect delivery about a week from now. Then Melva can see how well the new machine works for quilting.

Mr. Dickie
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Photos: Mr. Dickie
  • There is hardly a greater challenge for any of us than to have healthy, happy, and productive relationships. (A Time to Be Free, 18 August)
  • ... stop blaming everyone else for the mess you create for yourself. (Teresa Ann Willis, It's All Good! 18 August)
  • There's a big difference between giving someone a piece of your mind and promoting their peace of mind. (Mr. Dickie, 15 August 2008)

Did you miss me? We took a short break from computers and blogging. Melva, Cyndi and I went to visit our friend, Iris, at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Her apartment is 127 miles from our house and about a mile from the beach. We were there Thursday and Friday nights and returned home on Saturday afternoon. Cyndi drove both ways. We took the Toyota Camry because the Engine Light came on when I went to put gas in the Ford minivan. What good luck to have the problem before leaving home.

Friday night we went to a free concert at the beach bandstand. The four piece rock and roll group, The Jaime McLean Band, from New York City gave a very nice concert.

We sent shopping at all three locations of the Tanger Outlets. There are 130 stores if all are occupied. The ladies spent an hour on the beach and Cyndi also went to the pool where Iris lives.

On the way home we stopped at Crazy Harry's drugstore to look for some bargains. I was surprised when we got inside. Since our last visit, the chain was bought by Walgreen's.

I found time to finish reading "Facebook for Dummies" during the trip. I skipped over the chapters about using the site for business. I discovered that I will have to find out what "Active X control" is if I want to be able to use the best way of uploading photographs to Facebook.

I took seventeen photos. This morning I used the Picasa software to move the photos from the camera memory card to the my thumb drive. Then it was easy to include two of the shots in this blog. I couldn't do that before Cyndi gave me the digital camera for Father's Day. Modern technology can be fun, when it all works together. I hope you are having fun with some of it.

Mr. Dickie.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August Days

Photo: Internet

  • If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. (Marvin Gaye in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 14 August)
  • Relief from the burden of compulsions frees our potential and grants us distance from the pain of our lifestyle. (Body, Mind, and Spirit, 15 August)
  • Don't wait for an earthquake or a flood or a blizzard before you begin to discover what you have in common with someone who appears to be different from you. (Terry Ann Willis, It's All Good! 11 August)

I'm trying to read the book, Facebook for Dummies. It seems to me that the book spends too much time announcing what is going to be described later in the book and too much time dwelling on privacy and security issues. Much of the text seems redundant after a while.
I posted a photograph of one of Melva's quilts to my Facebook album. It wasn't long before I knew that the photo had been viewed by Melva's nephew in Panama. He added a comment to the photo. That's neat.

I was "out of action" for much of yesterday afternoon. I had a headache that I wasn't able to relieve for several hours. That's never much fun.

Something went wrong with my Picasa photo albums. All of the images on my thumb drive disappeared. I have no idea what I did right before this happened. Good grief! The photos are still on the thumb drive. Picasa just doesn't know they are there. There are 624 photos which seems to be too many to deal with at any one time. There's always lots to learn. And don't let me forget to say, and to remember. It seems like the "to remember" part is getting more and more difficult. It's not a good feeling.

Mr. Dickie

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Thin Man

Photo: Mr. Dickie in front of an azalea at the corner of the house. How'd I get that thin?

A grudge is a contraction of the heart, a holding back from positive feelings. When we hold a grudge, it stands in the way of love and happiness flowing in and out of our lives. (M.J. Ryan, Instant Health and Happiness Boosters, 13 August)

I have a responsibility to cherish this life God has given me and to live it. I accept this responsibility and consider it to be a blessing. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word for Healing, p.l 156)

It took two attempts yesterday before I was able to check out a copy of the book, "Facebook For Dummies." I couldn't get my act together. At the second library I couldn't find the book. I maintained my presence of mind and asked a librarian for help. She went downstairs and got the book for me. The book had been returned to the branch but not to the shelf. This has happened before and I remembered. It was interesting to learn about how Facebook came to be created.

Last night Cyndi and I were in touch on our computers using Instant Messenger for the first time since she got high speed Internet on Saturday. I'm still using a phone line connection. Now she will be able to send me an IM when she wants me to free up the phone for a phone call.

I'm quite thin in this photograph. I wish I could report that I am still at that weight. I can't. I've got some eating issues that aren't under control.

Mr. Dickie
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Secret of Living

Photo: (Melva - Cyndi and Dick with Christmas Poinsettia that bloomed in our house.)

One secret of living successfully in a multi-cultural society is to respect differences while preserving our own distinct character and traditions. (Vanceburg and Silverman, Family Feelings, 11 August)

Write a personal mission statement. Record it in your journal. (Mr. Dickie after Stephen R. Covey, Daily Reflections For Highly Effective People, 12 August)

I will not look for perfection in another person until I have attained perfection myself. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 12 August)

I'm having lots of fun with blog writing and with posting photographs to the blogs and to Internet photo albums. I don't care whether others are reading the blogs or looking at the photographs. It's enough fun just to make the information and the photographs available.

I haven't had such good luck with the Groups I created. There's not much interest in joining either the family group or the genealogy group. I was hopeful that both groups would promote the exchange of information. So far neither group has enough members to make it interesting. Maybe folks are shy about putting any information on the Internet. Both groups are private which I suppose means that only those I accept as members can see the information. I say "suppose" because, as we all know, often what we are told now-a-days turns out to be false.

The feed of information from this Google blog to the "notes" in my Facebook worked. I like that idea. It insures that there will be something new on Facebook every time I post to the Google blog. There is one problem. Many of my Facebook "friends" speak Spanish as their first language. Well, at least they can look at the photographs if they don't have the time to deal with all of the English.

Mr. Dickie
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

More About Facebook

Photo: Internet
  • When I truly release any disturbing situation into God's care, I am taking a step in faith toward receiving harmony and establishing peace - for myself and for everyone involved. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 145)
  • ... I can live my life for inner peace and not for outward appearances. (Courage to Change, 9 August)

Yesterday I discovered that the "Notes" in Facebook can link to this Google blog. I set up the process. Both photographs and text appear in the Facebook. Much to my surprise the last twenty-five Google blog entries I'd made appeared in Facebook. A list of the "titles" appeared with my Facebook page with the latest entry at the bottom of the list. From now on everytime I post something to this Google blog I expect Facebook to detect the new posting and add it to my Facebook information.

I also learned that there's a Facebook For Dummies book. I checked the online library catalog. A copy is on the shelf at the nearby branch. When they open at noon I'll go to check it out, if I can remember.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thomas Point Lighthouse

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Thomas Point Lighthouse, now at the marine museum at Solomon's Island, Maryland)

True spirituality is not a religion - it is a state of being. (Mary Hession in Thinking Outside the Church, by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 225)

Loving is a blessing, a gift we give ourselves. (after Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Love, 5 August)

God's healing light and love flow through me now. I am being healed - mind and body. ... The response to the healing power of God is renewed life. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word for Healing, p. 142)

Today's photograph is of a silkscreen image of the Thomas Point Light which has been mounted in a large embroidery hoop. It hangs on the wall in one of our bedrooms.

Are you writing a WebLog? It's lots of fun. I particularly like how the Google Blog works. I also use the Google Picasa photo handler. The two work well together. I'm still learning. There are a few more things I'd like to try. For example, the slide show at the bottom of my blog page is provided by Google. I'd like to create one of my own. Being able to easily share some of the photos I've taken or that someone else took adds to the fun.

I advertise my blog in the closing I add to most of the Email messages I send out. I haven't learned how to count visitors to the Google blog yet so I don't have any idea whether anyone else is reading it or not. It really doesn't matter since I am getting a lot of personal enjoyment out of creating the journal entries. Don't hesitate to leave a comment if something catches your interest.

Mr. Dickie

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Blackwater Falls, West Virginia

Photos: Mr. Dickie (Blackwater Falls, West Virginia)

Write down your goals and the [names of the] people who can help you make them happen. (Marc Myers in How to Make Luck, found in Instant Health and Happiness Boosters by M.J. Ryan, 12 August)

... I make today and every day a day for giving thanks for all the people in my life. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 152)

I created an article about Thomas Cresap for my Henthorn Website News blog today. There was a relationship between Thomas Cresap and the Henthorns because of marriage. The Cresap family and the Henthorn family were in Maryland and Pennsylvania in the 1730s. At one point they were on the west bank of the Susquehanna River near where Wrightsville, PA is now located. In the piece I included two photographs I took of the Cresap family monument at Cumberland, Maryland, a biographical sketch about Thomas Cresap, links to two articles on my website that mention Cresap, and a link to the website of The Cresap Society.

I discovered another way to upload photographs to AOL using My Pictures. This method will be very useful because a number of photographs can be uploaded quickly and at one time. Once the photos are staged on AOL it's very easy to use them in any AOL blog.

Mr. Dickie
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Photo Albums

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Melva at Annapolis, Maryland Harbor)

  • I am thankful for the wisdom and guidance that help me recognize the blessings that come through me and to me. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 126)
  • The foundation of true strength is a gentle, loving, nonresistant attitude. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 147)
  • I will be mindful of my anger and my tongue - I will not foist either on others. (after Jonathon and Wendy Lazear, Meditations for Parents Who Do Too Much, 21 May)

    Yesterday one of Melva's nieces responded to my Facebook invitation to become my friend. She had two photo albums attached to her profile. It was fun seeing some pictures of our family in Panama.

    I realized yesterday that all of the photographs I'm posting to this Google blog are stored in an online Picasa area. I can send invitations to anyone I want to invite to view the photographs. I spent some time posting captions to all of the photos in the blog album. Then I sent myself an invitation to test how it works.

    Mr. Dickie
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Review Your Character

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Boy and C&O Towpath Mule at Cumberland, MD train depot)

Make it a daily practice to review your character. Review it in relation to your daily life, your loved ones, your friends, and your work. Each day try to see where God wants you to change. Plan how best each fault can be eliminated, each mistake corrected. Comparisons to others will not work. Strive for a better life as your ultimate goal. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 13 August)

Mr. Dickie
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More About Facebook

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Red Hibiscus - Melva's Garden)

Our emotional growth ... [can] be stunted by our addictions, by our overdependence on others, and by our dysfunctional family situations. (A Time to Be Free, 7 August)

The person who seeks to change another person in a relationship basically sets the stage for a great deal of conflict. (Wesley Snipes, in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 8 August)

Yesterday I added more photos to the album I'm creating on Facebook. This album can only be viewed by my Facebook friends unless I send the address to someone who isn't in my group of friends. I still don't understand how photo "face tagging" works.

This morning someone sent me a warning message about the dangers of using Facebook. Is there anything on the Internet that isn't dangerous? Isn't it interesting that there are so many people with time on their hands to do evil?

Mr. Dickie

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Monday, August 11, 2008


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Train Depot - Frostburg, Maryland)

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and your strength. Give thanks for your food and give thanks for the joy of living. And if you see no reason for giving thanks rest assured that the fault is in yourself. (Chief Tecumseh, Thinking Outside the Church, by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 238)

Our friend, John L. Haines, is an artist. We are fortunate to have two of his paintings in our home. If you'd like to see some of his remarkable work you can visit his website. Here's a HotLink to the website (Click on the underscored line.).

John L. Haines - Artist

Mr. Dickie

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Life Risks

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Western Maryland Scenic Railroad at Frostburg, Maryland)

Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he's forfeited his freedom. Only the person who risks is truly free. (Leo Buscaglia in Thinking Outside the Church, by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 236)

Only a mediocre person is always at his best. (W. Somerset Maugham in Meditations for Parents Who Do Too Much, by Jonathon and Wendy Lazear, 10 August)

I'm still learning about Facebook. I double checked that the HotLinks I installed in my profile "contact" area that point to my genealogy website and my Google blog worked. Two more friends accepted my invitation to be included in my group of Facebook friends. I also tried the option that makes a sketch from the profile photo. It worked but I didn't use the sketch yet. I learned how to "tag" people in photos. This option gathers photos of a person that appear in several albums into one "set" of pointers to the photos. Another option I installed I noticed at in Kim's facebook. This one gathers "related" folks together with captions that explain the relationship.

When I walk by myself I like to listen to music. Sometimes I carry a tape player in a booty bag. Several years ago Cyndi gave me a headset radio that she bought for me at Radio Shack. A while back I had an accident with the radio and broke a tiny wire. I tried to fix the wire but didn't succeed. Yesterday at a yard sale in Bowie, MD I found the same Optimus radio with two batteries. I installed the batteries and the radio worked. I paid $10.00 for it. When I got home I found my instructions on how to set the station buttons and my list of radio stations that I cut out of The Washington Post the other day. Once I reviewed the instructions on how to set the buttons I didn't have any trouble getting the radio ready for my next walk. There are ten FM buttons and five AM buttons. I'm sure I'll get many hours of enjoyment from this yard sale find.

Mr. Dickie

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Saturday, August 9, 2008


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Blackwater Falls, West Virginia)

God cannot fix the mess we create. What God can do, will do, and does all the time is give us the courage and presence of mind to do whatever needs to be done to rectify our errors. What we must do is ask for guidance, and trust it will be okay. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, p. 189)

Yesterday I tired again to upload photographs to a Facebook photo album. I had some success. I learned that it works best, for me, to only send a couple of photographs each time. After I uploaded a photograph of myself for my album cover I uploaded five of my four-photo collages. That worked well. After five uploads I'd made twenty photos available.

I also learned that Facebook can use my AOL address book to determine if any of the folks I send Email to are also registered on Facebook. There were six or eight people in that category. I asked Facebook to send them invitations to "be my friends."

Melva and I spent time looking at the Facebook photo albums of Alfonso, Jorge and Kim. That was lots of fun. Melva enjoyed looking at a few photographs taken in her hometown, Volcan.

Mr. Dickie
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Friday, August 8, 2008

Computer Club and Olympics

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Grotto of Lourdes - Emmittsburg, MD)

  • The tongue is the deadliest of all blunt instruments. (Anonymous in Meditations for Parents Who Do Too Much, by Jonathon and Wendy Lazear, 21 May)
  • I have the right to choose my own standards of conduct, but I do not have the right or power to impose those standards on others. (Courage to Change, 1 June)
  • You should strive for a union between your purposes in life and the purposes of the Divine Principle directing the universe. There is no bond of union on earth to compare with the union between a human soul and Godo. (Alan L. Roeck, Look to This Day, 1 August)

    Yesterday I went to the Seniors Computer Club meeting at the Bowie, Maryland Senior Center. One of the members ran the computer to give us a talk about subscribing to Smart Computing magazine. It was the second time in a year that this magazine was the featured speaker. The first time a young lady came to give the talk. This time we used a presentation on CD. Both were effective. The magazine comes out twelve times a year and cost $29.00. As part of the subscription they offer an extensive website and and 800 number help line. After watching the second presentation I think I am going to subscribe for a year. The two computers for public access to the Internet have been installed in the hallway at the front of the center. I didn't hear anyone mention how that's working out. Each session is limited to thirty minutes.

    Today is the start of the Olympics from China. This time they are going to broadcast on six television channels. We get five of the channels. The article in the paper said there will be 3,600 hours of coverage. By the time the events are over we will have Olympic hangover.

    Melva went to her quilting class at the Senior Center today. The instructor actually has two sessions each Friday. Melva is in the session before noon. Sometimes the students are there for part of both sessions.

    I tired to upload one photo to Facebook yesterday. I didn't have any luck with that. Maybe I'll have to ask for some help.

    Mr. Dickie
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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mr. Dickie

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Photo of Mr. Dickie when he really was Mr. Dickie.)

  • I chose not to squander my time and energy on things I cannot change. My security is too dear to sacrifice on circumstances beyond my control. (A Time to Be Free, 5 August)
  • You can't open your mind at the same time your fists are clinched. (Mr. Dickie, after Courage to Change, 5 August)
  • No matter how we meet our mate or who makes the introduction, we create ... the relationship we experience. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 6 August)

Yesterday Betty, one of my long time friends on AOL, invited me to join Facebook. While I've heard about it I really don't know anything about the service. I decided to accept the offer and register. The registration process was quite simple. They wanted to know my birthdate, where I graduated from high school and college and where I'd worked. Using that information they presented thumbnail photos of many people I might know already or who were in my the school and work groups. Then I could chose whether to send them a message that I wanted to "be their friend." I was surprised to see that several of our nephews in Panama were already members and that they were waiting for me to join.

This morning I linked to one of my former co-workers at The Library of Congress. So far I wasn't able to upload any photos except the one for my profile. I suppose that's the same issue I have when trying to do some uploads to other blogs and groups using the telephone connection.

I used the close-up setting on my digital camera to capture the image used with today's blog entry. There's a little annoying glare in the upper left hand corner. I think I can do better next time. I own a copy stand with lights. I've never used it. It's up in the attic. I plan to go get it if we have a cool evening sometime soon. I have a hunch that putting a light source on both sides of the copied photograph will eliminate the glare. I thought the shot turned out pretty well considering I held the photo in one hand and the camera in the other.

Mr. Dickie

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's Easier These Days?

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Grotto of Lourdes, Emmitsburg, MD)

What's Easier These Days?
No matter what your life circumstances, no matter what you are going through right now, because of the work you've done on yourself, some things are easier, if only because your ability to roll with the punches has improved.

Take a few moments right now to look at your life as a whole and reflect on what has become easier. Your intimate relationships? Your parenting? Your effectiveness in dealing with a difficult person? Your ability to give up perfectionism? Whatever it is, take a minute to celebrate those things, and allow them to remind you that life can improve.

(M.J. Ryan, Instant Health and Happiness Boosters, 5 August)

The Internet can be such a wonderful tool, when everything is working. I never get tired of using Email. Being able to stay in closer touch with family and friends has been a wonderful blessing in all our lives. Yesterday we received photographs from Panama. This morning there was a thoughtful message from my college friend, Jim Rowe, who lives on the west coast in Renton, WA. I can share, in WebLogs or Groups: my thoughts, my Arrow Prayers, my genealogy work and photographs I've taken recently with the new digital camera. All I have to do is register with the service and take the time to learn how to use it. If you have a computer and haven't tried some of these things yet I encourage you to get involved. It's challenging to learn and gratifying when you get the knack of it.

Last night I used the free Google Picasa photo editor to improve many of the photographs I took during our recent vacation. Using the automatic settings on the camera seems to result in many underexposed photographs. There's a way to set the camera to compensate. I'm still learning about that. I found an easy way to use Picasa to correct the problems once the photos are on the computer. After I changed the photos I discovered that the last step is to click a button that saves a back up copy of each photo before saving another copy of the improved photograph. I modified about 70 photos. It took the laptop around twenty minutes to save all the work. I was able to walk away from the computer while that process was completed. Today's photo is one of those that I fixed. The statue is at the end of a walkway up the hill into the woods. It was quite shady and there was lots of afternoon backlight behind the cross. Thanks to the Picasa editing capability I was able to modify the photograph and improve it. Remember in the old days, the print of the shot would come back from the photo processor too dark to see and we'd either put it back in the envelope or throw it in the trash.

Mr. Dickie

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Melva's Crazy Quilt

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Melva's Crazy Quilt)
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Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you. (Aldous Huxley, in Courage to Change, 3 August)

I am in a healing process! (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 187)

I dream the dreams that are inspired by Spirit and follow them in ways that bless me and all those whose lives I touch. (Daily Word, day 135, Colleen Zuck)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Melva's Charm Quilt

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Melva's Charm Quilt - professionally quilted, blocks exchanged with class members)

  • All the well-meaning advice in the world won't amount to a hill of beans if we're not addressing the real problem. (Stephen R. Covey, Daily Reflections For Highly Effective People, 4 August)
  • Space Out! Live your own life and allow others their rightful space to live theirs. (after Body, Mind, and Spirit, 3 August)
  • You cannont see God, but you can see the results of faith in human lives, changing them from defeat to victory. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 30 July)

Last night I learned more about some of the capability of my digital camera. There's a function called the Design Gallery that has features to to enchance the images using the camera itself. There are five categories: apply artistic effects, modify color, add borders, rotate images, and crop images. There are four artistic effects: posterize, soft glow, slimming, and kaleidoscope. There are seven kinds of border: soft edge, inset border, oval, circle, rectangle, rounded rectangle and square. Modified images are saved as new photographs.

The Design Gallery provides a very easy way to change the appearance of the photographs. It's even possible to combine more than one of the effects. I'm impressed that all of this capability came as part of the what the camera can do. I'm looking forward to putting some of the modified photographs on the the Internet.

Mr. Dickie

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