Monday, September 29, 2008


Photo: Miss Melva (Mr. Dickie at Greenbelt Park, Greenbelt, MD on a very hot 2008 summer day. Color photo altered to sepia tone using the camera photo editor.)

It may provide temporary relief to blame your unhappiness on your upbringing, or your spouse, or your unconscious mind, or society, or the phases of the moon, but blaming will not cure what ails you. (Daniel Taylor, The Healing Power of Stories, p. 142)

This will probably be the last entry to this blog until after October 11th. Tomorrow my daughter, Cyndi, and I will be traveling to Omaha, Nebraska. Cyndi will be there on business. I'll be visiting my cousins and the graves of my parents, aunts and grandparents. I'll also be driving to Wichita, Kansas to visit with my college roommate, Tom and his wife, Karen. I'm looking forward to seeing loved ones again.

Last evening Cyndi dropped by the house for a visit. She brought her laptop computer. She showed us the photos she took during her recent vacation in Italy and England.

I lost $10.00 gambling. I had a bet on the football game yesterday between the Redskins and the Cowboys. The Redskins won 26-24. Melva is ten dollars richer.

I sent a copy of a photograph of the college drill team to my friend, Jim, in Renton, WA. That prompted him to write me a nice long Email recollecting his involvement in the drill team and in the formation of the Pershing Rifles. I was a member of the Pershing Rifles staff and enjoyed the experience a great deal.

Ray, one of my genealogy buddies, is thinking about buying a new genealogy program. I recommended RootsMagic. I hope he will try out this program. The ability to create PDF files is worth the entire cost of the program.

Mr. Dickie
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Sunday, September 28, 2008


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Greenbelt, MD Farmer's Market)

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 found in Thinking Outside the Church by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 236)

Mr. Dickie
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Purpose to Life

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Goldenrod - Nebraska state flower in our backyard.)

There is one purpose to life and one only: to bear witness to and understand as much as possible of the complexity of the world - its beauty, its mysteries, its riddles. The more you understand, the more you look, the greater is your enjoyment of life and your sense of peace. That's all there is to it. If an activity is not grounded in "to love" or "to learn," it does not have value. (Anne Rice in Thinking Outside the Church by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 303)

Last night I watched some of the first debate between the two presidential candidates. Calling such an activity a "debate" is stretching the definition of the term. I can only stand to listen for a short time before it wears heavily on me. It seemed to me that both men mostly repeated what they have said over and over in speeches given all over the country. Knowing that both sides are lying doesn't help matters much. By the time we go to the polls I think everyone is just glad that the campaign is over.

Mr. Dickie
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Friday, September 26, 2008


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Flower kaleidoscope)

The power of an imagined end [result], and it literally can only be imagined, lies in its ability to influence present choices. ... If I can imagine nothing, I do nothing - I choose nothing - and thereby allow my life to degenerate from being a story to being a mere succession of events in a twittering world. ... This power of the imagination links the past and present to the future, and gives us the possibility not only to know things, but to create whole new realities. (Daniel Taylor, The Healing Power of Stories, p. 70 and 28)

For the last several days I've noticed some tweaks of pain in my right arm. That's probably the carpal tunnel syndrome acting up. I have a wrist brace that seems to give some relief. I've been wearing it for several hours each day and haven't felt the pain. I'm determined to do all I can to avoid another operation.

Yesterday I uploaded some photographs to one of my AOL albums. There's an upload routine that allows me to use "drag and drop" to stage the photos I want to upload. With a phone line connection it's a little slow, but it works every time. I uploaded as many as ten photos at a time without any problem. Including a photo in an AOL journal is quick and easy once the photos have been staged in an AOL album. When I try to upload a photo from the computer to the journal that doesn't work very well. It takes so long I usually think it's "hung up."

The photo included with this blog entry was created with my digital camera. Maybe I should display a "before" and "after" photo so you can see the photo I had when I started the process.

Mr. Dickie
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

They Broke It

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Greenbelt, MD - Farmer's Market)

On one side are those who believe, and on the other are those who choose to justify themselves, determined to stand before God on their own record. (Erwin Lutzer, in His Passion, Day 207)

Yesterday the conversion to a new Facebook format took place. From my point of view, it didn't go well. I use AOL and a phone connection to access the Internet. As soon as the first page of the new format is displayed Facebook crashes which once again enforces the credo, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Earlier I'd tried the test version and experienced the same thing so I wasn't surprised that it didn't work.

I can start Internet Explorer after I sign on to AOL. That seemed to work. I was at least able to get signed on to Facebook and move from one page to another without a crash. I'll try using this method for a while before I decide to abandon Facebook for good.

Last night President Bush made a short speech about the financial crisis. It was about time! I suppose, if you don't have a clue about what to do, it's better to wait a while before talking to the American people. I didn't listen. I'm not interested in what a "lame duck" has to say. It's interesting that one of the key players in this financial crisis, the appointed Secretary of Treasury, has less than one hundred days left in his term. Maybe he's hoping that the next president will extend his appointment. It's something we all should be thinking about.

Mr. Dickie
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plan Is a Four Letter Word

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Maryland Flag kaleidoscope)

The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ectasy. (Abraham Maslow in Thinking Outside the Church by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 305)

Things are going to happen, and you have a choice: you can be a witness or a participant. A witness observes and learns. A participant creates drama and stress. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 257)

Since my working days I have always liked this phrase, Plan is a Four Letter Word. The Bush administration is asking the American people to buy into a brief plan to bailout the financial institutions of this country at taxpayer's expense. Once again the "so called" leaders want us to accept what they tell us without discussion and debate and without a detailed written plan. They say it's an emergency and if we don't act with haste the world, as we know it, will come to an end. Didn't our mother's read us this story about "Chicken Little" when we were kids. It's interesting that everytime President Bush has needed our support he's been in a hurry and critical of anyone who asks hard questions and persists in trying to get straight answers.

If the situation wasn't so serious it would be comical that the president thinks most of us have forgotten the debacle of how he and his cronies got us into the war in Iraq. Didn't he use the same argument then, "Trust me! The situation is grave! We must act without further thought, discussion or debate."

As baseball manager Leo Derocher once said, "It's deja vu, all over again."

We should be "Mad As Hell."

Mr. Dickie
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wedding Photos

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Maryland State Flower in our backyard)

... you can choose to be happy with what is, rather than bemoaning your unrealized fantasies. (M.J. Ryan, Instant Health and Happiness Booster, 16 September)

We attended the wedding of Keith and Yessina Marston on the 13th. Afterwards I used my digital camera to edit the photos I took. Yesterday I decided I was ready to move the photos to my computer thumb drive. Because of the edits the photographs weren't all together on the memory card. I tried using Picasa and HP Photo Essentials to select and copy the photos. I couldn't make either program do what I wanted. Later I copied the photos to a new folder on the thumb drive using "drag and drop." There were sixty-two photos. Next I used Picasa to lighten twenty-two of the photos that were too dark. The next step is to upload the photos to the Internet so I can share them with the Marston family. I think I will create a Picasa album. I have no idea how long it will take to upload that many photos. Maybe it will be too tedious with my phone connection to the Internet.

Last night I was in The Family Treehouse genealogy chatroom. Near the end of the chat there was a nice surprise. My longtime AOL friend, Betty, showed up. She hasn't been able to use some of the AOL features for about a year. She received a Mac computer as a gift and was never able to master using it with AOL. Finally she decided to go back to using her PC. It was nice to be able to chat with her again.

Yesterday some of the commentators and members of Congress began to speak out about the financial crisis. Several of them pointed out that the Bush administration is once again pushing for a quick decision on a complicated issue. The administration doesn't want to submit a big written plan, they don't want discussion or debate. They just want a quick vote giving the Secretary of Treasury carte blanche. There is even a provision in the plan that states that nothing they do can be taken to court. Some folks pointed out last night that the Treasurer, Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernecke, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank, are two of the appointed public servants that were in charge as the country sank into this debacle. Others pointed out that the government will hire Wall Street bigshots who were involved in the shaky financial practices to run the companies that the government takes over. In the recent past many folks were worried that President Bush might get us into a war with Iran before the end of his term in office. I never heard anyone warn us that he might leave us with the worst financial mess since The Depression. We'd better open the wrapper on this fish before we buy it. Something smells.

Mr. Dickie

Mr. Dickie
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Anne Frank

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. (Anne Frank, in Thinking Outside the Church, by Jennifer Leigh Selig, pl 152)

We must have courage to bet on our ideas, to take the calculated risk, and to act. Everyday living requires courage if life is to be effective and bring happiness. (Maxwell Maltz in A Time to Be Free, 16 September)

Welcome Autumn!

Mr. Dickie
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Risk of Living

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Jim Henson Memorial at the University of Maryland)

One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying. (Morris West in Thinking Outside the Church by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 235)

Knowing that it usually takes some time to get oneself into a mess we also realize that once "in" it will take sometime to "get out" of the mess. This morning I'm thinking about this fact of life as every citizen of this country contemplates "the mess" that our government and business leaders have made of this country. Because of their failure to "take care of business" now business is going to take care of us and not in a good way.

Isn't it interesting that lawmakers are always telling us they need more money to govern and yet now they are able, in a matter of days, to come up with trillions of dollars to throw at a plan that they've worked on for only a few days, that hasn't been discussed in public and that hasn't been presented to the Congress or the American people. Where did all of this money come from?

Have you considered that the same men who are developing the plan are the power brokers of Wall Street and Washington who got us into this mess in the first place. Most of them aren't even our elected leaders, with the possible exception of the president, and from all appearances, he is as usual, "out of the loop."

Is there anything in this situation that should make us optimistic about our future?

Mr. Dickie
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quiet Time

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Chinese Garden - Portland, Oregon)

A certain amount of quiet alone time, whether it is spent meditating, exercising, reading, listening to music, or being creative is, I think, essential for the mental health of most human beings. (Barbara Powell in Thinking Outside the Church by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 297)

Yesterday I mowed our yard and the front yards of two of our neighbors. One of the houses has been vacant for many months. Right now we have six houses out of one hundred and twenty vacant. Two of them have For Sale signs which have been up for about a year. One of them is a group house. We don't know what's planned for the rest. The situation is probably going to get worse before it gets better. All of the homes in the neighborhood are single family dwellings. Quite a few of them appear to have more than one family living in them. We don't know which houses are being rented, but we have some idea. There's trash all over in the streets and the broken trash containers remain at the curb all week long even though trash is picked up on only two days. It's not a good place to be retired because one spends too much time at home looking at the changing environment.

We enjoyed seeing the nice photographs posted by Kim and Javier after their recent trip to Panama.

Mr. Dickie
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Friday, September 19, 2008


Photo: (Corel)

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. (Chinese Proverb, in Meditations for Parents Who Do Too Much, by Jonathon and Wendy Lazear, 12 September)

In all our relationships there comes a time when we must do what we know is right. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 9 September)

Yesterday afternoon I attended the computer club meeting at the Senior Center in Bowie. One of the members gave a talk about the Google photo management program, Picasa. The laptop that he used for the talk had the Beta version of Picasa3 installed. That made it a little hard to follow. I tried to keep my mouth shut during the talk. I wasn't very successful. I knew several things about how the program works that the presenter didn't. I thought it was a very good topic to present to the club.

We also discussed who would accept positions on the board for next year. The president, Dale Grant, has served for two years. He wants someone else to take over that job. The secretary agreed to serve another term as did the vice president/program chairman, Daniel. Mr. Grant got two members to volunteer to be on the program committee. The man sitting beside me agreed to become president. I still don't know his name.

The meeting took place at a new time, 12:30 p.m. which I think will be better than in the middle of the afternoon.

By the way I am still learning about how to use Picasa. One thing I don't like is when I point the program to my thumb drive it wants to index all the folders. I haven't been able to find a way to limit the indexing to just one folder at a time. Surely this must be an option.

Mr. Dickie
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Right Way

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon)

... There seems to be a right way to live and a wrong way. Things work out if we choose the right way. Things work our badly if we choose the wrong way. We seem to take out of life what we put into it. Disobeying the laws of nature makes us unhealthy. Violating moral and spiritual laws makes us unhappy. His path is the one to natural and spiritual health and happiness. (Alan L. Roeck, Look Two This Day, 17 September)

I continue to work on the photographs I took at the wedding on Saturday. I think I can improve many of the photos by editing the shots. When I was taking the photos I noticed that the camera takes a long time to recycle the flash. This caused me to miss several shots I wanted. I'm still getting used to the camera. I still haven't tried to shot a video. And I haven't tried several of the camera options such as for sports or night shots. There's a lot to learn.

Yesterday I copied some old photographs from a notebook of photos taken during college days and days in the Army. I also took time to write on the back of the photos I took out of the notebook that didn't have any subject matter description.

Melva went back to work today after being ill since the night of September 6th. Many of her customers waited for her to return. She could be quite busy.

Mr. Dickie
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wedding Photos

Experiencing God gives me a sense of tremendous peacefulness and love -- of losing my boundaires. I feel connected with something much larger than myself. I feel very much alive, as if I can feel the life force in every cell of my body. (Joan Borysenko in Thinking Outside the Church, by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 144)

A certain amount of quiet alone time, whether it is spent meditating, exercising, reading, listening to music, or being creative is, I think, essential for the mental health of most human beings. (Barbara Powell in Thinking Outsife the Church, by Jennifer Leigh Seligh, p. 297)

Today I finished reading Thinking Outside the Church, by Jennifer Leigh Selig. I bought the book on 21 Oct 2007 for fifty cents. I started reading on January 1st. I read a few pages each day. The two quotes today came from the book.

On Saturday the 13th of September 2008 we attended the wedding of Yessina Paiz and Keith Marston. I took quite a few photos at the church and the reception afterwards. I'm busy using the edit capability of my digital camera to edit the photos. Because I can make changes while the photos are still in the camera that I can't make on the computer I'm taking my time about moving the photos to my thumbdrive. Once the photos are on the computer I'll probably make a Picasa photo album to share with the Marston family.

This afternoon I used my copy stand to make copies of some of the black and white photographs in the notebook I located the other day in the basement. I was surprised when I discovered that many of the photos don't have anything about the subject written on the back. It's pretty hard to remember when a photo was taken when fifty years have gone by.

Mr. Dickie
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Stories

Besides my interest in genealogy I'm also interested in "life stories." There are lots of good books about how to write your life story. There are also computer programs designed to help with the process. I've been involved in helping several others to write accounts of their lives. There are three life stories on my AOL genealogy website.

Recently I finished reading, The Healing Power of Stories by Daniel Taylor. I enjoyed reading the book. Today I'm going to quote two paragraphs from page 125 of the book.

"As we participate in creating the stories we read, so should we participate in the creation of the stories by which we live. Although every story we hear has the power to affect us, a handful of core stories determine the general shape of our lives. These are the stories that most directly answer the big questions: who am I, why am I here, who are these others, what is success, what should I do, what will happen when I die? These are our life stories, the ones that organize reality for us, give us our values, and enable us to explain our experience. ...

Sometimes, however, our stories are not merely broken or fragmented, they are profoundly flawed. They cannot be healed, only replaced. The same freedom and responsibility that make us characters, also give us the possibility of choosing new stories in which to live. One of the clearest indications of a flawed life story is its failure to give one the sense of purpose and conviction necessary to live life with an acceptable degree of optimism and resolve. A failed story no longer encourages the kind of life you feel it is important to live. "

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Sunday, September 14, 2008


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

Every day establish a spiritual agenda, determine to admit wrongs, be forgiving, respect life and the rights of others. ... Spirituality will become an instinctive way of life. (Mr. Dickie after, At My Best, 7 September)

... my prayers, thoughts, conversation and actions are all a part of my continuing health plan. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 185)

We went for a walk around the lake at Greenbelt, Maryland today. I wore my pedometer. Afterwards we stopped in the town center where we shopped at the Farmer's Market they have been operating on Sundays since June. Then we went to lunch at The New Deal Cafe. If you know the history of Greenbelt you'll know why the cafe has that name.

Mr. Dickie
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wedding Day

Self-pity is not an escape from problems. (A Time To Be Free, 29 August)

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. (William James in Doing It Now by Edwin C. Bliss, p. 91)

Today we are invited to attend the wedding of our next door neighbor, Keith and his bride, Yessinia. As they begin their life together we wish them many years of love and happiness.

Mr. Dickie
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Is Facebook Worth the Trouble?

Photo: Mr. Dickie (A plant in our backyard, grown for the color of it's foliage.)

You need a firm foundation of spiritual living that makes you truly humble, if you are to help others. (Alan L. Roeck, Look Two This Day, 31 August.

Self-pity is a soul-sickness that can blind us to our blessings. (At My Best, 29 August)

Yesterday, Facebook forced a new format on me. The Wall is no longer part of the Profile. There are tabs across the top of the page. I'd only been trying to understand how it worked for a few minutes when it crashed. I signed on again and within a couple more minutes it crashed again. I have very little tolerance for computer programs or Internet sites that don't work. I didn't bother to try a third time. I've already decided that using Facebook may be more trouble than it's worth. I've also quickly learned that if your friends are not actively posting to their own accounts using the service really isn't much fun. I enjoy posting to this Google blog. I like how it works and how it looks. If the issues I'm having with Facebook persist I'll delete my account. I'll be content to blog on Google.

Mr. Dickie
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Turning Points

There have been many different times in my life when I arrived at a turning point - a time of change. I know within my own heart and mind that each turning point is an opportunity to change my life for the better. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 175)

Our greatest handicap is self-deception. We cannot recognize in ourselves the faults we criticize in others. (One Day At A Time in Al-Anon, 5 September)

Yesterday I attended the funeral of Louis John Pizzoli, one of my co-workers at The Library Congress. There were more than twenty members of The Library staff in attendance.

This morning I enrolled Melva in the next quilting class. They changed the enrollment process. The phone system no longer works. Now enrollment is via the Internet. Since the course catalog hadn't arrived I decided to drive to the community college campus to do the registration. When I got home the new catalog with the new instructions had arrived.

I'm trying to learn more about the website of my college alumni association. I've been signed on before. I wonder where I wrote down the UserName and password. To get back on I had to go through the various steps needed to renew my account. This time I wrote down the details. Now if I can just remember where I put that 3x5 card the next time I need it. I'm interested in the website because I think they may provide a special "college Email address." I think I need this if I want to make college friends on Facebook. There's too much to learn and too much to investigate.

Mr. Dickie
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lack Of

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Many enterprises fail at conception because of a lack of resources, a lack of time or lack of a plan. (Mr. Dickie after Stephen R. Covey, Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People, 29 August)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Having It All

A big block to happiness is thinking we can have everything we desire. When we fail to achieve that impossible goal, we are miserable. The truth is that everything is a trade-off. For example, if we work all the time to create material success, we may miss chances to be with our children as they grow, to be together at dinnertime, to develop other aspects of ourselves.

Happiness requires hard choices. To find it, we must be very clear on what is most important to us, and then arrange our lives so that we put those things first. If having a big fancy house will make you happy, great. If having meaningful work, even if it pays less, is most important, that's it. You are the only one who can be the judge of what will truly make you happy.

Right now, sit quietly and make a list of your top three priorities for happiness.(Instant Health and Happiness Boosters, M.J. Ryan, 8 September)

Mr. Dickie

Monday, September 8, 2008

The American Success Story

Photo: (Mr. Dickie, Funny sign at a fish farm near Sisters, Oregon)

I just finished reading, "The Healing Power of Stories," by Daniel Taylor. Because I'm interested in story telling I liked the book a lot. I don't remember where I found the book. I bought it in March 2002 for sixty cents. Today I'm going to quote from page 130 of the book.

"The American success story tells us we are to achieve this happiness primarily through four avenues: money, power, prestige, and pleasure. These are the great themes of countless stories paraded before us in novels, films, self-help books, talk shows, television and advertising. You can be richer, stonger, sexier. You can be envied, on top, out front, desired. You can be confident, gratified, in control, calling the shots, in charge. And, it goes without saying, you will be happy."

"Then why aren't we? ..."

"We are unhappy because we are trying to live by a broken story. As attractive as it is in many respects, the American success story simply doesn't tell us the truth. It lies both in suggesting that everyone who works hard enough will have these things and in suggesting that once you have them you will finally be happy. It is a testimony to the human appetite for illusion that this story persists in the face of countless counter-stories from disappointed individuals who have followed these paths and found no contentment."

"A satisfying story is one that is true not only to how the world is on the outside but to how we are inside. It is emotionally and spiritually true. We do not have to divide outselves to live it. We do not have to suppress something we know in our emotions to be true. Such emotional congruence is not a sufficient test by itself, because we know our emotions can support lies, but it is a necessary test. Our spirits will approve our most important stories."

Mr. Dickie

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sideling Hill

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Sideling Hill on Interstate 70, west of Hancock, Maryland)

If you believe you are to blame for everything that goes wrong, you will have to stay until you fix it. (Zora Neale Hurston in Acts of Faith, by Iyanla Vanzant, 3 September)

... when we spend more time living in our minds that in reality, we very often miss the moment. (At My Best, 1 September)

Yesterday I tried to use the word "grateful" in something I wrote. After I saved the sentence I realized that I had trouble spelling this word, again. Then the thought occurred to me that I be able to spell the word if I could remember this phrase, "It's great to be grateful."
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Saturday, September 6, 2008


Photos: (Top, Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, bottom, New Cape Henry Lighthouse at Fort Story, VA. Tourists are allowed to ascend the "old" lighthouse.)

Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting over lost days. ... What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has Magic, Power and Genius in it. (Johann Wolfgang von Goeth, in Courage to Change, 3 September)

Begin each day with a few minutes of prayer and meditation, to build spiritual strength that will keep you uplifted throughout the day. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 176)

When I was in the Transportation Corps I was stationed at Fort Story, VA where the two Cape Henry lighthouses are located. I was company commander of the 347th Transportation Company. The company was outfited with Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo (LARCs). Each vessel was capable of carrying five tons of cargo both on water and land. The last time I visited Fort Story there was a LARC on display near the lighthouses.

Today we are getting rain from tropical storm Hanna. It's predicted that we will experience many hours of rain with some high winds. In the past this kind of weather usually resulted in some flooding of low areas in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Dickie
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Friday, September 5, 2008

Future Trip

Photo: Miraflores Locks - Panama Canal (Artist - Juan Rodriguez)

We each write our own life script, although we're all actors in a collaborative effort. Every single one of us is the central player in our own comedy. (Vanceberg and Silverman, Family Feelings, 29 August)

... my attitude dictates the way I experience the world. (Courage to Change, 30 August)

Yesterday I wrote out a description of my travel plans for a trip I'm taking at the end of the month. My daughter, Cyndi, and I are going to Omaha, NE. She will be there on business and I will be visiting relatives and friends. I'm also going to drive to Wichita, KS to visit my college roommate and his wife. Email makes it very convenient to share information quickly.

I received news of the retirements and illnesses of several people I used to work with at The Library of Congress. It is so sad when retirements are prompted by serious illness. It always gives me pause for reflection.

Mr. Dickie
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

More Facebook

Photo is of murdered Corpus Christi singing star, Selena. It's one of my favorite photographs of her.

Do not become encumbered by petty annoyances. Never respond to emotional upset by more emotional upset. Try to keep calm in all circumstances. Try not to fight back. Call on the grace of God to calm you when you feel like retaliating. Look to God for the inner strength to drop those resentments that drag you down. If you are burdened by annoyances, you will lose your inward peace, and the spirit of God will be shut out. Try to stay serene within. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 4 September)

This morning there was a front page article about Facebook in The Washington Post. People who have been using the service to send many messages have been removed for over usage. Some were using the service to organize their reunions. This kind of thing appears to me to be a very good usage of Facebook. Apparently they watch the number of messages sent and if a client is making heavy use of the service this may be grounds for termination.

The other day a Facebook friend sent me the address of a webpage where people are discussing, and objecting to, proposed Facebook changes. Many were saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I also noticed that I'm not able to send a message to one of my Facebook friends. When I try to send a message I get an error message and my connection to Facebook terminates.

As time goes by it's becoming apparent that there's more to using this service than meets the eye. While my experience so far has been favorable I'm beginning to have some doubts about whether some of these annoyances, which seemed petty at first may, over time, prove to be too much trouble.

One other comment about using Facebook. How much fun you can have depends a lot on whether your friends actively use the service. Just joining the service isn't enough. It's not interesting if your friends don't post. I think posting photos, notes, comments and short messages on "the wall" are what it's all about. If friends aren't posting there is no reason to sign on to see what is happening.

Mr. Dickie

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon)

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." (Norman Vincent Peale in Courage to Change, 30 August)

Every day is a new day. The past is gone, the future is still to come; but today is ours to do with as we will. (D.M. Prescott, Body, Mind and Spirit, 28 August)

One day at a time I can meet the challenges of life head-on instead of head-down. ("As We Understand" in Courage to Change, 29 August)

Yesterday I embarrassed myself when I tried to make a genealogy report about the Henthorn(e)s of England for two of my friends. I forgot to check how many generations were in my file. I didn't realize that there were seventeen. After I sent an Email with the report file attached I started thinking about the report. Then I did a test to find out how big the report should have been. The first report had ninety pages and the second had one hundred and two pages. I worried that both friends might have used their paper and ink to print out the smaller report.

Are you learning about your digital camera? Have you read the manual? Have you tried all of the options yet? Are you having fun with the new technology? Do you know how to put the pictures on your computer or a CD? If you need help ask someone else to be your mentor.

Mr. Dickie
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