Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Still There

If I learn nothing more ... than to keep hands off what is not truly my business, this alone will lighten and brighten my life. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 27 October)

I am learning to let go of my certainty about what other people should do. (Courage to Change, 29 October)

The first thing I did today when I signed on to the Internet was to check to see if AOL took down my website. It's still there! I expect it will disappear sometime today. It's an opportunity for me to practice accepting change.

This morning there was frost on the grass when I went I put the trash can out at the curb. There are many signs already that we are going to have an early winter.

Last night I watched a very nice show on PBS about the differences between humans and apes. The most amazing thing was that one of the apes could understand about three thousand words in English. They proved this by having the human being hold a welders mask in front of her face when she talked. If you get a chance to view this National Geographic supported program I recommend it.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Push and Shove

Some folks worry and putter, push and shove, hunting little molehills to make big mountains of. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 26 Oct)

Saying yes to a commitment, a relationship, a goal, or a new way of life is just the beginning. Then comes the day-to-day work and dedication to it. (Daily Word, Colleen Zuck, Day 238)

Now AOL has announced that they will discontinue their Photo albums at the end of the year. I've noticed that they haven't deceased the price for those of us who are so stupid we continue to pay them for the service.

Yesterday a new friend called about my webpage about the Joseph Conger family. I was surprised when I realized that this file was stored in the webspace of my daughter. I'd forgotten this piece of my website. There had been 5,757 visits to this page according to the visit counter. When I went to download it I discovered that I'd only uploaded one file to this space. I'm glad I found out in time. Today is probably the last day that my AOL Journals and the website will be available. I enjoyed the fun while it lasted.

Mr. Dickie

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some Peace Will Come - David Mallett

I know these are times of trouble
Trouble is always around
I see that old haunted look on your face
And I can tell there's a lot comin' down
Keep it together
Nothin's forever
Except for that place in the sun
Wait a little longer
And when you are stronger
I know some peace will come
I know some peace will come

These are the times they were talkin' about
When they told you life ain't always fair
But when you are yearning and burning with doubt
Just thank the Lord you got someone who cares
Keep it together
Nothin's forever
Except for that place in the sun
Wait a little longer
And when you are stronger
I know some peace will come
I know some peace will come

Your days are filled with longing
Broken up by a memory or two
I know that good times won't be long in coming
To someone with such good intentions as you
Keep it together
Nothin's forever
Except for that place in the sun
Wait a little longer
And when you are stronger
I know some peace will come
I know some peace will come

(Song written and sung by David Mallett)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Photo: Ranger School, probably at Eglin AFB, Florida, in 1962. That's me in the back, on the left. My Ranger buddy, Lonnie Bartholomew, is kneeling in the front. Beside me, I think, is Ranger McGrew.

It cannot be your duty to do anything you do not have time to do. (Emmett Fox, in Body, Mind, and Spirit, 25 October)

Finish each day and be done with it ... (Ralph Waldo Emerson in Body, Mind, and Spirit, 10 October)

Last night they tried to play what could have been the last game of the World Series. The game was played in Philadelphia. There weather was terrible. It was cold, windy and heavy rain was falling. They suspended the game at before the bottom half of the sixth inning after Tampa Bay managed to tie the game at 2-2. They will try to finish the game tonight. Because this could have been the deciding game of this year's World Series I wonder why they even started the game in the first place.

Melva picked up her sewing machine which she took to Crofton, MD for repair yesterday. Something broke in the bobbin case.

Mr. Dickie
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Monday, October 27, 2008


The truth is that any activity which calms the body and focuses the mind can be helpful in achieving a meditative state. Any endeavor which keeps our attention tranquilly fixed in the present moment can provide the basis for meditation. (At My Best, 10 October)

The two trees across the street are both displaying various shades of orange. It's quite a view from our living room window.

Mr. Dickie
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Internet News

Photo: Corel

You can't know what kind of a person someone is by how they look. (Teresa Ann Willis, It's All Good! 21 Sep)

Each day brings situations that require me to make decisions. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 211)

Yesterday MicroSoft sent a message announcing that they will drop support of Groups in February 2009. They offered a way to move the group to a service called, Multiply. A few months ago I set up a family group for my Carlson/Hagstrom family using MicroSoft. The group never really caught on. I'm going to take my time deciding what to do next. Perhaps it's time to shutdown my group.

I watched some of the World Series game last night. They were talking about the catcher for the Phillies, Carlos Ruiz. He was born in David, Chiriqui, Panama on 22 January 1979. Melva's hometown, Volcan, is in the province of Chriqui. We correspond with Melva's niece, Karen Ruiz. I sent her an Email asking if her family is related.

Mr. Dickie
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Those Were the Days

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Another picture I took over 50 years ago. I don't remember if I was in Kansas or Nebraska at the time.)

... some of life's most valuable insights are discovered during difficult times. (David Mann, His Passion, Day 204)

Yesterday Melva forgot something she needed for her quilting class in Bowie. We talked on the phone and decided that I should bring it to her. I hooked up my portable CD player in the minivan and enjoyed listening to the Joni Mitchell album - Blue during the drive to Bowie. After I made the delivery I decided to go to Allen Pond to take a walk. I don't think I've ever been there before. I wore the pedometer and my headset radio. I walked four laps around the pond in an hour. The peodometer registered four miles. I enjoyed watching the ducks, geese and people. By looking very carefully I even spotted a gray (blue) heron standing very still near the dam that forms the lake.

I think I can quickly rebuild some parts of my genealogy website on the Google Group. I tested to see if links on a page posted to the Pages area of the group will work. They did. The only problem was the button images didn't display. I'll have to upload a button to see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't the buttons can easily be removed and the page will work just fine. I'm reminding myself to "take it easy." There's no need to panic. Having to do something different will probably be a blessing in the long run. Some things may even improve. I'm just glad I wasn't running a business using the AOL webspace. Then it would be panic time.

Mr. Dickie
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Thinking of What I'm Doing

I will withdraw my mind from what others do, and think of what I am doing. I will not react to challenging words and actions. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 23 Sep)

For rest from the cares of life you can turn to God each day in prayer and meditation. (Alan L. Roeck, Look to This Day, 25 Sep)

I worked yesterday trying to contact someone who can work with me to change a link from a RootsWeb webpage to one of my webpages. At the end of the month this link will break when AOL drops support for my website. The Email addresses of the two contacts mentioned on the page were out of date. I sent a message off to someone else who might know who's responsible for this aspect of Monroe County, Ohio genealogy and history. I think this is the last thing I need to do to get ready for the shutdown of my website. I suppose there will be other, unknown, links to my webpages that will break. I'll just deal with those if someone contacts me.

Mr. Dickie
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Genealogy Projects

Photo: Mr. Dickie (I took this photo in Nebraska about fifty years ago. In those days I took black and white photographs and did my own developing and print making)

When I am faced with a problem that seems impossible to solve, when I feel trapped in a situation and can see no way out, let me ask myself whether I am standing in my own light. I must find the vantage point where I can most clearly see my difficulty as it is; then answers will come. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 23 October)

Yesterday I worked, off and on, doing the tasks necessary to get ready for the end of the month when AOL will drop support for my genealogy website and for my journals. I made good progress. I decided that I'd download all of the webpage files one at a time rather than take the time to install and learn how to use a program that would bulk download. By the time I shutdown the computer at the end of the day all of the files from my three-piece website were residing on the new thumb drive I bought for the purpose. This means that I will still be able to share something if someone asks me for a page that they viewed when the website was working.

There's one more project that must be done. That isn't going so well. There is a Monroe County, Ohio webpage that points to a Monroe County, Ohio History webpage that I provided. I haven't been able to find a contact address that works. It looks like no one is responsible for maintaining the webpage where the link to mine will break at the end of the month. I've written to someone else who might know who to contact.

Another project I finished was to install buttons on my AOL toolbar that take me to all of my Google blogs and to Facebook.

Mr. Dickie
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Technology Challenges

An active mind and an active physical routine are part of a healthy fulfilling life. Yet the most important ingredient to health of mind and body is to be active spiritualy.

I'm disappointed that the Craig MP3 player I received as a gift broke. I hated to tell Cyndi what happened. I kept the bubble pack which will probably be needed to get a replacement. We don't have a sales receipt because Cyndi won the device in a contest. One of the short-comings of owning many toys is that we have to spend lots of time learning how to use them and when they don't work it's always time consuming to take care of the problem. Perhaps that's why we've become a throw-away society.

I ran into a problem with the Obituary blog I created on Google. During the process I noticed that I got a message about a "certificate" which I didn't understand. I didn't know what to do, so I just proceeded to the next step. Apparently the folks at Google detected something wrong with the blog. They sent me a message last night telling me to verify that I am a living human being. I went through the steps to get the blog unlocked this morning. I hope that's all that's needed. I hope some hacker didn't somehow gain access to my blog during the creation process. Good grief!

Last night I did some research trying to decide how I am going to go about downloading the webpages from my genealogy website. I need a way to do the downloads in bulk. Otherwise it is going to be very tedious to download all those files one at a time. I'm focused on two possibilities. Both require installation of a program and then going through the learning curve. There are only eight days left until AOL drops the bomb on us and turns off support. One of my friends, from a genealogy chatroom, set up his own website to deal with the discontinued support. It will cost $72.00 a year. He paid for three years at once. I'd be afraid to lock myself into something new for three years.

This morning I'm listening to one of the CDs I brought back with me from my Nebraska and Kansas trip. I'm using the Compaq computer that Cyndi gave me to play the CD. That's about all I have done with that computer.

I'll certainly be relieved when I have put these time-consuming technical challenges behind.

Mr. Dickie
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mr. Dickie's New Google Blogs

For a few months I have been keeping a personal journal (Mr. Dickie's Blog) on Google. I've been pleased with how the service works.

I wrote earlier that AOL will discontinue Journal support on October 31, 2008. Google agreed to move AOL journals to their service. They created an easy procedure to facilitate the transfer.

I'm pleased to announce that I have successfully moved my three AOL journals to Google. As of October 21st I will no longer post new information to any of the AOL journals. Certain housekeeping tasks remain to be accomplished before the three new Google blogs will be configured to my satisfaction. Please be patient as I go through that process.

I'm thankful that Google was willing to support AOL users by providing support for our journals.

My four Google blogs are as follows:

Personal Blog:

Arrow Prayers: (976 entries)

Henthorn Genealogy News: (130 entries)

Henthorn Obituaries: (50 entries)

Mr. Dickie

Friday, October 17, 2008

MP3 Music

Photo: Lt. Dick Henthorn, U.S. Army Infantry, Company "B" near Munsan-ni, Korea 1962-63)

Each new day is an opportunity to look for and find blessings. (Daily Word, Colleen Zuck, Day 212)

My daughter, Cyndi, gave me a Craig MP3 music player. For the last several days I've been learning how to use it. I installed Express Rip on my computer to convert music from my CD collection into MP3 files. I used the music management software that came with the player to move the MP3 files from the computer to the player. The player has 256MB of storage. Apparently that's enough room to hold about 105 songs. I learned how to turn on the music "shuffle" option. I've taken two walks in the neighborhood while listening to music I put on the player.

I also hooked up my old amplified speakers to the laptop computer. This allowed me to listen to the MP3 files I stored on the hard drive. I also put one music file on my thumb drive and tested to see if I could store the music on that device. That worked. I went out and bought another 4GB thumb drive. I'm going to use it for two projects. I plan to put my MP3 music on the thumb drive and I plan to download as many of my genealogy files from the AOL website as I can before the end of the month.

There's a tape cassette player in my minivan. I bought an adapter for the tape player that allows me to play music from my portable CD player. That didn't work too well because a rough road would make the CD skip. I decided to connect the new MP3 player to the adapter to find out if that would work. It worked fine. Rough roads didn't effect the player at all.

Many months ago I created one MP3 CD with 132 songs on it along with the music from four shows that I recorded from television. I put a few songs from the CD onto the MP3 player before I filled it up.

I think the new car can play MP3 files recorded on a CD. I still need to test that.

So many toys and so little time.

Mr. Dickie
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Trip to Nebraska and Kansas

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Company "B" Mascot - Susie, in Korea 1962-63)

Very often we find that what we think is the matter, is not the matter at all. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 270)

I returned from my visit to Nebraska and Kansas on Saturday the 11th. In Omaha, Nebraska I visited with cousins, Fran, Roma, Larry and their families. In Wichita, Kansas I visited with my college roommate, Tom and his wife, Karen. Everything thing went well. I had a very nice time. I flew on Midwest Airline. They fly beautiful Boeing 717 aircraft. There are only four seats in each row. It's much more comfortable than any of the planes I was on during the trip to Oregon in May. I took about 250 photographs. Everyone went out of their way to show me a good time. I returned home with many nice memories.

While I was on the trip I received an Email notification from AOL that at the end of October they will discontinue free website space and free journal space. This means that the information I've made available on my genealogy website for many years will no longer be available at the end of the month. The Arrow Prayers blog (journal) that I started in 2004 will also disappear. I'll probably create an Arrow Prayers blog on Google. I don't know what I'll do about the genealogy. It would take many hours of work to move the information to a new website.

While I was in Wichita I had fun learning how to record music and video on the computer of my friend, Tom. I spent one morning working on the project by myself while Tom was at work. We finally got it to work using Roxio and his combination DVD/CD drive. I was pleased that I was able to learn the steps and then show them to Tom.

Cyndi came to visit on Saturday night. She won a Craig MP3 player. She already bought a ScanDisc MP3 player for herself that she uses when she goes to the gym. She gave the new one to me as a gift. I've been busy learning how to use the device. It has at least 256MB of internal storage. You can add an additional 512MB with a memory card. I downloaded and installed a program called, ExpressRip, which I used to convert some CDs to MP3 format. I'd forgotten which program I used when I learned something about MP3 many months ago. The MP3 device came with a program to manage the movement of the music files to the device. I think I already reached the device capacity of about 105 songs. I bought a little blue booty bag at the thrift store half price sale on Monday. I'll use that to carry the device when I don't have a shirt pocket. I already went for one walk in "the hood" while listening to the music. I learned how to turn on the "shuffle" which plays the music at random. I also tested the device in our minivan. I was able to play the music through the van cassette tape player. That's neat!

Mr. Dickie
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The End

AOL recently announced that they will discontinue support of private websites, AOL Hometown, and journals as of 31 Oct 2008. This is probably another sign of the ultimate demise of AOL as an Internet powerhouse.

This announcement will impact me personally. For many years I have maintained the Henthorn Genealogy Website in free space provided by AOL. I've also been posting to my Arrow Prayers journal and several others. I estimate that there have been over 27,000 visits to the genealogy homepage since I added a visit counter.

I'll probably create an Arrow Prayers blog on Google. I don't plan to move any of the prayers from the AOL journal archive to the new blog.

I don't know what I will do about the genealogy information. I suggest that if there is anything you want you either print out the information or make a copy of the file on your own computer prior to October 31st.

I currently have a personal blog on Google. If you are interested in keeping track of what I am doing please read the blog postings from time to time. After October 31st this will be the best place to find out what I decided to do.

Mr. Dickie's Blog:

Thanks to everyone who shared information and encouragement during the years that AOL provided this service. I hope you found something of interest from time to time.

Dick Henthorn