Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Facebook Broke

Not only are we all going to hell in a handbasket, but we all apparently will be texting about it. (Norman Chad, The Washington Post, Sports Section, page D2, 30 March 2009)
  • Something went wrong between AOL and Facebook. For a couple of days I haven't been able to sign on to Facebook. Rather, when the second screen displays partially AOL locks up and I have to shut AOL down and start again. This is very upsetting since I have been actively posting to Facebook on a regular basis. The problem serves to remind me that computers and computer software are very fragile. Things can break for no apparent reason. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be an easy way around the problem.
  • Today the weather was pleasant. I brought five buckets of cana lily roots up from the basement. My goal was to find enough space in the garden plots for all of them. I dug up four spots and managed to put most of the bigger pieces into the ground. I also moved three pots with tulips away from the wall of the house to hardened them up. They'd been sitting under plastic bags. I had to remind myself to stop before the point of exhaustion. Because doing yard work is very hard on my bad back it takes a lot of physical and emotional stamina to accomplish what needs to be done. Each year it is more and more evident that the time to stop maintaining a garden is fast approaching.
Mr. Dickie

Monday, March 30, 2009

What Will Happen Next?

Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. (Helen Keller in Courage to Change, 10 March)

...If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change what I did. I would change the way I felt about what I did. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p.94)

  • Yesterday I had a very frustrating day trying to sign on to Facebook. Each time I tried AOL locked up and I had to shutdown the computer to start over. The problem continued on into the early morning hours (4:00 a.m.) of March 30th. Using computers and the Internet is fun as long as it works.
  • One of my friends, who doesn't own a computer, called yesterday evening to warn me about a computer virus that he couldn't name. Russians are going to steal money from our bank account. Geez! I already had Americans do this and they didn't have to gain access to my personal computer to do it. I felt like reminding him to, "Be careful crossing the street."
  • There was lots of early morning car movement in the neighborhood from 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. I suppose the police are too busy with serious crime to do anything about all the Latinos who put noisy mufflers on their cars. There "oughta be a law." Maybe there isn't.
  • The "bullet" sometimes goes where I want it, and sometimes doesn't. Part of my "you aren't in charge" lesson, I suppose. It looks alright when I do the preview. Go figure.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mind Control

...we can tune our minds to more positive thoughts, by noticing the beauty of our surroundings, by focusing on more pluses and on fewer minuses. We can, willingly, switch our minds to thoughts that are better for us and for our health. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 5 March)
  • I discovered another interesting PDF file generator called, PrimoPDF. There's a free version that's been downloaded millions of times. I can't vouch for the program myself.
  • The folks in the genealogy chatroom group can't make up their minds about when to meet. It was suggested that it might be a good idea to meet at 8:00 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m. during the summer months. I think they should have waited for Spring to arrive. Tomorrow night we are going back to the 8:00 p.m. EDT starting time. Lately everyone has said what needs to be said in either 30 or 45 minutes. About ten people show up now.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spiritual Work

If all knowledge were good, then pursuit of every sort of knowledge would be useful. But many false meditations are disguised as good and useful knowledge; therefore, be strict in selecting the knowledge you want to acquire. (A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstory, 16 March)

If your spiritual philosophy is not moving you to the state of peace, health, wealth and love your spirit desires ... you need a new spiritual philosophy. (Sun Bear in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 16 March)

Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. (Alcoholics Anonymous p. 47 found in Daily Reflections, 6 March)

  • I'm working on a project because I can't remember something. I use the free program Fast PDF Builder. Because the program is free they put an ad at the end. For a while I had a way to force the ad onto it's own page. Now I've forgotten how I did it. I made some progress. I created an end of document "signature block" but the page break I thought would force the ad to the next page after the signature block didn't seem to work. Oh well, that's one of the things you have to accept as the memory doesn't work like to think it used to.
  • Yesterday I created some new Facebook photo albums and uploaded photos. The photo quality leaves something to be desired.
Mr. Dickie

Friday, March 27, 2009

Three Kinds of People

There are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, those who wonder what happened. (Unknown, in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 11 March)

Do not despair. Do not be disappointed if you see that you cannot accomplish all the good which you would like to accomplish. If you fail, try to stand up; try to overcome the obstacle before you. Get to the heart of the matter, to the essense of things. (Marcus Aurelius in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 27 March)
  • This morning as I neared the end of my daily morning reading for a fleeting moment I noticed a vision problem. When I tried to read the morning paper at breakfast I knew for certain that I had reason to be concerned. I quickly took one of my Excedrin migraine tablets. Then I put on my eye shade and laid back down with the PBS classical music station playing in the background. Later on I put one of my subliminal tapes with ocean sounds and music into my player and listened to that for a while. After about an hour and a half I was able to resume activity without too much residual damage. I still couldn't type without making typos. It's a very upsetting situation when this happens.
  • I'm looking forward to going to lunch with Fred our neighbor from across the street at 11:30 a.m. Maybe I'll ask him to drive.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, March 26, 2009

United Faith and Purpose

A society cannot live without a united faith and purpose. All social activity cannot improve our social life if it is not based on the foundation established by religion. (Giuseppe Mazzini in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 17 March)

Hell breaking loose is a sign that pain is on the way. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 2 March)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones. (Somerset Maugham in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 6 March)

Affirmation: I can begin today to develop strong, new habits and to hold on to my old, strong habits. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 6 March)

Truth cannot make a person unkind, or too self-assured; the manifestations of truth telling are humility and simplicity. (A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 24 February)

It takes a walk the length of a football field to burn off the calories in one M&M. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 38)
  • Today, on this the 109th birthday of my mother, Ruth, I remember her lovingly. She was a loving daughter, wife, sister, mother, aunt, cousin, mother-in-law, grandmother, teacher and Christian lady who set a good example for all. May she rest in peace.
  • Today I'm ready to review our tax returns for 2008. This year they sent them to me via Email. Last year I went to the office. I'm hopeful that I won't discover any last minute issues.
  • I spent time yesterday sorting and shredding paper. At the bottom of the bottom file cabinet drawer I found important documents that were misplaced in the paper clutter. It's good that I found them, but my timing was terrible. We needed them a month ago.
  • Before I started the laptop this morning I swapped out the CD drive and installed the small floppy drive. I have some genealogy data on floppies that I'm thinking about sharing on the Internet.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Characteristics of the Wise

Seven characteristics distinguish the wise:
  • he does not speak in the presence of one wiser than himself,
  • does not interrupt,
  • is not hasty to answer,
  • asks and answers the point,
  • talks about first things first and last things last,
  • admits when he does not know,and acknowledges the truth.
(Talmud, in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 381)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Deadly Toys

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Qwest Center, Omaha, NE)

If we eradicated ourselves with the lethal means at our disposal, we wouldn't be the first species to disappear. But wouldn't it be a shame? We humans have the capacity for transendence as well as destruction. Surely we're adaptable enough to guide our own development away from our current preoccupation with deadly toys.

Written history gives us just a tiny glimpse of life on earth. Let's live so as to guarantee that human existence lasts out its full chapter.(Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg, The Promise of a New Day, 21 March)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Real Life

Photo: Mr. Dickie (This very unusual sculpture is part of a huge work in downtown, Omaha, NE)

Real life is found only in the present. If people tell you that you should live your life preparing for the future, do not believe them. We live in this life, and we know this life only, and therefore all our efforts should be directed toward the improvement of this life. Not your life in general but every hour of this life should be lived in the best way you know how. (A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 21 March)

I will not keep myself from taking positive action. (K. O'Brien in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 21 February)

With a childlike trust, I lovingly place myself and all my affairs in the hands of the Father. That which is for my highest good shall come to me. (Anonymous in Daily Guideposts, 10 February 2006)

  • I did more work on an update to my personal genealogy note in my RootsMagic genealogy file. The note appears in genealogy reports created from the file. I'm adding information to create a more complete summary about my life. Over the years of doing genealogy I've encouraged others to write about themselves, their siblings, their parents and their grandparents. I haven't been very successful.
  • I've been working outside cleaning up the yard and the shed. I still have a big project that Melva left me. There are five buckets of canna lilies in the basement and three containers of other bulbs outside that need to be planted.
Mr. Dickie

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I thank God for life. If at any time I am feeling less than whole and healthy, I pray. I affirm that being vitally alive is my true nature. At all times, the revitalizing spirit of God is flowing throughout my body, healing me and imbuing me with life. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 74)
  • Yesterday afternoon I worked on a project to revise my personal notes in my genealogy record. I was prompted to undertake this project because Lloyd, one of my classmates from Bellevue, NE, asked me for more information about my life. When I reviewed what I'd already written I quickly realized that the piece could use some work. By the time I finished writing the piece was almost four pages long. For the first time I used RootsMagic to prepare a PDF of the summary information from my file. I attached the file to an Email and sent it to Lloyd. I was impressed with how the report looks when printed. I wish I'd had this capability when I was more actively working on genealogy.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, March 20, 2009

Your Clarity

Don't worry about how people respond to your clarity! (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 3 March)

...life is like a vapor, something that happens so quickly that it can hardly be controlled. It is visible long enough for us to recognize that it has happened; yet by the time we see it is here, it is already gone, and we have no control over what has happened to it. (See also James 4:14: Ric Engram, Pace Yourself, 25 January)

There are times when I just want to be done. It is not that I don't appreciate others or the help they would give me - I do - but I also know in my heart that the only one who can find the right answer for me is me. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 56)

...we must realize that not everyone has the strength of purpose to take decisive action or to make radical changes in their way of life. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 26 February)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Does This Mean to Me?

Of every action ask yourself, "What does this mean to me? Shall I repent of it?" A little time and I am dead, and all is gone. What more do I seek, if what I am now doing is the work of an intelligent and social being, and one who is under same law with God. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VIII, 2)

Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and , departing, leave behind us footprints on the sand of time. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The Art of the Possible by Alexandra Stoddard, p. 155)

Remember, no one can learn your lessons but you. And the best teacher you will ever have is experience. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 5 March)
  • Yesterday I went for a five-lap walk at Schrom Park. I charged the battery in my Oasis player the night before. I walked for a full hour.
  • After my walk I stopped at the used bookstore in the library. I bought a copy of Daily Guideposts - 1990 for $1.06. Norman Vincent Peale and his wife, Ruth, began publishing these books 32 years ago in 1977. I've been collecting and reading used copies of these books for several years. I'm currently reading a page each day from the 2006 edition. I own copies of every edition except for 1987, 2008 and 2009. I think I have read all of them except for the three I don't have and the 2006 and 1990 editions. I expect, in time, to find used copies of the three I still seek.
  • One of the books I'm reading a page in each day is "Daily Reflections." Often there is a quote from the book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions." I also bought a copy of the "twelve steps" book yesterday for fifty-three cents. This morning I checked to see if the page numbers listed in the "Daily Reflections" matched the pages in the book I bought. They do.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG Scandal

An ordinary man can surround himself with two thousand books ... and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy. (Augustine Birrell in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 18 March)

  • For two days the news media has been talking about the AIG scandal. After the government bought an 80% interest in the failing company the company leaders used millions of dollars in bailout money to pay bonuses to company employees. At this point people are asking, "How the Hell did this happen?" The answer is rather straight forward. Our incompetent federal leaders gave away billions in bailout money to incompetent AIG leaders without having in place adequate controls on how the money could be used. As I always say, "If the fish doesn't smell right, don't eat it." Government and business leaders still "just don't get it."

    Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


We must learn to detach from the family members and friends that we are tempted to fix, or monitor, or judge. (Touchstones, 26 February)

It is not so much what you are doing that is the problem, but how it is affecting the rest of your life. (Ric Engram, Pace Yourself, 31 January)

I have a choice about my response to other people's moods and attitudes. (Courage to Change, 12 February)

... I realize that my job, my family, my real friendships are dependent upon my rationality. (Alan L. Roeck, Look Two This Day, 22 February)

Monday, March 16, 2009

What Do People Think About?

Look around. What do the world's people think about it? They think about everything except what is most important. They think about dancing, music, and singing; they think about houses, wealth, and power; they are jealous about the wealth of rich people and kings; but they do not think at all about what it means to be human. (After Blaise Pascal, in A Calendar of Wisdom, by Leo Tolstoy, 14 March)

War in this world can be stopped not by the ruling establishment, but by those who suffer from the war. They will do the most natural thing: stop obeying orders. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 9 March)
  • I was pleased with the changes I accomplished to my Google blogs yesterday. I added text to the headers for all of the blogs. I also turned on the option to send a link via Email. And, I finished installing a "links" box to the sidebar in all four blogs.
  • I also typed and posted one Yoho obituary to the Obit blog.
Mr. Dickie

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mr. Dickie's Virtual Website

Ever since AOL dropped website support in October 2008 I have been giving thought to how to go about maintaining an Internet presence.

The idea of paying for webspace to recreate my genealogy website didn't appeal to me. In the past I found maintaining skill in the use of HTML and Cascading Style Sheets was a lot of work.

I decided to see what I could accomplish using free space and capabilities offered by Google and others.

I created four Google blogs:
1. Mr. Dickie's Blog - where I post quotations that I like and things that are on my mind. I usually post to this blog daily. It also feeds to my "Notes" on Facebook.

2. Arrow Prayers - where I post short prayers. I usually post to this blog once a day too.

3. Henthorn Website News - I use this blog to post genealogy news and other information about the families I'm interested in: Henthorn(e), Hinthorn(e), Conger and Yoho. I post to this one as the mood strikes me and as time permits.

4. Henthorn Website Obits - this blog is the place where I share obituaries as I extract them from my files or as they become available on the Internet. I post to this one when something becomes available.

I also created a Google group.
5. Henthorn Website - A group is a place where people with a common interest can become members and share information. Response to this idea has, so far, been underwhelming. There is a Discussion Board where members can post messages to various topics. There is an area where "files" can be shared and a place where "pages" can be shared. I have successfully posted the following file types to the group: JPEGs, HTML, TXT, and PDFs.

I joined a social bookmarking site.
6. Del.icio.us - My AOL website had a Links page I used to share URLs to other websites I felt might be of interest to others working on the same surnames. Recently I found a better way to accomplish this task, and more, which is very user friendly. I'm posting my links to the social bookmarking site Del.icio.us. If you haven't taken a look at this site I recommend doing so. You don't have to join to use it. To post your own links you must register.

I'm writing today to announce that all six components are now linked together from the four Google blogs. There is a "link" box in the right-hand sidebar of each blog with the names of the various pieces of what I call "my virtual website." From the "link" box you can go to any of the other components. To return to the Google blogs from either the "group" or "Del.icio.us use your browser "back" key.

I'm interested in feedback.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Simplicity is the keynote of a good life. Choose the simple things always. Life can become complicated if you let it become so. You can be swampled by difficulties if you let them take up too much of your time. Every difficulty can be either solved or ignored. Something better can be substituted for it. Love the humble things of life and revere the simple things. Your standard must never be the world's standard of wealth and power. These are ultimately sheer deception.(Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 12 March)
  • Yesterday I opened one of the boxes in the basement to review the contents. Much of the contents was travel brochures that I'd saved from one of our trips. I wonder why I always want to save these things. Half of them are for places we never got to visit. Do I think we are going to return to the same area again? In the ten years since that trip how many times have I actually read one of them? No wonder there's so much clutter, when I refuse to throw out pieces of paper I'm never going to read again. I must have been in the right frame of mind yesterday. I went to get an empty waste basket and filled it. Now all I have to do is resist the temptation to look in that basket again before trash day.
  • Several people are registered as followers of my genealogy blog. This happened recently. I also noticed that one of my Facebook friends has links to my blogs on her Google blog. The link title points to the latest blog entries. That's another thing I don't know how to do. There's always something to learn with computers and the Internet.
  • This morning a thought about Facebook groups flashed through my mind, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." I am member of four groups. It seems that most people who join a group are passive members. Many of them never post anything. They don't even post to The Wall to announce they joined. The Alumni group has over 600 members. When someone joins the count changes but you can't tell who joined unless you look through 600 profile photographs trying to spot a new face. This brings up another social networking issue. Many don't post a profile photo or they post an image of a logo or of more than one person.
Mr. Dickie

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bernard Madoff - Ponzi Scheme Criminal

Yesterday one of the biggest Ponzi Scheme swindlers of all time, Bernard Madoff, pleaded guilty in New York City to all of the charges against him. It has been reported that he stole about 50 billion dollars. When he entered his plea he was allowed to address the court. He expressed his "sorrow." Today, In light of this expression of sorrow I'm quoting something I read in one of my books yesterday.

Comments on on Second Corinthians 7:5-16. Author William Barclay writes:

"It draws one of the most important distinctions in life. It draws the distinction between the "godly" and the "worldly" sorrow.

(i) A godly sorrow produces a true repentance, and a true repentance is a repentance which demonstrates its sorrow by its deeds. The Corinthians proved their repentance by doing everything they could to mend the wretched situation that their thoughtless conduct had produced. Now they hated the sin they had committed, and they even hated themselves for committing it, and they laboured to atone for it.

(ii) A worldly sorrow has two characteristics.

(a) It is not really sorrow at all, in one sense; it is only resentment. It is resentment at punishment and resentment at the fact that it did not get away with its sin.

(b) It is not really sorrow for its sin or for the hurt and sorrow it may have caused others; it is in the end really sorrow that it has been found out. If it got the chance to do the same thing again, and if it thought that it could escape the consequences, it certainly would do it. It does not at all hate the sin; it only regrets the fact that its sin got it into trouble.

A true repentance, a godly sorrow, is a repentance and a sorrow which has come to see the wrongness of the thing it did. It is not just the consequences of the thing which it regrets; it hates the thing itself.

We must be very careful to be sure that our sorrow for sin is not merely sorrow that we have been found out, sorrow that we have involved ourselves in trouble, but sorrow which has come to see the utter evil of the sinful thing and which is determined never to do it again, and which has dedicated the rest of its life, to atone, by God's grace, for what it has done."(William Barclay, Letters to the Corinthians, p. 252-53)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Shift in Thinking

You can ... use the favorite standby of many people in discovering their feelings; writing or journaling. You can keep a diary, write letters you don't intend to send, or just scribble thoughts onto a note pad. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 24 February)

One of the toughest realities in life is not knowing what to expect. (Alexandra Stoddard, The Art of the Possible, p. 114)

...eating is not a permanent solution to boredom. (Food For Thought, 5 February)

Change requires a shift in your thinking. You can't keep doing things the same old way and expect that life is going to be any different. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 73)

Daily reading of ... [positive, uplifting] books and pamphlets opens our minds to the certainty of a better, more rewarding way of life. (This is Al-Anon in Courage to Change, 2 March)

  • How interesting that our politicians still don't get it. Even the new president has gone back on his word "about earmarks." The pork barrel projects continue to show up in the bills they are passing. When questioned about this practice they try to justify their actions by saving that it's only two-percent of the total package. By the way, two-percent of trillions is billions. Go figure!
  • Yesterday they reported that an elected official in Florida got confused during debate on a beastiality bill. She had trouble with the term "animal husbandry." She wanted to know if the bill authorized marrying animals. And you thought our state and federal government wasn't in good hands.
Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two Parts of Wisdom

We lie to other people so often that we get used to it, and we start to lie to ourselves. (Francois de la Roche Foucauld in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 24 February)

Life, if you will, is a work of art, and if we have paid loving attention to its details, we will be able to take pride in the finished product. (Harold Kushner in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 7 March)

Wisdom is divided into two parts: (a) having a great deal to say, and (b) not saying it. (Anonymous in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 375)

Unless you make every waking [moment] a learning process you are wasting a major portion of your life. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 4 March)

Watch out if you follow the crowd because they may not know where they're headed. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 227)

We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe. (Cardinal Newman in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 354)
  • I spent yesterday morning sorting and filing papers. My file cabinet is almost filled to overflowing. Periodically I have to force myself to do this task. Otherwise, at some point I can't find something I need in a hurry.
  • In the afternoon I spent some time working with my Favorites on AOL. Many of them no longer worked because AOL dropped support for many of the pages people had put on the Internet. The favorites list on AOL is quite difficult to keep in order. Today, after many years of fighting the problem, I believe I came up with an easier way to organize the favorites. I created folders for each letter of the alphabet. Then I moved the named folders into the appropriate lettered folders. I'm interested in this project because I'd like to post more links to the bookmarking site, Delicious.
Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Materially Rich and Spiritually Poor

This nation cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor. (John F. Kennedy in The Art of the Possible by Alexandra Stoddard, p. 136)

If we are always "right," we can never learn, because we are not listening to anyone but ourselves. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 59)

...spend some time being mindful of the ways that God has been present during your life. Celebrate this. Let this sense of belovedness give you courage... (Wendy M. Wright in The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 28 February)

If you have taught someone how to play a certain game, then change the rules the rest of the players are entitled to know the new rules. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 242)
  • The purple crocus is in bloom in Mrs. Robison's yard. This year one of them is blooming in our yard for the first time.
  • I went for a 40-minute walk in our neighborhood yesterday. It's wonderful to be out in the warm sun again. There's no doubt that March is here. Trash that people put out for pickup today was blowing all over.
  • Books were due at the library yesterday and today. I decided to take them all back yesterday. I was reading about various programs that are available on the Internet. I didn't read every word in all the books. On the "new" book shelf I found a book I want to read by Melody Beattie, "The New Codependency." I arrived at the library about 3:00 p.m. Ever computer in the place was in use.
Mr. Dickie

Monday, March 9, 2009

Instant Default

How you live and respond to other people can make a positive difference in their lives. Bring energy, love, and life ... (Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Susan Smith Jones, Day 72)

If two people in a relationship were exactly alike, one of them would be unnecessary. (Touchstones, 11 February)

A good affirmation has five basic ingredients: it's personal, it's positive, it's present tense, it's visual, and it's emotional. (Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 133)

I will not permit myself to become emotionally involved in matters that should not be my concern. I will not interfere with the working out of another's difficulties, however dear and close we may be to each other. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 23 February)

Soon you will have forgotten all things; and soon all things will have forgotten you. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VII-21)
  • Yesterday I went for an hour-long walk at Schrom Park. It's been several months since I walked at this park. I have to drive a little more than a mile to get there. Often I don't want to subject myself to the risks of driving to go there. It's not that I question my driving ability. I'm concerned about aggressive drivers, people reading books placed on their steering wheels, people talking on cellphones and so on. I walked five laps around the park in an hour. I listened to my Oasis music player while I walked. I wore my pedometer. At the end of the walk I discovered that the pedometer opened after just one mile. It doesn't work when it's open.
  • Today is the 109th anniversary of the birth of my father. He was born on 9 March 1900. I remember him when we lived in Bellevue, NE as being very involved in the civic affairs of our community and county. May he Rest in Peace.
  • Yesterday there was a front page article in The Washington Post about mortages that are going into "instant default." That is to say, the buyers stop making payments before the first payment is made or after the first payment is made. We all should be asking our leaders, "How can this be happening? Who is making loans for home purchases to people who obviously can't afford to own them? Why is this still going on?" This is further proof that the situation is out of control and that the people we've allowed to be in charge of the government and the banks either don't have a clue or just don't "give a damn." Stay tuned for more bad news in the days ahead.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'm Thinking About

He is a wise man who does not grieve the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. (Epictetus in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 380)

Being aware of ... chinks in your relationships is a good thing, because ... you can deal with anything as long as you recognize it. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 229)

"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet." (Mahatma Gandhi in Courage to Change, 23 February)

Troubled times are the times when evil gains entrance. I will be wary of unguarded moments of unrest. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 21 February)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Desire to Be Rich

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. (1 Timothy 6:9)

In today's materialistic society, the desire to be rich is a powerfully addictive agent. From every direction ... [we are] made to feel that there ... [is] something else that ... [we] simply ... [cannot] live without. And while what ... [we have is] not bad, there ... [is] always something else better or newer or improved that promises to improve the quality of ... [our] existence. It seems that the richer America ... [got], the richer the citizens of America want[ed] to become.

It is important to note, however, that being rich or having possessions is not the problem. This verse is not a judgment on the condition of being rich but rather on the individual's attitude about that condition. It is the "desire" to be rich that led [us] ... down a dangerous path. And notice the sequence of events: it starts as a temptation, turns into a full-blown lust, and ends up in destruction. In effect, the verse is saying that the person who has these kinds of desires ends up "not" being rich in any way. A desire like this can never be quenched.

(Paraphrased by Mr. Dickie from Pace Yourself by Ric Engram, 7 February. Special thanks to Mr. Engram for writing something so profoundly applicable to the mess this nation is in at this time.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Old Tapes

In the recesses of our minds, each of us has old tapes stored away which tend to be played over and over again. These tapes may have been recorded so long ago that they have little if anything to do with our present situation.

The tapes which are recordings of positive thoughts and experiences can be helpful when replayed. Unfortunately, we each possess many tapes which are negative and self-destructive. They include resentments, fears, and hates. When one of these negative tapes begins to play, we may find ourselves ... [engaging in some self-destructive compulsive behavior].
(Food For Thought, 5 March)

  • Yesterday afternoon I attended a very good meeting of the Computer Club at the Bowie Senior Center. There was a large crowd. Two of the members gave a demonstration of the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) using the SKYPE program. Program chairman, Dan Lee, has been using the SKYPE program to talk with and see his relatives in China. Eric gave members a preview of the replacement website for the club. Norman talked about some of the freeware programs that have many of the same capabilities as the commercial programs.
  • Before I left for the meeting I discovered that the Pittsburg State University (my alma mater in Kansas) has a presence on Facebook. I clicked the button to become "a fan" whatever that means. I also discovered several other pages with the school logo. I didn't have time to look at those.
  • I noticed that a couple of people found my genealogy "news" blog and enrolled as "followers." I'm not certain yet what this means. I do appreciate their interest.
  • Melva moved to her sister's house to spend the night yesterday. The first few days of her visit are going to be very busy. She needs to spend time with her ill sister, take care of some personal business, and do a test to confirm that she can use the ATMs. Going on vacation for an extended period in another country isn't all "vacation."
Mr. Dickie

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Live a Good Life

We should be ready for death, because it will come sooner or later. The best thing to do is to live a good life. If you live a good life, you should not be afraid of death. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 1 March)

See the inevitable changes not as threats but as opportunities that can deepen our understanding and bring us wisdom and growth. (Susan C. Taylor in Faith in the Valley by Iyanla Vanzant, p. 89)

Our calendar is a mess. Every four years a February 29th shows up. Some holidays and events are on fixed dates and others move around. Find a priest and ask him why Christ's birth can stay fixed on one day, but his death date keeps changing. (Andrew Frothingham and Tripp Evans, after Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, 29 February)
  • Yesterday I began to review some 3x5 card records I maintained of books read. I discovered that many books have similar titles. I hadn't written down the author's names. This lack of information made it difficult to determine whether I had found the book I wanted on weRead.
  • I added a link to my Mr. Dickie's Blog to the Wichita Class of '57 group. I've noticed that folks are reluctant to post
  • The public classical radio station called again asking for money. They said my membership ran out. They asked for money too often. Less than a month ago they called and asked for money during the fund drive. If they keep this up I am going to stop contributing.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Melva's Arrival

Through the experience of making a mistake, we have reached a new place. Out of error, we can gain new knowledge and insight. (Food For Thought, 25 February)

I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. (Abraham Lincoln in Abounding Grace by M. Scott Peck, p. 372)

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. (Seneca in Touchstones, 22 February)

  • Last night Cyndi called Melva at the hotel near the airport in Panama. There was a problem with the luggage when Melva arrived in Panama. Somehow it got sent to a room in the back. One of the airport employees helped her get the three bags brought out to the front. After a 45-minute wait Melva realized that she wasn't going to be picked up by a family member. She asked about the hotel shuttle and learned that it was still at the airport. It's a good thing she had a reservation. At the hotel she was able to get a room before 3:00 p.m. by taking one with double beds. Once she was settled in her room she called her sister, Aura, to see if she could find out what happened to ther transportation. Things certainly got off to a rough start. Experience has taught all three of us that it's best to do our own planning and not rely on others. This time having a reservation at a hotel near the airport and with a shuttle really paid off.
  • Yesterday I located my used book, "A Diary of Readings," by John Baillie. I purchased this 1955 book in November 2004 for $12.40 on Ebay. I probably paid too much. I wanted the book because I'd enjoyed another book by John Baillie, "A Diary of Private Prayer." I posted the book to weRead(IRead).
  • This morning I added a short description to the header of my "Arrow Prayers" blog. I discovered that there's only room for 800 characters of text.
  • On 26 February British actress, Wendy Richard (65) died of breast cancer. She played the part of Miss Brahms in the long running PBS sitcom "Are You Being Served" a favorite television show of mine. She also played the role of Pauline Fowler in another PBS show, "EastEnders." She appeared in the first episode in 1985 and stayed in the role for 21 years.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Over Indulgence

The more spiritual a life a person leads, the less he is afraid of death. For a spiritual person death means setting the spirit free from the body. Such a person knows that the things with which he lives cannot be destroyed. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 1 March)

It is your right to choose those people who will be around you ... you have this right and you must claim it unapologetically. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 238)

Over indulgence of any kind has the effect of poisoning our lives. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 17 February)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

I can let go of things and people and my need to control today. I can deal with my feelings. I can get peaceful. I can get calm. I can get back on track and find the true to key happiness - myself. I will remember that a gray day is just that - one gray day. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 15 February)

When I know too much about my options before the time is right to exercise those options, I tend to use the information only to drive myself crazy. (Courage to Change, 14 February)

The more we are able to simplify our lives, the more effective we become. (Food For Thought, 11 February)

The person who makes no mistakes usually does not make anything. (Alcoholism the Family Disease in Courage to Change, 29 February)
  • Snow fell during much of the night. By 9:30 a.m. most of the snowfall was over and folks came out to start clearing the walks and driveways. The snow blew around a lot. Even the car in the carport was covered. I left the minivan out in the open. If I can hire someone to clear away the snow I'm going to spend some money to get help. We got very lucky. While I was typing John Cooper showed up across the street with his snowblower. He cleared the snow for Jim, Fred and us. What a blessing.
  • Melva is scheduled to leave Dulles airport at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, the 3rd of March for a five hour flight to Panama. We are hopeful that the airport will be back to full operation in the next nineteen hours.
  • Yesterday I continued to find books to add to my weRead. It's fun to have the program count the number of books I have posted. I wonder if I can find 45 more books I've read in the basement. to bring the total to 300. I sure do like counting things.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More Facebook Fun

Encouraging and approving of ourselves is how we help ourselves stay on track. Today, I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I'm doing is good enough, and I'll let myself enjoy that feeling. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 25 February)

The reason we can't get clear is because we have so many things cluttering our minds and lives. We have so much mental chatter we can't hear ourselves think. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 23 February)

The future is like heaven - everyone exalts it but no one wants to go there now. (James Baldwin in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 24 February)

  • Back in August I used the Internet to find the address and phone number of Rich, who lived across the street in Wichita, KS. I hadn't been in touch with him for many years. Yesterday I dialed the number and we talked for about an hour and a half. It was great to catch up on news about his family. He remembered lots of things I no longer remembered.
  • This morning there was a big surprise when I checked Facebook. There was a message from a classmate of the Wichita, Kansas, East High School, Class of '57 informing me that a group is forming for this class. I put the name of the group in the Facebook search box and quickly found the group. With one more click I became the sixth member. It will be fun to see how this group progresses.
  • We are in the final stages of planning for Melva's trip to Panama. The final step is to book the flights. Cyndi will do this task.
  • I'm still having fun posting books I've read to weRead(IRead). It's fun to review the books I've read. Touching some of the books instantly gave me a feeling that I ought to read the book again. How can I find the time when I have so many unread books on my book shelves? I'm grateful to teachers, libraries and authors for instilling a lifelong interest in reading. I regret that I didn't devote more time to reading when I was younger. I'm aware that I am going to run out of time before I read all of the books I'd like to read.

Mr. Dickie