Friday, July 31, 2009

More Bebo

When we let down our hair too early in the game we are apt to end up with a messed up head. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 29 July)

A time of high stress has forced me to face my own character deficits. I am working on developing positive attitudes. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 29 July)

Let us have a care that when we resent new ideas we are not simply demonstrating that our minds are grown old and inelastic; and let us never shirk the adventure of thought. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, p. 63)

As I continue to practice putting the focus on myself, it is a relief to see I can let go of other's problems instead of trying to solve them. (Courage to Change, 17 July)

It goes without saying that your friends are usually the first to discuss your personal business behind your back. (Terry McMillan from "Mama," in , Acts of Faith, by Iylana Vanzant, 22 July)

This will be my day of review and preparation for the coming month in which I will renew my efforts to progress in my personal development. If I cannot see any improvement in the month which is ending today, I will not be discouraged for, among other things, I must learn to accept myself as I am. Everything good I can bring about must begin with that. An occasional review of my progress is an encouraging exercise, for it shows me that I am gradually learning how to live in poise and serenity. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 31 July)


I made more progress in learning how Bebo works. I discovered that most of my chatroom friends set their profile to "private" if they have one. I posted an "event" to the My Lifestory display and took the tutorial. I added some photos to my "Omaha" photo album. I was able to do a bulk upload. I also moved some of the items around in the two columns of my profile display that I can control.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Food As An Addiction

The time to correct small mistakes is immediately, before they get bigger and make us discouraged. (Food For Thought, 15 July)

As a nation we have made food our addiction; we use food to mask the pain of unresolved problems, while creating the additional problems associated with weight gain. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 232)

There is so much of life for me to live, and I want to experience it in all its glory. So I work on having a positive attitude. Then I am aware of the good that is happening to me and through me. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 185)

Denial is a powerful tool. Never underestimate its ability to cloud your vision. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 24 July)


Yesterday I walked to the drugstore and to Radio Shack. I finished the walk with one lap in the neighborhood. I walked a total of 3.68 miles, 397 calories and 6487 steps according to my pedometer. There was a county crew doing some work on the deadend of Garrison Road. I talked with the supervisor about getting a ditch dug to drain the water from the street down to the creek bed. He told me he would write up the problem. At Radio Shack I bought an 8Gb Sandisk thumb drive that was on sale for $21.00. I'm planning to use it to do some laptop backup.

Someone interested in Hinthorn(e) genealogy sent me an Email offering to give me a domain name he purchased. I replied that I wasn't the best candidate for the offer.

In the evening I spent some time learning more about the AOL service called, Bebo. I learned that it is an OSN. Then I learned that an OSN is an Online Social Network. I have a Bebo account because AOL ported our AIM accounts to the new service when they bought it. I noticed that there were URLs pointing to my old AOL journals. I was able to edit those out of date postings, replacing them with the URLs for Mr. Dickie's Blog and Arrow Prayers on Google. I also used drag and drop to remove several widgets from my page that I'm not using yet. So far I'm finding it much more difficult to understand Bebo than it is to understand Facebook, my other OSN. I did notice that there have been almost 900 visits to my profile. I don't know how far back that counter was installed. I don't have any Bebo friends yet and I'm not sure whether I want any.

Today I need to add $25.00 to my AT&T GoPhone. I think I did this online the last time. I hope I don't have to spend a lot of time trying to recall the steps in the process.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Look Around

Photo: Aztech New Media

Today I will look around at those I admire and figure out how they got to this point in their lives and learn from their positive patterns of behavior. I will strive to learn from their success. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 229)

Don't "should" on other people and don't let them "should" on you. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 26 July)

My obsessive interference [in the lives of others] disrupts not only my connection with them but also my connection with my own spiritual self. (Courage to Change, 21 July)

No one cares for those who are smug and self-righteous. But nearly everyone is impressed by true humility. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 18 July)

Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. (Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 264)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Software

Photo: Aztech New Media

Every day I choose to celebrate the gift of life. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 181)

I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry it out. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 25 June)
  • Yesterday I received Email from my two Army buddies, Noel and Dave. We served together in Korea in 1962-63. It was good to hear from both of them.
  • Last night we got a nice heavy rain for a while. All of our flowers and shrubs are in distress. Any rain is a blessing. I'm worried that the huge sycamore tree in the next door neighbors yard isn't going to survive. It's dropping the leaves like it normally does in the fall.
  • I think I bought a working copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 for sixty cents. I have a couple of books about Photoshop and I found a copy of the Elements 2.0 user manual online. Now the question is whether I have the time and interest to load the program and learn how it works. At the moment I have too many computer projects.
Mr. Dickie

Monday, July 27, 2009

We Have a Choice

I can't keep thoughts from coming into my head, but I have a choice about whether or not to entertain those thoughts for the next hour. Am I making the choices I want to make, or is habit making my choices for me? A change of attitude means a change in my thinking. I will look at the principles I am practicing today. "We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another." Wiliam Law (Courage to Change, 27 July)

If we don't want to live our lives caught in the "what might have been" doldrums, we can assess where we are and how we happen to be here. We can stop feeling regretful about lost time and concentrate on the possibilities now.

If we haven't achieved any of the goals we previously set for ourselves, we can make new goals and achieve each of them one step at a time. We have the rest of our lives to live, and we can realistically shape new goals that are both challengling and reachable. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 27 July)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Iyanla Vanzant

Just for today, be aware of what it is in you that triggers toxic emotions. ... Today I am devoted to healing myself of the need to react to the actions of others! (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 25 July)

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do. ... I know why you are in my life and I love you for that reason. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 15 July)

If we continually tell the story without drawing a conclusion, we become the victims of the drama of the pain. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 20 July)

If you know that your life is a journey and if you want to make it to your divine destination, you must learn to travel light! ... Unpack the abrasive attitudes, addictive appetites, belittling burdens, conflicting confusion, and frivolous fears that you have packed away in the crevices of your heart and mind. Pack a tidbit of truth, a capsule of courage, a fistful of faith, and a pocketful of prayer, and be on your way! (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 220)

[If family members and friends] ... choose to stay on the same old beaten path, there is no obligation to march with them. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 14 July)

Today all of the quotes are from the writing of author Iyanla Vanzant. She's one of my favorite authors. I own used copies of many of her books and have read all of them at least once. This year I am reading daily from three of them that I've read before: "Until Today!," "Faith in the Valley," and "Acts of Faith." While I find all of her books helpful the one I'd recommend first is "Until Today!"


Yesterday, for $2.00 I bought a four-port USB hub at a yard sale. It looks like some drug company gave it away as a gift. The four ports are arranged in an "X" pattern which allows plenty of room for connecting thumb drives which take up more space. There was one port on my external laptop port that I couldn't use because the space between three of the ports was too little. I was able to connect the new device to that spot. I tested the new hub by plugging in one of my thumb drives. It worked!

During the year I like to buy used books and set them aside for my daily reading program the following year. I'm always looking for those small daily devotional books that Hazelden and some religious book publishers print. Yesterday I had a very good book buying day. Maybe that was a reward for not going to the recent booksale at the library. I bought six hard back books for a dollar each and one trade paperback for ten cents. I estimate that the retail price of the books was $120.00. I bought: "10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer; Wisdom for the Way by Charles R. Swindoll; His Miracles by unknown writers; Truth for Today by John MacArthur; The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; Cassell's Latin Dictionary; and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff.

In the evening I read the first thirty-four pages of "Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt. Right now I have in mind several books that I want to read. I know the best way is to just get started. In recent years I have often been reading more than one book at a time. I've found that reading a few pages a day in more than one book works best for me.

I learned more about how Google Sites works. I continued to use the book I have checked out and the online help to familiarize myself with the various options. At this point I'm not trying to post any pages that would create a useful website. Rather, I'm experimenting with how the various components work together. I'm impressed with what's available.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Photo: Aztech New Media

Complacency is an enemy, easy to recognize in others but difficult to admit in ourselves. It is rarely listed among the major human faults, yet it can hinder us in every form of personal growth. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 15 July)

In every decision in life there is a short view and a long view. Happy is the man who never barters future good for present pleasure. Happy is the man who sees things, not in the light of the moment, but in the light of eternity. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, p. 83)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Google Presentations

The problem with taking the easy way is that it usually ends up being harder in the long run. (Food For Thought, 16 July)

My serenity does not depend on my winning every round in my battle with life. It does depend on my acceptance of others on their own terms. God grant me that serenity. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 15 July)

In short, a man must learn a great deal to enable him to pass a correct judgment on another man's acts. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, XI, 18, p. 120)

Sixth, consider when you are vexed or grieved that man's life is only a moment and after a short time we all lie stretched in death. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, XI, 18, p. 120)

Yesterday I continued to work on my project to learn more about Google Apps. I read again the section on Presentations in the book I have checked out of the library. Then I used the screen captures I made recently to make a seven slide presentation. I had some difficulty entering text captions onto the slides. I exported a PDF file of the presentation to my laptop computer. Then I was able to use the Adobe Acrobat Reader to display the slide show.

I'm interested in this project because I'm considering giving a talk at the computer club. There's a problem when someone wants to give a talk. There is no connection to the Internet in the classroom. Presenters either have to run a cable from the computer lab or they have to rely on the wireless connection. Both solutions have drawbacks. If I volunteer to give a talk I don't want the hardware issues to increase my anxiety.

I think putting the slides on a thumb drive in the PDF format would work for me. All I'd need to give the talk is the Senior Center's laptop computer with a copy of the Adobe Reader and the projector.

Maybe I'll give a talk about Delicious, the social bookmarking application. To get ready all I need to do is create the screen captures with Cropper, create the slides with Google Presentations and export them as a PDF file. Then test my show using the Adobe Reader.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Empty Chatter

Photo: Aztech New Media

I see myself living my highest potential in every area of my life. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 184)

No human wisdom is adequate to make life wholly satisfying and successful. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 4 July)

If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet. (Isaac Bashevis Singer in Touchstones, 12 July)

One telephone conversation can put us in an emotional and psychological tailspin that lasts for hours or days. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 15 July)

Nothing can support idleness better than empty chatter. People would be better to keep silent and not speak the boring, empty things they routinely say to entertain themselves. How can they endure it? (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 16 July)

Yesterday I went for a 65-minute walk at Schrom Park. I listened to Wayne Taylor on my Oasis while I walked. I covered 3.92 miles according to my pedometer. There were lots of people using the park.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PDF Files With Google Docs

Photo: Aztech New Media

If you love a person without loving God, which is the goodness inside of him, then you plant the seeds for future disappointments and sufferings with this love. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 15 June)

[You must] ... accept people exactly as they are. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 17 June)
Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. (Benjamin Franklin in 365 Ways to Change Your LIfe by Suzanne Somer, p. 171)

Centuries of spiritual practice from different ideologies have taught the need for quiet relaxation in some form to invite the soul. (Touchstones, 17 July)

Just because you are "bored" with life doesn't mean your children are your pawn. (Richard E. Henthorn, 27 June 2009)
  • Yesterday I did some practical work on my project to learn more about Google Docs. I created a PDF file which Google Docs stored on my computer. I included a photograph, page numbers, boldface, and horizontal rule. If you want to be able to create PDF documents without paying for the Adobe Acrobat program I recommend learning how to use Google Docs. I use iGoogle to start the Google Docs program. Also included are options to create spreadsheets and presentations. I haven't tried to learn anything about them yet.
  • The other day I bought another box of Avery business card stock at the thrift store. I created ten business cards for Melva to use for personal information exchange. I included both the home phone number and the beauty salon number. I think she should carry a couple of them in her purse.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Education and Public Opinion

Very often the simplest and least educated people can easily and unconsciously understand the meaning of life while the most scholarly people lack this ability because they have been too educated to understand the simple things that are basic to all people. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 19 July)

"Jerusalem sinned greatly ... Her uncleanness was in her skirts, she did not consider her future. Therefore she has fallen astonishingly; she has no comforter." (Lamentations 1:8-9 found in Search My Heart O God by Kay Arthur, 17 June)

In the world today, real faith has in most cases been replaced by public opinion. People do not believe in God, but they believe in many minor things which are taught by other people. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 10 July)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Charging My Batteries

Photo: Aztech New Media

"Love your neighbor yet pull not down your hedge." (George Herbert in Courage to Change, 5 July)

To expect life to be tailored to our specifications is to invite frustration. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 9 July)

I will not overreact by taking ... [other people's] issues too personally and too seriously; I will not underreact by denying that certain behaviors are inappropriate and not acceptable to me. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 16 July)

I am comforted by the traditions of family and faith and by the meaningfulness they add to my life. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 17 July)

Frank McCourt, the author of the book, "Angela's Ashes" died of melanoma cancer on 19 July 2009. Those reading my blog may recall that several days ago I wrote about bringing the book upstairs to add to the stack of books I want to read. He won the Pulitzer Prize for this book. Now I have even more reason to follow-up on my intention to read the book.

During the weekend I noticed that there is a "rewards" program associated with our VISA card. Maybe I should have paid more attention to what was written on the monthly statement. Cyndi was here yesterday evening. She helped me use the computer to get my account up-to-date and then we requested two $25.00 rewards checks. Talk about "being asleep at the switch."

  • Another of Melva's customers got in touch. Melva took the phone call and I quickly reminded her that the person calling might not know about the move to Crofton. She didn't.
  • I spent some time yesterday taking pictures of the molas Jim gave to Melva. I used my copy stand to take the photos of the smaller molas and I went outside to make the pictures of the larger ones. Melva wants to take some of them out of the frames to use in some projects she has in mind.
  • It was time to replace the AAA batteries in my headset radio. A while back I purchased a set of rechargeable batteries. Yesterday I charged the batteries for the first time. I'd forgotten that the red light on the charger goes out when the batteries are fully charged. I'll need to find the instructions for the radio because all of the stations must be reset after the new batteries are installed. Today I'm charging a set of AA batteries that I'll install in my portable CD player. My camera also uses AA batteries. I have three sets of those.

    Mr. Dickie

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Disaster of Life

... certain [drugs, drinks] foods, emotions, and attitudes are not for us if we are to maintain our sanity. (Food For Thought, 12 July)

The ruin of a nation begins in the home of its people. (Ashanti Proverb in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 13 July)

For most people the disaster of life is that they give up just one effort too soon. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, p. 57)

Last night Melva and I watched the agonizingly long soccer game between the USA and Panama from Philadelphia. The USA finally won 2-1 in the second overtime. If there is any sport more boring than soccer I probably have never watched it. We watched the English broadcast on the Fox Soccer Channel, one of the channels we get with our new FIOS plan. The sport must be popular if they broadcast on a Spanish channel and on an English channel. I think the announcer said the USA and Panama have played eight times and Panama has never won. The game was quite rough with lots of holding, tripping, and shoving allowed by the rather ineffective referee who the announcers claimed was quite good. They must have been kidding. Well, there are two things I can always do on a slow day, either watch the grass
grow or watch a soccer match.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Screen Capture

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Screen capture of the "Desktop" screen on my laptop computer. Captured with the program, Cropper.)

... [I]f you listen carefully, you get to hear everything you didn't want to hear in the first place. (Sholom Aleichem in The Promise of a New Day, 19 July)

One of the primary ways to deal with anger is captured in this ancient quote by Epicetus: "If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase. At first, keep quiet and count the days when you were not angry: 'I used to be angry every day, then every other day; next, every two, then every three days!' and if you succeed in passing thirty days, sacrifice to the gods in thankgiving." (Found in Choose to Live Each Day Fully by Susan Smith Jones, Day 203)

  • Yesterday I walked for an hour and ten minutes in the neighborhood. I walked on all of the streets. I discovered another vacant house. This one has a notice in the window announcing which bank to call. Seven of the one hundred twenty houses in the development are now vacant. There's also one occupied house with a For Sale sign. That's the only one with an indication of being for sale. Between our house and the corner I counted seven cars without tags.
  • I made a second attempt to get the free screen capture program, Cropper, to work. Through no skill of my own I was able to get the program running from the pop-up menu of the Start button in the lower left tool tray. When the program is available a square box icon with a plus sign in the middle of the box appears in the tool tray on the lower right. All of the "help" information about the program is included within the program itself. Output can go to the clipboard or to file folders. Output can be in five formats: clipboard, JPEG, BMP, PNG or printer. I created four JPEG files and then used them to make a captioned slideshow with Picasa. Using Cropper and Picasa it should be possible to very quickly put together a talk if I want to try giving one at the computer club.
Mr. Dickie

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life Principle

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Omaha, NE)

One of the most important principles to remember in life is, you always get exactly what you expect! (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 202)

May we see our days as precious and value those around us, wherever they are in life's journey. (The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 4 July)

We cannot drop out of human involvement without endangering our spiritual health. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 13 July)

A spiritual sense of self is important in my quest to find out who I am and what kind of person I want to be. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 12 June)

I will try to listen and learn from others and thereby save myself some pain. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 10 July)

  • Yesterday I attended the meeting of the Bowie Senior Computer Club. We didn't have a speaker. There was a good discussion of computer problems and possible solutions. Bob brought in his HP desktop and replaced the power supply. I enjoyed watching that demonstration.

  • I noticed an article on AOL that Frank McCourt, the author of "Angela's Ashes," is gravely ill.

  • In the evening I watched an hour show on ABC that I liked very much, "J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life." The piece was filmed during the writing of the last of the seven Harry Potter books.

  • I tried to install a screen capture program called, Cropper on my laptop. The project "came up a cropper." I wonder what that expression means.
    Melva went to her quilting class this morning.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Try to Remember

Photo: Aztech new Media

The time has come to talk about the evils of war. It is not true that the existence of wars proves their necessity. The history of mankind says that such things should not happen. (Anonymous in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 6 July)

Try to remember what troubled you most a week ago. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 28 June)

Advice is what we ask for when we already know what the answer is, but wish we didn't. (Erica Jong in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 26 June)

We also lose touch with ourselves when we constantly respond to other's expectations of who or what we should be. (Alexandra Stoddard, The Art of the Possible, p. 233)

Last night I finished reading "Google Apps for Dummies," by Ryan Teeter and Karl Barksdale. I skimmed over parts of the book. Before I return the book to the library I need to review some sections while I am sitting at the computer. If you haven't investigated anything besides Google Search I recommend looking at some of their other free applications.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Other People's Recovery

Photo: Azteh New Media

Since you have control over your own thoughts and actions, you can choose to correct any situation instead of waiting around for someone else to do it. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 182)

There are some people you are never going to be "right" with. No matter what you say, how you say it, what you do or how you do it, there are people who are going to find something "wrong" with everything. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 21 June)

Some relish their sufferings so much that everything that happens is ballooned to enormous proportions in the re-living and the telling. Self-pitiers are difficult to wean away from their martyrdom until the joys of serenity and contentment dawn on them ... (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 28 June)

Other people's recovery is not our job. We cannot make them happy. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go., 5 July)

Yesterday Melva and I went for a fifty-minute walk at Schrom Park. We thought we might be able to pick some raspberries. There weren't enough ripe berries to make it worthwhile. Later I went for a short walk in the neighborhood. I picked up some of the trash that was lying on Hendricks Drive after the trash pickup. This happens on both weekly trash pickup days on this street. There are too many people living in these single-family dwellings with too few trash containers.
I'm reading a book I checked out of the library. The topic is online Google applications. I'm also looking at the online ZOHO applications. Both offer similar services. I discovered I could sign on the ZOHO using my "new" Google GMail address.
I'm still stewing about WalMart not having the advertised thumb drives when I made a trip to the store on Sunday. Apparently they never came in. I should no better than to patronize this company.
Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wise Consumption

Photo: Aztech New Media

Wise consumption is much more complicated than wise production. What five people will produce, one person can very easily consume, and the question for each individual and for every nation is not how are we to produce, but how our products are to be consumed. (John Ruskin in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 13 Jul)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Consider This

Consider that before long you will be nobody and nowhere, nor will any of the things exist which you now see, nor any of those who are now living. For all things are formed by nature to change and be turned and to perish in order that other things in continuous succession may exist. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, XII, 21)

How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised in anything which happens in life! (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, XII, 13)

When we find ourselves thinking thoughts which in the past, have preceded loss of control, we need to realize the greater danger that lies in relapse. (Food For Thought, 10 July)

Self-pity comes from concentrating on the negative aspects of life. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 9 Jul)

We must get right with ourselves. Once we do, we will have so much to do, we will not have time to keep track of who is wrong. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 27 June)

  • Yesterday I tried to watch the Formula One race from Germany. I think I slept through most of it. Later on I watched the end of the LPGA Women's Open golf tournament. Aun Ji of Korea who never lead for a single hole all week won with a twenty-foot putt on her last hole thus avoiding a playoff. That's about as good as golf can get.
Mr. Dickie

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On the Waterfront

If you are of the fortunate few to have found the love of your life, treasure it, tend to it, and protect it with all your abilities. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 180)

Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have - so spend it wisely. (Kay Lyons in One More Day, by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 6 July)

You can become so addicted to having crisis in your life that the minute one crisis is resolved, you are on the lookout for the next one! (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 206)

  • Last night Melva and I watched the movie, "On the Waterfront," starring Marlon Brando and introducing Eva Marie Saint. Karl Malden played the part of the priest. Other actors in the film included: Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Martin Balsam, Fred Qwynne and perhaps even the wrestler, Andre the Giant. The director was Elia Kazan. The TCM channel showed the movie in rememberance of Karl Malden who died this week at the age of ninety-seven. I don't think I'd ever watched the entire movie before. I loved the black and white photography and the music by Leonard Bernstein. The move was intense and the acting outstanding. They don't make movies like this any more.

    Mr. Dickie

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Knowing What To Do

Anytime you start measuring your value by someone else's standard, you set yourself up for failure. (Ric Engram, Pace Yourself, 16 June)

... unexpressed feelings never die: they're buried alive and come forth later in uglier ways. (Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 209)

Sit quietly and ask God to prepare you to hear ... (The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 9 June)

A closer walk with God is time well spent! (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 185)

Knowing what to do and doing it are not the same. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 27 May)

  • Movie actor Karl Malden died this week at the age of ninety-seven. Last night the TCM channel showed an unscheduled tribute starting at 8:00 p.m. They showed three films in which he played an important supporting role: On the Waterfront; A Streetcar Named Desire; and The Birdman of Alcatraz. I put a couple of tapes in the VCR to record the movies. I wonder when we will find time to watch them. Today one of the channels is going to show three Harry Potter movies. You'd need ten hours of time to watch those.

  • I went for an hour walk at Schrom Park yesterday. Most of the time I was the only one on the trail. I listened to my Oasis player while I walked. According to my pedometer I walk just under four miles in an hour and five minutes.

  • Cyndi has been in Los Angeles all week working on the filming of some Touchstone Energy Cooperatives commercials. I never know when they are ready or when they will be shown on television. There logo is three people holding hands. If you see the commercials sometime let us know which network they were on.

  • One of my college classmates was trying to remember the first name of another classmate. He posted a message to several of us on Facebook. I went to the basement to get my annual so I could prepare an answer. I sent the answer to all who received the message with the question.
Mr. Dickie

Friday, July 10, 2009

Angela's Ashes

Photo: Aztech New Media

Ultimately my physical and emotional health depends upon my willingness to take care of myself. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 2 July)

Consider in what condition both in body and soul a man should be when he is overtaken by death; and consider the shortness of life, the boundless abyss of time past and future, the feebleness of matter. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, XII, 7)

Living in the moment is more complicated when we're stretched thin and often torn apart. (Alexandra Stoddard, The Art of the Possible, p. 232)

We would do well to remember that if God gave us the priceless gift of health and strength, he gave it that we might use it always in the service of others. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, p. 52)

  • Last night I called my friend, Dave, in Oregon. We had a nice fifty-minute talk. We always find things to talk about.
  • This morning I watched most of an hour show on the Ovation channel. They interviewed Frank McCourt the author of the book "Angela's Ashes." I haven't read the book or see the movie. After the show was over I searched my bookcases until I found my paperback copy of the book. I brought it upstairs and put it on the table with the copy of Garrison Keillor's book, "Lake Wobegon Days." It's my intention to begin reading both of these books soon. I always have more books on hand than I can read.
  • Melva went to her quilting class at the Bowie Senior Center this morning.
Mr. Dickie

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Trip to the Library

Photo: Aztech New Media

Discipline is order, training, practice, study. Without it, our lives are ineffective and full of chaos. ... Discipline is a tool which produces self-respect and a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. (Food For Thought, 21 June)

Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us. (Eric Hofferin in Touchstones, 2 July)

As we work [our] ... program, we become more aware of the people and activities that use up our energies unnecessarily. Avoiding them gives us more time and strength for what means most to us. (Food For Thought, 1 July)

  • Yesterday I took a couple of books back to the library. I finished reading "Creating Family Web Sites for Dummies," by Janine Warner. I checked out another "dummies" book. This was is about Google Apps. I stopped at the bookstore to visit with volunteers, Joan and Daniel. My other friend, Ed, was there when I arrived. I bought a nice book about Lancashire, England for a dollar. This is the area of England where my Henthorn ancestors lived.

  • This morning I checked my library account to see if the book I checked out yesterday shows up in my "Reading History" list. It did. It took a while to understand how this new option works. Some people won't like it because they are afraid of the "library police." I think I will enjoy being able to review what books I've read.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If It Is Not Right

Photo: Aztech New Media

The depths of unfinished projects swallow those who start strong but falter before finishing. How many times have we begun worthwhile endeavors and abandoned them? (The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 2 July)

I recognize that my behavior dictates a large part of my life. I am responsible for my own actions. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 1 July)

The passion for setting people right is, itself, a dis-ease with the self. (Marianne Moore in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 27 June)

Dishonesty complicates, truth simplifies. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 183)

If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, XII, 17)

  • Today friends and family members dealing with health problems and lack of work or poor paying jobs are in our thoughts and prayers.
  • I'm glad to see that the eight month long election ordeal in Minnesota has finally been resolved. Senator Al Franken was sworn in as the junior senator from that state. We really need to make changes in our election process to prevent this kind of situation from happening.

  • There's an obituary in today's Washington Post for Mollie Sugden the actress who played the part of Mrs. Slocum on the British TV show "Are You Being Served." She died in England on July 1st. Both of the female stars have now passed away. The show continues to be shown here in Washington, DC and even though we may have seen some of the episodes many times we still smile or laugh at the character of Mrs. Slocum. Thank you Mollie Sugden for the years of wonderful comedy you continue to bring into our lives.
Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Go For a Walk

Photo: Aztech New Media

Although it's risky and hard, seek[ing] first to understand, or diagnose[,] before you prescribe, is a correct principle manifest in many areas of life. ... If you don't have confidence in the diagnosis, you won't have confidence in the prescription. (Steven R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 243-44)

To overcome my faults, I must first know what they are. Then I must admit to them, and finally, with patient self-correction, diminish them, even it I cannot set myself wholly free. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 19 June)

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. (Raymond Inmonin in Touchstones, 1 July)

  • I encougage anyone reading my blogs or those of others to avail yourselves of the opportunity to comment on the entries. There's a button to click at the bottom of each blog entry.
Mr. Dickie

Monday, July 6, 2009

Follow Your Own Path

Photo: Aztech New Media

Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 26 May)

We are just as powerless over our successes as we are over the worst of our behaviors. (Touchstones, 28 June)

I am aware of the wonders and opportunities around me. I will share the joy I find. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 17 June)

Follow your own path in life, and do not concern yourself with the path that others have chosen. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 184)

  • Yesterday we put a tape in the VCR to record the men's tennis final at Wimbledon. I only watched the last part of the fifth set. Melva didn't get home from work until 7:00 p.m. Sometime between then and this morning she watched the entire match.

  • More houses are becoming vacant in the the neighborhood. There are approximately 120 houses in the development. A rental truck showed up at a house on Hendricks yesterday. If this house is vacated there will be seven empty houses. There is a For Sale sign in front of one other house. That one is a bad situation because the elderly owner moved out and younger generations are living there and destroying the house before he can sell it. Two doors away is a vacant house that recently needed police intervention when the doors were discovered open. When the owner lady and the police arrived they discovered that the basement was standing in water. The house where the rental truck showed up has never had public power to the house in all the months that the current occupants have lived there. They used a generator to power the house, sometimes running it twenty-four hours a day. When we called our county councilman to complain about the noise we got no help. This isn't unusual. The county leaders don't appear able to carry out their duties. We have trouble getting the county to trim or cut down the trees along the street which are their responsiblity. We can't get them to enforce the laws about parking on the wrong side of the street, parking on the grass or having unlicensed cars in the yards. What a mess we are in.
Mr. Dickie

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Doughnut Hole or the Whole Doughnut

Photo: Mr. Dickie (One of our azaleas - 2009)

I tune into my body and give myself permission to take time off from the world when I need to so I can replenish my body, mind, and spirit. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose To Live Each Day Fully, Day 171)

Until today, you may have spent a good portion of your day beating up on yourself for all the things you did not do to our satisfaction. Just for today, forgive yourself for the way you have treated yourself. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 11 June)

If you attack a problem, you are going to get your butt whipped. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 22 June)

A good life is given only to those who make efforts to achieve it. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 27 June)

Which would you rather do, see the doughnut hole, or eat the whole doughnut? (Mr. Dickie, 28 June 2009)

Yesterday Melva and I spent the afternoon at Cyndi's apartment. Her friend Cassie was there. Cyndi made steak and chicken on her Hamilton Beach electric grill. After we ate we played two games of Yahtze. Cassie won both games. We drove the Toyota and enjoyed listening to Roy Orbison during the trip. I only spotted one idiot reading while driving on the Beltway this time. I lost a $5.00 bet with Melva on the women's tennis final when Serana Williams beat her sister, Venus. I'll try to get my money back today.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Photo: Aztech New Media

"If you're going through hell, don't stop to take pictures!" (Wally Amos in Faith in the Valley, Iyanla Vanzant, p. 198)

Do not take things personally that are not your issues. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 26 June)

When you get right down to it, "wrong" is life's way of letting you know what you need to know in order to get the "right results" for your efforts. Now what's wrong with that? (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! 7 June)

I must go on day after day trying to face myself as I am, and [trying] to correct whatever is keeping me from growing into the person I want to be. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 19 June)

Today, I will open myself to the cleansing and healing process that will put closure on yesterday and open me to the best today and tomorrow has to offer ... (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 13 June)

  • Last night I enjoyed listening to some streaming audio programs from National Public Radio. I listened to Tom Rush performing on the 17 Jun 2009 Mountain Stage program from West Virginia. This set was just over twenty-three minutes. The last song he sang was the Doby Gray hit, Drift Away. I also listened to a set by a Mr. Mason performed at the Newport Folk Festival in 2008.
  • Melva talked to her sister, Aura, this morning. There was an earthquake in Panama during the night.
Mr. Dickie

Friday, July 3, 2009

Computer Club Meeting

Today, I will not make myself crazy by repeatedly trying solutions that have proven themselves unsuccessful. If something isn't working, I will step back and wait for guidance. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 28 June)

Both our physical sufferings and periods of depression are part of our life in this world, and we should patiently wait until they are over, or our life is over. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 29 June)

Wisdom comes from learning how to simplify our lives so we regain the balance each of us is seeking. (Alexandra Stoddard, The Art of the Possible, p. 228)

Be content to grow a little each day. If the improvement is the sort of thing which is very slow, do not measure it too often. Do a self-comparison every two weeks, or every six months -- whatever is appropriate. (Lewis F. Presnall in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 20 June)

Yesterday I attended the computer club meeting at the Bowie Senior Center. I went early because I wanted to use one of the two computers in the hallway. I was able to get two half-hour sessions on the computer. I brought along my headset this time because I wanted to be able to test the CDs I made. I'm learning more about how the MicroSoft Media Player works on the center's computers. This version of Media Player is more useful than the one I have at home. I burned five CDs before the meeting. I was able to burn CDA music files on a CD from WMA files I brought on a thumb drive. I was also able to write WMA and MP3 files to a CD without changing the file formats. There's a difference between burning a music CD and writing a music CD. In the evening I tested the CDA CD on my CD player and I tested the WMA/MP3 CD in the Toyota. Everything seemed to work. I left one WMA CD in slot five of the car player for Melva.

They didn't have a speaker for the meeting. When we don't have a speaker the floor is open for questions and answers. I asked how to convert MicroSoft WMF image files to other formats. I'm interested in this because I want to see if I can use some of the clipart on the three CDs I bought at the thrift store with my blogs and Facebook. When I got home I found a program on disk one of the three-disk set that allows me to save the clipart in other formats. I converted a Mexican Maya or Aztec image to a JPEG file. Then I uploaded the image to The Wall on Facebook. It worked.

I had a very productive day at the computer club meeting.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Rose in our backyard.)

I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, "This is what I believe. Finished." What I believe is alive ... and open to growth. (Madeleine L'Engle in The Art of the Possible by Alexandra Stoddard, p. 239)

The bad moments will pass if I do not blow them up into tragedies. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 26 May)

Are you living fully, fulfilling a higher purpose? Are there things you can change in your life right away to help you live more fully? (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 186)

One can remain alive ... if one is unafraid of change, insatible in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways. (Edith Wharton in The Art of the Possible by Alexandra Stoddard, p. 225)

  • Last night I watched a very nice hour and a half program on PBS about Garrison Keillor the host of the public radio show, The Prarie Home Companion. His radio show is very interesting because it is performed live in front of an audience. I think they do a show every Saturday night with a dress rehearsal on Friday night. He mentioned the Friday preparation but didn't make it clear just what goes on. I've never read any of his books. I owned copies of a couple of them for awhile. I think I got rid of them to make space for other books.

  • Have you ever thought about what is going on when you write words on paper? It's complicated enough if you are just copying something that someone else wrote. How do the words you see on paper go thorough your eyes to the brain and from the brain to your fingers where the hand and fingers make movements that guide the pen or pencil to make marks on a piece of paper that form words? Add to the process the act of writing down your own thoughts and the whole process is, as we say, mind-boggling. To further compound the wonder of it all ask yourself this question. When I place my hands on a keyboard how does the brain know the my hands should now make different motions to form words?
Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Moment in Eternity

Photo: Aztech New Media

Do you worry about the moment when you die? Our life is only a moment in eternity. Think and you will see that you have eternity behind you and before you, and between there two huge abyssess, what difference does it make whether you live three days or three centuries. (Marcus Aurelius in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 24 June)

Many a man is at his best in society and at his worst at home. All too commonly we are gracious, courteous, obliging to strangers and the very opposite when there is no one but our own folk to see. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, p. 52)

A person who has spoiled his stomach will criticize his meals saying that the food is bad; the same thing happens with people who are not satisfied with their lives in this world. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 31 May)

It is very easy to get stuck living your life for others, doing what they want you to do in order for them to get what they need. There is a very delicate balance between "my life," "our lives," and "your life." (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 177)

  • Yesterday I set up an account with for 2Gb of free backup space. I did a test using the files in my Notes folder. I was able to restore one file in another folder afterwards. I also downloaded the more than fifty page user manual. I'll need to study the manual to get a better understanding of how the service works. They offer unlimited backup for $4.95 a month. Because I'm always concerned about computer failure I think this might be a good way to protect the RootsMagic genealogy files that I've converted.

    Last night while I was sitting in my neighbor Fred's garage visiting with him a heavy rain shower started. The rain was blowing into the garage and soaking the green carpet. When we realized that the garage door needed to be closed I grabbed his umbrella and headed for home. My shoes got soaked by all of the water running down the sidewalk in front out our house.

    Mr. Dickie