Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Epictetus Said

Photo: Mr. Dickie (My Christmas Village)

The exposure of a lie is as valuable to a community as a clearly expressed truth. (Anonymous in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 15 September)

Sometimes the hard way is the best way. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 261)

Don't hang out with people who are where you don't want to be. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 18 September)

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger. (Epictetus in One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 23 September)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Check My "News" Blog Today

Today I posted my long posting that you usually see in this blog to my genealogy "News" blog. The topics I wrote about seemed more appropriate for that blog. I don't know if I did it on purpose or just didn't watch what I was doing. I didn't realize what happened until about 8:00 p.m. I'm writing about what happened because the main post won't show up on Facebook "Notes." If you are interest in the Wayback Machine be sure to check out what I wrote. You can find the link to the "News" blog in a sidebar box on this blog.

This evening I used "FireFTP" to post the changes to the computer club "Meeting" page on the club's website. Learning about how "FireFTP" works is another interesting project.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blogging From iGoogle

I installed a gadget in my iGoogle page that will let me post to my four Google blogs from iGoogle. I enjoy learning how all of these free tools work.


Photo: Aztech New Media (Yosemite, CA)

Fear clouds opportunities, erases possibilities, and limits the ability to move beyond the place in which the mind is stuck. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 270)

Procrastination - not acting when the time is right - is a self-defeating behavior. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 27 August)

The more upset a person is with other people, and with circumstances, and the more satisfied he is with himself, the further he is from wisdom. (Anonymous in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 13 September)

Last night I discovered that there is a way to create a list of links to all of the postings I've made on GenForum in the past. The first thing I needed to do was figure out my "UserName" and "Password." I asked GenForum to send me an Email with the information. The message indicated that I had three accounts with the service. I have no idea what that's about. One of the three accounts matched information I'd recorded on a 3 x 5 card. I used this to sign on. I also don't understand how many components there are to GenForum. I know it is part of and I think it is part of There's a chat service and it looks like that requires registration too. Does each component require registration? I created a posting on my "News" blog with a listing of the links to all of my GenForum postings.

Today I spent three hours, before noon, working in the yard and in the shed. I thought I needed to straighten the shed in order to look for flowerbed edging plastic. I needed about forty feet of edging to put inside the new flowerbed border we are making in the front yard. When I opened the left hand shed door I found the edging right away. I stopped the shed project and installed the edging to finish the flowerbed project. Afterwards I went back to the shed clean-up project. I discovered that the flooring on the right side of the shed is completely rotted out. As a matter of fact the table in the corner was actually standing on three legs. I have no idea whether the floor supports are bad or whether the entire floor will need to be replaced. I'll probably hire someone to help me with this project. I don't think I'm physically able to do it myself.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, September 27, 2009

BookCrossing - The World's Biggest Free Book Club - Catch and Release Used Books

BookCrossing - The World's Biggest Free Book Club - Catch and Release Used Books

This is a link to the BookCrossing a site with ideas about how to share your old books.

I have this site bookmarked in my Delicious bookmarks. Today I installed the Delicious add-on in Firefox. This is neat. Now if I want to "feature" a website from Delicious in one of my blogs I can use BlogThis! to post the link.

Mr. Dickie

Adding Color to My Blogs

Photo: Aztech New Media

Look at your family history as a blessing. Yes a blessing! It's precisely what you had to go through to arrive where you are today. (Wayne Dyer, Excuses Begone!, p. 56)

The biggest obstacles to understanding the truth are lies disguised as truth. (Anonymous in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 15 September)

We don't get to know today what will happen tomorrow. (Courage to Change, 16 September)


Yesterday I finished the project to add "labels" to the postings on my genealogy "News" blog. There were some obsolete postings that I deleted and some postings that I modified because they included links to webpages no longer available. Currently this blog has approximately 230 postings.

I realized that my blogs needed changes in the blog settings. For example, the "links" weren't changing color when visitors viewed them. I set the unvisited "links" color to a shade of blue and the color of the visited "links" to a shade of red. I didn't have time to make these changes on all four blogs. There's always something to learn.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Renowned pianist de Larrocha dies

Spanish pianist, Alicia de Larrocha died. Many years ago Melva and I heard her in concert in Washington, DC. I've spent many hours listening to her recordings over the years. If you enjoy Spanish music I recommend listening to any of her many recordings.

It's Not My Problem

By following a few simple guidelines, we become free from slavery to compulsive ... [behavior] and self-centered confusion. (Food For Thought, 31 August)

People today foolishly try to believe that all the world's senselessness and cruelty - the richness of the few, the great poverty of the many, the violence and warfare - happens outside their own lives and does not interfere with them and their way of life. (Anonymous, A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 6 September)

We must not be easy in giving credit to every word and suggestion, but carefully and leisurely weigh the matter according to God. (Thomas a' Kempis in One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 12 September)


Yesterday I continue working on the project to add "labels" to the postings I previously made to my Google "News" blog. This is one of my two genealogy blogs. While doing the project I discovered that many of the entries are in need of further formatting. It will take many hours to complete the project. The result should be worth the effort. It will be much easier to find things in the blog and once found the appearance of the text will be much more user friendly.

I'm also working on a project to share more of the pages I used to make available on my AOL website. Before uploading the information I need to removed the HTML information and then I need to edit the end of each line of text to fix a "word wrap" problem. Last night I did a test using MS Word to correct the "word wrap" problem. The test worked. I plan to do further testing to determine if I can speed up the process by changing the strings I place in the search box.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, September 25, 2009

Posting to My "News" Blog

We are a nation of literary lazybones. ... For lots of people, books are the equivalent of silk flowers: nice, low-maintenance decorating accessories. And there are even fake books that are really cool boxes for hiding valuables.

Try books-on-tape. It's like reading without eye-strain. (Andrew Frothingham and Tripp Evans, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, 21 September)


I continued to work on the project to add "labels" to the postings in my "News" blog. It's a very slow process. I found a few obsolete postings that I either deleted or updated. I also uploaded a page about Azor Jefferson Henthorn another about Benella (Norris) Henthorn to this blog. I started getting five more postings ready to upload.

Yesterday I went to the Senior Center to see if I could fix the problem with the course description display. I discovered that the display works on the right hand computer. I couldn't fix the problem on the other machine because I don't know how to display the Control Panel. Oh well!

I put a button link to the Yahoo Henthorn Family site of Elizabeth onto a page in my "News" blog. I think this was the first time I copied HTML code to include in my postings. It worked!

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Genealogy News

My happiness cannot possibly depend on my forcing changes in somebody else. Nor does my misery come from anyone but myself. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 3 August)

Looking at people and nature, I understand that all of God's creation is a work in progress. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 191)

Yesterday I continued to work on Melva's flowerbed project in the front yard. I purchased thirty more retainer blocks and placed all but nine of them on top of the first course. It's hot, back-breaking, work to move those chunks of concrete.

I posted twelve family stories to my genealogy "News" blog. They were written about twelve years ago by T. Clifford Morgan of Warsaw, MO. I'm very pleased to make them available again on the Internet after a year. These postings were in addition to fifteen Wills, a Deed and a Pension application that I posted earlier in the week.

I also worked on the project to add "labels" to the postings on the "News" blog. During the process I noticed several older postings that became obsolete when AOL dropped support for websites and journals. I deleted those postings.

One of the computer club members sent me a message asking, "Do you really call yourself, "Mr. Dickie."

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Projects

I can change nothing but myself. Do I need changing? If things are going wrong - or seem to be - maybe it's because of the way I'm reacting to them. If I accept the fact that the principal source of my unhappiness is in me, I'll be giving myself a good reason to do something about me. It isn't easy - but the rewards are beyond reckoning! (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 3 August)


Yesterday the two of us worked on the project to redo the large flowerbed in the front of the house. We bought twenty-four tan concrete blocks to put about the outside in a circle. We were nine blocks short of laying one course. It was just as well. I was a physical wreck by the time we placed the blocks we bought.

I discovered a way to quickly find my Google blog entries that don't have "labels." Once I realized that I could look at the listing of all of the blog entries to see which ones had "labels" I was able to quickly post the indexing information to all of the postings that needed them.

Yesterday I completed the project to upload the fourteen Wills to my Google Obits blog. This information hasn't been available on the Internet since AOL dropped website support in October 2008. Thanks to Google the information is once again on the Internet.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How Does That Work?

Meditation is the daily minimum requirement that will prevent us from breaking down and falling apart - at the most inopportune moments. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 265)

Knowledge is simply information gathered; knowing how to use knowledge for the sake of health, community, and happiness is wisdom. (Craig Gallaway in The Upper Room Disciplines -2006, 12 September)

I will let others know I value them, and why. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 21 September)

Make a point of recognizing small changes and improvements. (After - Courage to Change, 20 September)


The members of the computer committee are discussing a problem I noticed. When I used the computers in the hallway at the Bowie Senior Center I wasn't able to read the short course descriptions. I'm able to read them from the computer I'm using at home. After an exchange of Email between the committee members we think we understand what happened. The two computers in the hallway can't read files with the ".doc" extension of MSWord and the other word processing programs of MicroSoft. This may happen when someone tries to read those files from home. We think the best way around the problem is to convert the files to the PDF file format.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Misconception

... you have far more influence than you've probably been led to believe to rearrange and change ineffectual and harmful beliefs or ideas. (Wayne Dyer, Excuses Begong! p. 19)

Trust that no matter what stands before you, you can handle it by taking the high road. The high road is "any action" taken, or "any word spoken" with the intention of restoring peace, invoking healing or advancing love. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 12 September)

Sooner or later, we will come to realize that if behavior doesn't match a person's words, we are allowing ourselves to be controlled, manipulated, deceived. Sooner or later, we will come to realize that talk is cheap, unless the person's behavior matches it. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 3 September)

A misconception remains a misconception even when it is shared by the majority of the people. (Anonymous, in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 6 September)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Still Learning

Every human being is a problem in search of a solution. (Ashley Montagu in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 20 August)

I won't laugh in someone's face, for that would be mean-spirited and inappropriate, and it is never in my best interest or the good of mankind to make fun of another person's inadequacies. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 284)

Observing our children is like reading a fascinating and often amazing book. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 1 September)

I realize that when I care what other people think relative to me, I am owned by them. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 276)


Yesterday we spent several hours doing yard work. Melva started by herself. After about an hour I started feeling guilty and went out to help. She is removing stones that we'd placed around two flower beds in the front yard. We managed to move all of them to the backyard before we'd had enough physical activity..

Something went wrong with my AOL display. The font was so small I couldn't read it. This happens from time to time. I don't know what causes it. The problem is you can't fix it while using AOL. Luckily this time I remembered that I have to start the Internet Explorer and reset the font size there.

I'm learning more about the Firefox browser. I set it to use Gmail whenever I click on a "Send Me Mail" button on someone's website. I also set the browser to use the Sumatra PDF reader rather than the Adobe Reader. I did this because the Adobe Reader loads so slowly. I also installed the Google "BlogThis!" application on the browser tab bar. This makes it very quick and easy to post the URL of any webpage I'm viewing to any of my four blogs. I wonder if there is a book about Firefox at the library. I didn't notice one when I was browsing in the stacks. I need to check the catalog.

I discovered that the City of Bowie website has an obsolete link to the Bowie Seniors Computer Club website. I sent an Email to them with them requesting an update. I don't know for sure how many links need updating.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

This is a test to see if I properly installed the Blog This! application on Firefox. The link explains the feature. The test worked. The underlined text is a hyperlink to a Google description of the application. Click on it to see how it works.

BlogThis! allows me to quickly post a webpage link to any of my four Google blogs. It's a quick and easy way to share things I liked with folks who are reading my blogs. There's an icon on the Firefox toolbar that I click to invoke BlogThis!

I hope you'll find something of interest as a result of my using BlogThis

Mr. Dickie

Google Gmail and Facebook

Few "know-it-alls" are blessed with new insights or information. When you are willing to acknowledge that you don't know, you open yourself to all sorts of information and assistance from life. Not knowing may send you on a search. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 20 August)

Friends borrow your books and set wet glasses on them. (Edwin Robinson in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 19 August)

Today, I will hold on only to my goals and expectations. I will let go of those which give me no joy. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 6 September)


When my neighbor, Jim, bought a laptop a while back I suggested that he might want to use Google Gmail for his Email service. Because I'd never used Gmail myself and I thought he might have some questions I also signed up for an account. Now I have at least two Email addresses. For the time being I intend to continue using my AOL Email address as my primary address. Yesterday I learned how to copy my contacts (AOL Address Book) from AOL to Gmail. There were almost 400 entries in the address book. Once I accomplished all of the steps to set up the process on Google it only took a few minutes to complete the process. One neat thing about how Gmail works is you can export the addresses to a file called Gmail.csv. This is a comma delimited file. Once the file was stored on my computer hard drive I clicked on it and the copy of Excel on my desktop computer opened the file. I like the idea of having a backup copy of the addresses.

I posted a message about this project to my Facebook wall. Soon afterwards my friend, Dennis, commented on my posting asking for more information about how to do this. He also is on AOL and has a Gmail account. I wrote an Email message with the steps and sent it off to him. When something like this happens it's a hoot because it proves that using our computers and the Internet to interact works.

Yesterday I posted to Mr. Dickie's blog a piece about Wedding Cake that I put together some time ago. Another friend, a Wichita classmate noticed and commented. She said she was planning to share it with her grandson who is getting married today. BTW the blog is on Google and I have it set up to feed to Facebook.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wedding Cake Exchange

Wedding Cake Exchange

Today I wanted to refresh my memory about something I'd read in the June 30th entry in How Can I Live by Kay Arthur. On this day, Mrs. Arthur writes about exchanging cake at the wedding party. For a full account of entering into a covenant begin reading with the June 1st entry. On that day she begin writing about covenants and the elaborate steps that entering into a covenant entailed in Biblical days. There are strong similarities between the ritual of the Holy Communion and the steps followed in an ordinary covenant. This is because the Communion represents the New Covenant between God and his people. The June 30th entry in the book outlines the history of exchanging bread as part of the covenant ceremony.

Here's what Kay Arthur wrote about the covenant meal.

After all these things had taken place, they sat down to partake of a covenant meal. At this meal they took bread, broke it, and then placed it into the mouth of their covenant partner with these words, "You are eating me." Then a cup of wine was offered to the covenant partner along with the words, "This is my blood; you are drinking me." Often, unless of course they were Jews, they mingled drops of their own blood in with the wine.

Does all this ring a familiar sound? Remember the little ceremony at the wedding reception, remember wondering if you should order the photographer's ridiculous shot of you with your mouth wide open while your mate fed you a piece of wedding cake? Did you ever wonder where that custom came from? Now you know. Isn't it beautiful! It is a picture of giving yourself to another -- unconditionally, totally, eternally.

An unqualified committal of oneself to another, this, beloved, is covenant. This is salvation. They are one and the same. This is what God means when He says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:31). It means to give yourself to Christ unconditionally, without qualification; to cease from your independent living; to become one with Christ, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.

Oh, there is so much more to share with you on covenant. There are so many rich, precious gems that will so graciously adorn your salvation as their facets brilliantly reflect the light of Truth. ...

Now you know why I object to seeing any bridal couple mash cake in each other's faces. It reflects ignorance of long-standing covenant customs and disrespect for each other and for the marriage covenant which the bridal couple have just made. Please give serious consideration to what Kay Arthur wrote if you are planning to exchange wedding cake as part of your wedding ceremony.
(Richard E. Henthorn)

Be Part of the Cure

Photo: Aztech New Media (First Super Computer)

Be part of the cure of the world's ills, rather than part of the disease. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 5 September)

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

... we experience a sense of peace as we separate those things which we can change and control from those which we can not. Making our choices and acting upon them brings us the peace we need in difficult times. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 3 September)

A focused, consistent, positively motivated and disciplined character is essential to making your life story have a happy ending. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 8 September)


Yesterday afternoon I attended the computer club meeting. The speaker Dr. Matties of Bowie State University talked about their Xseed Supercomputer.

One of the most interesting aspects of joining a social networking facility, like Facebook, is that you never know who will show up. Sometimes it's a relative and sometimes it's an former classmate.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Diminishing Returns

Without honest, meaningful contact with other people, we are emotionally undernourished. ... we learn to seek out the kinds of people and activities that fill us and to avoid those that leave us empty. (Food For Thought, 14 September)

Just for today, consider those experiences where you are experiencing a diminishing return on your mental, emotional, spiritual or physical investments. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 15 September)


Yesterday I went to the library. I had to return a book I was trying to read. It's a new book and someone else put a hold on it before I could finish. While at the library I used one of their computers to print out a report I created at home, an incoming Email that we both wanted to read and a snail mail letter I wrote with Google Docs. I printed out the snail mail letter, placed it in an envelope I brought along and mailed it in the mailbox across the street. I'm glad most of my friends and relatives now communicate via Email. It's so much more immediate and much easier.

This morning I finished a project to label 28 Zip disks that I used to store some of my data over the years. I downloaded a program, JDirPrinter, and used it to create twenty-eight report files listing the contents of each disk. Now when I'm looking for something or trying to remember if I even have it I'll be able to look at those reports to get an idea of what's available.

On one of my blogs I posted a link to Google help page about "What's a Following." I'm not certain I understand it yet myself. Maybe I need to spend more time reading that help page.

I also started to use the Google Reader. So far I'm only reading my own stuff. Talk about "having an ego."

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What is Following?

Link to the topic, "What is Following?"

Power and Violence

... always suspect big talk backed up by small lives. (after The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 15 September)

People who have power are sure that it is only violence that guides people, and so they use violence to support the existing order. But the existing order is not based on violence, but on public opinion. (Anonymous, in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 14 September)

If you don't like the way your life is going, change your thoughts and visions and focus on those positive things you want to create in your life. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 244)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Windows Live and "Labels"

I will try to overcome my tendency to react to what people say or do. I can't know why they do it, because I cannot understand their inner unhappiness and compulsions, any more than they can understand mine. When I "react," I put the control of my peace of mind in the hands of others. My serenity is under my control, and I will not relinquish it for trivial occurrences. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 15 September)


I'm trying to learn more about Windows Live and in particular the part of it called, Skydrive. Apparently Microsoft is willing to provide 25 GB of free space to get us to use this tool. I signed up in July of 2008 and then never used the tool. I'm interested in this because I think it would be a good idea to store some of my files outside of the house.

The other day I installed a "Labels" gadget (widget) in my four Google blogs. Finally I understood how the "labels" that can be assigned to each blog posting can be used. The gadget reads those "labels" and displays a list in a sidebar box. I elected to have my list displayed alphabetically with the number of "label" hits displayed in parentheses. This makes a big improvement in the usefulness of the blog. Visitors can look in the sidebar to see if some topic of interest has been written about. When they find something of interest they can click on that line in the sidebar and a "set" of just those blog entries will be presented for viewing. My genealogy "News" and "Obits" blogs have the most labels. Visit one of them to try this out.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Spiritual Quest

Photo: Aztech New Media

We can't change everything, but we do have it in our power to take back that which is in our control - our behavior. We can take responsibility for our health, for our personal growth, and for our spiritual lives. We do not need to wait for an emergency. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 10 September)

If you cannot make yourself what you would like to be how can you expect to have another person exactly to your wishes? We want to see others perfect, yet our own faults go unattended. (Thomas A' Kempis (paraphrased) in One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 3 September)

My family, friends, and spiritual quest are my priorities, and this brings me satisfaction. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 239)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Labels (Tags)

Labels (Tags)

This morning I finally understood how I should use the Labels feature of Google blogs. Labels are sometimes referred to as "tags". It's a way to assign categories to information. What I didn't understand, until I took a look at Cyndi Howell's Blog, was that there is a Google Labels widget that can be installed in the sidebar. Once the widget is installed the usefulness of the "labels" is apparent. When you click on a "label" set of blog entries is created in which that particular "label" appears.

For example: If I used "WestVirginia" to label my blog entries about West Virginia you could click on that label to quickly create a set of all of the West Virginia blog entries. Neat!

I set my widget to list the labels in alphabetical order with the number of occurences in parentheses.

I'll install the widget in my "News" and "Obits" blogs first because I think I did a better job of creating labels in these blogs.

Mr. Dickie

Excuses Begone!

Photo: Aztech New Media

How many of my frustrations and disappointments come from expecting too much! It is good to set our set standards high, but only if we are prepared to accept, with unperturbed serenity, results that fall short of what we expect. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 29 August)

Using the excuse of genetic programming [to] "not" do anything about the personal characteristics that you dislike is popular and clearly acceptable in today's culture. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, Excuses Begone! p. 5)

Not all change is positive, and it can be downright hard. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 30 August)


Yesterday we set up a table at the VFW flea market. They are charging too much. Only four tables were set up in the parking lot and about a half dozen inside. Melva set up inside. There weren't enough customers to make it worthwhile. Melva was willing to haggle on the prices.

In the evening I posted the link to the computer club meeting minutes on the club website. I used Firefox and FTP for the task. Afterwards I wasn't able to read the PDF file with Internet Explorer or the AOL version of IE. I called Barry and asked him access the file with Internet Explorer. It worked for him. There's always more to learn.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, September 12, 2009

To Market, To Market

Photo: Aztech New Media

Appearances may suggest that I am not making any progress, but when I see myself as a work still in progress and still learning, I realize that every experience of my life has a purpose. While I may not be able to see the big picture right now, each step is bringing me closer to a clearer understanding and to my goal. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word for Healing, p. 219)

Addiction is a form of slavery. (after Ric Engram, Pace Yourself, 9August)


We went to the county fair yesterday afternoon to see the Daisy applique quilt Melva entered. I failed to read the flyer with the hours the fair is open. I had no idea that part of the time they only open in the evening. We arrived at 4:00 p.m. The doors didn't open until 5:00 p.m. Melva talked her way into the exhibit hall. One of her customers is in charge of the craft exhibit area. We stayed for about 45-minutes. Melva won a second place ribbon.

Today we are setting up a table at the VFW flea market. We woke up at 5:00 a.m., an hour earlier than planned. Last night Melva staged all of the things she planned to take in the kitchen. I had the minivan loaded before 6:00 a.m. Melva has an inside table, in case it rains again today. We can start to set up at 7:00 a.m. for the sale which runs from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I always say, in the words of Bluegrass singer Ralph Stanley, "It's a whole lotta work, for a little bitty pay."

Mr. Dickie

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

Photo: Aztech New Media

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

Trying to change other people is futile, foolish and certainly not loving. Today, instead of assuming that they are the problem, I can look at myself to see what needs changing within. Courage to Change, 31 August)

Do not become encumbered by petty annoyances. Never respond to emotional upset by more emotional upset. Try to keep calm in all circumstances. Try not to fight back. (Alan L. Roeck in Look To This Day, 4 September)

I will look for, and appreciate, positive and desirable actions in my significant other and not concentrate on the negative. (after One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 12 August)


Today we remember that terrible day eight years ago (11 Sep 2001) when the United States came under attack by evil forces some of whom we had been foolish enough to train to fly airplanes. If anyone believed that there's no such thing as The Devil they must have been brought up short on that day. Today is a good day to take stock and ask ourselves several questions. What did we learn from the events of that day? What did we learn about building skyscrapers? Have we brought those responsible to justice? Does the Homeland Security agency work? Are the increased travel security procedures worth the effort or are they just carried out for show to give us a false sense of security? Has the flow of illegal immigrants to this country been slowed? How would we know?

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Clean Up the Clutter

My health is a result of thinking healthy thoughts and living a balanced life - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 239)

The past should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries, rinsed of debris, sweetened judiciously and served in small portions, not very often. (Laura Palmer in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 19 August)

I know that order is crucial to serenity. I will give away anything I haven't used in the last year. I know that doing this will make me feel relieved and in control. It is a simple correction that will bring me peace and satisfaction. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 239)


The son of one of my neighbors found several houses in our neighborhood listed For Sale on the Internet. Only one house actually has a for sale sign in front of it. Now there are eight houses out of about 120 that are not occupied.

I went for an hour walk yesterday. I paid the price. During the night my back and the bottom of my right foot reminded me that I'd been on my feet too long. What a mess. I need to do some exercise and I enjoy walking but I pay a price for trying to do what I know is good for me.

There are still webpages created by other folks that list the URL of my old genealogy website on AOL. I haven't tried to contact anyone about it because in the past the contact information on the other websites was out of date. I suppose some folks are being annoyed.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Day of My Life

Today, I will avoid making excuses for my own or someone else's behavior. I will let consequences and responsibility fall where they belong. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 7 September)

... a genuine desire to help a loved one can be exaggerated into a desperate need to fix another person. (Courage to Change, 17 August)

Allowing ourselves to become too busy is asking for trouble. We can concentrate actively only so long without a period of rest and relaxation. (Food For Thought, 6 September)

What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. (Hugh Mulligan in Touchstones, 14 August)


If you write an online blog I'm willing to post a link to it on Mr. Dickie's blog. Just send me an Email.

The program I used on my desktop computer to unzip files no longer works. They want some money. I checked the list of freeware on the computer club website. They recommended the program 7-Zip. I downloaded and installed a copy. It worked. I was able to unzip some genealogy files I stored on my Iomega Zip disks.

I'm worried about the possibility of the desktop computer failing. It's almost like these machines are holding us hostage.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Compulsive Behavior

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Black Butte from Black Butte Ranch, near Sisters, OR)

"... time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain, therefore, awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters." (Plato in Courage to Change, 12 August)

The next time you choose some activity to meet some deeper need or stop some pain, ask yourself this question: Could this be taking the place of God in my life? Lord, help me not substitute my compulsive behavior for Your power in my life. (Ric Engram, Pace Yourself, 13 August)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thomas a' Kempis

Photo: Aztech New Media

... we have to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life or meet disaster. Lack of power is our dilemma. We have to find a power by which we can live, and it has to be a power greater than ourselves. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 17 August)

Why art thou troubled because things do not succeeded with thee according to thy desire? Who is there who hath all things according to his will? Neither I, nor thou, nor any man upon earth. (Thomas a' Kempis, in One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 26 August)

To insist on our time, our way, our plan, is to block out God's guidance. (Food For Thought, 25 August)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just For Today

Just for today, take a moment to remember and reflect on the good things that God has promised to do for you and in your life. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! 15 August)

I think positively about myself and I speak positively to myself. (after Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! 3 August)

My task is to watch for my own [faults and misbehaviors] and root them out, so that what I say and do will help to make things better for me and for my family. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 18 August)

Storing up grievances is more than a waste to time: it's a waste of life that could be lived to greater satisfaction. If I keep a record of oppressions and indignities, I am restoring them to painful reality. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 18 August)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Those Who Do Nothing

Photo: Aztech New Media

I am in charge of my life. It requires vigilance and diligence. If I want a better life, it is up to me to get it for myself. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 270)

The irony of your present eating habits is that while you fear missing a meal, you aren't fully aware of the meals you do eat. (Dan Millman in Touchstones, 22 August)

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. (Mark Twain in Courage to Change, 23 August)

Those who do nothing, do bad things. Those who do nothing, have many associates and supporters. The brain of a lazy and idle person is the favorite stopping place of the devil. (Anonymous in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 25 August)


Yesterday I continued to upload PDF files to the "private" genealogy website I am building on Google Sites. Unless I change my mind I plan to invite friends to access the website after I finish uploading all of the available PDF files. I'm working on file names that begin with the letter "H" now.

The more I use my old desktop computer the more aware I am that "I'm skating on thin ice." There are a number of signs that all is not well with this computer. I'm hoping it will last while I procrasinate about making my decision of what to do next. I know I am dreaming if I think these computer problems will take care of themselves.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, September 4, 2009

We Are All in the Same Boat

Photo: Aztech New Media

We did not all come over on the same ship, but we are all in the same boat. (Bernard M. Barach in Touchstones, 16 August)

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. (William James in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 16 August)

The wiser a person is, the simpler the language he uses to express his thoughts. (Lucy Malory in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 22 August)

... we do not have to allow ... [the] destructive beliefs [of others] to control us, our feelings, our behaviors, or our life. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 27 August)

You cannot want more for someone than they want for themselves. If they want it, it is up to them to go out and get it; you should not have to drive or take them to find it. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 23 August)


Yesterday I didn't post to my blogs. In the morning I was busy and later in the day I just didn't feel like turning on a computer.

Yesterday afternoon I attended the computer club meeting in Bowie, MD. Dennis brought the new name tags for the first time. They bought a kit of Avery labels and holders with spring clips. Inserts for all of the members were already printed. One of the members gave a very nice talk about what happened when she spilt a glass of water onto the keyboard of her Dell laptop. She used her own computer and the center's projector to display her nice Power Point show. After the meeting I spent an hour using the computer in the hallway. I made a couple of CDs from the thumb drive I had attached to my laptop when it died. There are several GEDCOM files on the thumb drive. I believe those are backups of my genealogy files that I made after I converted them to RootsMagic. I have my fingers crossed. I had some problems using the CD drive on the desktop computer. That made me realize that I'd better not place too much faith in that computer.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Don't Want to Know How Computers Work

The solutions rest with me. With the help of my Higher Power, I can adorn my life with comfort, serenity and enjoyment. It does not depend on any other person, and the sooner I accept this fact, the sooner I will be able to face myself realistically. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 15 August)

Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in it. (Katherine Marshall in Courage to Change, 26 August)

In each of life's learning experiences our job is to get the lesson, and practice what we have learned. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 259)

By not attempting to realize our dreams, we avert the risks of failure and the possibilities of success. (Food For Thought, 16 August)


Bob, one of the computer club members, loaned me two CD drives. The idea was to see if I could determine whether the two drives on my old desktop computer were damaged by a lightning strike many months ago. Over a period of many days I have been swapping the drives in and out, trying to understand how each works or doesn't work. Yesterday I worked on the project for several hours. I finally decided that one of the two drives my friend loaned me worked better than the CD reader I had in the top drive in the computer. I can read a commercial audio CD with his drive and I can read a data CD that I created before the lightning strike. I wasn't able to get the computer to write to a blank CD. That's all right, I'll be way ahead if I can use the drive he gave me to load some programs and to read either data or audio CDs. I suppose I'm easily satisfied. I've always had computer issues. I'm used to it. Anything that works is better than nothing that works.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Computer Backups

People ... [are] looking for someone to make wise decisions on their behalf. (Larry G. Jent in The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 15 August)

Awareness of my own limits has helped me set realistic goals. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 15 August)

I have sometimes been wildly despairingly, acutely miserable ... but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to "be alive" is a grand thing. (Agatha Christie in Courage to Change, 25 August)

Nonsense renders us downright miserable. ... We cannot realize true happiness when we entertain nonsense in our hearts and minds. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 26 August)


You can never have enough computer backups. It's almost certain at some point your computer will fail. There's no way to predict what will go wrong. The hard drive might stop working. The display might go "blue." Some circuit inside the machine might go bad. The clock battery in a laptop might go bad and be very hard to reach. Devise a backup plan and follow it. You can back up to thumb drives. You can back up to CDs or DVDs. You can backup to online backup services. You can use some of your free website space for backup. If you do genealogy learn how to create GEDCOM files and use that as well as the genealogy programs backup command thus creating two different kinds of backup. The main thing is to keep copies of the information you want to preserve outside of the computer. I speak from bitter experience.

Mr. Dickie