Sunday, November 29, 2009


To wait for moments or places where no pain exists, no separation is felt and where all human restlessness has turned into inner peace is waiting for a dream-world. (Henri J.M. Nouwen, Touchstones, 15 November)


I've noticed lately that many of the freeware and shareware programs won't run on my computer because it uses the Windows 2000 Professional operating system. In reviewing the programs installed on the computer I'm using now I have also noticed that there are quite a few programs installed that I either never used or forgot about. My computer isn't the only thing around here that's obsolete.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Genealogy News

I see how necessary it is to accept changes in my patterns of living - if I really hope for a serene and orderly existence. Some people don't know how badly they need a new way of life until disaster overtakes them. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 21 November)


I'm working on creating some new folders on my hard drive, my floppies and my Zip disks. The idea is to use more folders to help me more quickly find the files when I want to look at something.

I'd forgotten how useful the GenViewer program can be when I want to quickly review the contents of a GEDCOM file without loading the data into my genealogy program. This could be very useful when I'm considering producing a Register report with the Ancestral Author program. I'm trying to learn new ways of preparing reports when I want to share my information.

Melva and Cyndi decided to attempt some day after Black Friday shopping today. I'm glad there's nothing I have to buy.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, November 27, 2009


This is a photo blog that I found. The first photo was of The Duomo in Milan, Italy. Very impressive!

Quieting Our Minds

When we withdraw from the hubbub of the world around us and quiet our minds, we are making room for great things to fashion themselves together. (Touchstones, 9 November)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Lord, help us to remember when it is easy to forget those less fortunate than ourselves. While we sit at our Thanksgiving tables surrounded by family and friends, others are lost and alone. While we share bread, others go hungry. While we are sheltered from the cold, others are homeless. Lord, help us to remember those less fortunate than ourselves and be thankful for our many blessings. Amen. (adapted from Table Graces, p. 63)


I reinstalled the free program, GenViewer Lite, on my computer. This one quickly displays information from GEDCOM files. There is a version that sells for $20.00 which offers much more functionality. I think either version of the program can be a big help to me in using the Ancestral Author program to produce PDF reports. Perhaps I'll write more about this on my genealogy blog in the days ahead.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Computer Club Website

Accepting our friends and family for what they are rather than what we idealize them to be, is part of growing up emotionally. It is our own weakness and insecurity that causes us to try to make gods out of other people. (Food For Thought, 5 November)

Our lives are happier and our emotions more even when we realize we are choosing our reactions. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day)


The website committee meeting of the Computer Club was quite interesting. Five of us were able to attend. Bob brought his laptop and gave a PowerPoint presentation about his view of the website issues. We used the conference room and the projector. The WiFi connection to the Internet worked perfectly. As usual I learned things I didn't know and had to think about issues that had never come to mind. We discussed the fact that we don't have feedback about how much usage the website gets. We all agreed that it would be a good idea to have at least one visitor counter on the website. They also made me aware that it's possible to install a "Message Forum" on a website using free, inserted, HTML code. I became aware that I didn't have a handle on the website password. That's because I have it hard coded in the FTP program. I reviewed my notes to make certain I had that information. Barry suggested looking at the applications of Bravenet. In the evening I installed their visitor counter and message forum software on the website. All of this discussion about the club website reminds me of the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Cactus

Get rid of your bad thoughts, inferior attitudes and limited behaviors and good will be attracted to you. It's not easy. It's not magic. But it works, miraculously. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 6 November)


At a Computer Club meeting I suggested we might want to create a Google group where we can exchange information and help each other. Today at 1:00 p.m. the website committee will meet to further discuss the idea. I'm not strongly vested in the idea. There would be some work required to create the site and maintain it, especially if we decide to make it private by invitation only.

Melva's Christmas cactus' are blooming. She has several of them. One with white flowers and one with white/magenta flowers are in bloom. Shouldn't they be called Thanksgiving cactus? One of the three poinsettia plants is also starting to set the red bracts.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, November 23, 2009


I will not be frightened of growing older, for I intend to do so with the pride and integrity developed with age and experience. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 1 November)

Thought is the glorification of truth; therefore, bad thoughts are those which have not been thought through to the end. (Anonymous in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 5 November)


I found the website of Vernon Buerg. He was one of the first programmers to offer "shareware." He wrote the very nice DOS program, LIST, that I used for many years. I think the is a Windows version of the program. I'll have to spend more time looking at the website.

I also found a program that can be used to catalog computer files. I intend to go back to that website to learn more about it.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Conger Week

Meditation is something which can always be further developed. ... it is essentially an individual adventure which each one of us works out in his own way. (Daily Reflections, 8 November)

I strive for balance in my life by finding peace in my own company as well as in the presence of others. (Susan Smith-Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 323)

I am the only one who can decide which great things I will begin today. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 6 November)


Saturday I completed two weeks of posting information about members of the Conger family to my Google genealogy "News" blog. When I started I thought I only had enough articles for one week, so I dubbed the project, CongerWeek. I have no idea whether any members of the Conger family have found the blog.

The fifteen day test period for a program I was testing, ClikView, ended yesterday. I liked the program. Now I need to decide whether I like it enough to spend $35.00 on it. I own several other programs that are much more useful which didn't cost that much including my genealogy program, RootsMagic.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Don't Get It

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Hydrangea in our yard, grown from cutting)

Today, I'll be grateful for all my relationships. I will open myself to the lesson and the gift from each person in my life. I will trust that I, too, am a gift in other people's lives. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 7 November)

I will accept all that I am, and resolve to change those parts that are not working for me. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 341)


So what's the deal with that Oprah Winfrey? Yesterday she was weeping on her show, saying goodbye. For all of the talk on television, radio and the articles in the newspaper you'd think she wouldn't be back on Monday. Give us a break. Her last program is scheduled for September 2011. She still publishes (monthly ?) a magazine with her picture on every cover. And, she is in the process of starting a cable TV channel with Discovery to be called, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). When she gets her "own" television network won't she be on television twenty-four hours a day. Maybe that's something we should all cry about.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, November 20, 2009

Don't Give a Hoot About Tattoos

I just couldn't resist.

Don't even think about clicking on the link,
if you
Don't Give a Hoot About Tattoos.

Driving Myself Crazy

I remember those happy days and often wish I could speak into the ears of the dead the gratitude which was due to them in life and so ill-returned. (Gwyn Thomas in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 5 November)

Our parents ... provide the buffer between life and death. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 333)


I downloaded and installed another copy of Ancestral Author. I was able to get it running. There are many program settings. Of course I've forgotten what most of them do and how I had them set on the other computer.

I spent time on the phone talking to a lady in Utah about Conger genealogy. Afterwards I tried to extract some information for her from a Conger file I have on a Zip disk. There must be something wrong with the file. I'm not sure I will be able to do what I wanted to do.

As part of my program to "drive myself crazy" I straightened up the 3x5 cards and other notes laying on the table beside the computer. Then, later in the day, I realized that the notes I need to finish my CongerWeek project disappeared. I looked through all of the papers several times and didn't find the note. Just before I turned out the lights in the computer room I looked at the 3x5 cards one more time. This time I looked at both sides of each card. I wonder why I didn't think about doing this before. I found the note I needed to do my posting today.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, November 19, 2009

RootsMagic Installation

When a person is always carping and criticizing and complaining his irritable anger ceases to have any significance or any effect. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (DSB), p. 195)

I will keep myself aware of the many blessings that come to me each day and remember to be thankful for them. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 14 November)


Recovering from any computer disaster is never easy. Yesterday I was in the proper frame of mind to start work on trying to install my genealogy program, RootsMagic, on my old desktop Gateway computer. I found the CD in the closet and it installed without any problems. Then I downloaded and installed the latest update for version three (3.2.6). I created six folders for the program to use. To test the program I loaded a GEDCOM backup for the Briggs family from my thumbdrive. Once the data was loaded I posted the "Preparer" information for the file. Then I ran some tests by creating and viewing several reports in the PDF format. Everything seems to be working. There are six or eight GEDCOM files on the thumbdrive.

I also sent an Email to the company that sells the program Ancestral Author. I didn't have a backup copy of this program. I want to install that program on the computer too.

I have four more Conger articles ready to post to my "News" blog. That's enough information to last through Saturday. I'll bring my CongerWeek project to a close then.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Facebook Fun

Photo: Mr. Dickie (San Blas Mola - Panama)

Often we are ungrateful to our fellow-men. Few of us have not at some time owed a great deal to some fellow-man. Few of us at the moment, believed we could ever forget; but few of us in the end satisfy the debt of gratitude we owe. It often happens that a friend, a teacher, a doctor, a surgeon does something for us which it is impossible to repay; but the tradegy is that we often do not even try to repay it. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (DSB), p. 218)


Yesterday I enjoyed making Facebook friends with the wife of boyhood friend, Gail. Melva and I also had a first Facebook instant message chat with Melva's niece, Cecilia, in Panama.

Today I'm going to continue my CongerWeek postings. I have two more items to post.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Difficult Times

Photo: Mr. Dickie (San Blas Indian Mola - Panama)

If you have difficult times, if you suffer from the loss of loved ones or from fears about the future, remember that life exists only in the present and direct all your thoughts and memories to this present. All your anguish about the past and your worries about the future will disappear, and you will feel freedom and happiness. (Anonymous, in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 17 November)


I found a Zip disk with Conger genealogy files in Personal Ancestral File (PAF) format. The computer I'm using now has a copy of PAF installed. I was able to read the file and use copy and paste to extract the "notes" for: John Belconger, Job Conger and David Conger. Yesterday I posted the notes for David Conger to my genealogy "news" blog thus extending my CongerWeek. Today I'll post the other two notes.

Melva is trying to get one of her sewing machines fixed. We found another repair shop in the shopping center where the double thrift store is located on New Hampshire Avenue. We will need to make two trips to the shop because we didn't take all of the accessories. The shop owner suggested that throatplate "A" works better.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, November 16, 2009

Be What You Want To Be

... when you depend on others to validate and acknowledge your experience, you can only be "what they think" you are worth being. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 21 October)


I found a way to quickly extract some of my notes from one of my Conger files. This evening I posted the notes of David Conger to my genealogy "news" blog. I also prepared two more pieces for posting tomorrow. I'll continue my CongerWeek for a while longer.

I bought a copy of Marc Anthony's CD - Mended at the thrift store. We didn't have any of his albums. Most of the songs are in English.

I made this posting after supper because I accidentally made two posts to my Arrow Prayers today. I decided I didn't want to fix the problem.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where's My Book?

Wait until the time is right. It is self-defeating to postpone or procrastinate; it is also self-defeating to act too soon, before the time is right. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 12 November)


I looked for a book, off and on, for three days. It's one I'm thinking about reading in 2010. Yesterday I noticed that I couldn't see the books behind two or three wooden statues on a bookshelf. I knew, as soon as I realized that the statues were blocking the view, that the book I wanted would be in that spot. It was!

Saturday afternoon we had a surprise visitor. Phillip stopped by for a visit. His parents built a house in our neighborhood many years ago. We hadn't seen Phillip for many years. We enjoyed catching up on news about his family, his father and siblings.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Conger Week

It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in 365 Ways to Change Your Life by Suzanne Somers, Day 342-43)


Today is day seven of CongerWeek on my genealogy "news" blog. I posted two or more articles each day of the week. Because I still have several more that I can post I'll probably extend CongerWeek until I've posted everything I found in my GenRepts folder.

It's been raining or misting off and on for about three days. This is coming from tropical storm, Ida. It hasn't been too bad at our location.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, November 13, 2009


Image: Corel

Upon earth you are in charge of things which are not really yours. You cannot take them with you when you die. They are only lent to you. You are only a steward over them. They cannot, in the nature of things, be permanently yours. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (DSB), p. 209)


I found a folder with some of my AskSam files on one of my Zip disks. The program is also on that disk and it works. I was able to read every file, except one. Now I have another project. I want to determine whether there is any genealogy information in the files that I might share on the Internet.

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mark Twain Quotations

"Mark Twain Quotations, Newspaper Collections, & Related Resources"

File Recovery

What is over is over and cannot be replayed except in our minds. (Food For Thought, 30 October)

Either you will learn to take your thoughts captive or the deceiver will take you captive with your thoughts. (Kay Arthur, Search My Heart, O God, 6 November)


While reviewing some of the files I have saved on Zip disks I found a program I bought years ago. I never have understood how we can tell whether a Windows program can run as a "standalone program." The purpose of the program is to convert files from one file format to another. On the same Zip disk I discovered a folder with genealogy text files I created with the word processor, AmiPro. I did a test to see if I can convert the files to plain "text" files. I was so surprised when it worked. I believe there are many files in that folder I don't have available anywhere else. Once converted I can share them on my Google blogs.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Phlox in our backyard)

Support yourself with kind thoughts, loving words, and self-empowering acts. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 309)


I woke up this morning with some vision issues. I suppose I'm still not over the migraine headache of two nights ago. I wasn't able to do my morning reading. I wore my drop-in sunglasses when I went to a doctor's appointment. I let them give me both flu shots.

I'm remembering all of the Veterans today, especially those I served with and my comrades who lost their lives in Vietnam. I pray that the leaders of this country will take positive steps to withdraw all of our servicemen and women from harms way.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flashing Light

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Tiger-Lily in our front yard)

Parenting is the most valuable assignment of your life. You are responsible for guiding the life of a human being. Everything they become, good and bad, is a result of your example. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 291)


I was able to copy 123 photos of 130 from my thumb drive to a Zip disc. Once the photos were on the Zip disc the computer was able to more quickly create the on-screen thumbnails and to upload the photos. I uploaded the mola photos to my mola album on Facebook. I had to use the "old" method which can only upload five files at a time.

Last night, before going to sleep, I laid down to watch some television. They showed one of those commercials with flashing lights. I didn't see it coming. By the time I looked away it was too late. Within a matter of seconds I experienced vision problems. I turned off the TV and the light and went to sleep. I wasn't surprised this morning when I noticed that the residual affects of a migraine headache are still there on the left side of my brain when I move my head too quickly. It's too bad I didn't notice what product they were selling, so I could write them a letter and refuse to buy anything they are selling.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, November 9, 2009

Digital Photography

We are not satisfied with our real life. We want to live an imaginary life, a life in which we seem different in the eyes of other people than we are in reality. (Blaise Pascal in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 2 November)

Do what you do, to the best of your ability, with a loving intent, for the good of all involved. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 21 October)


We went to Bethesda, Maryland yesterday to visit with Cyndi. We watched some of the football game between Washington and Atlanta. Washington continued to struggle and the injuries to the players continued to mount up. Washington lost the game.

I had 130 photographs on the card in my digital camera. I asked Cyndi to help me copy the photos to other storage. We put them on a CD and on a thumb drive. We also uploaded twenty-five of them to Picasa. When I got home the first thing I did was check to see if I could read the CD with the desktop computer. It worked. This will allow me to use some of the photos on my Google blogs. Other CDs that I made at the Senior Center don't work on the desktop computer. I don't have a clue about why that happened.

I found a folder on my computer with enough Conger files to allow me to have a Conger Week on my genealogy news blog. I posted two articles on Sunday.

Three of my online friends celebrated birthdays this weekend. I posted birthday messages to two of them on Facebook and sent an AOL Happy Birthday Email to the one who isn't on Facebook.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Emotional Detachment

Of course I must be concerned with what happens to the people in my life. The purpose of emotional detachment is to keep myself from being drawn into crises of ... [other peoples] making. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 3 November)

Fake it until you make it! (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 13 September)


Yesterday we had a nice November day that allowed us to continue doing our fall yard work. I set the lawn mower lower hoping that this would be the last time I need to mow the grass this year. I also dug several wild raspberry bushes from the flowerbed along the back fence. In doing so I found a large root leftover from when we cut down the Bradford pear tree. Melva worked in some of the smaller flowerbeds. She spread a couple of the bags of mulch that I went to purchase when I first came outside. We both think we are almost done with all of the outside yard projects. I still have to find someone to replace the damaged flooring in the shed. The work is never really done.

Mr. Dickie

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Text File Viewers

Perhaps it is time to overturn some of your decisions. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, 27 October)

Clean up any emotional messes that have not been dealt with, and make amends to any persons you might have hurt along the way. (Suzanne Somers, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, Day 327)


I'm searching for a program that will allow me to quickly view "text" files without opening the file with the application that created it. This would be useful when I want to review genealogy information for possible sharing on the Internet. The program should display the directory structure in one box, the file names in another and the actual text of the file in a third area. I found two programs that I'm testing. Fast Text File Viewer has a nice simple design. I discovered three problems with this program. First, the website of the programmer is no longer working. Second, there is an annoying "nag" box that displays after about every five files viewed (I can live with this and would have to because I probably can't buy a version without the "nag".) And finally, there is a DLL missing message that comes up sometimes. I have a hunch that this happens because I changed the folder and file names when I installed the program. I don't like blanks in folder and file names. The second program I found is called, ClikView. This program is much more powerful. You can view many different file formats and you can view image files. This one is shareware, with a fifteen day trail, it costs $35.00. There's a rather extensive help file.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seeing the Light

True revelations will always motivate us to change and take action. What is the point in seeing the light if you don't follow it. (Jacqueline Stanley, Reading to Heal, p. 59)


The size of the group at yesterday's computer club meeting was small. There was a Veteran's Day event in the big room and the chorale group took part in the activity. Many of our members are also in that group. We learned that, at the present time, we are not going to be able to use the Senior Center's new laptop computer at our meetings. This is going to have an adverse impact on our ability to put on good programs. I presented my suggestion that we should shutdown the club's Yahoo group and create a new group on Google. The response was mixed. I provided the URL for the group of the Alamo user's group. The club president suggested we table the idea until the next meeting to give everyone time to think about it.

Today, Melva and I went to Emmittsburg, Maryland to visit the Grotto of Lourdes near where Catholic Saint Elizabeth Seton lived. We have been there several times. It's about ninety minutes from our house when traffic on the Washington, DC beltway isn't bumper to bumper. After we left the Grotto we stopped at Thurmont, MD to eat the luncheon buffet at The Cozy. They were busy. We sat at one of the two booths in the bar. I ate way too much and didn't feel good afterwards. Silly boy!

Mr. Dickie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mariano Rivera

Once you know the truth, you cannot go back to not knowing. Living the truth that you know is the greatest service you can offer the world. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today!, introduction to November)


I enjoyed watching the New York Yankees Panamanian pitcher, Mariano Rivera, close out the last game of the World Series. One of the last batters he faced was Carlos Ruiz another of the seven Panamanians playing major league baseball. Ruiz is from David, Chiriqui, Panama and Rivera is from Panama City, Panama.

Recently I had a senior memory issue. I forgot the location of the HTML pages from my old website. I'd been working on a project to remove the HTML code from the pages so I could post them to my Google blogs. My memory stopped working and I couldn't remember if the files were on a Zip disc or on the old desktop computer. Last night while doing something else with the computer I found the folder again on the desktop computer. This morning I wrote down the path name. I'm going to put it on a 3x5 card and then file it with my password cards. I wonder if I will be able to find the card if I need it. Good grief!

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Computer Club Meeting

No matter what you face, choose clarity over confusion. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 304)

Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. (Richard J. Foster in Touchstones, 31 October)

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving. (Oliver Wendell Holmes in Courage to Change, 2 November)


Tomorrow the computer club meets. There's no speaker. We will just open the floor to discussion. Victor, the chair of the website committee, and I will probably bring up some topics we want to discuss. The club has a "group" site on Yahoo that has never been used. I like the structure of groups on Google. We are going to suggest that the club abandon the Yahoo group and set up a Google group. I found a Google group that the Alamo Computer Club uses. It's an open group so we can look at it during the club meeting if the laptop and the projector are set up. I also think the club officers should put their Email addresses on the "Contact" page of our website, if they are willing. I've already modified the page to make it easier to update. (I removed the table format.) I added my own Email address to the page.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Little Molehills

Some folks worry and putter,
Push and shove,
Hunting little molehills
To make big mountains of.
(One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 26 October)

We collected ten bags of leaves from one dogwood and one crepe myrtle and a little flowerbed grooming. I'm glad we don't have any shade trees.

When folks join the Facebook groups I belong to they almost never post to The Wall to announce they joined. Because the Facebook list of members seems to be random it is difficult to determine who joined. Yesterday I decided to create an alphabetized list of the names of the thirty-one members on the Wichita High School - East, Class of '57 group. If I can remember where I stored the list I'll use it to figure out who joined the next time I notice a change in the membership count.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, November 2, 2009


... if you're feeling discontented or unhappy, the root of the problem may be your inability to see things from God's perspective. Perhaps you've spent so much time concentrating on the world's perspective that your spiritual vision has become blurred. What we see, what we read, and the activities we engage in can have a destructive influence on our lives.

(Kay Arthur, Search My Heart, O God, 2 November)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Semi-annual Booksale

When you are part of the story, you can only act out your part. (Richard E. Henthorn after Courage to Change, 23 Oct 2009)

Consciously choose your own lifestyle and take a realistic look at the consequences of your actions. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 293)


I went to the library booksale yesterday. I took my smaller canvas bag this time. I bought eight books for $8.00. I found two Dummies books, one about Migraines and the other about Scanners. I also bought two books designed for daily reading. I'll use those in 2010.

I copied four hundred photos from two Corel WordPerfect discs to my hard drive. They'll be easier to find and use if I have them on the computer. It had slipped my mind that I had all those photos on the two WordPerfect discs.

I'm enjoying having a CD player in the room where I have my computers. Since I brought it upstairs I have been listening to some of the classical CDs from the lazy susan in the room. I haven't listened to these albums in many months.

Mr. Dickie