Thursday, April 30, 2009

Get Off the Dime

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Portland, Oregon)

If you can't "get off the dime," how will any of your projects amount to anything? (Richard E. Henthorn, 26 Apr 2008)

Stuggling people have so much to do and say about the things they are struggling with that they hardly have time to get anything done. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 27 April)
Today, I will try to remember that slowing down may help me find what I am seeking.
(Touchstones, 14 April)

I'm having trouble with the cheap Chinese shop lights I bought to put over the plants we grow under lights. They don't last more than six months. This morning I checked all of the available bulbs with a fixture that worked. I found only one bulb that needed to be replaced because it was dim. One fixture will be put in the trash. Another that I had in the shed might work. I'm going to see if I can find some place that sells a fixture made in this country. We really need to make every effort to avoid buying the junk that China is selling to this country.

For months I've put off replacing a rubber washer on the hot water side of the laundry room sink. After I finished the light project I stayed in the basement until I accomplished this project too. This will probably be the last time I can get by with just changing the washer. Both the handle screw and the washer screw need to be replaced. I had trouble turning the handle of the main shutoff value. It's inside of a basement wall and very awkward to turn because the opening is small.

Last night I read the FIOS user's manual. I skipped over the parts about the DVR because I didn't order one. There's lots to learn about how the TV system works. You can order programs "on demand." Some are free and some have a fee. Some of the free programs are repeats of series on both the off the air channels and off the cable. I noticed four episodes of "Mr. Monk." There's also "Pay For View" which seems to be more expensive, like concerts and sports events. You can program "Favorite" channels on two of our televisions. I think you can use Parental Controls on all four sets. In my opinion there are four good parental control candidates, the home shopping channels. It's offensive to think we pay to see these 24/7 advertising channels. They should pay us to watch their ads. Melva and I have visited the QVC store at one of the outlet malls. If you have a chance drop in to see for yourself the poor quality of the junk they are selling.

I'm behind in my daily reading. Once I fall behind it is difficult to get caught up. This morning I read for about an hour right after I woke up.

Thanks to everyone who called or wrote Email lately, especially those who answered my genealogy questions.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stand By Each Other

... regardless of the different ways that people choose to cope with pain and sorrow, we need to stand by each other as we work through difficult, tragic times. (Alexandra Stoddard, The Art of the Possible, p. 193)

Yesterday I was outside working in the yard for several hours. The grass almost got ahead of me. I got lucky with my electric trimmer. One of them had enough cord left in the case to allow me to do all the trimming. At the end I loaded the yellow trimmer to get it ready for next time.

I spent some time in the afternoon getting some help from AOL using Instant Messenger. I want to make sure Cyndi and I understand the implications of changing to "free" AOL service now that we both have high-speed Internet connections. I was able to print out the conversation for further review. I even sent an Email copy to Cyndi. Apparently the only thing we will give up is "help" from AOL. I've seldom asked AOL for any help in the thirteen years we have been using the service. I estimate we have spent about $3,275 during that time.

My AOL mailbox was full. Once the thousand message limit is reached you can't receive anymore mail. Tom, one of my correspondents sent me an Email to let me know a message he sent had bounced. I moved groups of older messages from AOL to the Personal File Cabinet on my own computer. I brought the count of messages in my AOL mailbox down to 500 before I got bored with the process.

This morning there was a death notice and an obituary in The Washington Post for Robert L. Costenbader, 75, who died on April 26, 2009. Robert was a head of the Microform Reading Room at The Library of Congress. He belonged to the stamp club but seldom attended our meetings because he usually worked the noontime shift. I always enjoyed visiting with Bob whenever our paths crossed.

Last night, after 6:00 p.m., I called to find out whether I would have to report for county jury duty today. I won the "Jury Duty Raffle." My group number was excused. This means I'm excused for the rest of the year. Because my 70th birthday is May 7th it really means I am excused from jury duty the rest of my life. Since I've "been there, and done that" I couldn't be happier.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Greatest Problems

Photo: Mr. Dickie

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. (Betty Ford in The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr. Phil McGraw, p. 249)

Our greatest problems in life come not so much from the situations we confront as from our doubts about our ability to handle them. (Susan Taylor in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 7 April)

Happiness is rarely achieved by pursuing it. (Food For Thought, 22 April)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday Fun

Photo: (Mr. Dickie at Fort Benning, GA in 1962 - Airborne)

When "stinking thinking" takes hold of me, I must do more than just dismiss the negative thoughts. I must replace them with something positive or I'm likely to slide right back into my negative thinking. (Courage to Change, 14 April)
  • Yesterday I attended the PittState University of Pittsburg, KS alumni function in Springfield, VA. I'm sure it had been more than twenty-five years since I'd attended. About fifteen people attended. Dr. Hudson of the university was the guest speaker.
  • After the alumni meeting I stopped at Cyndi's apartment. She turned on her laptop computer to show me the photographs she took during her vacation in Panama.
  • I drove Melva's Camry. I enjoyed listening to the Spanish CDs that were loaded in the player.
Mr. Dickie

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who's Responsible?

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Omaha, NE)

One of the greatest mistakes people make in their loving unions is in thinking that each is responsible for the other's happiness. (Alexandra Stoddard, The Art of the Possible, p. 191)

If you've done things that don't work, do something else. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 16 April)

In whose good company do you tell stories? What reassurance do friends and stories offer? (Nancy Fester in The Upper Room Disciplines - 2006, 20 April)

You must act as if it is impossible to fail. (Ashanti Proverb, in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 14 April)
  • Yesterday I was finally able to make the decision to donate all of my reel-to-reel tapes and my tape deck to the thrift store. I loaded everything in the back of the minivan and delivered everything to the loading dock. This was a little victory in my battle with the clutter issues.
  • While working in the basement I noticed three bound genealogies that I haven't looked at for some time. They are about the Larson, Kyger and Watson families. I set them in plain sight because I want to review all three of them.
  • I prepared a 94-page Register report about Eli Henthorn and his descendants for my friend Susan. She had trouble receiving the report. She has two Email addresses. After I tested transmission by sending the file to myself I decided to try her second address. She responded last night to let me know she was able to open the PDF file.
  • Because of the recent change to FIOS I needed to test recording with our VCR. Last night I recorded the three and a half hour movie, "The Chronicles of Narnia." The movie is based on the book(s) by C.S. Lewis. I'd thought about going to see the movie at a theater but didn't go. Now I can watch it in the comfort of home. I own a copy of all of the books in "The Chronicles." I haven't read it yet.
  • In the evening I went to both genealogy chats on AOL. While I was in the chatrooms I listened to Bluegrass and Brazilian music on AOL Radio. That's one of the benefits of having a high-speed Internet connection. AOL Radio is now provided by CBS. I noticed that there are radio buttons for setting pre-sets along the right side of the screen. I learned how to set the buttons and installed the two stations.
  • I went for an hour and ten minute walk to Lake Artemesia yesterday. I walked once around the lake before I returned to the car. I think I need to recheck my pedometer. I think it's reporting more miles than I actually walk. I passed the historic College Park Airport where Wilbur and Orville Wright demonstrated one of their early airplanes to members of the government in hopes of selling airplanes to the military.
  • I had trouble getting signed on to the Internet this morning. The computer couldn't find the high-speed connection. I wonder what that's all about.
Mr. Dickie

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spiritual Awareness

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Peony and Iris in our backyard)

Forcing a spiritual awareness is mostly wasted effort. Learning theology doesn't create a spiritual experience either. (Touchstones, 2 April)

Who Knows?

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Smithsonian Air and Space Museum annex at Dulles International Airport)

I am grateful to my family and friends for having put up with me all these years. (after Look To This Day by Alan L. Roeck, 2 April)

Knowledge is limitless. Therefore, there is a minuscule difference between those who know a lot and those who know very little. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 1 April)

Friday, April 24, 2009


Photo: Mr. Dickie (Suzy our Company B dog in Korea, 1962-1963)

Each of us carries a handicap, although some handicaps are more obvious than others. They can be physical limitations, but they can also be emotions, feelings, or attitudes that impede the full enjoyment and promise of living. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 14 April)

  • During the afternoon I located my Radio Shack headset telephone in the basement. Because the phone line near my computers is again available wanted to install this phone there. It will be nice to once again be able to answer the phone without jumping up and running to the bedroom when the phone rings. I wore that on my right ear during both of the talks.

  • Yesterday evening I enjoyed two phone conversations. I called my Army buddy, Dave, in Oregon and Tom, my college roommate, called me from Kansas using his Magic Jack.

  • This morning a Verizon tech came out to resolve my television installation issues. I upgraded to the larger Verizon set top box for the basement television and I asked him to install the small set top box that didn't work with the basement television on the set in the kitchen. He programmed the remaining remotes to work with the appropriate television sets. I think everything is, more or less, working like I want. Perhaps there are a few minor remote tuning adjustments that I need to make. I hope I will have all of the learning issues resolved by the time Melva returns from Panama.
Mr. Dickie

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Will It Take?

Photo: Mr. Dickie with his computers. The painting in the upper left is by John Haines of Panama. The painting to the right of Dick's head is by his mother, Ruth. Tweety Bird on the t-shirt says, "Whatever!"

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can. (Sydney Smith in Touchstones, 9 April)

If the world and how it works is a reflection of the people who live in it, what will it take for us to realize we have a lot of work to do? (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 10 April)

Life's sorest tradegy is disappointed hopes, and life's greatest joy is hopes come true. (William Barclay, Letters to the Corinthians, p. 252)

  • Yesterday I contacted one of the friends I made through genealogy. I hadn't been in touch with her for a long time. I have an old phonebook for the the area south of Wheeling, WV. I found her number in that book. It was good to talk with her again. Afterwards I sent her an short Email with photos of myself and Melva to refresh her memory about who I am.

  • I had trouble getting the new Voice Mail set up. I don't think anyone gave me the number to call. I was able to get the number I needed after pressing many buttons on the phone to get to where they stated the number. Once I had the number I didn't have any trouble because the system works they same as the old one. This time I chose to use there default messages. I had to located the manual for the kitchen phone before I could re-program the Voice Mail phone number into the phone. Once the number is in the phone all we have to do is press one button to call our Voice Mail.

  • I discovered that that portable phone in the master bedroom has Caller ID and Call Waiting. Cyndi called in the evening. After the call I noticed there was a record of the call. I found the manual for this phone. We haven't stored any frequently called numbers on the phone.

  • At the end of the day I called Comcast and AT&T to cancel service. AT&T already knew we changed to Verizon for the long distance. We had been a Comcast custormer for twenty-six years, since 1983.
Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Don't Waste Time

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS)

... don't waste time trying to negotiate non-negotiable issues. (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 4 April)

... everyone is completely capable and equipped to take care of themselves and handle their own problems! (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! 4 April)
  • The Verizon FIOS installation left me with several issues I'll have to deal with. The phone system backup battery pack was mounted too close to the floor. The installer knew that a moveable shelf needed to be returned to near the wall when he was done. Apparently he didn't have a ruler to measure. The clearance between the bottom of the box and the top of the lower shelf is too close. The television in the basement has it's own program guide and on-screen channel display. He left me with no channel number display. I have no idea how to make either the FIOS or the TV displays work. I'll bet this will take hours of reading and phone calls to get it working. Oh well, some say that change is fun.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Willpower cannot eliminate in a day troubles that have taken root and flourished in my life for decades. Things take time. (Courage to Change, 12 April)

A crisis event often explodes the illusions that ... anchor our lives. (Robert Veninga in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 12 April)

I will devote myself to overcoming my flaws of character and controlling my impulsive words and actions. This will leave me no time to concern myself with remodeling ... [others]. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 8 April)
  • I continued the project to edit the "notes" in my Adam Henthorn file. I finished all of the notes for people with the Henthorn surname. Test reports look good.
  • Why do we insist on keeping things we no longer use? Years ago I recorded lots of music on open-reel tapes. I haven't listened to any of those tapes in years. As a matter of fact there is no longer an amplifier near the tape deck. Maybe it's time to free up some space by getting rid of the tape deck and all the stored tapes. No wonder there's so much clutter when we keep things we no longer use.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, April 20, 2009

A New Day

When you do things differently, giving up those parts of your life that have been self-defeating for those which are self-affirming, your weight, your health, and your life change dramatically. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 28)

Trying to reach past my mistakes into new successes enhances my life. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 6 April)

No dream is too good to come true. (Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 99)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spiritual Effort

Spiritual effort and the joy that comes from understanding life go hand in hand like physical exertion and rest. Without physical exertion, there is no joy im rest; without spiritual effort, there can be no joyful understanding of life. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 2 April)

No one ever cured trouble by running away from it. (William Barclay, The Letter to the Corinthians, p. 298)

It takes a big man to listen to hard advice. (William Barclay, The Letter to the Corinthians, p. 298)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Drifting Downstream

...everyone who grows up does not become an adult. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! 5 March)

Eating to excess is not considered to be a sin by many, because it produces no noticeable harm. But there are sins which destroy human dignity, and eating to excess is one such sin. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 4 March)

We [can] become careless, bored, lackadaisical in our efforts. Instead of disciplining ourselves to further spiritual growth, we rest on our oars and then wonder why we are drifting downstream. (Food For Thought, 8 April)

Friday, April 17, 2009

What Works

The biggest happiness is when at the end of the year you feel better than at the beginning. (Henry David Thoreau in A Calendar of Widsom by Leo Tolstoy, 6 Apr)

If I can''t ... [detach] I'll try to "hang on loose." (after Melody Beattie in The Language of Letting Go, 5 Apr)

I believe that what works in your life works because you make it work. You succeed because you make the right choices. You choose the right attitudes, and you enact the right behavior to generate the right results. It is you who must create the life you want. And the choice is yours to make. (Dr. Phil McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution, p. 282)

  • Yesterday one of my relatives I've never met contacted me on Facebook. We've exchanged genealogy information in the past. It will be fun to stay in closer touch.
  • Did I mention that the Google Docs application can be used to write PDF files? It's free. I tested and found it simple to use.
Mr. Dickie

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting in Trouble

We don't get in trouble because of what we do. We get in trouble when we do it in spite of reliable warnings and cautions, against all good advice, and in defiance of good common sense. All of us have things that we are obsessive about. We insist and push, or scheme and connive to make sure this thing will happen. Sometimes we do it to prove we are right or to prove someone else is wrong. We may do it when we are angry or afraid. Or we may do it just to prove we can do it.

We may know the behavior is unproductive or inappropriate. We may know it is foolish or dangerous. Still we insist it must be done. That is how we get ourselves in trouble or hurt or embarrassed. In response to what we do, we feel bad, beat up on ourselves, or blame others for making us or letting us do it. Whatever we do, we do it because we need to do it. No matter how foolish, hazardous, or outlandish it may be, it is simply another lesson we must learn in the classroom of life.(Iyanla Vanzant, Faith in the Valley, p. 133)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For Richer or Poorer

We cannot hope to obtain any sort of perfection in a society which is divided into two parts: rich people who rule the world and poor people who obey their orders. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 14 April)

If you have an income without working hard, then someone worked hard without receiving an income. (Maimonides in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 14 April)

Most of us "think" we know what our problem is; but do we really? One way to discover its real nature is to write it out in detail. Putting it into words on paper, where we can look at it and correct it as our attitudes change, can be most helpful in making us see it clearly. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 14 April)

Today we can slow down by taking twenty minutes for solitude and quiet, for meditation or prayer. We can call a friend simply for a moment of contact. We might read something to give ourselves some ideas to ponder, or we can listen to music which will transport us to another world. Perhaps we can simply walk more slowly from our cars or the bus stop to our homes. Often it is not the events in our lives that bring change but the space between events. (Touchstones, 14 April)

In the Middle Ages, gluttony was considered one of the seven deadly sins. Now that sin has become an unpopular concept, we are inclined to overlook gluttony. It is still listed in the dictionary and defined as "eating to excess." Every compulsive overeater knows only too well what that means. (Food For Thought, 14 April)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Information Junkie

People involve themselves in countless activities which they consider to be important, but they forget about one activity which is more important and necessary than any other, and which includes all other things: the improvement of their soul. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 6 April)

It would be terrrible to be an information junkie yet miss out on the Book that gives you the story behind the story, the book that has the answer to all man's social issues. (Kay Arthur, Search My Heart, O God, 8 April)

Monday, April 13, 2009


A person can always improve himself. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 13 March)

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. (Edward John Phelps in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 6 April)

I shall not pass this way again;
Then let me now relieve some pain,
Remove some barrier from the road,
Or brighten someone's heavy load.
(Eva Rose York in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 26 February)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Keeping Notes

Each country gets the government it deserves. This isn't a new thought, but ponder its implications. The people in Washington who run the government would as soon lie as breathe. They feel no obligation to tell the truth. That's what we deserve? What an indictment. ... (Andrew Frothingham and Tripp Evans, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, 2 April)

Until today, you may have made excuses for the unkept and incomplete areas in your life. Just for today, be devoted to acknowledging the things you have left undone, unsaid, and incomplete. Acknowledgment is the first step toward healing. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! 1 April)

There's an old saying: only little children and old folks tell the truth. When you get real old, you just lay it on the table. (Bernie Delany in Faith in the Valley by Iyanla Vanzant, p. 119)

A New Way to Keep Notes On My Laptop

I've been thinking about how I could eliminate the clutter of all the PostIts and other scraps of paper I have lying around. The desktop is always a mess and I can never find the note I need when I need it.

In the past I used the SideKick program and the AskSam program for note keeping. I no longer have either program installed on a computer. I thought about downloading a note keeping program or buying one. I decided I didn't want to spend any money and I didn't want to learn how to operate another program. I wanted to devise a low-cost (or no-cost) way to keep notes using the tools already available.

Today I came up with a simple no-cost solution to the problem.

Under the "My Documents" folder I created another folder, "My Notes." In this folder I can store text files where I keep notes. For example, to get started I created files named: Deaths; Genealogy, and Misc.

On my desktop there is an icon for "My Documents." When I double click on the icon a list of folders and files stored under "My Documents" displays. One of the folders is "My Notes." Clicking on "My Notes" displays all of the "text" files saved in the "My Notes" folder.

Clicking on the "Search" button of the toolbar displays the search dialog box. The "Look In" box is already displaying the path to the "My Notes" folder. To search for a word in all of the files all I have to do is type the word I'm looking for into the "Containing text:" box and click the "Search Now" button.

The search results display to the right of the search dialog boxes as a list of the file(s) where the search term appears. When I click on a file name the file is opened in my text editor, EditPad Lite which can then be used to search for words within the file if I can't spot the term I want to find.
Mr. Dickie

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stop and Try to Remember

After a long conversation, stop and try to remember what you have just discussed. Don't be surprised if many things, sometimes even everything you have discussed, were meaningless, empty, and trivial, and sometimes even bad. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 16 February)

Once our appetites are out of control, we cannot stop, not even when the pleasure has turned to pain. (Food For Thought, 4 March)

A fool draws his sword aimlessly and is prone to cut himself to death. (Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith, 27 February)
  • One of my SanDisk Cruzer thumb drives came with the HP Photosmart program installed. I was able to get this U3 technology program to execute on my laptop computer. This was the first program of this type that I was able to run. I was familiar with the program because I have another copy of the program installed on the laptop itself.
  • I discovered that the Google Documents option can write a PDF file. I did a test. I created a PDF and then sent it to myself via Email. That worked and I saved the file on the laptop. The nice thing about this service is that it's free and there aren't any ads in the document.
  • In the Weekend section of The Washington Post I found more interesting sites to visit in Washington, DC. Many of them were listed with URLs. I posted those to my AOL Favorites. I'll add them to my Delicious bookmarks later on.
  • I've been asking my cousins to answer some genealogy questions. I'd like to bring my personal genealogy file up-to-date. Sometimes it takes several messages to get all of the information I like to record. Genealogy is a tedious hobby.
  • This afternoon Cyndi returns from her vacation in Panama. I'll pick her up at Washington National after 4:00 p.m. It's a long flight with a stop over in Atlanta.

Mr. Dickie

Friday, April 10, 2009

A New Beginning

What reward should a good deed bring you? Only the joy you receive by performing it. And any other reward lessens the feeling of this joy. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 3 March)

The deeds of a person become his life, become his fate. This is the law of our life. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 12 March)

You will find that people unwilling to work will either take advantage of others or be humiliated by them. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 5 April)

Let today be a new beginning of identifying and releasing all negative beliefs and embracing only those thoughts and beliefs which serve your highest self. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 90)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

People Will Forget

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did...
But people will never forget how you made them feel.
(Anonymous in 365 Ways to Change Your Life by Suzanne Somers, p. 107)

Intuition is the spiritual faculty that does not explain, it simply points the way.
(Florence Scoval Schinn in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 6 April)

A democracy is not a place where every man has a right to do what he likes; it is a place where people enter into a fellowship in which the watchword is not independent isolation but interdependent togetherness.
(William Barclay, The Letter to the Corinthians, p. 295)
  • Yesterday I worked outside making up a container of potting mixture. We buy three ingredients in bulk: spangham peat, perlite and vermiculite. I sift the peat to remove debris. Then I mix two parts peat with one part perlite and one part vermiculite. If I have charcoal, egg shell and lime available I throw in a little bit of each. Each time I make the mixture I fill up a large plastic bin.
  • I completed my project to post on Delicious the URL's of places to visit in Baltimore, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. I used the tag "sightseeing" with each posting. I included websites for transportation too: the DC Connector, the Tourmobile and the Metro. There are 68 postings in all. Anyone coming to Washington, DC can access my Delicious account to quickly locate the websites of places I recommend. I must admit that I have yet to visit all of them myself. Three I'd like to visit are: the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the Postal Museum and the new Marine Corps Museum.
Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Plants in Bloom

You cannot fix what you will not face. (James Baldwin in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 31 March)

Where the mind goes the behind follows. (Randolph Wilerson in Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, 29 March)

Speaking affirmations of life and healing aloud and silently reading them are important ways for me to help myself to remain healthy and also to heal. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 68)
  • Melva has many plants in bloom right now. In the dining room the poinsettias continue to look like it's Christmas. There's also an orchid and a white Christmas cactus in bloom. In the basement, under the lights a beautiful red-orange amarylis is so heavy with three or four flowers that it's falling over. Outside the jonquils and the hyacinths in the garden plot near the kitchen window are in bloom.
  • Yesterday I posted some URLs for Baltimore tourist attractions to Delicious. I plan to continue this project. I have other URLs for MD, VA and DC ready to post.

Mr. Dickie

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


It is a great thing when two souls are united to support each other in their work, in their successes and misfortunes, until the last silent minutes of the last good-bey. (George Eliot in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 11 March)

People do not change just because I want them to change. (Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! 26 February)

Be calm, be true, be quiet. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 30 March)

Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don't know what to do with my heart. (Emily Dickinson in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 1 April)
  • Yesterday I had an appointment for a medical test. When I arrived at the hospital they gave me a paging device and told me to sit down. Twenty-five minutes after my scheduled appointment the pager still hadn't sounded. Intuition kicked in. I returned to the reception area. One employee passed me off to another. That one made a copy of my referral paperwork and handed my sheet back to me. In typical Washington, DC and Maryland fashion she mumbled something about what happened. I'm too old to put up with that anymore. I spoke again clearly stating what I wanted to know. Finally the person attending me admitted that she had written down the wrong pager number on the scheduling sheet. If I hadn't gotten up to make my inquiry I'd probably still be sitting in the waiting area reading my book. So much for using technology to improve what already worked well enough, calling out a person's name.
Mr. Dickie

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sad News

The essence of all growth is a willingness to make a change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails. (As Bill Sees It, p. 115, in Daily Reflections, 4 March)

I must prepare myself by doing each day what I can to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 7 March)

If you want other people to speak well of you, do not speak well of yourself. (Blaise Pascal in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 5 March)
  • The weekend was full of sad news. In the Sunday paper I noticed the death notice for Donald Fusaro a former co-worker at The Library of Congress. He died on 9 March 2009. When I signed on to the Internet I learned from an Email that Steve Dodd, the husband of Family Tree House genealogy chatroom buddy, Cindy, had lost his long battle with cancer. Then my long tiime genealogy friend and Henthorn relative, Eileen Williams, of St. Helen's, England sent me an Instant Message to tell me that her oldest son, Andrew, passed away suddenly at their home about 8:00 p.m. on 4 Apr 2009 at the age of 49 years and 4 days. May God be with the families and friends of the departed in this time of grief.

Mr. Dickie

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Man With a Plan

A man without a plan for the day is lost before he starts. (Lewis K. Bendele in One More Day by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, 15 March)

When the beauty of a person's character is impressed upon us, it leaves an image that in turn reflects through our own actions. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 11 March)

...if a spouse, a parent, or a child is treating us badly, manipulating us, we may want to avoid facing the facts. (Vanceburg and Silverman, Family Feelings, 21 April)
  • I've been posting some new URLs to my AOL Favorites. There was a good end-of-the-week piece in The Washington Post, a Kids's Museum Guide. I thought it would be nice to have all of those websites easily accessible in case someone needs help when they come to visit Washington, DC. I added URLs for transportation on the DC Connector, the Tourmobile and the Metro system. I created categories for DC, Baltimore, Virginia, and Maryland. Next I plan to post all of the URLs to Delicious. That will make it easy to share them with others.
  • I also took a look at the Smart Computing magazine website. I have a subscription to this magazine. Some parts of their website are open to everyone and some are reserved for subscribers. The parent firm publishes five magazines and the websites of all are available to subscribers. I haven't been making use of this valuable resource.
Mr. Dickie

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It Is a Gift to Be Alive

...we don't know for certain that there is life after death, nor do we know if we will return to earth in a new life. What's important is that no matter what exists in the beyond, we are here now, and it is a gift to be alive. Therefore, let us live fully in the present. Find your reasons for living. Live them. Love them. Appreciate them. The world needs each person to play his or her part, to make a contribution. (Alexandra Stoddard, The Art of the Possible, p. 147)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Marcus Speaks

There is a certain limit to the appropriate length of any time in this world. Just as the fruits and vegetables are limited by the seasons of the year, everything should have its beginning, its life, and its ending, after which it should pass away. Wise people willingly submit to this order. (Marcus Tullious Cicero, in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 3 April)

When you carry your burden, you should know that it is good for you to have it. Make the best of this burden and take from it everything which is necessary for your intellectual life, as your stomach takes from food everything necessary for your flesh, or as fire burns brighter after you put some wood on it. (Marcus Aurelious, in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 2 April)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mind Your Own Business

If something is awaiting my action today may I have the courage to move forward with it. Even small movement is progress. (Touchstones, 4 March)

...focus on something good or useful to [y]our life and let the rest of the world go about its business. (after How Can I Help My Children in Courage to Change, 29 March)

Money issues are not a good place to act, "as if." (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, 31 March)

  • I'm working on several projects. Two of my cousins responded to questions I asked about their families. I'm posting that information to my RootsMagic genealogy file. I've sent other questions to the family of another cousin. I'd like to bring everything up to date because RootsMagic makes it very easy to prepare and share all of the information in a PDF file.
  • I'm also working on a project with the Wichita, Kansas Class of '57 group on Facebook. We'd like to post two lists. One is a list of classmates we are trying to find and the other is a list of deceased classmates. Both lists are maintained with Excel. I have copies in the PDF format which should be perfect for sharing.
  • This afternoon I'm looking forward to attending the Senior Computer Club meeting. The speaker is going to talk about flash drives (thumb drives) and how you can use them to take certain programs with you when you move from computer to computer. I'm very interested in that topic.

Mr. Dickie

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Can We Do?

We have to learn to live with our decisions, at least until we make a decision to change. I will attempt to take my time when making decisions. (Sefra Kobrin Pitzele, One More Day, 16 March)

If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and your want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people. And in order to improve people, you begin with only one thing: you can become better yourself. (Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, 17 March)

The tragedy of life so often is not that we have no high impulses, but that we so often let them remain impulses and never turn them into actions. (William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, p. 256)