Sunday, February 28, 2010

Phone Calls

I am an individual with the right to a good life. I must not look to anyone else to make a good life for me, this I must do for myself. (One Day At A Time In Al-Anon, 16 January)

I have been given certain tools with which to run my life, and the free will to use them. (One Day At A Time In Al-Anon, 3 February)


I enjoyed two nice long phone conversations yesterday. I talked with former co-worker, Noel, and I talked with genealogy friend, Jo. We had a good time remember things we did together. Have you called a friend or relative lately?

Mr. Dickie
28/Feb/2010 8:28

Search Engine

Search Engine

A friend asked me if I know how to install a Search box on a website. When I had my website on AOL I installed the code to search the components of the website. I've forgotten how I did it. I think I used a free routine I got from Microsoft. I decided to do a Google search to see what I could find about free search engine options.

I discovered that Google has a Search gadget that can quickly and easily be installed on the Google blogs. I believe this feature can also be installed on websites

I tested the gadget on one of my four blogs and it worked "like a charm." I decided to install the search box at the top of the sidebar on all four of my Google blogs.

Enter your search terms in the search box and click to search. The results of your search will appear in the display window on the left side of the screen. Notice at the top of the window there is a line with three search options and an "X" in a little box:. The options are:

  • This Blog
  • Linked From Here
  • Links to Other Blogs and Points of Interest
  • "X" - (to close the search results window)
Try all three to see how they work. With each "hit" the URL for the blog where the cited item was found is displayed.

I hope the "Search" feature will help you move around in the blogs and make it easy to find anything you want to look at a second time.

Mr. Dickie
28/Feb/2010 8:41

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Carting Off

The nonspiritual being is motivated by achievement, performance and acquisitions. The spiritual being is motivated by ethics, serenity and quality of life. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, Real Magic, p. 47)

Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God's love is not living in that person. (1 John 3:17 in Grace For the Moment by Max Lucado, 11 February)


Facebook must have some issues. Lately the automatic feeds from this Google blog haven't been showing up in my Facebook notes. Since it is all free I'll have to admit, I really don't have much to complain about.

Yesterday we experienced several hours of high winds. Our full trash can was rolling down the middle of the street. One of the neighbors went out to bring it back. Thanks, Jim. At least two semi-trailer trucks were blown over on the highway near Thurmont, Maryland. That's close to Camp David the presidential retreat. This morning we woke up to find a light dusting of snow on the roofs and the ground. It's nothing serious, just enough to help us keep in mind that winter isn't over yet.

Ever wonder why people think "it's not stealing" when they take a grocery cart home with them? There were two carts in our development. The other day I parked the minivan at the corner, near the gas station, while I pushed one of the carts back to the grocery store parking lot. On the way I noticed that another one, stuck in a snowdrift at the traffic light is still there. I left it alone because I didn't want to do the physical exertion to disengage it from the snowbank. I've hear that each cart costs over $700.00. The one closest to the house is still out in front of the rental property along with all of the other trash that comes out of that house and ends up at the curb.

Mr. Dickie
27/Feb/2010 9:06

Friday, February 26, 2010

Through Each Others Eyes

What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate. (Henry David Thoreau, Walden, p. 7)

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each others eyes for an instant? (Henry David Thoreau, Walden, p. 11)
26/Feb/2010 8:20

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Anytime you're filled with resentment, you're turning the controls of your emotional life over to others to manipulate. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, p. 103)

Your resentments literally send God out of your life while you're being offended. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, p. 112)


More snow and high winds are predicted. There's still lots of unmelted snow on top of the bushes. The damage to the brittle azaleas will be severe even if no more snow falls.

For no particular reason I have been working on the genealogy of a family just to see what I can put together. My sources are: 1) a book of biographical and genealogical sketches, 2) two descendant charts from an Internet website, and 3) the 1880 census book that I own. I used the source citation feature of RootsMagic for the first time. The RootsMagic PDF document, with name index, for the family is twenty-five pages. Now I need to decide whether to share the work with others.

Mr. Dickie
25/Feb/2010 9:34

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Unsafe At Any Speed

You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, p. 83)

Loved ones can seem to have such serious needs that we may wonder if their needs can be resolved. (Colleen Zuck, Daily Word, Day 7)

The cause of disillusionment is putting one's complete hope and trust in people. (Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way, p. 40)


The head of Toyota, in the United States, testified before Congress yesterday. He offered long apologies for their car safety problems. At the same time he avoided answering the question of how long they have known about the problem. And he didn't state whether they are certain they know what is causing the problem. I have a hunch that it has nothing to do with floor mats or accelerator pedals. Outsiders and accident survivors are saying it's a problem with the electronics (computer or software). All this reminds me of the problems many years ago with the Ford Pinto when articles with the titles like, "Unsafe at Any Speed" were being published. We owned a Pinto too. I sure do know how to buy good cars.

Mr. Dickie
24/Feb/2010 8:09

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If You'll Recall

"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone." (Blaise Pascal in 10 Secrets For Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer, p. 51-52)

Life will work for me when I realize ... I have the power to walk right! The power to talk right! And the power to live right! (Iyanla Vanzant, Until today! 3 January)

Too much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others. (As Bill Sees It, p. 44)


Yesterday we took our 2008 Toyota to the dealer for the recall repair. They replaced the accelerator mechanism with one with a shorter pedal and they replaced a styrofoam pad under the carpet with a thinner pad. They didn't both to remove rocks and gravel from the carpet before they pulled it up. I should have thought of that beforehand and cleaned it myself. We have no confidence that these changes actually fixed the sticking throttle problem. It's ironic that the head of Toyota won't be here to testify before Congress about the problems with the cars until Wednesday. I expect him to be as vague as possible or lie about what's wrong. This morning the newscast announced that there will be further recalls for brake problems. Millions of people are now stuck with cars and vans who's trade-in values will fall. Perhaps it will be difficult to get anyone else to buy these used vehicles. Good grief!

This morning I took the Ford minivan to the dealer to have the recall work done on this vehicle. To say the least we are somewhat stressed that we own two vehicles and both were recalled at the same time. Ford advised owners to not park the minivans in garages or carports until the fix is applied. They said this because they didn't want to buy car owners a new house if the minivan caught on fire and burned the house down. Good grief!

I didn't post anything to my blogs yesterday. I was too involved with the Toyota, going out to breakfast and going shopping at BJ's, the membership store where we buy our bulk items. I did work on keying some genealogy information. I noticed that there was a news item about Facebook having service problems. Some of my friends posted that old pages replaced more recent updates. I suppose that means they had to use their back up.

Mr. Dickie
23/Feb/2010 9:20

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Half the Time

... enlightenment ... is "the quiet acceptance of what is." (Dr. Wayne Dyer, Real Magic, p. 13)

Half the time I might even be half right. (Rick Hamlin, Daily Guideposts - 2008, 12 January)

We have to grow or else deteriorate. (As Bill Sees It, p. 25)


The morning news mentioned that yesterday Facebook experienced technical difficulties. It's sort of comical how upset everyone gets when a free Internet service isn't working well. Oh my goodness, now I won't know if you saw your grandchildren today. And, you won't know if I made an attitude adjustment.

Mr. Dickie
21/Feb/2010 8:13

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Power Point Viewer

Don't listen to the whines of those who have settled for a second-rate life and want you to do the same so they won't feel guilty. (Max Lucado, Grace For The Moment, 13 February)


There's damage to the gutter on the back of the house behind us. The snow and ice from the roof curled over the edge of the roof and gutter like a window valance. For several days the curtain of ice and snow has remained on the house without falling.

Did you know that Microsoft makes a free PowerPoint Viewer available for download? This might come in handy if friends and relatives often send you PowerPoint files and you don't have a way to view them.

For a couple of days I have been busy working on posting updates to the computer club website. Registration for the next series of computer club classes is set start on Tuesday the 23rd. I also uploaded a set of slides from a member's Video Capture presentation given on the 18th.

Mr. Dickie
20/Feb/2010 10:48

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Want To Do

Do not say, "If I had so and so;" you have not so and so, but we can always do what we want to do if our want to do it is sufficient. (Oswald Chambers, Prayer A Holy Occupation, p. 50)

... a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. (Henry David Thoreau, Walden, p. 106)


Yesterday I didn't post anything to my blogs. For the last several days Facebook hasn't picked up my Google blogs to post to the FB notes.

I went to the computer club meeting. Bob gave an interesting talk about how to capture and convert video from the Internet. His PowerPoint slide show was very professional and impressive.

I removed some of the snow from the large azalea near the front porch. I'm afraid it will no longer be large in the spring. It looks like the weight of the snow did a lot of damage. When I was younger and in better health I probably would have removed the snow at the same time we cleaned the driveway and sidewalk. The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin were damaged by the weight of the snow.

Mr. Dickie
19/Feb/2010 9:23

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Special Books

Special books have a place of honor on my library table. (Fay Angus, Daily Guideposts - 2008, 23 January)


Yesterday I made a trip to the library to return two books that I couldn't renew on the phone. I was surprised to discover that the curb lanes on Riverdale Road, one of the main roads in our area, still were blocked with snow. I don't see how they can expect to bus the children to school when even the main roads still aren't clear.

I went to the hardware store to return the light fixture I need to replace in the basement. This hardware store is small, one where you can usually get some good free advice. The clerk who helped me knew less about the fixture than I did. I asked him if I could punch out the two holes that were 2 3/4 inches apart. He didn't know. I didn't want to drive around shopping because of the poor driving conditions. The clerk offered to punch out the holes and I agreed. It worked. About ten minutes after I got home I had the fixture installed. Then I worked on the next problem, fixing the cable TV display. It broke when I turned off the power to install the fixture. You have to unplug the cable set-top box for about ten minutes to get the display working.

Mr. Dickie
17/Feb/2010 9:00

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fighting Evil

When you fight evil by employing the methods of hatred and violence, you are part of the hatred and violence of evil itself, despite the rightness of your position in your own mind. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, Real Magic, p. 51-52)


We got very lucky yesterday. After a brief snow flurry the snow passed to the north of us. Today the federal government started two hour late and the schools in our county remained closed. The sun is shining brightly. That ought to melt more of the snow.

Mr. Dickie
16/Feb/2010 11:20

Monday, February 15, 2010


I urge you to demand more and more time for silence in your life. One of the most effective ways to bring this about it to make meditation a daily practice. And remember there's no such thing as a bad meditation. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, p. 55)


At 5:00 p.m. on Monday the 15th it looked like the snow that was falling at 3:00 p.m. had turned to rain. If we escape another snowfall we are going to be very lucky.

The computer club meets on Thursday. One of the members volunteered to give a talk about how to capture videos from the Internet. We didn't have a scheduled program, so this is a piece of good luck. I just posted the information to the Meeting Schedule page on the club's website.

Mr. Dickie
15/Feb/2010 17:03

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snowed Under

All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant. (Henry David Thoreau, Walden, p. 12)


We made a trip to the drugstore and the nearby hardware store yesterday. We decided to park across the street in the church parking lot and walk to the stores because of the condition of the parking lot in front of the stores where we went shopping. There was traffic gridlock on the street in front of the strip mall which is just a few blocks from our house. It's close enough that I often walk to the hardware store in good weather.

More snow is expected on Monday or Tuesday. That will surely shut down the entire city again. Clearing the snow from the highway that runs in front of the little mall where we shopped is the responsibility of the state of Maryland. As of yesterday they had yet to clear the show from all lanes. In front of the gas station, at the corner where we turn into our development, there is a pile of snow over six feet tall sitting in the right hand lane.

Before 8:00 a.m. this morning I heard a large diesel snowplow from the county in front of our house. At first I thought he was going to push the remaining snow back to the curb. After about fifteen minutes he went up 76th Avenue past our house hrowing salt and chemicals out the back of the truck onto the bare pavement. I'm afraid he didn't do anything to clear another lane. This is going to make it impossible for folks to park on the flat part of the street at the top of the hill before the next snowfall.

The derailment on the subway is being blamed on operator error. They say the operator ran a red light going north out of the Farragut North station. Then the system diverted the train onto a siding, called a pocket track, and automatically derailed the train when the operator didn't take action to stop the train. I think this is the first time they have revealed that they have a way to derail a train. They didn't explain how this works. If the trains are run by computer wouldn't it make more sense to apply the breaks and stop the train, rather than apply a derailer and derail a train? Good grief!

Mr. Dickie
14/Feb/2010 8:17

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Genealogy News

"Man's many desires are like the small coins he carries about in his pocket. The more he has, the more they weigh him down." (Satya Sai Baba in Real Magic by Dr. Wayne Dyer, p. 14)


Yesterday I posted to my genealogy "News" blog a fairly long piece I compiled about the family of Dr. Jeremiah Walton of Monroe county, Ohio. It included: a short descendant chart; an Ahnentafel chart, three census extractions for Jeremiah along with cemetery data; three census extractions for Richard K. and a biographical sketch; and a biographical sketch for William Vernon. All of the information is available in a file I am creating with the RootsMagic program. It's relatively easy to extract the information from RootsMagic to create such a report.

Mr. Dickie
13/Feb/2010 8:30

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Policy

Satisfaction comes when we ... say, "This is enough. What I have will do. ..." (Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom For The Way, p. 54)


The county leadership failed to have a policy about where to park cars on the street during the snowfall. People parked on both sides of the street. The snow covered the cars. Then the snowplows piled snow up beside the cars blocking them from getting into the cleared lane after folks removed the snow from the cars. Yesterday the county executive announced the car parking policy. Cars may park on the side of the street with the even numbers. I wonder how they expect people to move their cars from one side of the street to the other when neither side is cleared to the curb. They also stated that people should park their cars in the driveways. Who do they think is going to remove all of the snow from around the cars and the from the driveways in a timely fashion. This morning they announced that they have started to ticket and tow cars (58 so far) that are in violation of the newly announced policy. There will be some folks arrested for "snow rage" before this mess is cleaned up.

We hired two young men to clear our driveway and sidewalk yesterday. It took them about two hours. We were able to get out in the minivan late in the afternoon for a trip to the pharmacy to pick up medications. All lanes of the highway weren't open. Driving was dangerous.

Mr. Dickie
12/Feb/2010 8:16

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do The Right Thing

The most important question to keep before ourselves at all times is this: Do we do the right thing? During this short period of time which we call our life, do our acts conform to the will of the force that sent us into the world? Do we do the right thing? (Anonymous in A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, 3 January)


The snowfall we've experienced so far broke several records. Today, Thursday, will be the fourth day the federal government has been shutdown. That's never happened before. Our county schools already announced that they will remain closed for the entire week. There's really nothing else they can do. In our neighborhood it would be impossible to turn the buses around without getting into difficulties. Also everyone would have to walk in the one lane that is more or less open on the streets.

Yesterday during part of the day there were blizzard conditions with lots of blowing snow and some drifting. Both cars are once again covered with snow, even the one under the carport. Once people start to move around we will try to hire someone to dig us out again.

During one of my infrequent attempts to clean up the mounds of paper around the computer I put the 1870 census of Monroe county, Ohio in a box. I'm working on some projects where I'd like to have that reference available. Yesterday I spent a few minutes looking in the boxes in the basement. I didn't find it. I wonder if the box is in the shed or in the attic. It isn't going to be be easy finding that book.

Mr. Dickie
11/Feb/2010 6:29

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where's My Sled

If you look for what's wrong about ... [someone] and store that negative image in your mind, then that's where your relationship exists. If you change your thoughts to what you love rather than to what you label as wrong, you've just changed your entire relationship. It went from lousy to great ... by changing your mind! (Dr. Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets For Success and Inner Peace, p. 90)


The schools and federal government are closed for another day. Snow started falling again last night. This morning at 7:00 a.m. it was difficult to see the snowflakes because they were so small. Looking off in the distance the visibility was limited so I knew it was still snowing. There's no sign of the predicted wind yet. Gutters and roofs are in jeopardy. We'll probably face another five or six inches of snow that needs to be cleared from the driveway and sidewalk. The lady next door was out clearing the sidewalk last night.

Mr. Dickie
10/Feb/2010 7:33

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We Are Blessed

Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom you will the one to suffer. (Proverbs 9;11-12)


We know we are blessed. Our driveway and sidewalk are cleared of the snow. There's one lane open on the street in front of our house. The nearest grocery store, within walking distance, is open and there is bread and milk to buy. Someone must be doing lots of baking because there isn't any sugar. Today the federal government leaders decided to keep the government closed for a second day. Cyndi's work follows the government schedule so she is safe at her apartment for a second day. Parking fees at the county garage where Cyndi left her car have been waived until at least Thursday. Our lights only dimmed once and the furnace is doing it's job. I was able to get a ride to the hardware store yesterday afternoon where I bought a poorly made snow shovel for $25.00 to replace the one that was stolen. I walked home with my new shovel and two containers of milk. At one point while I was walking on the highway a pickup truck of Latinos stopped to ask me where I bought the shovel.

Today we are waiting for the next snow to start falling. Last night they predicted it will start about noon and accumulate another foot or so. If this happens the government will have to close for a week.

Mr. Dickie
9/Feb/2010 8:49

Monday, February 8, 2010

At A Standstill

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Jim's House on 76th Avenue)

Think back on the instructions and correction a parent has given you ... (Josh McDowell's, Youth Devotions, 15 January)


The city has been brought to a standstill by the snow. The subway system is only operating trains below ground at thirty minute intervals. There is, more or less, no bus service. Many cars on the street are still covered with snow. In our neighborhood some folks are still clearing their driveways and sidewalks and some haven't started. The federal government and our county schools are closed today. I predict they will be closed tomorrow too. More snow is predict for later in the week. Oh my!

I rediscovered the family of Seth Ward of Monroe County, Ohio. He is of interest because he married twice, once to a Dougherty and once to a Drum. I have been working on the genealogy of the families of both wives.

My daughter gave me a set of amplified computer speakers. Did you know you can use them as a docking station with your portable MP3 player or CD player?

Mr. Dickie
8/Feb/2010 8:46

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Experience

What is in this experience that I can use in a beneficial way, even if I don't understand why it is happening right now? (Dr. Wayne Dyer, Real Magic, p. 7)


As of 8:30 a.m. this morning there isn't much movement outside our front window. There seems to be one lane plowed in the street but no cars are coming up the hill. So far I've seen only one person walk by with a shovel. It's too early to try to hire someone to clean up this mess. Besides clearing the driveway, the sidewalk, the porch and the cars we need to get all of that snow out of the outside basement stairwell. Finding someplace to throw the snow is going to be a big problem. There's lots of money to be made.

I got my little hand-held Memorex tape recording working yesterday. I had to recharge two AA batteries before they worked. I'm planning to use the recorder as external memory when I'm working on some of my genealogy projects. Sometimes while working on one task I discover something else that needs to be done. I intend to make an audio note that I can review later.

Mr. Dickie
7/Feb/2010 8:46

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

Photo: Mr. Dickie (Previous snowfall which was still on the ground yesterday.)

Enjoy it all, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any thing, any place, and particularly any person. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, p. 16)


As of 9:00 a.m. this morning it had been snowing for about nineteen hours. I looked out our ground level basement window and measured the snow. It looked like 19 inches. The front porch is covered with snow that's blocking opening that door. The stairwell to the basement door is full of snow. It's a mess. The wind has picked up with gusts to around 30 mph making it difficult to tell how much snow is falling. It's bad. Once the snow stops it will take several days to dig out. We will have to hire someone to clear the snow. When Melva opened the kitchen door the male cardinal landed on the snow covering the window of the car in the carport. He was only about eight feet away from her waiting for some birdseed or peanuts.

The semi-annual booksale at the library was schedule for today and tomorrow. That's not going to happen. Everyone will just have to stay at home reading one of the books they bought at the last booksale.

Mr. Dickie
6/Feb/2010 9:11

Friday, February 5, 2010

Helping Others

Of course I am obligated by compassion and common humanity to help others. But this does not mean I should do for them what they ought to do for themselves. (One Day At A Time in Al-Anon, 29 January)
5 Feb 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What, Me Worry?

Photo: January 2010 Birthday Lunch (Dick, Melva, Cyndi)

If you're filled with anger about all of those "problems," you are one more person who contributes to the pollution of anger. (Dr. Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, p. 91)


Our anxiety levels are just about hitting the peg on the anxiety meter. For two or three days all of the talk has been about the next snow which could be up to a foot. We own two cars a Toyota Camry and a Ford Windstar minivan. We have recall notices for both vehicles and are waiting for the next recall notice to arrive from Toyota. Of course there is no guarantee that Toyota is going to fix the real problem. Remember how you bought into the hype about the joys of home and car ownership?

Mr. Dickie
4/Feb/2010 9:01

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Here lies my past
Goodbye I have kissed it;
Thank you kids,
I wouldn't have missed it.
(Ogden Nash in 10 Secrets For Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer, p. 67)
3/Feb/2010 8:51


I got lucky. About 8:45 a.m. a young man came to the door and offered to clear the snow. I decided to live another day and paid him to do the job.

This morning there is a front page article in The Washington Post about the Toyota accelerator problem. Current and former members of the government are suggesting that the problem is related to the electronics that regulate the acceleration process. Now we will all wait while we try to find out who's lying, Toyota or the government. In my opinion the government employees don't have any reason to lie about this problem. Right now millions of people own cars that are probably too dangerous to drive.

Mr. Dickie
3/Feb/2010 8:57

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Let's Get Started

,,, the man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off. (Henry David Thoreau, Walden, p. 93)


I bought a cute ceramic pot that looks like a bag with a green draw string. On the side of the pot in different colored letters are the words, "jelly beans." I'm going to place the pot beside my computer to hold my pens and pencils. I got a good deal on the pot, forty cents at the 25% off sale at the thrift store yesterday.

Yesterday we went to Takoma Park to eat lunch at a Spanish place. They'd done some remodeling. Melva asked them to change the program on the large screen television. It was 2:00 p.m. and time for "Escandelo TV." It took the waitress a long time to find the show. She searched the on-screen menu for several minutes before she found the name of the show. It looks like there are more channels on satellite TV than we have on Verizon FIOS.

The Toyota is at the dealer today because the "Check Engine" light was on. We are still waiting, like everyone else, for Toyota to give us instructions concerning the defective accelerator. Good grief! There is also a recall for our other vehicle a Ford minivan. What a mess!

I'm working on a couple of genealogy projects, extracting some information from reference books about Monroe county, Ohio.

Mr. Dickie
2/Feb/2010 8:13