Thursday, September 30, 2010


What keeps us from being qualified to judge?
  • We do not know all the facts.
  • We are unable to read motives.
  • We find it impossible to be totally objective.
  • We lack "the big picture."
  • We live with blind spots.
  • We are prejudiced and have blurred perspective.
  • Most of all, we ourselves are imperfect and inconsistent.
(Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom For The Way, p. 266)
30/Sep/2010 8:58

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Joy and Peace

If you live your life as much as possible according to spiritual laws, you can expect your share of joy and peace, satisfaction and success. (Twenty-Four Hours A Day, 19 September)
29/Sep/2010 9:51

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Supply Run

I need to be more understanding about how people see things and allow for different reactions to the same event. (Daniel Schantz, Daily Guideposts - 2008, 20 September)


Yesterday some bad weather passed to the north of us. I made a supply run to BJ's driving in the rain we received from being on the south edge of the storm. It didn't take too long to gather the items I wanted because I brought along a list. I got lucky at the checkout. The person in front of me was almost done when I arrived. They have those lines where you check out yourself, but I don't like to use them. I think it takes longer to check out myself because I often need to get assistance when the device can't read some item I'm trying to purchase. All new technology is not convenient.
28/Sep/2010 8:44

Monday, September 27, 2010


I like to think we can be candles. It doesn't matter if we're big or small, what color we are, or where we come from. It doesn't matter if our light is small. When we don't share it with others, we diminish ourselves, spiritually. Each time we feel we're not good enough or wise enough or we just don't care enough to try to help someone else, we put distance between ourselves and our Higher Power. (Anonymous, British Columbia, Canada, As We Understood..., Al-Anon Family Group, p. 24)
27/Sep/2010 9:54

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Gardening

Thoughts are the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life. (Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom For The Way, p. 255)


Melva's busy spreading mulch on the garden. I'm busy making trips to the garden center to buy the mulch. The minivan can haul ten bags at a time without blocking the back window. So far I've purchased twenty-six bags. I think she used thirty-six bags last year. The other day Melva bought a couple of orchids at Loew's. She is going to attempt to nurse them back to health. I'm looking forward to watching the two poinsettias we nursed back to health outside this year. We had three and lost one.

Mr. Dickie
26/Sep/2010 8:06

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have sometimes heard men say politics must have nothing to do with business, and I have often wished that business had nothing to do with politics. (Woodrow Wilson) 25/Sep/2010 8:31


During the recession our Chevy Chase Bank was bought out by Capital One. It's too early to tell whether this will be to the customers advantage or disadvantage. Recently the name change inside and outside of the bank's branches was completed. They also switched from the old bank website to the new bank website. This week I made the website cut-over myself and added a button for the website to my browser toolbar. It will take a while to adjust to the new pages. Not yet completed are the issuance of new bank cards and replacement of checks.

I also added a toolbar button to access the credit union website which I hadn't been using. I had to call to get help before I could get signed on.

Last night I worked for about an hour to gain access to the website of our insurance company. This is another website that I hadn't been accessing.

All of this is part of my effort to see if I can take advantage of having instant access to help me to better manage our family financial business. It remains to be seen if I will have the personal discipline to learn how each site works and then avail myself of the available services. I anticipate that some memory issues will have an impact on how successful all of these changes will be. I think that anything I can learn to use will be better than how I have been operating.

Mr. Dickie
25/Sep/2010 8:44

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Recession Is Over

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


Recently the federal government announced that the recession has been over for some time. If you believe this you haven't done your homework. Consider this. If you have $15,000 to put into a bank or credit union how much will you have at the end of one year? Here are three results from a calculator I used on the Wallet Pop website. What does the bank mean when their employees say, "We want to help you out?" Would you be willing to loan me $15,000 for one year if I paid you back $15,008?

Bank savings account at 0.05% interest - $15,008
Bank Certificate of Deposit at 0.45% interest - $15,068
Credit Union Certificate of Deposit at 2.13% interest - $15323

For further information on whether the recession is over you might enjoy reading the September 23, 2010 column of Washington Post writer Michelle Singletary.

The Washington Post:

Mr. Dickie
24/Sep/2010 8:12

Thursday, September 23, 2010


For most of us, thought management is, well, unthought of. (Max Lucado, Grace For The Moment, 21 September)


This morning I continued working on my project to simplify our banking business. This is necessary because most banks are no longer paying fair interest rates. In my opinion they are using our money almost for free. Many banks also declare certificate of deposit accounts as abandoned if we let them roll-over for several years. They don't do anything to confirm that that the customer has truly abandoned the money. I'm resentful of the way we are being treated and I'm determined to close such accounts as soon as possible.

Mr. Dickie
23/Sep/2010 14:26

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Credit Union Business

A popular government is not a government of a majority, by a majority, for a majority of the people. It is a government of the whole people, by a majority of the whole people under such rules and checks as will secure a wise, just, and beneficent government for all the people. (William H. Taft)


Yesterday I was on Capitol Hill visiting the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union. I took the Orange subway line. I used the plastic Smartrip card to pay for the subway ride and the bus ride up the hill at the end of the trip. Riding the subway and visiting the Madison Building brought back many fond memories of the days when I worked at The Library. I was at The Library picking up a letter from Cyndi. Her place of work in two blocks away from the Ballston station, also on the Orange line. I took the train to Ballston and hand-delivered the letter to Cyndi in front of her office building. It was a perfect fall day to be out moving around in the city.

Today, I called the Credit Union because I needed help to get signed on to our accounts using the computer. This is part of my plan to consolidate and simplify our banking business. I was surprised when I learned that the lady helping me was located at their administrative office which is about a mile from the house. She told me that I can come to that location to make deposits. I think this will be very convenient as I shutdown some accounts with banks that no longer serve us well. It's important, to me, that whatever process I chose be simple and easy to negotiate.

Mr. Dickie
22/Sep/2010 13:28

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice. (Harry S. Truman) 21/Sep/2010 18:08

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do Not Pollute

Do not pollute the land where you are. (Numbers 35:33 in The Word On Life by Sortor and McQuade)


Yesterday I went for an afternoon walk in the neighborhood. I walked two laps at the bottom of the hill, on Garrison Road. Most of the time I was the only one outside doing anything. I suppose most were watching the Redskins football game. Well, we all should follow doctor's orders and participate in some athletic activity.

I'm trying to devise a method of producing PDF documents using the output from my Descend genealogy report program that reads my PAF 2.31 files. The goal is to find a way to do this that doesn't require too many complicated steps and that allows me to keep the every name index. It appears that I can do it if I use the free TextMaker program to create the PDF.

Mr. Dickie
20/Sep/2010 9:52

Sunday, September 19, 2010


A generous tolerance can smooth out many rough places ... (One Day At A Time in Al-Anon, 16 September) 19/Sep/2010 9:39

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stop Reacting

A good way to "get out from under" some of our daily problems is to stop "reacting" to everything that occurs. (One Day At A Time in Al-Anon, 15 September) 18/Sep/2010 8:24

Friday, September 17, 2010

Crumbling of America

When you are always focused on your own agenda and priorities, you will find yourself impatient much of the time because life rarely goes the way you want it to. (The One Year Mini For Men, 14 September)


Last night I watched part of a two-hour program, The Crumbling of America, on History International. The program dealt with the shocking deteriorating infra-structure in our country. One of the segments discussed the recent water main breaks in affluent Montgomery county, Maryland to our west.

I also watched the movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, because Mila Kunis had one of the two female leads in the movie. I seldom watch movies on television because I often perceive the commercial segments to be lasting longer than the movie segments. There were some funny scenes in the movie, but the ending was rather predictable and weak.

Mr. Dickie
17/Sep/2010 8:25

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Keep Calm

Do not become encumbered by petty annoyances. Never respond to emotional upsets by emotional upset. Try to keep calm in all circumstances. Try not to fight back. Call on the grace of God to calm you when you feel like retaliating. (Twenty-Four Hours a Day, 4 September) 16/Sep/2010 10:35


Yesterday a county crew was here replacing stolen street signs and putting up two larger Stop signs and a new 25 mph sign. I don't expect the Stop signs will have any affect. The residents on the two streets involved were running the Stop signs again a few minutes after the truck left the neighborhood. In the past we have asked the police to give a few tickets for exceeding the speed limit and running the Stop signs. They have never done that in over thirty years. We are just lucky that there has never been a serious accident or injury.

Mr. Dickie
16/Sep/2010 10:39

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Matters of Principle

In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current. (Thomas Jefferson) 15/Sep/2010 9:11

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The American People

No single branch or department of the government has exclusive authority to speak for the American people. (Rutherford B. Hayes) 14/Sep/2010 10:15


It took more than five hours to complete the men's tennis final at the U.S. Open in New York. There was a two hour rain delay in the middle of the match. Congratulations to Rafael Nadal on his great achievement of winning all four of the grand slam events.

Mr. Dickie
14/Sep/2010 10:20

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thomas a' Kempis

If you cannot make yourself what you would like to be, how can you expect to have another person exactly to your wishes? We want to see others perfect, yet our own faults go unattended. (paraphrased, Thomas a' Kempis, One Day At A Time in Al-Anon, 2 September)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Home Sweet Home me to value the humdrum periods of my life, which prepare me for action when it comes. (Patricia Houck Sprinkle, Daily Guideposts - 1986, 4 September)


We enjoyed a nice five day trip to Norfolk, VA and Raleigh, NC. While in Norfolk we saw the families of Melva's godson, Raul, and his sister, Linda. It had been five years since we were last in Norfolk when we attended Hannah's first birthday. In Raleigh we visited the family of my college ROTC friend, Rich. I'd been talking about going to see him for many months. We were surprised that it only took six and a half hours to drive back from Raleigh when we used U.S. Route 1 and Interstates 85 and 95.

I'm looking forward to resuming the project to share more of my genealogy reports via my Box.Net account. I'm planning to convert some files from HTML to PDF. This will allow me to once again share some of the information that used to be available on the AOL website.

We had trouble with Melva's GoPhone account. The online account summary showed a balance when the phone announced that no more funds were available. Yesterday I called their 800 number to see if I could get help. I was on the line about ten minutes while the person who took my called worked on the problem. They didn't indicate what happened. It's a good thing we had two phones on the trip.

I noticed that the feed of this blog to Facebook Notes isn't working again. I wonder if there is something I can do to fix the problem. I'll have to decide whether I care enough to try to get help.

Mr. Dickie
12/Sep/2010 9:26

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Give Thanks

[Give thanks for] ...wise counselors, friends, acquaintances, parents, teachers, and mentors who have earned your love and respect through long years. (Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom For The Way, p. 242) 11/Sep/2010 8:30

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm Back

You don't have to take offense. (after One Day At A Time in Al-Anon, 27 Aug 2010)


We took a five day trip to Norfolk, VA and Raleigh, NC to visit Melva's friends, Linda and Raul, from Panama and their families and my college friend, Rich, and his family. We enjoyed our visits with all of them. If you want to hear me rant, ask me about motels and malfunctioning fire alarms. We drove home from Raleigh yesterday. With stops the trip took six and a half hours.

On the trip I discovered that Facebook does a security check if you try to sign on from another computer. Because we were staying in motels I decided I didn't want to figure out what this meant. When I got back home I still had to go through the security process before I could sign on. I suppose this is a good thing.

Mr. Dickie
10/Sep/2010 9:34

Friday, September 3, 2010

Don't Forget Yourself

If you forget yourself in anger, the other person probably won't. (Richard E. Henthorn after One Day At A Time in Al-Anon, 28 August) 3/Sep/2010 8:18


There was another explosion on an oil well rig in the Gulf of Mexico. What excuses will our government leaders and the oil company big shots offer?

I'm trying to remember how I converted my genealogy reports from the Descend program into PDF files in the past. Several new tools are available that may make it possible to improve the quality of the final product. If I can devise a method that works I will be able to salvage more of the information from the PAF 2.31 genealogy files.

Mr. Dickie
3/Sep/2010 8:21

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Press Toward the Mark

You should not dwell too much on the mistakes, faults, and failures of the past. ... You ran a race, you stumbled and fell, and you have risen again, and now you press on toward the goal of a better life. (Twenty-Four Hours a Day, 20 August)
2/Sep/2010 8:50

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What you are trying to be - not what you were - is all that counts ...
(As Bill Sees It, p. 234)


I continued to upload more genealogy reports to my Box account. I also extended access invitations to more friends. I was surprised when I tallied the number of pages of Conger information in the Conger folder. There are just over 540.

Most of the PDF files I'm uploading to my Box are coming from a PDF folder on my computer. It will probably take a couple more days to finish the review and uploads. There were 104 files.

Mr. Dickie
1/Sep/2010 7:31