Wednesday, July 28, 2004


I read Lisa's latest entry in her journal. I agree with her. Bless me if I know what to do about it.
I recently reread something that may address the problem. Back in 1973 Frederick Buechner
published a book called "Wishful Thinking-AThological ABC".

This is the entry for anger:

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your
lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still
to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are
giving back-in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are
wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you. - Frederick Buechner

Sound familiar?

Sunday, July 25, 2004


Just came in from watching the first stars come out to play. The sky is still a faint blue, and you
can here some kids playing just down the street. School's still a month or so away here so they
don't have to meet the bus in the morning.

It's cooler than it's been the last couple of nights. You can still just make out the colors of the
flowers closest to the house.The air is damp from watering. It has that "green" scent no air
freshener company has ever been able to duplicate. The white climbing rose next to the porch
still sends a little perfume my way. The bees and butterflies are all tucked in with the sunbeams
for the night. The way is clear for the moths and skeeters to play in the starshine. Sweet dreams


A few more pictures from the front. They'll make their way into Webshots.


The close up lenses are everything I hoped they'd be. Exhibit #1-one slightly fuzzy bumblebee.
Getting the bobbling be and lavender blossom to stay still long enough to shoot is one challenge.
I'm sure I look very interesting swaying slightly back and forth trying to keep up with them. Note
bumblebees seem to be heavier than you'd think for their size.

Shot I didn't get this morning. Camera shy dragon fly perched on the top of a gladiola stalk. Wings
gleaming gold in the sunshine. Did get the butterfly (yellow) on the butterfly bush (purple). I hope
to heck that it was in focus when I tripped the shutter. It'll probably be a couple of weeks before
I find out. Yeah, there is one hour processing, but this is a new role and I like the version with
the phot cd. Wonderful what you can tease out of a picture when you have 21x14 to work with.

Personal note. One of my nephews is trying out for U of O football this fall. If he makes the team
and actually gets to play very much his freshman year this proud auntie probably won't be able
to resist mentioning him occasionally. Any mention of brains, musical talent, and good looks
will be purely accidental. Actually the kid is exceptionally bright, plays a mean set of jazz
drums and is a good combination of his mom and dad in the looks department. ;-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Two short entries tonight. I think I'm getting the hang of the digital camera function on the
camcorder. First make sure the digital zoom is as far back as it will go. Stick to fairly large
items and sigle blossoms. Doesn't work for lavender very well. Works for the cats pretty well
too. I haven't tried it on people yet.

Anyway, a couple of shots of the black eyed susans. They've just started to really bloom. We have
three, I guess you'd have to call them bushes-they are getting so big. I'm thinking there are
probably over a hundred buds and blossoms on each plant. They are quite a show. The purple
cone flowers are beautiful, too. There should be some good shots on the 35mm shots I took
last weekend. I can hardly wait. But, anticipation is half the fun. :-)


New daylily started blooming today. This one is called Palace Prince. If you go for the larger
view on the first shot you will see that this bloom has a friend. There is a small green spider
inside the blossom. I think it got in and couldn't quite figure out how to get out. Spiders are
good at going forward and sideways-not so good at backing up.

I know they are called daylilies for a reason. Given a choice of leaving for work on time and
taking a few minutes to take pictures when they are at their prime....three guesses. :-) I have
some 35mm shots too, but it will be a few days before I get those. I will upload all these to
my site on Webshots. There is a connection on the Journal site. It will be a work in progress
as I get more pictures and try to organize them a little better.

Monday, July 19, 2004


We had an early spring this year. Everything is about two to three weeks ahead of schedule. Add
in some really warm weather and the blueberries that usually last til mid-August are all ready
just about done. Every once in awhile you'll a flutter in the violets below the bushes. Up pops a
small bird-in this case a towee. (they are small, black, speckles on top, white below and red patches
on their sides.) Bird and berry disappear into the violets. Pretty soon up pops the bird. They're
only about six inches long-we can spare a blueberry.....or five.

Sunday, July 18, 2004


One of the authors of X-Files fan fiction has a tagline at the end. One of the Roman philosophers.
"Life is too short to drink bad wine." Well, life is too short to expend my energy on badly written
magazine and newspaper articles. There are several good websites that deal with insulin resistance,
which is the main downfall of eating too many refined carbohydrates. You just have to double
check who is providing the information. Some consumer groups are pointing out that the scientists
pushing widespread use of cholesteral drugs have ties to the drug industry. If your only tool is
a hammer-all your problems look like a nail.

Hey, at approximately q hundred bucks a month for drugs prescribed because I might have a
heart attack ten years down the road, I can be highly motivated to find alternative routes. I will
continue to comment on what seems to be working for me. But, life is too short for ranting, and

Saturday, July 17, 2004


We got our new National Geographic today. Normally I respect the work done by the Geographic.
Ought to, we've been taking it since the mid-fifties. However, their article on the overweight
epidemic has me extremely frustrated. I'm not dismissing the problem-I've been fighiting the
problem all my life. I may have more than one entry on this subject.

First rant-the portion sizes old and new section. I don't have a problem with the actural hamburger.
More like a problem with the fat content of the burger and the highly refined carbohydrates in the
bun. I can't argue with the supersize fries. But, nearly half a pound of chocolate? The last time
I checked, a vending machine size bar is a lot smaller than that and that 21 cup tub of
popcorn is nearly a gallon and a half. If you're trying to scare me guys-it's not working. Heck,
I can't even get through a bag of microwave popcorn these days. I take about a quarter-the
few times I make it at work and leave the rest for my co-workers.

What I have discovered for myself is that one size (if you'll pardon the expression) does not fit
all. Do some reading-I have found some of the material by Dr. Andrew Weil useful. He's not as
strict on overall fat as the Ornish program-but he's fonder of soybeans than I am. It takes
some time to work through some of the nutritian basics-don't give up. Most of all, listen to
your body and don't give up. Some days are better than others. And hard as it is to accept-I
didn't gain it all overnight and much as I'd like to lose it overnight, it ain't gonna happen.

One thing that does help-every five pounds you lose is more noticeable than the last.


We have a clematis and a white climbing rose planted near each other. Noticed this morning
that the two have decided to get together. It's pretty spectacular. I took a couple of 35mm shots
but I won't get the film back for a few days. The sunlight was almost too bright on the little rose
bud, but the colors are beautiul together.

Friday, July 16, 2004


Hauled out my old reliable 35 mm SLR this spring. Surprising how fast it comes back to you. It
takes awhile to remember how to "see" what the camera sees. Especially as you switch lenses.
Especially when you are as nearsighted as I am. The digital is fun because you get results right
away. I get better quality with film though. Anticipation is fun, too. It takes a little longer in my
case-I have the processing include the photo cd. Why bother with the hassle of a scanner when
I can get pictures that start at approximately 21x14. Very handy for carving out the best parts.

I've started archiving to Webshots. There is a link in the journals section on the sidebar. I know,
Webshots isn't a journal. Problem is I left that section out when I set up my journal, so I have
to improvise a bit. This way I can put up more pictures without overloading the journal.

The black-eyed susans are starting to show. The cone flowers getting more spectacular all the
time. There are Shasta daisies that came from my grandmothers' yard. When I see them, I
see her too. There are Regal lilies that came from my other grandmother's garden. She's
out there too. With any luck the pictures will turn out well enough to share.

Yes, I'm an old X Files fan. I'm pretty fond of Babylon 5 and the Lord of the Rings, too.


Would someone please tell me what purpose is served by sending Martha Stewart to prison. She isn't a threat to anyone. I doubt that she's going to lie to federal officers again. She wan't convicted for selling the stock. She was convicted for lying about it to investigators. Incidentally, she was not under oath at the time. I didn't know that lying during routine questioning could get you sent to jail

P.S. I am not a fan of the decorating maven.


Thursday, July 15, 2004


Let me introduce the four legged members of the family. First up is Lucky, as in "Lucky to have
a home." We adopted her from a co-worker several years ago. She is big wussy pussy. She
likes to "talk" to you, hold hands and will let me know that I have been playing with the One
Eyed Monster (computer) long enough by sticking my gently (usually) in the hip pocket. She
has one sound that sounds like "no". What's really weird is she uses it when no would be the
right thing to say. Bedtime for instance.

Number two is Misty. She is a sweet long legged, long tailed little lady. She was also adopted.
In this case we had to have out last cat put down. When we asked the vets opinion on the local
humane society for adoptions, she smiled and said "we adopt too." When we were introduced
she immediately tucked her head under my chin and cuddled just as close as she could. They
have both been fixed ("we didn't know we were broken"). They generally are housecats, but
Misty can get across the garage in about three bounds and is through the door like a flash. She
doesn't go far, but darn keeping the fleas at bay is hard enough without picking up a new crew.

Both keep busy moving from window to window, keeping track of the local birds, squirrels and
other cats. They are good friends.

Lisa wrote recently about one of her cats, Andrew. I remember Andrew very well. As far as
he was concerned you came to visit him. Any benefits to anyone else were a bonus. Someday
perhaps she'll write about Marvel. Sweet cat, had the most orginal blue green eyes. She was
round. Round eyes, round head and looked like she'd swallowed a volley ball. She loved laps.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


I have a long history of problems with my weight. I am a classic yo yo. Two years ago I weighed
in at about 400 pounds and was diagnosed (surprise, surprise) with high blood pressure. I am
reluctantly on medication. Fortunately I have medical insurance. When it came to advice on
weight loss, I didn't get much from my doctor beyond the offer of an appointment with a
dietician and one of those cute little 1200/1500 calorie exchange diet plans.

I had already been doing some reading. (The brochure went out really fast-that was the food
that got me into trouble). Two authors that have been very helpful are Dean Ornish and Andrew
Weil. Drl. Ornish is a cardiologist who has had significant success with a combination of diet,
excersize and meditation. Most of his patients have been able to reduce their medication levels
and have a greatly improved quality of life. The downside is that the program limits fat intake
to about ten percent of total intake, but the books gave me some good ideas. Andrew Weil
is also a medical doctor who specializes in alternate forms of treatment. Again reduced fat
intake, some excersize, ect. Picture a slightly stocky Santa Clause with a great big grin. both
authors have given me some good ideas.

It takes some time to work through both authors' material.  The emphasis is on how the body
processes the foods we eat and how our bodies are affected by what we eat. Reading Dr. Ornish's
description of what happens to the bloodstream after a high fat meal is good for a week's
worth of motivation.

I am currently down about 92 pounds. No particular diet plan. Most of the prepared foods or
products in bags or boxes went out the door. Fortunately both mom and I are scratch cooks.
So it goes-slowly and mostly steadily.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Starting a Second Journal

After starting this journal I've realized that I have some interestes that don't really fit in this
one. So, for anyone who might be interested. I have a second journal. This one will be
oriented more towards history and the politics of how we (in my opinion for what it's worth)
ended up where we are.

This journal will remain focused on the pixels. posies, and pussycats. I have been working on
losing weight for the last couple of years and am down about 92 pounds from where I started.
I have definate opinions on how our food is treated, how our drugs are marketed and some
favorite authors that I would like to share. They have been a help to me and may be useful to
somebody else out in the journal universe

The link my other journal is down in the links to other journals section with Lisa's Coming to Terms
with Middle Age


I have today off since I took a couple of vacation days for a family reunion. A day off just in
time to hear the election delay idea being floated due to the "terrorist threat." No way, no way,
no way. We delay the election, the terrorists have won-we might as well just throw in the towel
right now and go crawl  in a hole and pull it in after us.

The earth tremors just felt are the combined Founding Fathers doing whorlie gigs in their
respective graves. WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS.

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Had a thought yesterday, one that I hope doesn't pan out. The vice president has been acting
rather odd lately. Not only did he tell senator Leahy to do something anatomically impossible
and then shrug it off, (I can tell you this-my father was a fairly gentle man. If someone had
made a remark like that to him, the "I'm feeling better" remark would have been made from
a seated position-on the floor.) he asked the audience applauding a speech last Sunday
"you guys want to hear this speeck or not?" This quote is from Maureen Dowd's column in
the Friday Register Guard from Eugene Oregon.

The man has had four heart attacks-the last in 2000. Unfortunately your coronary arteries
arn't the only ones affected when arteries start narrowing. I hope I'm wrong. My grandmother
had Alzheimers and I don't wish any kind of mental deterioration on anyone, but you have to
wonder. Whether it's stress, a medical condition, or just the bad interpersonal habits of a
lifetime-do we want this man involved in setting public policy or a heart beat away from the

Friday, July 9, 2004


I've been trying to get a bee and a blossom together since the bees started buzzing and I
finally lucked out. I think this fellow was taking a nap because he took off right after I got the
shot. I believe the lily is called a bee plant. It isn't a day lily but the blossoms act almost like
a day lily. They don't last long, but oh the color. It's one of those colors they keep trying to
duplicate but never get it quite right.

Small rant aimed at Samsung. I love my new camcorder-but..............when it was designed
what possessed you to put the zoom button for the digital camera UNDER the view finder?
Otherwise it's a perfectly good little 2 megapixel camera. And I got my bee. :-)


Didn't fill in the mood line. I was feeling pretty good until Jeff Golden of Jefferson Public Radio's
Jefferson Exchange talk show started discussing the 9/11 commissions report. I'm not going there
right now. Plug for JPL. The main station is in Ashland and it gets its name from the "mythical"
state of Jefferson. It covers southwestern Oregon and northwestern California.
Mainly NPR type talk radio and goodcall-ins, some good jazz, fun to listen to.

Taking a couple of days off for a family reunion this weekend. Working mainly on the folks from
my mom's side of the family, especially her dad. We are typical Americans. Scotch-Irish,
English, Welsh. To that mix has been added Spanish, Estonian and I'm not sure what else.
We're scattered over five states and my cousin married a Kiwi and moved to New Zealand.
(They live in Tauranga, not too far north from the Hobbiton set for Lord of the Rings.) So those
can make it will get together and have a good time and e-mail those who couldn't and tell
them what they missed. :-)

Monday, July 5, 2004

What the Yard looked like Before

I guess I should just be glad the pictures are there.
My that's a tiny picture. Clicking on it does help. I down sized that one a bit. The DSL providers
haven't convinced me to give my dial up yet. When I replace my Frankenputer (that is an entry
all by itself) I will get a wireless card and take it from there.

This is a shot of the yard right after we planted the lavender. It's hard to believe it was that
small. There is a second picture that doesn't show. Actually it's there twice. A little closer shot
that I took this year. Lavender, a couple of andromedas, some oregon grape. I am experimenting
with close up photography-it's going to take awhile. Yes, my camcorder includes a digital
camera. A digital camera with a very inconveniently located focussing knob. (various inaudible

For those who have left comments. thank you very much for the feed-back. Hopefully once I get
in the swing of things. I'll update a couple of times a week.

Good night for now.

Sunday, July 4, 2004

Where the Grass Went

Our last gas mower lasted over 15 years. The power mower took a powder after just 5 years.
So what is the real problem here? Mom is 78 going on 68 and I've got two cranky knees. If the
grass is the problem, what is the answer? If you get rid of the grass what do you replace it

The answer-lots of stuff. One thing, no new Rhodies. We live in the Springfield, Oregon area
and rhodendrons are gone by mid-June. This year was a warm spring-and the last rhodie was
out by June 1. Doesn't leave much for the rest of the year. We don't get much really cold
weather until late October. That's a long stretch with nothing but the roses for interest.

I didn't know there were so many kinds of Lavender.

Plug for the Sawmill Ballroom Lavender Farm-last time I checked they have a website under
that name. It was hard not to put in eveything that looked interesting the first year. Good
thing we waited. Those little black-eyed susans that we put in last year are up to my waist and
loaded with buds. The often moved purple cone-flower has quadrupled this year. Oh, and do
bumble bees love lavender.

This summer we added an elderberry and a couple of evergreen huckleberries. We all ready
had blueberries-the squirrels and towees like blueberries and strawberries. Last year I watched
a squirrel check out the strawberries, pick one, eat the red part and discard the rest.

The neighborhood cats don't necessarily hunt the birds but they do check out to see what's
new, bat a butterfly and and help mom.

Speaking of cats-I'm being told that the one-eyed monster has had enough of my attention.
"Pet us now."

Saturday, July 3, 2004

Finding what I created

Gotta love the counter on the sidebar. Yup, they're all mine so far. See, it's one thing to
create this little darling. It was interesting finding it again. Ok, now I can relax.


So I'm beginning. I share digs with one mom, one slightly used (and increasingly exasperating
IMac) and two cats. Inside there are enough books to stock a small library. Outside there is
lavender, black-eyed susans, blueberries, assorted shrubs and no grass. (more on how that
decision was made later.)

The rest of the immediate family includes two sisters, two wonderful brothers by marriage and
five nephews. One set in Portland the others in the Umatilla area. Gee, one set lives near a
dormant volcano and the others live a hoot and a holler from the Umatilla arms depot. By
dormant volcano I meant Mt. Hood. But, now that I think about it the old SimCity 2000 game
included a scenario that gave you the opportunity to rebuild Portland after Mt. Tabor threw
a temper tantrum.

Ok, enough for the first time. Time to do some exploration of how to add pictures to this.

Hello to Lisa of Coming to Terms with Middle age-I did it. :-)