Saturday, February 28, 2009

Activities Calendar for March

March 2009
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Fri., Mar. 6, 1:00pm
Dawkins Expedition to OU. Leave from the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St.

Sun., Mar. 8, 1:00 pm
Humanist Study Group at Randy’s, 6705 E. 54th.

Tues., Mar. 10, 7:00 pm
Liberal Action Network at Zarrow Library.

Sat., Mar. 14, 2:00 pm
Secular Singers at Gail’s house, 4630 S. Victor.

Sun., Mar. 15, 1:00 pm
Humanist Meeting at Hardesty Library. Brian Hill will show a 45-minute DVD of the actual Frost/Nixon dialogue.

Wed., Mar. 18, 12:30 pm
ALGAE at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Wed., Mar. 18, 7:00 pm
Atheists Meetup Mid-Month Social Gathering. Venue: The Local Table, 4329 S. Peoria.

Sun., Mar. 22, 1:00 pm
Tulsa Atheists Meetup at Agora Coffee House, Fontana Center.

Sat., Mar. 28, 11:30 am
Food & Fellowship at Te Kei’s, 1616 S. Utica.

Sat. Mar. 28, 2:00 pm
FFRF Tulsa, Brookside Library

Questions? Call Randy at 622-6975 or Dan at 798-3629.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Events of the day

Today we kept Luke. We took him with us as we did our grocery shopping. In the afternoon, I walked at TCC and did 100 reps on the abs machine set at 65 lbs.

Luke is getting better about going out in the public. He used to not have much patience if things did not go his way. He seems more "civilized" now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another trip to Springfield

We got a call from my niece, Becky, who lives in Republic, Monday, informing us that my father was back in the hospital. So we packed the car that evening and got on the road at 5:30 am Tuesday morning. We arrived at St. John around 9:30 (after making a couple of stops on the way). Dad was better by then, and when he talked with his doctor, the doctor said he could go home later on that day.

J. and I had a list of things to buy for my mother and father, so we went shopping at Wal-Mart. After we finished at Wal-Mart, we stopped at Fazoli’s (Italian) and got a couple of fast food items. Next we went by Walgreens to pick up medicine for my Dad. We went back by the apartment and ate our lunch. My parents called saying that Dad was ready to go home. I parked my car, and drove Dad’s car to the hospital. I dropped J. off at the front entrance, and drove over to the West Patient pick up point. After about a half hour of delay, Dad appeared in a wheelchair.

Dad appeared none the worse for this latest ordeal in the hospital. We have certainly seen a lot of the road between Sand Springs and Springfield as of late. Dad was doing so well that we decided to head home this afternoon. Before I left I sat down at the electronic keyboard and played several songs found in a large Fake book of hymns.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Running errands

I ran some errands today around noon. Our library is temporarily closed (for one week) for some kind of maintenance. I had to go to the north side of the river and use the library there. I had three books to return. While I was there, I took a look at the music books. I found a few that interested me and checked them out. That library is called the Charles Page Library. The library on the south side of the river is called the Pratt Library. They are part of a 25-library countywide system.

Additional stops I made today included two banks, Morrow-Gill Lumber Company (to buy a bolt to repair a shower chair), and the post office.

I read for a while today. I am currently reading Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby. The library system is trying to encourage people to use the libraries by sponsoring something called “2009 Adult Winter Reading Program.” For the patrons who read six books by March 27, they will receive a book tote. I have read one book since the program started. It is titled The World in Six Songs. As soon as I finish Freethinkers, I will add it to my list. I am also reading The Age of American Unreason, also by Susan Jacoby.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


While I was in Springfield last week, I picked up some more piano duet music. I bought “Jazz Prelude” by William Gillock, “Buckeye Blues & Boogie” by David Karp, and two books: “Piano for Two” arranged by Carol Matz and “Celebrated Piano Duets” by Robert D. Vandall.

“Piano for Two” contains Grieg’s “Anitra’s Dance,” Joplin’s “The Cascades,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Song of India,” Gounod’s “The Marionette’s Funeral March,” Ward’s “America The Beautiful,” and “Fandango” by Carol Matz.

“Celebrated Piano Duets” contains arrangements of “The Water Is Wide,” “Shadow Dance,” “Moonlit Evening,” ”Marche Macabre”, ”Irish Air,” “Holiday Waltz,” and “Birch Tree Rag.”

Today Gail and I played at Church of the Restoration. There were about 20 people in attendance. We played two waltzes by Scott Joplin: “Harmony Club Waltz” and “Binks’ Waltz.” It worked out very well with February being Black History Month. Gail and I will get together for our next practice on Friday.

Rev. Davis used as the text of his sermon the story of Shadrack, Meshak, and Abednego. At one point in the sermon, Rev. Davis said “Shadrack, Meshak, and a Bad Negro.” I think only Rev. Davis, a black man, could get away with saying that.

In the afternoon, I attended the Tulsa Atheist Meetup February meeting. We had one of the smallest gatherings we have ever had: about 10 people.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A week in Springfield

Last Sunday morning, shortly after J. left for church and as I was preparing to leave the house for my church, the phone rang. It was my sister who lives in Springfield. She said that an ambulance had just taken Dad to St. John’s Hospital. She said Mother had the cell phone with her and to call her on it. I tried calling her but could get no answer. (I later learned she left the house without it.) I called J. on her cell at the Methodist church and told her what was happening. She did not stay for the Sunday morning service, but came home immediately after Sunday school.

She started packing for a week as soon as she got home. Meanwhile, I delivered a sheet cake to the HAT meeting which started at 1 PM. The sheet cake was in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. I arrived at the library meeting room just as the library opened. I told those who were there that I had a family emergency and would be traveling to Springfield. Although Gail was at the HAT meeting, I sent her an e-mail later postponing our weekly practice session. (We are scheduled to play the special music tomorrow at Church of the Restoration.)

When I got back home, J. had finished packing, so we hit the road. Darkness fell as we passed through Joplin. There was less then an hour of visiting time remaining for the day by the time we arrived at the hospital. We got the key to the apartment from my mother and stayed there for the night. For the next five days we spent the daylight hours with my father in his hospital room and slept at my parents’ apartment. My mother spent all her time with my father in his hospital room.

What had happened to my father was this: Possibly as a result of the gall bladder surgery he had on Jan. 28, blood clots formed just above his left knee cap (on the back side of the leg). The clots (or a portion of them) broke away and traveled to near his lungs. When they lodged there, they caused him pain. He called for an ambulance on Sunday morning.

It was an ultrasound examination that revealed the blood clots. His heartbeat fluctuated much during his first hours in the hospital. Medicine stabilized the heart rate. Blood thinners dissolved the blood clot. The use of blood thinners was complicated by treatment for a prior condition known as AAA.

Dad came home on Friday around noon. We spent the night with them and left early next morning.

We arrived back in Sand Springs in time for me to attend the Progressive Revival 2009 being held at the Congregational Church. First to speak was Robin Meyers (author of Why the Christian Right is Wrong) of OKC. He talked about the state legislature and what bills to expect to come forth from this legislative body now that the Republicans are in control.

I was glad to read on Marti’s blog that Galen is continuing to recover from heart surgery. We met again after being separated by four decades of time. Galen is the kind of Christian you wish every Christian could be.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

Around noon, my wife and I (she doesn’t like for me to refer to her by name in this blog) went to the Fitness Center at TCC West for some exercise. I did a hundred reps on the abdominals machine and then walked for an hour around the elevated circular track overlooking the basketball court.

Later on we watched NOW with David Brancaccio. Due to the fundraising on OETA, Bill Moyers Journal was replaced by some program the folks at OETA thought their viewers would probably prefer. Fortunately, the Moyers program can be viewed in its entirety on the Internet.

Yesterday, while moving the 6-foot bookcase (around midnight) in the living room to another spot in the living room, I bumped it into the light fixture and broke the light fixture. I think we moved everything in the living room (except the piano) to another location. So maybe tomorrow we can look for a replacement for the broken fixture.

The need to rearrange the living room came about by the gift of a TV from my son. My son bought a new 52” TV. It’s a flat screen LED type TV. The TV we got from my son (his former TV) was of a greater depth than the one it is replacing. At first we tried moving the entertainment center out further from the wall. The space between the wall and the entertainment center (with exposed wires) was such that my wife said “Let’s try moving it to the other said of the room.” But in order to do that the dresser in that position had to be moved. So everything got moved around, save the piano.

This morning we went back to the fitness center for the sixth time this week. They are closed on Sunday. I did 120 reps at the 50 lb. setting on the abs machine. After that I walked for an hour.

We came home and showered, and then my wife said we should go to The Crescent CafĂ© if their Valentine’s Day special had started. I called and was informed that the Valentine’s Day special had started at 11:00 am. So we drove over to the Crescent and told the waitress that we wanted the Valentine’s Day special. She said it didn’t start until 5:00 pm that day. Since we were there, we ordered lunch.

In the afternoon, I attended Secular Singers at Gail’s house. There were four of us there: Randy, Bea, Gail, and myself. We made music for about two hours. Gail was on an animal rescue mission when we arrived, but she arrived after about 15 minutes. Gail is a certified wildlife animal rescue specialist. She gets called out frequently on such missions. Her husband, Glenn, met us at the door and entertained us with the Beatles’ “When I’m 64” on his guitar. Toward the end of the session we sang "California Dreaming." We thought about The Mamas and The Papas, and since we are all beyond the mid-fifties in age, we thought back to the 60s.

That evening we went back to The Crescent and ate the Valentine’s Day special, which was steak and shrimp, baked potato, salad, roll, beverage, topped off with a brownie with ice cream and whipped topping.

Afterwards we drove by Nick’s and got Ayla and took her home with us.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm back

Last Thursday I sent a link to a sermon by Marlin Lavanhar of All Souls Unitarian Church to an old friend now living in Oklahoma. The sermon is actually in three parts, and I e-mailed part one to my friend. When my wife discovered what I had done, she imposed a restriction (except for notifying people of upcoming meetings) on my use of the Internet for one week. I tried to cover my tracks, but the Systems Administrator is such a computer whiz that she soon discovered what I had done. The week is now up, and I am now back. The links to the sermon are here:

Last Saturday was Movie Night at the Bradleys. I cannot now remember the title of the movie or what it was about. We did have seven people there. Jan and myself and Barbara F., Dawn and Randy B., Marilyn C., and Larry R.

I am continuing to go to the Fitness Center at TCC West and walk. Last week I managed to get in 16 miles of walking. So far this week I have walked 12 miles. I also have been using one of the exercise machines there. At first it made my abdominal muscles sore, but I am getting used to it now. Today I did 100 reps using the 35 lb. weight.

Yesterday, I read on Marti’s blog that a friend of mine from Riverside, California (Marti’s brother) was facing heart surgery. That surgery was supposed to take place today. We are wishing the best for him. Yesterday I bought a get well card and mailed it to his church (where he is pastor) on Pyrite St.

I went to church last Sunday. There were just ten or twelve of us there. Our minister spoke. I would say something about what he said, but I can’t recall any of it now. (Bad memory, again)

On Tuesday, the Liberal Action Network met at Zarrow Library. We were sititng at a table in the east part of the library, until Marilyn suggested we move to a separate study room off the main area. We did so, and were able to enter into a free and open discussion. There were just four of us there. We wrote to Rep. Benge regarding House Bill 1001, known as the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act. Next month when we get together again we are going to read the letters we wrote (I made a photocopy of mine), and any responses we have received.

Last evening, Jan and I went by Barbara’s apartment and gave her a ride to a place by the Tulsa University campus called The Collective. They sell sandwiches and drinks. We watched about two hours of National Geographic videos about the Galapagos Islands. Two hours were all we could take of the videos. I don't like to sit and watch videos for a long time.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Events of the day

I have two Saturns. The older one is a 1996 model. One day recently I noticed the dashboard light for the radiator came on. It would flash on and then go off. It did this repeatedly, so I raised the hood to check it out. I noticed the reservoir tank was very low.

When I was in Springfield last week we bought a gallon of antifreeze to use as replacement for the missing coolant. I added a 10 oz. bottle of water to the reservoir tank; then I filled the water bottle up with coolant and dumped that in the reservoir also. The flashing light on the dash quit flashing. I was hoping that solved the problem.

A few days later the flashing light on the dash reappeared. Well, I needed to get an oil change, so when I took the car in to Same Day Auto Repair for the oil change, I told them about the coolant leak. They hooked the car up to a machine which adds pressure to the coolant system and found the problem.

While they were doing that, I was at my radiologist having a test done as a preliminary to scans I will have soon. The nurse drew blood which will be analyzed by a lab to see if my body is able to get rid of a dye which will be used when I have the scans.

I was at the fitness center at TCC walking on the elevated track when the phone call came from Same Day telling me my car was ready to be picked up. I had to have a new radiator to replace the old one which had a leak. The charge came to $673 for the repair job. I did not know whether to sink that much money into a car which is thirteen years old. However, our other Saturn is a 2008 model and I did not want to get another new car so soon, so I had the ‘96 repaired.

I put the repair charge on my Discover Card and made sure the car was secure and drove home where Jan was waiting on the cable guy to show up to run a new line to the other side of our living room. Our son Nick recently got a 52” LED screen TV and gave his old TV to us. We took it since it has a larger screen than the TV we were presently using, plus it was not as old.

After the cable guy left, I drove Jan over to Same Day (on the north side of the river) where she got into the driver’s seat of the new Saturn and I drove the old Saturn home.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Church is holding on

We returned home from Springfield last Friday afternoon. While there I finished reading The World in Six Songs by Daniel J. Levitin. We made two stops on the way back. First, we stopped at Casey’s General Store just south of Joplin to get a drink and use the rest rooms. Next, we stopped at the McDonald’s over the turnpike near Vinita for a snack. When we got back to Sand Springs, we stopped by the post office and picked up our mail.

We were amazed at how well my father did in surgery. He was at the hospital early Wednesday morning for the surgery and by 11:00 am was ready to go home. It was almost like having outpatient surgery.

When we got him back to his apartment, he spent the rest of the day in bed sleeping. He was up the next morning talking like he normally does.

I went to church this morning for the 11:00 am service. It was another lay led service with Bill Ashley as the speaker. Bill spoke on Sheffield, MA during the times of the Revolution and immediately after. Bill is originally from that area. The finance committee has determined that there will be enough money to continue on for another year.

Following the service, I was asked if Gail and I could play the special music once again. I phoned Gail to see if she would be available next week to play, but Gail will be out of town driving her mother-in-law back to Texas. We decided to play on Sunday, February 22. I told Edna, who schedules the music, that we would play two waltzes by Scott Joplin. Gail and I have moved our practice to Thursday for the coming week.