Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Walking and Subway

We went walking this morning at TCC. We did three miles and then I used the abs machine. On the way back home, we stopped by Subway and got a $5 footlong and brought it home and ate it.

We will go soon to Keystone and change the stamp for the last half of the year.

Mayor reads to children

I got up this morning and did some more mark up on the index I'm working on.

Yesterday, we went to Pratt Library where we heard the Mayor of Sand Springs read a few books to some children of this comunity. The event was not well-attended. There were only five or six kids there. Ayla was helpful in providing interaction with the speaker. You can't keep Ayla quiet.

Today, I need to go to Keystone State Park (about 10 miles to the west) and change the rubber stamp. At the middle of the year, the "+" is removed from the stamp, and then the walk can be walked again a second time.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Turnpike accident near Miami

I read the article in today's Tulsa World about the accident near Miami. That is a stretch of roadway we travel over many times during the year. We have to feel lucky that we were not there yesterday afternoon. The death toll was nine. Traffic was backed up for 14 miles. I have seen some heavy traffic on that interstate at times. Maybe it is time to consider expanding the road from four to six lanes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Volkswalking at Promenade Mall

Not much to write about today. I got up early this morning and resumed work on my index. I took a break around noon and fixed myself a barbecue sandwich and some potato salad. After I had consumed that, I went back to work indexing. Around 1:30 pm, J and I went to Promenade Mall and did the volkswalk there. It is three laps on the upper level and three laps on the lower level.

It was a hot day today – a good day for an inside walk in an air conditioned building. I think this was walk number 227 for me.

I recently finished compiling a database of my sheet music. I made two print outs; one by composer, the other by song title. As of now, I have the sheet music for 1,928 songs.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good advice

I found the following while surfing the net:

Life is short,
Break the rules,
Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly,
Love truly,
Laugh uncontrollably,
And never regret anything that made you smile.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.

Indexing work

Today Gail and I had our weekly piano duet practice. We played “Castle House Rag” several times thinking it would probably be the next special music selection we would play at Restoration Church. I told Gail that last Sunday the special music was played from a CD. She cringed. She said that we needed to volunteer to play again, and that since the 4th of July is coming up, we might consider playing “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by Cohen. We practiced the piece a few times. We will have next Monday to refine it some more.

After piano practice, J and I took Ayla to Braum’s were she got an ice cream cone. It was actually a soft frozen yogurt cone, but she enjoyed it tremendously. I ordered a No. 5 – a grilled chicken sandwich and a Dr. Pepper. Ayla said she would eat after the library program, which was about origami.

We were in Springfield last Thursday and Friday. While there I received a phone call from Elise at UNM Press. She needed an indexer to index a book. I told her I would do it. I later got an email from her saying the book would be delayed by about three weeks. This morning I got a phone call from a former employee of UNM Press, now working at another publisher. She asked me if I would be available to do some indexing for her. I said yes. Then I got another e-mail from Elise saying she had a book ready to go as soon as she had an index for it. I told her I would do it. The page proofs were shipped today or will be tomorrow. So soon I’m liable to be covered up with work. So much for retirement, huh?

But I love doing indexing work. I find it is a lot like solving a puzzle. Once you get the index completed, though, there is nowhere to check your “answers.” Perhaps, that is why you never really know when the index is done. You could make refinements on it forever. It is probably somewhat like a sculptor making a statue. Take a little bit off the left elbow; take some more off the right knee, etc. You’re never sure when to stop with the final editing process.

I was going to brush up on my Russian language skills (I checked a bunch of books out of the Tulsa Library for that purpose), but with the opportunity to do indexing, Russian will have to wait.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The latest from SS

Here it is Sunday in Sand Springs. I went to church this morning. Before I left, my friend Patrick sent me an e-mail saying he needed a ride to church. I drove over to Tulsa and picked him up. From there we drove to Greenwood and Oklahoma Streets where the church is located. Again there were very few people -- maybe twelve. But we are a tight-knit group. Barbara F. was there. This was her last service for the summer. She always goes to Michigan in the summers. Since there was no HAT meeting this afternoon, after dropping off Patrick at his house, I came on back home.

After leaving the air conditioner off for a couple hours (Saturday), when we turned it back on it seemed to be working okay. I think it was just frozen up.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Air conditioner troubles

We came back from Springfield yesterday from a short two-day trip. We had turned off the AC while we were away. We turned it back on, but the house never cooled off. The problem seems to be in the blower. I can hear it blowing, but no air is coming up through the registers. I checked the outside unit and found ice had formed on the condenser unit. It is thawing now, but I suspect the problem goes beyond a frozen condenser unit.

New restaurant in town

We have a new restaurant in town. It is located in what used to be Lee's Diner. We haven't been there yet. The setting is most plain, but I hear the food is really good. I'll check it out and report back later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

No HAT meeting Sunday, June 21

I learned today around 2 pm that Randy has canceled the HAT meeting scheduled for June 21. The reason for the change is that Randy has a Summer Solstice celebration planned at his house for June 20, a Saturday. We are all invited to come to the Summer Solstice celebration.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Two dinner meetings

The morning got started with a trip to the TCC Fitness Center where I walked three miles. I did a few reps on the abs machine, also. I came home and mowed the front yard, took a shower, and then it was on to the White River Fish Market. On the way we stopped at Barbara's apartment and gave her a ride to White River.

The traffic on North Sheridan was down to one lane in places due to road construction. We went back another way. There were four of us there: Barbara, Larry, J and myself. The placed was packed. You would have thought they were giving away fish dinners. I had a bowl of red beans and rice. J had the same, except she had a cup inside of a bowl. The man in front of me in line ordered over a hundred dollars in food. He had included lobster tails in his order.

Afterwards, we came home, and I took a nap. At 7 pm we arrived at The Brook in Brookside for the June Mid-Month Social of Tulsa Atheists Meetup. The Brook used to be a movie theater. There were 15 people there for this social gathering. There are always new people to be met at these gatherings. Tonight the guy sitting on my left was a former Christian who had worked at Christian radio station KXOJ. I asked him what caused the change in his life. He said he kept asking questions which others could not satisfactorily answer. The coup de grace was reading the Bible -- not just the cherry-picked verses you hear over and over, but all of it, even the gory parts of the Old Testament. That led to his de-conversion.

Bill talked about his recent experience at the annual convention of the American Humanist Association. He met some interesting people at the convention, one of whom said he would be willing to pay the costs for having a billboard erected in Tulsa with a FFRF message on it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Grocery shopping

We arose early this morning and went to the TCC Fitness Center where I walked three miles. A couple of days ago I changed the music on my MP3. Today I listened to the Labeque sisters (a piano duo) play several pieces. We were back home shortly after nine o’clock. As we were driving home, my cell phone rang. It was Gail, who said she might be few minutes late for our weekly duet practice. She was on an animal rescue mission. We got back home and ate a bowl of cereal. Gail arrived around 10:15, and we played mostly ragtime duets until 11:45, at which time we had to leave to pick up Ayla at her house.

Once we had Ayla, she opted for McDonald’s as her place of choice for lunch. She played in the children’s play area, just as Luke had earlier. Then it was time to go to the library for the story hour. The library was packed today for the performance by a magician. Every parking space was filled. I had to park in a space that was not marked for parking. Yet I did not block any other cars.

We came home following the magic performance. I printed on a piece of paper the words “I would like to see Single Payer National Health Insurance”. The words “Single Payer” are in 72 pt. type. All other words are in 16 pt. type. There is a place for the sender to write his/her name and address. I took the paper to a local copy shop and had 30 copies made. (There are two forms on each sheet.) I was going to have them printed on card stock, but the copy shop said the card stock costs a quarter a sheet. I used regular paper instead.

We did our weekly grocery shopping tonight. It came to $274.30. We were several days overdue on the grocery shopping. We have plenty of food now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today's events

I awoke this morning to the sound of thunder. While I was taking a shower, J was taking Ayla back to her parents. Joy called and said she was reluctant to get out in the stormy weather. Joy was to sing the special music at the service this morning. I offered to give Joy a ride. I called Barbara and told her I could provide a ride for her to church, also. When J got back, she ate a bowl of oatmeal and we headed for University Towers, where Barbara lives. From there we went to Joy’s house near All Souls Church.

We arrived at Church of the Restoration a little after 11:00 am. Considering the weather, I was surprised to see 15 people were there. We proceeded through the order of service. When we came to the sermon, I took the pulpit and read a 20-minute sermon by Michael Schuler. After the service was over, Barbara and Joy went with me to Randy’s house for the Humanist Discussion Group. We are beginning the study of a book written by Michael S. Gazzanica titled Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique. Glenn V. gave the opening remarks about the book.

Following the discussion, Joy and I sat down at the piano for some impromptu boogie woogie (I played secondo; Joy played primo). Soon J arrived (she had driven back to Sand Springs to spend time with our grandchildren). We took first Joy back to her house and then Barbara to her apartment.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Volkswalking in Sand Springs

We began this morning with a volkswalk in Sand Springs. While on the walk we found two geocaches. In the afternoon, I went to Gail's house for Secular Singers. You should be able to find a photo taken there elsewhere on this blog.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to read a sermon to the congregation at Church of the Restoration.

Secular Singers today

Above is a photo of myself (left), Gail S. (center), and Marilyn C. (right). We spent two hours today singing songs we like and having a good time. I accompanied on the piano. Gail's husband, Glenn, took the picture. Gail is also my piano duet partner. (Click on picture to enlarge.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All talk and no action

I was talking to my Dad yesterday, and he mentioned that ever since I posted the spirograph on my blog (May 23, I think it was) he has had trouble bringing up my blog on his computer. As soon as he would bring up my blog, his computer would boot him off AOL. I deleted the spirograph and then everything was OK. So I am left wondering if others experienced trouble due to the spirograph. How about some feedback from my regular readers – Marti in Tecumseh, John in Tupelo, and the mystery reader in Cordova, Tennessee?

Since J has your e-mail address blocked, Marti, I will not be able to receive anything from you. But how about you other two? Did the spirograph cause you any difficulties?

Today we took Luke to the kids’ program at Pratt Library. There were some 25 to 30 kids in the room along with at least one parent for each kid. The room was pretty well filled up. Luke is four years old now. He managed to sit through 30 minutes of the program and then became restless. He wanted to leave, so I took him to another part of the library where I read him a book. I checked out a couple of books that caught my eye: 1000 Keyboard Tips published by Mel Bay and Draw Manga by Bruce Lewis. The Keyboard Tips book looks useful. Unfortunately, a previous patron was such a heavy smoker that the book reeks of stale tobacco. The book sells for just under twenty dollars. Perhaps I can buy a copy. The other book is an instructional book on how to draw in the manga style – a style that originated in Japan.

After the program was over, we all went to McDonald’s near the Keystone Expressway. There were a lot of people there today. We got our usual fare, and Luke played in the maze of slides and passageways. We let Luke play for about a half hour, but he is never ready to leave the place. We finally pulled him away from the place and then took him back home.

When we got back home, we worked on the shutters and finished getting them in place. Today’s job was easier than yesterday’s, due to screwing into wood instead of brick.

Next we went to TCC and walked 3.5 miles. I also did 100 reps on the abs machine set at 65 lbs.

When we got home, we watched the NBC Nightly News. Following that, I left for the Zarrow Library where we were to have a working meeting, writing letters to our political representative on behalf of liberal causes. Only one other person showed up, Keith. He did not write a letter. I was the only letter writer. I wrote a letter to our two senators in Washington advocating a single-payer health care system. There is great opposition to single-payer from vested interests in the insurance industry. Wouldn’t it be nice to just bypass the vested interest of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and do what is right for the American people?

What should I make of the low attendance tonight? The most we have ever had come to a meeting of the Liberal Action Network is four. Are we liberals all talk and no action? That is probably so.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Drumming suspended

I just back from Joe Price's house where we had drumming this evening. They have decided to suspend drumming until August. Again, I was the only participant, except for Joe and Lou.

Earlier this day, I went to see my neurosurgeon for my yearly checkup. Everything seemed to be OK.

This morning we did some work on the house. A hailstorm damaged the faux shutters on our house a few years ago. We took down the shutters on the front bedroon, since they had holes in them from being hit by hail stones. We are just now getting around to replacing those shutters. We are also replacing the shutters to the living room. The porch covering protected them from the hail, but we are replacing them anyway.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Calendar for June

I realized I had forgotten to post the activities planned for freethinkers for June. So here it is:

June 2009
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., June 6, 7:00 PM
Movie Night at Marilyn’s, 4817 S. Maplewood

Thurs., June 11, 7:00 PM
Liberal Action Network, Zarrow Library, 2224 W. 51st St.

Sat., June 13, 2 PM
Secular Singers, Storey House, 4630 S. Victor

Sun., June 14, 1:00 PM
Humanist Study Group, Bradley House, 6705 E. 54th St.

Wed., June 17, 12:30 PM
ALGAE Luncheon, White River Fish Mkt., 1708 N. Sheridan

Wed., June 17, 7:00 PM
TAM Mid-Month Social, The Brook, 3401 S. Peoria

Sat., June 20, 4:00 PM
Humanist Solstice Party, Bradley House, 6705 E. 54th

Sun., June 21, 1:15 PM
Humanist June Meeting, Hardesty Library, 8316 E. 93rd

Sat., June 27, 11:30 AM
Food & Fellowship, Lanna Thai, 7227 S. Memorial

Sun., June 28, 1:00 PM
Tulsa Atheists Meetup, Agora Coffee House, Fontana Center

The same information can be seen in a monthly calendar format at

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

Saturday, June 06, 2009

"Jefferson Davis" spoke tonight

Tonight we went to the fifth and final Chautauqua performance. The speaker was "Jefferson Davis." Now that I am retired, I have time to take in a lot more activities. This year we managed to attend all five of the performances.

Next year's Chautauqua is supposed to also be from the same time period -- the Civil War era. I did not hear who would be the subject of the characterizations. There was no musical performance before the speaker took the podium tonight. We took Ayla, my granddaughter, with us tonight. I don't think she got a lot out of the performance.

Earlier this day we did some yard work in the back yard. I mowed the grass in both the front and back yards. Today, for the first time, I used the bag attachment to our new lawn mower. I am surprised how fast the bag filled up. The worst aspect of the bag is the fact that clippings tend to blow up toward your face. Some of the clippings are very fine and have a tendency to get into your eyes. I finally took the bag off and cut the final few strips in the coventional way -- side discharge.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty delta day

Tonight I attended the second session of Chautauqua. The performer, Dr. Michael Hughes, gave a speech as John Ross, a Cherokee Indian Patriot. Prior to the speaker, a band performed.

I need to make a correction to something I wrote previously. I wrote that one of the figures being impersonated was Abraham Lincoln. Actually Lincoln was not on the program, titled “Lincoln’s Legacy of Equality: Voices on the Fringe.” There are five figures on this year’s program: Harriet Tubman, John Ross, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglas, and Jefferson Davis. Tomorrow night “Walt Whitman” will speak.

Today, we went to Braum’s for breakfast. From there we went to WalMart and bought some stain with which to stain a replacement cabinet door in a bathroom. Next we went to the fitness center, paid the fee for the summer session, and then did our walk. In the afternoon, I took a nap and then watched the news on NBC. Then we left for downtown Tulsa and attended the Chautauqua performance. After returning home, I searched the internet for a sermon by a UU minister. My church has asked me to read a sermon sometime this summer.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Chautuaqua in Tulsa

It is now Tuesday morning. Soon we will leave for an undisclosed location for a few hours. Once we get back maybe I can say a few words about the experience.

Yesterday, Gail came over and we played piano duets for about two hours. We don't have a gig scheduled at this time. However, talking with Rosemary at church, she said they are looking for more people to participate in the Sunday morning service, now that Gerald is off for the summer. One thing I could do is read a sermon by another Unitarian minister. Sermons are found online at the UUA website. So I might do that.

Today is the beginning of Chautauqua in Tulsa. At Chautauqua, a scholar takes on the role of someone from history and perfroms as if he were that person. We have been to several in the past. It runs for five days, Tuesday thru Saturday. The figures being portrayed this year come from the period around the Civil War. There is Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Harriet Tubman, and two others I don't recall just now. Performances are held on the campus of OSU Tulsa, not far from the Church of the Restoration.