Friday, July 31, 2009

I've been busy

I've been busy the last several days preparing an index for a book to be published in October. I have been doing nothing lately except sitting at my desk poring over the page proofs and building the index. For us in the age of computers, the task is nowhere as difficult as when the job had to be done using index cards. Another big help is having the book on a PDF file.

I did go out for dinner a couple of days ago at Jamil's Steakhouse. There was a group of ten of us celebrating Adra's birthday. Adra is Jennifer's mother. Jennifer is my son's wife. There was Gary and Adra, Adra's sister Pam. Jennifer and her brother Jon. Nick, Jennifer, Ayla, and Luke rounded out the group. And, of course, J and myself. (I see I have mentioned Jennifer twice. Oh well.)

I had heard of Jamil's ever since I moved to Tulsa back in 1986, but our recent visit was a first. It was a good experience, and I plan to return again. It might be a good candidate for a Food and Fellowship gathering.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Food & Fellowship at Rib Crib

Today was the day for our monthly Foood & Fellowship gathering. We met at the Rib Crib on Sheridan. We had a good turn out today. Fifteen of us met there for lunch.

Who was there? The list of attendees is as follows: Bob H., Dawn B., Randy B., Kathy C.,
Jan N., Larry R., Brian H., Bill D., Dave T., Marilyn C., Bob N., Susan N., Kathy C., Herb vF., and myself.

Pictures available on HAT blog

Last Sunday, our Humanist group met with Fred Edwords. Fred is heading up the United Coalition of Reason. Recently, Bill Dusenberry traveled to Phoenix, AZ and attended the AHA conference. While there, he learned about the CoR. We were going to try to raise the money to have a billboard put up in the Tulsa area, but it appears now that the CoR will pay this expense for us.

I took some photos during the day last Sunday and they can be seen at this link:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Volkswalking today

Today, J and I drove over to the pedestrian bridge over Riverside Drive -- the start point for today's volkswalk. There we met John Lowerison, the only HAT member to do the walk with us. The weather today was nice -- not too hot.

The walk went first up the trail to 25th Street. This part of the trail is on the roadway of the former Midland Valley Railway. It was converted to a walking trail some years ago. Once you reach 25th Street, you turn around and come back. From this point you go up Riverside Drive until you come to 21st Street. You cross over the bridge and head south. At the pedestrian bridge you cross the river once again and are back at the start point.

Busy Weekend Ahead

It looks like I have a busy weekend ahead. First, the grass needs cutting. But that is not on the top of my list. This morning at 9 there is a volkswalk along the river in Tulsa. Will any of my humanist friends meet me there for the walk? Time will tell.

I have to pick up the cake at Homeland at 2 pm. If I could drop it off at Randy's, that would be good. It doesn't need to bake twice.

Tonight at 7 pm we have the TAM mid-month social at La Hacienda. It is usually well attended.

Tomorrow, Gail and I play a piano duet at Restoration. Then in the afternoon, there is the HAT meeting, with our special guest Fred Edwords.

Some time in there I need to work in getting the grass cut.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back in town

We are back in town now. We left Springfield this morning and got back to Sand Springs this afternoon.

While there my mother got to feeling so bad that we had to take her to the ER at St. John's. We arrived at the ER around 3 pm and left around 11 pm. Most of that time was spent just waiting. There were many sick people in the waiting room. Two were throwing up. One lady asked me to find her a blanket. They keep it cold in there. I guess that helps to hold down the spread of disease. They do provide blankets in the ER. Ever so often, someone would bring in a stack of blankets. I later asked the lady if she had anybody with her. She said no. Imagine being alone in the ER with no one there to help you, and throwing up.

The ER was full. People kept coming in at all hours. You wonder what their story is. There were a multitude of people -- all ages, all races, mostly poor.

Mother suffered a fall toward the end of June. It is a wonder she did not break a bone. (She might have broken a toe and her nose. They did not e-ray her entire body.) She had two black eyes, a gash on her forehead, plus an assortment of other bruises in other places on her body. She was just starting to heal when we arrived. Bruises were turning from black/blue to yellow.

It may have been the gash on her forehead which was responsible for her headache. I don't know. It took a few stitches to sew up. It may have been that the medicine she had been prescribed was too strong for her small size. She had the look of someone who had been beaten up.

We had planned to return to Oklahoma on Wednesday but decided to stay another night following my mother's trip to the ER.

The trip to the St. John ER left me with the feeling that here is a place where "good samaritans" could do some useful work.

Tomorrow I need to bury myself in my page proofs and see how much work I can get done on the index I'm working on. The page proofs arrived on Tuesday, and tomorrow will be my first chance to start working on the index.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Accident sight cleaned up

Yesterday, we drove past the spot where ten people were killed in a traffic accident. The area had been cleaned up very well as there was no indication there had ever been a problem there. I remember seeing a photo in the paper showing all the debris in the area.

Our air conditioner went out again. We called Air Solutions Monday morning and was told a technician would be out next morning. We had planned a trip to Springfield, but had to wait for the technician. The two men came around 8:30 that morning and discovered ice around the coils. They said to turn the fan on with the air off and wait for it to melt. They said they would be back in a couple of hours. We did as they said. By 10:30 they had not returned. When by 1:00 pm they were not back, I called the shop. They said the workers would be back sometime that afteroon. They finally showed up around 4:30. They did their work and left around 5:30. We watched the NBC Nightly News and left soon afterward. My page proofs came for my next indexing job. The book is 385 pages long.

I am scheduled to play a piano duet with Gail at the service at Restoration this coming Sunday. We will be playing "Cascades" by Scott Joplin.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seven at Secular Singers

Yesterday, Secular Singers was held at my house. There were seven of us there: Steve N. and his wife and daughter, Marilyn C., Bea McC., and J and myself. We began with watching a video on playing the recorder. We used our new laptop computer to view the videos. The videos we watched were on YouTube. We learned how to play "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. This is just a beginning. We intend to play recorders each time we get together (for the foreseeable future).

Then we moved to the piano and went through our songbook -- a looseleaf binder in which I have collected freethought songs from wherever I could find them. Most people stayed for four hours, but a lot of that time was spent in conversation.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another indexing job is coming

I finished the indexing job I have been working on, and now have another one coming. The page proofs for it should arrive next Tuesday. It is a longer book than the one I just finished. The catalog says it is 552 pages, but part of that is non-indexable material, such as bibliography. The book is on mestizo shamanism.

We spent the evening yesterday at Nick's house watching the grandkids while Nick and Jen went out for dinner and a live show in Bixby. It was late when they came back to their house (after 11 PM). They had a good time.

Today I have some friends coming over for Secular Singers. I still have some preparation to do yet. I have the recorders to pass out. I need to locate the YouTube video I watched recently on how to play a recorder. I think we will watch that to learn how to play the instrument. The recorders I bought are cheap. I got them at the dollar store.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dinner at Marilyn's

Today I put together a list of needed corrections to the manuscript of the book I am indexing. There were 20 of them. Then I e-mailed it to the author and the production editor at the press.

That afternoon, I went to the TCC Fitness Center and walked. I came home, took a shower and watched the NBC Nightly News.

Marilyn had invited us over to her house in Tulsa for dinner. We had chicken salad on a tomato. Following the meal, we started talking about poetry. Marilyn had a couple of volumes of poetry by Billy Collins, a former poet laureate of the U.S. He is one of my favorite poets. Marilyn asked me to read a poem I have read before -- once to the HAT group and once to the congregation at Restoration. The title of the poem is "Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes" (available online).

When I got home, I checked my e-mail and had a few responses to an e-mail link (sent to me by a friend) which I had forwarded. The link is to a YouTube video. The title of the video is "Why Don't Bees Go To Heaven?" Check it out; you might like it.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Close to finishing the index

I'm down to the point where I keep making small changes in my index. I will probably send in it tomorrow.

This morning I took the '08 Saturn to the dealership for an oil change. So far, we have not had any problems with the car. We now have about 15,000 miles on it. After the oil change was done I went to the nearby Big Lots store to see if they had any recorders (musical instruments). They did not, so next I went to Wal-Mart. I did not find any there either. Then I went to Dollar Tree. I found several there. I bought five recorders. These are the cheap type -- all plastic. I am going to give each member of Secular Singers a recorder and see if we can form a consort. Each recorder is a different color; therefore, I might call our recorder consort "The Colorful Consort." We might pick up some new members -- folks who are uncomfortable with singing in front of others.

Then we went to the TCC Fitness Center for our usual walking exercise. We came home, and I cooked hamburgers out on the grill.

At 7:00 pm, we went to Zarrow Library for the Liberal Action Network. I was pleased that we had an attendance of six. I wrote a letter to my representative in the state house. I will mail it tomorrow.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Ponca City trip being planned

Saturday night was Movie Night at the Bradleys. There were six of us there, at the beginning. When Bob learned that the movie to be shown was one he had recently seen, he opted out, leaving just five of us. Today, I got up in time to go to church. The usual crowd was there. After talking with Edna, I think Gail and I might be doing the special music in a couple of weeks.

Marilyn called tonight and invited us over for dinner in a couple of days.

I changed the venue for Secular Singers to my house. Gail has an obligation on the 11th and will not be able to attend.

I am concerned about the situation in Ponca City. The organizer for the Atheists Meetup there felt forced to resign after a 16-year old girl wrote a letter to the paper saying that "Satan was trying to take over the city" (I'm paraphrasing here) because of the Ponca City Atheist Meetup meeting at a certain local restaurant. The restaurant owner is, or was, the organizer for the Meetup. He resigned a few days ago. We talked about this situation at Movie Night and decided to travel to Ponca City and eat at this restaurant. It's the least we can do to support the owner in these tough economic times.

The worker at the fireworks display who was injured had non-life threatening injuries. The next night there was a mishap at the Tulsa fireworks display, which disappointed thousands. In North Carolina, five people were killed in a fireworks accident there. And then somewhere else, a bridge collapsed holding people watching fireworks go off. It was not a good year for fireworks.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Accident Mars Fireworks Display

Tonight we went to the annual fireworks display held at River City Park. The show was preceded by a concert of local talent. There was a southern gospel quartet singing songs both patriotic and religious. After the musical presentation, the fireworks started. The rockets would go "Whoosh," ascend up a hundred feet or so, and then go "Boom," showering the sky with colored lights. The show had gone on for 10 minutes or so, when one of the rockets did not go "Whoosh," but it did go "Boom." There had been a ground level premature explosion of one of the rockets. For the next ten minutes there was silence.

Suddenly a voice comes over the PA system saying there had been an accident, urging the crowd not to block the roadway leading in to the park. Soon a fire truck and an ambulance appear and head toward the area where the fireworks had been set off. The voice returns on the PA saying there would be a delay of about seven or eight minutes and then the fireworks would resume. We waited for at least a half hour with nothing happening, except the ambulance left. We walked back to where we had parked the car, got in, and drove to Nick's house. We gave Ayla back to her parents. Nick and Jen had been with us at the park, but they left a little while before we did.

I guess I will learn tomorrow the fate of the worker setting off the fireworks.

Grocery shopping

This morning we went grocery shopping. The tally came to $235.53. That should do us for a couple of weeks (add to that, of course, eating out a few times).

I finally got the index down to the right length. I will go over it again to check for errors. I found one error yesterday in a subentry for "Indians (by tribe)." There is a tribe known as "Blackfeet." There is also a particular Indian by the name of "Blackfoot." I spotted the two together in the list of subentries. "Blackfoot" is not a tribe, so I removed it from the subentries.

This index has a lot of Indian names in it...names such as Potawatomie and Tecumseh.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

July Activites

July 2009
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., July 4, 7:00 PM
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th

Tues., July 7, 7:00 PM
Liberal Action Network, Zarrow Library, 2224 W. 51st St.

Sat., July 11, 2:00 PM
Secular Singers, Venue TBA

Sun., July 12, 1:00 PM
Humanist Study Group, Bradley House, 6705 E. 54th St.

Wed., July 15, 12:45 PM
ALGAE Luncheon, White River Fish Mkt., 1708 N. Sheridan

Sat., July 18 9:00 AM
Riverside Loop Walk, Pedestrian Bridge, 31st and Riverside Dr.

Sat., July 18, 7:00 PM
TAM Mid-Month Social, La Hacienda, 4518 S. Peoria

Sun., July 19, 1:15 PM
Humanist July Meeting, Hardesty Library, 8316 E. 93rd

Sat., July 25, 11:30 AM
Food & Fellowship, Rib Crib, 5025 S. Sheridan

Sun., July 26, 1:00 PM
Tulsa Atheists Meetup, Agora Coffee House, Fontana Center

To print out this schedule on a calendar page, click here:

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

At the Fitness Center

At 9 o'clock I listened to Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac on NPR. Shortly afterward, I went to TCC and walked three miles and did 60 reps on the abs machine set at 110 lbs. J went to Jennifer's and got Luke and brought him back here.

While walking I listened to a CD of Scarlatti Sonatas on my MP3 player. When I got back home, I recorded the three miles I walked in my exercise record book. For the year, I am up to 210 miles walked.

Indexing progress

Yesterday, I reached the last page of the book I'm indexing. Then I started on the final editing. The maximum size for the index is eight pages; my index is ten pages long. I will need the whittle it down.

I went back through the book and got the index down to just under nine pages. I will go back through it again today and reduce it more.