Monday, November 30, 2009

Three down; four to go

I have reached the end of the book I am index. The next step is to edit the thing. I have printed out a copy to work from. I want to update this blog before I get to work on the index.

This morning Gail came over, and we played duets for two hours. We rehearsed the piece we will play at Movie Night: "Yankee Doodle Variations" by Robert D. Vandall. We also played "Alexander's Ragtime Band," as well as several other pieces. We rehearsed the two pieces we will play at Randy's for the HumanLight ceremony: "In the Bleak Midwinter," and "Go Tell It On the Mountain."

This afternoon, we went to Jenks and did the YRE (year-round event) there. The weather was mild -- a perfect day for a walk. Our club sponsors seven YREs. You can walk each for credit once in the first six months, and then again in the last six months of the year. We have walked three of the walks so far in the last half of the year. We have walked Keystone, the Promenade Mall walk, and the Riverwalk in Jenks. We have four more to do if we want to walk all the walks our club sponsors for this year. Occasionally we do walks sponsored by other clubs. In the first half of the year we walked only four of the seven. Two of the walks are out of the Tulsa area: there is one in Bartlesville; one is in Galena, Kansas.

When we got home from the walk, I found a package had been delivered by UPS. It was a book of piano duets I had ordered. The title of the book is "We Love a Piano." It contains 15 duets, including "Peg O' My Heart," and "Satin Doll." All of them look to be great. Gail originally had a copy of the book. I decided to buy a copy after looking through hers.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr. Rapacki. I am glad my back is better. Having back pain is a real bummer.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

HumanLight approaches

As November draws to a close, it is time to think about HumanLight, which for us in Tulsa, will be observed on Saturday, December 19. If you are unfamiliar with HumanLight, please watch the video (link below).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food & Fellowship 11.28.09

This photo was taken today at The Rice Bowl on S. Sheridan Rd. From left going around the table are: Bob Noble, Bill Dusenberry, Dave Tinney, Dawn Bradley, Randy Bradley, Jan Nerren, Barbara Frey (not visible in this photo), and Marilyn Clarke. I was seated next to Marilyn and took this photo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

This Thanksgiving Day my sweet wife and I fixed a dinner for nine. There were Gary and Adra Dobbs (Jennifer's parents), Jon Dobbs (Jen's brother), Nick and Jen, Luke and Ayla, and, of course, the two of us.

With my wife serving as the primary chef, I did some of the less glamourous work: pealing potatoes, making tea, stirring gravy, etc. The crowd assembled around 2 pm. We had to run the dishwasher three times to get all of the pots and pans, dishes, and silverware clean.

Later on in the day, I began indexing. I marked up one chapter tonight. After I get it entered into the indexing program, I will be at page 309. My deadline is December 4. I have a week left to get it ready. The fun part comes at the end, once all the terms have been entered into the index. It is at this point that I find that I need to make revisions in order to make the index internally consistent. I will make a number of refinements to improve the index. Having the manuscript on a searchable pdf file really helps. When I began indexing (in 1996), file disks were not provided. With the document on a pdf file, you can locate every appearance of the word in the text.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adding Site Meter to your blog

I just checked to see who is reading my blog. How do you do that, you might wonder?

First, you need to add Site Meter to your blog. Google Site Meter and read about this free service. Instructions on adding Site Meter will be given. Follow the instructions and you should have a Site Meter box at the end of your blog. If you click on the site Meter box, you should see a screen with some options. Click on Location, and a list of cities with the ISP number of each user should display. I currently receive around 10 "hits" a day. I have about three regular readers: Marti in Tecumseh, John in Tupelo, and Galen in Rialto. You can tell what search words were used to find your blog. Other information about the users is displayed, also.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I did not get around to updating my blog last night. So here goes:

Yesterday began with a two-hour duet practice session with Gail. We looked at some of the new music Gail bought in Springfield, and we also practiced the two pieces we will be playing at the annual Winter Solstice gathering at Randy's this year. Gail and I have another video ready to upload to YouTube. We recorded the video a week ago but have not had time to upload it.

My Christmas present from my lovely wife was delivered by the postman on Monday. It is a Kindle e-reader. I have been getting familiar with it. It is lightweight and your stored library can be taken with you as you go places. It is no longer necessary to tote a load of books; take your entire library of 1,500 volumes with you as you travel.

It is also possible to highlight text as you read. You can add your own notes also as you are reading. For the English major, this device is the greatest thing since sliced bread. There are six font sizes. You can select the one you wish to use.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday reading the user's manual. The Kindle has a built-in wireless receiver, making it possible to download a book from the Kindle Store in about a minute. Most titles sell for about 10 bucks. Many of the older classics sell for peanuts. Many titles are free. I have yet to download anything. I am still learning how to manipulate the device.

I had the weekend off from indexing. I received an e-mail on Thursday informing me that more changes are being made to the text and asking that I stop and wait for new page proofs. The page proofs came on Monday. I downloaded it to a disk and took the disk to a copy shop and had them print the pages.

Yesterday evening my lovely wife and I attended the annual Thanksgiving service at Broadway Baptist Church. There were nowhere as many people this year as last year. Maybe that's because the service was held on a Monday instead of on a Wednesday or on Thanksgiving Day itself. On the way home, we stopped at Chinese Express and took some food home to eat.

Today the Fex-Ex truck came by the house and gave us a package with our church pictures in it.

I need to say that the new medicine prescribed by Dr. Rapacki has relieved my back pain. I am now pain free. I don't know what brought on the pain, but I am glad it is gone.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back home again

We are back home once again. We left on a short trip to Springfield, MO on Friday morning, early. We had the alarm clock set for 5:30 am. It was still dark when the alarm went off. We got up and loaded up the car and drove over to Victor Ave. in Tulsa. There we picked up fellow freethinker and piano duet partner Gail and headed for Skepticon II in Springfield.

We stopped first just across the state line in Missouri at the tourist info center. I had brought my GPS receiver with me, and the three of us went looking for a cache. We found the cache right away. It was inside an army ammo box about fifty feet into the woods at the back of the travel center. We also looked for another cache, but we did not know exactly what we were looking for. It turned out to be a benchmark, but we did not know that until later. Had we known what we were lookikng for, we might have found it. Instead we gave up looking for it.

We arrived in Springfield about 11:00 am. The events were held on the campus of Missouri State University. Several well-known skeptics were at the conference, including D.J. Grothe, Victor Stenger, Robert Price, Joe Nickell, Dan Barker, Richard Carrier, P. Z. Myers, and Rebecca Watson. We registered for the conference and ate lunch in the student dining area in the student union.

The conference began with a student debate followed by a debate between some of the speakers and some local people representing the theist point of view. The topic was "Does God Exist?" The debate was carried on at a high level of respectable discourse. At the 4:30 break, we went over to the Arbor near where my parents live. We three checked into the motel for the following two nights. We went by my parents' apartment where Gail and I played "Birch Tree Rag" and "Irish Air" for my parents.

When we got back to the campus, we heard J T. Eberhard speak on "Why do we criticize religion?" There was a 10-minute break and then we heard P.Z. Myers talk. Myers is the 2009 recipient of the Humanist of the Year award.

While most attendees went out to the Fox and Hound pub following the Myers talk, the three of us went to the Red Lobster for our evening meal. I had the broiled fish platter.

The next day, Saturday, we went back to campus and heard D. J. Grothe introduce the speakers for the day. The first was Victor Stenger, who spoke on "The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason." Next was Robert Price, a member of the Jesus Seminar, whose topic was "The Gospels and Thorough-going Skepticism."

Following lunch, we heard Joe Nickell speak on "Investigating the Paranormal." After this we heard Dan Barker talk on "A Book of (Bad) Numbers."

Next we went to Springfield Music where Gail and I looked through the piano duet music available in the store. Gail bought $32 worth of duet music. That will give us a lot to keep us occupied for the near future. We ate our dinner at Logan's Road House.

Back on campus, Richard Carrier was speaking on the topic "Where the Hell is Jesus: Weird Stuff from the Gospels to the Apostles," in which he talked about a number of contradictions and absurdities found in the Bible. P. Z. Myers spoke again, followed by Rebecca Watson. I think it was around 11:30 by the time we returned to the motel.

Some of the talks may be available for viewing on YouTube. There were probably 200 people attending the conference, which was held in two buildings: Plaster Student Union, and Carrington Hall.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Food and Fellowship

Today was the day for our November Food and Fellowship. With only five of us there, listening to conversation was made easier. With a dozen people at a meeting sometimes two or three conversations are going on simulataniously. If you are speaking in one conversation, you miss out on the other conversations. I won't say that there was only one conversation going on at all times, but I left feeling like I did not miss out on as much as I usually do.

The broiled scallops at White River Fish Market are to die for. Today I ate the broiled fish platter with Spanish rice and potato salad. The plate included three scallops, three shrimp, two hush puppies, and a piece of catfish. It was a great meal.

One guy there (in his 70s) told us how changing his dentist led to an increase in his libido. At least that was his interpretation of events.

This evening, J had a meeting at the Methodist church. While she was in the meeting, I sat in the church library indexing. I am now at page 218 in the book.

After leaving the church, we went to Nick's house and stayed with Luke and Ayla while Nick and Jen went to choir practice. We learned later that the Charge Conference was still going on and that choir practice was canceled.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What my doctor said

Today we visited my back doctor. He asked me about my symptoms and I explained how I was feeling. He asked what I was taking for the pain. I told him Aleve. He shook his head and said that Aleve, along with Motrin, Ibuprofen, and a few other medicines whould be taken off the market. He said that they cause kidney failure. Now he tells me. I took Aleve back in 2006 for about six months. I think my GP said to take four a day. So I have probably consumed about 700 Aleve. Well, I'm still Don't know what tomorrow will bring.

My doctor gave me a prescription for Methylpred, which is a steriod. I have been taking it this evening, and I can say that my pain has decreased. You start with six tablets the first day and decrease by one a day until they are all gone. I suspect the medication relaxes me for I am ready for bed and it is not yet 9:30 at this time.

The doctor said to come back in two weeks for a follow up. If in the meantime, the pain gets worse, I should call him and he will set me up for a MRI. He is hoping the pain will go away on its own.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Indexing and piano playing

The day began with Gail coming over to play piano duets with me. We recorded another video, which we may post to YouTube tomorrow. We selected two duets to play at Randy's on December 19, the annual gathering of freethinkers. We will play "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Go Tell It On the Mountain."

Tomorrow I will see Dr. Rapacki about my back pain, which fluctuates from a pain level of 2 to 5. I am glad to be retired. I certainly could not work this way.

I worked on the index tonight. I'm up to page 150 on the mark-up. Tomorrow I will see if I can get it typed into the program.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A trying day

Today was the day of the November HAT meeting. J and Ayla had left for church. I was making last minute preparations for the meeting. I had my things in a tote bag and headed out the door. On the way to the car I reached for my keys. They were not there. I had left my keys in the house. I was locked out.

I went to the gate on the south side of the house. It was locked up with a padlock. The gate on the north side (with a six-foot high wall) is locked from the inside. I looked over and saw my neighbor's trash cart and thought I might be able to use that to get myself over the fence. I rang his doorbell, but no one came to the door.

I wheeled his cart up to the gate and climbed on top. Mind you, I am doing all this with back pain. I put my foot on top of the gate and jumped over into my back yard. My destination was the shed in which I have a key hidden. I went to the spot where the key is usually hidden, but there was no key there. I had phoned J several times to find out where she was, but as I later found out, she had turned off her phone. I called Nick to see if he knew where she was. Nick said she had just left his house and should be home shortly.

Within ten minutes J pulled into the driveway and into the garage. As she came into the kitchen, I rapped on the back door. She opened the door and let me in. She was surprised to find me still at the house. I explained the situation to her and then went to change into dry clothes. It had been raining all this time.

By the time I arrived at Hardesty Library for the humanist meeting, I was thirty minutes late. The guest speaker, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, was talking to the group. I had forgotten to take an Aleve tablet and so the back pain was increasing. When I returned home, I took an Aleve.

Tomorrow, Gail is coming over for our weekly practice. We plan to video record another YouTube presentation.

On Tuesday, I have an appointment to see Dr. Rapacki.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Making music and indexes

I was feeling pretty good when I got up this morning. As for my back pain, I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 2. The only thing on my calendar for today was Secular Singers at Gail's house. At 2 pm I was at Gail's house for our rehearsal. I arrived at the same time as Bea. We went in and wondered where Randy was. Soon my phone rang. It was Randy. He was lost. Gail spoke to him giving him directions. In a few minutes he arrived. Our core group was all there. Sometimes we have others attend, but the four of us -- Randy, Bea, Gail, and myself - make up the core of the group.

Today we practiced our music for our annual Christmas/Winter Solstice program. We will have another rehearsal on December 5, just before Movie Night. The program will consist of about ten selections. Gail and I will play two duets, yet to be chosen.

We also listened to two selections by Jim Corbett - "It Must Be Jesus" and "I Am a Humanist." The selections can be heard on YouTube. Jim is a talented songwriter with a lot of promise.

Once we were feeling pretty good about the program, we all went home. I continued working on my index. I have the first quarter of the book done.

In the evening, my back pain increased to around a 4 or 5. I will be glad to see Dr. Rapacki next Tuesday.

A Charter for Compassion

Religious historian Karen Armstrong is working on a Charter for Compassion. For more information, go to

A call to bring the world together…

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall is in the air

It is a nice fall day today. I woke up feeling not too bad, considering how I felt as I went to bed the night before. I still felt bad enough that I called Dr. Rapacki's office to see if I could schedule a visit. I told the person I spoke to my symptoms, and she asked if i could come right in. I said I could so we headed for Tulsa. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the doctor's office.

We had the hospital in sight when my phone rang. The speaker said that Dr. Rapacki had been called to surgery. Rats! I would have to make an appontment for a later time. The person talking to me suggested 3 pm on Tuesday. I said OK.

J, always looking on the bright side, says that sometimes back pain goes away on its own. I hope that is the case.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Back pain again

Everything was ok when I got up this morning. J and I went to the Methodist church, and I took a few pictures of the Seniors in Action group. There were about 25 people present to have a group picture taken. On the way home I stopped at QuikTrip to add air to the tires.

After we got home something happpened to my back. It feels as if a disk has collapsed. This problem is not likely to get better on its own. If I still feel the same way as I do now in the morning, I will call Dr. Rapacki's office and see if I can come in and talk to the doctor. Presently, I am using a cane to get around. Lying down or sitting in a chair is no problem, but walking is another matter. Instead of walking, I hobble. Moving around is painful and slow. Needless to say, I did not go walking at TCC today. I am glad I am retired and don't have to go to work. I will have to decide tomorrow whether to go ahead with Secular Singers (set for Saturday) or call it off. This is our last chance to rehearse before we sing for HAT at Randy's in December. The way I feel right now, I don't want to leave the house except to go to the doctor.

J went to the library for me this afternoon. She returned some books and picked up others. I managed to get the first chapter of Astronomers indexed today. One of the books waiting for me at the library was YouTube 4 You. It looks like the book to read to learn the particulars on using YouTube.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Piano from the Potemkin Village

Today Gail come over to practice piano duets with me. Gail and I have been wanting to find a venue where we could perform in a relaxed setting for the public. Recently, Gail noticed a piano on the upper level (mezzanine?) of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Tulsa. We thought that might be an ideal place to play for a couple hours each week, especially if the piano just sat there unused.

While here Gail phoned the hotel and offered our services. We were surprised to learn that the piano is only for show. It has no strings, no action, no keys. It is just an empty shell for show. So it is back to the drawing board on this project. We might check next with the Doubletree.

We next went to the UPS Office. I took a disc with my next indexing project page proofs on it in the form of a PDF file. I had them print off the 433 pages of the book for me. We went a few doors away to the Subway and got an oven roasted chicken sandwich and took it home to eat.

J fixed a delicacy for our dinner: spaghetti with clams in white sauce. It is one of my favorite dishes. It was delicious.

We went over to Nick's house and stayed with the grandkids tonight. We entertained them while Nick went to church for choir practice. I made paper airplanes for Luke, and Ayla did an art project with J.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Events of the day

This morning, J and I walked the Keystone YRE. It was walk number 232 for me. Before the weather turns cold, I would like to do several more walks.

In the afternoon, I placed an order for my Christmas present from J. I will be getting a Kindle from Amazon. A Kindle is an e-reader. The great advantage of having a Kindle is that you can store 1,500 books within its memory. There are now approximately a third of a million books available for the Kindle. Most books sell for $9.99 or less and can be downloaded in about one minute, electronically. There are a number of videos on YouTube describing the Kindle. Some books are even free.

Later in the afternoon, I received an e-mail from Dumbarton Oaks. Included in the e-mail was a link to a Media Fire file containg the next book I will be indexing. This is the first time I have received page proofs in this way. Always before the physical pages were delivered by UPS or US mail. Tomorrow I will go out to a copy shop and have them print the pages for me.

Skepticon II in Springfield, MO

Skepticon II will take place on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri on November 20 and 21. Below is the schedule of events.

The Skepticon events began in Fall of 2008 when PZ Myers and Richard Carrier came to the MSU campus. This Fall, Skepticon II will build on the success of the first.

So far our lineup for the event is PZ Myers, Richard Carrier, Rebecca Watson, Joe Nickell, DJ Grothe, Victor Stenger, Robert M. Price, and Dan Barker, along with local presenters Dr. Mark Richter and JT Eberhard. The speakers will provide many of the reasons that belief in god is not only indefensible, but harmful to society as a whole. Our presenters will suggest ways to combat faith in government and in general. They will also rebut many of the common arguments in defense of belief in god.

Here's the tentative schedule: This is, of course, subject to change.

Friday, November 20
11:00-11:40 - Arrival, people getting stuffs.
11:40-Noon - Welcome, thanks yous, etc.
Noon-1:30 - Panel Debate, Does God Exist? (students) 2-4 - Panel Debate, Does God Exist? Carrier, Stenger, Price vs. Dr. Bob Cook and others from the Assemblies of God. DJ Grothe moderator.
4-5:30 - Break
5:30-6:30 - JT Eberhard, Why do we criticize religion?
6:30-7:30 - Rachel Dawn-Craig (or PZ Myers #1)
7:30 - Whenever - Hang-out with speakers at a yet-undecided location.

Saturday, November 21
10-10:15 - DJ Grothe
10:25-11:15 - Victor Stenger, The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason
11:25-12:30 - Robert Price, The Gospels and Thorough-going Skepticism
12:30-2 - LUNCH
2:00-3:20 - Joe Nickell, Investigating the Paranormal
3:30-4:50 - Dan Barker, A Book of (Bad) Numbers
5-7 Dinner break
7-8:15 - Richard Carrier, Where the Hell Is Jesus!? Weird Stuff from the Gospels to the Apostles
8:25 - 9:40 - PZ Myers
9:50 - 11:00 - Rebecca Watson

Monday, November 09, 2009

A new humanist song

We began the day by going to the TCC Fitness Center and walking three miles and then using a couple of the exercise machines. On the way home, we stopped at Subway and bought a $5 footlong sandwich, black forest ham with the usual veggies on it.

In the afternoon, we went grocery shopping and came home and watched the NBC Nightly News. Gail called to reschedule our weekly practice to Wednesday.

I received an e-mail from a guy in Washington state who apparently is a singer and song writer. He sent out an e-mail to various AHA chapter contacts. I am the contact for the Tulsa chapter. His e-mail contained two links for two songs which he wrote and performed. Below is a link for one of his songs, "I Am a Humanist."

I hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The End of America

I made two mistakes in my blog from yesterday. They have been corrected now. So if you read my blog from yesterday, you might want to reread it.

J and I were invited to Marilyn's for brunch this morning. J declined due to a church obligation. I went by myself. At 11:00 this morning I showed up at Marilyn's. Herb was there. Herb will be taking over the organizer role for the humanism meetup. We ate brunch and then went to Randy's and viewed the film "The End of America," a documentary with Naomi Wolf. It's an important film which everyone should see.

When I got back to the house, Luke and Ayla were here playing on the computer. I bought some new music while in Springfield. One item was a duet book for teacher and student. Ayla played the student part, while I played the teacher part for the song "Good King Wenceslas." There are seven Christmas pieces in the book. I also bought a book of Christmas solos by Melody Bober and another book titled "Advanced Jazzed Up! Christmas." (Yes, that's where the exclamation mark appears.) I also got a piece by David Karp for piano four hands titled "Old Man of the Mountain." This piece will be a challenge for Gail and myself due to the many 32nd notes in it.

Gail called this morning and asked if we could move our practice to another day. We will be practicing on Tuesday instead of tomorrow.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Back from Springfield

We took a short trip to Springfield. We left Thursday and spent one night with my parents. While there we saw my sister, Paula.

J is something of a computer whiz and helped Dad with his computer.

We got a late start home on Friday. We stopped in Miami after it got dark. We stayed at the Econolodge. That evening we ate at the Stone Inn Grill, a well-known steakhouse in Miami.

We left the next morning for Sand Springs and got home before noon. We attended a school carnival for Ayla's school.

Tonight was Movie Night at the Bradleys. We watched Little Miss Sunshine after Gail and I played a duet ("Birch Tree Rag") at the piano.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Day's events

We started the day by going to TCC and walking 3.5 miles. On the way home we went by Chinese Express and picked up some lunch. I had orange chicken, while J has lemon chicken. We brought it home to eat.

We showered and then headed over to Tulsa for a 1 pm appointment with Dr. Shirk at Hearing Specialists of Tulsa. Her office is near Hillcrest Medical Center. We made an appointment there because HST has a 30% discount on hearing aids through United Health Allies. Plus this place has a couple of nice features with its hearing aids that Beltone did not have. We were told it would take about a week and a half or two weeks for the hearing aids to be ready.

We went home and got all of the equipment for Beltone and returned to them. The office worker credited our Discover card with the price of the hearing aids.

When we got home, we did some yardwork. Our neighbor to the north has a maple tree in the front yard. It is dropping its leaves, some of which fall on our property. We were out with rake in hand gathering up leaves. We got back in the house and showered. Then it was time for the NBC Nightly News.

Following the news we went over to my son's house and stayed with the grandkids while Nick and Jen went to church and song in the choir. I stopped by Braum's on the way home and got a sixth-pound hamburger.

Book on the way

Note to Galen: I mailed the book to you yesterday, fourth class. It may take a few days to get to you. I do not need it back. You can keep it.

Hope you will check out

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The plumber

We called a plumber to fix a leak in our kitchen faucet. Water was coming out not only where it is supposed to but also around the part that comes up from the surface of the sink. We called the same person we have used for years, Lyle. We later found out that Lyle had retired to Arkansas. The person who answered the phone had replaced him (and he had also bought Lyle's house).

The new plumber came out and looked at the sink situation. We had wanted to sprayer repaired also (it wasn't spraying). The new plumber, Justin, managed to stop the leak but couldn't do anything about the sprayer. He advised we replace the faucet with a Delta. His bill was $87. A couple days later we were at Lowe's and bought a new Delta faucet for $115. We called him to install the new faucet, and next day he came by and started working on it.

He discovered that two different types of metals were in contact at the shut off valve and these two metals were creating an electrolysis. They were not compatable with one another. The electrolysis had caused a build up of residue in the pipe. he changed out the shut off valves and showed us the residue. He worked for a couple of hours and said he would come back tomorrow. He came back the next day (today), and worked for a couple more hours. By this time I was wishing the Lyle had not retired. I think Lyle could have done the job in less time. Justin's bill for today was $268.

Our total cost for the new faucet came to $470. I think next time we need a plumber, I will call Mullins Plumbing. Joe and Lou said that is who they use for their plumbing needs.

YouTube video

I was glad to get the video of Birch Tree Rag up on YouTube. Look for more videos from the Storey/Nerren duo in the future. (Gail gets top billing since she plays the primo part.) Playing piano is fun, but playing with a partner is twice the fun. I would encourage anyone who plays piano (or any other instrument) to find a partner to play with.

I was so tired last night that I did not post anything to this blog. However, this morning I did post about the video. This morning I also went to Beltone and got a copy of my hearing test. Tomorrow I will go to Hearing Specialists of Tulsa and talk with them.

I'm on YouTube

Yesterday Gail came over to practice, and while she was here we made a YouTube video. We recorded two takes and later when we uploaded a video I chose the better one. J recorded the video, using a ladder for height. If you would like to view the video, go to YouTube and type in the search box "Birch Tree Rag." You will see a few videos with that title. Look at the thumbnail photos and click on our picture.

Monday, November 02, 2009

November calendar

November 2009
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

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

Sun., Nov. 8, 1:00 PM
Humanist Study Group, Bradley House, 6705 E. 54th St.

Sat., Nov. 14, 2:00 PM
Secular Singers, Storey House, 4630 S. Victor Ave.

Sun., Nov. 15, 1:15 PM
Humanist November Meeting, Hardesty Library, on 93rd east of Memorial.

Wed., Nov. 18, 11:20 AM
ALGAE Luncheon, White River Fish Mkt., 1708 N. Sheridan

Fri. & Sat., Nov. 20-21
Skepticon II, MSU, Springfield, MO. For more info:

Sun., Nov. 22, 1:00 PM
Tulsa Atheists Meetup, Agora Coffee House, Fontana Center

Sat., Nov. 28, 11:30 AM
Food & Fellowship, Rice Bowl, 4307-B S. Sheridan Rd.

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

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Day of the Dead

This morning I went to church. Again, a small group was there. The talk today was on the Mexican tradition of "Day of the Dead." At one time this tradition was widely observed. It has largely died out in urban areas, but it still survives in rural parts of the country. Family members of the deceased will go to the cemetery where a loved one is buried and spend the night in the cemetery with them. When a meal is prepared, a place is set for the departed. The plate is filled with food. If the departed does not eat everything on their plate (they seldom do), the food is taken outside and left there.

There is an interesting program that comes on OETA on Sunday nights at 6 pm. It is called "Life -- Part 2." It focuses on an issue of interest to older people, people like myself. I wonder if the programs can be accessed on the Internet? I will have to check that out. I know that NOW and Bill Moyers Journal can be seen on the Internet.

Later on this month there will be a convention on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. There will be some well-known speakers there for this event. Speakers include P.Z. Myers, Rebecca Watson, Richard Carrier, Joe Nickell, D. J. Grothe, Victor Stenger, Robert M. Price, and Dan Barker. The event is called Skepticon II. I'm assuming there was a Skepticon I last year.