Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keystone State Park

We went out to Keystone State Park today. I picked up the receipts for the walking club. This evening we went to Nick's and babysat while Nick and Jen went to bell choir rehearsal at the church.

J spent the day, for the most part, working on the computer. I think we have a trojan horse virus. If I fail to post in the near future, we are trying to get rid of the virus.

I got an appointment to see Dr. Rapacki in April. My back problem persists. The worst thing about this is it prevents me from getting exercise. We might try to do a volkswalk in the near future, just to see how well I can do walking.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Church hopping and new music

Today is Tuesday and we tried out another church in the "Journey to Easter" series of programs. Today's service was held at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church. If that sounds familiar, it is because we were there last Saturday for the memorial service for Frank Ford.

Today's service was the reading of a booklet on the 14 Stations of the Cross. The minister read the top half of the page. Then one of 14 lay people from the congregation read the bottom part. There was no music in the program. Once the service was over, we went to the fellowship hall where various soups were available for lunch. I had a bowl of soup and a brownie for dessert.

On the way back to Sand Springs, we stopped at the Pratt Library. Some DVDs had come in for me: "New York, I Love You," "Angels & Demons," and a DVD on U.S. geography. I also checked out two books of music: "The Tony Award Songbook" and "The Great Big Books of Children's Songs."

Once home, we decided to go to Moody's jewelry in Tulsa. J needed to have her rings resized. She left two rings at the store, and then we went to Saied's Music on Yale. To my surprise, the store has expanded its piano duet sheet music selections. Before the area for duet sheet music was about 2 feet by a foot and a half. Now the piano duet sheet music has its own separate area, which is more than double the previous space. I was like a kid in a candy store looking over the new music. J was waiting for me in the car. I told her I would be back in ten minutes. So I hurriedly looked over the music and picked out two books. The first book is "The Joy of Duets" and it contains 34 selections. The second book is from the "In Recital" series published by FJH Music. It contains eight selections, including Debussy's "Claire de Lune, " Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" and the spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend happenings

This morning I attended the service at Church of the Restoration on Greenwood. The sermon was one written by A. Powell Davies and is from 1946. Betty Morrow read the sermon. The special music was sung by Mary Rounds. There were nine people present today.

Following the service, I drove to Wendy's and had a bowl of chili and a Dr. Pepper. Then I went to the Atheist Meetup at the Fontana Center. There were 20 people there today. After the meetup was over, I stopped by Wendy's and had a small chocolate Frosty.

Then I drove to Joe Price's house for drumming. Instead of going by my house in Sand Springs to get my drum, I borrowed a drum from Joe. He has a couple of extra drums. We drummed for a little more than an hour. There were just three of us there today.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

F & F at China Star in Sand Springs

The Food and Fellowship gathering for March was held today at China Star, which, in my opinion is the best place in Sand Springs to eat out. The all-you-can-eat buffet was just $6.49. There was lots of good food to choose from. The China Star buffet is a make over of a McDonald's building from years gone by. McDonald's has since built a new building closer to an off ramp from highway 412; but when we moved here 24 years ago, we often came here to eat. Since then, more restaurants have opened in Sand Springs, giving us more dining out options. A new IHOP restaurant is supposed to open sometime this fall.
After we had eaten, several of us went to the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church for a memorial service for Frank Ford. It is a beautiful church located on a lake. From where I was seated I could see University Towers, the building in which Barbara Frey lives. Barbara is visible in the photo above, wearing white with green trim. The old gent on the end with the white mustache is Larry Hicks. (I took the picture.) Although Frank was not a member of HAT, he had many friends in HAT who shared his political perspective. (Somehow I managed to get this picture on here twice. If I delete one, it may delete the other one also. I'll leave it as it is.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

What happened today

It is late, but I will try to recap today's events.

The morning got started by Gail coming over to practice piano duets with me. It was an enjoyable two hours.

Then in the afternoon, as usual, I took a nap. My call to Dr. Rapacki's office made around 9 am was never returned. I will wait until Monday and call again. It only hurts when I walk. I suspect I have a disk which has come out of place and is pressing on a nerve. It does not hurt at all while I am sitting; when I get up to walk is when I notice it.

Nick and his family came over tonight. They brought supper with them -- turkey stew. After they left, we watched our favorite TV programs; NOW and Bill Moyers's Journal. On another channel at the same time NOW aired was Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution. I watched it later on the Internet.

And now for a quote from Queen Jane's Version. This is Matthew 7:12:
I can sum up this whole thing by reciting the "Golden Rule" of the prophets: "Treat others like you want them to treat you," for it embodies the give-and-take by which people really get along in this world, the rule of the natural society in which humankind has learned what it takes for people to coexist with each other, with or without laws, civil or 'divine'.

It took a bit of searching to find a verse which my Christian friends would find non-offensive. But, who knows, they may take offense at this translation, anyway. Other parts of this translation are sure to offend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I decided to see if I could walk today. The last time I went walking was on March 5. We went to TCC and got on the walking track. It was not long before the pain in my left leg grew. After 20 minutes of walking, I stopped. The pain is like it was back in 2006. In the morning I will talk to the people in Dr. Rapacki's office and see what they recommend.

There is no pain while I am seated. It is when I am standing and trying to walk that the pain begins.

Bible study in high schools

I was reading an article on teaching the Bible in high schools. The following is a paragraph from that article:

The Christian Bible has had an influence on art, culture, music, and writing. These Bible study courses will merely provide history on how the Bible has influenced Western civilization. The Christian Bible will also be used as the textbook and it does not matter which version is used. Students may bring their own Bibles from home.

If I were taking such a course, I would use Queen Jane's Version as my translation of choice. This translation, which was published just over ten years ago, is the work of Douglas A. Rankin. Subtitled The Complete and Uncensored Translation for a New Millennium, it is a monumental work. Scattered throughout the text are 24 pictorial icons which call the reader's attention to certain themes which recur in the text. The book is published by Emporia Press of Dallas.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Piano at COR

I got a call from Edna, the church pianist, this morning. She wanted to change the date for playing the piano duet from this Sunday to April 11. That is OK with me; it will give us more time to practice. I sent an e-mail to Gail with this information. We plan to play "Castle House Rag" by James Europe Reese.

I took a look at this afternoon and printed a solo piece with the title "Minute Rag." You can both hear it played and view/print the sheet music on the site. I like the sound of it, but it is written in the key of B natural -- not the easiest key to play in.

It has been a while since some of my friends have updated their blog. Perhaps they are having computer problems.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another church visited

Today we went to Mission Christian Church in our weekly trek to area churches in the Journey to Easter series. Following the service we went downstairs and had a bowl of soup and a couple of cookies. On the way back home we stopped and bought a brisket sandwich (which we shared) from Papa Pat.

This evening we attended the session on reading non-fiction at Central Library. The speaker was from OSU and was quite interesting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This day's events

Normally on Monday morning I am playing duets with Gail, but this week we have postponed our practice session to Friday. Gail is to take her mother-in-law back to Texas today. I did practice my part on the duets this morning. Our duet at Church of the Restoration has been rescheduled for next Sunday.

Around 1:00 pm we went grocery shopping. The pain in my left leg was such that I had to sit down for a while. After about 10 minutes of rest, I was able to rejoin J in doing the shopping. Once we got home, I brought the groceries in to the house while J put away the items needing to be refrigerated or frozen. Then I went to the bank to transfer some money from one account to another.

The big news right now is the passage of the health care reform bill. There is a lot of opposition to the bill in Oklahoma. One poll I saw showed a quarter of the population favoring the bill while three quarters were in opposition. This is in spite of the fact that Oklahoma is a very relgious state. You would think that a bill which increased medical coverage would be welcomed by Christians. The bill also prohibits turning people away due to pre-existing conditions. The bill has the look of being written by Christians. Yet so many Christians oppose the bill. What irony! It's the old "I've got mine. You get yours, Jack" kind of attitude for which Oklahoma is so infamous. What accounts for this hardheartedness?

I finished reading the account by Harriet Jacobs written back in the 1850s of her experiences growing up as a slave in the South. After spending seven years in a cramped garret, she escaped to the North. Eventually, someone "purchased" her and set her free. It is a harrowing tale of close escapes, even when she lived in the North. Her "master" came looking for her; and, if he could have found her, he could have forced her back South due to the Fugitive Slave Law.

This evening we began watching a new series from The Teaching Company. It is "The Art of Reading." We viewed the first lecture tonight, and it looks promising.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Final video viewed

Tonight we viewed the final video in the 36-part series from The Teaching Company titled "Philosophy of Religion." It was an excellent series.

I also read a few more pages of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. I should have the book finished by tomorrow.

Betty called this morning to let me know that church service had been canceled. I had decided already that I would stay in. I don't know if drumming met today, but I sent Joe an e-mail telling him I would be staying in.

I did not leave the house at all today, except to take the trash cart to the curb. Our trash gets picked up once a week on Mondays. What with all the snow on the ground, it was a struggle getting the trash cart to the curb.

Site meter restored

When I converted my blog so as to allow others to sign on as followers, my Site Meter disappeared. Today I restored the Site Meter, and I hope it is working. Site meter allows me to get an idea of just who is looking at my blog. It is free. Adding it to a blog is not too difficult. If you read this blog regularly, why not sign on as a follower?

Ayla just came in with a tooth that came out. She had it in a pill box, showing it around. Her parents should be here soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More snow

Today played out about the way I expected it to. It was blowing snow as I looked out the front door. No volkswalking. No geocaching. No HAT meeting. It was a stay inside kind of day.

The only time we got out was in the morning when we went to Braum's for milk, eggs, orange juice, and a few other items. We retreated back to the house after shopping at Braum's and stayed inside the remainder of the day. It is nice being retired.

We gave up on going to Pryor because of the weather. I phoned a friend in Pryor to let him know that we would not be going there.

I phoned Randy, who must have been out, and talked to his wife. It was about 10 am. I decided to go ahead and cancel the humanist meeting set for 2 pm that afternoon. Randy called back later and said the same thing. I called Barbara and told her the meeting had been canceled. I could tell she was disappointed by her tone of voice. She was going to say a few words about Frank Ford who passed away recently.

I was enjoying my afternoon nap when the door bell rand. It was my son who brought Ayla to our house to overnight with us. She and Nanna have been enjoying one anothers company. Nanna braided Ayla's hair tonight. I played piano tonight.

We are supposed to get more snow tonight. It should melt away fairly soon though.

Richard Maule's picks

Richard is a HAT member and a retired educator. He reminds me a lot of Bob Newhart. I wish I could talk Richard into doing a Newhart skit for us sometime. Here are his picks:

Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Candide by Voltaire
The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun in Sapulpa

Today we went over to Nick's house and picked up our two grandchildren and went on an outing with them. Our first stop was Sonic, where we bought lunch for the four of us and took it with us as we continued on to Sapulpa. We went to the playground there in the downtown area. We were not the only ones who had the idea to take children to play there. I saw at least two day care vans parked in the parking lot across the street. The place was packed with kids. It was so packed, we had to share a picnic table with another group. We scarfed down our food (a sausage and egg burrito for me) and then the kids returned to playing.

After spending an hour at this playground area, we decided to go to another location I was familiar with. This second area was also crowded. We stayed there about an hour and then left for Sand Springs (about 10 miles away). We got the kids safely back to their home, and we returned to our home. After chasing Luke and Ayla around the playgrounds for two or three hours, I was ready for a nap.

It looks like we are in for some more winter weather. The temperature has already plummeted. Some or all of my weekend plans may change. We were going to Pryor to do a volkswalk and some geocaching, but that is probably off. Also, the HAT meeting scheduled for 2 pm will probably be canceled. Church service for Sunday morning may be called off, as well. From 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected in the area.

Gail and I were set to play a paino duet on Sunday at the church service. That could be pushed back a week. I don't like getting out and driving through the snow. I would just as soon stay indoors.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Evening activity

This evening we went to the Campus Grill for dinner. This was actually our second dinner, since we had our first dinner around 4:30. We thought it best to eat at that time and then eat again at the Campus Grill around 7:30. I think Taco Bell refers to it as Fourth Meal. My Fourth Meal was light -- just a cup of chili with a Dr. Pepper.

There were 14 of us there. The event was the Atheists Mid-Month Social. The conversation was lively and interesting. Ages ranged from 30s to 60s. There were about as many women there as men.

On the way home, we were blocked by a train at 33rd West Avenue. I drove on down to W. 51st St. and crossed over the tracks there. W. 51st St. is just one block south my house but about five miles east at that point. So I proceeded west and had driven about four miles when I noticed flashing emergency lights. Due to the darkness, I could not see what lay ahead. The road was blocked off. I had to pull into a drive and turn around and make my way over to 41st St. When we got home, J checked the online news and read that there had been a fatal vehicle accident at that place.

Scans are OK

We went to my radiologist this afternoon to get the results of the scans I had taken last Tuesday. He said the scans looked OK. There was no change from the last scans taken a year ago. That was a relief, especially if you had seen some of the sad cases sitting in the waiting room.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I hope to get back to walking soon. I still have discomfort when I walk right now. Maybe tomorrow I will feel better and can go for a walk. J says I have overdone walking and should walk no more than forty minutes on any day. I had been walking three miles a day and sometimes four miles. The last time I walked was Friday, March 5.

Tomorrow I go see Dr. Uy and get the results of the scans I had on Tuesday.

Tonight we watched two episodes from "The Philosophy of Religion" course. I also watched last Friday's Bill Moyers' Journal, which I missed due to being with the poetry group. Next month we will read and discuss poetry written by Lewis Carroll.

Food & Fellowship luncheon

We just got back from the Humanist Food and Fellowship luncheon at White River Fish Market. There were just four of us there today. That beats Secular Singers last Saturday, at which there were just three of us. Perhaps we need to cut back on the frequency of meetings. I am considering suspending Secular Singers until September, if participation continues to wane.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scans and a Library Program

We got up early this morning (that is, early for us) around 7 am and was on our way to St. John Medical Center for scans by 7:45. I checked in and soon my name was called to go back for a CT scan. It was quick. It took only about five minutes. I returned to the waiting room for a few minutes, and then my name was called for the MRI scans. The MRIs took about 30 minutes. About 20 minutes into the MRIs, the technician gave me an injection of a contrast agent. Then he finished up the remaining 10 minutes with more scans. I go to Dr. Uy this Thursday to get the results.

This evening we attended a program at the Central Library. The program began at 7 pm and was titled "Read Smart." Tonight's workshop was "Why Read? The Reasons We Read." The series was to begin last Tuesday, but due to illness of the speaker, an English professor from TU, the event had to be canceled. We learned tonight the speaker who was to speak March 9 has cancer. The event actually began tonight with what was originally scheduled to be the second part of the four-part series. The event was well attended with 30 to 35 people present. The focus of tonight's session was on fiction. The facilitators (two librarians) began by asking why we read. The group came up with more than a dozen reasons for reading. Many hand-outs were available for further reading.

Next week's session is titled "How to Read, Part Two: Nonfiction and Other Texts." The facilitator is from OSU and will speak on how to more effectively read a variety of nonfiction texts.

Vanessa's picks

Vanessa Adams-Harris is the Office Assistant at Church of the Restoration. Here are her five picks:

The Koran
From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Franklin
Lucy: The Beginnings of Mankind by Donald Johanson
Native Americans
The Oxford Dictionary

Monday, March 15, 2010

Marilyn's picks

Marilyn Clarke has been a longtime member of HAT and is currently the chapter vice-president. These are her picks:

Thinking Animals by Paul Shepard
The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
The Pursuit of Loneliness by Philip Slater
The World I Made for Her by Thomas Moran
Love and Its Place in Nature: A Philosophical Interpretation of Freudian Psychoanalysis by Jonathan Lear

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Betty Morrow's picks

I am afraid I put Betty Morrow through some anguish to come up with just five titles. She said it would have been much easier to choose 100 than just five. I feel that way, too. I have already had some second thoughts about my choices. Should we do this again next year, we all might have different choices. Here are Betty's choices:

The Complete Shakespeare
The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan
From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Franklin
When Corporations Rule the World by David Korton
Anti-Intellectualism in America by Richard Hofstadter

Mary's picks

Mary Rounds is another one of my friends from Church of the Restoration. She selected the following five books.

Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul by Jane Roberts
Conversations with God (numbers 1, 2, and 3) by Neale Donald Walsch
Autobiography of Frederick Douglass
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Joy's picks

I saw some of my friends at church today. I asked them about the five most influential books they have read. Here are Joy Avery's.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
1984 by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Way of Life by Lao Tzu
Singing the Living Tradition (Unitarian Hymnal)

Blog conversion now allows followers

I have converted my blog to allow readers to sign on as a "follower" of this blog. When I started this blog, having "followers" was not an option. I have converted this blog to make it possible to now have followers. So if you would, take a moment and sign on as a follower. Thank you.

I went to church this morning. There were just six of us there. I checked with Edna and arranged for Gail and myself to play a duet next week. I think we will be playing "Castle House Rag" by James Reese Europe. Today's talk was titled "Celebration of Women's History." The talk was given by Mary Rounds. Next week the service will focus on Harriet Jacobs, author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. The book can be read for free on the Internet. It can also be downloaded free to your Kindle. I downloaded a copy to my Kindle and will try to get it read by next Sunday.

I got a call from Joe Price this afternoon. He called to say drumming was being canceled.

My back has gradually gotten better. At least I think it is good enough to resume walking. I am scheduled to have scans of my brain this coming Tuesday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mary Spangler's picks

Mary Spangler chose the following as her five favorite books.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Gail Storey's picks

Gail's five books are the following:

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Sandra Edwards's picks

Sandra Edwards chose these as her five favorite books:

The Way by Lao Tzu
Existentialism by Jean Paul Sartre
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Summa Theologicia by Thomas Aquinas
The Works of Meister Eckhard

Mike's picks

Mike is a pseudonym. Sometimes I call him Mike, because, well, he looks like a "Mike." He fits my Platonic ideal for a "Mike," you could say. His real name is nothing like "Mike."

Having said that, here are Mike's picks:

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Bible
The Art of Living by Epictetus as interpreted by Sharon Lebell
Airborne by William F. Buckley, Jr.
The Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Suzi Bechtole's picks

Here are the works selected by Suzi Bechtole:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
The Autobiography of Ben Franklin
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Larry Roth's picks

Larry has chosen the following five books as his picks:

The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine
The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan
Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry
by David Alexander
Doubt by John Wolf

Brian Hill's picks

The books selected by Brian are the following:

The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Van Loon
Future Shock by Alvin Toeffler
The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
This Hallowed Ground by Bruce Catton
Mirages of Marriage by Lederer and Jackson

Bill Dusenberry's picks

Bill Dusenberry responded with the following selections:

The Portable Nietzsche by Walter Kaufmann
Candide by Voltaire
The Bible
The Power Broker by Robert Caro
The Case for Compulsory Birth Control by Dwight Engle

Rod's picks

Rod Paruch has selected these as his five favorite books:

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
The End of Faith by Sam Harris
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The Winter World by Bernd Heinrich

Marilyn's picks

Marilyn Goodman has selected these as her top five:

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
The Worldly Philosophers Robert L. Heilbroner
The Earth is Flat by Tim Harford
Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives and Corporate Greed in Iraq by T. Christian Miller

Kathy's picks

These are the top five books for Kathy Coleman:

The Bible
Six Studies in the Scriptures by Charles Taze Russell
Lectures of Robert Green Ingersoll
The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A visit to the Honda dealership

Today we took our 2008 Saturn to Joe Marina Honda for the scheduled Auto Butler treatment. it was our first time there. The Saturn dealership has closed up shop, but the Honda place was right next door. We were there about an hour while they service techs did what they do. There was no charge for whatever service they performed.

While waiting on the car, I read my Kindle. I read some articles from the lastest issue of The Nation. Then I accessed the George Eliot novel I have been reading, and about that time my phone rang. My car was ready.

On the way home, we stopped at Red Lobster for lunch. J had a gift card with a few dollars left on it. We finished that off. I had a salad and some scallops which were bacon wrapped and marinated in something peach/bourbon flavored. It was scrumptous. For dessert we had a piece of chocolate cake with ice cream.

A storm with high winds is supposed to pass through the state this evening. I thought I had better get this written before we lose electricity.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Today's events

Today we went to the First Presbyterian Church for the "Countdown to Easter" program. There were about as many people there as we saw at the service last week at the Catholic Church. The meal, though, was better. The meal consisted of sliced roast beef, a baked potato, salad, and a chocolate chip cookie. Tea was the beverage.

The church has the typical Protestant church look -- a symetrical white building, a steeple, and the whole complex sits high atop a hill overlooking the town. I think the service next week is to be at the Lutheran church.

I phoned the library and got a copy of "I Got a Gal from Kalamazoo." They sent it to me by e-mail, and I printed it here. I might use that piece at Secular Singers this weekend.

Tonight was supposed to be the first in a series of four lectures at the Central Library on reading and literature. However, tonight's lecturer got sick and had to cancel. I just happen to notice a news report on the Tulsa World web site about three hours before the event was scheduled to start.

Tonight we watched lecture number 30 (out of 36) in the series on Philosophy of Religion.

Also tonight I subscribed to the magazine The Nation. It will be delivered wirelessly to my Kindle whenever an issue is published. In the current issue, I read a piece about the retirement of Bill Moyers in April. He will leave a void that will be almost unreplaceable.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Catching up

I need to catch you up about the events of the weekend. Quite a few things have happened since last Friday.

On Saturday, I attended the first meeting of the Tulsa chapter of Freedom From Religion Foundation. The meeting was held in the home of Bill Dusenberry and Jackie Martin. If you are interested in knowing about that meeting, see

That evening was Movie Night at the Bradleys. We watch a double feature: Sick Around the World and Julia. The first feature was a documentary which compared America's health care to that of other nations around the world. America is not in the top ten for length of life, but we have a high rate of infant mortality. While our country has some of the best care available, it is not available if you have a high deductable or are poor. If you are poor, you would be better off to live in another country. Several other countries have a system of universal health care which is supported by taxes. For example, in England you can go to the doctor and even be admitted to the hospital and have no bill to pay. Forty-six million people in this country have no health insurance. Too many people are dying for lack of insurance. Call an insurance company and ask about medical coverage, and they will ask if you have any pre-existing conditions. If you do, good luck getting insurance from them.

The second feature we watched was Julia. It is set in the 1930s and is the story of two women and their experiences just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

On Sunday, I went to Church of the Restoration. There were seven people there for the service. In a couple of weeks, Vanessa (church secretary) will be leading a discussion of the book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. I found out today that the book can be read on the Internet for free. I downloaded a copy to my Kindle and also sent an e-mail to the church to let Vanessa know the book is available on the Internet.

After church I returned home for a bite to eat and then left for our billboard on the west bank of the Arkansas River. The billboard reads: "Are You Good Without God? Millions Are." There were five of us there for an interview for Channel 8. Only two of us appeared on camera: Randy and Bill. The interview was aired on the 5 pm news and again on the 10 pm news. The interview can be viewed (for a while, at least) on I am visible in the background for a fraction of a second.

After meeting with the reporter, I went to Braum's and had a chocolate shake. I then went to Joe Price's house for drumming. It was Joe's 62nd birthday, March 7. Joe was born just one day before I was. Joel, the Price's son-in-law, arrived, and we went over two drumming sets we have been practicing for several weeks.

Gail came over to practice piano duets this morning. We had another productive session as we worked out some tricky rhythms in a couple of pieces. We recorded Spanish Dance for YouTube, but I think we can do better than what we did today. We might try again next week, or we might move on to record another piece.

This evening we attended a symphony concert on the campus of Tulsa University. Gail and Glenn were there. We also saw a few other people we know. After the concert, we went to the Campus Grill and each had a pulled pork sandwich.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Marti's picks

Marti is a special person in my life, from decades ago. She teaches at Southwest English Institute in Shawnee. She works at getting international students up to speed with the English language.
Her picks are:

A Voice In The Wind by Francine Rivers
Agatha Christi mysteries
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Christy by Catherine Marshall
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Brief summary of day's events

We went to Lake Keystone and walked the 5 K volkswalk there. I am still having trouble walking. I have pain in my left leg. It sometimes feels as if the leg is going to collapse. I suspect the problem is in my back (specifically the spine). I get tired easily. It is a good thing I am retired, otherwise, I would have to take off work. I have scans set for March 16. These are a follow-up to the brain surgery I had in 2007.

The last time I saw my back doctor regarding my back, he said if the pain comes back to call in and they would schedule a MRI for me. I will probably have to do that. I will try to wait until the scans of my brain are taken. J thinks the tumor is growing back. I think the problem is in my back.

We watched lecture number 29 today. It is titled "Discourse in an Intentionalist Paradigm." There are just seven lectures left in this course.

We went grocery shopping this afternoon. It is good to have that out of the way for a while.

Galen Greenwalt's picks

Galen is a preacher from southern California. I have known Galen since 1966 when we both worked at a religious retreat in the mountains outside Santa Fe, NM. Since that time, we have moved in different directions religiously. Does one choose these directions, or are there elements in life that call us to do the things we feel compelled to do?

Galen listed several books and I have redacted his selection as follows:
The Bible
Papillon by Henri Charriere
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Who Moved My Cheese by Spenser Johnson
The Shack by William P. Young
The Journey by Billy Graham

If anyone wishes to make modifications to their list of books, let me know.

John Cother's picks

John is a retired educator from Mississippi. We went to high school together and were good pals. Here are his picks:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Divine Evil by Nora Roberts
Fear of Spiders by John E Cother

The last title is John's own book.

Vicki's picks

In response to my request to learn your favorite books, I have heard from my beautiful cousin from Houston, Vicki. Here are Vicki's picks:

"The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore
Blood and Money by Thomas Thomspon
Fried Green Tomotoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Suds in Your Eyes by Mary Lasswell
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
The Collected Works of John Grisham

Thank you, Vicki.

Wherever you are from, be it El Reno or Elkhart, please tell me what your five favorite books are, and I will post your reply on my blog.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Favorite Books

I am asking my readers to let me know of their top five favorite books. These books may change with time. What I want to know is what are your five favorite books as of today. You may post your favorite books on your blog or you may send me an e-mail listing them.

To start things off, I am listing my top five favorite books (in no particular order):
Language in Thought and Action by S.I. Hawakawa
The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski
Atheist Universe by David Mills
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
I hope to hear from you soon.

Graven images

I will say up front that I like graven images, despite the Biblical prohibition of them. And nobody can do graven images as well at the Catholic Church. Today we visited St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sand Springs as part of the week-long observation of Lent. (Except they don't call it Lent, but something else (Countdown to Easter) in order to accommodate one denomination.)

Anyway, there is quite a change in appearance in a Catholic Church, as opposed to a Protestant Church. I think the first thing that strikes one is the presence of statuary. There is not a lot of statuary at St. Patrick's, but there is a noticeable absence of statuary in the Protestant Churches in the area. They are big on candles, too, at St. Patrick's. I must have seen at least a hundred candles today.

The minister gave a sedate talk, which was thankfully short. A dynamic speaker, he was not. The entire service lasted no longer than 20 minutes, including the singing of three hymns.

After the service the gathering moved downstairs into the fellowship hall for a meal of beef stew. This portion of the event lasted at least 40 minutes. Most of this time was spent waiting in line to be served. The hall was packed. The Methodists were probably the largest group there. Few Baptists and Catholics were there.

After leaving St. Patrick's, we paid the city utility bill at city hall, and went by the post office to mail a letter. From there we went to TCC to walk. I walked just thirty minutes today, quitting early due to a pain in my hip. I suspect this pain is related to my back problem. It feels similar to the pain I experienced prior to my back surgery in 2007.

After returning home, we watched the next lecture in the Philosophy of Religion series.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Start of a new week; Favorite books

Knowing that Gail would be coming over for piano practice this morning, we were at the post office around 9:00 am to pick up our mail and have delivery resumed. Then we went by our CPA and picked up our tax papers. On the way home, we went through the drive-thru at Braum's and got a couple of sausage and egg biscuits. We brought them home and ate them. I had just enough time to take a shower before Gail arrived. However, I forgot to shave. Oh, well.

Duet practice went well. We hope to perform again at Church of the Restoration soon. We still haven't made the video we have been talking about. Maybe next week.

For lunch, we went out to the Crescent. I had a chicken salad sandwich with potato salad.

We came home and I took a nap. Later, we watched the news. Then we viewed two more lectures from "The Philosophy of Religion" series. Next, we watched "Bill Moyers Journal" on the Internet. We missed the program from last Friday while we were visiting my parents in Springfield.

I am going to ask my friends to post on their blog their five favorite or most influential books. I will do the same. If you do not have a blog, then send me an e-mail. I will post the responses I receive on this blog. So start thinking about it, and when you have come up with your five titles, let me know.