Sunday, February 27, 2011

Roy Zimmerman is coming to Tulsa

Later on this week Roy Zimmerman will be in Tulsa for a concert. His venue is small -- the Nightingale Theater. It seat about 100 people. I expect people will be turned away at the door. It might be a good idea to arrive early at the Theater.

Below is a link to Roy singing one of his songs.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Food and Fellowship and Handbell Choirs

Today was the day for the February Food and Fellowship which was held at Asian Cuisine in what used to be a Steak and Ale restaurant. Ten people were there. I had barbecued ribs and rice.

After we left the restaurant, we went to a nearby library to amuse ourselves while waiting for the clock to move closer to 3 pm. At 3 pm we were at the Spirit Bank Event Center in Bixby for a concert by the Tulsa Area Handbell Association. The group played eight songs mostly of a religious nature. Ringers came from 14 area churches. It was the largest gathering of bell ringers I had ever seen. We attended this event because my daughter-in-law was one of the ringers.

After the event was over we stopped at Sonic and ate. I had my usual -- a breakfast burrito with Dr. Pepper.

I continue to recover from the spider bites I received last week. My left ear looks gross. The swelling is down. My earlobe is brown and scaley. I just hope I get back to normal before long with no permanent effect.

World Clock

Click on the link above to see what is happening in the world and how fast.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Shopping at Lowe's

This afternoon, J had a doctor's appointment in east Tulsa. We drove over to the facility and heard what the doctor had to say. Afterwards, we went to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on 41st St. After we left the bookstore, we went to a nearby Subway and shared a $5 footlong sweet onion chicken teriyaki sandwich. Next we went to Lowe's where we bought several items. We bought some seeds. I also bought four four-foot pieces of 2 X 6 lumber and a dozen lag bolts. I will put these together to form a square. I intend to make a raised bed garden this summer.

We got back home about a half hour before the NBC Nightly News. I have been following the developments in North Africa and the Middle East, and also in Wisconsin. The times they are a-changing.

Tomorrow is the date of our monthly Food and Fellowship gathering. We will be meeting at a new Asian restaurant.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Army pictures

Here are a couple of pictures taken of me when I was in the army in Wurzburg. These photos were taken sometime between 1971 and 1973.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cemetery in Germany

Here is a cemetery in Wurzburg, Germany. I was stationed here in the early 70s. One day I took a camera and visited the cemetery. The dead are packed in like sardines. Some graves are two-tiered, meaning one casket was laid atop another.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I went back to the doctor today for a follow-up visit. My poor left ear looks like it is sunburnt. The skin is pealing. However, it feels a lot better. The doctor did not know what caused this incident; I just hope it doesn't return.

While out I picked up two fluted dowel pieces for my door repair project. We had two pieces, which I glued in place yesterday. The holed are drilled for the other two pieces. I hope to get them in place tomorrow.

Gail come over for another practice session this morning. We practiced "Cotton Mill Blues," which will be the special music for Restoration on March 6.

In March, the Humanists will be holding a "Humanists and the Arts" session at Restoration on the 18th. For an hour, local humanists will entertain the gathering by playing musical instruments or reading poetry.

J bought a case for her Nook today at Wal-Mart.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Here I am in Park Grove Cemetery in Broken Arrow next to the gravestone of Ralph Blane. Blane penned the lyrics to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". This picture was taken on February 17, 2011. If you click on the picture, you can enlarge it and read the inscription.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Church and piano practice

I went to Restoration this morning. There were only five of us there: Mary, Joy, Edna, Larry, and myself. How long can this church keep going?

The weather has moderated. It was very pleasent today. The snow has melted.

This evening I played piano for a couple of hours. Then I studied Russian with the assistance of

My medical problem is much better. I still have some lingering pain around my left ear. I have a follow-up visit to the doctor soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Strange Occurrance

Earlier this week we went to Broken Arrow. We drove there on Tuesday and returned Thursday. J took some insurance class which was held on the campus of Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow. While there we looked for some geocaches. We found four of the five caches we looked for.

Thursday afternoon, around 4 pm, I noticed my left earlobe felt different. By 8 pm my left ear was swollen. My lymph nodes behind my ear were also swollen. This morning I went to a doctor. I received two injections plus a prescription. I came home and slept. I got up only to see the national news. After the news, I returned to bed. Around 8 pm I started feeling better.

On Gregorian Chant

A Beginner's Guide To Reading Gregorian Chant NotationTonight I finished reading a book about Gregorian chant. See the image to the left. Chant notation is written on a staff of four lines. There are a few other differences as well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On the laptop

Tonight we are using the laptop. We seem to be having some connectivity problems. I will need to save often.

Yesterday, Monday, Gail and I had our usual Monday practice session. Afterwards, Gail went out to our front yard to our pine tree and took some clippings which she intends to use as decoration for some event she is hosting.

Today, we went to Barnes & Noble where J bought a Nook e-reader. While in the area, we went to Saied's Music Store on Yale. I bought a piano solo version of Floyd Cramer's song "Last Date." Earlier this day, I received the books I had ordered from Amazon. I am looking forward to taking part in Gregorian chant at the cathedral.

For our evening meal, we ate at the Stone Mill Barbecue Restaurant in Broken Arrow. I had the all-you-can-eat ribs for $11 plus change.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quoted from a speech by Bill Moyers

He [reporter Joe Keohane] was reporting on research at the University of Michigan, which found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in new stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts were not curing misinformation.

Suffice it to say that, while "most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence," the research found that actually "we often base our opinions on our beliefs ... and rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions.

These studies help to explain why America seems more and more unable to deal with reality. So many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign, that they pick and choose only those facts that will serve as building blocks for walling them off from uncomfortable truths.

To read the entire speech, click here:

Friday, February 11, 2011

In support of Darwin Day

Below is a link with Roy Speckhardt explaining how you can support the effort to make February 12 recognized as Darwin Day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

From the mail

It was another cold day in Oklahoma. Last night the temp got down to -31 degrees in Nowata. But soon the temp is supposed to get back to the 60s.

In the mail today I got another issue of The Oklahoma Observer. The cover story is about mental illness. Here are a few quotes from the article:

More than 35,000 mentally ill commit suicide annually.

The Mental Health Department reports that Oklahoma ranks No. 2 in serious psychological disorders in the adult population.

Oklahoma's mental health spiral began under Republican Gov. Frank Keating who signed executive orders closing Western State Hospital at Fort Supply and Eastern State Hospital in Vinita.

One in four adults have a diagnosable mental illness but less than 25% of older adults with mental illness get any type of mental health attention, let alone appropriate treatment.

In 1955 there was one psychiatric bed for every 300 Americans. Last year there was one psychiatric bed for every 3,000 Americans.

Let's hope tomorrow is a warmer day.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Four more inches of snow

With the temperature at 17 degrees now, I can report that we received four more inches of snow overnight. We are in hibernation mode once again. We are well stocked with food; we only go out for the newspaper in the morning.

I recall watching an episode of a Bill Moyers's program several years ago titled, I think, "Strange Weather." In this program Moyers interviewed the than head of the Environmental Protection Agency. At that time the head of the EPA was concerned about the effect of global climate change on the weather. The dumping of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (by automobiles and industry) is a chief cause of global warming, which in turn leads to erratic weather phenomena.

It is supposed to warm up starting on Friday. With each passing day, we get closer to spring.

I was just reading the January issue of National Geographic. There is an article on the earth's population in the issue. I notice that in 1948, the year I was born, the population of the Earth was between 2 and 3 billion. It is now approaching 7 billion. The magazine will be running articles this year on population growth.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Car gets stuck

Today we had planned to meet Nick and his family, along with Adra and Jon at Incredible Pizza near 71st and Memorial. School was canceled again for the sixth day, and with the approaching storm, it's likely to be out for the remainder of the week. The visit was a treat for Alya and Luke.

As I backed the '08 Saturn out of the garage (for the first time in a little over a week), I soon found myself stuck about ten feet outside the garage on my driveway. J urged me to take the '96 Saturn instead. So I put the '08 Saturn in park and left it on the driveway. We transferred to the '08 Saturn and took the Creek Turnpike to Memorial. I knew the '96 Saturn could get out of the driveway for I had just an hour earlier driven it to the nearby fitness center and back. While at the fitness center I walked 2.5 miles while listening to a lecture by Robert Greenberg on Robert Schumann and the Romantic period in music history. Greenberg is an excellent teacher; he is very knowledgeable and witty.

J and I got in at the senior discount rate (about $5) and found our family inside without much difficulty. I should say that Incredible Pizza is in a large building which is subdivided into many smaller sections. I think the building was at one time a Venture's store. There is a large games room in about half of the store, which includes a nine-hole miniature golf course, a miniature bowling alley, a racing track with about a dozen small cars, an area for bumper cars, and a few other things. At the back of the store is a place where you can redeem the coupons you win for prizes. In the front half of the builidng are three large dining areas. In the area between the dining areas and the games room is an area where pizza is served. Diners help themselves to all the pizza they can eat. In addition to pizza, there is spaghetti, barbecued chicken, ice cream, and more. We were there for three and a half hours, eating and playing games.

When I got back home, I shoveled out the car and got it back in the garage. That took about 20 minutes. For dinner tonight, we had chicken and dressing, cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes, but all I ate was a sweet potato. I was still stuffed from all the pizza I ate at Incredible Pizza.

I played a few pieces on the piano tonight (Gail and I had to cancel our Monday practice because of the snow) and later studied Russian vocabulary for about an hour. I find that I am engaged in three activities on most days: (1) walking, (2) playing piano, and (3) studying Russian.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Weekend review

We got out of the house for the first since we had the record-breaking snowstorm last Tuesday. Some of the snow has melted, but much remains to melt away. What a blessing it is to be retired and not have to get out in this mess. For six says we just stayed put and kept warm. We had plenty of food on hand and found we had no need to get out for anything.

I got in my '96 Saturn today, and it started right up. I backed up a little and then pulled back in. Then I got a shovel and shoveled a path from the street to the house. When J came out, we got in the car and drove to Braum's. We got some milk and a few other things, and then drove home. Braum's had plenty of milk. We noticed others remarking that they had gone to several stores to get milk and they were out.

A grader had gone down our street and cleared a path for cars. Sometimes that does not happen. The schools are closed in the area for tomorrow. Some schools were affected by broken water lines.

Nick called tonight to check on us. We told him we were doing fine.

J and I worked the crossword from the paper tonight. We do pretty well when we work together. We both have knowledge that the other lacks; and that helps in solving crossword puzzles.

I hear that there is another storm coming this week. We could get another 5 to 10 inches of snow. Gail called just a few minutes ago to cancel our duet practice we normally have on Mondays.

I ordered a few books from Amazon yesterday. Two books I ordered contain spirituals of black Americans: Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit by Gwendolin Sims Warren and African American Heritage Hymnal published by GIA Publication, Inc. The Warren book contains the music and lyrics of 101 best-loved psalms, gospel hymns, and spiritual songs of the African-American church.

The African American Heritage Hymnal looks like any church hymnal. The 700 + page book has responsive readings at the beginning follow by some 700 songs. At the end are a few indexes, nine in fact. The hymnal is compiled for Protestant Black American churches. I recognize many hymns from the Baptist Hymnal. There are additional hymns such as "Life Every Voice and Sing" and "We Shall Overcome" which are especially meaningful to black people.

Two other books I ordered are A Beginner's Guide to Reading Gregorian Chant Notation by Noel Jones and Liber Cantualis by Monks of Solesmes.

Contest answers

Here are the answers to the quiz of February 2.

Scene A - This picture was taken an Ayr, Scotland. It is the birthplace of Robert Burns, who, among other famous lines penned, "Oh, would some power the gift give us / To see ourselves as others see us." The famous poet was born in the room at the far end of this picture.

Scene B - High atop this hill is the beginning of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. The street goes down to the Holy Rood Palace. It is lined with shops and restaurants.

No one correctly identified either photo.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Getting out

I got out of the house today for the first time since Monday. We got 14 inches of snow on Tuesday. Today was the first day we had mail delivered since the big snow. When I went out to the mailbox, it was snowing again. Below are some pictures J shot of my trip to get the mail. You would think that four days' mail would be more than two pieces. It was junk mail at that. We must have more mail somewhere else.

Shakespeare quiz

Быть или не быть -- вот в чём вопрос.

Above is a quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet. It is in Russian, but you do not have to know Russian to figure out what it says. Just think about famous lines from the play and look at the structure of the sentence.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ка́жется, он зна́ет об э́том.

It was another day at home today. We were both notified that our two churches have cancelled services for Sunday. I phoned Gail to let her know there would be no church service this Sunday. That's okay with me. Attendance would have been low, and I would have been speaking to just two or three people probably.

We got 14 inches of snow on Tuesday, and not a lot of it has melted yet. Most likely the Gregorian chant rehearsal I was planning on going to on Saturday will not meet. I will check on it tomorrow. In any case, I probably will not go. There are too many hazards between here and the cathedral in downtown Tulsa. Many events have been cancelled due to the snow. There are two more storms headed this way. The first one should bring us another inch of snow. The second one should bring more snow than the first one.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

New photo contest

Below are two scenes I visited some 40 years ago. Can anyone identify the scenes? Use the comment feature at the end of this posting to leave your reply.

Scene A

Scene B

February calendar

February 2011 Calendar of Activities for Freethinkers
(Events are subject to cancellation due to snow and ice.)

Sat., Feb. 5, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Gregorian chant practice, Holy Family Cathedral (basement), 122 W. 8th. Laudamus Schola is seeking men and women to join the group.

Sat., Feb. 5, 7:00 pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 5607 E. 54th St.

Sun., Feb. 6, 11:00 am
Service at Restoration is cancelled.

Fri., Feb. 11, 7:00 pm
Poetry Group, Border’s Bookstore, 2nd floor. Discussion of poetry by Coleridge.

Fri.., Feb. 11, 8:00 pm
Drinking with Atheists, Elote Café, 514 S. Boston.

Sat., Feb. 12, 11:30 am
Metropolitan Opera Simulcast of Nixon in China, Cinemark Theater, 71st St. and Mingo.

Sun., Feb. 13, 1:30 pm
Humanist Discussion Group, Herb’s house, 3414 E. 85th Pl.

Sun., Feb. 13, 4:00 pm
Baby Shower, for Cathy and William Poire, 8017 S. Peach, BA

Wed., Feb. 16, 7:00 pm
Atheists Mid-Month Social, Umberto’s, 3228 E. 21st St.

Sat., Feb. 19, 2:00 pm
HAT Chapter Meeting, Genealogy Center, 2901 S. Harvard

Sun., Feb. 20, 1:00 pm
Bible/Bable Study, Robbin’s Nest Bookstore, 305 S. Muskogee, Tahlequah

Sat., Feb. 26, 11:30 am
Food and Fellowship, Asian restaurant at 51st and Vandalia, formerly Steak and Ale.

Sun., Feb. 27, 1:00 pm
Tulsa Atheists Meetup, at Agora Coffee House in Fontana Center.

Sun., Feb. 27, 3:00 pm
Dream Group at Marilyn Clarke’s, 4917 S. Maplewood

Sun., Feb. 27, 3:15 pm
Atheists Post-Meeting Social at Rib Crib, 5025 S. Sheridan

Questions? Call Randy (622-6975) or Dan (798-3629)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


I stepped outside just long enough to snap the following three pictures. The first picture is looking at our mailbox. The planter to the side normally is about a foot off the ground. Here you can only see the rim.
The second picture is of my car. Notice the snow drift beside my car.
The third picture is looking to the left outside my front door. My neighbor can be seen shoveling snow off his front porch.