Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lunch at the Catholic Church

We started today by going to the fitness center where I walked two miles. Upon returning home, we got ready for the "Journey to Easter" service at St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

After the talk, we went downstairs to the fellowship hall for chili and desserts. I think I have a touch of bronchitis coming on. I will probably stay in tomorrow and forego walking.

We went by the library. A video I had ordered had come in. It is Freakonomics. Maybe we can find time to watch it tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daily wrap-up

Today Gail came over and we played piano for two hours. We have a piece coming up this Sunday which we will play in the service at Church of the Restoration. It is "Minnesota Morning" by Melody Bober. When I was in Springfield last week, I went to Springfield Music and bought a book which contains five pieces by Bober.

In the afternoon, we went to the fitness center and I walked three miles. As I walked I listened to lecture two of "Shostakovich -- His Life and Music." Robert Greenberg is an excellent presenter. If you have not heard him lecture, check your local library and see if they have any lectures by Greenberg. You won't be disappointed.

I have posted a few pictures below which were taken in the last few days.

Photo 1

This photo was taken inside Ollie's Station restaurant in Red Fork.

Photo 2

This is a photo taken inside KTUL. On the left side is where the sets are located.

Photo 3

This is a view outside KTUL on Lookout Mountain. In the distance on the left side is downtown Tulsa.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The day in review

There were two event today that I will note. The first was Food and Fellowship at Chopsticks restaurant near 61st and Sheridan. We were about 10 minutes late getting there due to road construction. There were about a dozen people there. It was good to see Audrey there. I hadn't seen her in a while. She drives in from Claremore. The second event was a fund-raiser for Central Fine Arts Academy. Luke and Ayla both attend there. The fund-raiser was in the form of a carnival, with several activities to participate in. There was the Candy Bar Walk (think of a cake walk but with candy bars substituted), Bean Bag Toss, Fishing Pond, and other similar activities. There was also food. Ayla came home with us and will go to church with J in the morning. Darn - I haven't got those pictures posted yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Back from Springfield

We made a quick trip to Springfield. We drove down Thursday morning and drove home Friday evening. Twice we ate at the Golden Corral near my parents apartment. While there I went to the nearby Springfield Music Co. on Fremont Avenue where I bought a book of five piano duets by Melody Bober. I did all the driving on this trip. We come back to Sand Springs without stopping since we wanted to get back before dark. We made it.

J. helped my sister Paula in choosing a laptop computer. While there, I visited the music store as I mentioned above. I am pretty tired right now. I will post some pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

KTUL and walking

The first thing I did this morning was go walking. I walked three miles at the Fitness Center. I came home, showered, and got dressed to go take the tour at KTUL. We drove up Lookout Mountain to the studios for the tour at 9:30 am. All the people we met were very nice and gracious.

We watched as a live production was in progress. We were careful to keep quiet. Just off screen, station personnel were walking around but stayed out of view of the camera.

I was surprised by how small the sets were. There is an area for a camera which could be aimed at any of three sets from its central position. The kitchen is housed in a separate room. I saw and talked with several of the station's personnel whom I had seen for years on the screen. We watched as two of the station's on-screen personalities recorded a promo for another show.

Newsman Mark Bradshaw talked with us for a while. He asked us what we liked and disliked about the news. Someone said they would like more positive, uplifting stories. Hey, weren't we expelled from the Garden of Eden? I would prefer to see what is happening in the world, warts and all.

The tour was arranged by Methodist church member Amy Miller, who works at the station. Her title is something like program manager or program director. She is the station's liasson with ABC. Next month the group plans to visit the Philbrook Museum.

Following the tour, we went to Ollie's Station, a restaurant in Red Fork with a train theme. The have several model trains which run on track suspended from the ceiling. They are also located next to the main line of the BNSF track that runs between Tulsa and Ft. Worth. I will post some pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Church and talking with Dad

Today I went with J to the Methodist Sunday School class J goes to regularly. There were about twenty people in the class. That is usually more people than you find in the Church of the Restoration (CoR) Sunday morning service. The class was over around 10:15 am. From there we went to the QuikTrip on Gilcrease Museum Road for gasoline and breakfast. From there it was on to CoR, a couple miles away.

We got there just after the church opened up. It was early enough that I sat down at the piano and played a bit as others came in. I think there were nine people there this morning, that included three guests. We were going to get a sandwich at Subway on the way home, but there was along line in Subway; so we just came on home.

Later we went to Walmart for a drill bit. The one I had been using was getting dull and not cutting well. I am using a drill bit (¼ inch) to assemble some pieces of lumber I bought recently into a frame to hold the soil for a raised bed garden. While there we looked at the potted plants but did not buy any. From there we went over to Atwoods, where we found plants at a much cheaper price than at Walmart. I bought three Better Boy plants and three Sweet 100 plants. The Sweet 100s produce cherry-sized tomatoes. I plan to buy two more Topsy-Turvy containers and grow those tomatoes upside down. I have three more lag screws to put in my frame. Then I will move it into position. It will be four foot square.

Gail called this evening to reschedule our weekly practice to Tuesday at 9:30 am.

This evening we IMed with my father in a video call on our laptop. We were able to talk to my father in Springfield and see him at the same time. He in return could see us. J warned me about making unauthorized calls on the laptop.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This and that

Today was Saturday. We had a HAT meeting today at the Genealogy Center. There were about a dozen of us there. On the way there, we picked up Barbara Frey from the retirement center about a mile away from where the meeting was held. After the meeting was over and we took Barbara home, we went to The Delta Cafe for a late lunch or early dinner. They had a shrimp special going; that's what I had. We got home just in time for the news.

Following the news, I took a nap. I got up and played piano for awhile. Here it is around midnight now and about time to hit the sack.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Humanism and the Arts

Tonight we celebrated Humanism and the Arts at Church of the Restoration with a one-hour program. We used the talents of (mostly) members who are members of both the Church of the Restoration and HAT.

The program began with Joy Avery singing "Mi Amor" and accompanying herself on guitar. Next, Ms. Bismillah did a Spirit Dance to recorded music.

Next was a drumming ensemble of three drummers who gave a powerful performance. This was followed by Marilyn Clarke reading three poems by Billy Collins. Then Barbara Frey, now 85 years old, read a poem she wrote back in the early 60s.

Next Larry Roth read the first part of "The Ghost Beyond the Attic Door." Larry has been working on this short story to enter into a competition sponsored by Tulsa World. Then Will Poire played "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.

This was followed by Gail and myself playing "Boogie Fever." Next Joy returned to sing two additional songs: "Be a Lamp Unto Yourself" and "Calm Soul." Finally, Gail and I played "Check It Out." Both pieces we played were written by Jeanine Yeager. We had a request for something by Scott Joplin, but I had no Joplin music with me. I promised that next time we would play some Scott Joplin.

Following the end of the arts persentation, we enjoyed refreshments. Immediately after this event was over, the film Avatar was shown. J and I stayed for a little of the film, but since the film ran for two hours, I did not feel like staying for the whole thing. It was a busy news day today what with the no fly zone being approved over Libya and the nuclear power plant disaster still unfolding in Japan. We came home and tuned in to MSNBC to get caught up on the latest developments.

There were about a dozen people at this event.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More on Colton Burpo

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but someone pointed out to me another thing to take into consideration regarding the story of Colton Burpo I had not realized before. 1 John 4:12 reads, “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”

According to Pastor Burpo “God’s size clearly wasn’t scary to Colton, but it was also interesting to me that as eager as Colton was to tell about what God looked like, he was just as eager to tell me what god felt like toward us.”

These two citations put the Christian in a dilemma. Either the Bible is correct in saying “No man hath seen God at any time,” thus making Colton’s story suspect, or else Colton did see God, making the claim to Biblical inerrancy invalid. You can have it one way or the other, but you can’t have it both ways.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another testimony

I found the following testimony on the Internet. I post it for your consideration.
I had something which is not really a NDE but very weird and profound like an NDE.

It happened when I was 13 years old (on my Bday I think). I was sleeping and I had a dream in which I was presented with a test. It was a picture of Jesus. As I saw it, I thought "what is this picture of the Son of God doing here? As soon as I said that I realized that there is only one true god who has no son, and that I had commited the greatest sin in the world, greater than even murder.

At that moment the earth shattered into tiny particles and I fell through darkness for what seemed like an eternity. But I did not have a body, it was just me, it's very hard to explain. Also everything was very real, much more real than me writing this to you right now. I had no body but it was dark and cold, I knew that I should be able to "see" but I realized there was a sort of barrier and I was not allowed to see.....I was being led to the grave where I knew I would spend an eternity away from Allah and I was terrified. That was pure terror, just imagine knowing you will never go to heaven or be alive again, only in a tortured state forever, it was immensely scary.

At that moment I instinctively knew that I would have to do something fast before it was too late and I was left there for all eternity and I would never see my family again and would not be able to warn them...so I screamed from the bottom of my soul "GOD (the only one god) SAVE ME!" and at that moment I woke up. The weird thing is that in the room where I was sleeping we were approx. 4 people and it was very hot almost unbearably hot, enough to make you sweat in your sleep, but I woke up freezing cold and clenching my teeth from the cold.

This dream was the driving force behind my quest for truth and subsequent reversion to Islam which is undoubtedly the truth. I am not making this stuff up brothers and sisters, this is the realest thing I have ever experienced.

Salam a leikum

I think this testimony shows how people are influenced by their culture, of which their religion is a part. While I came close to death myself in January 2007 (following emergency brain surgery), I recall having no near-death-experience.

Heaven is for Real?

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7933292-heaven-is-for-real">Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3446736.Todd_Burpo">Todd Burpo
My rating: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/154455886">1 of 5 stars

I read this book because my father recommended it to me. It would have been more convincing had the author stopped writing sooner. You could imagine a little boy (indoctrinated by his Christian parents) being convinced he had traveled to heaven and back. But this testimonial goes way beyond that.

The visions of battles with horses and swords and breastplates, etc. is too Old Testament. Has there been no modernization in warfare techniques since Biblical times? Must people continue to hack each other to death with swords as in olden times? Why have they not advanced to bows and arrows, to say nothing of firearms? Why all the talk of killing and war anyway?

I have to also question the motive of the author/pastor. I can't help but wonder if he had a motive other than just telling Colton's story. Might there be a financial angle to telling this story? Why does Burpo feel compelled to explain the delay in reporting the story? Why does the story always conform to a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible?

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1777864-dan">View all my reviews

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday and my events

The day began with my driving over to Church of the Restoration just on the north side of Tulsa. It's about a 25 minutes drive from my house. The service was lengthy with Betty Morrow speaking about three women who did a lot for our congregation. The other two lay leaders for the day were Vanessa and Mary. The subject of today's talk was "Our History Is Our Strength: Women's History."

I have a conflict in my schedule. On April 2, I should attend the Democratic Party Meeting for Tulsa County; also, I should attend the rehearsal for the chant group. Both events start at 10 am. I will probably go to the political event and skip chanting once again. Last time the group met, I had to miss due to a chronic cough I had. I will try one more time in May. If I have to miss that one, I will just give up. Sometimes I get involved in too many activities.

After church today I went to Wendy's and had a bowl of chili, a Dr. Pepper, and a Frosty. At 3:00 pm I was at Randy's for the Tulsa meeting of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. I will post info on the meeting at the FFRF Tulsa blog.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bill Maher on religion

Bill Maher is one of my favorite comedians. Here he speaks about religion.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Mr. Deity episode

Here is the latest Mr. Deity episode:

Summary of the day

This morning we went walking at the Fitness Center. I did 2½ miles today. While I walked I listened to lecture 6 in the series of lectures on Robert and Clara Schumann. I checked the CDs out from the library and transferred the lectures to my MP3. I have two more lectures to listen to before I finish the course. I will have to see what other courses are available from the library.

I have been reading Heaven is for Real at the recommendation of my father. I'm just past the halfway point in the book. Once I have finished it, I will comment on the book.

Tonight I attended a meeting for the Democratic precincts for this part of Tulsa County. I live in precinct 856 and am now the chair for the Democrats in that precinct. I should receive my credentials in the mail soon. I have been following the attempt to cripple the unions in Wisconsin and have decided to become more politically active.

Unions dealt a blow

The standoff over union rights that rocked Wisconsin and the nation for weeks headed for a quick end Thursday, as Republican lawmakers were set to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from the state's public workers and deliver one of the strongest blows to the power of unions in years.

I was sorry to hear about this blow to labor. I have a feeling the story is not over yet, though. I am proud to be a union member. I have been a union member all my adult life, and even now in retirement, I am still a dues paying member ($2 per month) of my union. Solidarity forever!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My birthday - #63

Here I am on my 63rd birthday. J surprised me with a cake while the grandchildren were here. My son and his spouse came by and gave me gift cards to local restaurants. J and I will be going out for a special dinner tomorrow night. My cousin V. in Houston sent a lot of nice gifts and called me this morning while I was sitting in the barber chair. My parents called me this morning just after I finished with my morning walk.
You can tell my left ear is just about back to normal. Avoid spiders!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My weekend

Saturday I was feeling rather bad, having a constant cough. J slept in the front bedroom (now referred to as the playroom) so as not to catch whatever is was that I had. I felt better when I awoke this morning. I was able to go to church and give my talk to the congregation. Instead of the usual 8 to 10 in the congregation, this morning we had 25. There were two reasons for the increased attendance: (1) many of my humanist friends were aware that I was speaking this morning and attended to support me, and (2) Joy had invited many of her Muslim friends to attend.

This was a day when I stayed afterward to have a meal together. On the way to the church, I stopped by Wal-Mart and bought a chunk of sliced ham. I was not aware the Muslims would be there, otherwise I would have opted for another selection.

My talk, "Horror Stories from the Bible, Part 1" was well received by the congregation. When Rosemary's e-mail bounced back (she usually does the children's story), I went to the library Saturday and checked out a children's book, just in case. Good thing I did since Rosemary was not in the congregation today. I read a children's story (once we actually had children in the congregation) about a giraffe named Gerald. Then for the special music, Gail and I played "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues."

I was feeling pretty bad on Saturday, but by today I think I have recovered. We will probably go walking again tomorrow after Gail comes by for piano practice in the morning.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Daily wrap-up

I took it easy today in an effort to get well. My left ear continues to get better but has a way to go still. We continue to watch it.

Ayla is spending the night with us tonight. Tomorrow is Movie Night but I don't know at this time if we will go.

Instead of going to chanting class, I will stay home and try to get well. I seem to be coming down with a cold. I slept for several hours today. I think it is now time to return to bed.

Quoted from an article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Harper, often referred to as "George W. Bush's Mini Me," is known for having mounted a Bush-like war on government scientists, data collectors, transparency, and enlightenment in general. He is a wizard of all the familiar tools of demagoguery; false patriotism, bigotry, fear, selfishness and belligerent religiosity.

Harper's attempts to make lying legal on Canadian television are a stark admission that right-wing political ideology can only dominate national debate through dishonest propaganda. Since corporate profit-taking is not an attractive vessel for populism, a political party or broadcast network that makes itself the tool of corporate and financial elites must lie to make its agenda popular with the public. In the Unites States, Fox News and talk radio, the sock puppets of billionaires and corporate robber barons, have become the masters of propaganda and distortion on the public airwaves. Fox News' notoriously biased and dishonest coverage of the Wisconsin's protests is a prime example of the brand of news coverage Canada has smartly avoided.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Zimmerman concert

Tonight we heard a concert by Roy Zimmerman. It was held in the Nightingale Theater near 4th and Peoria. At the intermission Roy was selling his CDs. I bought one titled "Real American." The concert was sponsored by Tulsa Atheists. Zimmerman is from San Francisco.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Busy weekend coming up

I went to the doctor on Monday again as a follow-up to the spider bites I received in Broken Arrow. She sent in a prescription (renewal) for more anti-bacterial medicine. The next day I went to the hospital for scans: both CTs and MRIs. I will hear the results next week.

I have had a reaction to the medication I have been taking for the spider bites (on my lower left ear). I broke out in blotches on my hands and chest. It looks a lot like the measles. I have had a fever off and on for several days now.

I have been sleeping a lot since the bites. I sleep eight hours at night. Plus I take a two-hour nap in the afternoon. However, today I slept even longer at naptime.

I hope I am doing better tomorrow for I would sure hate to miss the Roy Zimmerman concert. Saturday morning I'm planning on being at the cathedral to look into chanting. That evening, we have movie night at the Bradleys. Sunday, I deliver the message at Restoration. We have a busy weekend ahead.