Friday, September 30, 2011

We've been traveling

We got back in today from a few days spent at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas.  Before that we went to Springfield, Missouri.

Our trip to the Ozark Folk Center was great.  We traveled first to Harrison, AR and spent the night in the Days Inn and ate at the nearby Chinese restaurant.  When we got back to the motel, we watched Meet the Fockers on HBO.

The next day we drove to Mountain View.  The weather was perfect with daytime highs in the seventies and nighttime lows in the fifties.  The first thing we did on our arrival in the small Arkansas town of about 2,000 people, was stop at McFadden's Dulcimer Shop.  The have dulcimers but a lot more besides.  It is a music store that has a little of everything.  I bought a tee shirt there.  They have many music books which I browsed.  In the back of the store are two workers constantly building dulcimers.  We drove on down to the cabin rental office.  Although we had reserved a room for two nights, they had recorded only one night.  They were booked up for Thursday night.  We had to make other arrangements.  I phoned a motel in town and booked a room for Thursday night.

The peak tourist season had passed.  The two days we were there, few people were around.  Sometimes you would go into a craftsperson's shop and be the only tourist in there.  There are about 20 shops in the village.  There is one new shop this year -- a glass beads shop.  The workers tell about their craft while making some object.  In the center of the village is a pavalion with live music.  A different act is booked for each day the village is open.  In the evening, five or so acts put on a two-hour show in the auditorium.  We attended the show each night we were there.  All music is performed on acoustic instruments and had to have been written before 1941.  Gospel and Bluegrass are the styles most popular there.

While at the Folk Center we ate at The Skillet restaurant.  We sat at our table and watched the squirrels play outside the plate glass windows.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Compressed Natural Gas

Here is a video explaining the advantage of driving a car that runs on compressed natural gas.  It runs about 15 minutes.  Click on first video.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"Doubt cannot be imposed from the outside; it must begin from within."

--Ken Daniels, from Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Piano -- tuning and teaching

We had arranged for our piano tuner to come and tune the piano this morning.  She was here for an hour -- from 9:00 to 10:00 this morning.  We had made the appointment about a month ago.  It had been a few years since we had the piano tuned.  The tuning costs $110.  She said she tunes four pianos a day.

We picked up Luke after school and went by his house to get his piano music.  Next we came home for a little while.  At 5:00 pm, he has a piano lesson on Tuesdays.  We drove over to his teacher's apartment not far from here.  He had a 30-minute lesson, but he was not very cooperative.  I think he spent as much time off the bench (in the floor) as on the bench playing his assignments.  Mrs. Hopper (his teacher) is a very patient women.

Last week a worker from a local tile store layed some tile in the hallway for us.  This evening we replaced the baseboard in the hall.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A People's History is now online

Although I have long heard about it, I have never read it.  But this morning I discovered that the full text of the 500+ page book is available online.  I am talking about Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.  Here is the link:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Recent happenings

I did not go to church Sunday morning.  Instead I stayed home and got ready for the 9/11 commemoration ceremony which was held at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa.  I could have gone to church but was advised to not overextend myself.

After donning my suit, I drove to the designated parking location where a lady gave me a parking pass.  I parked the car and walked over to the BOK Center.  Then I went to the rendezvous location for the speakers.  Each speaker had a spot in the line-up.  I was somewhere in the middle of the pack.  There was a Catholic priest, and Orthodox priest, a Jewish rabbi, a Hindu, a Native American, and so on.  I was there representing Humanism.  We each were given 30 seconds to read a statement or say a prayer.  Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett introduced former mayor Susan Savage who gave the keynote address.  Songs were sung, flags were saluted, etc.  The whole event lasted about a hour.

I chatted for a while with the Orthodox priest.  The Orthodox church is, in my opinion, the church most like the original Christian church.  If I were a Christian, I would most likely be Orthodox.  The Orthodox church every year sponsors a Greek Holiday celebration with song and dance and food.  The festival for this year is this week, and I hope we can get over to the church during the time it is in operation.

Gail came over this morning for our weekly practice session.  We worked on "Tierra Del Sol," "Mountain Belle Shottisch," and "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen."  Since it is September and Christmas is coming soon, we played a few selections from a collection by the title "A Jazzy Christmas."

Friday, September 09, 2011

It's Time to Pray

Dr. Bruce Prescott says it is time to pray.  Please see his list of things to pray for at  (Thursday, Sept. 8)  Let your conscience be your guide.

Today we went to Tulsa Town Hall and heard Ted Koppel speak.  Koppel is the well-known ABC newsman, who for 25 years hosted Nightline.  One thing I learned about Koppel is that he can sing and is a pretty good stand up comic.  He spoke about the news then and now.  Back then, he said that TV newsmen (and newswomen) told the people what they needed to know.  Nowdays people have more choices in news and now news people tell the people what they want to hear.  It is what they need to know vs. what they want to know.  If people want to know about the trial of Casey Anthony, they will find a news outlet to satisfy that desire.  Following the Casey Anthony trial means that there is much real news they will have to ignore,  and that may not be good for the country.

In the afternoon, we picked up Luke and Ayla after school was out.  They attend two different schools, but the two schools are within a half-mile of each other.

This evening, we went to the Poetry Group meeting at Barnes and Noble Bookstore.  We read and talked about English poetry in the period just following Shakespeare.  Herrick, Carew, Lovelace, and Suckling were the poets we read about tonight.  Next month we will read poetry of Robert Browning.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Church and Piano

Last Sunday was Humanist Sunday at Church of the Restoration.  The speaker was Marilyn Clarke.  Her topic was "Make the Mortal World Enough."  I played the piano during the service as a substitute for Edna, who had to be elsewhere on Sunday.  The special music was a duet played by Gail and myself.  We played "Long Time Ago."  There were 16 people in the congregation that day.  After the service was over, we had a potluck dinner.

The next day, Monday, Gail came over to practice duets.  We will be playing again at the Humanism and the Arts program on the 16th.  I will be getting my piano tuned on the 20th.