Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Tulsa 10.30.11

Today following the church service, I went over to Boston and 6th in downtown Tulsa to see how the Occupy Tulsa movement was doing. I spent two hours there, helping to erect a tent and listening to Chris Lee Becker entertain the volunteers with guitar and song. The crowd numbered about a dozen.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy Tulsa 10.29.11

The local occupation movement, Occupy Tulsa, has a web site:  I looked at it this morning and saw a list of needed items.  One needed item was water.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought two gallons of drinking water and took it downtown to the occupation site at Chapman Green, 6th and Boston.  There were only a few people there -- five at the most, I would guess.  I placed the two gallons of water on top of the cooler, exchanged pleasantries with the girl who greeted me, got back in my car, and drove off.

At the most, there were five people at the site.  I will continue to check on the site and report what I find.

Flu shot 2011

Yesterday I got a flu shot.  It is supposed to be 59% effective.  Hmm?  Last year I did not get the flu shot and made it through the flu season without getting the flu.  My neurosurgeon says that getting the flu shot for so many consecutive years leads to early onset of Alzheimers.  He does not take them at all.  The shot costs $14.99.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recent happenings

Last Friday was the day of the Occupy Tulsa rally.  I wanted to be there, but was unable to go due to .........  Instead, we went to the HAT meeting.  After the HAT meeting, we went to the nearby Village Inn, just a few feet away.  There we enjoyed a steak dinner, two veggies, tea and a dessert.

On Sunday, I went to Church of the Restoration.  There were about a dozen people there that morning.  The title of the talk was "The Liberal Agony."  It was delivered by Mary Rounds and was based on an article from a magazine.

Next day was Monday.  Usually on Monday Gail and I practice piano duets, but we put off practice until Thursday due to a scheduling conflict.

And now it is Tuesday.  Yesterday, J took Ayla to her piano lesson.  Today we have Luke in the afternoon.  He has a piano lesson this afternoon, also.  That should be interesting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Some thoughts on religion

When it comes to believing something that you can't experience with your five senses, may people assume that the choice is to either (1) believe the predominate religion of your geographical area or (2) believe no religion.  But why should one believe the predominant religion?  Is it because it is the easiest to do?  Probably.

There is quite a smorgasbord of beliefs to choose from.  The one that is closest to you (the religion of your family) is probably the one you will choose.  That seems to be the case with most people.  If your parents were Southern Baptist, you will probably be Southern Baptist.  If your parents were Roman Catholic, you are likely to be so also.  I think most people know this, but it doesn't seem to cause them to reflect on the accuracy of their choice of religion.  Most people adopt the religion of their parents.

There seems to be one exception to this rule: marriage.  Oft times a woman (less so, a man) will switch to the religion of her (or his) spouse.  Such is the case with my sister-in-law.  She was a Methodist, but when she married a Catholic, she switched to Catholicism.  When such a switch occurs, it make you wonder just how devoted a believer the "switcher" was to begin with.

In a recent book, Michael Shermer reports that a person first adopts his beliefs (most likely from family), and then he spends time thereafter seeking confirmatory evidence to prop up those beliefs.  He is quick to remember whatever confirms those beliefs, while easily dismissing evidence which tends to not confirm his beliefs.  Is that why we have so many religions today?  Could be.

It is rare for a person to adopt a religion that is foreign to his environment.  When was the last time you ran into a convert to Hinduism?

There seems to come a point where seeking to reason with someone regarding their religion is futile.  Ever try to get a Muslim to consider some other point of view?  After so many years in a religious milieu, conversion (or opening up one's mind to other possibilities) is well nigh impossible.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Slow week

This week has been uneventful.  Thus the lack of posts to this blog.  I would have to say the highlight of the week was once again my piano duet practice with Gail.

Tonight was Poetry Group.  We talked about Robert Browning.  We were not very enthused about him.  Next month we decided to select two poems and bring them to read to the group.  No one really likes the Bloom anthology we are using.

A couple of days ago I went out to Lake Keystone and replaced the 5K walk instructions with updated instructions.  I added some tabs to the folders in the walk box and placed a label with my name and phone number on the walk box.

I found a few tomatoes in my garden that were ready to come into the house.

I managed to go walking at the fitness center four days this week.  That increases my total by 12 miles.

I was going to go downtown tomorrow for the Occupy Tulsa march and demonstration, but J has vetoed that idea.  Instead I will go to that HAT meeting.

What few people we had committed to HATA tomorrow night were dropping like flies that I had to cancel the event.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A fourth chant

See the post below regarding the chant writing project.  I have just come up with a fourth chant:

Can't buy your food?  Can't make the rent?
You're prob'ly in the 99 percent.

Two more to go.  Come on and help me out.

Working on chants

At the organizing rally for Occupy Tulsa last Saturday at Newblock Park, I volunteered to write some chants for our group to use as we march through the streets of downtown Tulsa on Saturday, October 15, starting at noon.  Pause and reflect upon our goals.  Many people have lost their employment through no fault of their own.  President Obama has proposed a jobs plan which would put many people to work.  It is being obstructed by Republicans.

Thus far I have come up with three chants.  They are:

Hey, hey, what do you say?
It's time for greed to go away.

If we want to save our nation,
Banks must have more regulation.

We are serious.  This is no joke,
Spare us from the brothers Koch.

I would like to come up with three more chants, giving us six altogether.  If you can think of any chants, please e-mail them to me, or post them as a comment below.  If you can think of any, I will credit you by name in future postings.  Those of you who have taught English may have some advantage here.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Recent happenings

Before it gets too late, I thought I had better write a little about some events of the last two days.

On Friday morning, we went to the PAC and heard Anna Quindlen speak.  She talk seemed to be well rehearsed.  Perhaps she has delivered the talk dozens of times before.  It sounded like that.  There were no off-the-cuff remarks.  Every sentence seemed pretty well rehearsed.

Once the speech had ended, we walked down to the PAC, a few block to the east.  There people were gathering for a demonstration against job cuts.  Three groups were represented: the postal workers, the transport workers, and Occupy Tulsa.  I grabbed a sign and joined in.  A few speeches were made and the event lasted about an hour.  About 100 people were present.

The next morning I went out and got the newspaper.  When I opened it up, I saw my picture on the front page above the fold.  OK, I was in a group of people and the photo of me was pretty small.

By ten o'clock that morning I was at Newblock Park for a meeting of "Occupy Tulsa."  This is one of several groups which has sprung up as a result of the Occupy Wall Street event.  There were about 50 people there.  This was my first time to attend.  They had met previously, but I was unaware of the group's existence until recently.  The group was made up of people of all ages; people were from all walks of life.  I was impressed at how well the meeting was run.  We will be marching through downtown Tulsa next week,  If you would like to join us, be outside the BOK Center (southeast corner) at noon on Saturday.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

On Pascal's Wager

"If I knew nothing about the tenets or history of a religion except that it claims its adherents are destined for eternal bliss while nonadherents are destined for eternal torment, I would expect upon further examination to find that the religion has some very, very good -- indeed, irrefutable -- supporting evidence.  Otherwise, I would conclude that the inducements of heaven and the threats of hellfire serve merely as mechanisms to gain and keep adherents, the religion not being able otherwise to stand on the evidence.  I reject Pascal's Wager as mental enslavement."

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

Tossing out the baby with the bathwater?

While reading the news this morning, I came across this:

"The bill is part of a larger effort among House Republicans to reduce U.S. funding for family planning, both domestically and abroad. The Foreign Affairs Committee voted earlier this year to reinstate the "global gag rule," which blocks all U.S. funding -- including money for HIV/AIDS prevention, water and sanitation projects, child survival and education -- to international health organizations that provide abortions or counsel women on where they could safely have one."

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Monday, October 03, 2011

Pictures at the Ozark Folk Center

Listening to the performers at the Ozark Folk Center.

A trio performs as I (in blue shirt) listen.

Exhausted, I stretch out on the recliner.

Each room had a different theme.  Our room was the one-room school.  Our room number was zero.

Tired after a full day of touring the folk center.

Pictures at the Ozark Folk Center

Here I am making my way to the Skillet Restaurant.

The daytime performers at OFC for Sept. 29.

Here is a crafts person working in the pottery shop.

Here is a woodcarver working in his shop.

Pictures at the Ozark Folk Center

This is a real live squirrel puttering around just outside my window at the Skillet Restaurant.

This is an inside view from the Skillet.

Another inside view

Here I am climbing the stairway at the Skillet Restaurant.

Pictures at Ozark Folk Center

A view from the deck

Another deck view

One act at the evening performance

Strum that ole banjo

Pictures from Ozark Folk Center

This is a picture of the lodging facilities known as the Cabins at Dry Creek.  There are 30 of these buildings.  Each is a duplex.  The buildings are hexagonal and are divided in the center.

Here I am standing in the doorway to our lodge.

Here is a view from inside our room.

Out back is a deck.

Vacation Video - Jig Dancing

Here is a video taken on our recent vacation to the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas.  To enlarge the image, click on the arrows on the bottom right corner.  To start the video, click on the triangle in the bottom left corner.