Friday, November 5, 2010

Ketchikan Alaska.
It rains about 200 inches each year!
Not good for desert rats.


We went to a concert tonight. Classical music.

All were amateur musicians. Maybe 60 or 70 of them.

They played well (though not without flaw), but for what they were being paid (zero) they were amazing. There were some young musicians, in their late 20 or 30’s, but there was a few who looked to be in their 80’s. Lots of gray hair.

As I listened I got to thinking: How many years of practice is represented in this group? Of course there is no way for me to know, but it could be a thousand or two.

Often I will talk to an amateur musician and thank them for taking the time to get good enough to perform in public. It is not easy nor quick.

I like high church with big organs and good choirs. I always feel lucky and blessed when I hear music well performed.

Thank you each for taking the time to get proficient at this thing called music.

In an orchestra like this not every one plays all the time. The strings play most, but the brass section spends has long breaks. Some may only play a few measures the whole evening.

Tonight the tuba player looked to be mid 80’s. He had a lead part for a few measures and he played flawlessly. Then he sat there for the rest of the symphony trying to not look bored!

We will go again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Once upon a time there was a man who thought that business could not do anything really right.

He had been told that, he had observed the fact, so that he really truly believed it.

The irony of the situation was that the man was a medium level manager of that company he was sure could do nothing wrong.

And, since the company could do nothing right, there was no point in him even trying to prove the statement wrong, so he did his job as badly as he could, since, as I said, he was sure there really was nothing wrong with his logic. He did not get fired, and he did not get advanced, he got by, year after year.

The problem was that the company had a lot of employees that thought the same thing, and worked and acted accordingly.

When the company failed, it was the sales department, or the computer guys or someone that caused the failure.

Now that I think about it, I remember that the guy actually worked for the government and not for a business.


I bought the car for Miriam's 55th birthday. The most expensive present I ever gave!
If I sell it, I had better have a good reason, I mean a really good reason.
Even with AD that is true!
She need not worry. Both Miriam and Cavalier are keepers!

car testing

This fall our county began requiring vehicles to get emission tested.

That is not a bad idea, get those clunkers off the road.

So I took my car in to be tested (the pickup goes in next year). I had just gone through a bunch of work on it, and I was quite confident.

Fail. Fail. Fail. I don’t even understand the words they used! So I took it back to the shop where it has been for most of the last month.

Yesterday I paid for their work ($775) and with confidence I went back to get it tested. Failed again, but not so badly, so back to the shop.

I don’t argue at all with the concept of inspections. And, I know that a car that will meet the requirements will run better and more efficiently, but curing the problem is sort of a fishing trip.

It could be this or it could be that, but more than likely it is partially this and partially that and it can involve a lot of spendy parts.

The shop owner tells me that some inexpensive cars (to buy), are not doing well in these tests, and the parts can be horribly spendy, so I will be glad it is a model with a few less spendy parts.

It is a solid little car (though 19 years old), so I will pay to get it up to snuff, only this time I will have to make payments on the bill, I fear. But it will be done, it will pass inspection and we will all be happy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The sign says it all.
BTW, I swiped the image from someone!

low price

Once I did a built a display cabinet for a grocery store.

The owner was a good friend and I was perplexed about what to charge him.

"Charge me enough so you can make a profit and enough to stay in business when I need you again."

We always want the lowest price. Most of that is OK, but I once was forced into a good price for the customer (it is a long story). I worked for months on the job for about $3 an hour (this was not that long ago), and when it was over I quit the business. My working capital had been exhausted.

The customer got a wonderful price, but at a huge cost to me.

I think of this often.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today is Election Day.

Vote for the millionaire of your choice,

but VOTE.

daughter 2, Miriam and I with youngest granddaughter Amy


Yesterday an old friend came to visit.

He is not as old as I am, but I have known him since Nixon, I believe.

With his marriage a sham, as he said, it ended a couple years ago. They are still married, but living far apart. Both are fiercely religious and divorce is not an option, though I suggested that if there is a SIN in this issue it would be in the remarriage part, not in the divorce, but what do I know.

He has some rather perplexing health issues. I am not sure exactly, I listened and did not ask.

It was good to see him. He told me more than once this is the new man and he is not like he used to be, though the difference may well seem larger to him than to me!

It was his rightness that struck me. He has moved seriously north since I knew him. *

Today he is driving from Idaho to LA, in one setting. He says he can do it in about 14 or 15 hours.

Maybe he is not as old as I thought he was!

*(we talk about a left hander as having a south hand, so I make the obvious comparison!)

Sunday, October 31, 2010



My family are not German (or Ukrainian), and I don’t remember ever eating borscht. For a long time it was a mysterious name to me, then I found out the major ingredients were Cabbage and Beets.

Today I found out it also includes carrot and tomato sauce.

We have the ingredients, so I looked up a recipe and produced a pot of Ukranian Borscht today!

Simple, inexpensive ingredients (though I have not bought beets at the grocery store of late).

A side salad of romaine lettuce, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries made a good addition, and of course, there was whole wheat bread.

Miriam agreed. It was good.

We’ll do it again, soon!

Look at the license plate!
Another kind of barn maybe.

rebuilding barns

Once there was a farmer (the Big Book talks about it).

He had a couple of good harvests and his barn was not big enough to hold it all, so he made the decision, since he was so wealthy, to tear down the barn and replace it with something bigger, the better for his personal wealth.

With that wealth, he could lay back and relax and live the good life.

But he died that night, before he could do any of it.

There is a part of my land that I have ignored for many years. Lately I have been working on reclaiming this land. It is too small to do too much with, and I don’t need more dirt to worry about, but I do need to clear it out of the weeds.

As I was working on this project other day that Parable came to mind. With AD as an increasing part of my life, just how many barns should I replace?

I am not sure.