Monday, August 31, 2009

Good morning...

The picture here shows my canned peaches as well as three quarts of what I call my peach syrup. All sealed properly. I am glad to have these ready for this winter.
I did finish The Magicians last night. A good book, sort of like an adult Harry Potter. The group here are college-age people. Some get killed, some give up their magic and others try to recruit the recalcitrant ones.
Two weeks from tomorrow The Lost Symbol comes out. I have two books here to read during next two weeks. I started The Wilderness Warrior last night, but this book is 900 pages. 50 pages into it I fell asleep. I wonder if this is like watching sausage getting made. Too much detail how Teddy Roosevelt became a conservationist. It is good to read about the politics and life in the late 19th century and the early 20th century.
Time to start work here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I made a mistake...


Yesterday, I started to make peach honey from the peelings from 52 pounds of peaches. I ended up with over a gallon of the stuff, so the instructions said to cover the peelings with water. But once I did that I had so much I decided to make peach jam rather than peach honey. So I added sugar and a package of liquid pectin. I though pectin came as a powder but this is a viscous liquid. I had two packages but added just one. After boiling the quart jars, I noticed that I have peach syrup not peach jam. It is quite liquid and runny. It will make a great syrup. So now I have 18 quarts of peaches and 3 quarts of peach syrup.

It ended up watery because I added too much water. To make the jam I should have cooked up the peelings with very little water to get the juice from them, then use that juice for jam. Oh, well, now I know...

Labor Day this year is the last day possible, on the 7th of September. Are any of your children starting school this week instead of waiting until the day after Labor Day?

I remember starting law school, going from quarters at the U of O to semesters at Willamette Law School. The year before I started students complained about starting school on Labor Day, so the year I started law school we started the at the beginning of the last week of August, getting in a full week of school so we could get Labor Day off...

Instead of reading The Magicians in a few days, I have been reading it very slowly over a week. Not a page turner like most good mysteries, but a good story and not predictable at all. I will try to finish it today.

Even though I have not reserved any more books at the library during the past two weeks, I now see I have five waiting for me there now. This is the advantage (and sometimes to my disadvantage...) of a regional library. We have access to all of the libraries in the Chemeketa Community College area, ranging from Lyons to the east to McMinnville in the west.

I did read some time ago Eugene had a vote on starting a regional library there, but I do not know if the vote won. Can anyone tell me if Eugene now has a regional library?

Have you watched Ax Men on the History Channel? Pretty stupid to try to make a reality show of logging. I see they follow crews in Washington and Oregon.

I see on The New York Times today some teachers are letting students pick a book to read for a literature class. If you had to pick a book to read what would it be? I read so many I don't keep track anymore. I used to write a review of every book I read but I stopped doing it some time ago. I should start doing it again if only to remember what I read so I can refer to it at times like this.

I can go the library website and see my reading history, the books I checked out for the past 10 years.

The picture here is the docks at Yaquina Bay in Newport.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weekend here


Look closely at this picture to see the date on the sidewalk. 1919 was three years before my dad was born. This sidewalk is in downtown Stayton.

I finished making my canned peaches yesterday. Got a total of 20 quarts but one I dropped and the lid popped off. Another one the lid and ring came of in the canner, leaving me with 18
quarts of peaches. It will be so much fun to open a quart on a cold winter day.

Right now I am cooking the peach peals. I am making peach honey. The peelings have been cooking for over 2 hours now, on a very low heat. I need to get the juice from these peelings. I will add pectin, sugar and honey to complete this job.

I watched the funeral of Ted Kennedy today. A regular Catholic Mass, with great eulogies by two of his children and a moving eulogy by President Obama.

I wonder if watching a Mass on TV on Saturday fulfills my Sunday Obligation of attending Mass on Saturday or Sunday. We Catholics call our attendance at Sunday Mass our Sunday Obligation. That is what the nuns called it in the my Catholic grade school and later by the priests in my Catholic high school. I emphasize the word "obligation." We are required to go to Mass on Sunday.

Years ago, when I was first married, my wife and I attended Midnight Mass with her family. Then the next morning on Christmas Day, the family wanted me to go to Mass again. I already fulfilled my Holy Day Obligation by attending Mass once that Christmas Day. I went once and once was enough. My wife used this episode as one example of my attitude when she got our marriage annulled so she could get remarried in the Catholic Church.

"What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" by which I mean getting our Catholic marrage annulled, gives me the right to get re-married in the Catholic Church should I want to do that. But with my thoughts on the Bible and the Church, I don't think the Church has big enough tent to include someone as liberal as me in it.

I just turned off my stove as the peelings are now cooking and boiling. I will get the juice once it cools down. I need to get some honey and some pectin from Safeway very soon.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Almost finished...


I have been working on peaches again this morning. As expected I got another 8 quart jars of canned peaches. I had four left over, so I made a bowl of fresh peaches to eat over the weekend.

The picture here is from Santiam Summerfest, a ganster car in my humble opinion.

I now am boiling the last two quart jars of peaches.

Today went so much better than my first effort. This time I heated the water for canner first, then made the light syrup and cooked it up. Then I put on a pot of hot water to put the raw peaches in for 45 seconds in order to peal them easily. Instead of taking almost seven hours to get 12 quarts of peaches, this time I am doing it in 3 hours, including the last one hour cooking the full quarts of peaches in order to seal them.

This is my first effort at canning peaches on my own. There was a slight learning curve here as I had to get things in order before I started it.

My next canning effort will be prunes. I love canned prunes. I have canned those before when I was still married, as no one else in my family liked canned prunes. I have a dozen small mouth jars I can use for prunes.

I got all of my canning jars from a lady who is selling her farm. I got over 3 dozen canning jars for $10.00. Ace Hardware wanted $9.00 for a dozen lids and rings for wide-mouth jars. BiMart and Safeway had the same ones for $4.50. Next year all I need are the lids as I have over 3 dozen rings now that I can use in future years.

I am almost finished with The Magicians. It is not a page-turner like most good mystery novels. But it is a good book nevertheless. I will finish it later today. The rest of this weekend I will re-read The DaVinci Code in preparation of The Lost Symbol coming out on Sept. 15.

Somehow I got a paper cut yesterday on my left hand. I do not remember how I got it, but it does hurt somewhat.

I got about a dozen peach seeds that came from the peach pits I took out of each peach. I plan to plant those soon to see if a peach tree will come up. I don't know whether to let the seeds dry or plant them now. If you have any ideas on it let me know by a private email.

I drank four cups of tea at dinner last night at a Chinese restaurant. Got up this morning at 5:00 am as a result but I went back to bed for a couple of hours at 7:00 am.

I just amazed at what is Chinese food in America. Last night among the three of us that ate there, only the rice is what you would get eating in China; not fried shrimp, not General Tso chicken, not sweet and sour pork. Chinese food in China is just so much better than anything you get here that we call Chinese food.

I am not eating with chopsticks anymore. I need to start that again so I do not lose the practice.

I recorded Kill Bill, Volume 1 and 2 the other night. I may watch these two movies tonight.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good morning

Hi again:

The picture here is a strange tree in Victoria B.C. We saw this during a walk between showers there.

I am so glad I canned 12 quarts of peaches. Tomorrow I will can the remainder of them, getting probably another 8 quarts. Now that I know how to do it, I will do it much faster than the other day.

Every week I tape the Bill Mahar program on HBO. He is a good liberal like me. Now I got from our library Religiuous, his take on organized religion. I will watch this DVD tonight here.

NPR, the past two days, has been all Ted Kennedy. It is good to hear about his life and what he became after not getting the presidency in 1980.

I made some brownies yesterday. I have some rhubarb ripe outside so I will cook it up today to go with the brownies.

Not much happening here today.

Have a good day.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday here


I canned 12 quarts of peaches yesterday. I will can the remainder on Friday. This is my first effort trying to can peaches. I have canned prunes and applesauce in the past. Prunes because I was the only one in my family that liked prunes. Applesauce because we had three big apple trees in our back yard when I was married.

Canning peaches takes time. I started at 9:00 am yesterday and finished around 3:00 pm. Of course, much of that time is waiting for the canner to start boiling and then boil the quarts of peaches for 30 minutes. All sealed just fine.

I saved the peelings from the peaches. I plan to make peach honey. I got the recipe from the internet.

The picture here is from our trip to Victoria a few months ago.

I have not played bridge since returning from China. While in China I also did not play bridge. I still read the daily bridge column in the newspaper but I need to start playing again to have everything come back to me.

Still reading The DaVinci Code and The Magicians. But now there are only 2 books following these two. I read reviews recently of two more books I was going to read but the reviewers did not like either of those books. So I took those two books back to the library. Once I finish these two books I mention above, I plan to read Sacred Hearts and The Wilderness Warrior. This latter book is 900 pages long. This should take me to Sept. 15 when The Lost Symbol comes out.

I do wish you a good day.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It worked!!!!!


The picture here is a tree near our house in full bloom this spring.

I plan to can my peaches today. I am off to Safeway soon to get some Fruit Fresh, the only thing I lack for my canning efforts.

I am half way through The DaVinci Code and The Magicians. Seems so strange to be reading two books at the same time. I do not know which book to pick up.

I pared down my list of books to read to three now:

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

An Expensive Education by Nick McDonnell

The Wilderness Warrior by Douglas Brinkley

This is after I finishing reading the two books I am reading now.

As I mentioned, I need to plan to be finished with all of these books before Sept 15, the day The Lost Symbol comes out.

My effort at just double spacing with no indentation seemed to work on the formatting of this blog page. We shall see how it works today.

I will let you know how my canning efforts turn out. I used to can prunes and applesauce when I was still married. But my ex-wife wanted me to use a pressure cooker. I plan to use a big canning pot here.

Enjoy your day in the waning days of summer.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Did not work again....

Hi again:

Well, my effort to get more space between paragraphs was not successful, so I am trying something else. No indenting and just a double space between paragraphs.

I am reading two books at one time, something I have not done. I am reading The Magicians as well The DaVinci Code. I am reading The DaVinci Code in preparation of the release The Lost Symbol on Tuesday Sept 15.

On page 25 of the paperback edition of The Da Vinci Code you see this paragraph:

"Langdon did not add the reason he hadn't yet shown the manuscript to anyone else. The three-hundred-page draft--tentatively titled Symbols of the Lost Sacred Feminine--proposed some very unconventional interpretations of the established religious iconography which would certainly be controversial. "

The new Dan Brown book was thought to be titled The Key of Solomon, but now we see it as The Lost Symbol. This new book is suppose to be sequel to The DaVinci Code--this is why I am re-reading it now.

In his two recent books, The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons both feature Robert Langdon. In the books, the story of Angels and Demons happened before the events in The DaVinci Code. There are some oblique references in The DaVinci Code about what happened a year earlier in Angels and Demons. In the movie world, Angels and Demons seems to be the sequel of The DaVinci Code, again with some references in new movie about what happened in The DaVinci Code.

Do you plan to read The Lost Symbol? If so, let me know how you like after you finish it.

I do hope your week goes well.


Sunday, August 23, 2009


I am unsuccessful in trying to format this blog typing correct. Maybe you see it different than I see it when I post it. Yesterday I tripled spaced between paragraphs and indented the start of each paragraph. Yet, it comes out showing no spacing at all. So today I will go back to my usual practice of just double-spacing paragraphs, but still indenting the start of each paragraph.
The picture here is the dock area of Newport at a very low tide that day.
I am now reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman. He also wrote The Codex which I read some years ago. I am over 1oo pages of this so far. It is much better than the Harry Potter books, more like Harry Potter for adults.
I have six more books here to read before Sept 15, when I get The Lost Symbol.
Here is that list:
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the America Dream by Patrick Keefe
An Expensive Education by Nick McDonell
The Wilderness Warrior by Douglas Brinkley (more than 900 pages)
The Best of Jules Verne
The DaVinci Code
I list The DaVinci Code only if I find it necessary to read it in preparation of getting The Lost Symbol on Sept 15. The latter book is a sequel to The DaVinci Code. I watched the movie again yesterday on TNT, but the movie does not do justice to the book.
I plan on not reserving any more books for the next 3 weeks. I hear another good one talked about last night on All Things Considered. Starting in the year 900 C.E. (common era), the author finds the origin of the western tradition. (I use B.C.E. for Before the Common Era instead of B.C. and C.E. for the Common Era instead of using A.D. I find B.C. and A.D. are too religious for me).
I have not been to the Oregon State Fair in some years, but I may go this year. Scones and the dairymen wives milkshakes draw me there as the best food at the State Fair.
Please leave a comment on this site or write me ( if you have any questions or comments.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What a nice day here...

The picture here is a vacuum pump in an electric car. This is a good idea as it lets you have power brakes in your electric car. We will put these in our electric cars also. I do wonder how we get back power steering in the car. Too many accessories draw too much power from the batteries. We shall see how everything fits.
I have two books here I got from Amazon. I could have gotten both on the Kindle for less price I wanted the hard copies of these books to share with the mechanics of our company once we get started. The two books are Convert It: A Step-by-Step Manual for Converting an Internal Combustion Vehicle to Electric Power and Build Your Own Electric Vehicle. I have read parts of both but both are big books.
I am going to the library today to pick up seven books. I must pace myself with book reading up to Sept 15. On that day, once I turn on my Kindle, I will download The Lost Symbol, a sequel to The Da Vinci Code. I plan on reading The Lost Symbol before I read any reviews of it. I want to see how it works and the plot line without any spoilers from reviewers.
I am about half way through The Accidental Billionaires about the creation of Facebook. Interesting story.
My peaches are ripening slowly. They are Veteran peaches, which are ripe even though there may be some green on the peaches.
I will go to Safeway today to get some Fruit Fresh to put on the peaches once I start processing them. I may start the canning process on Monday or Tuesday. I think I will get about 10 jars of peaches from what I picked earlier this week.
I am trying write this blog with triple spacing between paragraphs and indenting the start of each paragraph. My last two posts do not look good as the paragraphs are not separated at all. In those two prior posts I doubled spaced between paragraphs and indented the start of each paragraph. We shall see how this works...
I do hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Now cooler and Friday too

Hi again:

Sorry about the text yesterday. I mistakenly deleted my message and found it in the "draft" section of this blog site. I copied it back but apparently I need to double space between paragraphs when doing that to get better formatting.
I started reading The Accidental Billionaires. It is about the two computer nerds who tried to find girls at Harvard and found themselves creating Facebook.
The picture here is an electric car, showing the batteries in the back of this pickup. Again, 12 volt batteries, giving it very limited range between charges, much less than 50 miles. Plus 12 volt batteries weigh so much that the car ends up weighing more with those batteries than it did with internal combustion engine in it.
Have any of you traded your car in for cash for clunkers? I see the program is set to end on Monday. I heard a report on NPR this morning, from All Things Considered last night, about a car dealer who has gotten paid for only one car of the 18 he sold during the program. He is quite upset at the program as he needs the money but is not getting it.
If that last paragraph does not make sense to you, here is what I do: I listen to NPR programs on my computer, selecting those stories I want to hear, both from ATC from last night and Morning Edition this morning. I would rather listen to stories this way as I get only the stories I want to hear, plus not hearing the tag lines from all of the underwriters. I listen to about 90% of each show in this manner. But four hours of programs in the two programs ends up in about 1 and 1/2 hours on my computer.
Just go to and select programs. You will see an option to download each story or add to playlist. Select the latter one and the NPR Media Player opens.
My peaches are all laid out, now ripening. I expect it will take a few days for the peaches to ripen. Then I will can the 52 pounds of peaches.
Hope you weekend goes well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hi again

The picture here is one of the electric cars from the meeting we went to last Thursday. All were 12 volts systems. This one gets only 38 miles between charges. Good only for city driving.
We got peaches this morning, 52 pounds of them. I plan to can most of them. This will be my first effort canning peaches by myself. I watched my mother then I watched my wife can peaches, so I think I can copy what I saw. I need to know how to make the syrup for peaches. I will email my ex-wife to ask her for the recipe for syrup.
Yesterday I was looking for large mouth lids and rings. Safeway only had small mouth lids, so I stopped at Ace Hardware here in Stayton, I paid $4.49 for a package of small mouth lids and rings at Safeway. Ace wanted $9.00 for large mouth lids and rings, so I want to Bi-Mart, which had the same lids and rings for $4.49. I cannot believe Ace is so expensive.
I am almost finished with Book of William, about the First Folio. I did get a question of what a folio is. It is the book form early book of plays took. Individual plays were usually make in to quatros, paper folded twice (again remember the scene in Shakespeare in Love, where she sees Shakespeare's completed copy of Romeo & Juliet; she opened it twice to read the play).
I found out there at least 230 First Folios. Number One is held by the Folger Library in Washington D.C. It took the author three days to see this copy, considered by everyone the first First Folio created in 1632, just a few years after Shakespeare's death in 1616. It is considered the first because it is dedicated to a person who knew Shakespeare and acted with him when Shakespeare was alive.
Check a few days ago on this blog site for what is in the First Folio. Not all of Shakespeare's plays are there; in fact look at the list, you can tell just by reading it of the absent ones. Where is Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Othello, all of the early Henry plays...
My next book is one by Ben Mezrich, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.
If you are on Facebook, look me up and list me as one of your friends. Among my friends are Dan Brown and The New Yorker. I also have another friend who likes to play Robin Hood. Another friend plays fishing world and petting zoo.
Suppose to be much cooler by this weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



The picture here is Depoe Bay, taken from the sidewalk above the entry to the bay.

I am reading, and enjoying thoroughly, The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World by Paul Collins.

The First Folio is the first written record of Shakespeare's plays, put together some time after his death. The First Folio contains these plays:


The Tempest
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Measure for Measure
The Comedy of Errors
As You Like It
12th Night
The Winter's Tale


The Third Parte of Henry the sixt
Henry the Eight
Timon of Athens
Julius Ceasar


Athonie and Cleopatra

The spelling here is as it appears on the First Folio.

Notice a few big absences from this list?

Folio is how the paper is folded. In a folio the paper is folded just once to become a folio.

A Folio is the size of large phonebook but looks like a tabloid newspaper, with facing pages.

A Quarto is folded twice to make it appear in four pages. Remember in Shakespeare in Love when Shakespeare gives a copy of Romeo and Juliet (started out as Romeo and Ethel...) to his new lover. She opens it twice, looking at a quatro version of his new play.

The book travels between the present, where the First Folio is up for auction and sells for 2.5 million pounds. The same First Folio sold for 4 shillings in the 17th century.

I like the way the author moves between the current time and the 18th century (Shakespeare died in 1616, early in the 17th century). In London and in Stafford, he walks the path today and imagines what it was like at different times in the past.

I like books on Shakespeare because I took a year of Shakespeare in college, reading all of his plays and most of his sonnets during that year. I love to read Shakespeare and also see it performed in Ashland. I recall the first Shakespeare play we saw was Henry the Fifth. The Tudors like the big history plays so Shakespeare lauds Henry in this very long play. I looked over at the 3 women that went with us, my wife at the time, and my two friends wives: they we all fast asleep by the fifth act. I must admit this play is quite boring.

I have the complete works of Shakespeare on my Kindle. It was free on the Amazon Kindle site. I did read Julius Ceasar and Romeo and Juliet during the last few months. Like I said I like the way Shakespeare writes.

He also gave us about 50 new words in our English language from some of his plays. We can thank him for such words as:

rant (one of my favorite words)

The list goes to almost 100 words.

Hope you enjoy your week as it gets warmer for a change.


Monday, August 17, 2009

I am so happy...


I got an email from Amazon Kindle this morning telling me of new arrivals at the Kindle store. Much to my surprise there was The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown for sale for $9.99 and to delivered to my Kindle on Sept. 15. I was wondering if this book, the sequel to the Da Vinci Code, would be available on the Kindle. Amazon advertises that new releases and New York Times bestsellers will be $9.99 if possible.

The Lost Symbol sells in hardcover for $29.95; you can get the hardcover edition at for $16.17 plus free shipping if your order is over $25.00.

I have this book on reserve also at our local library. I may have been the first one to do this as I did it months ago. I also reserved at the library the audio book version of The Lost Symbol. I will burn my own copy of that from those CDs.

Finally, I was wondering whether this book was going to show up on the Kindle. Many books at Amazon Kindle store cost more than $9.99. The price is set by publisher not Amazon. In addition there are over 6,000 free books in the Kindle store.

I spent last evening reading the articles I downloaded to my Kindle over the past week. I visit The New Yorker website as well as The Atlantic Monthly and the Economist. I copy the articles to Word, save it then email it to Kindle. In about 30 seconds an email comes back from Amazon the document in the proper format for my Kindle. I use the USB cord that came with my Kindle to download the article to my Kindle. I find it much easier to read the article on my Kindle rather than on my computer. The Kindle is not back-lit, so it is much easier on the eyes than trying to read on a computer screen.

Sorry about talking all about my Kindle. It has been sitting doing nothing for the past few months as I get my books from our local and regional library.

The picture here is an elk heard we saw on our way to visit Victoria B.C. The herd is Washington.

It is going to hot this week, 91 (32 C) today and 99 (37 C) tomorrow. I am so used to the metric system from my two years in China. I simply do not understand why we in the U.S. are not on the same standard as the rest of the world.

There was a report on Morning Edition today about the high cost of cell phones in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. I know that to be true. In China I had a cell phone but there is no Version or other cell phone carriers there. Instead we buy Sim cards with money on them. In Shanghai I got a Shanghai Sim card with a Shanghai number on it. Once I moved to Xi'an (again, pronounced "SEE-an."), I got a new Sim card with a Xi'an number attached to it. My fake iPhone has a place for two Sim cards so I could put one from Shanghai and one from Xi'an. When I called Shanghai I used the Shanghai Sim card; when I called a Xi'an number I switched to the Xi'an Sim card.

I know, confusing, but much, much cheaper than paying a cell phone carrier. There are more than 400,000,000 cell phones in China, more than the population of the United States.

How many of you, when asked what time it is, check your cell phone for the time. Me, I must wear a watch, I feel "naked" without it. I take it off to go to bed but put it on as soon as I get up each morning.

Have a good week.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good morning

Hi again:

Yet again another cool morning.

The picture here is part of the Salt Mine of Lewis & Clark. Two came to Seaside to find a good source of salt, for preserving meat. They mined it here for the length of their stay during the rainy season on the northern Oregon coast.

If you saw Sunday Morning on CBS today, you saw a report on the world's best health care system, which is from France. Good report. It costs the French government $3,400 per person per year for the health care system. In the U.S. we pay twice that much with 46,000,000 still uninsured.

I am still reading China Price. It is indeed a good book, going through the elements of the China Marketplace. Workers there work at least six days a week, making about $125.00 per month; even less in the "shadow factories," those places the factory owner create to keep the Walmart and Target auditors away from these where people work seven days a week for as little as 10 cents a day. The factory still has a "show factory" following the rules of the American companies.

I did not make it to the library yesterday. I have two books to finish before I head out there to get the six books waiting for me. My other book is The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World. At 240 pages is short and will take me just a few days to read it.

Today I am watching Game 6 of the 2004 ALS between the Red Sox and Yankees. This is the year the Red Sox came back from 0-3 deficit to beat the Yanks 4-3 in the series. The Sox went on to to win their first World Series in 86 years. I did not see these games when they were on. Now ESPN Classic is showing the series. I taped this game a few days ago.

Hope you are enjoying your cold weekend.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Simply too cold today & a Correction


First the correction: yesterday I quoted a figure of how many people from the country moved to the cities in China. I said it was about 3,000,000. I left out a few zeros. It is more like almost 200,000,000 country side people moved to the cities of China. Shanghai got around 2,000,000 of them. Guandong, across the harbor from Hong Kong, got nearly 40,000,000 of them.

This was the biggest migration in our history. I wonder, as I mentioned, what has happened to many of them when the demand in the U.S. dried up. I am still searching for articles on the economic crisis in China.

It is so cold out today I think it is November now. A dry day in November is what this feels like today. I took a chance to hang my clothes outside after I washed them. I like the way my close feel and smell after drying outside instead of drying them in the clothes dryer.

The picture here again shows the complexity of an electric car.

I just ate my oatmeal with raisins in it. Quick Oats this time instead of the old fashioned ones I usually get. I do like the old fashioned oats better.

I do have page on Facebook now. Just search for me if you are Facebook.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend.


Friday, August 14, 2009


Good morning again:

The picture here I show you to demonstrate the big learning curve we need to learn about converting a car from gas to all electric. You see here the batteries and the controller in this set up.

At the meeting last night there were only six cars there, all with either regular batteries, airline batteries or liquid batteries. All of the cars there got only get 30 and 72 miles between charges. Good enough for the guys who made these cars. Each drive his or her car from home to work. One lives in southwest Portland and works in northeast Portland. He has a car that gets about 35 miles between charges, so he charges it at home and when he gets to work.

Once we start converting cars the range our cars get 200 miles, at least, between charges. We are using lithium ion ferrous phosphate batteries from China. These batteries cost well over $2,000 each here in the U.S. but we can get them from Shenzhen China for a fraction of that price. It is also from a reputable company there. This means I can drive either to Eugene or Portland and back on only one charge.

I applied for another big grant two days ago, the new money from the Stimulus Recovery Plan that our beloved President announced a few days ago.

Too many books awaiting for me at the library. Plus I have The Wilderness Warrior "in transit"; this book is over 900 pages long. I like to read everything Douglas Brinkley writes. Read his book on Hurricane Katrina. It is the best thing written about New Orleans and the big storm.

Seven books waiting for me and another 14 books on hold.

As I told you before we have a regional library here, meaning we can get books from any library in the Chemeketa Community College district. The three books I have here at home, one is from McMinnville, another from Woodburn and one from Stayton.

Right now I am reading China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage. I like to read everything I can about China and its economic model. I want to find an article on the downturn of the economy there. I did read southeast China has around 400,000 factories. I do believe more than 100,000 of them have closed down. In the early 1990's there was the biggest migration in the world's history were those from the countryside to the cities on China, over 3,000,000 people moved from the farms to the cities to work in factories and in construction in the big cities. We estimated that Shanghai has over 2,000,000 migrant workers in it.

It is hard to move about in China for the Chinese. Each person, including me, has to get a residence permit from the police department that allows you to live in a city. For the native Chinese they reside in the city where they were born. It stays with you for your entire life. It is hard to move from your birth city.

Upon arriving in China in 2007 I had to go the police station soon after my arrival there. When we moved a different apartment in Shanghai I had to go the police department to show them my new address and the proof of my new place. I know this is totally unacceptable for Americans. Can you imagine if you had to visit your local police station to register your address every time you moved, even if you moved from one place to another in the same city?

This is what I get for living in a totalitarian state. We forget that China is a dictatorship, with a People's Congress that has not one elected official. I rank Mao in the same group as Hitler and Stalin. His Great Leap Forward and the later Cultural Revolution killed over 20,000,000 people. Yet the Chinese people revere him. He shows up on all of the paper money and the dollar coins there. His body is on public display in Beijing. There is a big statute of him in the capitol city. But like I said Mao is the worst dictator in the world's history.

Even though the economic system there is mostly capitalist, the government there still manages the macro and micro economic system. The gas pipeline is owned by the government, so it controls the gas price there.

Any dollars that come into China must be turned over The Bank of China, the government-owned bank. No matter where the dollars come into China. It must be turned over The Bank of China. That bank then keeps the dollars. The Bank of China has over one trillion U.S. dollars in it possession.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good morning

HI again:

The picture is from the engine compartment of an electric car I saw at the June meeting of the Oregon Electric Car Association. These are lithium ion batteries. We need about 75 to 100 of these batteries in a car we convert. But we are using lithium ion ferrous phosphate batteries. We get them from a Chinese company at a fraction of the cost we would pay for straight lithium ion batteries here, to the tune of a cost difference of $2,000 between the ones from China and the ones we can get from the U.S.

We are going to the Oregon Electric Car Association meeting later this afternoon. The first half an hour we look at other electric cars brought to the 2 World Trade Center in Portland. After that we have about an hour-long meeting.

We figured out how to put fountain pen ink into a cartridge for a desk jet type printer. The black ink goes employ after about a month. It costs $31.00 to replace on, so just add ink from a jar of fountain pen ink with a syringe. Works just fine...

I am almost finished with Jericho's Fall. It is an interesting book but not the page-turner like you get with a David Baldacci book. It has taken me five days to get through this book, I usually read a book every three days if I can.

I bought 24 wide mouth canning jars yesterday. I do plan on canning some peaches later this summer.

I have five books here from the Stayton Library and now I find I have five more waiting for me at the library.

One of the books I have here is Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb. I may not read this book as about 10 years ago I went to the library here to get some contemporary documents on the the hunt and capture of Eichmann by Israeli commandos. I got from the library Life magazine and other documents from the time of the capture.

Enjoy the rest of this week.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tueday morning.....

Good morning:

How are you doing today? It is getting warmer, more like summer these days.

The picture here North Santiam State Park. The gravel is where you launch your drift boat. Just beyond the island there is a left turn in the river with a big cut-bank of solid rock. We linger there to fish for steelhead. It is the first place you stop your boat to fish on this trip, which takes you down to Mehama. About a 10 mile drift.

I am heading to the library soon as there are 5 books waiting for me. There are also 5 books "in transit" from other libraries to the Stayton library.

I downloaded articles from the New Yorker and from the Atlantic Monthly to my Kindle. It is much easier to read them on my Kindle than on my computer.

This week I will publish this blog on the Kindle blog site. It will sell there for 99 cents. You need a Kindle to see it in this way.

My blog will still be here for everyone to read it here.

I rather doubt anyone will buy my blog. But Amazon wants me to get my blog there for sale to other Kindle owners. I read only Amazon Daily blog in my Kindle. It comes free every morning when I turn on the whispernet, the cell phone connection of the Kindle.

Please let me know what else you would like to see me write about.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

fresh tomatoes and iced coffee


We have been picking fresh tomatoes from our garden for the past 3 weeks. We got plants this year with tomatoes already on the plant as I planted 3 of them. This year we have 2 yellow tomato plants and one red tomato plant. The yellow plants are determinate plants, meaning they get ripe all of a sudden. The other type is indeterminate, where you get tomatoes over a period of time over last months of the summer and into the early fall.

I made some coffee yesterday and put in the frig. Today I made some iced coffee. It is so very good.

The picture here is from Santiam Summerfest. This shows the food court at the event. I did not eat anything there as I just had breakfast before coming.

I am reading Jericho's Fall by Stephen Carter. This is the first book I read from this author. It is a very interesting book and I will report on it once I finish it.

I watched a program I taped earlier this morning on C-Span2, BookTV. It is talk by the author of China Price. I am interested in all books on China, having been there for two years. I have this book reserved for me at our library. I see that it is "in transit" on my library website, meaning it will be coming very soon.

What I want to read is more about what is happening to the 400,000 manufacturing plants there in China in light of the downturn in the world's economy. I keep checking The Economist online as well as The Atlantic to see if there any articles on the Chinese economy. If you found any articles on the downturn of the Chinese economy, please let me know.

Look around your home to see how much of the stuff you wear and what is around your home that is made in China.

Enjoy your Sunday.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weekend here

Hi again:
The pictures are once again from the Santiam Summerfest.
The top one is of my favorite car: a Jaguar.
The bottom picture a bench, of sorts.
It is unseasonally cool here for the past few days. A high of 68 yesterday. Reading the temperature this time of year, I believed the numbers were transposed.
I finished The Last Good Season, about the 1955 season and the 1956 season. The Dodgers won the 1955 World Series but lost the 1956 World Series in seven games to the hated Yankees.
In California the Dodgers won the 1959 World Series, a series I remember. They started playing in their new stadium in California in 1962, winning the World Series again in 1963, shutting down the Yankees in four games. This I remember as all of my friends in the 8th grade like the Yanks. Me, I am Dodger fan from the word go.
What I did not much about was how the move came from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. This book told me more about that move.
You can tell about other moves from the names of the other teams. The New York Giants and the Milwaukee Braves.
Like I have been telling you, I like baseball. I will watch baseball on TV. I do not care for football so I don't read about football nor will I watch football games on TV. Same applies to basketball. I don't care for basketball so I will not watch basketball on TV.
I read Sports Illustrated yesterday. I remember the days of years ago I used to read that magazine cover-to-cover. Now, I found no article to read in the magazine yesterday.
I go the Economist online, the New Yorker online and Vanity Fair to find articles to transfer to my Kindle. Last night I transferred 9 articles to my Kindle.
I find it difficult to read on my computer screen so I read them instead on my Kindle.
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

good morning

The top picture shows a pickup I think you need a ladder to get into it.
The second picture shows the crowd at Santiam Summerfest. It was hot that day, getting to over 105 later in the afternoon. I used to know many people in Stayton but now with an increase in population to 7,700 I know hardly anyone. Walking through this crowd I knew on a small handful of people.
We are in the "dog days" of summer, and our high temperature today is getting to 71 degrees. More like Fall weather than the hot weather we usually get in August.
I finished all of the paperwork on the grant I have been working on for the past two weeks. I sent the email out with 13 attachments of documents I had to prepare for this grant. I bet I spent over 40 hours preparing all of this paperwork.
This morning I searched The New York Times and The Oregonian for stories on the grants available for electric cars that the President announced yesterday. I found an article online from each of these newspapers, but I did not want to read them on the computer screen. I copied each over to Word, saved it and then sent an email ,with both articles attached, to Quickly came back the email from Amazon and I downloaded each to my Kindle. I like reading on it rather than reading on my computer screen.
I am really enjoying reading The Last Good Season, about the last years the Dodgers were in Brooklyn. Walter O'Malley tried very hard to keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn, but was frustrated by Robert Moses, the "king" of planning in New York at that time. I can foresee how O'Malley will get upset at the action of Moses and move the team to LA.
This book takes place in my lifetime but too early for me to realize this. I was in the first and second grade when when all of this happened. Major League Baseball was not on my radar at this time in my life.
Time for some oatmeal for my breakfast here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good morning

The pictures here again are from Santiam Summerfest.
The top picture shows two alpacas. Their fur is so very soft.
The second picture shows the smallest car I have ever seen. This 3-wheeled car has one cylinder. Because it does not have four wheels it is considered a motorcycle.
Today I am finishing up the most complicated grant application I have seen since I started seeking grants. The main application took me 3 hours to complete and then there were 12 appendixes. In addition there were 12 amendments I had to read as I worked on it. This is on top of the instructions which are 69 pages long.
I have the book Fahrenheit 451 waiting for me at the library. Watching the DVD from the library earlier this week, the DVD stopped about half an hour before it ended. I will take the DVD back to the library today to see if we can find another copy of the DVD.
As I write this, I am listening to NPR stories from All Things Considered last night and stories from Morning Edition. I do not listen to the stories on the radio but on my computer. has the stories there; I download them to the NPR Media Player. I don't have to listen to all of the stories I usually hear on the radio.
We call Wednesday Hump Day, so I hope your mid-week day goes well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good Monday morning

Hello again:
The two pictures here are from Santiam Summerfest. The top picture I took to show the green ice. I wonder what flavor the green ice is?
The second picture is a car from the car show at Summerfest. I assume is rises to drive on the road...
I am reading The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, the Dodgers and Their Final Pennant Race Together. The author, Michael Shapiro, was one of the "talking heads" on the HBO special I saw a few weeks ago about the Boys of Summer.
The TV show said the name dodger came from "trolley car dodgers." The book says it came from "trolley dodgers." Regardless, it is good to know now how my favorite baseball team got its name.
The book looks mainly at the 1956 season, the year after the Dodgers won the World Series, after losing to the hated Yankees five times. From the TV show I know the Dodgers in LA won the 1962 World Series against the Yankees in four straight games. A good time for me as I had many friends where were Yankee fans. I don't remember the Dodgers in Brooklyn as I was in early grade school by the time the Dodgers left Brooklyn for LA.
I did watch a baseball game on Saturday the White Sox against the damn Yankees. The Sox beat the Yankees very bad that day, a good day for me to watch how terrible the Yankees get beat that day. I would not have watched it if the Yankees were winning that day.
I listen to NPR each morning from All Things Considered from last night and Morning Edition in the morning. I do not listen to the programs on the radio. Instead, I go to and add the stores I want to listen to by adding them to my playlist. I then start NPR Media Player to play the stories. I do not hear the tag lines for each underwriter. Nor do I hear the music interludes between stores. I also can skip stories I don't want to listen to that morning.
Hope your week goes well.