Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mid week already

This picture is from Dubai. A man-made island with fancy and expensive homes.
Tomorrow I will get some more strawberries. Is the last day to get some. I will get half a crate to make strawberry shortcake. I ate my last one today and they are soooo good.
I am reading Rock Paper Tiger: A Novel by Lisa Brackmann. It is a fast novel, something I needed to read now. I am tired of reading only nonfiction books. I have another novel here, Shanghai Moon. Both novels deal with China. Like I said before I like to read about China.
On the 4th we have a breakfast near here so I will go to that on Sunday. Also a parade at 4:00 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.
I am making ice coffee tomorrow. I made some new ice and my coffee is made already and in the refrigerator.
I went to the library to pick up only two books. But now seven await me there.
The Catholic Church in Stayton is near our house here. The bells ring at 7:00 am. At the start of every Mass, at the end of every mass, at noon, at 6:00 pm every night. I wonder if our Church has actual bells or just a good sound system. I know from my grade school years there were bells in tower, but someone told me at one time after that the priest took out the bells and replaced it with big speakers. I am going over there soon with binoculars to look in the tower.
Even though I was born and raised a Catholic, and attended both St. Mary's Grade School and Regis High School, the two Catholic schools here. I attended Mass every day in grade school. It was held once a week at Regis. We also had to go to Church every Sunday and all the holy days of the Church.
I did go to Mass on Thanksgiving in the year of my accident, thinking I had something to be thankful that year.
But now, with all of the books I read on the Catholic Church and faith, I can tell you know I have no faith at all. I rather doubt God even exists. Certainly everything in the new part of bible, what you call the new testament, is fiction as the novels I read today. I don't believe any part of the four gospels. Plus, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John did not write these documents. These were names given to each of the four put in the bible by the Church Council.
There is the Christmas myth and the resurrection story, both of which are not true. Not much in between is not true also.
I can rant and rant about this but most of you know my feelings already, so I will not bore anymore with a further rant.
I live so close to the Church here I can easily walk to Mass every Sunday. I did this twice since returning from China. With no faith anymore I just not see me going to Church anymore.
Enjoy the week and the coming 3 day weekend.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finished my strawberries

Hi again:

I worked on my strawberries yesterday, finishing both crates of berries. I made 3 batches of freezer jam, froze 7 quarts of berries, made a strawberry/rhubarb crisp, and I have nice big bowl of strawberries still here for shortcake.

I finished Sports from Hell. I have never laughed so much reading a book. It was laugh-out-loud phrases. One chapter on drinking games and another chapter on Jarts were especially funny.

I have five other books to chose from here for my next book, or I can read some articles I placed on my Kindle. I may chose the latter for reading today.

I need to get a new battery for my Kindle. Only on the Kindle 1 can you change the battery. I can get one on eBay for about $16.00. Even though the Kindle 2 now costs less than half what I paid for my Kindle 1, I think my Kindle is just right for me: it has a replaceable battery plus it is sharper than the screen on the Kindle 2.

If you want to get a Kindle, Amazon is now selling the Kindle 2 for $189.00. It used to be $259.00 so you can save $70.00 by buying it now. Of course, there is a big rumor that a new Kindle 3 is coming out in late July or August. It may cost less than the Kindle 2 now. So I will wait to see what the Kindle 3 looks like.

This picture explains what is not permitted in the ocean now.

I sprayed my lawn again today. I sprayed it five days ago, but my sprayer was not working correctly. I used on a fraction of Weed-B-Gon during that spray. I sort of killed some weeds but not thoroughly. So I cleaned my sprayer and today it worked just fine. I was outside at 7:30 this morning spraying my lawn. I wanted to get it sprayed before I put my clothes on the clothesline today.

Time to get outside again to get the Sunday paper and some cat food.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend is here


This picture is from the Chicago Tribune today. It shows a double lightening strike there yesterday. Quite a good picture.

I don't know what I did wrong, but my freezer jam did not set up. I made 3 batches yesterday, following the instructions on the Serto box. Two cups of crushed berries, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 cups of sugar and 1 pouch of Serto. I must wait until 24 hours before putting it into the freezer. It has set up a little but not hard like my mother used to make. I cannot figure out what I did wrong. I did go the Internet to see the strawberry freezer jam recipes, but all of those used powdered Serto. Safeway here has only the liquid Serto. At 4:30 this afternoon I will put my jam into the freezer, regardless of how much it has set up.

I cleaned the second crate of strawberries. These will go into the freezer after I cut them up and add a little sugar to it.

I have a new recipe here for a strawberry/rhubarb crisp. I would love to make this but no rhubarb in the stores now. I have some growing in my garden but not a pound of it. I can wait a few more days to see how much my rhubarb grows as I am fertilizing it.

My peas are growing and I see many new pods on the vines. I planted my peas from ones I got off my plants last summer. All came up but I put the seeds into wet paper towels to see if they would germinate. All grew and I transplanted them to the garden outside.

I am using natural products to deter slugs. I read that used coffee grounds and egg shells prevents slugs from coming near my plants. I don't see any slug damage to my lettuce so I guess it works.

I rode my bike to three garage sales today, but found nothing at any of them.

Not doing much reading with so much to do around here with my strawberries and other stuff.


Friday, June 25, 2010

The weekend nears...


This picture is Pioneer Park. Before the Columbus Day storm you could not see through this park. The storm knocked down over 100 big trees. I was able to walk from the parking lot to the creek without touching the ground the day after the storm.

I cleaned one crate of strawberries and made biscuits. Making biscuits is a messy process. I learned, after the fact, to roll out dough with roller but to first sprinkle Bisquick over the top of it before rolling it. Now I know the next time I make biscuits.

With these strawberries, I am making shortcake and freezer jam. Tomorrow I will use the second crate for the freezer.

I ate my lunch already but I have a strawberry shortcake waiting for me this afternoon.

These Oregon strawberries are so different from the ones you buy in the store either from California or Florida. So much softer and a taste that explodes in your mouth.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yet another nice day

Hi again:

This picture is where some fishermen live in Argentina. I found on my Facebook page. I just wonder where in Argentina it is this cold this time of year, at the beginning of winter there. I have a cousin there, Mecha. I will send her this picture to ask her where it might be there.

I am watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I don't remember seeing it when it first came out. Now, I know I did not see it. I recognize nothing from this movie. This is the second to last book as I recall. Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows is the last one. I got it and read that book in China.

I am planning another trip to China sometime this summer or early Fall. I plan to stay there for at least two years again. I plan to go to Shanghai, then to Xi'an. Then off to Beijing and then to Shenzhen. From there I can fly home if I want to come then. Shenzhen is on the opposite coast of China than Shanghai. China is about the same size as the United States, but with 1.4 billion people. Most of the people there are in the big cities. Shanghai has 18 million people. Oregon has 3.5 million people. Talk about culture shock when I went to Shanghai. That city never sleeps. Don't get me started on the way Chinese people drive cars.


Strawberries are here...

Hello again:

I got two crates of strawberries today. I will clean them and make some biscuits for shortcake. Biscuits are my favorite shortcake. Some, I know, like angel food cake, but not me.

I plan to freeze one crate of strawberries for use during the coming winter.

This picture, which I do believe I posted before, is one of the oldest houses in Stayton. It used to be the first hospital of Stayton. My mother was born here. Now it is being remodeled by volunteers to bring back its former glory.

I certainly am enjoying reading Sports from Hell by Rick Reilly. It is a series of stories on sports we never heard of. The first story is the World's Sauna Tournament. In Sweden they have this tournament, where the sauna is set at 127 degrees............................Celsius, making it 261 degree F. The author stays in there for 3 minutes and 10 seconds. The winner got up to 12 minutes. Another story is a one hole golf tournament, with that hole being 5,500 yards. over 3 miles. It is down a mountain in Colorado. One of the funniest stories is Rock, Paper, Scissors. An actual tournament on that "sport."

The author is accompanied by his researcher/travel agent, the most beautiful TLC. (The Lovely Cynthia).

Time to head to Safeway to get some Bisquick.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mid-week now

Good morning:
This picture is Regis High School taken from Regis Street in Stayton. You see the three buildings at this high school. To the left, behind the tree, is the combined chapel/library. By the flag is the classroom building. The big white dome is the gym. I loved the way this campus was designed.
Between the classroom and chapel is a slanted lawn. We used to play cards, hearts when the nuns were watching us; poker otherwise.
Yesterday I made hazelnut chocolate chip cookies. I don't like the name "hazelnut." I would rather use filbert. So I made filbert chocolate chip cookies yesterday.
Anyway, these cookies are great. How do get the cookies off the cookie sheet without mushing up the cookies. Should I wait to let the cookies cool before taking them off? I would not like to show anyone these cookies as they are mostly in pieces.
I am almost finished with The Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare. At age 19 he started the forgeries. Starting with receipts, he moved to a letter from Shakespeare to his wife. Then he went to big things. He wrote a handwritten version of King Lear. Then to the really big thing: a new unpublished Shakespeare play. He did all of this to impress his father, who thought his son was uninformed and stupid.
My next book has changed. I will be reading Sports from Hell: My Search for the World's Dumbest Competition.
Has your week going?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wrong title of DVD

I see I made a mistake on the title of the DVD of NOVA. It is Ghosts in Your Genes.


Hit the wong key...

I did not finish my thoughts when hit the wrong key and the post showed up on my blog.

I was talking about our DNA and our epigenomes. Get this DVD from your library to view it. I was amazed by what is happening. So will you.


Summer is here?????

Good morning on this Tuesday:
This picture is on the "big surprise" pictures sent to by Bill in Eugene.
I am watching the Ed Sullivan special from KOPB a few nights ago. The Ed Sullivan Show was on Sunday night when I was in high school. I can recall sitting with my parents watching these singers on the Ed Sullivan show. My father did not like the music, but I sure did.
I record these shows on KOPB because they occur during pledge month on the station. I don't want to watch the 15 minutes of fund-seeking so I advance fast during pledge breaks.
I am still reading The Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare. Right, now the young man is composing the forgeries that made him famous. Remember this is in 1795, 180 years after Shakespeare died. Shakespeare was as famous then as he is now. But everyone was searching for something in Shakespeare's handwriting. Remember watching Shakespeare in Love as the young William composes first Romeo & Ethel, then changes it to Romeo & Juliet. You see his love open his composition: it is a folio, folded into fours and opened up. It was in his hand but like I said earlier, paper was reused as it was so rare yet at then end of the 16th century.
If you get the chance get the DVD of Nova from 2007 Ghosts in Our Genes. This showed when I was in China so I did not see it on TV. We have the human genome now but it is only part of what we are made of. Epigenes are those chemicals that turn off and on our genes. Now it looks like what happened to our grandparents affects us. For women is what happened to their grandmother while she was still in the womb. For us men it is our grandfather when he was a youngster. These epigenes affect us with disease and good traits.
I have a friend who never gets the sensation of filling up. He can eat an entire pizza when I eat just two or three pieces. He tells me he never feels he is eating too much. He now weighs over 250 pounds, has diabeties, as well as three or four other diseases. I will ask him, the next time I see him, about his grandparents and where they lived.
It appears we not only inherit our DNA but also the epigenomes, the chemicals that have turned off and turned on certain our genes. We can also affect our own epigenomes by smoking, drinking too much, being exposed to chemials and bad air. It not only affects us but also our progeny down two or three generations.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer is here...I am sure????

Hello again:

Summer is here although you cannot tell by being outside. It is not raining but it not warm yet either. If no rain in the next few days then I plan to spray the lawn to get rid of the weeds.

The picture here is your outhouse. In the middle of the night you better not be half asleep...

For some reason I slept 12 hours last night. I don't know if it was the two Black Butte Porter beers I drank at my brother's yesterday or the cold pill I took upon returning home.

The Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare is such a good book. This happened in 1795; Shakespeare died in 1616.

The Bard did not leave any personal writings. His First Folio was published seven years after he died. Cheap in 1795, one sold a few years ago for $5 million. We never see any personal writings of Shakespeare. Paper was somewhat rare back in his days so it was reused by getting the ink off of the paper and using it again.

After I finish this book my next book is Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. I read another book on Prohibition but this author is one I like to read: Daniel Okrent.

I do hope it gets warm soon.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day


Happy Father's Day to all the fathers who read this blog.

For the first day of summer it is spitting rain outside here today. We have not had a day over 75 degrees yet this year. We will certainly not get that warm this week as rain is once again in the forecast.

I am 3/4 through Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw. It is an interesting book. (Spoiler alert coming) She is swordfish captain a wreck of a boat. Before getting to the fishing grounds her motor breaks and she is towed to a port in Canada. Once she gets to the fishing grounds she is retrieving her first set with one swordfish caught only to discover she is five miles into Canadian waters. She is arrested and he boat seized.

I will finish this book this morning.

This picture is pond just west of Stayton that I would love to fish sometime soon.

This afternoon I am going to my brother's home in Wilsonville.

I do hope this summer finally comes.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another sort of nice day


This picture shows a fish caught in a spawning bed. This chinook salmon is in breeding colors with the big hook of a nose.

I picked up 13 books at the library today. I may have to read a book a day or so for the next three weeks to get though all of these books.

I am now reading Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw. She became famous in A Perfect Storm as the sword boat captain who returned home, unlike the main boat in this book. As a result of the latter book she wrote six other books and this one is her latest book. In this book she again becomes a sword boat captain and is heading to the Outer Banks in the Atlantic in search of swordfish.

My next book will be The Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare by Dough Stewart. These forgeries came in out starting in 1795, just about 85 years after Shakespeare's death. The country was in search of something written in Shakespeare's hand. So this guy, William-Henry Ireland, forges a letter to Ann from William and ends with forging a play in William's hand that that was shouted off the stage. I get this from the report from NPR in All Things Considered tonight.

I have wide choice for books after these two books. I may be reading More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of the New Elites.

I also have two novels here with China themes so those I may read in the coming week. One is The Shanghai Moon.

Yet another book is Poorly Made in China.

Such a wide choice of books. My poor Kindle will remain quiet for the next few weeks.

I rode my bike around Stayton today, going to a garage sale at a local church and later traveling to the library to pick up the 13 books waiting for me.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Warm out today


It is warm out today. Warm enough to go on my bike in short sleeves.

The picture here is mint field just west of Stayton. There used to be many mint fields around here but this is the only one I see these days. Mint oil used to bring a high price but I think the price must have come down.

I may go dig up a few plants to replant here. I did this years ago, but after one year the mint took over garden area. I may get only one or two plants this time. Just enough for a mint julep for the next Kentucky Derby.

I finished The Big Short. Only a few of people benefited from the meltdown, those who "went short" on the CDOs. Those that did, earned millions and sometimes billion of dollars from the credit default swaps (i.e., insurance against the CDO succeeding). These CDS caused AIG to get $180 billion bailout from our government.

How much did we spend in the bailouts? Almost $2 trillion. Only about $500 million has been paid back. Compute for me how much each American would get if the government gave each of us equal parts of that $2 trillion. How many Americans are there? 320 million or 350 million?

My next book will be The Passage. A bad vampire novel. It is the book for this summer.

I have 12 books waiting for me that library. I wonder which of those I will read and which ones I will just return.

I hope the weather is good this weekend.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday afternoon...

Today has been a slow day here. Not much happening. I was able to hang my washing outside today as we got no rain today, even though it looked like it may rain at times.
I am reading China in the 21st Century That Everyone Needs to Know. As you know I like reading books on China. The librarian at our library alerted me to this book so now I have it. I agree with much he says about China but not all. China is about the same size as the United States, but has 1.4 billion people. Most are located in the big cities of China. But unlike the U.S. China has almost 4 million people who live in abject poverty. Poverty that we cannot imagine. Certainly China as new middle class and a small rich class, but until it can bring everyone up a notch or two, it will never be a power in the world. Plus the stupid Communists there run a dictatorship. The freedoms we take for granted here are denied outright in China. I could go on a long rant on what is wrong with China, but long-time readers of this blog know my feelings already.
We ran out of propane so I am broiling two big pieces of chicken for dinner tonight. Normally I would cook my chicken on the grill outside, but with no propane here, the oven is my choice tonight.
I use a thermometer to determine when the chicken is done. It must get to 165 degrees before it is done.
I am recording Memento right now. I found that movie so interesting when it came out a few years ago. I may watch it later tonight.
What are your plans for the weekend? I found 3 garage sales to bike to tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Back from Pdx


I got back from Portland about an hour ago. I went there to serve some papers on two people that one of my friends is suing. I also got a new coffee grinder. The one I got from my ex-wife does not work all of the time. So I found a great one at Target.

The picture here is Wilco, the farm store here in Stayton. I get my tomatoes and other plants here. It is right next to Safeway.

I am reading The Big Short on my Kindle. It is a very interesting book by Michael Lewis. I waited until this book was reduced to $9.99 before getting it on the Kindle page. I want to read also Why We Hate Oil Companies. But the library does not have it. On the Kindle page it is $14.97, way too much to pay for an ebook. It is only a few dollars cheaper than the hardbound book.

It rained, hailed, thunder and lightening yesterday here. I was going to the library on my bike but the hail prevented that method of travel.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good morning on this U

Good morning:

This picture is what a jet plane looks like the moment it passes the sound barrier, or so I am told in an email to me a few weeks ago.

Today I am updating my father's Kindle. I am adding books to it as well as adding a few of the magazine articles I added to my Kindle.

Pork, it is good enough for Congress so it is good enough for says NPR Morning Edition.

My father will be here in an hour or so. He dropped off his Kindle around 8:30 this morning. It takes time to upload books, transfer the books from his Kindle to the SD card I put in his Kindle this morning. Now, he can download over 3,000 books with the card. With the Kindle memory itself you get only about 120 books and articles before you run out of space.

If you heard Morning Edition today, then consider reading Nothing to Envy, a book on North Korea. Nothing to envy means the North Koreans have nothing to envy in other countries. What a croak. One story is about a refuge who leaves the North and goes to China. As she walks along the road she sees a dish of white rice in the yard with a big piece of meat. What could this be for, the young lady wondered? She had not seen white rice in years in North Korea. Then, much to her surprise, she sees the dog come out to eat the meat and rice. A dog, she thinks, eats better in China than people eat in North Korea. Right, nothing to envy...

As it turned out, this young North Korean lady was able to stay at that house after escaping North Korea. It was a house with a dirt floor but nothing like in North Korea. They lived in shacks in the North.

Time for lunch here.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yet another nice day

Hello again:
Today is another nice day. I went a long bike ride again today to take some pictures of Stayton. I will download those pictures to my computer later today.
This picture is another of the strange house.
I bought a pretty flower to put in a hanging basket.
I have 10 books waiting for me at the library. I will go there tomorrow to get them. Today I am reading my Kindle.
I am still reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis. It is on my Kindle.
Hope you enjoyed your nice weekend.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good morning:

This quote if from Candyfreak, a book by Steve Almond, about the candy industry in America. I found this quote so funny as I was in the same position as a seven-year old kid in Stayton. Baker's Chocolate looks so good and smells so good, but the taste....

...Was I the only child in America who regarded Baker's Chocolate as the cruelest food product every invented? Was I the only one--despite repeated warnings from the Mother Unit, despite the dark knowledge that the Mother Unit would not knowingly place a pound of chocolate within my reach, that this was too easy, despite even my own clear memory of having tried this stunt before and would up with a mouthful of bitter goo---reached in the back of the cupboard and removed the box and greedily slipped a square from it curiously stiff, wrapper?

Was I the only one who gazed upon the thick, angled square, so much a like a Chunky, really in abject lust? And who held the piece to my nose and breathed in the deep brown scent and then, despite all the evidence to the contrary, simply unable to will my disbelief, bit down?

I am watching a movie called The Last Days of Lehman Brothers. It is a dramatization of what happened on CNBC. With all of the books I read on the meltdown, it seems strange to see these actors play the big players from the various books I read.

Today I will mow the lawn, go the library to pick 10 books there, and take a bike ride around Stayton.

The picture is sort of funny, but not too funny.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The weekend arrives...


This picture shows a dog house that apparently mirrors the main house.

I had two very strange dreams the last two nights.

Two nights ago I was in a forest and came across a group of homeless people living there. The cops would come by on four wheel vehicles to harass us, but normally we slept there. I joined them and slept under a heavy blanket.

My dream last night was even stranger. I was at the beach, South Beach in Newport, and decided I wanted to swim with the whales returning south. I was out swimming with them. The strange part of this dream I don't swim very well at all. In fact, I can barely swim, so why was I swimming in the ocean? I was heading toward Waldport, but stopped at a small cove. So turned around and swam back to Newport. I had nephews and nieces there so I had to collect them but they were at different sites, but the traffic was very bad. Like I said a most strange dream.

I am listening to ATC and Morning Edition today. I was reading last night so I did not listen to ATC (All Things Considered).

For a change I was reading on my Kindle instead of reading books here. I was reading the articles I downloaded from The New York Times and The New Yorker. Listening to the Kindle Chronicles this morning I heard about This has long articles on it I can download to to get them in the format for my Kindle.

I am watching the World Cup on TV today, on mute so I can listen to my computer for the NPR programs. Now I know why I don't like soccer. Not enough scoring.

Later today I will start the book Finding Chandra, another nonfiction book. I would rather read nonfiction than fiction. I have Matterhorn here, a novel on the Vietnam War. It is a 600 page book, but I really don't want to read about that war again.

I see I have six more books waiting for me at the library again. That may jump to nine as three more are "in transit."

If there is no rain later today, I do plan to mow the lawn here. I will also plant my final tomato here, an upside down tomato.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two more books...

Hi again:

I also read The Greatest Trade Ever and No One Would Listen.

Latter book was about the Madoff scandal. The former book is about one of the big winners in the meltdown, one who bought many credit default swaps and got over a billion dollars from AIG.

How big was the bailout of AIG? $85 billion. Too big to fail?


H today


I am about 2/3 finished with The End of Wall Street. This book is an overview of the entire meltdown. It follows the crazy CDOs, touches on the credit defaut swaps, goes on to describe how Bear Stearns was saved, how Lehman was not, how AIG was too big to fail. The two remaining investment banks became regular banks, which allows them to borrow money from the "federal window" at near 0% and invest the money. That is why Goldman and JPMorgan show big profits these days.

The other books I read about his include House of Cards, plus the following books. House of Cards was about Bear Stearns and how the government helped save it.

Too Big to Fail is about the fall of Lehman and the bailout of AIG.

The Big Short is about four people who "went short" and made millions and billions by going against CDO using credit default swaps, insurance costing pennies on the dollar.

I have one more book to read on the meltdown. It is 13 Bankers. I have this on reserve at the library. Two of my books on are my Kindle (House of Cards and The Big Short); the remaining ones I got from our library.

My next book is Finding Chandra. This is a Washington DC mystery of Chandra Levy. This story was the top story in Washington until September 11, 2001.

Enough on books. Suppose to be nice this weekend. Time to mow the lawn then to spray the lawn with Weed-B-Gone.

The picture here is a house. It is in the Far East from the writing on the house. I know, strange house. I have some more pictures of strange houses, all from Bill in Eugene.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

U today...


This picture shows how stupid the tea party people are about immigrants. We all are immigrants. My grandparents on my father's side came here in 1907 from Argentina. They could not get into the United States about 10 years earlier so they went to Argentina.

I started and finished A Captain's Duty yesterday. It has been some time since I read a book in one day. But this book is so interesting. This captain was the first U.S. ship hijacked by pirates since the revolutionary war. He was taken aboard a raft by the pirates. But these pirates were pretty stupid. The captain convinced the four pirates that his crew was upset at him and would not come to the deck to be with him. Also, he had the control of the ship placed in the engine room not the deck. The captain turned the radio to station 72 but the pirates thought it was in 16 and could not figure out why no one was answering them.

He also talked the lead pirate to go the Navy ship watching them to get a doctor for him. Of course, we never see that leader again. The three remaining, after five days in the life boat, were each killed by snipers aboard the Navy ship.

You can tell I like this book.

I am going to hang a second tomato upside down. I have the jar I want to use and I have the tomato plant.

I have two blossoms on the two tomatoes I planted last month. These Oregon Spring tomatoes were small plants, costing me $1.19 each at Wilco.

Are we going to have two days in a row without rain? What a treat...


Monday, June 7, 2010

Iced coffee today


My iced coffee was good today. But using the same amount of coffee when it warm is not enough for iced coffee. I made some iced coffee for tomorrow but this time I used 50% more coffee in my French press. We shall see how that works when I try it tomorrow.

I discovered I cannot copy to this blog. I want to put a good joke here that is quite long but pasting does not work in this blog.

I am now reading A Captain's Duty by Richard Phillips. His container ship was the first one ever taken over by pirates from Somali. I am about a third of the way through it and it is a very good book. I highly recommend this book.

I know I said I was going to read The End of Wall Street first, but I wanted to read A Captain's Duty book first. I should finish this book in one or two days. With TV reruns on now I spend the early evening and late evening reading now.


Start of a new week...

Good morning:

This picture is a bridge, obviously. A strange one...

Spent last night reading. Finished The Genesis Secret. Indeed a page-turner for the last 25 pages. This book did not make much sense in parts of it, so I cannot recommend it to anyone.

On to The End of Wall Street. Then onto to A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy Seals and Dangerous Days at Sea. Heard this author on Fresh Air a few days ago.

When will summer days start?


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Slow day here

Tomorrow I will try to get summer to come here by making iced coffee. I made the coffee already and it is in the frig. I also made some new ice so tomorrow I will have some iced coffee.
The picture here is a lilac tree at the end of our alley. It smells so good as ride my bike by it.
NPR is talking about a new novel, but I have no plans to get it. It sounds so good, but I need to get through what I have here, plus the 3 books waiting for me at the library. Plus, I need to start reading my Kindle again. I added five articles to it today. Tomorrow the email from The New Yorker comes which means I can add a few more articles to my Kindle.
I plan to hang another tomato upside down. I had to buy a large bottle of Diet Coke yesterday. It will take me 3 to 4 days to drink the Coke, so I will use that bottle for my tomato.
I made a hanging basket a few weeks ago. St. Mary's School had a rummage sale, so I bought 3 flowers there: lavender, geranium, and blue violet. It hangs on our back porch now.

Well, one day was nice

Good morning:

It lasted one day. Our nice weather. This morning is wet and raining. Well, one nice day was yesterday.

This picture is the rectory for the Catholic Church. The church is to the right of the house. The rectory is the home for our priest.

The Genesis Secret is not a page-turner. I thought I could read this book in two days, but after three days I am only half way through it. I have 12 other books here from the library. I need to take some time to read to finish this book to get onto the other ones.

Again, my coffee is so good this morning. I ground the coffee beans to make the coffee in my French press.

I saw the author of Why We Hate Oil Companies say the same thing I have been saying: get some oil tankers over the spill and have each of them start sucking up oil and sea water. Each tanker can hold up to 11 million gallons, so get four or five of them to start sucking up the oil. I have been saying this for more than a month. I wonder why BP does not do this.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

A nice day, finally...

Good morning:

It is a good day here...finally. It is sunny and warm out today. It feels so good outside.

I went to a garage sale today to look at bamboo fly fly rods. Too expensive for me. Besides all of my fishing equipment remains in China. It does me no good to buy a fly rod with nothing to fish with.

Today I made coffee, like most mornings. But today, instead of having ground my coffee at the store, I got a coffee grinder from my ex-wife. I ground fresh coffee for my French Press. I used the Costco coffee that costs $8.99 for 2 and 1/2 pounds. Even this coffee is great made this way. I am making my second pot of coffee right now as I drank the three cups of coffee already. It is so good this way, grinding my own coffee beans and making coffee in my French Press.

I am now reading The Genesis Secret, a novel. I had to put aside my nonfiction books to read this novel. It is like "priming the well" in the sense I need to read a quick novel to get back the habit of reading again.

I am watching BookTV today. I see a good author for Why We Hate Oil Companies. I will try to find this book at our library.

I finally figured out how to get better sound on my new laptop. It sounded like a cave when I put on podcasts or music. But I found how to adjust the sound. Now it is set a "padded cell." My podcasts and music sound so much better now. I have been using my older laptop to listen to podcasts and music, but now I can retire that old computer and start listening on this computer.

The picture here is a 1953 Studebaker. I show it because we have this very car in our back yard. We will convert to all electric once we get started with The Green Car of America.

Have a great day...our first without rain in 21 days.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Early on Friday

Good morning:

In less than an hour I am heading out to a garage sale. It is wet outside but not raining presently.

This picture is early in the eruption of the Iceland volcano. It shows something we never saw in Mt. St. Helen's: fire.

I was up at 5:45 this morning. Now ready to go.

Not much happening here so this is a short posting.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spoke too early...

Hi again:

I spoke too early this morning, thinking that today would be a day without rain. My clothes were hanging outside around 4:00 pm today and I looked outside to see it raining. It now still raining nearly three hours later. So now we have 19 days of rain. Will we get to 40 days???

This picture is another one of the "surprise" pictures from Bill in Eugene.

There is a garage sale tomorrow I want to go to so I hope it is not raining in the morning. I ride my bike on weekends so the rain stops me...usually. There will be bamboo fishing rods at this garage sale, so I really want to go to this one.

Tonight, reading is on my agenda.


18 straight...

Good morning:

We have had 18 days of rain in a row. But today may be our first day of without rain.

I am sure we have the months limit of rain already. It rained so hard for so long yesterday. Between midnight on Wednesday and 8:00 am we got almost an inch of rain.

You can tell this picture of a cartoon.

I am almost finished with War, but this book is troublesome. Makes you hate war and wonder why we are still there.

My next book is the End of Wall Street. Yet another analysis of the meltdown two years ago.

Time for some breakfast here.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2 or Feb 2?????

Hello again:

It is raining hard out today. I guess the only way we can tell if it summer in Oregon is that the rain is warm.

It feels warm and very wet out today.

The picture is another good cartoon for Memorial Day.

I am drinking tea today instead of coffee. The acid in coffee has been upsetting my stomach, so one day without coffee we will see if my stomach is good.

In the book War, the soldiers in Afghanistan are in the northern section to prevent others from bringing weapons from Pakistan. I wonder if this effort was worth it. Too many Americans were killed here as this troop was under fire every day for 15 months.

I now have 12 books waiting for me at the library. I will pick up six or seven of them today, leaving the others for another time.

There is a new trend I see coming: running without shoes. I may try this soon, but only on the streets, never in gravel.

Rain, rain, go away....come again.....


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Feel like June 1????

This cartoon tells it all. Today I am not the only one who believes BP should be taken over by the government. A commentator on MSN proposed just that.
Now it appears this leak will continue until August when a relief well is finished. 42 days so far and now another 60 to 75 days more?????? Take over BP and pay for it from their profits and their assets.
I finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This is such a good book.
Now I am reading War by Sebastian Junger. I am reading this even though I oppose both wars strongly. We have no business in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I am reading this book only to see the horror of that war. It is "preaching to the converted" in my case.
I have Candyfreaak reserved at the library. I read this book a few years ago, but Steve Almond has paragraph in there about eating unsweetened chocolate. I will quote it again once I get this book.
Even though I a very strong liberal now, in high school I was a Goldwater republican. Dennis getting killed in Vietnam was only one thing that turned me liberal. I have a strong sense of social justice, that government can help us in many ways.
I have two other books here to read before getting my other books at the library. I have The China Lover and The Windup Girl. Both of these novels I found about searching the library site.
June 1 feels like March 1 here. Cold and wet here.