Thursday, December 05, 2002

The Secretary-General of the United Nations says that the inspections for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are proceeding well. The President of the United States says that they are not. Iraq is expected to provide their "declaration" of weapons systems on Saturday. We should be able to get a pretty good idea from it if the dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, is serious about avoiding war.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Thanksgiving weekend: a good time was had by all (well, almost). My brother brought his family from Georgia and spent some time with our Mom and me on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday. He and my sister-in-law were sick, though. They both had "cold-like" symptoms. The twins were feelin' fine, however! I haven't spoken to my brother since Friday, but the plan was for them to visit relatives in Kosciusko on Saturday and return to Georgia today. Drive carefully, everybody! :-)

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Yesterday, Tom Daschle, the soon-to-be minority "leader" of the Senate of the United States of America, spoke out against talk show hosts that disagree with him and with the ideology of the Democrat party. Basically, he is setting the stage for his party's assault on the talk show hosts of America, the vast majority of whom are critical, and rightly so, of the objectives of the Democrat party.

They will do so with a so-called "campaign finance reform" measure and/or an attempt to revive the discredited, so-called "Fairness" in Broadcasting Act of 1993, which is, in truth, another way that they think that they can silence their critics.

Talk radio shows that espouse the principles of the "nanny state" generally fail. They fail because the argument for the nanny state cannot stand up to scrutiny. Implicit in this argument is a disdain for "the people," who, it is assumed, do not have enough sense to know what is in their best interests; therefore, the poor, misguided citizens need a "nanny state" to take care of them and prop them up. Since talk shows favorable to their ideas generally fail, it it only "fair" to the Democrats that talk shows critical of their ideas be censored!

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Players from Sacramento State greased their jerseys with nonstick cooking spray on the sidelines during their loss at top-ranked Montana last weekend, the Big Sky Conference said Thursday.

The league and Sacramento State are trying to figure out how many players applied PAM to their uniforms and if the coaches knew about it, to determine a punishment.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

The Associated Press has a story by Sarah el Deeb. She writes, in part:
Egypt's foreign minister said Saturday that he expected Iraq to accept the U.N. resolution to disarm but that Baghdad had not yet made a formal decision.

"I think we can expect a positive position by the Iraqis," Ahmed Maher told reporters after Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri explained Iraq's position to the foreign ministers of the 22-member Arab League.
I think that we can be fairly sure that Saddam Hussein will say that he will accept the resolution to disarm, but that will only be a delaying tactic. That's my prediction. We'll have to wait and see what actually happens. However, we do know this for a fact: Saddam Hussein has defied the United Nations, in the past.

Also, it seems fairly certain that, if Saddam Hussein defies the United Nations this time, he will not defy it again.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Now that the United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution threatening serious consequences if Iraq Saddam Hussein impedes the arms inspectors, we will see. In a press conference today, just after the signing, President George W. Bush said:
The outcome of the current crisis is already determined: the full disarmament of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq will occur. The only question for the Iraqi regime is to decide how. The United States prefers that Iraq meet its obligations voluntarily, yet we are prepared for the alternative.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

I have just about decided that I have an hiatal hernia. I believe that is what is causing the pain in my chest. Looks like I will have to alter my diet and how I eat. One web site advocates six small meals per day, instead of three regular-size meals.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Minnesota Govenor Jesse Ventura has appointed an Independent to fill the vacancy in the seat created by the death of Senator Paul Wellstone.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Time magazine has called Foreign Affairs "the most influential periodical in print." In the November/December 2002 issue of Foreign Affairs, Barry Rubin, Director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and Editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs, writes:
Arab and Muslim hatred of the United States is not just, or even mainly, a response to actual U.S. policies -- policies that, if anything, have been remarkably pro-Arab and pro-Muslim over the years. Rather, such animus is largely the product of self-interested manipulation by various groups within Arab society, groups that use anti-Americanism as a foil to distract public attention from other, far more serious problems within those societies.

Saturday, November 02, 2002 reports some good news: there are a few programs throughout the country that are mobilizing physicians to make house calls, a practice which once was common.
This is just too awesome! I just updated w.bloggar to v3.0. It is an excellent tool to use to update one or more weblogs, and it has some great, new features.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Yesterday, I bought a copy of FranklinCovey Planning Software from CompUSA. I had previously downloaded a trial edition from the FranklinCovey web site and liked it so much that I decided to go ahead and make it legal. We'll see where this goes.

Monday, October 21, 2002

BREAKING NEWS -- Authorities probing D.C-area sniper attacks take second man into custody, federal law enforcement source tells CNN. Details to come.
Alert out for AWOL French marksman...France notes speculation of link to Washington-area sniper
Apparently, the serial sniper murdering people around the Washington, D. C. area left a letter in a wooded area behind a Ponderosa restaurant in Ashland, Virginia, the site of his (or her) latest attack. MSNBC News reports: "An investigator who read the lengthy message told NBC?s David Bloom that the contents indicate 'this could be a very difficult time we are about to go through.'"

Monday, October 07, 2002

Well, I didn't hear from the independent adjuster today, and I'll be out of town for the greater part of the day tomorrow. If I don't hear from her/him tomorrow, I'll be calling Farmers Insurance Group customer service back. You can count on it!

Sunday, October 06, 2002

I started this site a year ago, on September 30, 2001, because I was involved in a three-car automobile accident that day (you can read about it by clicking here) and wanted a journal to "write it out of my system." As fate would have it, I was involved in another automobile accident (this time only involving one other car) on October 2, 2002, almost a year to the day after the accident that prompted the creation of this web site. This time, as I was pulling into a bank parking lot, one of their customers backed into my 1997, tan Mercury Grand Marquis. The damage was minor, but I filed a claim, anyway, because even a small dent will reduce the resale value of a car. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Friday, October 4, I initiated a claim by visiting the web site of Farmers Insurance Group. About an hour later, I received a telephone call from David, one of their employees, who asked me some questions and said that an independent adjuster would be contacting me no later that Tuesday, October 8. I'll keep you posted on developments.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Yesterday marked the first year anniversary of the Prickly Pig weblog, an eon in Internet time.
The Associated Press news agency reports that a man identified as a twenty-one year old Bulgarian "student" was apprehended as he attempted to carry weapons onto an airplane. Transportation Security Administration spokesman Robert Johnson said that the individual had a pair of scissors concealed in a bar of soap and two box cutters hidden in a lotion bottle. The man claimed to have packed that way so as to avoid damage to other items in his luggage.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Update on the amazing, disappearing web site content: it is back!
It is not a good thing when you try to visit your web site and find out that it no longer exists. That is what happened to me this morning. I was maintaining three weblogs at 0catch. My sites appear to no longer exist. Judging from the comments in the user forum, quite a few other people have experienced the same problem. There is a possibility that the lost content may be restored, if the situation is due to some glitch that the host techies can fix. Here's hoping!

Saturday, September 14, 2002

This being a typical Saturday, I took my Mom to (1) the grocery store, (2) the pharmacy, and (3) the library. In other news, it seems as if tropical storm Hanna may be bringing some rain our way. I don't mind--I mowed the lawn last weekend, and the grass is still fairly short; the only thing that I have to go out for tomorrow is to wash the clothes at the coin-operated laundry (it has been three weeks), so I can't complain.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

What the Supreme Court of the United States has done with religion makes me angry. The founding fathers would be appalled that the government they created now forbids prayer in its schools. The idea was to establish freedom of religion, not a ban on religion. Banishing prayer, and any reference to religion, from the government schools amounts to a tacit repudiation of religion and, by extension, a repudiation of the morals that religions are, in part, designed to convey to the younger generation in their formative years. In my opinion, unless, and until, we, as a country, are able to come to grips with this reality, the much-commented-upon breakdown of morals in this country will continue, and even accelerate, which will necessitate the building of ever more prisons. However, to judge from past experience, and from the rate of recidivism of paroled and discharged prisoners, prisons, which are far from being "correctional institutions," are definitely not the answer.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

It is difficult to believe that it is already September. This year seems to be passing so quickly, and I don't know why, unless it is because I am getting older. Yes, it is September, but the high temperatures are still in the nineties! Lows are in the lower seventies and the upper sixties. Today, I took my eighty-one year old Mom to a local mall, to walk. We didn't go very far, but it was a lot farther than she has been walking. Most days, she doesn't even get out of the house at all. I have told her that I would be glad to take her to walk every day, after work. We'll see.

Monday, August 26, 2002

The weather was actually rather pleasant this afternoon when I got off work. A "cold front" passed through the area, and the humidity is lower, compared to the past few days, so, instead of feeling like a blast furnace, it felt nice. When I say that a "cold front" passed through the area, I mean that in a (very) relative sense. The temperature, right now, is eighty-six degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is fifty-nine percent, which makes it feel as if it is ninety degrees. Some "cold front!"
I cannot connect to one of my web hosts. That's a bad thing. Their server must be down for some reason. The host is, and my site, "Prickly Pig's Blogosphere," is hosted at
Update on the story of the two missing girls in Oregon: Two sets of remains have been found at the home of a suspect. One set has been identified as that of Miranda Gaddis, one of two girls who disappeared from the apartment complex early this year.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Typo3 is a free, full-featured content management system that rivals commercial programs costing thousands of dollars. I do not have any experience with installing it (yet), but I understand that the installation is not as simple as some.
If the latest deaths are determined to be due to the West Nile virus, then there will have been twenty, so far. One web site quoted someone as saying that the epidemic would be likely to continue for another two weeks. Stay away from them 'skeeters!

Sunday, August 18, 2002

This morning, I woke up at about three-thirty and, for some reason, didn't go back to bed, so, this afternoon, I took a nap on the couch. I dreamed about my Father, who died on Wednesday, February 28, 2001. He would have been ninety years old on April 30, 2001. Even though he didn't make it to his ninetieth birthday, at least he did make it into the new millennium.

I dreamed that he and I were going to a hospital to pick up my sister, who was being discharged after having had some type of operation. In reality, she died sixteen years ago.

I woke up before my Dad and I got to the hospital, but I was so happy to see him again! He was such a great guy. I surely do miss him!

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Hey, as a follow up to my last post, about forgetting my password to Nucleus: everything's O. K.! I got a new password, and I'm bloggin' away on my Nucleus site.

Monday, August 12, 2002

I did a dumb thing! I logged out of Nucleus on my home computer, and I can't log back in, because I can't remember my user name and my password! I thought I knew them, but I've tried all sorts of combinations and no luck. There is a possibility that I printed out a page with that information on it, but, because I can't remember whether I did the installation at home or at work, I don't know where that print out may be (if it exists at all). Poo! The saga continues.
This program, w.bloggar, is great! I've just learned how to use it to post to multiple blogger blogs!

Friday, August 09, 2002

Small-town police think it's funny to give a man with a learning disability a fake lie detector test; are sobered up by one million dollar lawsuit man slaps on them.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

The two teenage girls that were abducted this morning in California have been found unharmed. The man who snatched them was shot to death by a sherrif's deputy.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

In yet another example of a problem endemic to our society, a fat man sues four fast food restaurants, claiming that they made him fat, as if he bore no responsibility for having made the personal choice to eat their food, even though they have been publishing nutritional information for years.

Friday, July 26, 2002

From "The Government Can Take Anything and Mess It Up" department: The Transportation Security Commission is way behind in hiring employees. According to an article in USAToday, "At three New York airports, 61% of applicants [for the position of airport screener] failed a test of English proficiency and overall aptitude skills [emphasis added]." Incredibly, officials estimate that one-third of the applicants are no-shows for meetings with recruiters!

Further, the government wanted fifty percent of the screeners to be female. So far, they've only managed to entice enough women to reach twenty-five percent of the total. Duh! Do you suppose that the problem is that few women even want the job?

All this, and the real problem wasn't even the airport screeners at all. It was the Immigration and Naturalization Service that dropped the ball. But instead of reforming it, which might hurt the feelings of some foreigners who want to come here, the government federalized the airport screeners! Just what we need: more big government!

Thursday, July 25, 2002

String of hamburger joints sold for $2.26 billion. reports a story in The Wall Street Journal, which reveals that "[f]ederal prosecutors in New York plan to seek indictments against two former top financial officers of WorldCom Inc. [Bernie Ebbers and Scott Sullivan] as early as next week for their roles in the company?s accounting scandal."
The city commission of Chiefland, Florida put their police force's seven officers on indefinate leave, with pay, after someone discovered that the city's charter didn't give them the right to make arrests or issue tickets.
The Rev. Al Sharpton places the value of his reputation at $500 million.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Apparently, it is a vast right- and left-wing conspiracy that brought Traficant down.
Seven year old kidnapped Philadelphia girl chews through her bonds and escapes. The Nando Times has the story.
Intresting: A woman has a flat tire, catches a ride with a trucker, disappears. Turns out she just liked the trucker and was riding with him for two weeks. The Clarion-Ledger has the story.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Apparently, Def Leppard has finally found their audience. The band is scheduled to perform a free concert at the new Fayetteville, Arkansas Wal-Mart Supercenter at 6:00 p.m. on July 31.
It seems that WorldCom's financial misdeeds have been an open secret for over a year, since it has been that long ago that a class action lawsuit, brought by former WorldCom employees, sought to bring the wrongdoing to light.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

A Wall Street Journal article, reported on, says that WorldCom filed for bancruptcy protection and that the actiion "will almost certainly wipe out common shareholders."
An ABCNEWS story reveals that WorldCom will file for bankruptcy protection.
In Maryland, the battle against a carnivorous Chinese fish continues. For the time being, at least, a twelve-member panel thinks that the most effective method of control would be to asphyxiate the fish with a non-toxic chemical that would dissipate within two to six days.
Prickly Pig is hosted by It is free. Global Industries is hosted, for free, on Tripod. Another, good, free host is 0catch. They have one, non-intrusive banner ad at the top of each page. It is easy to sign up, and their serving up of web pages has been fast, for me.
I am using a new tool, w.bloggar v2.03, to make this post. w.bloggar is by Marcelo Cabral, of Brazil. It is an "interface between you and your blog." This is my first post using it. I haven't explored all of the features it offers, but one great feature is the ability to preview your post, even before uploading it to your blog host. It also offers many formatting options, e. g., bold, italic, underline, et cetera. I have used a few blog interface tools before and have inevitably discarded them, for one reason or another. Maybe this will be the one that I continue to use!
In the United States, at least, the first day of the "work" week for most of us is Monday, yet most, if not all, of our calendars start the week on Sunday. Why is that? A quick search on Google turned up "Calendars Through the Ages," which gives the following explanation:

"The Bible clearly makes the Sabbath the last day of the week, but does not share how that corresponds to our 7 day week. Yet through extra-biblical sources it is possible to determine that the Sabbath at the time of Christ corresponds to our current 'Saturday.' Therefore it is common Jewish and Christian practice to regard Sunday as the first day of the week (as is also evident from the Portuguese names for the week days). However, the fact that, for example, Russian uses the name "second" for Tuesday, indicates that some nations regard Monday as the first day.

In international standard ISO-8601 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has decreed that Monday shall be the first day of the week."

Sunday, July 14, 2002

I am learning CityDesk by Fog Creek Software. It is Content Management Software (CMS) for web sites. It has gotten some really good reviews, and the sites which I have seen that use it look good.
Twenty-seven year old woman goes hiking in Alaska. Sees black bear. Tries to shoo bear away. Instead of leaving, bear attacks. Woman whips bear's ass.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

My home town records thirty-first murder of the year. A thirty-six year old wife and Mother of three, who worked at a check cashing company, was shot once, execution-style, in the back of the head.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Latest WorldCom accounting scandal "news:" at Congressional committee meeting, former CEO Bernie Ebbers announces that he is innocent, then repeatedly asserts his fifth amendment right not to answer questions, so as not to incriminate himself. Congress is miffed. Threatens charge of contempt.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Something happened to my computer at work. I installed PGPfreeware. I decided that it was too complicated for my purposes, so I uninstalled it. Then I couldn't get on the Internet, nor could I use my email. Our ISP sent a technician, who worked on the problem for two hours, with no success. So, I reinstalled the OS, and everything was fine.

Sunday, July 07, 2002 is my Internet Service Provider, and they give their users free web space. Guess what? I just created a web site there. w00t! Click on it! Go there!
I had a dream, the other night. A co-worker and I were making a sales call on a federal government agency. We had to show a photo ID, but, for some inexplicable reason, there was a photograph of a house on my driver license, not a picture of me. I tried to telephone someone who could help me by either vouching for me or by furnishing a photo ID of me; however, the battery in my cellular telephone was dead. Then, I tried my co-worker's cellular telephone, but its battery was dead, too. By this time, the people who we were supposed to make the sales presentation to were very suspicious of me. I don't know how the dream turned out. What do you think it means?
Check out my other web site for top-of-the-line freeware.
In other crime news, a local man threatened to set off a pipe bomb. He didn't, and, now, he's in jail.
There has been another murder in the city that I live in. It is the second of the Fourth of July weekend and the thirtieth this year. An argument between a woman's boyfriend and ex-husband resulted in one of them being shot once in the back with a large caliber weapon. Police are not yet sure which man was the victim and which the shooter.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Four men allegedly gang-raped an eighteen-year-old Pakistani girl to punish her family. Why? Because her younger brother had an affair with a woman, considered to be higher caste, from another tribe. Local police stood by and did nothing. has the story.
Commenting system is functioning, again, courtesy of enetation.
In Mexico, a student tries to use a subway pass he found on the floor of the terminal, because he doesn't have twenty cents for the fare. He spends two months in jail, before paying an exorbitant fine to get out. In other news, in Mexico, a man steals forty-five million dollars. He doesn't go to jail. Can you spell C - O - R - R - U - P - T - I - O - N ? Story at

Thursday, May 30, 2002

There was a murder, right across the street from my house. Not across the street and down the block. Right across from my house. I woke up at 1:00 am. I heard the sound of a car crashing into something. At the time, I didn't know what it hit. Then, I heard several gun shots, in rapid succession. I looked outside and saw what looked like an abandoned car in the parking lot of the convenience store. The hood was crumpled. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 3:00 am. This time, when I looked out the window, I saw four police cruisers, an ambulance, and a car belonging to a private security company. I still didn't know that there had been a killing. This afternoon, when I got home from work, it was on the news: a nineteen year old male had an argument with two other men, he rammed his car into their car, and they shot him multiple times, killing him.

Monday, May 13, 2002

Today, I bought two pair of Rockport "Halton" shoes: one pair of black and one pair of "sport white," i. e., light gray. Thanks to my Mom! I used the money that she gave me on my birthday.
If you have a digital camera and want to share some of your photos with family and/or friends, the Ofoto service is the best: quick, easy, and, best of all, free. After you create a free account and upload your photos, you can sent an invitation to view your pictures. The recipient clicks on the link in your email and is taken to the Ofoto site, where they can view your photos.
As a follow on to yesterday: I prepared my Mom's lunch and supper and washed the dishes after each meal. My brother telephoned her from Georgia. I think that she had a nice day.

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Today, for Mothers' Day, I am waiting on my Mother "hand and foot." I prepared her breakfast-of-choice: brown sugar and maple syrup flavored oatmeal, orange juice, and coffee. Then, I washed the dishes and put out the special, blue "Celebrate . . . Today is Your Day" plate, for lunch.
Pakistan reluctant to pursue al Qaeda

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Today is my Mom's eighty-first birthday. I gave her a card and an eighty-one dollar gift certificate to a department store where she likes to shop. My son came over to my Mother's house at 6:00 pm. The three of us went to the Piccadilly Cafeteria on I-55 North in the Mercury. My son picked up the tab. He also gave Mother a birthday card and a fifty dollar Piccadilly gift certificate. After, we went back to Mother's house for Twinkie and vanilla ice cream. My son and I sang "Happy Birthday" while Mother blew out the candle on her Twinkie. He left at 8:00 pm. He is to call me tomorrow with his departure time. He and I will meet at Mother's, and I'll drive him out to the airport for his trip back to California.

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Today, April 30, 2002, is my Father's birthday. Had he lived, he would have been ninety-one years old. Sadly, he died on Wednesday, February 28, 2001, exactly two months before his ninetieth birthday. Not only was he my Father, he was, also, my best friend, and, even though I helped to care for him during his final years, he was active throughout most of his life, and he was young at heart throughout all of it. I surely do miss him!

Monday, April 29, 2002

Today, I had an experience which I am not eager to repeat. This morning, my primary care physician, assisted by his nurse, performed a sigmoidoscopy, in his office. This afternoon, I had an upper GI series, with the added bonus of having my colon distended with air, while x-ray films were made. I went in to the doctor's office at nine o'clock, this morning, and got to work this afternoon at three-thirty. All in all, it was a grueling day; however, the preliminary reports are good. I should hear more from my primary care physician when the doctor in radiology files her report.

As an aside, I had to drink sixteen glasses of a liquid laxative, last night. I started at four-thirty in the afternoon and finished about ten o'clock. The stuff didn't taste too bad, at first, but, after several glasses, it became quite a chore to drink.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Last week, knowing that my son was coming from California to visit me, someone at work asked how long it had been since I had seen him. I told them that I couldn't count that high. When my son arrived last night, he told me that it had been four years. At that time, his Grandfather was still alive. Then, he mowed my parents' lawn and painted the trim around the windows on the front of their house. This time, he wants to have a resting vacation, and I don't blame him. Right now, he's over at his other Grandmother's house, visiting with her and her daughter, his aunt.

Last night, as I was driving to the airport, I realized that it had been some months since I had driven at night, and I was a little uneasy about it. It took me twenty minutes to drive from my Mother's house to the airport, and, then, I had a thirty-five minute wait before I saw my son, smiling and waving. We stopped at Wendy's and picked up something for him to eat. At my Mother's house, he came inside, to speak to her, for a few minutes. Then, he drove off in the car she is loaning him for the week that he will be here.

This morning, I took my Mother grocery shopping. Then I mowed her front and back yards. Later, this afternoon, I'll take her to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, or two, then, to the post office, and, finally, to the library.

My son may call me today, or, he may not. While he is here, he plans to spend a day or two out in the country, at his other Grandmother's farm.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

My Mother has a standing appointment with her primary care physician every three months. She is eighty years old, and he likes to keep a close eye on her, especially because she is a diabetic and has had a deep vein thrombosis in her left leg (twice). I took off from work at eight-thirty this morning, picked her up, and drove her to the doctor's office. The doctor was pleased. He said that she was doing well and that her blood test results were "perfect." Great news!

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I must have tried a dozen application launchers, but I have finally found one that seems just right: not too simple and not too complicated, and it is freeware, to boot! You can download it from the program's home page.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

I am evaluating several time management computer programs. I need a program to help me to manage my business and my personal tasks, things to do, and projects. The ones I'm studying right now are: Done 2000, Click Tray Calendar, VeriTime, Quick To-Do Light, and Quick2Do . My plan it to select one to use permanently.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

I have been reading newspapers and watching network television news, as well as visiting news sites on the Internet, to inform myself about the Israeli incursion into Jenin. I must say that I am rather disheartened at the plethora of reporters who talk about the "alleged massacre" of Palestinian civilians, without giving the Israeli side of the story. A story in the London Times newspaper, datelined April 20, 2002, goes some way towards correcting that.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

This morning, I got up, ate breakfast, looked at the newspaper and, then, lay back down and took a nap. I am so glad that I did, because I dreamed about my Father, who died on February 28, 2001, just two months before his ninetieth birthday. In the dream, he and I were walking along a sidewalk. I had my hand around his waist to steady him, and he had his hand on my shoulder. I can't recall what we were talking about. What I do remember is that we were just talking, like friends. My Father was a beautiful human being: kind, gentle, intelligent, and sensitive to the feelings of others. I surely do miss him.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Monday, April 01, 2002

And while I'm on the subject: It used to be that when someone wanted to fill their car's tank with gasoline, they would go to a service station. When they drove in, someone would wash their windshield, check the pressure in their tires, check the car's fluid levels, and do all of these things with a smile. And there were no such things as "full service" and "self service" pumps; they were all full service!
Many years ago, there was a drug store in our town that offered curb service. Before World War II, the garbage men (that was before the term "sanitation engineers" had been thought of) would go behind your house to get your trash can and return it when they had emptied it into their truck. I am not making this up! What happened? Why do we have to settle for an inferior level of service now? People who enjoyed those services didn't pay "extra" for them. That level of service was the norm!

Sunday, March 31, 2002

There is a story on in the Health section, datelined "Washington, March 30" and headlined "Report: Alzheimer's coverage OK'd." The subhead is "NY Times: White House has authorized Medicare payments." The gist of the story is that Medicare will now pay for treatment, such as "psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy and other services," to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease. This is great news, as such treatment is often a tremendous financial burden on the loved ones of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease; indeed, many patients have to do without such treatment, simply because they, or their caregivers, cannot afford it. Apparently, and here is the disturbing part, the government did not publicize their decision. Further, from the article: "When asked why the government did not publicize the new policy, a Medicare official told the Times the change was not announced because 'we saw it mainly as a technical matter for Medicare carriers[emphasis added].'" This is outrageous and unacceptable. If family members responsible for the care of Alzheimer's patients don't know about the policy change, they are unlikely to seek previously unaffordable care for their loved ones which was denied under the old rules.
Today is Easter Sunday, and His Holiness the Pope addressed his Easter Message (Urbi et Orbi) to "Men and women of the third millennium!"

Saturday, March 30, 2002

The widow of one of my first cousins had quintuple bypass heart surgery last month. She lives in a town about three and a half hours away. I couldn't get in touch with her Thursday or Friday, and I was becoming concerned about her. After getting no answer this morning and this afternoon, I finally got through to her this evening. She said that she was fine and had been out running errands. Whew! What a relief.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Yes, since you asked, I am fickle! It was only on the fifteenth of this month, a mere twelve days ago, that I was singing the praises of a program by the name of SkwyrulPRO 4.0a. I am no less impressed with it now than I was then, however, now I'm using a different information management program, KeyNote, also free, which can be downloaded from the author's website.

Sunday, March 24, 2002

This morning, Mother and I went to the cemetery to change out the flowers on Father's and my sister's graves. The last time that we put new flowers out was several months ago. I got together a lot of old newspapers, some twine, a pocket knife, a folding chair, two plastic bags, and a large wrench. Then, we drove to the cemetery. When we got there, Mother sat in the folding chair and arranged the flowers. I tied the stems together with twine, using the pocket knife to cut it. Then I wrapped the stem-bunch with newspapers, to make a snug fit in each vase, which is a part of the bronze marker. Wrapping the stem-bunch with newspapers was something that my Father used to do, when he and Mother would put flowers on my sister's grave. Making the flowers fit down snugly into the vase keeps them from blowing out when it is windy. It was windy today, so I used the large wrench to weigh down the newspapers. The two plastic bags were for the old flowers, until I could get to a wastebasket at the cemetery. When we were finished, the vases were filled with new flowers and looked much better. I am so glad that we went.

Friday, March 15, 2002

I've been experimenting with an incredible freeware program by the name of SkwyrulPRO 4.0a, and I am very impressed with its capabilities. It is an information management program, which utilizes the "tree" metaphor for storage of data. You can find the program here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Received a letter yesterday from a quasi-relative. She was married to a first cousin of mine. He died of a heart attack years and years ago. On Valentines' Day, she had a heart attack. Said that she didn't want to call an ambulance, because she said that the driver would have taken her to the emergency room of the local, small town hospital, and she didn't want to go there. Instead, she drove herself to a clinic that she has gone to before, and they had her transported to a larger hospital in a nearby city. Long story made short: she had a quintuple bypass operation and is now doing well. Whew!
The mail finally gets through! The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service approves suicide hijackers' student visas.
What the . . . ?!?! It is satisfying to see a frightened terrorist. According to a report in the March 13, 2002 issue of USA Today newspaper, "The suspected mastermind of the kidnapping of American reporter Daniel Pearl threatened on Tuesday to make the USA pay if he is extradited from Pakistan to face charges in the United States." Apparently, he is scared to death that, if he is extradited to the United States, he will finally have to grow up, be forced to accept responsibility for his actions, and face the justice of a civilized world. USA Today further reports, "Omar 'told the [Pakistani] judge that America would suffer if he is extradited,' said Raja Qureshi, advocate-general for Sindh province." Like that is supposed to frighten someone. During the ongoing war on terrorism, the United States is going to suffer whether Omar is extradited or not, so extradite him!

Monday, March 11, 2002

This morning, I took my Mother to a routine visit with her hematologist. She was fine. As I drove her home, she mentioned to me that, last night, she dreamed that she was driving an eighteen wheeler, delivering gasoline to stations in other cities. In the dream, my Father, her husband of sixty years, rode with her in the cab and offered helpful advice about how to drive a big rig. He died last February the twenty-eighth. She was puzzled, because, she said, she never saw his face.

Friday, March 08, 2002

Great! It's Friday, and I'm ready for the weekend. It's not that I have anything special planned, because I don't. I'm just ready for a break.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Tomorrow is my secretary's birthday. She is taking tomorrow off, so, today, I had twelve, helium-filled balloons and a big, "Happy Birthday" banner waiting for her when she arrived at work. She always does nice things for the other employees, on their birthdays, so I wanted to do something nice for her on her birthday. She will be forty-three years old tomorrow, and she has been with the firm since she graduated from community college! Another of the employees baked a pound cake and an Italian Cream cake. She brought a bag of chips, some punch, a birthday card, some homemade fruit salad, some plastic plates, and some plastic cups. I brought a half-gallon of orange juice. Whee!

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

While surfing, the other day, I stumbled across a commenting system, for web logs. Also, a site meter, to track the number of visitors, and other statistics. In other news, last night, I dreamed that one of my teeth fell out! Note to self: make appointment with dentist, soon.

Sunday, March 03, 2002

I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself. I managed to stay in my pajamas all day long!

Saturday, March 02, 2002

The Friday Five:
1. What's your favorite vacation spot? I haven't really been to many "vacation spots," but, of the ones that I have been to, I like Twin Falls, Idaho.
2. Where do you consider to be the biggest hell-hole on earth? Afghanistan, before the Taliban were driven from power.
3. What would be your dream vacation? An around the world cruise on a freighter.
4. If you could go on a road-trip with anyone, who would it be and why? My son, because I enjoy his company but don't get to see him often.
5. What are your plans for this weekend? To relax, be lazy, and finish reinstalling all the computer programs that were wiped from my computer's hard drive when I had to reformat it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Exactly one year ago, today, on Tuesday, February 27, 2001, at eight o'clock in the evening, I was in my Father's hospital room, waiting for the lady who would stay the night with him. A cardiologist from the group that was attending him came to check on him. The doctor listened to my Father's chest with his stethoscope and said that he was sounding good. The doctor said that he would probably send my Father home with the dose of medication that he was currently on. I certainly felt encouraged about my Father's condition. The next morning, between one-thirty and three o'clock, just two months before his ninetieth birthday, my Dad died in his sleep. I sure do miss him!
Twenty-two degrees! Brrrr! That's pretty cold for the Deep South, even in February.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I picked the daffodils this morning, before going to work, because the low temperature forecast for tonight is twenty-one degrees, and I think that would have been too low for the flowers to survive. This way, we'll be able to enjoy them for a few more days.

Monday, February 25, 2002

Lunch menu: Mandarin Chicken salad at Burger King, with crisp noodles, slivered almonds, and Oriental Sesame salad dressing. After lunch, I had a French vanilla cappuccino. I love that drink!
One of my fellow employees put me on to for downloading songs. I downloaded the application and, then, just to try it out, easily downloaded two songs. I don't know how, or if, manages to get around the problems that Napster has had with the recording industry.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Here is a list of some of the programs that I have downloaded and installed in my quest to find just the right one to organize information on my home computer: KeyNote, TreePad, A1 Visual Contact, PhoneDeck, Diary Defender, InfoStore, Memoirs2000 Lite, MyInfo, NoteKeeper, and Bottin. There have been others, which I uninstalled after discovering that they were not freeware.

In other news, more and more of the King Alfred daffodil buds are turning into beautiful, yellow flowers! The weather here in the Deep South (U. S. A.) has been unusually warm for February; i.e., today, it was sixty-nine degrees Fahrenheit!

I am reading a book entitled The Diagnosis, by Alan Lightman, who, in addition to being a bestselling author, is a professor in the humanities and a lecturer in physics at M. I. T.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

King Alfred daffodils are big, sturdy flowers bearing the classic yellow petals and cup. There are some blooming now in our front yard. My Mother told me that my Father planted them. I asked her when, and she said that it must have been at least ten years ago. If that's the case, he would have been seventy-nine then. However, he could have planted them fifteen or twenty years ago. My Mom just isn't sure. She said that some years they didn't bloom at all. Today, I counted eleven blooms and buds. My Father would have been delighted!

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Walking in the park today was nice. When I started, it was mild, and there was a gentle breeze. During the course of my one mile walk, it rained softly for a short time, and the wind picked up, blowing the leaves across the foot path. I saw one azalea bush in bloom and a solitary, little yellow flower by the path. There was also a ground cover with greenish-bronze leaves. Most of the trees were completely bare, but some were just beginning to show a hint of green. The high temperature here today was 72 degrees (F).

Friday, February 15, 2002

The other day, I had taken my Mom grocery shopping. As usual, we split up the grocery list, and each of us took a cart. It is faster that way. The grocery store was running a promotion. My purchase was more than fifteen dollars, so I got a free ten pound bag of chicken. Good. Then, when my Mom checked out, she, also, qualified for ten free pounds of chicken. Not good. There are just the two of us, and it would have taken us forever to eat twenty pounds of chicken, so we gave it to the lady in line behind my Mom. She said that she could use it. Good deed for the day: done.

Saturday, February 09, 2002

On Friday, February 9, 2001, my Father was in the hospital, having fallen and broken his left hip the evening of Wednesday, February 7, 2001. He underwent hip replacement surgery late that afternoon. Either during the operation, or while he was in recovery, he experienced what a cardiologist first called a "cardiac event." Later, the cardiologist said that the "event" had been a heart attack.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Another significant date. It was on February 7, 2001 that my Dad fell and broke his left hip. He had been home from the nursing home for one year and five days. It was a year that had its challenges, but it was a very rewarding year, too. As I helped to care for him, my Dad and I became closer than we had ever been. Often, he would get up in the middle of the night and roam around the house. I would wake up, also, and he and I would have a hot drink and a couple of chocolate chip cookies (his favorite). Then he would happily go back to bed.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Woo Hoo! United Parcel Service delivered my new computer today! It is a Dell Dimension 4400 1.6 Ghz with a 19" monitor.

Saturday, February 02, 2002

February 2 is a particularly significant date to me because it was on February 2, 2000 that I brought my Dad home from the nursing home. After he had hip replacement surgery on his right hip, he stayed in a nursing home for three months, and he was extremely unhappy. He was eighty-eight and, since he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, most of the time he didn't know where he was or why he was there.

While he was in the nursing home, I would visit him three times a day, every day: in the morning before work, on my lunch hour, and after work. Even so, many days he would telephone me from the nurses' station, and tell me that he was somewhere on a street corner and that he needed a ride home. I would reassure him that I knew where he was and that I would see him soon. He always seemed so relieved to see me, as if the staff didn't understand that he needed to go home. I would stay with him as long as I could and, then, tuck him in for the night before I would leave.

Before my Dad could come home from the nursing home, my Mom had to hire someone to stay with them while I was at work. She put an ad in the local newspaper and interviewed several people. Before she hired one, I brought my Dad home for several weekend visits from the nursing home. Finally, the big day, February 2, 2000, came! He was so glad to be home. My parents were married in 1940 and, until he went to the nursing home, they had probably not been apart more than a handful of days.

It took us a while to work out a routine, because, even after the surgery and physical therapy, my Dad couldn't get around as well as he could before he broke his hip, but he was happy, because he was at home, and that made all the difference.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2001, my Dad fell again. This time his left hip broke. On Friday, February 9, he underwent hip replacement surgery for the second time, but things did not go as well as they did the first time. He experienced a heart attack on the operating table. He survived the heart attack, only to die in his sleep, on Wednesday, February 28, two months to the day before his ninetieth birthday.

The last time that I saw him alive, the night before he died, he asked me to tell my Mom, "Hello." He asked me to tell her, his sweetheart of sixty years, that he loved her. He was a remarkable man. I sure do miss him.

Saturday, January 05, 2002

Grocery List

Egg Beaters
Bread, buttermilk
Diet Cokes, canned
Green peas, frozen, little
Broccoli, fresh
Cauliflower, fresh
Rice, Boil-in-Bag
Tuna, water packed, 3 oz. cans
Bananas, bunch
Carrots, fresh
Lima beans, canned
Soup, Campbell’s, chicken noodle
Oatmeal, instant, regular
Raisins, small boxes
Steamer basket
Sardines, water packed
Potatoes, russet
Greens, mustard, frozen
Creamer, non-dairy, amaretto
Juice, grapefruit, unsweetened
Thursday night I dreamed about my Father. My Mother, my Father, and I were in my parents' living room. My Father tried to walk across the room. He began to fall, and I rushed to catch him. I was too late to catch him, but I did manage to break his fall enough so that he wasn't injured. "I love you," I told him, "and want you to be with us for a long time. Please be careful, O. K.?" I surely do miss him!

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

O. K. Here's the deal. I intend to post to this blog at least three times a week during 2002! Some posts may be just a sentence (or two); some posts will, no doubt, be longer. I also resolve to be fifty-percent nicer during the coming year. P. S.: What is the definition of "nice?" P. P. S.: Fifty-percent nicer than what?