August 31, 2005


Last night I went to bed concerned about a 10 year old boy named Jamal. Jamal lives in Mississippi and has been my pen pal since I signed up to sponsor a child through Save the Children a few years ago. As the terrible news of the devastation caused by the hurricane Katrina started to come in, I became increasingly concerned for the safety of Jamal and his family.

This morning, I called the Save the Children office and talked with a woman named Anne. She told me that all the sponsored children in the area were OK. She told me that she would send me an e-mail with more details. I was relieved and went about my day.

After spending a few hours campaigning for a candidate running for the California State Assembly this afternoon, I came home.

Once again, my mind went to Jamal, his family, and all the people living in the region so devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The news is filled with heartbreaking stories. I checked my messages, and found Anne's email, but was unable to access the website to find out more. I can only guess that I am not the only one trying to get news. I just hope that the earlier reports given to callers like me were correct.

So, once again tonight, I will go to bed tonight thinking about Jamal and his family. Tomorrow, I will send him a letter and think more about how we can help. Please keep him in your heart.

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August 30, 2005


"Thy fate is the common fate of all; into each life some rain must fall."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery."

-Samuel Smiles

"Don't let success go to your head or failure go to your heart."

Sucess is simply getting up one more time than you fall down. Have courage. You are here for a reason. I believe in you.

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August 28, 2005

HAVE YOU READ mark haddon's book yet?

A friend recommended the book the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by mark haddon. I'm glad she did.

The curious incident... is a good read.
This little book carries a big wallop.

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In spite of the warnings of the LA Times critics....
in spite of Pete's protests ...
we went to see the movie, Sky High today.
After all, it was my time to choose.

I even clapped at the end.
As you can see, my inner child is alive and well!

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August 26, 2005


As part of our anniversary celebration yesterday, we took Zoe and Mira over to the nearby Harbor Park (officially known as The Ken Malloy Regional Park) to see if we could see what was happening with the locally famous alligator hunt. I was the only one who enthusiastically wanted to go there, but after a while the girls seemed to enjoy it.

I learned that some alligator handlers from Florida had taken some kayaks down the small tributaries hoping to find the elusive creature. After almost two weeks of trying to catch this wily gator, the now famous animal is still on the loose.

While walking along the shore of the lake I met lots of interesting people, including a reporter for the Associated Press. At least, the young woman told me that she that was who she was. She proceeded to ask me why we'd come out to the park that day, then took down my responses in a little notebook.

After talking with me, the reporter turned to the girls and asked what they thought should be done to catch the alligator, asked our names and dutifully wrote those reponses down in her little book as well. I doubt though that we will be actually quoted in any article, as our answers weren't all that colorful, but this is a neat little story to tell.

I did enjoy watching some local boys catching frogs. When I asked what they plan to do with the frogs, they told me that they planned to sell them. I'm not quite sure who they thought would buy them, but they were having the kind of fun that made me think of simpler times.

Zoe seemed most enthralled with a flattened out dead frog that the kids discovered. The poor deceased creature was flipped over several times to make sure that it really was dead, but more probably because children are just naturally curious, and like the rest of us, grapple with the mysteries of life and death.

A little further down the lakeside, I talked with a man catching some kind of crab for his dinner. I asked if he thought that they were safe to eat, as I'd heard that the water in the lake was polluted. The man told me that he did it all the time and that they were good when cooked in a soup. This fellow didn't look all that well to me, and I wondered if eating these crabs what was all that stood between him and hunger.

I would have stayed longer, but Pete and the girls had had enough. I think I'll go back this weekend. I don't know why we haven't explored this local beautiful spot before. I know that it has always had some kind of unsavory reputation. There have always been rumors of drug gangs and other frightening groups hanging out. I don't know if those rumors true, but all I saw were people. Friendly people. And, I felt a connection.

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Ever since my weekend in DC, I have somehow felt more connected. I seem better able to be in the moment. I notice more fully the green of the trees, the the song of the earth, the sound of the birds and the beauty of the moon.

I don't know exactly what has changed. While there and coming home, I feel as though I've been infused with love. The ingredient we truly cannot live without. Thank you.

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August 25, 2005


Happy Anniversary to us!
Forty-two years ago today Pete and I were married.
It seems like only yesterday.

Wait a minute. Wasn't FOURTY-TWO the secret to the universe?

This week, I recieved my shiny new Medicare card,
which will take affect in just over a month
on the first day of October.

When did this happen?
In most ways I still feel like a kid.

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August 24, 2005


I've always wondered how people could consider Pat Robertson, the founder and chairman of the Christian Coalition, anything other than a hatemonger. His latest utterance dramatically shows that this person should be denounced by all Christians.

Now he is telling people that we should ignore the commandment that tells us not to murder. Remember that one? Most of us know it as the one that says; Thou shall not kill!

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I came home from DC to find that an alligator had appeared at the nearby Harbor Lake at Harbor Park. They still haven't caught this crafty animal.

Tomorrow the girls are coming over for the day. I think I'll take them over to the park to watch the hunt. I found an account of what is happening here under Gatorgate on Google.


I was sitting here at the computer finally trying to update this blog when I got a call. I went to pick up the phone in the other room and spoke to the caller for about ten minutes. When I got back, something wierd was happening on the computer. First I saw a checkerboard. Then there was story by Zoe which was followed by pictures that looked somewhat familiar.

I was puzzled. I didn't know what they were and had a concern that something was going very wrong again. I called to Pete. He came in, but things were back to normal. I called Mike. Mike wasn't home. Michele said that I was somehow getting some bad internet spam. I didn't know how that could have happened, but I'm not very savvy.

Just after that the doorbell rang. I called out the window that I was coming and went downstairs to answer the door. I was surprised to find Mike standing there. He'd just finished another good deed. This time helping out Michele's cousin.

He came in and sat down for a few minutes and then he came upstairs to help me understand what was happening on my computer. It turns out that when my computer idles, it goes to a slide show of all my photos. That is really pretty cool!

Mike then gave me a quick lesson, showed me where things were. He changed some of the settings and made things look smaller. Kind of the way they used to be. I'd mentioned that things just look 'bigger'.

I am happy to say I learned something. I decided that I think I like things looking bigger, so I right clicked on properties and changed the resolution. I don't know if I will remember how to do this two weeks from now, but at least Mike should know that his lesson was not in vain.

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Pete got home safely and is getting back to normal.


This last weekend, my computer died.
I am lucky though, I have good sons.
The next day, we brought the computer to Mike.
The following day, I had a new harddrive.
Mike tells about what happened on his blog here.

I am trying to get used to the changes.
Things are different.
I think I've lost all my saved e-mail messages.
And lots of other stuff.
At least I haven't found them yet.

I guess I'd better learn to back up my stuff. Funny thing though ... my old MAC is still running. It is very old and has an obsolete operating system. It is very slow, but the hard drive is still chugging along.

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August 16, 2005

Pete's coming home.

...Just got another phone call from my usual handyman, otherwise known as "Pete". He was calling from the airport in Ghana. At least I think he was at the airport. He and the few remaining hold-overs were having dinner before Pete and one other fellow got on the plane. They and Francis, the Ghanaian Man who had been provinging in country transportation, were laughing and kidding each other during the call. They sounded like a happy group.

Pete may arrive home as early as tomorrow night, but since he and his fellow traveler only have confirmed tickets to Boston, they may not get into LA until the next day. Moment by moment.

Francis is planing a visit here in about a year and a half. That means we may have a houseguest from Africa. The world is getting smaller. :-) That is a good thing.

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August 15, 2005


...Just got home from a short visit to our nation's capital where instead of joining any kind of protest, I had a wonderful time visiting Matt and Yvette. We mostly hung out at their place which is really neat. Pete is still in Ghana.

One bit of excitement happened at The Octagon. I'd asked to go to this museum because an article I'd read about the contributions of the Freemasons. As I understand it, many of our founding fathers were part of this society. This is one place in DC that I'd never visited before ... and there was a big write up about the exhibit in the hotel tour guide.

I thought it might be interesting to see the exhibit: "The Initiated Eye: Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry and the Architecture of Washington, DC. We got there in time for the last tour of the day. I eagerly anticipated learning something new. Unfortunately, we found ourselves with a particularly uninspiring docent who proceeded to drone on in a manner that tested one's ability to stay awake.

While I struggled to pay polite attention to the boring monotone, Matt and Yvette hung back in a corner of the room and quietly talked to one another. One of them made the mistake of letting out a little chuckle.

This caused the docent to stop her monolog mid-sentence, and proceed to loudly scold the pair. Matt and Yvette apologized to diffuse the situation, but this did not stop her harange.

Slowly, I started backing up until I was standing with them as if to say: "I'm with them." We waited until she finally led the small group to another room. At that point, the three of us turned in the other direction. Unfortunately, the docent soon brought the tour into the room we were in. Would you believe she started her scold all over again?

We quickly walked through the other parts of the place. On the way to our next stop, we imagined this woman going home and her telling her family that night; "You wouldn't believe the RUDE people who came to the Octagon today!"

We made one more stop before we headed back to their place and that was at The Renwick, where a friendly security man liked us enough to give us a private tour of his favorite American glass exhibits. He spoke with much knowledge and animation, his language was filled with zest and color as he showed us around. This talented man was not a tour guide. He was one of the many security guards. You never can tell.

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August 9, 2005


OK. The windshield wiper fluid in my car ran out today.
I haven't a clue how to fill it.

Since I was out, and was low on gas I stopped for gas at the local gas station and filled the tank. After paying, I asked the cashier if there was someone at the station who could help me with my little problem.

He didn't understand what I was saying.
The cashier barely spoke English.
This happens in LA.

I came home, and parked the car in the driveway.
I figured I would simply pop the hood and look to see if there was some kind of reservoir that was clearly labeled 'wiper fluid'. However, before doing this, I looked in the place where I think Pete keeps a bottle of whatever liquid it is that is used. I think I remember it being blue. I looked everywhere. No luck.

It was late and I was very hungry. I decided to go into the house and have something to eat. As I walked into the house, I noticed that there was some kind of puddle directly under where I usually park my car. The puddle wasn't there yesterday.

As I have seen people do in the movies, I touched the puddle with my index finger, and tried to smell what the liquid was. It had no odor and it wasn't oily. I'm sure it wasn't condensation from the car air conditioner. Before leaving the house this evening, I hadn't driven the car since yesterday morning. I figured that any water from yesterday would have evaporated by then. It had been more than 24 hours since I'd last driven the car.

Just as I passed the furnace, which is directly next to the door, I noticed a burny smell. This is not good. But since the odor was not inside the door, I went in. To be on the safe side, I left the car in the driveway and the garage door open.

After having a quick dinner, I looked to see if there were any neighbors outside that I might ask for help. Everything was still. At that point, I decided to throw caution to the wind, drove the car into the garage, closed the garage door, and came upstairs.


The next day.

The house did not blow up while I was sleeping.
My windshield wiper problem is fixed. All it turned out to be was that the intake thingy was clogged. Two tooth brushes removed the junk and the the fluid is now flowing.

I still don't know about the puddle.
The burny smell is gone.

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August 7, 2005


Be in the moment.

Blue sky with pink clouds.
The air smells clean

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