Sunday, October 31, 2004

Photos From My Walk to The Fruit & Vegetable Stand

Anyone For a Pampas Paintbrush?

Sun tree cloud

Taken on my trip

A tree

Tree and sky

I saw this guy looking out his upstairs window

Lots of fruits and veggies

Big cabbages for 19 cents / pound


Lots of little squashes

Halloween Today - Running Low On Pumpkins

Vegetable Stand Near My House

The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town - Borat Comedy Piece

Borat Doctrine

Discover Norway

Check out the cool videos at Discover Norway. Very beautiful.

Maybe you will see some Nisser a kind and helpful small humanlike creature, who takes care of people and animals all year round. Not to be confused with an Elf or a Dwarf; or certainly a Troll.

These Large Nisse are 16 inches tall.

I see some around our house at Christmas time. Not sure where they are the rest of the year. Somewhere in the basement I believe.

A lady named Elise has lots of pictures of little people and nisse. She says the Nisse like to live in barns. If you aren't nice to them they make your milk go sour. She has some nice writing in Elise's diary.

The Seattle Times: Everett Wins District Volleyball Title

The Seattle Times: Sports: Northwest 4A: Everett gets revenge over Snohomish

Everett High School Volleyball Team - Continues Winning Streak

The Everett Herald reports that Everett gets even with Snohomish. Not sure about that but I do know that Everett High School moves on as number 1 seed to state with a sweet 16-0 record.

Way to go girls!

You really deserve it. Years of work and a great team effort pay off. I'm lucky to be the parent of two daughters who are really good athletes (besides being good in lots of other ways as well). So much fun to watch them over the last six years and then as a finale this year's team compiled the best all around record in the state of Washington.

Their unbeaten record is something for them to be proud of. Volleyball matches are best of 5 games. Everett High School has swept every match (3-0) except for two which they one 3-1. That's a dominating team. They fly high and hit hard.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Everett Gets Two Sweeps to Reach State

The Seattle Times: Sports: Volleyball: Everett gets two sweeps to reach state

Everett High School - Volleyball Champions District 1


The Seattle Times: High School Sports: Hitter draws a bead on "5-letter word"


Flowers for a Champion

Everett High Volleyball - Flying High - Hitting Hard

Everett High Volleyball Team - They're Charged Up! - Wesco Champs!

Seagull Volleyball FANS

Everett High Volleyball

Volleyball Crowd

Four Fried Chickens

Four fried chickens and a coke...and some dry white toast please

Is a Burrito a Sandwich?

Sometimes even the Google machine can't help answer a question.

The Google Search: Is a burrito a sandwich? returns many hits for school lunch menus.

I was visiting some place in the blogosphere earlier this week where this question was being discussed and I have been obsessed with it since.

Initially I thought a burrito would be a sandwich if you made it with bread and a sandwich would be a burrito if you made it with a tortilla.

In my kitchen laborotory I have created what appeared to be a "burrito" by combining traditional burrito and sandwich ingredients - a tortilla, ham, cheese and then placing them in a microwaver. I have also observed, and participated in, the making of a "sandwich" using lefse (Norwegian tortilla), lutefisk and swedish meatballs.

After meditating for a few hours early one morning; I had a vision that everything can be considered a sandwich if we think of a sandwich as "something in between something else". For example, an atom could be thought of as an electron sandwich with a tasty filling of protons and neutrons. Here's some instructions for Building an Atom.

You could expand the "it's all a sandwich" view to the include the universe - Made up of galaxy sandwiches; and closer to home, the solar system (a sun filled sandwich) inside a nicely layered set of planets.

Back on planet earth though...I'd really like to try one of the Primanti Brothers Restaurant - Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sandwiches. They have coleslaw and fries on them. Look good. Or any of these MAXIM ONLINE: tasty sammies.

I'm going to go make a sandwich.

Everett; Volleyball Team Is Headed to State Tournament


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

From This Valley They Say You Are Going

Yellowstone River Valley - Near Columbus Montana

Looking at that picture makes me miss Montana a bit. It looks so peaceful.

Every so often I think of the song Red River Valley. My Gram used to sing it nicely with a tinge of sadness for the people - husband, brothers and sisters she loved that had left the valley -

From this valley they say you are going.
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile.
For they say you are taking the sunshine.
That has brightened our pathway awhile.

I'm not sure what river valley the cowboy that wrote that song was thinking about. I like to think it was in Montana.


The Red River that divides Minnesota and North Dakota tends to be more of a farming area than a place you would think of as having cattle and cowboys. Very fertile land in that valley. Some of my wife's relatives from Norway settled there and grew potatoes. Her grandmother used to tell her they had never had a crop failure. Not sure about that. They grow some good potatoes up there though.


My wife used to be on a curling team when she taught school in Hoople/Nash N.D. She knows some of these folks on the MN, ND team representing USA in World Senior Curling Championships.

I'm not sure what happened to her curling broom. It's in the basement somewhere I think. Curling is a hard sport for me to understand. I understand the sliding of the rock but I can't quite get the frantic sweeping part figured out. The training you get in frantic sweeping makes it a good sport for prospective housewives eh? My wife would kill me if she heard me say that..but she never looks at my blog.

I think part of the allure of the sport, besides the skill and concentration, was the social/drinking part. She loved it. I imagine given the chance I would like it too. I like ice and sliding stuff.

Besides the curling, Betsy was a synchronized swimmer. She gets a lot of jokes from her friends about curling and synchronized swimming since they are both sort of fun and funny in some ways. Not to say they aren't hard and take skill don't ya know.

I think our daughter's athletic prowess tends to come from her rather than me. I have a hard time walking, forget about chewing gum at the same time.

I think I'll take a nap before I head into work.

I hope whatever valley you are in is a good one and you have some people beside you, or to remember, with bright eyes and sweet smiles.

Monday, October 25, 2004

VidLit - Liz Dubelman

Liz Dubelman's "Craziest" video tale resides at VidLit - Home Page.

I'd ran across a copy of "Craziest" on and put a link on my blog a few days ago. I didn't realize that was probably a bootleg copy. I thought Liz Dubelman had put it there. I changed the link now.

"Craziest" is a great piece (or eight pieces worth over 300 points in Liz's world).

Looks like some other interesting stories at Vidlit too.

Being a Friend - Meditation of the Week at

Interlude: Meditation of the Week - Being A Friend

Attacking My Furnace

This weekend got me thinking about the scenes in the movie A Christmas Story where the old man goes into the basement to fix the furnace.

Our furnace is really big and old. I have to fiddle around with it; oil the bearings, tighten the belt, change filters...every so often. This weekend I was trying to figure out how to fix a slight scraping noise it makes when the blower starts up.

What a mess...I think I disturbed dirt that's been in there for a few decades. I was covered with a mixture of dust/dirt/oil. I tried to vacuum the dust up that I knocked off the blower (it's really hard to get don't want to know).

In the end, after I fired her up again, my wife showed me a coat that was hanging by one of the forced air vents upstairs, covered with many little pieces of dust/floaty things.

Oh's maybe a little quieter now. I got the bearing cups full of oil and vacuumed it out as best I could. I can't help but think it's going to be a challenge when it finally craps out, to find anyone (besides me) willing to work on it. It's an odd old piece of machinery (was oil fired at one time...then converted to natural gas) that seems to be sort of fabricated in place. The blower frame is embedded in the concrete floor and has some tack welds that the installer made after it was put in (making it a bear to disassemble should it some to that).


I'm looking forward to a great week. Hope things are looking up for you. Halloween next Sunday!

I think we might get quite a few trick or treaters. I hope so.

I need to be off to work, just a couple of other quick things...

Good "thought of the day" on Friendship at Interlude

Friendship is so much more than a word, a handshake,and a smile. It's the ability to see the inner beauty in someone.
Vonda K. Van Dyke


I was reading a daily devotional today that says,

God offers us peace in the midst of life's storms.

I know for me, just stopping to read a devotional in the morning is very helpful.

I can slow down a little and think about Paul's letter to the Philippians when he wrote:

“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil 4:8).

I clipped Paul's quote from the letter out of this article JCN Summer 2002 Editorial

Take good care of your self so you can take good care of those you love and that love you.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Innovative Daum

Innovative Daum has some cool web stuff.

And nice ideas about community at Welcome to Daum

Many ???????'s at

I need an international character set, and some language skills, to read this cafejack. My browser just shows a lot of ???????'s

This Jack has good taste though I think he hangs out at Daum Planet Some Cool Pictures and other things there - I Wish I understood the language.

CafeJack International


Don't Insult Any Witches This Halloween

A local elementary school has banned Halloween celebrations because...

School Says Halloween Disrespectful to Witches

I've decided that to show my respect for witches I'm not going to watch The Wizard of Oz or old Bewitched reruns.

That Wicked Witch of the West was a bad bad witch.

If I remember correctly, Samantha's twin sister Serena was a not so good witch either. Maybe this page Bewitched @ Harpies Bizarre would help explain Serena's badness.

I'm thinking it's probably not good to dress up like a cowboy or cowgirl in case you run into someone from the Cowboy Church or a bum since we all know the story of Bum Worship: How liberals politicize religion.

I think the best thing to do is just stay home and eat some toasted white bread and drink a cup of warm milk. Don't wear any odd clothing, tell any jokes or make any quick never know who you might offend.


I'm playing with the Visual Studio 2005 Beta (which is one reason I'm up so late/early). You have to be a geek to think it's exciting to write a simple executable file. I'm proud of my geekiness and nerdality.


Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

I'm looking forward to watching the district volleyball tournaments this week. Both my daughters are home for the weekend. I've been catching up on a few things at work yesterday and hopefully today.

My wife went to see Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald and the Average White Band at the Everett Events Center Saturday night. She said it was a great concert.

Life is good.

Peace to you and yours.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Peanut Farmer's Take on the Upcoming U.S. Presidential Election

I listened to an interview Terry Gross did on the NPR show Fresh Air with former President Jimmy Carter last night.

What an honorable man he is. He's 80 years old now and sharp as a whip. He won the Nobel Peace Prize a couple of years ago.

He was talking about The Hornet's Nest his new novel on the Revolutionary War.

She asked him what side he would have taken in the Revolutionary War and he answered that he would have preferred to have been a farmer who cared for his work, family and friends. He then went on to say that with the exception of Dwight Eisenhower he spent more time in the military than any president since the Civil War era.


The highlight of the conversation was his assertion that if the U.S. presidential election was being monitored by the Carter Center it would not meet international standards.

These standards originated in a national commission on election reform with Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter as co-chairs, along with 40 other bipartisan representatives. They arrived at these guidelines by unanimous consent. That commission was set up as a result of the controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential elections.

He mentioned 4 areas where the U.S. elections do not meet these standards:

1. All qualified candidates have equal access to the public through the media and they don't have to pay for it.

Ability to run for office should not depend on how much money you can collect.

2. Central election commission that is recognized as being non-partisan.

He mentioned Florida's secretary of state Katherine Harris's actions in the 2000 election and how they subsequently led (or at least didn't prevent) her to win a seat in Congress. One of the things that she and Jeb Bush were up to in that election was circulating a list of thousands of purported "convicted felons" to local polling officials. It turned out many of these people were not convicted felons, but most were black people who more than likely would have voted for the Democratic nominee. Her and Jeb had to backtrack on that little imbroglio....but in our short attention span culture not many people paid much attention. We're more interested in the political impact of Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter. Hello.

Katherine is gone on to bigger and better things but the Florida Department of State - Office of the Secretary is a Jeb Bush partisan appointee this time around.

3. All the people should vote in exactly the same way. Punch card, touch screen etc. The assertion being that by allowing various ways of counting votes it's more likely that rich people votes count since the more affluent areas can afford the best vote tallying devices.

4. Technological advanced way to vote must include a way for voter to verify his or her vote and allow for a recount. One example is a system where a paper ballot comes out from touch screen which is put in a ballot box. This allows voter to ensure his vote is accurately recorded and provides a method for recounts.

He talked about how the system favors incumbents since they have access to special interest groups who want to legally buy their help.

Today's candidates win via TV ads which focus not on telling your own story but by destroying the integrity and reputation of your opponent.

It's only in the last 20 years or less that destroying the reputation of your opponent has become the way to win. When Jimmy Carter was running for president the candidates referred to each other as "my distinguished opponent". If they would have attacked each other's character it would have been sure defeat.


He also talked about his debate with Ronald Reagan mentioning that George Will had given his (Jimmy Carter's) briefing papers to Ronald Reagan prior to the debate. This allowed Ronald's handlers to coach the great communicator on precisely what Jimmy Carter would say in response to particular questions. A fairly unfair advantage in a debate. Although Jimmy is quite gracious about it. Recommend listening to the conversation. It's available on the NPR website.


Finally Jimmy Carter talks about his religious beliefs and separating them from his political views and speeches. Even though he is an ordained minister he did not use that fact as a talking point when he ran for president or when he was president. An interesting contrast to what we see today.


My own little claim to fame is that I got to shake Jimmy Carter's hand in Billing's Montana thirty some years ago. I was attending cooking school and he was speaking on the campaign trail there. There's an old picture around here somewhere from the Billings Gazette of me in a cook's outfit in the front of the greeting line. What a good guy in my book.


Here's a little article on the "convicted felon" scandal from Florida's 2000 presidential election. Interesting to think that the majority of convicted felons are people arrested for such crimes as selling marijuana.

and an article about Mistake forces Harris to resign. But not such a big mistake that she couldn't become a member of congress.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Chance and Patterns

In the Flash animation Craziest - A Short Story by Liz Dubelman a young woman finds the secret to life in the game of scrabble. Chance and patterns. Nice work.

Every Office Needs a Conference Bike

Eric Staller's Conference Bike!

I saw a show about Amsterdam where some people were riding a bike like this around in the city. It looked fun.

They mention the eight person conference bike in this article that says Nearly half of all traffic movements in Amsterdam are by bike

Volleyball and A Few Other Pictures


Becca's Volleyball Flowers from Senior Night



The Thinkers


Seagulls Win Battle of Unbeatens

HeraldNet: Seagulls win battle of unbeatens

A great team. They've played together very well for six years (since middle school). Lot's of fun for the team and all the fans. The games are really exciting to watch and it's so good to see all the school spirit.

High School volleyball switched to rally scoring last year. That means a team doesn't have to be serving to score a point. The effect was to speed up the game and make it a lot more exciting. Consequently volleyball has become less a staid/quiet sort of game to be a more intense, fast moving and crowd-friendly event, like a good basketball game.

Very high level of play from some top high school athletes. Amazing to see some of the digs, returns, sets, kills (spikes)...they make it look easy. Plus they have a lot of fun!

Way to go Gulls!

Photo From Everett Herald - You Go Becca!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Someone Put a Lot of Care Into Creating These Photo Collages

Courtesy of The University of Szeged, Hungary - The City of Sunshine

This page has a nice thumbnail collage of flowers and links to close-up photographs of lots of Pretty Flowers.

These Protein, Nebulae, Galaxies, Flowers, Birds and Waterfall Pictures at the University are very nice too.

You can look in here text description and links for each of the cool thumbnails and bigger pictures.

The University of Szeged is located in Hungary in "Szeged - The City of Sunshine".

Have a glance at the University.

I'd really like to visit Hungary both the farming communities and the cities like Budapest.

It looks like a beautiful place. Lots of water, farms, food, cafes, libraries and nice friendly people.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I Need Some of Those Little Boxes on Me Blog

I'm definitely no purist here. Like to shop and buy some things. Like nice things. Like having money better than being broke. I like looking at advertising and thinking about the creativity involved in creating ads.

Good to think about balance between material, spiritual, social, emotional and physical needs.

Have you ever known someone who was totally screwed up and rich?

Being unhappy or happy seems more like an innate state of a person than a function of their surroundings.

Don't Buy It

Affluenza: PBS Program on the Epidemic of Overconsumption Money Won't Buy You Happiness

What Makes People The Happiest? Researchers Say Its Not Money Or Popularity


Boy what a flip flopper I am...

Becca told me she went to a Starbuck's Media Bar last night and it sounded really neat.

You can listen to thousands of different songs, burn a CD with your favorites and even create a customer label.

There's a link on that page for a free the way.

Have a great week.

-- the paper boat --

Cool pics, words and interesting links (including instructions for making a paper boat) from A.S. Yang who is "very fond of all things paper --including boats-- and enjoys taking photographs like everyday is holiday" at -- the paper boat --

Real Kerouac

And so we learn, finally, the heavy price he paid to be able to write those most famous lines in "On the Road": "... the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn. ... "

From the article - Real Kerouac / The Beat writer's journals reveal a man apart from his persona


If I was in the San Francisco Bay area I'd go to THE SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF CRAFT+DESIGN. It opens Saturday at 550 Sutter St., San Francisco. Hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (until 7 p.m. Thurs.) and noon-5 p.m Sun. Free through 2004; $3-$5 in 2005. (415) 773-0303; www.sfmcd. org.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Marshall McLuhan: "The Medium is the Message"

Articles about the man who coined the word "media" and the term "global village" Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"If It Works It's Obsolete" and other McLuhanisms - Marshall McLuhan

It's a Beautiful Life

I finished watching "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry" last night.

It's obviously a film made by people sympathetic to John Kerry. Several of the people interviewed present themselves as lifelong friends of Mr. Kerry. You can pick through the hype and get a good snapshot of what was going on in America in the late 1960's and early 70's.

It was a time of social change, much of it driven by America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Without understanding something about that background I belive it is impossible to make an informed decision regarding John Kerry's qualificatons to serve as commander and chief. In particular if you are going to base that decision on The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attack ads or on the upcoming "documentary" Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal that is being forced on 62 affiliates of the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

It's important to understand the founder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group John Oneill was handpicked in 1971 by Charles Colson Richard Nixon's "hatchet man" to try and discredit John Kerry. Earlier this year the Houston Chronicle cited a June 15, 1971 memo from Colson that stated "Let's destroy this young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader."

You need to read and understand the context of the times to make an informed decision here gentlemen and gentlewomen. I humbly suggest you view the John Kerry "Going Upriver" movie to give yourselve's a broader perspective.

After you have done that I would consider the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Republican Connection and ask yourself if you would want to be associated with a campaign started by the Nixon whitehouse, one of the most corrupt administrations our nation has ever seen, and carried forward today by the Bush/Cheney group.

I have to ask myself and other parents if you would be more comfortable having Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld who have never experienced war making the decision to send your sons or daughters to war or someone who had some first hand knowledge?

For people who question John Kerry's length of service in Vietnam I have to wonder if a day on a swift boat on the Mekong Delta River systems in 1967 might seem like a hundred years.

I have to imagine, not having been there, that the experience of Vietnam veterans is varied. What John Kerry and the people speaking in the Going Upriver movie saw and speak about, is most likely very different that what other participants saw. Depends on where you were and when you were there I imagine. I can see why there are some very emotional difficult issues people have and why there is such strong feelings. If you listen to John Kerry speak though he did not say he or people he saw committed war crimes...he is not criticizing the warriors. He is criticizing the war, or more precisely the administration and military leaders decisions on how to wage that war.

I belive most people would like to put what happened to us 30 years ago in context, as history to learn from, and concentrate on what we do as we go forward as a nation when it comes to sacrificing our young men and women's lives and those of innocent non-combatants.

All I ask is that you try and gather all the facts and not make decisions based on short incomplete news clips or biased opinions of large commercial media commentators.

We have a free flow of information in our great country. Take advantage of it.


One thing that struck me as uplifting at the end of the movie Upriver was that the participants had hope. They were glad to be alive. They worked to change things for the better.

In a Buddhist viewpoint our lives our filled with suffering. There is no other way. In a Christian viewpoint we accept as unanswerable the question, "why do bad things happen to good people."

We have faith that we will become enlightened and that when people do suffer it is eventually for some higher purpose....not necessarily one we as humans would be able to comprehend.

As Time Magazine writed Greg Burke/Rome says in this review of the film It's a Beautiful Life,

"Life really is beautiful--at least for those fortunate enough to survive."

Etc. - Police Report - Homo sapiens and Thespians - The Beauty of a Dying Star - Health Tips - Petrichor Smell of Rain After a Dry Spell

Wanna See My New Snake?


I'm moving this article down here since I think the whole discussion of Dick Cheney's daughter had absolutely nothing to do with critical campaign issues. It is interesting to blow hot air about and consequently gets a lot of media coverage so it captures the public's attention.

In this New York Times Op-Ed Piece William B. Rubenstein writes,

"In 1950, for example, George Smathers, running against Senator Claude Pepper, Democrat of Florida, was reported to have tried to smear his opponent by announcing to voters that Pepper's sister was a 'thespian' and his brother a 'homo sapien.' Pepper lost."

I think a person's sexual preferences are a personal matter. I wasn't particularly pleased when John Kerry mentioned Dick Cheney's daughter's sexual preferences in the last debate anymore than I am when Dick Cheney or Dick Cheney's daughter talk about that personal subject.

I just don't see that particular topic as a political issue other than that I don't believe in discriminating against people based on their personal beliefs, provided those belief's are not carried forward into action that harms others.


~ the beauty of a dying star ~


Ten Healthy Habits


The Simpsons Archive: Swipes at Fox on The Simpsons

The Simpsons Archive: Swipes at Fox on The Simpsons

The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor's New Clothes

Friday, October 15, 2004

"Going Upriver: The Long War Of John Kerry"

An article from the Santa Cruz Sentinal - Kerry’s war experiences examined in ‘Going Upriver’

A place to download or buy a DVD of GOING UPRIVER

I've watched about half. It's worth your time.

How soon we forget.

It's a good refresher on what was going on in America and Vietnam at the time John Kerry served his country.

Do you remember the term "free fire zones"?

I think a prerequisite to any discussion or debate regarding what a Vietnam vet (or any other human being) might think about war would be to consider that term and what it meant.

I can only imagine and read and listen but I believe...War is hell. War that involves combatants is hell. When War, as often (always) begins to involve non-combatants....then it transcends any hell we could imagine.

The innocent bystanders whether they be citizens of a country involved in a war, parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends of people fighting in a war...all the innocents.

Very sad.

Not a John Wayne story.

Tom Demarco -& Timothy Lister - Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams & BitTorrent & John Kerry

Through a typical roundabout webway I happened across these two books this morning.

Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd Ed.

Slack : Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency

Certainly a bazillion management style books on the market. I thought these might be atypical because the first at least was recommended by Bram Cohen the creator of BitTorrent a P2P or

Person to Person File Sharing Network

I started using Bittorrent this morning so I could watch "Going Upriver: The Long War Of John Kerry".

I just point that out to say that I'm not so much interested in technology for technology sake but rather for what we can use technology for. In this case gather additional information to support an informed decision in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

3:21 AM Tuesday October 12, 2004

Just in case anyone wanted to know the correct time.

I threw in the day and date for free in case you are really out of it.

Back when I was a kid we called the operator (by dialing 0) and asked her for the time. That was a sort of cool feature. You got to hear a real person.

One of my friend's mother was an operator in the small town I grew up in. That was before the day of automatic switching. You would pick up the phone and tell Marty (her name) please connect me to _______. I put the blank in because I was too little to use the phone. I'm really not sure if you said, "connect me to 258 or "Joe" or "Bill" or whoever you wanted to call. I'm assuming you could give Marty either a number or a name. The reason I don't know is because by the time I was old enough to use the phone we had a number you could dial. Our number was 258.

Some people had party lines. If you picked up the phone and someone was talking you either waited until they finished (by politely hanging up and picking up the receiver after a bit of time) or in an emergency by asking them if they would please hang up. It's sort of funny to me to think of our worries about privacy nowadays with that "trust based" system.


One time a friend of mine in college and I were fooling around with two phones. We took the phone from his room and stretched the cord until it touched the phone from my room. We held the receiver's together and dialed the numbers of two girls we knew, that knew each other. They both answered after a couple of rings and started talking to each other. The funny thing (to us listening) was that neither one of them knew why the other had called. They talked for quite awhile and then eventually one girl says to the other, "so why did you call?" "I thought you called me?" "I thought you called me? "What....?" "Anyway nice talking with you, have a good night." "Bye" "Bye".

That was before the day of call forwarding. So we thought we were pretty clever.

I don't know how many prank calls I made to people over the years. Mostly just lame stuff like do you have Prince Albert in the can? or dopey stuff we thought was funny. Actually I still think some of that kind of thing is pretty funny. I have to admit I don't really care for the show Crank Yankers though. That's a little too mean or crude or something for my tastes nowadays.

I get a fair number of crank prank calls at work from friends.


I got a voice message just a couple of weeks ago from the "state fish and game department" wanting to talk to me about some fishing violation having to do with tuna fishing. It was one of my friends leaving me a prank message.

Our fishing exploits (and his) go back a ways. He's the guy who was with the other guys who accidently blew a hole in their drift boat with an M-80...and almost drowned another time when they got stuck in a dead end of dead fall on the Hoh river.

He and I had gotten a warning for fishing without a license in Minnesota a few years back. Normally I would never do that sort of thing (if I'm going fishing I'll buy a license). That particular morning we were just messing around, staying at a lake cottage...far from a place to get a license. We put on the goofiest looking caps and hats we could find, stocked up on beer and drinks and floated out on the lake. We weren't really fishing so much as drinking with fishing poles in a boat.

Anyway the county sheriff deputy under deputy or someone like that happened to be cruising that small lake that morning. He let my buddy, my brother in law and me, off with a warning. After a stern lecture where he told us he would be keeping an eye on us (he was about 20 and we were staid working folks approaching 50) he told us he didn't want to see us on that lake again (which is going to be tough since my wife and kids share a lake cottage there). he he.

First he asked us if we were fishing? Man we thought that was funny. Actually we had multiple poles in the boat and had been holding them off and on. Since we were wearing orange hunting caps we thought it would be funny to tell him, "no but we just shot a deer in the woods over there...would you like to see it?" He asked my buddy if he had a license to fish and he said, "Uhhhhh I have a fishing license from Washington (the state)." ha ha. Deputy dog says, "Well you're in Minnesota now."

Were kidding? We just was up and drivin round and we're in Minnesota you say? Hot dang.

The joke for us was centered around the show Coach. Not sure if you ever saw it. But there was a guy named Daryl that would show up with his brothers and say, "Hi I'm Daryl and this is my brother Daryl and my other brother Daryl." Our wives were calling us the three Daryls that morning.


One other fishing story this morning.

This happened to a friend of my wife's dad. The guy ended up getting a new Range Rover out of the deal (that's what my wife's dad used to say).

Paul, my wife's dad, and some other guys went to a small town in Northern Minnesota to fish. They had a couple of boats. One of the boats belonged to the guy who got the Range Rover, I'll call him Bill.

Bill was wound up pretty tight and had a nice head of hair. Amazingly nice for a guy his age. And it was still it's natural color.

The other guys on the fishing trip knew one of the deputies in that town. They thought it would be a good joke to have this deputy meet the boats when they got back from fishing and tell Bill some kind of cock and bull story about illegal fishing being reported involving a boat matching the description of Bill's boat...a trip to jail and the need to impound his boat as evidence.

It was all funnier than heck to the other guys but Bill was really worried. I mean really worried.

In fact he was so worried that a few weeks later his hair turned white, and then all fell out. I'm tellin you what my father in law told us.

Anyway Bill sued that city's sheriff's department, got a fair sized settlement, and bought himself his dream Range Rover.

You decide if all fisherman are liers. I think that's a true story. Paul made no indication that it was not.


Paul was a PK (preacher's kid). He loved fishing. He used to quote a ficticious Bible passage from Hezekiah. He'd say, you know "Hezekiah 6.14 says the time a man spends fishing will not be held against him in heaven." We all miss him a lot. He passed away from his second bypass surgery when he was 65.

Paul or J Paul as he was known, was a great person with some really good kids (one of them my wife).

He started out as a high school teacher, coach, then sold insurance and then started his own agency. He was very personable. Liked to talk and was good at it. I think my daughters inherited some of that conversational gene from him.

He enjoyed life to it's fullest while he was on this earth. Good guy. Great story teller, he loved fishing, and liked to have a few drinks. He called it water testing at the lake, the water there has iron in it. He'd say if you put scotch in it and it didn't turn black the water test we drank a lot of good water in the day. He like to play cards, hunt when he was younger (when he got older he liked to just go out and look at stuff while the younger guys hunted), and eat and share good food.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Turtle Shows Man There's More to Life

Turtles and a jazz playing bird show a man there's more to life than sitting in an office clicking on a keyboard.

See and hear the story at Animation Express: Turtle Technology

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Firefox Browser From Mozilla - Faster Than Microsoft Internet Explorer

Firefox seems to work fine in my five minute trial. That's a pretty rousing endorsement. I'll have to play with it awhile to see if the Fox wins me away from the big blue E.

Get Firefox!

Vollyball 2004

HeraldNet: Everett wins eighth in a row

Mr. Fisher & Radios

Mr. Fisher was my sixth grade teacher. I think he lasted either one or two years as a teacher in our small town.

I'm not really sure why he had such a short term teaching. Don't know if he was asked to leave or if he wanted to move on.

He was a cool guy.

He named his daughters after the months. April, May, June....

He was a Jehovah's Witness. The reason I know this is he would not stand up for the national anthem at basketball games. His highest power was God and he believed he owed his allegiance to that highest power alone.

He told us he had a great idea for a career after teaching. He said, "you know a lot of cafe's have things that need to be cleaned. Take the grease hood over the stove for instance. Have you ever noticed how dirty those are sometimes? Well what I could do is go to that cafe owner and say, "You know that dirty hood over your stove? Well I would be willing to clean that for 25 bucks."

He wanted to start his own janitorial and specialty cleaning service. My guess is whatever he did it turned out just fine. He was a good guy, not afraid to work and stand up (or not as the case may be) for what he believed in.

He touched my life, like all good teachers do. I was very bored in school, at that point. Mr. Fisher asked me what I was interested in. I told him I thought learning more about how radios work would be interesting. He said he would make a deal with me. Once I'd finished my school work in class I could work on building a radio. I built a four band Allied kit radio in class. Got to read about the radio, follow the directions, cut wires, pick components and solder, during class. Not sure what ever happened to that radio maybe it's in RadioHeaven.


Nothing quite like an old tube type radio. Some of them are really nice looking pieces of furniture, others cool tech-looking with lots of dials, knobs, lights and switches.

Many kids grew up playing with a shortwave radio in their living room or their grand parents house. You might hear radio free Europe, some foreign language, an airplane pilot, police, firemen or a ship's crew talking. Just turn the dial and dream about who might be out there. And if you got the right antenna set up you could probably hear about anything from anywhere. Or thought so.

I remember being so excited listening on an old Hallicrafters shortwave and hearing a scratchy voice using the phonetic alphabet "alpha alpha foxtrot this is one lima peru" or something like that. I imagined it was an Air Force training flight I happened to tune in on given the military use of those codes. I speculate that was the case because around that same time you would hear sonic booms occasionally as the flyboys flew faster than the speed of sound around that fairly remote part of Montana.

Some Nice Looking Radios

Antique Radio Gallery

How many transistors does your radio have?

Not many people ask that anymore.

Pocket and Portable Transistor Radios in galaxyM31 has lots and lots of pictures of classic cool transistor radios.

The two transistor radios were called Boy's Radios. If you were a big boy you got maybe 6 transistors or even more. It was a symbol of power or status to have an "all transistor radio" whatever that meant, or at least more than a two transistor boy's radio.

I had a no-transistor was a crystal set. Only problem was the nearest station was about 40 miles away and it didn't get good reception. Like a lot of boys my age I made a crystal radio. I also won a crystal radio at the fair one time when I was little. Man was I excited. It looked like a transistor radio...except it didn't work. It was fun for awhile anyway.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Letter to President Bush - Signed By 150 Professors from Leading U.S. Business Schools

Open Letter to President

Convince Your Mom

Convince Your



Get the scoop at The Borowitz Report .com



Check it out at The Borowitz Report .com

Lost In Space

Seems like a fair description of George Bush's expression in the debate last night.

Looked like a 10 year old at a spelling be who just got asked to spell a word he's never heard of and has no clue how to spell.

It's amazing to me that he promotes his ability to be a strong leader, yet he had to have his handlers tell him it's not appropriate for a strong leader to make faces at your opponent in a debate, as he did in the first go round.

So last night he kept a sort of dazed semi-surprised look on his face. Not sure which was more effective.

Sure that's superficial but what was the content in the debate?

Is the most important thing to you what the president's view on stem cell research is?

Or is or what the president's view on how to -

Get people jobs that pay a livable wage. Not just jobs...liveable wage jobs.

Educate people, young and old.

Reduce prison over population by getting non-violent drug offenders (50% of our prison population) out of prisons so we can keep violent criminals or sexual predators locked up.

Provide health care for all people regardless of their ability to pay.

Stop our dependence on middle eastern oil.

Figure out a way to work with corporate America to keep jobs in our country that we want our children to aspire to (we don't care if McD's or Walmart is hiring).

There's something phony about the Town Meeting where the audience asks the questions if they don't ask any of the above. Which was pretty much the case, and those they did are covered with a 3 minute canned speech and a 1 minute canned rebuttal.

In fact according to The Borowitz Report .com the




and finally, you gotta like Theresa Heinz Kerry Speakin Her Mind. Who wouldn't be a little freaked out since as Mr. Borowitz reports,

"It has been a tough few days for the Kerry campaign, which has been shadowed since Monday by a Predator drone dispatched by the Department of Homeland Security."

Friday, October 08, 2004

A Gentle Rain

Is falling here today. A good day to be inside where it's cozy and warm.

Hope you had a relaxing, refreshing and productive week. Maybe just sitting still and thinking or whatever trips your trigger / floats your boat - as they say.

Nothink much going on here in the Cafe.

Waiting for the debate tonight and thinking about dinner plans. Celebrating Rachel's 19th birthday this weekend. I kind of hope we can stay in. I have a chest cold and am feeling like some warm R&R would do me good.

The lights gradually slipping away from us in the Northern hemisphere now. It's 4:07 pm as I write this and it's approaching dusk (partly because of the cloud cover). It's been a grey day. Not a bad day...just grey.


Have a new guy at work. He's on the steep part of the learning curve and he's loving it. Really enjoying having him around with his enthusiasm and desire to learn. He's from Snowflake Arizona, has climbed down, up, down and back up the Grand Canyon in a single day. Ahhh to be so young and fit. His wife is expecting their first baby this spring. Exciting stuff.


I used to think about "tone" a lot. Not in a color sense but in the sense of "tone of voice". Some people have such a poor tone I feel for them. A few types that are either cause for sympathy or maybe tend to raise your hackles would be -

(1) Infinitely tired tone. This is the really slow, frog in your voice sort of tone. I'mmmmmmmmmmm sooooooooooooooo siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicccccccccccccccckkkkkkk.
(2) Infinitely bored tone. Flat voice no inflection, no change in tone or facial gesture. Can be combined with 1.
(3) Upset/picked on/angry tone. This is the whiny - "Oh I can't believe how stupid those people (or you) are". Can be combined with 1 and 2 to make for a person you'd like to slap the snot out of (whoops I didn't mean that).

Hopefully where you work, or live or go to school there aren't too many people with the whiner tone.

Here's the number one site on the Google search for "whiners". Right on target baby.
Really nothing going on. Good day for a nap. A snack. Some debate watching...visiting. Maybe some ice cream and candy.

Hope you have a good Friday and a great weekend.

Monday, October 04, 2004






Lamp post

Polish Pottery

Polish Coffee Cups

Everett Events Center

The Leaves Are Changing Color

Wood Sun Red Tree

Everett Events Center

Everett High




Park Sign

Grand Avenue Park

Sunday, October 03, 2004

We Need to Look Up At the Stars

Every so often.

Nothing quite like it. Some of my favorite starry night places are Shane Creek Montana 1962 or so. Pacific ocean from the deck of the USS Belleau Wood 1978, California desert sleeping beside a motorcycle with a nice smelling mesquite fire 1980 and sitting on or beside Big Bass Lake Minnesota various years.


This page from the Cybermonk reminds us to unplug from the datastream every so often. Or someting like that. For what it's worth, I liked the words and the background of stars.


Vincent van Gogh: The Paintings (Starry Night)


Don McLean Song "Vincent"

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and gray,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget.
Like the strangers that you've met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they're not listening still.
Perhaps they never will.


I'm guessing Vincent was in a happier state when he painted The Sunflowers.

I was lucky enough to see this Sunflower painting. It's one of my favorites. That must have been cool for Paul Gauguin to have a friend like Vincent who made paintings like that to decorate your house.

A Vase of Flowers by Paul Gauguin is a favorite too (because it's one of the few great paintings I've ever seen up close). Maybe when I get even older I'll take some time to look at some more.

Nothing like actually seeing a painting up close. The old CRT/LCD just doesn't do them justice.....

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Saints and Buddhas Among Us

The meditation Saints and Buddhas Among Us from the "Interlude - Internet Retreat" Copyright © 1996-2004 Tom Barrett. All Rights Reserved

And a Christian View of Compassion from The Upper Room

Luke 10:25-37 (NRSV)

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.' Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Deciphering The Debates

There's a million ways to slice and dice the presidential debates. What does it all mean? What does any of it mean? How can we figure out the message?

I'll propose it doesn't matter what the candidates say. No one hears it anyway. Even with the frantic note taking they each do as the other talks, they aren't even listening to each other for God's sake. Not sure how we can call the "talking point exchange" a debate. I'd much prefer to have the process slowed way down and have each word or phrase explained and questioned real time. Both by the debaters and an audience of interested/informed voters. Problem with that is it would be way too boring for our short attention spans.

Since that ain't happening maybe another way to get the true meaning (assuming there is some truth) would be to have someone who can't understand the words take a shot at understanding what these guy's are communicating.

Bear with me on this, the point will hopefully make sense in a moment after we consider a book with a really weird name...

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat : And Other Clinical Tales is a fascinating book about brain function by Oliver Sacks professor of clinical neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

There's a chapter of Oliver Sack's book called The President's Speech describing aphasiacs response to a speech given by Ronald Reagon that might be apropos given the debating season is upon us.

Aphasia is a condition which causes people to lose their ability to understand words. The amazing thing is these people's ability to understand what people are communicating is not compromised as one might assume. Possibly a good way to put it would be "what you do screams so much louder than what you say." or "it's not what you say but how you say it." Studies, not to mention common experience, show us the importance of body language and tone when we communicate with others, even when we can understand each other's words. The aphasiac has a heightened sense of this empathic understanding.

I take it to be something like what a dog can sense (not to be in any way demeaning to people or dogs). But a dog knows you are happy, sad, angry, scared or lying about taking him to the vet or a kennel (someplace it doesn't like) no matter what words you use to try and convince it otherwise. I think young children have that sense too. A baby can tell if you are scared....or maybe even if you can't be trusted. Not so sure about that trust part. But I think anyone who is liked by kids and dogs is probably okay in my book.

Maybe not presidential material or suitable for any political office but okay by me.

Don't wan't to over-generalize but I believe in some sense it's fair to say a propensity for telling the truth is probably not a valued asset in high level executives in politics or business. A willing suspension of disbelief is probably more valuable as in, "I know (or knew) what I'm saying is a crock but now I believe it to be true." It being whatever will get me elected, re-elected, a stock option package disconnected from my company's performance, humoungous salary, corporate jet, keep me in good graces with the good old boys...etc etc etc.


Oliver Sacks also wrote the book Awakenings that was made into the movie Awakenings (1990) about the miraculous of (but sadly temporary) cure of catatonic patients by giving them L-Dopa.


On the topic of politics, I got this little story recently in my email -

Balance in All Things

Once upon a time, God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day. He inquired of God. "Where have you been?"

God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction, and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."

Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance."

"Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused. God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Over there I've placed a continent of white people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all things," God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."

The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that one?"

"Ah," said God "That's Washington State, the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, plains, and coulees. The people from Washington State are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous, and they are going to be found traveling the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats, and carriers of peace."

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then proclaimed, "What about balance, God? You said there would be balance."

God smiled, "There is another Washington...wait until you see what I put there!"

All jokes aside, I thank goodness we can tell jokes and critique our elected officials. We live in a great and free nation. Democracy beats out any other form of government far and away. Part of living in a Democracy means citizens need to be vigilant to ensure we keep our right to think as we choose and elect those who best represent our philosophies. Turn off the TV once in awhile. Pick up a book. Read something radical or at least different. If you watch Fox balance it out with the Daily Show or Village Voice or something. Be informed. Make up your own mind. Our diversity makes us strong.