Monday, December 31, 2007

How to have a great 2008

Get a silver coin, make sure you have red and yellow underwear. Yup I am not kidding. Take this quiz for the answer to how to have a great 2008.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

CompuServe's Issues Forum

The Itsy Bitsy Spider Went Up The Water Sprout.

I first logged on to the Internet so I could follow my niece's basketball career. She was playing at Central Arizona Junior College. Such a small school you really couldn't get normal information like scores from the local paper. With the Internet I was able to follow her career. She became a junior college All American and then went on the play at the University of Nebraska for two years becoming all Big-8. She is a beautiful gal, could have been a model. Now she is the head pharmacist at a store in Newberg.

When I was looking for Internet providers I chose CompuServe. Seemed the easiest to use and had the most sports sites. On one of those days when I was looking for some information about Kristi's basketball career I also checked out a few other features that CompuServe had. They had a lot of forums. The three that attracted me the most were the Authors Forum, the Sports Forum, and The Issues Forum. The Issues Forum became my home forum. It was a great forum. People had to use their real names which not only resulted in bonds being formed but kept the vitrol at a managable level.

The Issues Forum was divided in to sections. Mens Issues, Womens Issues, Political Debate, Elder Issues, Boomer Issues and so on. I checked out several of the sections. The Mens Issues was just to mean for me. When women visited there they were treated poorly, certainly not the way I was taught to treat either guests or women. I eventually lurked in the Womens Issues Section. What a treat. Sort of like a high school dream to learn what women are really talking about. I lurked for a very long time. It seemed to be the one place on the Issues Forum where people were becoming friends. Talking about what was going on in each other's lives. Discussing serious issues like the legalization of drugs and the not so serious issues like which bread maker is the best. When there were disputes it was done in a very respectful way of each other. There were real quality women there. Most happily married. A medical transcriptionist now theatre critic, A music editor of a very popular TV show now retired, Authors, Attorneys, CPAS, supervisor of the national domestic violence hot line now retired, a journalism major that now manages an income tax preparation office, Two wonderful ladies from England, an MSW, A police department transcriptionist now retired and so many more.

I lurked and lurked until that one day a man came to the forum and posted in the Womens Issues section that women should stay in the kitchen and the bedroom and not be out in the working world. It really upset me. My grandfather was bedridden so my grandmother had no choice but to go out into the working world. My mom was liberated long before women's liberation. She always worked with dad in his various businesses. So I responded to the man's post with a much different view than he had. Then I became accepted by the women on the forum. I never really fit in anywhere like that before. It was great becoming friends with such a great group. We had annual offline meetings. I was able to attend the first two, in Boulder Colorado and in Seattle, Washington. and hosted the the third right here in Portland, Oregon. Even had a brunch at my house on the Sunday Morning of the week they were here, complete with a sign on my garage "Danger Men Cooking." Later some of us got together in Ashland, Oregon a beautiful little town on the Oregon/California border known only by Oregonians, Northern Californians, and New York Times readers.

The debate that lasted the longest on the Women's Issues forum and is still going on in the Yahoo group started after the demise of CompuServe was how the childrens' spider song is sang. Is it the Isty Bitsy Spider or the Eency Weency Spider? Of course it is the Itsy Bitsy Spider but it doesn't matter how much evidence you give the Eency Weency Spider group they just won't accept the correct way to sing it. It is sang on TV commercials, to start a Robert Fulgham lecture, seen in print in numerous articles as the Itsy Bitsy Spider. But will the other group concede? Nope. I love them anyhow.

If you want to read a great blog that really shows how well rounded the women on the Womens Issues forum are go here

Of course she says nice things about me but the real reason to read this post is her personal top ten list. It has everything. Love, sadness, happiness, adjustments, humor. She is a really great writer and I wish she would write a book. The only drawback is she is one of those Eencys.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Internet Dating

Just when I was seriously thinking about trying Internet dating again I received an IM that reminded me of probably the worst Internet dating experience anyone could have.

Where I am at is looks really doesn't matter. A person can go on a diet, take some night classes, get a new hairstyle, a lot faster than they can change their character. What really matters to me is trust. I know we all tell those little fibs, like maybe we shave a couple of pounds off of what we tell people we weigh, or maybe fib having about a date on New Year's Eve. My date this year for New Year's Eve is some chocolate ice cream and a good dvd. So those little fibs really don't bother me. What really bother me are the big lies that translate into the lack of character.

I've tried Internet dating three times. The first there was no chemistry on my part. The second there was no chemistry on her part. We all three became friends, a person can never have enough friends, and eventually each of the first two ladies found men they wanted to be with. Now the third date was a nightmare. She was thirty years older than she had said she was, which would have been fine had she not lied about it. The picture that she sent wasn't anything like she looked, not even close. Again the lie was upsetting. We are already off to a bad start. After dinner she had a heart attack. I'm not kidding. Good thing I knew CPR. On the way to the car she keeled over. I called 911. They took her to the emergency room and I followed the ambulance there. I don't know why but I guess I felt an obligation to make sure she was OK. Now the big lie, I found out she was married when the emergency room doctor gave me her husband's phone number and told me it would be a good idea to call him. I did too. What else was I supposed to do? I lied about who I was. He came and took over and I went home. I checked the hospital a couple of days later and she was released to go home. Curiousity got the best of me. I'm glad she survived.

Yesterday I was on the internet checking out sports scores, movie times, updating the web page for our fantasy football league, sending email, reading blogs and I get an IM. It was from the heart attack lady. She still wants to be friends. I politely said no thank you and that I wished her well. Then I set my IMs so as not to receive her messages. Cold maybe but with so little trust there the possibility of anything happening between us would equal the possibility of me dating Sandra Bullock, zippo.

I still think I will give Internet Dating another shot. Maybe or eharmony Time to go update my CPR certificate.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Candlelight Service & Trailblazer Basketball

Christmas Eve I went to a candlelight service at a local church and the next night I went to a Portland Trailblazer basketball game. I came away struck by a common thread that connected the two.

The Christmas Eve service was at a church in downtown Sherwood. Maybe 200 hundred in attendance. After the nornal Christmas Carols and the story of the birth of Christ they handed out candles to everyone. Then they turned out the lights. The place was pitch black. The choir started singing Silent Night. One person lit a candle and then turned to his neighbor and lit his candle, the neighbor then turned to the next person to light their candle. It was still pretty dark when maybe fifty candles were lit but when all two hundred candles were lit the church was lighter than it was with the normal lights turned on. Two hundred people doing the same thing, working towards the same goal, working together turned darkness into light. The power of togetherness.

When I lived in the Los Angeles area and worked for a CPA firm in Beverly Hills I used to go to the Laker games. Loved them. However, it is quite a different experience to attend a basketball game in Portland than it was in LA. At the Laker games it was more of a case of who is there and at the Portland games it is more about the basketball. Madonna once said in an interview that she loved Portland because nobody cared that she was here and she could go jogging in the morning without being disturbed. People would look at her, shrug their shoulders and go on about their lives. The Trailblazers have won eleven games in a row. They have the youngest team in the NBA. They are playing together. As a team. They have fans that love them and not only support them but lift the players to better performances. When the Trailblazers get on a run, all 20,000 people in the stands began yelling, encouraging the players, and it does really provide energy for the players on the court. They make shots they wouldn't normally make. They run faster than the normally run. They dive for balls. It is an incredible experience to watch how the energy from the crowd can provide energy for the players. Once I scored fifty points in a summer league basketball game. There were maybe five hundred people in the stands. I made a couple of shots and they started screaming and supporting me. They lifted me. It was an incredible experience. At the Trailblazer game Christmas Night the home team was down and their winning streak was in danger. Then one of the Blazers made a couple of three pointers and the fans went wild. All 20,000 of them got out of their seats and started yelling. It was an incredible amount of energy. The players started playing better, started hustling more and the home team continued their winning streak. Just like the 200 people at church that turned darkness into light, 20,000 people doing the same thing, with the same goal turned defeat into victory.

Todays political climate is very divisive. It is no longer about what is best for America, it is what is best for Democrats or what is best for Republicans. Separation instead of togetherness. Separate goals vs. same goals. I read once that President Bush and President Clinton were the two must hated presidents by their opposite parties in the history of US politics. Something like 80% of Republicans polled hated Clinton and something like 85% of The Democrats hate Bush. That really is tragic and really leads to politics of ideology instead of politics of success. In order to fix the country we need more togetherness instead of more division. We all have to be willing to give up a little and start listening to each other. We have to quit being Republicans and Democrats and start being Americans and friends.

Just like the 200 people at church that turned darkness into light and the 20,000 people at the basketball game that turned defeat into victory there is no limit of what we can do if we work together to fix what is wrong with the country.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Top Tens

According to Shawn Levy the movie critic for the Portland, Oregonian the top ten movies of 2007 were as follows:

1. The Lives of Others
2. Once
3. No Country For Old Men
4. I'm Not There
5. There Will Be Blood
6. Ratatoulile
7. Tie Dance Party USA and Quiet City
8. Michael Clayton
9. Eastern Promises
10. Local Documentaries

Personally I'd take out number 10 and Put Atonement in there.

According to The Oregonian the top ten news stories were

1. Virginia Tech killings
2. Mortgage crisis
3. Iraq War
4. Oil Prices
5. Recalls
6. Global Warming
7. Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis
8. Presidential campaign
9. Immigration Debate
10. Iran nuclear progam.

I'd take out the recalls and put in the Steroid usage in Baseball.

I'd take out oil prices, hell they have been going up for eight years why is that such a story now? I'd replace it with the decline in the value of the dollar and the deficit.

I don't think I could do a top ten personal story list as my life isn't all that exciting but my top personal stories in 2007.

1. Finding out after a couple of months of worry that I didn't have bone cancer just an infection. Get a second opinion people.

2. My lovely Aunt Ella passing away in March. She will be missed.

3. The lovely letters that I received from clients when they found out that I was considering selling my practice. I'm the luckiest CPA in the world to have such nice clients. I adore them.

4. The Scrabble games with my 92 year-old Mom.

5. The Christmas card from my sister telling me how important I was to her and her husband.

6. The weekly breakfasts and annual dinner with my friend Ted who is so far out of my league it is pitiful. He is a senator's attorney, knows presidents of universities, met kings and queens and likes to spend time with a basic nobody like myself. Sure I have awards, sure I've been published a few minor times, sure I've saved a life or two, yes Dennis Day did direct traffic for me once but Ted is out of my league. I just love him for being so down to earth, for his genrosity, for his kindness and am looking forward to dinner with now that he is back from California.

7. Time with my brother and my favorite nephew, Ryan, we go to basketball and football games.

8. The signing of the papers to sell my business. Now I can work on the great American novel.

9. Last but not least the Christmas gifts my Mom gave me. She never asks for anyone's help and she had to ask someone to go shopping for her because she wasn't able to do it herself. That is a big step for her. The two gifts she got me was a pedometer and a nice coat from Macy's. The first will help me with my fitness goals. The second came about because of a radio show I listen to hosted by five with it women. I already have a couple of new suits because one of the hostesses says she likes men in suits. Then another hostess said she liked men in coats so I told mom that is what I wanted for Christmas. Think it about guys, if you want to attract women can you think of a better source to learn how to do it then from women themselves?

What are your top ten movies, top personal stories, or top news stories?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Memories

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Growing up we always had great Christmases. My aunt and uncle weren't really an aunt and uncle they were a second set of parents. My cousins weren't cousins they were really a second set of brother's and sister's. Throw in a few set of grandparents and a neighbor or two and we always had really large celebrations. Over twenty always there. Always at my parents' house. My aunt and mom cooked a feast for kings and queens.

I loved every Christmas but two really stand out.

We were in Klamath Falls, Oregon during my high school years. Klamath Falls was home to an Air Force base, Kingsley Field. Highway 97 was the main North route out of town. Our house was the last house out of town on Highway 97. The Christmas I am recalling we were all sitting at the table when there was a little bit of noise that caused mom to go out and look out of the front door. There was quite a snow storm going on. Standing on the road hitchhiking were two Air Force men. Mom just couldn't stand two people being alone on Christmas Eve and went out and asked the two Air Force men to join us for dinner. They came in and were just overwhelmed by mom's kindness. All of us kids, all seven of us, each gave the Air Force men a package that was wrapped for us. When the gift opening and the dinner was over Dad took the two Air Force men to the bus depot and paid for their way home. Not only did I learn a lot about my parents that night but I also learned a lot about the true meaning of Christmas.

Flashback a few years before then when we were in Pocatello, Idaho. I was in the third grade. We had our typical large Christmas Eve party. There were a lot of gifts under the tree. After the dinner the youngest kids honored their responsibility by passing out the gifts. As the gifts slowly started disappearing under the tree I wasn't getting any. All the gifts were gone and I still didn't have one. I was wondering what horrible thing I did for Santa to forget me when the doorbell rang. Dad said "Bill, that is for you." I went and answered the door and admidst the softly falling snow tied to a tree in our front yard was a beautiful Shetland Pony. Dolly and I went on to become really great friends. I used to ride her to school where they had a hitching post out front. We used to ride in parades together. When I got mad we ran away from home together. My favorite Christmas.

May this joyous season bring the answer to all of your dreams.

Oranges and Buses

Portland has a really good public transportation. It is kind of a model city for other cities that want to start public transportation systems or just improve systems they already have. We have light rail. We have Tri-Met buses that often leave only fifteen minutes apart. Once in downtown in Portland they have fareless square where you can go anywhere downtown for free. For seniors there is Ride Connections & The Lift. Free for seniors but they accept donations.

My mom will be 92 next month. She uses a walker. Has survived four heart attacks and four strokes. Has an amazing mind. She reads a book a week. Does all the puzzles in the morning paper. Beats me at Scrabble. But she is scared to take the bus. I've been trying to get her to take the bus because it will increase her independence. If something happens to me she won't become a shut in. Not that I expect anything to happen to me but we never know. So I got Mom to agree to take the bus if I go with her. Short trip first. Longer trip second. The short trip went well so we decided on a littler longer trip and that is when it happened.

The bus was fairly full.There was one man I'm guessing that was in his seventies and no doubt he had spent the morning tipping a few. He wasn't really drunk, just happily tipsy. Half way through the trip we stopped and picked up a lady probably in her eighties. She was carrying a bag that was sort of overflowing of oranges. When she first got on the bus a couple of oranges fell off of her sack. Whenever she bent over to pick up one of the oranges she passed gas. Bend over, pickup orange, POW. Did that three or four times. The tipsy guy shouted "That's right lady, if you can't pickem up shoot them." The whole bus busted out laughing, the driver had to pull over because he couldn't drive with tears in his eyes. After we all got our composure back of course we helped the lady. One woman, obviously always prepared, had a sack in her purse and gave it to the lady to put the overflowed oranges in.

That is it for the day.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home of The Heroes

This is a great web site honoring our military heros. Check it out.

This is what was sent to me by the owner of the web page. It is about my cousin.

Edward Grover DeLong got the Navy Cross, and perhaps the Silver Star as well. Below is what I have on him:

“For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while Commanding Motor Torpedo Boat THIRTY-ONE (PT-31), Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron THREE (MTB-3), in action against the enemy from 25 February 1942 through 10 April 1942, in the Philippine Islands. The exceptional bravery, aggressive leadership, and outstanding devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant DeLong were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Miscellenaous Items

I was depressed so I called help line it was transferred to a phone bank in Pakistan. I told them I was sucidial and they got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

Now that the tasteless joke is out of the way.

I want to thank the person that sent me the email yesterday. I'm trying to track down the information for you. Part of the research resulted in my finding a first edition They Were Expendable. Published over sixty years old that is no doubt worth something. I'll be off to Powells and their rare book room for an estimate of its value.

On to funny moments in life. It is sometimes is fun to look back on life and how unimportant some things are now that were traumatic back then. In High School I was neither a nerd or popular. I just didn't exist. Overshadowed by some great siblings. Sis was prom queen. Bro was all state in three sports. I won a Howdy Doody look alike contest. Neither was I exactly a klutz. Just wrong place, wrong time derailed my athletic career. Our school had a student body of 2,500 with 570 in my class. The last player on our team would be a starter at many other schools. I was that last player. So I wasn't a klutz. We were visiting our aunt and her family in Glendale, California between my junior and senior years in high school. My sister and my cousin, Sandy, took me roller skating. I'd never been on roller skates before. Had gotten in shape for football and hadn't bought new clothes so my pants didn't exactly fit. It was at a roller skating rink in Pasadena. My sis and Sandy convinced me that if I went out to the middle of the rink where everyone was skating to the music they would hold on to me. Should have known better than to trust them. The music started sis was on one side holding on to my arm, Sandy on the other side. My pants kept slipping so I kept holding on to them. Sandy and sis got to laughing and let go of me. I went flying, my pants went down, tidy whities exposed, I hit the railing and did a pretty good somersault over the railing into the concession stand. I was so embarassed. We had a real hard time in the emergency room telling the doctor how my aunt broke a blood vessel in her eye laughing. I was scarred for life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Purest Form Of Democracy.

I'm registered as a political independent. I just don't fit in with either the Democrats or Republicans and think we need a viable third party. I believe in socials programs. I can't ignore the elderly that need our help. When we took care of dad for three years the costs exceeded $100,000. While it took a lot of my parents assets at least we had assets. What about those that can't afford that care? I can't ignore those that are broke because of a serious illness. While I believe in socials programs I also believe in a strong military to defend our freedoms.

My conservative friend, Mark, and I had a discussion about the Iraq war. I'm not a big fan of death. Premptive strikes are against everything I believe in. War as the last resort. Mark on the other hand looks up to President Bush and agrees with everything he has done. Mark believes that anyone that disagrees about the war hates the troops, hates the US, and should move to another country. Censorship.

The reason They Were Expendable is one of my favorite movies is because of a family connection. My cousin, Lt. Edward Grover Delong, was portrayed in the movie by if my memory serves me correctly played by Robert Mitchum. They didn't use Lt. Delong's real name but he was mentioned in the book. The basic story is that several troops were on the Phillipines and the Japenese were coming full force. They had to get the troops off of one of the Islands bofore the Japanese arrived or face certain death. The decided to evacuate before the Japanese arrived but didn't have enough ships to get everyone off the islands. Officers went first and if there was room left then the soldiers went. Lt. Delong declined to go preferring to stay with the his platoon. He was captured three weeks later and beheaded. Posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Had a PT boat named after him, SS Delong, that was harbored in Long Beach, Ca for years until recently retired. With a family history like that why would I be against the troops?

For one of my college thesis I researched Iwo Jima and found a fascinating man named Chaplain Roland B. Gittlesohn. Against WWII. A pacifist. After the battle of Iwo Jima he wanted to give the memorial address but many were against him. He was Jewish. He was a chaplain not a fighther. My friend Mark would probably have censored him. An agreement was reached and Chaplain Gittlesohn was allowed to give the Sermon on The Dedication of The 5th Marine Division Cemetery. Good thing he wasn't censored it is probably the greatest tribute to the military ever spoken. If you read this remember it was written over sixty years ago and think of how many words are still true.

Sermon on the Dedication of 5th Marine Division Cemetery
On Iwo Jima
By Chaplain Roland B. Gittelsohn

THIS IS PERHAPS THE GRIMMEST, and surely the holiest, task we have faced since D-Day. Here before us lie the bodies of comrades and friends. Men who until yesterday or last week laughed with us, trained with us. Men who were on the same ships with us, and went over the sides with us, as we prepared to hit the beaches of this island. Men who fought with us and feared with us. Somewhere in this plot of ground there may lie the man who could have discovered the cure for cancer. Under one of these Christian crosses, or beneath a Jewish Star of David, there may rest now a man who was destined to be a great prophet to find the way, perhaps, for all to live in plenty, with poverty and hardship for none. Now they lie here silently in this sacred soil, and we gather to consecrate this earth in their memory.
IT IS NOT EASY TO DO SO. Some of us have buried our closest friends here. We saw these men killed before our very eyes. Any one of us might have died in their places. Indeed, some of us are alive and breathing at this very moment only because men to lie here beneath us had the courage and strength to give their lives for ours. To speak in memory of such men as these is not easy, Of them, too, can it be said with utter truth: "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. It can never forget what they did here."
No, our poor power of speech can add nothing to what these men and the other dead of our division who are not here have already done. All that we can even hope to do is follow their example. To show the same selfless courage in peace that they did in war. To swear that, by the grace of God and the stubborn strength and power of human will, their sons and ours shall never suffer these pains again. These men have done their job well. They have paid the ghastly price of freedom. If that freedom be once again lost, as it was after the last war, the unforgivable blame will be ours, not theirs. So it be the living who are here to be dedicated and consecrated.
WE DEDICATE OURSELVES, first, to live together in peace the way they fought and are buried in war. Here lie men who lived America because their ancestors, generations ago, helped in her founding, and other men who loved her with equal passion, because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor . . . together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews . . . together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men there is no discrimination. No prejudice. No hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy.
Any man among us, the living, who fails to understand that, will thereby betray those who lie here dead. Whoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and of the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this, then, as our solemn, sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves: to the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of white men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price.
TO ONE THING MORE do we consecrate ourselves in memory of those who sleep beneath these crosses and stars. We shall not foolishly suppose, as did the last generation of America's fighting men, that victory on the battlefield will automatically guarantee the triumph of democracy at home. This war, with all its frightful heartache and suffering, is but the beginning of our generation's struggle for democracy. When the last battle has been won, there will be those at home, as there were last time, who will want us to turn our backs in selfish isolation on the rest of organized humanity, and thus to sabotage the very peace for which we fight. We promise you who lie here: we will not do that. We will join hands with Britain, China, Russia in peace, even as we have in war, to build the kind of world for which you died.
WHEN THE LAST SHOT has been fired, there will still be those eyes that are turned backward, not forward, who will be satisfied with those wide extremes of poverty and wealth in which the seeds of another war can breed. We promise you, our departed comrades: this, too, we will not permit. This war has been fought by the common man; its fruits of peace must be enjoyed by the common man. We promise, by all that is sacred and holy, that your sons, the sons of miners and millers, the sons of farmers and workers, will inherit from your death the right to a living that is decent and secure.
WHEN THE FINAL CROSS has been placed in the last cemetery, once again there will be those to whom profit is more important than peace, who will insist with the voice of sweet reasonableness and appeasement that it is better to trade with the enemies of mankind, than, by crushing them, to lose their profit. To you who sleep here silently, we give our promise: we will not listen. We will not forget that some of you were burnt with oil that came from American wells, that many of you were killed by shells fashioned from American steel. We promise that when once again men seek profit at your expense, we shall remember how you looked when we placed you reverently, lovingly, in the ground.
THUS DO WE MEMORIALIZE those who, having ceased living with us, now live within us. Thus do we consecrate ourselves, the living, to carry on the struggle they began. Too much blood has gone into this soil for us to let it lie barren. Too much pain and heartache have fertilized the earth on which we stand. We here solemnly swear: this shall not be in vain. Out of this, and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come, we promise, the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere. AMEN.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I went to the new Will Smith movie yesterday. There is a movie theatre within walking distance of my home so I don't have to fight the traffic of the malls. I've also found that if you can go on a weekday and go to a showing that starts before noon there will be very few people in the theatre and you can pretty much enjoy the movie annoying free.

I went to the 11:45 Showing at the Sherwood Multi-plex Cinema. There were only five people in the theatre including myself. Got my small popcorn and diet pop. First time in over a month that I had a diet pop and it tasted to pretty good. The small popcorn was good but I couldn't finish it. Filled up pretty fast.

The movie is The Omega Man meets The Night of The Living Dead. Will Smith was the movie. Well, Will Smith and The German Shephard. I'm not sure which one did the better job of acting Smith or the dog.

Very intense movie. Entertaining but repititive. The same scene over and over again. Don't take the kids as it is to intense for the kids.

On a scale of one to five footballs.

One football for Smith.
One football for the Dog.
One football for the intensity.
Minus one football for something that didn't have to happen.

To explain the last comment would spoil some of the movie so I will just leave it at that.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sacred Circle

I was going to do newsclips today but it is a slow news day and what is interesting is negative so it is Sacred Circle Day.

I've held off telling most people that I have a blog. I wanted to get used to all the features before going public with it. Compose. Edit. What mistakes I continue to make. I've noticed that writers will often make the same mistake over and over. It isn't that they don't know the correct way, it is that there is something in their brains that distorts what they want to do when it goes from the brain to the screen/paper. For me it is leaving off y's, wrong tenses, and because I never have just one thing on my mind often leaving off major parts of a sentence.

I've told three people that I have a blog. One a friend from the DWTS message board. The other two are members of a Sacred Circle that was formed several years ago after several us from CompuServe did an online Julie Cameron's Artist Way Workshop together. I loved Compuserve, they had the easiest message board to follow and use that I've ever seen. Then AOL bought it out and ruined it. But I digress. The Artist Way Workshop was a thirteen week course to help you get in touch with your creativity. Sure it had some drawbacks but it was worth it. After the course three of us decided to form a group where we could report in on a weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly basis. How our journals were coming. What we are grateful for. What we did on our Artist Dates (not a date date but where you go out by yourself and do something you wouldn't normally do.) If we experienced synchronicity (sp). The other two are happily married women whom I was fortunate to meet in person at a Compuserve get together in Boulder, Colorado in 1990. One road with me from the airport to the hotel where the gathering was being held, the other believed me when I told her I knew my wallet was laying on the ground in the parking lot of the Tattered Covered Book Store forty miles away in Denver and took me there. Yup the wallet was there, all four hndred dollars in tact, no credit cards missing and I had to keep a promise that I made to her to go to church the next Sunday. One is a writer. The other a therapist. One has written romance novels and an amazing book called When Someone You Love has cancer. She wrote the book after her husband died of cancer. The book is now out of print but could probably be obtained at The other went back to college in her late forties and received an advance degree, MSW. She then became head of a counseling center. I've met one of their husbands when they visted Portland and we went to dinner at Higgins. Nice, handsome, intelligent man. I've talked to the other husband on the phone. Caring, nice, in love. I feel fortunate to be part of a group with two accomplished women that I am proud to call friends. I feel a little guilty though because so much has been going on in my life the last few years that I've been really remiss in doing check-ins. This blog is a start to get back in with the group's good graces. This is really my journal. Later today the email responses to their check-ins.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I don't know why but lately I've been thinking a lot about dad. Maybe it is the holiday season and that dad died right before Thanksgiving. Dad was a good man struck down by dementia the three years before he died. The last years I helped take care of him. The days that other caregivers were there I still went over and took him out for a ride, lunch, dinner or whatever. Loaded dad and his wheelchair in the car and took off. Sometimes people with dementia are more aware then we ever give them credit for. The most amazing wonderful and greatest compliment that I have ever received was given to me by dad on one of our outings. He was living in another time period when he owned a roofing company in Pocatello, Idaho. He was calculating how many shingles he would need for a big job that his roofing company had just taken in. Though it was hard not to point out that we were are in Oregon now I instead chose to just listen to him and go along with it. Dad looked up and said "Bill, I love being with you because you are the only one that makes me feel that I am here. Nobody else does that. You are a good son." Hearing a 92 year-old man with dementia telling me what a good son I was will never be forgotten by me or the manager of the restaurant that overheard it. She comped the meal and hugged me. Strangers passing sharing an intimate moment.

Talking about Pocatello made me remember a very funny incident when I was maybe 6 or 7. We lived in a decent neighborhood with good, bad, and annoying neighbors. We had a little kid living next door named Freddie who was just one of those kids that made you wish there was retroactive birth control. He used to come over to house and lean on the doorbell. Not just ring it, lean on it. It used to make Dad a tad angry. One Saturday morning we were sitting there and sure enough it was obvious that the doorbell was being leaned on. Dad said, "I'm going to get that little censored. When I get to the door you open it." Dad got down on his hands and knees and did the best darn imitation of a pit bull that you ever saw. Growling, barking, really loud. When dad got to the door I opened it, dad was still growling, barking loudly gritting his teeth acting like he was getting ready to bite. Trouble is it wasn't Freddie standing there it was two people handing out religious material. Wow did they take off fast. We never again had a member of that church stop at our door to recruit us. A good friend of ours that was a member of that church once asked why our address was listed in their material as a house for the missionaries not to visit.

I have three angels watching over me. Dad. My cousin Debbie that died of leukemia when she was 14. I was in college at the time and was helping her with math the night before she died. She had never been sick a day in her life. Next day she walked in the hospital without a pulse. The third is Aunt Ella that just died this March.

OK, Angels I'm ready to find a woman to settle down with. So get to work on that please.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Steroids and Baseball

Mitchell's report came out yesterday and what a tragedy. Baseball players choosing to take steroids and basically choosing to end their lives early in exchange for fame and fortune. Every single major league baseball club had a player taking steroids. The owners and the commissioner looked the other way. Profit over morals.

I can almost understand people that become addicted to drugs other than steroids more than I can the steroid users.. Especially those that become medically addicted to drugs. Patients in serious accidents then being medicated with highly addicted drugs has been an ignored problem for years.

The medically addicted need help and understanding. The steroids users need condemnation.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Post Office

Stopped at the post office this morning. The line was very long but it was a real study in the differences between the sexes. All the women in the line were smiling all the men were frowning. Almost like the women love to give gifts and men struggle to even think about what to buy someone let alone the wrapping and standing in the line to mail the gifts.

Guess I'm different. I love to shop and give gifts. Probably unusual for a straight guy. Of course I've always kind of went against the grain. I had a cat for years, like opera once in a while, will eat quiche, a good listener, and I am so sensitive I cry after sex (well maybe that is the mace.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Old Friends, New Goals.

About three weeks ago I got up in the morning and it just hit me. I am alone and don't want to be. Time to make some changes. Stair Step. First, get in shape. Second, get out in the world. I have a lot to offer someone but before someone gets to know me I have to take a risk and put myself out in the world. I immediately went on a diet. Started walking every morning. In just three weeks I've changed for the better. Feeling better. Looking better. Walking two miles a day. I can hardly wait until I reach my goal.

My improvement came to the forefront the last two days. I had a two day business seminar to attend to. Darn those things are boring. However, on Tuesday I ran in to an old friend. He was one of the speakers. He was shocked how well I was looking. It was confirmation that I was on the right track. Today after the seminar I went over and took mom to dinner. The waitress there guessed my age. She was off by about twenty years. Further confirmaton. Just proof that I am on the right track.

Even at the seminar I cut into the boredom by going for a two mile walk each day. I'm on a mission.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Gift From Heaven.

On Sunday I decided to knock one or two items off my Christmas list. Mom and Dad were married for 65 years . He died right before Thanksgiving in 2003. Every year of their marriage at Christmas time dad would buy her Chanel #5 perfume. Even when he had to work two jobs to afford it. When Dad died Mom had to let go of so many things I decided that she still needed the Christmas memory of Dad giving her perfume. Every Christmas I buy a Chanel #5 gift set for Mom. I get a friend whose handwriting mom wouldn't recognize to sign a card that says "With love. Watching over you from heaven. Your husband." On Christmas Eve when mom isn't watching I place the gift under tree. The next morning she always finds it.

After lunch I took off for Macy's. My parking karma is amazing. I never have problems find a parking spot. Off to the Macy's perfume counter. Found the Chanel counter. There was a really pretty, nice helpful saleslady behind the counter. She wanted to know who I was buying for. Don't know why but I told her the story and why I was buying the perfume. Honestly, I didn't mean to make her cry. She had just lost her dad a couple of months earlier. I'm a sucker for a woman crying. When a woman crys I'm usually next. Man, I have never gotten so much free stuff. I left not only left with a paid for $105 Chanel #5 gift set but enough free stuff to give half the women in the world.

There are the important events of my day.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Where is Sherwood, Oregon

Sherwood, Oregon is fifteen miles Southwest of Portland on Highway 99. It was picked by money magazine as the 18th most livable city in the United States. I live in a townhouse that I purchased in 1998 that has doubled in value. Nice middle class neighborhood. Three shopping centers within walking distance. You can walk to movie theatres, restaurants, the modern state of the art YMCA, parks, schools, Home Depot, and even a wild life refuge. Get in your car and in one direction one mile away is farm country and you can pet a horse or two. Two miles away is a great nursery, Al's Garden Center. Get in your car and go another direction you are ten minues from wine country with numerous vineyards. Want the big city? Fifteen miles away. Want the beach? 70 miles away. Want the mountains? 70 miles away. Need a Starbucks? Three within walking distance. No wonder Sherwood is the fastest growing city in Oregon.