Thursday, January 31, 2008

Next Week Is A Super Week

First it is Super Bowl Sunday and then it is Super Tuesday. One will out number the other by millions of viewers, the other will have more of an impact on what happens in our lives the next four to eight years.

I love Super Bowl Sunday. I'm a huge football fan but would like Super Bowl Sunday even if I weren't. It is just so festive. Both my Mom and my sister love the Super Bowl and aren't big football fans. This year I've been invited to several parties, normally I usually stay at home and watch it with my family, but this year I have decided on floating between two parties. Sort of expanding my horizons to the outside world. One party is at a restaurant, the other one at a home. Pre-game and first half at the restaurant. Second half and post-game at the home. There goes my diet! One day won't hurt. I always record the Super Bowl so if I miss any commercials I can play them back and watch them at my leisure. My Super Bowl Pick? Sorry Lisa. Giants 42 Patriots 38. Bet the over on the over/under. Low scoring first half, high scoring second half.

For those hosting their own parties here is a site with some ideas for sancks:,,kfm,00.html

Monday will be a day of rest, followed by Super Tuesday. Although Mr. Huck might disagree we are basically down to the final four. Romney and McCain on the Repub. side, Clinton and Obama on the Dem side. I actually think that John Edwards enhanced his chances of being the compromise candidate by bowing out of the race. Usually a compromise candidate isn't one in the fray, by stepping out of the fray Edwards can still be an option.

The race is going to be so close between Hilliary and Barack that neither will garner enough delegates to win the nomination before the convention. There are 842 super delegates that are not voted on but are appointed and can vote for whom they want. The super delegates are usually senators, representatives, other elected officials, ex-presidents, and party officials. The super delegates don't have to vote for either Hilliary or Barack, they can throw their support to someone not even in the picture. Or the Supers could decide the winner between Hilliary and Barack. For more on what a super delegate is, here s a link:

On the Republican side even after Tuesday my guess is it is still going to be to close to call. The Republicans are not going to the polls this primary season, the Democrats are having an amazing turnout. In South Carolina in a district described by one pundant as "the most Republican district in the state" Barack had more votes than McCain and Romney combined. This doesn't really bode well for a successful president election for them. There just isn't a Republican candidate that excites the rank and file Republicans. The Pubs are kind of in transition away from the religious right control more towards the center and in doing so are losing a lot of their base.

Should be an interesting week! Hope this day brings love, joy, and happiness in to all of your hearts!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Dancing With The Stars Rumors

The last couple of days except for the great news from the doctor have been a pretty mundane. Since there is not much exciting to report on today I checked the Dancing With The Stars Message board at ABC.COM to see the latest rumors. None of the rumors involve men, all the rumored Season 6 Celebs are women. Some of them make just make me shake my head and say, "I hope not."

Here we go:

Cheryl Ladd son of Alan Ladd and a Charlie's Angel.

Monica Seles - tennis player

Kristy McNichol - Actress

Florence Henderson - Ms. Brady from The Brady Bunch

Pricella Pressley - Age 62 and pretty well known.

Chyna - Former WWE, Wrestler and currently on Celeb. Rehab.

Brooke Hogan - Hulks Ex?

Since the usually have eleven celebs only five or six women will be on which means some of the seven above are just rumors.

Last season ABC put out a phony list to throw off TMZ which kept announcing stars that would be on the show and it was annoying ABC a bit. You have to wonder if the above list is the list to throw the blogs and entertainment channels. I think I could do a much better list.

By the way, watch some real dancing tonight on PBS at 8.00. The American Ballroom Challenge is on tonight.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It Is Working and I'm Excited.

I haven't been this excited in years. Diet and Exercise are working. I had my six month checkup today. The doctor was doing hand stands. I read the lab report and asked him to take it back and give me mine. I've never had such a good report. The diet, not drinking diet pop, and the daily two mile walks are working.

I've lost fifteen pounds. My cholesterol 104 (usually 175, under 200 good), Bad Cholesterol 55 (usually 75, under 100 good), Good Cholestrol 34 (usually 27, needs to be over 29) and here is the amazing one triclycerides which is never under 200, this time it was 79. Down two-thirds from the last time. It needs to be under 150.

That is really good encouragement for me to stay the course.

Miscellaneous Items

Life is just moving along right now so nothing exciting to report on the home front just thought I would give my thoughts about about a few things:


Sunday was the annual Screen Actor Guilds Award Show. I love a good awards show so I watched both the red carpet and the show itself. With the writers' strike my guess is this will be the one true award show this season. The Oscars will probably end up like the Golden Globes, a sham.

I loved the award show Sunday night. Lots of class acts topped by the winners of the Best Actress and Best Actor awards. Julie Christie was her marvelous self in her acceptance speech. Then Daniel Day Lewis showed he is not only an immense talent but a talent with an extreme amount of compassion dedicating his award to an actor that he had never met, Heath Ledger. Daniel Day Lewis a straight man not afraid to show his respect for another man. Nice to have something in common with such a star. From now on I will go to all Daniel Day Lewis's movies.

I do not agree with the Screen Actor Guilds choice of No Country For Old Men. I did like No Country better the second time I viewed it but no it wasn't the best picture this year. The Screen Actor Guild often confuses different with intelligent. Because the Cohen brothers are different they could do a movie about paint drying and win an award. The very romantic Atonement, the classy Michael Clayton, The epic There Will Be Blood were all better movies this year.

I also didn't agree with the Best Supporting Actor award going to Javier Bardem. Don't get me wrong, he gave a great performance. However, it wasn't a supporting role it was a lead role. Hal Holbrook should have won.

The Elections

No clear front runner in either race to the nomination. I am not even sure that Super Tuesday will result in a clear winner for either party. It would not surprise me if neither party had a clear winner going into the conventions. That would result in a compromise candidate at the convention. That could be someone sitting out the fray right now or someone that is in the fray that the leaders can agree on. I see the compromise candidate for the Republicans being Jeb Bush. I really hope not but he seems like a logical choice. For the Democrats John Edwards could be in the role of power broker with his delegates and could very well end up as the compromise candidate for the Dems. Or maybe a Joseph Biden.

The Super Bowl

I hope the Giants but I am afraid the cheaters, I mean the Patriots, will win. If I was a betting man I would take the Giants and the twelve points.
Wait I am a betting man. Now I have to just find a bookie.

Some of My favorite Things.

I admit, I love coupons. Mom says my epitath will read "Here Lies Bill, He Expired Before His Coupons."

Dancing With The Stars - Next segment will be March 17th. The only rumor that I've heard so far is that Kristi McNichol may be one of the stars.

Movies - love being lost for two hours without a care in the world except what is on the screen.

Carolyn Hax - the advise columnist, she gives such sound advise.

There are so many others but I would run out of space. May this be a rewarding and wonderful day for all of you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Sherwood Y

I've made a decision to join the Sherwood Y. It is only a mile from my house. It is also state of the art having only been built about five years ago. The problem I am having with my daily two mile walk is the weather. With the ice and rain it is hard to walk my normal walk every morning, so I end up going to the mall with the walk the mall program. However, the mall is twenty minutes away and with the price of gas that it is just to expensive to do everyday. I want to walk the same walk every day so I can calculate my progress. Six weeks ago when I started my two mile walk it too me fifty-one minutes, the last time I walked the same walk it was thirty-nine minutes. It makes me feel good to see the improvement.

At the Sherwood Y they have an indoor walking track. I can calculate my improvement by walking the same laps every day. The Y also has a cardio program so I can get some good cardio workouts going. Then at some point, maybe six months out I might take swimming lessons. In Oregon to graduate from high school you basically have to learn how not to drown but you don't really learn to swim. They have beginning adult swimming classes so I thought that would be a good place to start. Learning how to swim is something I've always wanted to do but never made the effort. Now I want to make the effort.

Because I am a resident of Sherwood, I get a pretty good sized discount on the membership fee. So everything seems like a go.

That is for the day.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Around The Internet

It is amazing the questions you can answer by surfing the Internet.

How much is Charlotte Ross's bare backside worth?

In a 2003 episode of NYPD blue Ross was shown nude from the back. Now the F.C.C. wants to fine ABC 1.4 million dollars for showing bad taste. Read the full article here:

Where do men prefer to make love?

70% of men and women prefer to make love in a car. The BMW is the number one choice. Read the full article here:

Are separate bedrooms a good idea for married couples?

I eventually want to find the love of my life to settle down with but I've always been worried about how much I like to sleep alone. According to one article I read it is now more common for married couples to have separate bedrooms. Here is an article listing eight reasons why separate bedrooms are a good idea.

What are the best 100 novels of all time? Find out here:

Atonement is on the list and of course my favorite of all time, To Kill A Mockingbird.

What are the top 100 movies of all time? Find out here:

That is it for the day. Laugh a little, love a little, smile a lot and enjoy the day!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Have You Ever

made a list of people who had a positive impact on your life and then sought them out to tell them how helpful they were to you? Maybe the Dean of Men at your college, the woman who taught you French, the new friend from a different world than you that picked you up by the boot straps and taught you a new way to live, the aunt or uncle that you could talk to when your parents were to busy, the drama teacher that taught you to dance so you wouldn't be embarrassed at the after football game dance, the English teacher that told you that you had the talent to be published if you only learned where punctuation goes, the cheerleaders that visited you in the hospital at a troubling time in your life, the other hospital patient from your home town that would sneak down to your room to watch TV with you, the nurse that wouldn't let you give up, the doctor that met you at the airport to take you to his office to examine you and then take you back to the airport when things checked out. There are just so many.

I got to thinking about this the other day. So many times a chance meeting will have a huge impact on which direction your life will take. People come into your life, spend a few days or a few weeks, and then you both move on. They often never know how much they meant to you. With the Internet now finding some of this folks becomes a real possibility. If you find them you can email them, write them a snail mail letter, or if they are close visit them. Wouldn't it be great to just let them know they helped you in ways they never imagined. Sure some of them will have moved on to the after life but one of the survivors in their family might want to know just how many people their relative helped.

I'm making my list. Checking it twice. Then I am going to seek out those on my list. If I spend just an hour each day looking for these folks, then within a month I will have accomplished my mission to bring joy into their life through the joy they brought into mine.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Creativity Stop Signs

Sometimes things just happen that are gentle reminders of the direction that you want to go. Two things happened yesterday that reminded me that I need to think more about my creative side.

I received a nice post card from a friend/client, Norm, telling me that he and his wife had just moved into an assisted living center, that I would be there within "sixty years." I love Norm. When I was an internal auditor for an insurance company his department was the first one that I audited. My report was a tad hard on his department but Norm came to me and said "that is the best report that has been written since I've been with this company. I've been telling the big boys those things for years." Norm and I became good friends after that. We had many lunches together. One year Norm brought me an advance copy of a book that his son-in-law had written, Sleeping Beauty. Norm is the father-in-law of Phillip Margolin, who is a pretty famous mystery writer. Margolin has written numerous books including Gone But Not Forgotten, The Last Innocent Man, The Burning Man, Ties That Bind and numerous others. That got me to thinking that maybe I need to find my book file and start writing in it again. I heard "Searching For Justice", calling me.

Coming back from the mail box for some reason I went into my townhouse through the garage instead of the front door. Nine out of ten times I go through the front door. I looked over at the filing cabinet in the garage and on top of it was Julia Cameron's Artist Way Workshop, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I opened it up, just opened it and it was on page 7. Listed there was Julia Cameron's six things to stop doing. With credit to Julie Cameron and from her Artist Way Workshop were the following:

Stop telling yourself, "it's too late."

Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something that you'd really love.

Stop telling yourself, "it's just my ego" whenever you yearn for a more creative life.

Stop telling yourself that dreams don't matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible.

Stop fearing that your family and friends would think that you are crazy.

Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you've got.

Wow, Ms. Cameron has been following me around.

That is it for the day. Hope this will be an outstanding day for all of you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dinner Guest List

Been a busy day. Had my six month blood test which is always fun because they usually can't find a vein and it takes several stabs before they get blood. Then I worked my first morning as an employee at the firm that bought my business. After work it was taking Mom to lunch. Someone asked me this morning if you could sit down for dinner with five people that were no longer living who would they be?

Thomas Edison - He has always been one of my idols. When he was in the third grade a teacher sent him home because "he was to stupid to learn." He had over 10,000 patents. Look around, almost everything you see within your sight line is a result of an invention of his. I think the teacher might have been a bit off but I would want to know the answer to the question, "Did the teacher inspire you or set you back?"

Robert F. Kennedy - When I lived in Ashland, Oregon Bobby Kennedy touched down at the Medford airport twelve miles away. I waited over three hours at the airport for his plane to land. I was first in line. I shook his hand. He stayed a few minutes in Oregon then was on the plane to California. The next day he was killed. I just want to know that he and his brother John are enjoying the after life. I would also want to know what they would do to fix what currently ails the country.

Audry Hepburn - I just love her and would want to see if she was as beautiful in person as she was in the movies. Also would she sign my copy of Wait Until Dark?

Rosa Parks - just to say thank you.

My Dad - I would want to tell him I am sorry for all the times that I disappointed him, thank him for being the best dad anyone could have, and ask him if there is anything I could do to make him more comfortable in heaven.

What five would you choose?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger

On the day the Oscars were announced Heath Ledger was found dead in his NY apartment. He was the star of Brokeback Mountain and was twenty-eight. It is news like this that just causes so many emotions in me. I just cry at the thought of the news being given to his family. The cause of death is unknown at this time except that foul play is not expected. I'm hoping it isn't drug use but if it is I will be angry that such a talent felt such the need to have an additional high besides life. If it is suicide or drug related then he cheated us out of numerous amazing performances that were sure to come. I've been kind of depressed all day at this news it just all so tragic.

This is just to awful for words.

The Oscar Nominations

Anyone that knows me knows that a lot of my favorite things start with the letter f. Not in order but family, football, females, food, and films.

This morning they announced the Oscar nominations. For the first time ever I have seen every film nominated for the best picture. I liked them all except No Country For Old Men and I think since it is playing at the cheap theatre in Tigard I will go see it again to see what I missed. Here are the nominations:

Best Picture:

Atonement - my favorite. Dark Romantic epic period piece.

Michael Clayton - second favorite. Adult suspense.

There Will Be Blood - third favorite based on the acting alone.

Juno - fourth favorite. Loved the score and the performance by Ellen Page

No Country For Old Men - I don't get the Cohen brothers. Didn't get Fargo either.

Projected Winner - There Will Be Blood, Upset Special -Atonement

Best Actor:

George Clooney - Michael Clayton

Daniel Day Lewis - There Will Be Blood

Johnny Depp - Sweeney Tood

Tommy Lee Jones - In The Valley of Elah

Virgo Mortensen - Easten Promises

Sure Thing - Daniel Day Lewis, Upset Special -George Clooney

Best Actress: (Love them all except didn't see Cotillard's performance)

Cate Blanchett: Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Julie Christie: Away From Her

Marion Cotillard: La Vie En Rose

Laura Linney: The Savages

Ellen Page: Juno

Projected Winner: Julie Christie in a nose over Laura Linney

Upset Special - If the vote is split between Christie and Linney, Page takes the prize.

Best Supporting Actor:

Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James

Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men

Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War

Hal Holbrook - Into The Wild

Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Projected Winner - although I prefer my man Hoffman the Oscar goes to Hollywood Vet Hal Holbrook.

Upset Special - Casey Affleck

Best Supporting Actress: (love all of these too)

Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There

Ruby Dee - American Gangster

Saoirse Ronan - Atonement

Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone

Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton.

Projected Winner: Wow this is a really tough group to choose from. Going with my favorite movie, Saoirse Ronan.

Upset Special - vote is split between the other four actresses and Ruby Dee Wins.

That is it for the day. Home things are going well for everyone.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Everything Happens For A Reason

Janet asked how I was doing with my learning how to live. Getting more free time is part of it.

Mom has decided to move into an assisted living center. There are several things that lead to that decision.

1. The accident that I had on Tuesday was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back about being able to stay in her home. After the accident Mom and I had a long talk about what would have happened to her had I been injured or killed. The only effective way she can stay in her home is with my support. If she would have lost me she would have been put in a position where she would have made some really fast decisions about her house and where to go. Fast decisions usually lead to wrong ones. She probably wouldn't have gotten the right price for the house and probably would have ended up in the wrong place.

We decided we should put the house up for sale and start look for a place now while we can take the time to find just the right place for her. Our target date for the move is March 1st.

2. Sis is not going to be able to come up from Utah as much as she has in the past. Her daughter needs her help in the cosmetic company that her daughter is starting. The product is selling well for just getting off of the ground but it means they all have to pitch in and roll up their sleeves. To hire a caregiver to replace sis would end up with an expense greater than an assisted living center would cost. At an assisted living center Mom can get involved in activitie. She can play bridge and scrabble and have someone watching over her twenty-four hours a day.

3. Mom is declining and at some point she is going to need help with transferring in the bathroom. I'm just not emotionally equiped to perform that function. It was hard enough with dad. I'm sure I could do it for a wife if she needed my help because that is the way I was raised but the thought of a son doing if for a mother is just a bit much for me. At an assisted living a center professionals can help her.

4. After seven years of caregiving I am getting really tired. Both Mom and I have decided I need to start learning how to live sooner than later. Her moving to an assisted living center allows me to do that.

I can do things like go to Ashland more often. Ashland is a beautiful little town on the Oregon/California border. NY Times rated the Oregon Cabaret Theater in Ashland as the number one Cabaret Theater in the U.S. The NY Times also rated Ashland's Shakespearen Festival as number one in the U.S. They have over one hundred art galleries. They are close to some amazing scenic sites like Crater Lake. They have some of the best restaurants on the West Coast. Every time I go there I relax and after the visit I'm not tired. The last time I was there I went for a walk at 6 A.M. in the downtown park, Lithia Park. First, I ran into a Mime practicing his wares in the park's amphi-theatre. Then I turned a corner and ran into ten or eleven deer grazing in the park. What a fun walk. It is the perfect setting to write in.

I also can consider different winter living options. I love Portland. Beautiful place. Love Powells's City of Books, Saturday Market, Crown Point in The Columbia River Gorge, The Oregon Coast (no coast like it), The Pearl District, The Sellwood District, Yamhill Wine Country and the wonderful people that live here. However, for the first time the winter weather bothered me. Maybe I can create a perfect living situation. Seven months in the Portland area, five months in a place with better winter weather. In April I am going to start to check out places like the LA Area (used to live there so am familiar with the geography. Know its changed but at least I will know where certain cities are), Las Vegas (brother has a home there) or Palms Springs (friend Ted has a home there). With my CPA skills I can get a job as tax season support anywhere.

There you have it, step one, two, and three in learning how to live.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

There Will Be Blood

I usually watch the Golden Globe Awards but Sunday Night I decided the sham press confernce would annoy me more than it would entertain me so I chose to go to a showing of There Will Be Blood at Cinema 21 in the Pearl District. For those not in Portland the Pearl District is kind of an upscale self-contained neighborhood with lots of shops and really good restaurants. Parking is often difficult. Cinema 21 is an artsy type theatre that was built three days after Columbus discovered America and still has the original sound system. The snacks are cheap, a large popcorn is only three bucks. A large diet drink is only $1.75.

The movie There Will Be Blood was sort of based on the Upton Sinclar novel, "Oil."

The movie is directed by P.T. Anderson and stars Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Dano and Dillon Freasier with cinematography by Robert Elswit.

The movie tells the story of a poor miner who discovers oil and becomes wealthy. Daniel Plainview is played by Daniel Day Lewis. Planview adopts a son as his own, H.W. played by Dillon Freasier. He also meets a nemsis in the form of a preacher, Paul Sunday, played by Dano.

I didn't react as emotionally as I thought I would to There Will Be Blood. The main emotion I experienced during this movie was anger at Plainview. There were three scenes in the movie where I really wanted to punch the guy out. Without ruining it for those that haven't seen the movie the three scenes involved a train, an explanation of a one character's background, and a bowling alley. No man can be that cruel.

Four Footballs for this movie.

One Football for Daniel Day Lewis, this is an amazing performance and if doesn't win the Oscar I'd be very surprised. Lewis is just an amazing talent.

One Football for Dano. It would be hard for any actor to be in any scene with Lewis but Dano does it so well that you wish the movie had involved more scenes with both of them in it.

One Football for Dillon Freasier. Great child actor. He was the surprise of the movie.

One Football for the Cinematography. Amazing.

One Football for the soundtrack. Very haunting.

Minus one football for not having a strong female character for Dano and Lewis to work off of. The movie was so loosely based on the novel, Oil, that they could have taken an additional leap and added a strong female character maybe played by a Meryl Streep or a Parker Posey.

A total of Four Footballs. Good movie but wait for wide distribution of it and go to a movie with a better sound system than Cinema 21.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nobody Was Hurt

Here I was on my way to my annual eye appointment which should have been easy to do with no trauma. A woman ran a red light and hit me. She was uninsured, didn't have a valid driver's license. Five grand of damage to my car. However, I have uninsured motorist coverage. I had to have the car towed to the garage because the 911 people and the police were afraid if I drove it the air bag would deploy. The good thing is that several people stopped and gave me their names and addresses. Several people stopped and told the cops whose fault it was. Basically I didn't even have to tell my side of the story. The other good thing is if I had come through the intersection just a little faster she would have hit my door and I would have been killed or injured. Thank God for the timing. The police gave her tickets for driving without insurance, for not having a valid driver's license, for running a red light and for reckless driving. A total that according to the officer equaled in excess of $ 1,500.00. No wonder she didn't want me to call the cops. Oregon law requires you to call the cops if the damage is more than one thousand dollars so I did call them. Just another boring day in my life.

"I, The Creation of A Serial Killer."

"I start every book with the idea that I want to explain how this 7 or 8 pounds of protoplasm went from his mommy's arms to become a serial rapist or killer. A book that doesn't do this is pure pornography." Jack Olsen.

Jack Olsen was an amazing writer. He passed on in 2002 leaving behind an impressive body of work. At the time of his death he had published thirty-three books in several genres. He is probably best known for the study of the minds of serial killers and rapists. His books are often required reading in criminology classes in universities everywhere. The award winning novels Doc, The Rape of The Town of Lovelle and Son A Pyschopath and His Victims are two of the best studies of the mind of a rapist ever written. For more on the works of Jack Olsen and Jack himself you can go to his home page,

I used to hang around the Authors' Forum on CompuServe. As part of the Authors' Forum there was The True Crime section where writers like Jack Olsen and Ann Rule would post and exchange messages with readers and other authors. One day I posted a message about a case that took place in Portland. I received a private message from Jack basically stating that this case it to good not to write about and could I give him more information about it. That was the birth of his last novel, "I, The Creation of A Serial Killer." We ended up talking on the phone a few times about the decline of the genre of True Crime and other literary things. He was not only an amazing writer, he was the nicest man. He would send me autographed books. Many of the books were out of print. I am the proud owner of autographed copies of Give The Boy A Gun, the eco Thriller Night of The Grizzlies, and The Climb Up To Hell. You can order all of them through Night of The Grizzlies was an amazing study of Bears and their interaction with humans. Don't read it before you go on a camping trip.

The case that began my connection to Jack was about the man known as The Happy Face Killer, Keith Jesperson. They estimate that Jesperson has killed between eight and one hundred and seventy-six women depending on how many unsolved crimes they contribute to him.

I can tell the basics of the story of the Happy Face Killer without giving away anything in the book. The book is more a study of Jesperson's mind, how addictive killing can be, and how easy it can become. I'm not going to use names because as sure as shooting I will spell them wrong. A body of a young woman was found in The Columbia Gorge. The Columbia Gorge is a scenic site about fifty miles East of Portland off of I-84. After the discovery of the body many stories appeared about the murder in The Oregonian. At the time of the murder, there was a waitress that was involved in abusive relationship that was working at the Burns Brother truck stop right off of I-5 in Wilsonville, about twenty miles South of Portland. She was having trouble figuring out how to get out of the abusive relationship. She began reading the stories about the murder of the young girl whose body was found in the Columbia Gorge. She devised a plan. She would use the information she gained reading those stories to implicate her boyfriend in the murder. She would say that she helped him hide the body. He would go to jail and she would be free. She contacted the police, there was a trial, and what she didn't plan for is both her and her boyfriend to be found guilty. Both went to jail. After the trial a columnist for The Oregonian began receiving handwritten letters that stated "They have the wrong people, I killed T. Bennett." His letters would be signed with a happy face. The letters continued for several years. Also at the same time notations began to appear in mens' rest rooms in rest stops in California, in Wyoming, in Flordia and in numerous other states. The notation was "I killed T. Bennett" and were not only signed with a happy face but with some information about the crime that only the killer could know.

There you have the basics of the story. If you want to get in to the mind of a serial killer, "I, The Creation of a Serial Killer" is your book. Be prepared to be frightened. The killings aren't graphic but the words are. Be prepared to think about this book for a long time. Then never accept a ride from a truck driver.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Living vs. Dying The Final Entry

This may be long today as I want to wrap this subject up and move on to serial killers. Serial killers will be tomorrow's subject.

Like Janet said this is a real exciting time of my life. I am having a great time learning how to live and learning what I have to do to make life more productive. This is just the start of the examination of things that I need to change and things that I need to do.

First, I need to take more risks. Pretty much a risk for me has been to give a guest the remote control. I'm not going to try bungy jumping or skydiving. Those seem foolish to me. Things like this blog. It has been a real risk but a rewarding one. Mary Z. asked if I had found a date yet and the answer is no. The dating world scares me. I am very shy, unaware of my surroundings and socially behind men my own age. During the time, the ages between eighteen and twenty-six, when everyone else was learning how to date, meeting their first spouse, becoming aware of the opposite sex I was recovering from annual surgeries (at least nine that I remember) and learning how to walk. While they were going to movies I was going to physical therapy. Thank God I succeeded in my recovery but it did create a late start in learning how to be social. As to the unaware part if a woman is interested in me probably a sledgehammer is the best approach. I never think those smiles are directed at me, they are directed at the men I am with, or the guy ahead or behind me in line. In the grocery store the smile is because they are thinking about eating that double chocolate strawberry Tom and Jerry's ice cream that is in their cart not because they are looking at me. The absolute truth is that I've never asked a woman for the first date. All first dates that I've been on the woman has asked me. The second, third, fourth dates I'm good to go. It is the initial one that presents the problem. This is where risk number one starts. I'm coming out of my shell. I'm going to start responding to those smiles, I'm going to ask for that first date, although rejection isn't my favorite thing maybe experiencing it a few times will give me more confidence to keep asking.

Second, I have to really think about what I enjoy and do more of it. I've never really wanted to be an accountant it just came about by accident and I ended up being good at it. The comments made most often by my clients are "you don't act like an accountant you have a sense of humor" or "you don't act like an accountant you actually listen to us." All of those tests that you take to find out what occupation is best for you, accountant has come out on the bottom. Writer, motivational speaker, philanthropist are the top vote getters. However, being an accountant will help me fund a life where I am able to afford to do the things that I enjoy.

Thinking back the things I've enjoyed the most were things I didn't get paid for. Selling hot dogs to raise money to buy socks and shoes for second and third grade kids that couldn't afford to buy their own. It was a hoot. We would sell hot dogs in front of a grocery store, the store donated the hot dogs and hot dog buns and the space. After we raised enough money we then would take the grade schoolers shopping for the socks and shoes. After the shopping we would stop at McDonalds and buy them a meal. There is just something special about receiving a letter from one of those kids that says "That was the best meal. I had never been to a restaurant before." I enjoyed the toy drives for abused women shelters and the toy drives for the childrens' hospital. I enjoyed my time at the cancer research center. From now on my life is going to include some type of charity work.

I've enjoyed writing. I've written two itsy bitsy books about football. I've been a guest on a national tv network to discuss the book, Financial News Network. You won't find FNN on your cable now because it went off the air the day after I was a guest. I was a guest on a local sports show, David Kahn's Sunday Afternoon Sports Show. Can't find that show now on any network now either as the network went broke and off the air the day after I was a guest. Ok so being a guest on radio or tv is probably out all things considered. However, I can still write. I'm going to finish that novel that has been gathering dust the past few years. Not for publication but just to say I did it.

Third, I am going to live up to and try to be the person that that client that sent me the email that started this three day rant thinks that I am. I am going to keep that email and use it as a guide. It is a pedestal that I am sure to fall off of. Fall not just once but over and over again. However, that doesn't mean that I can't get back up each time and try again to live up to her description of me.

I'm going to close by sharing the last part of the email that the client sent me that started this three day journal entry. Trust me I am not near as good as she sees me.




Sunday, January 13, 2008

Living vs. Dying Part II

When I left you yesterday I was taking you on a journey to get you to the place where I decided to sell my business. I had received a wonderful email from a long time client that made me happy but because it made me sound so much better than I am it kind of put me into a introspective emotional funk and had me questioning several things about my life. Get a cup of coffee and have a seat as I undress my emotions and give you a view of the inner workings of my mind as we continue that journey. You won't need tissues today as the ending is a happy one.

We have been through dad's illness and death, mom's now four heart attacks and four strokes, and my struggles to maintain through difficult times. There were many other losses during that time but there were also many joys. Today we talk of a very troubling situation that turns into a joy and a huge enlightenment for me.

One important thing about caregiving is that you have to maintain your own health. It doesn't do any good for anyone if you become unable to help those you love because of your own poor health. Caregivers that are reading this I strongly suggest to you that you visit the doctor every three months, six months at an absolute minimum, for a health check. That is what I did. Every six months I visited my primary care physician. Usually it was the bad c 56, check. The good c. 41, could be better but within the good range. Total C, 134, check. Trys, 232, eat more fish. See you in six months.

That was until my six month checkup in January of 2007. I didn't leave the doctor's office in my car nor did I head home. I left the doctor's in an ambulance and heading to the emergency room. It is a tad of a concern when your doctor turns red in panic and tells you to stretch out an ambulance will be here shortly. Then those words bone cancer and amputation ring in your ear a bit. The next two months there would be a lot of "it looks good but." I've never gotten so sick of the word but in my life as I did during those two months. They did some tests that night in the emergency room, some x-rays, gave me some antibiotics and said the x-rays were to hard to read nothing stands out BUT we should try a bone scan and schedule it with your doctor immediately. They also mentioned a myriad of other tests with big names, the kind of names that would scare the Pope.

They never said you have bone cancer. They said there is a good chance you have it and we have to do several things before we can rule it out. They never said you are dying BUT I did the math. I knew it spread and often spread fast. I knew if it had spread I wouldn't be on the earth for a charitable amount of time. Then the thought came to me. I'm not scared. I'm not scared of dying. What bothered me the most was dying and leaving a mess behind for those I love. So I did dying well. I started to prepare. I did a pour over will and trust. Made a list of people for my relatives to notify. Gave them my safe deposit box key. Told them where my prize possessions were, like the hand made purse made by Sitting Bull. Then I cleaned. Cleaned and cleaned. Between taking care of mom, undergoing twice weekly tests (looks good BUT we need one more test), servicing my clients I cleaned. Then I cleaned some more. Cleaned out my closets and sent all my old clothes to goodwill. Cleaned out my garage. Called the junk folks to pickup that old fridge that had been in the garage since the Civil War. Then once the garage was clean, know what I did? I cleaned some more. I read my daily journals as if someone else was reading them and I wasn't around to explain my etchings. Then I burned all my journals. Now there became the issue of my 250 clients. A lot of my clients are senior citizens that have been with me forever. Senior citizens mostly don't like change. I was imagining how deserted they would feel by losing me and not having any direction on where to go. I contacted a couple of friends who had an office a mile from my home/office (I work out of my home) and made an agreement with them. If something happened to me they would pay my estate x amount of dollars and take over for me. However, they wanted a perk and that perk was if I remained on this earth is they wanted me to agree to sell them my practice with the transfer taking place 1-1-08. I had been thinking of selling my business for two or three years, now I felt I just had to.

The last week in March I got the news. Sorry for all the grief we have caused you BUT you don't have cancer. You are going to be on this earth for a long time. Not once during that two months did dying scare me. Now they tell me that I am going to live and I truly have never been so scared in my life. The thought came to me that I knew how to die, I just don't know how to live.

Survive a crash with a semi-truck? Check. Been there done that. Think your are going to die? Check. Piece of cake. Live? Oh, oh. Ask a woman for a date? God help me.

Part III tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Living vs. Dying Part I

I'm sorry I haven't kept of with the blog every day this week but caregiving duties got in the way, the regular caregiver was sick so my three day two night part-time Mom caregiving job turned into five days four nights. That took a chunk of time away from blog living.

This post may seem disjointed because I really didn't do a rough draft I just decided to post what I've been thinking about during the last couple of days. This may be a bit long so get a cup of coffee and maybe a a tissue or two. Prepare for an emotional roller coaster. This guy is going to share his innermost thoughts today and tomorrow.

A walking contradiction I'm a guys' guy with a strong emotional side. The first part of the paper I read is the sports page. Love sports. I'm the guy all the other guys in the our High Roller Fantasy Football league want to beat. However, I love chick flicks. A straight guy that loves chick flicks and crys at sad movies. Movies like Away From Her take me hours to recover from. Sometimes I don't understand why I have strong emotional reactions to things.

Yesterday I received a wonderful email from a long-time client wishing me luck in my transition to a different life and ended the email with a list of things I was to her and her family. It was really an email that anyone would love to receive. It should have made me happy and it did. But it also caused a very strong emotional reaction in me. Made me wonder that if I was as good as that client saw me as then I have wasted my life just existing and not accomplishing as much as I should have. It also made me question a decision that I know in my heart is right. I questioned should have I really sold my business? Am I deserting people that depend on me? How did I get to the place where I didn't think I could service and support 250 clients in a way that they deserved? Was I being selfish to want a life that didn't include two full time jobs after seven years of working both of those jobs? Was it selfish to want to pursue different personal goals? How did I get to the place where I chose to leave the world of the self-employed?

I'm going to attempt to take you down the road that lead to my decision to sell my business. The last seven years have been difficult for the Dahn family. One thing right after the other. I've come to immensely dislike the phrase "What doesn't kill your makes you stronger." Our family has been through what was described by one doctor as hell and it didn't kill us but I certainly don't feel stronger for it.

In early 2001 my dad had a stroke. We had seen signs of his mental failings long before that but we just didn't want to face his memory loss. Those five minute trips to the grocery store that took two hours. Those brief moments where he thought he was in a different house. After the stroke dad's dementia came on full force. After 30 days in rehab we brought dad home. Finding good caregivers is almost impossible. It is a tough job so the ones that are willing to do it probably fall into the not normal people catergory. Often the burden of caregiving ends up with relatives. Translated that is Mom and myself with some relief from my sister when she visited from Utah. We did find two caregivers but that didn't cover the whole week. For me it was still seven days a week, one caregiver worked four days a week but left at five, so at five until eight the next morning it was my job. The other caregiver worked three days a week and left at three, so three in the afternoon to eight in the morning it was my job.

I don't know how many of you have cared for a relative with dementia but it has to be one of the hardest things anyone can do. You cry a lot. Yes men cry. You cry because the man that raised you is now a shell of his former self. You cry because you see how your dad's illness is slowly causing your family to fall apart. You cry because you see your sister lash out at your Mom. You see your Mom fight back for the man that she has been married to for over sixty years because he can't fight for himself. You cry because the most charitable thing that could happen now is someone you love dying. You cry but nobody knows it because you can't let anyone see it. Men arn't supposed to cry. Because your older brother lives to far away you are now the man of the family. You have to be strong to keep everyone together. You have to hide your weaknesses for the betterment of the family. While around dad you bite your tongue and live in his world with him. You live on the dairy farm he grew up on. You help him put a roof on during the time he owned his roofing company. You try not to get mad when he falls over and over again because he forgets that he can't walk. You hold his hand when he is in the hospital from the falls. You do everything but live in the here and now. You hug your sister and mom a lot because they need it. You keep that smile on your face. Then you go home and fall apart. The next day you awake with a smile on your face to do it all again. Then the day comes that is your dad's last day on earth and you kiss him on the forehead as a good bye. You tell him there is a bed of orange slices (his favorite candy) waiting for him in heaven. You maintain your composure for everyone else. Then you go home and let it all out. Dad died November 9, 2003. I miss him, he was a good man. He was the best father. I remember him as the good and whole man he was not the shell of a man he was the his last three years on earth.

The caregiving didn't stop for me with dad's death. The month after dad died Mom had a heart attack. It was her third one. She already had four strokes. After the heart attack they did an angiogram and found eight blockages. At her age they didn't want to do a bypass so chose angioplasy. They put in six stents because two of the blockages were at a place that they couldn't get to. Six stents for an 89 year-old woman all put in in one operation has to be some kind of record. Mom really is doing quite well. She works the puzzles in the paper every morning. She reads a book a week. Plays a good game of scrabble. It is just that with her history she is scared to be alone and we became to scared to leave mom alone. It is a tough job to be man of the family but someone has to do it. Mom really is doing quite well. I'm still caregiving today but at least it isn't seven days a week.

Tomorrow I face dying myself and find out that living scares me more than dying.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Well acted, great sound track, just as Janet promised witty dialogue, and it treats teen pregnancy in a tactful way. The choices are brought to the attention of the audience without being preachy. Ellen Page was marvelous in it. Good entertainment.

The problems that I had with the movie weren't really with the movie but with the people that classify it and with me thinking to much instead of enjoying the movie. Juno won the Critics Choice Award as the Best Comedy. It did have some funny scenes and funny dialogue but I just have a little trouble with such a serious subject as teen pregnancy being a comedy. I actually think the movie was more serious than given credit for. As to me thinking to much the teen in the movie had a supportive family and a boyfriend that didn't disappear. I wonder how often that happens in the real world, I am hoping more often than I think. I also hated the Jason Bateman character. He was everything I don't think a man should be, lecherous and selfish.

In a six degree of separation kind of thing I stumbled on to a column about Juno written by the right wing conservative columnist of The Oregonian, David Reinhard. Carrying the six degrees another step is I actually know David. When his wife and two of her friends started a gift shop I was their accountant. One of the ladies later worked for me. I've been to a couple of parties where David was at. He is a really nice man, he just comes at things from a completely different politcal perspective than I have.

The last time that I remember that David wrote a column about a movie it was about The Bridges of Madison County. He came to the conclusion that women that saw that movie would walk out of the movie grab the first man they saw and have an affair with him. I wrote to him and told him that since I had waited outside the theatre for three days and nothing happened he couldn't have been more wrong. As wrong as he was about Bridges of Madison County I think he makes some valid points about Juno. As usually I don't agree with everything he says but his column is worth reading. Here is the link to his column.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We Don't Know What Makes Us Happy

Really interesting article in yesterday's Oregonian written by Shankar Vedantam of the LA Times Washington Post news service. The article was titled "Pushing Happiness Can Make You Sad." The article was subtitled, "Our minds are designed to see "now" not future fulfullment so we often make bad life choices." Much of the information in the article is based on a published study done by Harvard pyschologist Daniel Gilbert. Gilbert has studied why people not only make errors in predicting what will make them happy. but also why they make the same errors again and again.

The opening paragraph "Think ahead to December 31, 2008. What are your hopes for the next 12 months? Maybe you want to be richer or slimmer, get married or divorced, become gainfully employed or thankfully retired. A single word describes this goals. They are all ways, ultimately, to make you happy.

The more interesting question, according to the article, is: Why do people who get what they want rarely end up as happy as they expected, while those who fail to achieve dreams rarely end up unhappy as they feared? Systematic experiments show that as strongly as we hold on to our dreams and fear our setbacks, we are poor judges of what will make us happy and unhappy.

Gilbert states that our inability to accurately predict what will make us happy stems from thought processes that people are more or less stuck with - our minds are designed to see the world as it is now, rather than from the point of view that we will become.

Some of the rules to live by.

1. Binging is bad, except when it isn't. Spread good things out over time. The first million you make is more important than the second.

2. Happiness often comes from what you don't know. For example, people who received gifts for no apparent reason felt happier than those who received identical gifts for reasons tat were clear. People also reported more pleasure when they got a compliment without knowing who said it.

3. Keeping your options open won't necessarily make you happier.

4. The things you fear are not as bad as you think. Gilbert found that people overestimate how unhappy they will be after a tragic event.

Gilbert goes on to say that we fail to predict how happy and unhappy we will be because we base our estimates of our future happiness on the people we are today and fail to appreciate not only that we will be different tomorrow, but that the things we seek will change us.

Read the entire article at:
After reading the article I decided that of us single folks don't really know what we want in the dating life but yet we still put people in catergories. Those we are interested in and those we aren't interested in. Then we proceed to go right to the people we are interested in while walking right by the people that are interested in us and often end up disappointed. The truth of the matter is that the ones interested in us may have well been a better fit for us.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Writer's Block

I've been having writer's block the last couple of days so today's post is just going to be about miscellaneous items.

Quotes on my Thomas Kinkade Calendar that I like.

"Each of us, in our own way, has a high and unique calling, if our ears can only be opened to hear it."

"It's not just hearts and flowers, but the willingness and ability to open your heart and to smell the flowers that makes your life truly romantic."

My Favorite Reality Shows:

Dancing With The Stars - More than about dancing but it does make me want to take dancing lessons.

Top Chef - Makes me want to take cooking classes. Created by Magical Elves Productions the same company that created Project Runway. The Top Chef official web page:

Amazing Race - I like to watch how teams settle disputes and they go to locations that I will never visit. Although I will admit that I quit watching this season because I became to upset at the way a Japanese man was treating his daughter. According to those that are still watching the show, like my niece, the man has improved his treatment of his daughter. I sure hope so.

My Super Bowl Pick:

Seattle vs. New England.

My picks for the five pictures to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. These are not my five favorite movies of the year but predictions based on reading the top ten lists of several critics. I haven't see all of the movies listed but will by the time the nominations come out. The one I can hardly wait for is "There Will Be Blood" which opened in LA and New York in December to qualify for the Oscars but won't open in Portland until the 18th. The movie that you will probably see on everyone's nominated list but won't see on mine is No Country For Old Men, it stunk. I walked out. Even if I thought it would be nominated I wouldn't put it on the list because I don't want it to be nominated. Here are the five that I am picking.

Atonement - My favorite movie of the year. Period pieces do well with the Oscars.

Michael Clayton - My second favorite movie of the year.

Once - Every year an indie makes the cut and I think this one will. A great little movie. Very romantic.

310 to Yuma - No Country will be everyone's list instead of 310. Except mine. 310 was a much better movie.

There Will Be Blood - Read the blurb, seen the trailer, read several reviews. Looks great.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


For the first time in many years when 2008 started I was not the owner of my own business. On 1-1-2008 I transferred my CPA practice to two CPA friends that will take over my clients. I will work part-time for them. It will be a change for me to work for someone, it isn't something I'm used to. I've owned my own CPA practice, that I started when I couldn't find a job, for over twenty years. Going from working more than 70 hours a week to maybe 30 hours a week will be an adjustment but will leave me more time to work on other things like life.

Google my name you will find one hit. You will find several William Dahn's but they aren't me. The only hit is a donation to the OSCPA education fund. Google my clients you will find numerous hits. That is the way it should be. When dealing with clients' financial records (and personal records) it is best to keep a low profile and to help the clients flourish.

Many say being a CPA is boring but that is because they really don't know all that we do. Plus I have a really strong connection to my clients who feel comfortable enough with me to tell me everything about them and do. I've been through births, deaths, murders, sucides, arrests, arrests of their children, successes, failures, divorces, marriages, counseling, separations, job changes, career changes, new businesses with them. Each person is unique. Each person teaches me something. I hope that I have taught each of them something.

During my years in the business I have caught cheaters, embezzlers, and loan sharks. I've met movie stars. Had a client win the lottery. Been threatened by a member of a small mafia. I've testified as an expert witness in many trials. Been called as a character witness in other trials. Counted houses so that we could verify that the inventory of a developer was correct. Drank beer on New Year's Eve to test inventory of a brewer. They had these big bats which could have had nothing in them but water, we had to taste a sample of the bats to make sure beer was really in them.
I have several other unusual storys. I am going to share a few of them today.

I've never been rich and most likely never will be but I've helped three people that I know reach that lofy status. When I met Jon he was working out of the trunk of his car selling advertising space on radio stations. He now owns an advertising agency, a holding company, twelve fast food restaurants in California, one in Oregon and five in Washington. He is a great guy and I admire him for coming so far. Dave was fired unfairly from a job then took a chance with a loan from a bank and bought three companies. Two of those companies are now worth two million each. The third is improving. Then there is Al who started a convenience store on money he put on a credit card. He just sold his business last month for a bundle. He will never have to worry again. I'm proud to call Jon, Dave, and Al friends.

Another story is one that just tugs at your heart. I was reminded of this story when last week I read a book and one of the authors told the story of how after fourteen years of marriage she didn't even know how to open a bank account. Just broke my heart reading that. I wish that was unusual but it isn't. My client, Betty, changed my company policy. Her husband was a honcho at a major university, the next day a story was going to come out in the local paper revealing an affair that he was having. He just couldn't handle the news that was to come out and committed suicide that night. Betty was referred to me by a long-time client. When she came to me she didn't even now how to write a check. Didn't know how to make a bank deposit. I spent a lot of free time teaching her the inner workings of finances, the simple things, the how tos, and how to organize for her tax return to be prepared. It took a few rewarding weeks. She became my most organized client. She went on to raise two children who both became college graduates. I looked forward to seeing her every year. After the experience with Betty I changed my policy. I would no longer accept as clients men that wouldn't bring in their wifes into their annual interview nor women that wouldn't bring in their husbands. If my married clients didn't want to do their tax return as a couple I wasn't the CPA for them. It was fun watching the change in them many stating that they looked forward to having their tax return done because it was a date night and they often went to a movie or dinner afterward. I was also comfortable that they both knew what to do if something happened to the other.

The lottery winner? She won by accident. She was a clerk at a store when a man came in and ordered a one dollar Oregon Megabucks ticket. It was an unusual request as most tickets were sold in two dollar blocks. The clerk hit the wrong button and printed out a two dollar ticket. The customer went balistic. Because lottery tickets can't be voided she had to buy the two dollar ticket herself and print a one dollar ticket for the customer. I'm sure the customer had a heart attack when the article in the paper came out the next day about a clerk that had won 2.6 million dollars with a lottery ticket that that customer refused. Poetic justice was alive and well.

In the words of Nancy Kerrigan, "Why Me." This is a why me story. One of those married couples that were coming into their appointment together were having marital trouble. Their marriage counselor suggested a three month trial seperation where they could not contact each other. He felt that if they spent some time apart they would appreciate the time they had together more. As part of that separation they had to choose someone they both trusted to communicate through for things that needed immediate attention. Yup I was the one they chose. It wasn't the most fun thing I've ever done but both the marriage and I survived.

The mafia threat? A client was arrested for trading in a rare breed of animal that was a protected species. She was the one arrested because she was the easiest one to find. They gave her a thirty month jail sentence and six months monitoring. They wouldn't have given her jail time if she would have finked on the others involved in the trading. She didn't. She legally changed her name and moved to parts unknown to avoid the threats she was getting. Someone assumed I knew where she was when I didn't. I didn't feel the threat I received was real so ignored it. Nothing ever came of it so I'm was probably right. My will and trust are up to date though.

Just a normal life of a CPA. One of these future days I will tell you what I will be doing with my new free time.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Around The Newspapers

According to an article in the January 3rd, 2008 Portland Oregonian written by Thomas H. Maugh II from the LA Times-Washington Post news service your odds of surviving a heart attack are better if you have the heart attack at a casino or an airport than if you have the heart attack at the hospital. According to the article 750,000 people suffer heart attacks in the hospital every year and another 250,000 people suffer heart attacks outside of the hospital. People who suffer heart attacks in the middle of a crowded casino or airport- where defibrillators are widely available- are noticed immediately, whereas a lone patient suffering an attack in a hospital room may not be noticed for much of the crucial window of oppurtunity during which defibrillation is most effective. Odds of survivial are even less in small hospitals with less than 250 beds and less on weekends or nights in the hospital. No wonder I like to gamble, don't like hospitals, and maybe I will start to fly again.

According to another article in the January 3, 2008 Oregonian with the dateline Washington and written by Seth Borenstein of The Associated Press everyone's commute is probably lengthened by cell phone usage because drivers on phones go about 2 mph slower in heavy traffic than those who aren't on the phone. The slowdown can add twenty minutes a year to your commute.

In another article in the January 3, 2008 Portland Oregonian written by Maxine Bernstein of the Oregonian most murders in 2007 in the Portland Metro area where done where the murderer knew the victim. The deadly violence in 2007 mostly resulted from domestic disputes, drug deals gone bad, encounters between intoxicated transients or fights over petty or perceived slights. Most of the victims were male. Some of the astonishing ones, A woman grabbed the wheel of her male companion's motor home, mowed him down and drove off. A 36 year-old man who had sought a restraining order against a former girlfriend was gunned down by her 12 days later. She later committed suicide. In the only stranger murder a 47 year old man was stabbed to death when he tried to intervene in a loud dispute between a man and women. Disputes over a cat, a car, and a parking spot resulted in other murders.

In today's Oregonian in an article written by David B. Caruso of the Associated Press tells of a window washer that survived a 47 story fall from a Manhatten skycraper. The man not only survivied but is expected to recover fully and walk again. "If you believed in miracles this would be one." Dr. Phillip Barie was quoted. The death rate from a three story fall is 50% according to Dr. Barie. People falling more than ten stories almost never survive.

In today's Oregonian dateline Seattle, Washington from the Associated Press with no credited author a King County Superior Court judge will determine whether a man found not guilty by reason of insanity after killing his mother and brother should profit from their deaths. The family won an $800,000 settlement against King County after it was deteremined that two days before the killings a public health clinic refused to give the man anti-psychotic medication. The man is now fighting to target a share of that money from his mother's estate. Under the state's "slayer statue" a killer may not receive property or otherwise benefit from a "willful and unlawful" killing. The appeals court sent the case back to Superior Court because they felt the lower court used wrong standard when it defined "willfully" as "knowningly" rather than as "with intent and design."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

In Memory of Carrie Richardson

Robert Fulghum:
"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death."

The memorial is tomorrow a two hour drive from here. I'm going, doesn't matter if there is ice, snow, wind, or rain I'm going.

Carrie Richardson has been at every important event in our family's lives. She was much younger than her husband Pastor Ralph Richardson who died several years ago. She like Pastor Richardson Carrie will never be forgotten. Her love and talent touched so many. Carrie was born 1-13-37 and died 12-29-07. She found out she had lung cancer the week before Thanksgiving. She never smoked. They gave her six months and she didn't quite make it that long.

Carrie had the voice of an angel. She recorded several albums. Sang the national anthem at Seahawks and Trailblazer games numerous times. Performed in local Operas. She was one of the few women to be named a Kentucy Colonel for charity work and for her beautiful voice. She just never quite giving to her son Clinton, her many friends, her community and to us.

Every important event to us involved her. She sang at my dad's memorial despite doctor's orders to rest her voice. Her husband married my brother and his wife while she sang at the wedding. Her husband married my cousin Dixie and her husband while she sang at the wedding. Her husband baptized my brother, my sister, my cousins, and myself.

Carrie and her husband were there when mom had to make a decision you would never wish on any mother. I was in a car accident while on the way home to run the family hardware store so that my parents could travel to Los Angeles to be with my sister who was having a troubled pregnancy. Mom herself was only a month out of the hospital with uterian cancer. The accident I had was serious. It was eighty miles from the family store and eighty miles from Pastor Richardson's church. My parents and the Richardsons traveled to the hospital where I was admitted. It was really touch and go. At 3:00 A.M. the doctor went to the motel where my parents and Pastor Richardson were staying. "Mrs. Dahn I'm sorry you can't go to Los Angeles we don't think your son will make it through the night." What a choice for a mom, staying with a dying son or travel a thousand miles to be with a daughter that was probably going to lose her baby. Mom decided it was best to be with me and that my Aunt that was living in L.A. would be with my sister. After briefly ceasing breathing I lived, my sister's baby was born lived two minutes and then died. Mom would have never survived the guilt she suffered from her choice without the support and love of the Richardson's.

I would have never recovered fully from the accident without the love and support of the Richardsons. It was an eight year recovery. Every day during that eight years I received a letter, a visit, a phone call, or a prayer. I would have never recovered from the medically induced drug addiction without their help. Because of the severe pain they were giving me major doses of morphine and codiene. After six months on the stuff I became frightened when I looked at the clock above my bed and the clock stoppped. It didn't really stop it just seemed like it did. I wanted to speed time up so it was time for me to take more drugs. Though at the time I was bedridden I was home because the doctors thought I would heal faster in a home enviornment instead of a hospital. I made a decision to quit taking all drugs. Talk about withdrawals. It took five days. Mom, Dad, The Richardsons taking turn holding my hand and wiping sweat off my forehead. On an average due to sweat they changed my bed ten to fifteen times a day. I made it. I wouldn't have without the love and support I received.

I'm really glad I had the foresight to do two things for Carrie before she died. Carrie was also a client of mine. Five years ago she was still working. I encouraged her to retire. She took my advise but in her loving way told me "that if I end up not be able to afford retirement you are going to have a roommate." I'm glad I encouraged retirement for her because it worked out and she was able to have more time with grandkids and friends. When I found out she had cancer I wrote her a letter telling her how important she was to our family. Something I usually don't do, something just told me it was a good idea. She called Thanksgiving and we had a nice chat. Our last one.

Just like Robert Fulgham I believe love is stronger than death. Love can travel through time and go places we can never go. I believe Carrie is on a journey to a new home and not traveling that journey alone because the love of her family and friends is traveling with her.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Brother, My Sister & Phillip Seymour Hoffman

My brother is probably my best friend, Sis is my lifeline, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is one of my top five favorite actors of all time.

Have you ever listed on a sheet of paper how you see yourself in one column and how you think others see you in another column and then tried to reconcile the two? It is an interesting excerise and very seldom do the lists match.

I've always looked up to my brother. I've always wanted to be him. He is very intelligent, successful, quite good looking, a ladies man. Pretty much everything I see myself as not being, except maybe the intelligent part. He was once picked by the now defunct Oregon Magazine as one of the top ten attorneys in the state. He was the first attorney to sue a rapist in Oregon in "civil" court and win a judgment for the victim. He had a solid law practice in Portland until one dreadful case that sent him into severe depression. The lack of justice in that case caused him to quit the law and move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to become an outfitter. He became successful at that too. One of two outfitters that could take you on a guided tour through The Grand Teton National Park. After six or seven years he gave up outfitting and went back into law, now having another solid law firm in Dubois, Wy. I don't think he has failed at anything.

My sister I've always loved because she always sees the good in me. Sure we disagree on politics, not even close to thinking the same way. However, the two things I am sure of it that as long as she is alive I will never be homeless and that I could be Jeffrey Dahmer and she would still love me.

Yesterday I was on a confernce call with my brother and my sister to discuss a matter that pertains to all of us. Just like any conversation it took on a new life and turned to movies and actors and actresses. When I mentioned that one of my favorite actors was Phillip Seymour Hoffman. My brother's answer just stunned me. My brother said "Every time I see him he reminds me of you. Not how you look but how you are, you are offbeat like him, have his sense of humor, down to earth like he appears to be, intelligent like he is." Sis chimed in "He does remind me of you but you are much better looking then he is. But like him you have always went to the beat of a different drummer. Quirky." See I've always thought my brother and sister thought of me as the annoying little brother that needed to be told how to dress and how to do a myriad of other easy things. It was an eye opening conversation and I was kind of really pleased they view me as that way.

Just want to clear up a couple of things. First, I don't look like Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I am more of a combination of Van Johnson and Gomer Pyle. Second, I'm not offbeat I'm just the only normal one.