Personal

You are currently browsing the archive for the Personal category.

Another night of single numbers, but 27F is predicted for today. We got a dusting of snow last night, far less that the 3 to 6 inches predicted. So maybe the grip of winter is weakening?

Yesterday I took the Subaru over to Profile Subaru for a Recall fix and of course they found more stuff to do. But today in a few minutes I’ll be taking the car down to Rusty’s for an inspection sticker (way out of date on that!). I want to show Rusty what Profile Suub came up with for needed repairs, two of them each running about $880. Maybe Rusty can do them for less? Or maybe not, we’ll see.

Lots to do in the next couple months: sell house, go to Costa Rica, buy apartment at Thornton Oaks or OceanView. The only certain thing is I’ll be going to Costa Rica (to the Osa peninsula) with Phyllis and her sister Jennifer from March 16 to 23rd.

No snow either and quite a bit of sun early on. I felt a little tired at church today and had some trouble singing but I came through well enough, even if with a slightly scratchy throat. Charles Howes did the service and had an excellent program about the importance of love, “standing on the side of love” as the UU’s say.

Charles reminded us of the nastiness and evil prevalent because of lack of love. For example, in Boston people stealing parking spaces and breaking windows because of frustration with the snow, and three young people in North Carolina senselessly murdered by a frustrated person who felt they took his parking space and that they deserved to die because they were Muslims. Very very sad and very tragic. Lives at basically their beginnings, early twenties, wiped out. Whole futures that now never will come to be.

How incredibly precious is life. To waste it is the ultimate tragedy.

Tags: , , , ,

As a result of seeing “Selma” recently I was reminded of Henry Hampton’s “Eyes on the Prize”. Available in Netflix I added it to my queue, received it, and now have watched the first of three discs. The first disc covers the 1950’s period up through 1962. I had forgotten the circumstances of Emmet Till’s murder and the great difficulty of James Meredith enrolling in Old Miss. The mob rule in the south and the deep prejudice was pretty profound back then, maybe some improvements since then in minds and hearts but not an awful lot. Of course, I’ve got no way to know for sure.

At any rate, thinking of Henry Hampton reminded me of Bob Hohler who worked with Henry and who I had known, along with his wife Barbara who I had a special crush on, at the Arlington Street Church back in the 1950’s and 60’s. He had quite an effect on me. He was a powerful intellect, a dead end kid who was strongly self educated. He left Barbara back in the 1960’s, remarried, and died while on vacation in England with his new wife in June 2011, just a month after Cynthia died, and Barbara died in the same month as Bob, June 2011. Strange coincidences and that year 2011 one could maybe say was a right of passage for me.

Tags: , , , , ,

I can’t make up my mind as to whether to use the Windows 7 computer I bought for $200, or just get an iMac for $1299. On cost alone the choice should be obvious! But going back a number of years I’ve dreamed of getting a Mac some day. The wonderful Windows XP (SP3) operating system I’ve had for many years is going to be abandoned by Microsoft in April so I have to make a decision. Some say one can keep Windows XP and protect it by using Sandboxie. I read this on Bleeping Computer. But I’m not sure I should go that route. Well, perhaps I should look into it. But I’d still be stuck with my $200 Windows 7 computer, keyboard and mouse. I’d need to get a monitor but that would be less than $100 for a 17 inch. Just can’t make up my mind.

Here it is, Pearl Harbor day again. I looked up Dec. 7 in my mother’s diary for 1941 and found this:

Sun. Dec 7th — WAR —

We turned on Kaltenborn on the radio at 3:15 and found that Honolulu and Pearl Harbor and the Philippines had been attacked by the Japanese. Right when Roosevelt was trying his best to bring about peace. It was an infamous and a dastardly attack, a blow in the dark. The whole nation will be behind the President now.


I was a mere lad of 12 at the time, going on 13, too young to go off to war. So, instead I started high school (Westford Academy) the next June.

Tags: , ,

Next Tuesday is election day and we will see whether witches, demons, and ghosts arise from the land in a Romney victory, or whether there is still enough sense left in the country to keep Obama in office. Polls and pundits seem to say it’s a dead heat. Well, who knows? But the witches, demons, and ghosts are itching to rise up and are licking their chops in anticipation. Will the country stamp them down?

I’ve not been helping. I’ve ignored Cathy Newell’s requests to make calls for the Oxford County Democrats. I did put up a few Lee Goldsberry signs (six actually) mainly along East Main street. But I’ve made no calls for him either.

Why is my heart not in it this time? Not sure of the exact reasons but perhaps my personal needs are overriding. Four years ago Cynthia was still here and I did make calls at the time and was gung-ho for Obama. This time, while realizing Obama has many flaws, Romney and the right wing GOP scare me immensely and I dread the fact they may win. Still, I just can’t rise to the occasion.

I’m enjoying my new friendship with Phyllis, my explorations of many and varied philosophical issues, my watching of the great old movies of Bergman and others, my singing and involvement at the Norway UU church, my hobby of improving and maintaining the Norway UU church website I created, my friendships with Richard and Tony, my good fortune of having Kate next door,…… Have I left out anything? Probably, but I can’t think what at the moment.

Oh, I’ve been recycling Sara Teasdale’s little poem, “Let It Be Forgotten”, over and over in my mind. John Kelly sent it to me. It’s in memory of Cynthia. She would have liked the poem, maybe she did.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Rarely do I sleep through the night. Most often I wake up at 1 or 2am and have trouble getting back to sleep. Well, Phyllis alerted me to this great article, Rethinking Sleep, on sleep in Sunday’s NYT. It says I don’t have to sleep through the night! Good. The most creative times could be those between 1 and 3am or another such wide awake period in the middle of the night. Even short naps during the day can help. Historic and cultural evidence for the effectiveness of interrupted sleep patterns is also given in the article. But a doctor warns in one of the many comments on the article not to get too carried away by this. Still, he says just resting in bed while awake cannot be bad. Well, read the article. It’s a good one. And I think it’s going to help me.

One of the people commenting on the article gave a link to Normal Sleep which gives more cultural and historical evidence that what we call “normal sleep” may be abnormal in many places and times.

Tags: , , ,

One year ago today, September 24, 2011, we had the burial service for Cynthia’s ashes at Fairview Cemetery in Westford, Mass.


If I should die (and die I must),
please let it be in spring,
when I, and life up-budding shall be one,
and green and lovely things shall blend with all I was
and all I hope to be.
The chemistry of miracle,
within the heart of love
and life abundant,
shall be mine.
And I shall pluck the star-dust,
and shall know the mystery within the blade,
and sing the wind’s song in the softness of the flowered glade.

(from In Spring, George C. Whitney)

Tags: , ,

Catching Up

I keep neglecting this blog! A lot has been happening since September 6.

For one thing, Phyllis and I went to “The Birches” on Moosehead Lake on the 16th and came back on the 18th. We actually climbed Mt. Kineo which was a short launch ride across the lake from the Rockwood landing, about a 15 minute drive from The Birches. We took the Bridle Trail which was recommended to those who want to avoid the shorter but steeper Indian Trail. But what a challenge the Bridle Trail was! We made it to a nice plateau near the summit and had our lunches.

For another thing, I’ve been on a Bergman kick and have watched Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers, The Seventh Seal, and Persona. Also, Tony gave me his DVD copy of The Magic Flute by Mozart as directed by Bergman. I’m in the process of watching that in stages. I also watched several Bruñuel movies and have a Godard on my Netflix queue. But I’ll be getting Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage next.

What about books? Well, I’m reading two books by Joan Halifax on Buddhism which are very interesting, Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, and with Stanislav Grof, The Human Encounter with Death. The latter describes the use of psychedelic therapy. But I’m also reading two other books at the moment, one by Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Quite a title! Also, Tony lent me his book on interviews of Ingmar Bergman by students and faculty at SMU. Bergman speaks in English and you get a feeling for his childlike imagination and creativity, I think.

The last novel I read was “The Sea, The Sea” by Iris Murdoch, a fascinating read.

My Lymphocytic Colitis has been in remission for at least a couple months now, but I still take the Cholestyramine and Asacol two times daily. However, my sleeping is still ragged. I’ve been trying to use meditation by focusing on my breath, or counting breaths, and I think this may work sometimes.

I still enjoy maintaining the Norway UU church website which I created. I wish more church people would use it. I had to skip choir last week because of the trip to Moosehead, but tomorrow the Rev. Fayre Stephenson is giving her first service, so I’ll be there, in the choir.

Have I forgotten anything? Probably. It’s still unreal that Cynthia has died.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I took a new pic of my tomato plants today:

I used my remaining bag of organic potting soil around the three plants.

Tags: ,

« Older entries