What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Caleb other music (playlist)

Book Review: The Go-Getter: A Story that Tells You How to Be One

This book was written by Peter B. Kyne and published in 1921.
This is an old book, but its message is timeless.  It tells the story of William Peck, a discharged private form the military who lost an arm, and had one leg shortened while serving curing WWI.  However he says he can sell anything, and now that he is finally out of the hospital, he calls for his job at Pacific Coast Lumber.  He goes over the head of the managers, to the owner, who can’t turn him away.  However, much more important than this, Cappy Ricks, the owner is looking for a leader who can take over shipping operations in Shanghai.  It is interesting to note that on the day he was hired, he shares with Mr. Ricks his business card, which would have taken a couple days to print in those days.  He decides to get right to work: 
“Count that day lost whose low descending sun
Finds prices shot to glory and business done for fun.”

He quickly proves his worth as a salesman, but then Cappy has greater plans for him, and proposes the test of the “blue vase.”  This is in exercise where the individual is given and impossible task, if he completes it he will be offered a high paying job.  The task is to purchase a vase on Sunday, and bring it to Mr. Ricks.  The instructions are vague, and purposefully slow.  Additionally it is impossible to get a hold of the store own or manager.  His leg hurts, and his amputated hand itches, but he eventually gets the vase for $2000.  He doesn’t meet the train at the agreed upon time, but overtakes it before it arrives at its destination.  He explains why he completed the task, even though it seemed impossible.  His commander in the services had a motto, “It shall be done.”  It is that attitude and kept him going to surpass the odds against him.  “It shall be done.”  How many of us could use such a motto in our own lives.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Suicide Prevention


In our internal email, this suicide prevention video was mentioned.  I worked with the suicide and crisis line for three or four years.  Thee are people able to listen.  There number is now 1-855-278-4204.
A friend at work mentioned that a girl from Fremont, who goes to her daughter's high school, recently committed suicide.  Please, take advantage of the numbers offered.  Please reach out.  You are of worth.  You are precious to God.  You are precious to others.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

TV Review: **^ Doctor Who: The Mind Robber (to mmboe)

This is a six part Dr Who series which I watched on Instant Netflix Classic Doctor Who.  It originally aired in 1968 with David Troughton as the Doctor and his companions Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury.)  Wendy looks pretty good in her one-piece psychedelic coverall.  This show is based on the premise that they have entered a world of imagination.  We meet Gulliver and Rapunzel and a super hero type person.  The Master is a large brain.  The Controller is someone kidnapped from Earth many years before, who is a writer.  He however has gotten old and needs to be replaced.  The Doctor never gets old, and is the perfect choice for a replacement.  The Doctor's companions get sucked into the story, and become fictional characters, and The Doctor is coerced with their freedom to take over as The Controller.  He is tricked into becoming part of the brain.  Using his control over The Brain, he is able to set his companion free, but not himself.  However his companions overload the computer.
This show has some pretty tense action, but all the same, Zoe screaming at every little thing does not help.  Nor does the spit in the corner of the mouth of The Controller in episode five, which fortunately disappears for episode six.  It was very distracted.

Was the Playing Field Equal this Past Election?

Four major scandals now face our president, and will eventually bring him down.  I know Liberals make the contention that Bush stole the election from Al Gore in 2000.  This is after Florida gave the election to Bush and this was confirmed by the supreme court. 
However as more and more comes out about this past election could we say Obama stole the election of 2012.  It is becoming clear that the playing field was not even.  Many conservative groups applied for tax exempt status well before the election, and it has still not been granted, while liberal groups were able to get this status easily.  If you suppress one group based on their political philosophy, then you are creating and uneven playing field and giving yourself an advantage.  This is an Hugo Chavez dictatorship type of move. 
As this is investigated, it will prove less and less likely that this was carried out by low-level IRS personnel who had nothing to gain by the policy, and much more likely to involve the top levels of government, who most benefited from such a policy.  It seems to be pretty easy to connect the dots. 
I think Obama was so crazy with maintaining power he would do anything.  We still don't know why an ambassador was in Benghazi in the first place, and without adequate protection.  The cover-up will crumble with time.  It is not something that should be swept under the rug as Democratic politicians suggest.  Just as Watergate took time to come to light, so will this, and it will prove much uglier than Watergate.
Fast and furious is another blunder which still needs full accountability.  Why did we arm Mexican drug cartels?  How does this make sense? 
So keep up the pressure please.  The media is only upset about the first ammendment infringments.  When they start looking at the other scandals, we will eventually see this president for who he really is. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Movie Night: ***^ O'Henry's Full House

This is a movie which present five short stories of O'Henry and is narrated by John Steinbeck.  Some of the stories were familiar to me.  The first is "The Cop and the Anthem."  This is the basis for a Red Skelton sketch.  Briefly, the story is of a "bum" who is down on his luck.  Winter is coming on, so he determines three months in jail would be nice and warm.  However he finds it difficult to get arrested.  He throws a rock through a window, and they chase someone else; he eats a fine meal with no means to pay, and gets thrown out.  Nothing seems to work.  He finds himself in a church, and his heart is pricked and he decides he should get a job and start a new life.  However he is arrested for vagrancy, and thrown in jail for three months, he gets what he wants, the second he doesn't want it.

The Clarion Call is a police story which pits a detective against his old friend he grew up with.  His friend turned out to be a criminal, who has just killed a man in a burglary.  However he holds a mark over the detective, a $1000 mark of money he loaned the detective.  He knows the detective cannot repay, and cannot turn him in as long as he is in his debt.  The detective gets out of the bind by getting the reward money offered by a paper for his arrest, and giving this to the criminal.

The third is "The Last Leaf,"  I recently reviewed the BYU version of this movie.  This version is more a period piece.  It does not have such a close relationship between the painter and the girls, but mostly one of acquaintance.  However the sacrifice of the painter is just as real as he paints his masterpiece.

The Ransom of Red Chief is well done and very funny.  It is about a kidnapping.  The con men have an old car which is humorous all to itself.  I am pretty sure there is a Don Knots movie of the same theme (No Deposit No Return.)  This movie is very funny, as the family enjoys a couple days without their terror of a son, and the kidnappers are forced ts pay him parents to take him back. 

The last movie is "The Gift of the Magi."  There is a similar movie with Marie Osmond.  This version is very well done as well.  It does not show what their pride and joys are, but shows the anguish at getting money to but Christmas.  There is no bonus this year, but she has the barber cut her hair for a wig, and she is able to but a chain for his watch.  He sells his watch so as to get combs for her hair.  They know they love each other after they have given their most priced possession for the other.

This movie is worthy of watching.  I got it through Netflix DVD.  The first they sent was broken and they had to send another copy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

At the Movies: ****^ Star Trek: Into the Dark

Miranda took Caleb to this movie for his birthday.  Caleb came home saying it was the best movie ever.  So we made it a Memorial Day family movie. 
It was very good, and brings Khan back to the Star Trek series.  Khan saved Star Trek at one point after the first movie did not do very well.  Khan brought some excitement to Star Trek, and it kept going from there.
This movie works because the enemy is within, and catches everyone off guard.  Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) is just as evil as the original Khan played by Ricardo Montalban.  However he is retaliating, which is what sets him off to become and enemy of The Federation.  From Wrath of Khan, the are a genetically engineered race, who were put into a frozen state.  Khan was found, and unfrozen.  The rest of the crew were put into torpedoes to be shot at the Klignons.  The battle follows the first Khan, loosely, with a few twists.  Perhaps the hype of Caleb was a bit overblown, but I can see why he said best ever.  This movie is very emotional, and yes Spock is emotional in his way.  It is also just as miraculous as the original series.
Highly recommended.

Movie Night: ****Star Trek (2009)

This is Star Trek takes an aside, because some Romulon (Eric Bana) makes Black Holes which allow him to go back through time, which he does to take vengeance on The Federation.  In the future, Spock attempted to save the Romulon World, and failed.  Major changes to history are the death of Captain James T. Kirk's father on the day of his birth; and the destruction of the Vulcan world, along with Spock's mother.  Spock (Zachary Quinto) is able to save only about 10,000 of the billion or so souls of Vulcan.  The other plot change is that Kirk (Chris Pine) is a junior officer, who is kicked off the ship for his brash ways.  Spock, who was first officer becomes the Captain as previous Captain is taken captive by Nero, the crazy Romulon.  A plot twist is the elder Spock showing up and coaching Captain Kirk, his oldest and truest friend.  Present day Spock and Captain have not been friends, but they need to if they are going to save Earth from the crazy Romulon.

Life in Manteca: Memorial Day 2013

No Memorial Day Breakfast this year, but Caleb, Miranda, Charity, Anthony and Tony went to the Manteca Memorial Day festivities yesterday.

They saw a helicopter take off, and some plays fly in the missing man formation.  They took a couple pictures. 

They came home early, before Tony was not done with the bouncy houses, and he had a good cry.
Miranda and Caleb went back after choir rehearsal and saw the fireworks.  We had choir practice getting ready for stake conference.  We need more men.
Saturday morning was the typical clean-up day after Memorial Day.  Tony and I made it over.  Tony likes clean-up day because we always end up at the play ground.  Woodward Park is one of his favorite. 

Sister Jones gave Tony a sucker.

Movie Night: **** Goodbye Mr. Chips

This is the 1969 movie musical which stars Peter O'Toole as Arthur Chipping (Mr. Chips) and Petula Clark as Katherine Bridges.  This a movie about two people from two different worlds, Chipping a school master and Bridges an actress, who fall in love with each other and make a life together.  This is a musical, but at times seems less so because many of the song have been relegated to to being sung under the action, rather than in the fashion of a musical.  Petula Clark is a terrific singer.  Peter O' Toole sounds like Don Quijote through most of the movie.  However this movie proved to be very effective with me.  I was drawn into the story, and was weeping at the end of the story.  This is a passing of time story, showing Mr. Chips before meeting his wife, falling in love, bringing her to the school, being over looked for promotion, and then going through the war and the death of his wife due to The Battle of London.  We then see him briefly after.  The coming of age song, I find very touching:

In the morning of my life I shall look to the sunrise.
At a moment in my life when the world is new.
And the blessing I shall ask is that God will grant me,
To be brave and strong and true,
And to fill the world with love my whole life through.

And to fill the world with love
And to fill the world with love
And to fill the world with love my whole life through

In the noontime of my life I shall look to the sunshine,
At a moment in my life when the sky is blue.
And the blessing I shall ask shall remain unchanging.
To be brave and strong and true,
And to fill the world with love my whole life through


In the evening of my life I shall look to the sunset,
At a moment in my life when the night is due.
And the question I shall ask only I can answer.
Was I brave and strong and true?
Did I fill the world with love my whole life through?


I think this movie becomes more poignant as one gets older.  I really enjoyed it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tony's Last Week of School Activities

Tony's last week of school was more a fun week than anything else.  He did not have any homework all week.
Monday was bubbles day.  Sheri bought him a bubble machine to took to school.  Tony kept talking about the bubble machine he had a couple years ago.  He said they had a good time all day playing with bubbles all day.
Tuesday was picnic day.  Sheri packed him a lunch which included Missionary Delight.  This is one of his favorites, and he likes it cold or hot.  We had left overs from the night before.  He took Joey to school with him.
Joey is his most special stuffed friend.  This was also a special day because the took their first foray to the first grade playground.  Tony is really excited for next year and some monkey bars that are a bit more challenging.
Wednesday was movie day.  The movie was a surprise until the got to school.  They joined the other Kindergarten class for "Babe."  This is about the talking pig, who is also a sheep dog.  Joey went to school again this day.
Thursday was beach day.  Tony took a beach towel to lay out.  They also had colored chalk to use on the side walk. 
Friday was graduation day.  You can catch that on a previous blog.  Tony was able to come home early Friday, right after the graduation.

Caleb's Graduation Sierra High School May 24, 2013

Well, Caleb has done it, and he is home from the sober party, which lasted until 4 a.m.  Here are some views of his graduation.
 Caleb was in the first row.  I didn't see him come in as I was expecting him later.

Caleb is a bit forward in this picture, front row
 Caleb, Eliott, Simon and Kenny sang a quartet

Hot Spud

With Sierra

With Natalie


With Miranda

With Tony

With Nicole (she sang National Anthem)


Friday, May 24, 2013

TV review: Granite Flats (to mmboe)

I really connected with this series.  I guess that is part of growing up during the cold war, and that is the story of this series.  This is a town in rural Colorado, with a small Air Force Base.  We are not sure what the purpose of the base is, but it does include a military hospital.  We learn that part of the goings on at the hospital is some nefarious experimentation or forced forgetting used on some air men.  You top this off with a Russian spy satellite falling out of the sky, and causing an explosion on the base that kills a mechanic.  A soldier, who feels guilty about his involvement, confesses to the death of the soldier,  setting up the series.  The show focuses on four young people, one the son of the soldier mentioned, the sheriff's son, a nurse's son and the daughter of two research doctors from the base.  The first is somewhat of a bully, and their is a conflict between he and the three others.  The last three like to solve mysteries.  The first mystery is to figure out what the nurse's son saw falling from the sky the night they arrived in town.  This was a great ride, I hope this continues.

Tony's Kindergarten Graduation

Tony's last day of his first year of school.  Tony really liked kindergarten.  He was so cute.  The kindergarten sang three songs.  Tony lead the processional.
first song
second song, three little pigs
getting his diploma

closing song
Mrs. Ballard
 This is Mrs. Ballards last day of teaching as she is retiring.
last chance at the kindergarten monkey bars

Veritas School

Movie Night: ****Carousel

This is a classical musical picture.  It is the 1956 adaptation of the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein Musical.  It has the classic song, "You'll Never Walk Alone" twice.  For this alone it is worthy of watching.  This show presents the unlikely marriage of Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae and Julie Jordon (Shirley MacLaine.)  Billy is a carousel barker and Julie a factory worker.  Some of the music is contrived and forgettable.  People singing about the clams they are eating doesn’t quite cut it.  However this musical has more great music than I remembered.  “If I Loved You” is fun as the characters explore whether or not the really would ever get married, and then they do.  MacRae does the "Soliloquy" after finding out his wife is pregnant in which he sings to his future baby.  When he realizes he might have a baby, he realizes he needs some money.  For some reason he is not willing to take a job in the fish industry.  He decides to go with his pal and rob a business man.  This doesn't work out, and he ends up dead.  However, he is given a chance to come back and influence his daughter for good.  The speech of Dr. Seldon at his daughter's graduation is classic:   I - I can't tell you any sure way to happiness. I only know that you've gotta go out and find it for yourselves. You can't lean on the success of your parents. That's their success. And don't be held back by their failures...

  Makes no difference what they did or didn't do. You just stand on your own two feet. The world belongs to you as much as to the next fella, so don't give it up. And try not to be scared of people not liking you, just you try liking them. And just keep your faith, and your courage, and you'll turn out all right. It's like what we used to sing every morning when I was a boy. Maybe you still sing it: "When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high." You know that one?
 The show then ends with "You'll Never Walk Alone."

2013 Concerts: Starz on Stage, Cupertino Choir

Sheri helps backstage with Starz on Stage.  As such I attended the concerts.  Starz is a youth jazz dance group.  All my kids, excepting Natalia and Tony have had there turn in Starz on Stage.  They are directed by Teri Wardle Slaugh.  I stayed with Sheri after work to watch the show May 10.
In this show, the boys stole the show.  There was also a song from the young girls that was cute, "If you like it, you should put a ring on it."  It was a fun evening with seeing many old friends, The Baliguats, the Sepulvedas, and Vern and Karen and Ben and Teri and Bishop Slaugh, Fonz Allen, and many others.  Teri always has nice snack bar and this year there were lots of cookies.
Last night we attended the Spring Choir Show at Cupertino High School.  It started with the beginning women's choir Catabile.  The only thing I remember about them is how short their dresses were.  There "I enjoy being a girl" was cute.
They were followed by the men, who I felt did an excellent job interpreting a Beatles anthology.  "A Hard Day's Night" was very enjoyable, and I love "Yesterday."  They did a well deserved encore of "Twist and Shout."
The older women, Cantos, presented Sister Act.  They wore habits except the last couple songs when the wore short short.
Capella present Les Miserables.  They also did this Jeremy's senior year, and I think the fell short.  It was fun hearing Scott Dye with a baritone voice.  I was really impressed with "Bring Him Home" soloist Takuma.  "One Day More" seemed a little too difficult with many people singing solos and mixing them with the choir.  At any rate, it is hard to put the whole show into 25 minutes, which is what they did.  I would life liked to hear "Songs of Angry Men."
  Ashley Orton came and sat by us and she was able to visit with Sheri.  Nancy Orton, who wasn't there was mentioned as the costuming person even though her girls have graduated.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book review: Dynamic Health: Powerful Strategies for Healthy Living! part 2

This is the second and third sections of this book.  It is starting to have a common theme, relationships and thoughts are important.
Dynamic Health Dr. Norman Rosenthal
This is the second interview in the book, Dynamic health with the interviewer David E. Wright.  Dr. Rosenthal is an expert in Seasonal Affective Disorder, and pioneered the use of lamps in its treatment.  He is also a research doctor.  He also pioneered the use of St. John’s Wort for depression.  He contributes these comments with regards to personal health.  “I believe that we need to keep our intellectual mind, our emotional mind, and our body in line.  These are the three domains we need to take care of.  If we take care of all those we have the best chance, not only of leading long lives, but of leading good and healthy ones as well.”  He follows up listing some things he is going to do himself for his health.  These include Yoga which emphasizes relaxation and stretching.  He also talks of emotional peace, and the importance of keeping connected to people who are important to us.  “I think you should ‘mend you fences.’”  “I think it’s so unhealthy to carry anger and negative feelings about with you if you don’t have to.”  He finally adds “love and adventure” as keys to healthy life.  We all need to have goals, and things we are striving for.

Dynamic Health, Todd E. Curzie
Dr. Curzi is a doctor of chiropractic.  He offers his ideas of chiropractic, and how it differs from traditional medicine.  Then he talks about things which lead to healthy living.  “Good nutrition if a huge part of healthy living. … Poor nutrition is a toxin we can prevent on a daily basis.”  He also talks about the need for motion.  He also talks about healing from within.  By this he means through our thought process and life styles, rather than through pills.  “About 70 percent of what we see is stress related.  “In order to stay out of doctors’ offices you need to eat healthy and you need to exercise. … You need to eat healthy, decrease stress, and have a positive mental attitude.   

Book review Dynamic Health: Powerful Strategies for Healthy Living!

This is the first section by Jack Springer
Dr. David Mee-Lee brought this book to a training session today.  He is one of the contributors.  This is a review of just the first chapter.  I found the content to be compelling and important to share.
Chapter one features Jack Singer as he is interviewed by David E. Wright.  Singer indicates that research shows that two out of every three patients at family practice have symptoms, but do not have a physical organic diseasing causing those symptoms.  Singer studies the effect of our thoughts and our minds on disease, including suppression of the immune system.  He blames our “internal critic” for much of what ails us.  The internal critic is that part of us that tells us something might go wrong, we can’t do it etc.  These negative thoughts impact our immune system.  The spark our internal self preservation measures, including tightening of the muscles, a shot of adrenaline, etc.  These mechanisms, are meant to be used on occasion, instead they are used hundreds of times daily, and this is breaking our bodies down.  He says children are taught this attitude form the age of six to eighteen when they are subject to 148,000 negative comments by teachers, parents, friends etc as compared to 4,000 positive “you can do it” comments.  As a result our self talk 55,000 words a day, is mostly negative.  He points out that the health of optimists is much better than those with negative attitudes.  Confronting life with the attitude that it will work out in the end, it’s a drawback but not a catastrophe etc., leads to better health.  He also points out other attitudes that effect health.  A sense of humor can be key.  Twenty seconds of hearty laughing can equal three minutes of rowing for the health of the heart.  He points out his secret to better health.  One is to assert yourself.  Another is to forgive others.  Holding on to grudges does not help.  Being spiritual is another.  Having faith is important for health.  Next, to thank a mentor can be a big lift to our health.  This could be a teacher, or someone who had a profound influence on us.  I remember a few years ago my brother Charlie, going to his old football coach, and visiting with him, and making a small book of his memories of his coach.  This kind of thing is a big lift.  Another is to practice random acts of kindness, give up you space in line for someone who is harried, take supper or treats to a neighbor, or a kind word.  You can also volunteer.  Places I have enjoyed volunteers have been Scouts, Special Olympics, Mormon Helping Hands and coaching youth sports and officiating youth sports.  He says the most important key for health is relationships with family and friends.  These people are healthier and recover from disease faster.  Even those who are single can have important relationships with siblings and others. 

Sierra High School Bacalauriat 2013


Sierra High School Bacalauriat was held in the church at Union and Wowona.  The Sierra High School Choir sang, Emma Hunt, Simon McHenry and Maddie Banks did a song, as did Emily.  It was not very well attended.  I counted about forty seniors.  At the last minute Caleb filled in play prelude, processional and postlude music.  Anthony Chapman spoke.  He is an educator at Sierra.  He talked about a story of lifting a large piano which was hard to do, until someone suggested, "Stand close together, and lift where you stand."   His theme was to lift where you are, rather than waiting for some future evenr to lift.  If we are always waiting for the future to make our mark, it may pass us by.
Father Joe also spoke.  He talked about educators and parents.  How parents have unconditional love for babies, but seem to loss this as children get older and make mistakes.  We all make mistakes.  He talked about being the best you can be at whatever you choose to be.
After we went to Applebys and celebrated both Caleb's graduation, but also Tony's kindergarten graduation.

Book Review: The Emerald City of Oz (To MMBOE)

This is the sixth of fourteen Frank L. Baum Oz books.  It is evident that Baum had intended this to be the last.  Baum has nice things to say about Dorothy.  "In this world in which we live simplicity and kindness are the only magic wands that work wonders, and in the Land of Oz Dorothy found these same qualities had won for her the and admiration of the people."  He also says good things about The Wizard. “When we try to deceive people we always make mistakes,” he said.  “But I’m getting to be a real wizard now, and Glinda the Good’s magic, that I am trying to practice, can never harm any one.”  “You were always a good man,” declared Dorothy, “even when you were a bad wizard.”
This book tells two stories, Dorothy, taking her aunt and uncle to tour the land of Oz; while the evil king of the Nomes, Roquat, plots the overthrow of the Land of Oz and The Emerald City.  We meet many delightful characters.  I think my favorite was Utensia, were eating utensils have come to life.  This section is a pun every paragraph.  Here are a few.  Utensia:  We have had dull times since the steel and grindstone eloped.  Colander high priest, he’s the holiest thing we have in the kingdom.  “I’d like to smooth this thing over in some way”, said the flat iron.
During Dorothy's travels we also meet the Rigamaroles: "Then they began talking to one another in long, deliberate speeches, where many words were used but little was said.  Some of the college lecturers and ministers are certainly related to these people."  Baum is not very flattering of them, but certainly met a few in his life. 
Like wise the Flutterbudgets: “Do ‘ifs’ really make Flutterbudgets?”  “I think the ‘ifs’ help,” he answered seriously.  “Foolish fears, and worries over nothing, with a mixture of nerves and ifs, will soon make a Flutterbudger of anyone.”  Both of these lands they left as quickly as possible to preserve their own attitudes.  How ever the also met a paper doll kingdom, a kingdom where everything, including the people was some type of bun, a kingdom of rabbits, and the fuddles, who were jig saw puzzles, and thus entertained others.
On the other hand, the Nome General Guph meets some of the evil characters.  The Whimsies, people with little heads who wore big masks:  "They foolishly imagined that no one would suspect the little heads that were inside the imitation ones, not knowing that it is folly to try to appear otherwise than as nature has made us."  The
Growleywogs who were strong.  "It seems unfortunate that strong people are usually disagreeable and overbearing that no one cares for them.  In fact, to be different from you fellow creatures is always a misfortune.  And lastly the Phanfasms, who are people who make others see things as they want them to see, rather than as they are.
Ozma decides not to oppose these enemies, thinking it is wrong to hurt others.  Everyone is feeling doomed, when the Scarecrow offers some advice.  “I believe it is wrong to worry over anything before it happens.”  The Tin Woodman also has some good advice:  “My tin brains are very bright, but that is all I claim for them,” said Nick Chopper, modestly.  “Yet I do not aspire to being very wise, for I have noticed that the happiest people are those who do not let their brains oppress them.”
This book has a funny twist, which comes as a result of the Scarecrow's excellent brains.  This is one of my favorite Oz book as it brings the good vs evil conflict into the plot.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Caleb's Eighteenth Birthday


 Miranda made the cake, Caleb the Barbeque, Dianna brought the beans, Sheri the macaroni salad, I made the lemonade, with lemon juice I squeezed myself. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tony's First Shower

A first for Tony today, he took his first shower.  He usually has a bath, and likes to soak.  He had a hard time getting all the shampoo out of his hair, but was successful in the end.  His mom told him he should use soap on his knees and feet and private parts.  Tony added, and my armpits.  He was able to soap himself and rinse.  It was fun.  I wanted to take a picture, but that wouldn't be appropriate.  When he was done, he drew pictures with his finger on the glass.  I was going to take a picture of his art, but he Squeegeed it away before I could.  Tony is growing up. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Book Review: Matilda: A Fun Book (to mmboe)

I saw this movie starring Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman and Mara Wilson when it came out in 1996 and enjoyed it.  I am just now getting around to reading the book.  This book is by Roald Dahl and published in 1988.  It is about a gifted child, Matilda Wormwood, her parents who don’t understand her nor appreciate her, her school teacher Jenny Honey, who does understand her, and Miss Trunchbull, the head mistress at the school.  I love this book as well as the movie.  The movie adds much more intrigue and defines the parents more.  It also changes the setting from England to America.  However, the indifference of the parents comes through in both venues, as does the cruelty and meanness of Trunchbull, and the delicate nature of Jenny, who turns out to be her niece.  Both are entertaining and I recommend them both for an enjoyable time.
Trunchbull is over the top, and the story explains that being over the top, no one will believe a child who says what she does, so she gets away with it.  She throws a child over a fence by her hair in the style of the hammer throw.  She pulls a kid up by his ears and another by the hair.  She is really a ghastly person.  The movie added the scene at her house, and Trunchbull jumping from the balcony.  It is a classic scene the way she lands. 
Another difference is the powers Matilda finds she possesses.  They are more extensive in the movie.  In fact, in the book, by the end, she loses her powers as she enters a more challenging class after the Trunchbull leaves.  Lots of fun.

ACE Train 36: Tip Toe through the Vomit

Over two weeks ago, on the ramp that goes from Diridon Station to the light-rail platform there were four putrid droppings of vomit.  Fortunately they were close to the outside wall.   When I first saw them in the morning going to work, I really did a tip toe dance walking through them.  I don't know how I didn't plow strait into them.  I am sure my shoes didn't escape totally, but I wasn't going to check.  I almost contributed to the vomitous piles, but managed to stay my gag reflexes.  A few days before there had been another such pile in the walkway over the light-rail tracks at the same station.   Such things happen of course.  It appeared someone drank too much, or did too much something to make themselves sick. 
The odd thing about these messes is that no one has ever cleaned them up other than Mother Nature.  I still cannot tell you how long it takes for mother nature to totally clean up such a mess, because there are still signs of the vomit.  Yesterday there was a sprinkle, and I thought maybe it was enough to clean it all up, but you could still see them this morning, and I almost walked into them again.  The vomit is all dry now, and the really moist mess is gone, but still just the residual stuff is bad enough.  I saw the VTA staff cleaning yesterday, but they didn’t clean the ramp, just the platforms.  SO it takes over two weeks for Mother Nature to clean a pile of vomit.  I guess a VTA worker could have done it in a few minutes, but who wants to clean up that astuff.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Caleb: Spring Choir: 2013

A sample
Caleb's choir finally had a formal concert.  They had missed previous ones as they were very involved with the musical rather than choir rehearsal.  Caleb received a certificate for section leader and another reward for attitude.
section leaders

boring awards part

With Annie and Maddie

With Sierra and Tony

With Nicole