Monday, July 02, 2007

July 2007

The picture is what meteorologists call a Parhelia or "Sun Dog" which is formed by ice crystals in cirrus clouds refracted at a greater angle then 22 degrees. I took this on the evening of the Fourth of July: Natures own "Fireworks"!

Sunday 01- Welcome to the month of July! My longtime friend from Harbor Cove, Linda C. called at 10am from where she is now living in Santa Monica and I talked to her for two hours and she was excited to tell me about her tour of China and Tibet that she just got back from. Linda believes in Astrology and psychics. She is fascinating to listen to because I must admit that I’m skeptical about the paranormal but keep an open mind.
Got a late start with my stretches and the temperature was 106 degrees outside in the shade when I ran my mile. My fat cat is now in hiding from the Sun’s heat in some secluded shady spot and won‘t come out till the evening to eat.
My Brother Kevin called and we yapped for over an hour about mountain bike trails in Tucson that he’s going to take me on when ever I get out there.
Went for my evening walk at 110 degrees: Summer is here for sure! Watched “Foyle's War: Bleak Midwinter” on PBS about a gal who worked at a munitions plant in 1942 and died in an explosion. And the wife of a detective was murdered and he was the main suspect. Very good show!
Worked on my website to update the calendar to July and a few other improvements. The Moon is rising a little later every night now and we will have some nice dark nights in a few days to take out the telescope and start our observing of the stars and planets
Seems like I spent most of the day on the phone and it was too dang hot to do much of anything else.

Monday 02 did my stretches and then drove to the Post Office in JT to pickup that computer part I’ve been waiting for. While waiting in line I got in a conversation with this lady about how big the line was today and that I came before noon just in case it was shut down half day because of the holidays. She seemed to get all offended and said that she used to be the Superintendent of this branch and they never shut it down early. I was about to tell her that I really didn’t know the hours or I wouldn’t have rushed down here, when the side door opened and one of the workers yelled out “Any one here just to pickup a package, give me your slips here”. I gave him my slip and so did many others.
While I was waiting for my package I got into a more amiable conversation with a young Nurse. She works up at the senior care center at the High Desert Hospital and is transferring to another hospital to become an RN and work with young kids. She told me she has been with eight seniors when they had passed on and had cried when her first patient had died and that they think of her as a granddaughter. I got my package and wished her luck.
Dropped by the library to return the book by Patricia Cornwell’s “At Risk” that I had checked out last week. I got two chapters into it and decided that I didn’t care for it, it isn’t like her older books like “Dr. Kay Scarpetta Mysteries“ that I enjoyed. The Sue Grafton book “S is for Silence” that I ordered was in; this writer is more my speed and I love her work.
Went over to Stoney’s for some spaghetti that he cooked up. It was heavy on the grease and stuck in my stomach like a tenant three months behind on their rent. But it was mighty good and I didn’t have to eat anything else for the rest of the day. I even made off with a bag of Stoney’s “Ranger Cookies”.
Messed around with that computer part loading different operating systems onto it. I needed a break and went for my evening walk. I was back only twenty minutes when Andrew came by on his nightly run. I showed him my new computer part which is an IBM 570 laptop. We jawed for a few as I walked him up the trail to Borland Pass where he continued with his run.
Went back to messing with the new computer and decided to load Win2000 onto it and that kept me occupied for the rest of the night.

Tuesday 03- forgot to add that yesterday Dana my neighbor stopped by to see what he can do to fix the lights on my truck.
Did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights: it was 110 degrees or so! But I seemed to be ok afterwards. It got up to 116 degrees today! Double YIKES!!
Went over to Stoney’s to move a washer and dryer to his renter’s house and bring a washer back using the “Gross Polluter” to haul them. Stoney is 87 years old and wants to help out and there is no stopping him. I do keep an eye out and when I see that he is having problems we both stop working, which is what happened today when the washer slipped out of his hands while we were lifting it onto the truck. He cut his hand, a small cut, and I had him sit in the truck, got his renter to help me load it, and took Stoney home. We had lunch, the leftover spaghetti, and sat jawing about Bingo that he runs for the community center on Tuesday nights. Before I left we replace a 1 7/8 towing ball from my truck to his that someone had pilfered.
Got back to my house and did some Window updates to the new laptop while I read some Sue Grafton. When I was done with that I went on over to my friend’s home to water his plants and made some phone calls; one to Mom and Dad, and another to Nancy way up the in Washington state.
Went for my evening walk, saw a fox in the middle of the trail and took some pics of him before he scurried away. Ran into Andrew on his bike and he rode beside me while we jawed and I finished my walk.
Wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it in, also sent it to Terry who found a few errors and I had to redo it and resend it to the paper. All I can use for an excuse is that it was hot inside the house and I was tired. Oh by the way here is the “Thought of the Week” that I wrote:
Thought for the week: I hate it when cars or motorcycles breakdown in bad spots: Like in the middle of the desert in front of a prison and because it's 117 degrees outside, yer insides are getting baked, and yer brain is like a tuna sandwich without the mayonnaise. You are trying to get a ride to the nearest town unaware that you are standing under a big sign that says "Federal Prison: Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers". Everyone drives by, eyes straight ahead, bodies stiff as a mannequin. You get desperate and jump in front of a truck full of day laborers and get a ride to the nearest donut shop and drink down two large cokes and eat a donut or two! Yes I know how it can be when you break down in the desert.

Wednesday 04- did my stretches and rode my bike. It was mighty hot outside today. I checked the temperature around noon and it was 114 degrees and rising. So I decided to just stay inside and read Sue Grafton and do updates on the new computer. I didn’t see a soul all day which is fine with me. I did get a call from Mike from Hermosa and another from John M. but that was it. Seems to me that I like to just stay at home on the Fourth of July and not be bothered by the mass of humanity going here and there. I just like to sit down and read a good book and that is what I did. No TV, no driving to a friend’s home, or anywhere else for that matter. I did go on my evening walk though!

Thursday 05- did my stretches and ran a mile. It was 112 degrees when I started my run and climbed near 120 during the day. Inside the house it hovered around a cool 90 degrees (compared to the outside). As I write this post at 12:30am it is at 95 degrees in my bedroom.
Worked on the weekend update for the community website and also did a clean and defrag on the IBM 570 laptop that I acquired a few days ago.
Went over to water my friend’s garden while reading “Cosmic Connection” by Carl Sagan. And then drove on over to Stoney’s to pick up the apples and oranges he had got for me when he went to the store. Ate some leftover spaghetti and made off with some more of his cookies. Stay around to watch a western “Two Ride Together” (1961) Actors: James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones, Linda Cristal, Andy Devine. About white folks in search of their family members taken by the Indians and now living among them. I thought to myself that I rather have lived with the Indians than be taken back by the white folks and be put in a society that was alien to me.
Went for my evening walk and met Andrew running down the trail. We talked about the heat and he laughed when I said that it will be cooler tomorrow at around 108 degrees.
Spent the rest of the evening read more Sue Grafton “S is for Silence” and then sent out the newsletter for the community website.

Friday 06- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike. It was only 106 degrees when I went for my run. It got to around 112 today and the air seemed a little polluted.
Joel called to say he is going to the store and I asked him to pick me up some carrots. I then continued to read Sue Grafton most of the day. I’m really getting into the book, it’s a page turner, and I believe I know who done it (BW) but will have to wait till tomorrow to find out.
Went for my evening walk. Andrew came by on his run and he showed me his NASA tattoo that Gina got for him, it fades away after a while.
Watched “Nova Now” on PBS about the search for element 114, and an asteroid the size of the Rose Bowl that may hit earth in the next thirty years. I guess it gives folks something more to worry about!
Took out the telescope but the night sky was covered by a light haze and made for bad seeing. I did focus on a few globular clusters then Saturn and its moons but because of the haze it all was fuzzy.

Saturday 07- did my stretches and ran a mile and a half. I’ve started running on the trail for a few weeks now and not beginning my run up the hill to see if that was the cause of my hamstring problem. I think it was because I haven’t had that pain since. So today I ran on the trail for a warm up and then up the hill and back around and all seems fine. It was 104 degrees and I took a nice cold shower when I got back.
Got on the computer and got some work done, replied to emails and then continued reading Sue Grafton until 4:30 when I went to water my friend’s garden and called my Mom and Dad.
Got back home and went for my evening walk. It had cooled down a little and the wind was blowing about 6mph out of the northwest, it felt good so I took my time and made it back at sunset.
Finished reading the Sue Grafton book; the killer wasn’t who I thought it was. Great mystery book!!! Turned on the TV to watch “The Pledge” on KCET. Directed by Sean Penn and staring Jack Nicholson and a bunch of other well known actors. I couldn’t make it through the first half hour, it was just lame: zoom in and out real quick when the kid found the body, haven’t seen that since the 70s. Some stupid lines by a lady with a cross getting a “Pledge“ from Jack to find the killer. I decided not to waste my time (2hrs) on it. Maybe I’m just had too much heat today and I’m cranky but the movie really was a turkey!

Sunday 08- did my stretches and decided to take a day off from the running, biking, and weights! I just needed to give my old body a rest.
I messed around on the IBM 570 laptop (with 390MB of RAM) and took the 11GB hard drive out and stuck in the 2GB IDE Flash drive. Loaded up Win2000 onto it to see if it would fly, and it did! That was the whole reason behind getting this laptop. It only has a 300MHZ PII processor but with the Flash drive it loads Word for Windows almost instantaneously, where my other laptop with a much faster 2GHZ processor and a 20GB hard drive takes a while. A real test would be to install Open Office, which is a hog and takes forever to load, on the IBM 570 to see how fast that loads. My idea is to change old computers to IDE Flash and use USB thumb drives for storage. The Win2000 with service pack4, Firefox, and Word 2000 only take up 1.3GB giving me 700MBs leftover.
Andrew came by in his Jalopy to have me take a few pictures of its new paint job and then went with me on my evening walk. Afterwards we sat and jawed as the sun set and I mentioned that I would have went to the concert in Yucca Valley on Saturday to visit with my friend Bonnie who would be there but I couldn’t drive the “Gross Polluter” because of no headlights on it yet. Andrew said why didn’t I give him a call and that he was here all this weekend. Well I thought he was out of town, dang!
Watched “Mystery! Foyle's War: Casualties of War” on PBS about a murder, a damn buster bomb, and a child who survived his school being destroyed by German bombers during WII. Then a short piece called “Garden Insects” also on PBS. This guy filmed the insects in his organic garden. It was done very nicely! Even showed a Brown Recluse and now I know that the ones that I thought were the Recluse in my battery room, are!
Now I need to come up with something to write about in my column and I don’t even have a clue what it’s going to be about. (Like Always!)

Monday 09- did my stretches and ran two miles. Made myself sit down to pay some bills and send out some birthday cards, one is late and one is early.
Then I jumped into the “Gross Polluter”, backed out of the driveway and immediately ran up the dirt berm, got stuck, and had to get a shovel and dig the truck out. Once that was done I drove to the Copper Mountain College to pickup some old astronomy books that my friend Shannon was holding for me. She is a nice gal and pleasant to talk to. Then on to Staters to get some supplies so I’ll have something to eat in the house besides crackers. Got some gas down in Twentynine Palms and drove on home.
Andrew came by early on his run and we jawed about blogging and all the spam we get on MySpace from sex sites that are supposedly from beautiful ladies who want to be our friends and see them nude! I delete all of them to spam. It degrades the whole concept of social networking and my having a enjoyable experience with MySpace.
Wrote my column a day early so I could email it to Terry for proofreading. She is the one last week that caught all the errors I had made. And she doesn’t mind doing it for me. I wrote about the San Bernardino County off-road vehicle Ordinance and how an off-road riding organization is trying to overturn the ordinance so that they can come out here and destroy our desert.

Tuesday 10- got jolted out of bed at the ungodly hour of 7:20am from all the thunder and lightning going on outside. I have five bags of cement laying on the porch and the windows (or lack of them) on the truck are open to the elements. So I got up and put my shoes on, went quickly outside to move the cement and cover the truck with a tarp before it rained. While I was lifting the 40lbs bags I noticed that I was only wearing my boxer shorts! I got everything moved or covered from the rain and went back to bed. Nice to finally get some much needed rain!
Did my stretches but that is all I did figuring that I already did my weights lifting all those bags of cement around.
The sky was clouded over much of the day which played hell on my batteries not being able to get a good charge from the solar panels. I would run the refrigerator for an hour and then go on the computer, and then run the refrigerator for another hour, switching back from one to the other.
Lee H. dropped by to jaw and he said that Barb and Jerry lost power in their neck of the desert from all the lightning. They were down for a few hours I was told.
I completed my column for the High Desert Star and sent it in and then went for my evening walk. Met Andrew on the trail doing his run and he walked with me all the way and he continued his run from my house.
I decided to run my generator for an hour to charge up my batteries and run the refrigerator. Sometimes you have to use a generator on cloudy days and cut down on power that’s consumed when you are on solar. Small price to pay for leaving a small footprint on our environment.
Stoney came by after bingo and we talked about having tacos for dinner this Friday. Sounds mighty good to me!
Happy Birthday to my longtime friend Mike Long!!! Can you believe that he got my card that I mailed yesterday afternoon! He lives in Hermosa Beach and I thought it was going to be late. Score 1 for the Post Office!!

Wednesday 11- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike. Found a Stick Bug on my kitchen wall and picked him up and carried him outside and put him on a little tree I have.
Went to Stoney’s to help him move Judith’s old VW that he has been working on over to her house. Then we came back to Stoney’s and ate watermelon. I like mine with salt and pepper!
Thought I’d better get cracking on the online programming class I’ve been taking. Did two lessons and took the tests; that ate up must of the day. I have three more lessons to do and then I’m done for a while.
I am so dissatisfied with my current dialup service that I’ve been looking into starting a dialup ISP business and got an answer from a company I emailed yesterday. I’ve also been asking around trying to see if there are folks who may be interested in signing up. I need at least 15 users to break even.
While writing this a Sun Spider just ran across my back! Yuck! This one was big too! I’ve killed four of them in my house in the past 3 days and I think it is time I fog the place. I don’t like Sun Spiders!
Went over and watered my friend’s garden and made a few calls to my family. Caught my Brother on his way out to dinner with his Daughter Crystal. I asked him for John‘s, my Brother-in-law, number. He had left it on my answering machine last week but said it so fast that I couldn’t make out the numbers. Called him and talked computers for a while.
Andrew came by on his nightly run and we went for an evening walk. Then I watched “American Masters: Les Paul” on PBS.

Thursday 12- did my stretches and ran two miles.
Worked on the weekend Copper Mountain Mesa website update and sent out the newsletter. I will probably get some nasty emails from off-roaders for the column I wrote about their attempts to change the off-road vehicle Ordinance, but that comes with the job I guess.
Went on over to Stoney’s for lunch. He made tacos and coleslaw! Roger S. was there to help us eat them all up. We sat around and jawed about the roads and the where abouts of some streets that are in our immediate area and seem to have been misplaced. Then we ate watermelon! What a nice meal and I didn’t have to eat for the rest of the day.
Called Barb and Jerry and yapped with them for a while. They said that their electricity went out for a few hours last Tuesday during the lightning storm we had, and they drove around in their four wheeler hunting for gold instead of sitting at home with no air-conditioning.
Went for my evening walk with Andrew, who was on his nightly run, and we talked about gals and computers. I showed him the Stick Bug that I found yesterday.
My very good friend Minor called to say hi. It was his birthday and I sung “Happy Birthday to You” to him. We both worked together at the Portofino Inn and Yacht Club in Redondo Beach back in the 90s. Now he is the head honcho at some computer firm doing networks and traveling all around the country! He’s come a long way from his humble beginnings and I am mighty proud of him! We talked about old times and about our friend Louie who worked with us. Louie was always wanting me to make a cheeseburger for him on the graveyard shift and I was getting mighty tired of doing this for him. So I soaked the buns in bacon grease until they were saturated, added three hamburger patties, four kinds of cheeses, strips of bacon, a sausage patty, fried egg, double on the mayonnaise, pressed it altogether and presented it to him thinking that this “Mighty Bob Burger” would finally discourage him in asking me to make him hamburgers anymore. The sucker pigged the whole thing down, grease running down his chin, grinning he said it was the best cheeseburger he had ever had! Minor and I were waiting for him to collapse from clogged arteries.
Got online and tried to figure out the contract for the dialup ISP that I might want to start. I just don’t want to get in over my head and want understand the total costs involved before I bite.
Took out the telescope and was checking out the Milky Way when I saw a satellite making its lonely journey across the sky. I got it in my sights and followed its glow until it was very faint and dropped below the northern horizon.

Friday 13- I didn’t realize it was Friday the 13th until just now as I am writing this post! Did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
Worked on a forum application for the community website. I thought it would be a nice place for folks who want to voice their opinions on subjects concerning our little community. I still have to go through the program and set up filters for bad language and stuff like that, and should have it ready for posts in a few days.
Watered my friend’s garden and while it was watering I went on over to Lee and Marcie’s home to work on their computer. The problem is that a malicious program keeps popping up saying that there is a virus on their computer. The program itself is adware and is dang hard to get rid of. I ran Spybot adware remover, found a few bad programs with it and deleted them. Then I ran Ccleaner that cleans out old unneeded files. Then ran Avast anti-virus at boot and it found sixteen Trojans, but it didn’t get rid of the one I was trying to kill. I had to leave and told them not to click on the popups and I will see if another adware remover will work later when I have the time. If it don’t I’ll have to just reload Windows XP on their computer and be done with it. Most times that’s the best thing to do anyways. Vermin who write these malicious programs should, in my opinion, be shot, hung, and chopped into little pieces and fed to my fat cat!
Went for my evening walk. Saw the little Stick Bug laying on its side, picked him up to see what was wrong. I am sad to say that he had passed on to the Stick Bug heaven. I will miss him hanging around!
Watched “Nova Now” on PBS about the Large Hadron Collider that accelerates particles almost to the speed of light around a 17mile circular tunnel buried beneath the ground at the CERN facilities in France and then smashes them together. It will go into operation in May 2008. I hope they don’t blowup the earth when they turn it on, or accidentally create a mini-black hole that would fall to the core of our planet and suck everything and all of us into it. Just kidding! (I hope)

Saturday 14- sometime last night I decided that if I woke up early enough I’d go on down to the community board meeting. I haven’t been to one in many years and I wanted to ask them if they could let me know about any events or have something to add for the potluck, breakfasts, and bingo that I could include it in my column I write for the newspaper. I’ve asked before many times in the past for their input but nothing had ever became of it. Sure would be nice to have their involvement and give me something to write about instead of me coming up with the same old “Potluck starts at 4pm” kind of thing. A simple request.
I got up around 9:20am and did my stretches, fed the fat cat, and jumped in the “Gross Polluter” and made my way down to the community center. Well I was very disappointed with the meeting. Like being in a fifth grade class when the teacher has left the room. That’s all I’m going to say about it except that they are very fine folks but lack imagination for creating any kind of new events. They really need some “new blood” on the board. And I don’t even know if they understood my “simple request”. I left there with my hands shaking from all the bickering and frustration with having to deal with it all. I don’t think I’ll be going to another board meeting for a few more years, if ever.
Jimmy called and we yapped for an hour about computers and a guinea pig house he is constructing out of 1x3s and chicken wire. I hope someday that he retires out here soon and I told him that. He is a good friend and it would be nice to have him out here and do some exploring the desert on trail bikes. He has been coming out here since the 60s and knows a whole lot of about the desert.
Went over to my friend’s house and made some calls to my big sister Sheila and Mom and Dad. Did a little watering of my friend’s garden too.
Watched “Freaky Friday” 2003, on ABC Staring Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, and Mark Harmon. About a mother and daughter that have their bodies switched after reading a fortune cookie. A very good lighthearted feel good movie and just what I needed after that dang board meeting!

Sunday 15- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
Got cracking on my last three lessons in the online programming class and spent most of the day completing them all. Now with that out of the way it is time to move on to something else. I still need to check into that ISP I may start.
My Brother Kevin called to yap for a while. Then Seimi came over with a letter about the Joshua Tree Water District taking it upon themselves to take over sewage treatment without a vote from the people. (at least that’s how I understood it) I will check into it more carefully before I decide what needs to be done on my end.
Went for my evening walk and then watched “Nature, Kalahari: The Flooded Desert” on PBS about the Okavango River that flows down from the mountains into the Kalahari Desert and transforms it into an oasis. Very interesting how the Papyrus islands break free of the peat moss bottom and floats down river with all kinds of critters on them. The Papyrus roots filter the water making it crystal clear down stream. Nice show and very educational too!
Took out the telescope, it was mighty humid and it was more comfortable sitting outside then in, and tried to find Bernard’s star that is in the constellation of Ophiuchus (which I won’t even try to pronounce). With a brightness of 9.5 magnitude. This star is the second closest to us at 6 light years away. It also is a tiny red dwarf and is hard to find: at least with my telescope it was.

Monday 16- did my stretches and rode my bike. My right leg has been giving me some pain and I think I’ll lay off the running for a few days until it’s better.
Stoney came by with a bag of food from the USDA food distribution for me and we sat in his van and yapped a bit about the off-road Ordinance. Wrote my column and emailed it to Terry for proofreading.
Roger T. called asking me when I am going to start the dialup ISP and I told him that I still have to read the contract and get a few more folks who want it.
Got a call from the Off Road Vehicle Watch organization and I had a bunch of questions for him, which he tried to answer. I told him that the majority of the folks that live out here are for it and it would be a shame to see the teeth taken from it.
Frank called to talk about the off-road Ordinance, he is for the change, and I am not. But we kept it on a friendly level.
I must have been very tired because while I was reading I went to sleep with the book on my face and was dead to the world (I think I’m still burnt out from that dang board meeting) until I woke up an hour later when Joel came by with a shredded beef burrito from Santana’s. He was driving a spanking new car and I pretended not to notice and after a bit I said, “I see you finally washed your car”. That got a laugh from him and he told me that he rented it for his trip down to Loma Linda tomorrow to see his Doctor. I took the burrito into the house and was only going to eat half but my stomach had other plans and I devoured the whole thing!
Called my Dad and wished him a Happy Birthday and sang it to him too! He asked me what happened to the money? I said what money? He said for singing lessons. I told him I got ripped off.
Went for my evening walk and met Andrew on the trail and discussed the dialup service I may start; he always comes up with some good ideas. I still need five more folks to commit to the service before I can do it, or I’d lose money. Watched the sunset and saw the crescent Moon appear along side Venus.
Watched “History Detectives” on PBS About: Atocha Spanish Silver (sunken treasure); Lucy Parsons Book; Ernie Pyle's Typewriter.
Got the column proofread by Terry and added to it a little and sent it to the newspaper.

Tuesday 17- did my stretches, still laying off the running till my right leg feels better.
Really sat down and read through the Agreement for the dialup service and wrote down a few questions I had and emailed them to the company.
Went over to Stoney’s, he baked some peanut butter cookies, and sat around jawing and eating cookies before I had to leave and water my friend’s garden.
Went for my evening walk and then watched “NCIS” on CBS. It was a rerun but I like the show.
Took out the telescope to watch the crescent Moon set behind the mountains. As I was watching it set a faraway jet with blinking navigation lights flew in front of the Moon’s dark disk and when it got to the lit crescent I could see its silhouette with contrails against the Moon’s surface! Looked mighty cool!

Wednesday 18- did my stretches, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
Decided to uninstall Win2000 from the IBM570 laptop and install Win98SE because some of my old programs and equipment won’t run on Win2000. Did a fdisk and format and was just going to install Win98 when Stoney called to say he had lunch ready and to come on over.
Stoney was cooking up a storm when I got there! He had sliced ham, biscuits and gravy, carrots, fried potatoes, and black eyed peas cooked with onions and bacon. What a meal! We sat around jawing and eating when his son Jimmy called telling us about that guinea pig house he is building. I said “It ain’t done yet? It was last Saturday that you told me you were going to start it”. He laughed and said he was still looking for the right staples for the 1x3 wood he is using for the sides. About this time Roger S. showed up and brought Stoney some vegetables that he grew in his garden. Well I had my fill of the grub and said my goodbyes and headed on home in the “Gross Polluter”.
Loaded Win98 and then Win98SE upgrade on the IBM570 and then decided it was time to go for my walk. I was just opening the door when Andrew rode up on his bike. We went walking on down the trail yapping about women and computers, seems that’s mostly what we talk about. I am still thinking about that hula hoop gal that I saw last month. I’m over that dang board meeting last Saturday and feeling mighty good now.
Spent the rest of the night loading up the IBM570 laptop with: Sygate Firewall, drivers from IBM to get the modem, video, and audio going, Windows critical updates that I have on disk, Firefox browser, and other miscellaneous programs that I needed to get the system running right. Next thing I knew it was 1:30am! I guess I was really into it!

Thursday 19- did my stretches and ran a mile. The right leg hurt a little before the run but felt great afterwards and for the rest of the day. How strange that the run made it feel better!
Had a few more drivers to load on the IBM570 laptop, got the USB thumb drive working, and then loaded up the WIFI and went online with that. So now I have the last of the Win98SE updates to install that will bring me up to date when Microsoft stopped supporting the OS.
Did some searches on dialup companies and found a few prospects that I emailed. One got back to me and gave me a user id and password to try out the service. He also gave me a link to an Internet Accelerator program that is suppose to make WebPages download twice as fast. I tried it out and went to my website and it was totally screwed up! I thought it may have been my html that I wrote, so I loaded it on my other laptop and it rendered just fine. Plus the so called “Accelerator” was saying that I was downloading at 96Kbps. I know what speed 96Kbps loads at and this was nothing like it. I really didn’t notice that much improvement, if any. Maybe you have to use it for a while for the pages to cache. I will look into this, but right now I think it’s a bunch of baloney. Also the fastest I was able to connect with his service was at 46Kbps and there is only one phone number in JT. I mentioned this to him and he said that a thousand users can connect to one number. I replied that that might be the case but it would slow down the server, I would imagine.
Katherine brought over her PC for me to fix. Seems like she has caught the same dang spyware that calls its self an anti-virus program and installs a Trojan on the hard drive. Then keeps popping up saying you need to purchase their program to get rid of it. I used to be able to clear it out by running a Avast anti-virus at boot, but it didn’t work the last time I tried on Lee’s computer. Well I’ll get rid of it by reinstalling her OS if I have to!
Went over to my friend’s garden to water his plants. He is coming home tomorrow but I didn’t want him to have to do it after the long drive home he is having to make. Called my sister Shiela to yap at her for a while.
Andrew came by on his run and went with me on my evening walk. I brought him up to speed on the dialup services I am checking out. He got his hair cut short for the summer. The last haircut he got last week left one side 3 inches to long and he didn’t notice it till he got home! He’s mighty mad about that.
Worked some more on computer stuff and sent out the newsletter.

Friday 20- did my stretches, lifted weights, and ran a mile.
Worked on the weekend update for I need to do some more little things, like add the petition for, “Quote From” section, and write a new “Bits Bytes and Bugs”, but they can wait till I have more time to work on them.
Been reading more on the dialup service I may start, and read and answered a few emails from them. Lots to do and lots to decide!
Started working on Katherine’s computer. Found out that the popup she was getting was from Windows automatic update and not malware. I clicked on it and it ran and finished, then popped back up and wanted to install it again. Something’s wrong and turned off the auto update and ran it from Microsoft’s website. All critical updates failed to download and install, not good. Checked the Windows update folder and it was empty, not good at all! Somebody had deleted the folders contents and I will have to find a way to trick the system some how, maybe I can copy the file from one of my other computers to the folder, then run the updates and see what happens. Meanwhile I did a virus scan with Avast anti-virus program at boot: no viruses or Trojans showed up. Cleaned the system of old files and junk that builds up, with Ccleaner, updated the virus program. That’s enough for the day.
Went for my evening walk. When I got back I had a call from Katherine and I asked “Who was working on your computer”? I knew it wasn’t her because she doesn’t have the know-how to do the changes that I saw done. She said that she forgotten that the maintenance guy was doing something to it when he was helping her set it up for DSL. Well golly gee, the maintenance guy, it would have been nice to know that before I started! I told her I may have to reload XP if I can’t get my idea to work.
Spent the rest of the night doing other computer stuff and reviewing another agreement for another dialup service.

Saturday 21- did my stretches and rode my bike. There is a lot of humidity hanging heavy in our area today. It will zap the strength right out of you. I watched it come rolling in last night around 11pm and I knew that it would be around today. So I just kept inside the house with the fans on and tried to stay cool. I was tired all day because of it.
Got a call from the buffalo folks who live in Lancaster, telling me that the five buffalo are doing fine, and about an inverter that they may purchase wanting my advice on it. I haven’t heard of the one they talked about and will have to do some research on it.
Began working on Katherine’s computer again. Tried to copy that missing file from another computer to see if I could trick Windows update into downloading. It didn’t work, so now I will wait for her to bring me the disks for her system and try to do a recovery and if that doesn’t work I will backup her documents to my USB hard drive and do a fresh install of XP. Most every time there is a problem like this an install of the OS is the fastest and efficient way to go.
Joel brought by a whole pizza for me! I will eat some now and put the rest in the fridge for tomorrow. That was mighty nice of him!
Installed the rest of the Win98 critical updates on the IBM 570 laptop. Loaded up MS Word and still have over a Gig on the 2Gig IDE Flash hard drive. Did a system clean, scan disk, and ran Defrag. Runs really fine and fast for a 300Mhz processor.
Called Mom and Dad and then went for my evening walk and ran into Andrew running. He took a break and went on the walk with me. Of course we discussed women, computers, the meaning of life, and threw stones at an old piece of junk laying in the road.
Watched some TV, but there wasn’t anything really good on that I was interested in so I ended up just flipping from one channel to the next and finally gave up and turn the dang thing off. Went outside and set up the telescope and watched the Moon slip behind the mountains.

Sunday 22- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. The clouds were drifting overhead, filling up the sky and hiding the Sun. Got a few sprinkles here an there. With the humidity rising it felt like a steam room around here.
Decided that I needed to get out of the house, so I headed over to Andrew’s. He is fixing his house up and I caught him outside planting a dead tree! He asked me to hold it upright for him so he could shovel dirt around the base to keep it from falling over. I asked him if he may have had way too much sun today (in a kidding sort of way). He said he was in an artistic mood. After we got the tree up we went in the house and watched a documentary of an old cowboy who sets up dates with lonely American men with Mexican women. Kind of a fun movie to watch, the old cowboy comes up with some good one liners, and has troubles of his own with a Mexican wife he had divorced because she became “Americanized” and at the end of the show he was in the Sierra Madres in Mexico to find him a new wife of his own that can’t speak English. Kind of funny I thought, but maybe I should head on down there!
Checked up on my friend’s dog and cats. My other friend who I watered his garden is back and so now I got another friend who is away and taking care of his animals. Stopped off at Stoney’s and jawed with him a bit and got some more cookies to take home with me.
Went for my evening walk. Did some work on the website and other computer stuff the rest of the night.
Had a vivid dream last night about a gal I used to date a long time ago, it seems like it was in another time in another era, back in the 70s. She keeps drifting into my mind once in a while. Her name was Alice and she was very pretty, maybe too much so; sometimes too much is not enough and too little is too much. She was from Scotland and I fell in love with her accent and her Scottish ways. I was young and wild at the time, with no job, trying to go to college. I had an old 58 Ford station wagon that I used for transportation and slept in. That dang Ford was on its last legs and two times when I was on a date with Alice a tire would come off. Once when we were cruising down a hill, Alice said “Look! Somebody lost a tire!” It had come off the right front of the car and rolled ahead of us and bounced off a palm tree. The other time we had just parked when a tire fell off and the car just thump to the ground. We laughed both times it had happen. In the end I had to break it off because of jealousy, I didn‘t like that feeling and what it was doing to me, at all. Going out with a very pretty gal like she, with my meager finances and lack of a job at the time, and every male trying to horn in, was too much for me.
Well the dream was that we were back together and at some fancy convention of some sort, with elaborate table settings, and gourmet food to eat. We were jawing and having a real good time of it, until we got in a long crowded line to get our food and got separated. I desperately searched for her, but found that I had gotten lost and ended up many miles away in a strange part of town that was old, dirty, and in disrepair! I wonder what that dream was all about.

Monday 23- did my stretches and rode my bike. Still hot and muggy today with a few clouds.
Andrew called and I went on over to his house to help him move some fence sections from the front yard to behind an old wooden storage house. We spent about two hours lifting them onto my truck, setting them down, going inside to get cool, and then back outside to move some more. He has a weight bench where he presses 240lbs, I tried to lift them but they wouldn’t even budge. He has a scale that I weighed myself to find I’m at 169lbs. Haven’t weighed that since the early 70s, I guess all that running, stretching, walking, and riding my bike are paying off!
Got back home and the phone rang; it was Dale from Landers calling to say hi and jaw for a while. Then Ron D. called to ask if I wanted to go for a hike tomorrow in the National Park, I said yes! Finally somebody wants to go hiking! Mike from Hermosa called to say he didn’t call me this weekend because he was too exhausted from all the workouts he over did.
Jerry came by to ask me why there is a 2x4x16 in the road outside my house. It wasn’t mine and I brought it into my yard, and now it is. Probably fell off one of the trucks that come barreling down Winters Road at excessive speeds. We sat around and jawed for a while but I was getting weary of all the talk about, the war, pedophiles, killings. I told him that I’d stopped watching the news on TV because there was: nothing I could do about it, it’s always about the same old stories but with different people, and I felt that the human race should achieve a higher sense of understanding, harmony, and put forth an enhanced cooperative effort than what we presently make. I guess I was a little grumpy because of the heat, so we steered the conversation onto other matters.
Went for my evening walk, then Katherine brought over the disks for her computer and also brought over her Mother’s computer for me to fix.
Watched “History Detectives” on PBS about: an old autograph book owned by a African American lady that had old Presidents names in it, A movie poster from the early 20th century of the Mexican War, a cape warn by a some Lutheran church Pastor during the American Revolution.
Got a reply to my email that I sent to one of the dialup ISP companies to lower the monthly minimum by $50, and they accepted. So I’ll review all the documents and if everything is ok, it’s a deal, will sign the paper, send them in and I’ll be in business.

Tuesday 24- did my stretches. Ron D. picked me up for the short trip into the Joshua Tree National Park. We drove for about six miles into the park to a place called Quail Springs where we parked to begin our hike. After about a mile of incredible scenery, I took a bunch of pictures, we camp to a hidden camp nestled among the giant rock formations. It would be nice to camp out here sometime for a few days, away from computers, people, and be one with nature.
On our way back home, Ron and I saw a Tornado at 1:55pm on Copper Mountain Mesa, just a few miles from our homes. I took some pictures of it while we were parked on Winters Road at Coyote Valley looking Southwest and about a mile or so away. I wanted to go chase it down, but Ron had some misgivings about that. Besides it was his car we were in. It lasted about 5 or more minutes then dissipated. Pretty awesome! When I got home I emailed a picture of the tornado to the High Desert Star Newspaper.
Did some computer work, caught up on emails, and went through the Agreement for the dialup ISP again.
Went for my evening walk, and then watched “Nova Now” on PBS about: Dinosaurs bones, How DNA is affected by the environment, Solving an encrypted sculpture at the CIA headquarters, and a nice story about physicist Arlie Petters who came from poverty to become a renowned mathematician.
Talked to Chris and Stoney on their way back from bingo. On Tuesday nights after 9pm I go and stand by my gate and wait for them to drive by. We yap about the goings on at bingo, who won, how many folks showed up, and stuff like that. When they left I went back inside to finish my column for the High Desert Star and emailed it to them when I was done.

Wednesday 25- at 10am on the nose, John M. came by to drop off the little refrigerator that I lent him. Did my stretches and ran a mile. Really a lot of humidity in the air, I’ll walk across the yard and draw a lot of sweat off my forehead, and the back of my head is continuously damp. One good thing is that because of the humidity my guitar is in tune and I can play on the lower cords now! Just happened today so now I can play those songs I wrote that require me to play way down on the neck.
Not much a doing today: printed out the forms I need to send into the ISP company and called them to make sure that I can scan and email them. Went on to Yahoo and got me a domain name for my dialup service:, sounded good to me. Printed an itinerary for a plane flight for a friend, and printed up a daily prescription schedule for another.
Got bored and drove to Andrew’s to yap with him for a while. He was bored too! Went over to check another friend’s dog and cats while he is away. Their little dog is starting to come out from under a table now and actually let me pat him on the head (only after I bribed him with beef jerky).
Went for my evening walk. Made a few calls to some friends then messed around with the computer the rest of the night and sat outside here and there to watch the lightning flashes through the clouds down to the south by Palm Springs.

Thursday 26- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. The humidity is still hanging around but the temp seems to have gone down some. Lots of thunder clouds but still no rain for us; you can almost hear the grease woods trying to suck the moisture from them.
Worked on the website weekend update and sent out the newsletter. Checked out Katherine’s Mom’s computer and it needs SP2 installed and the Windows update activated. Ran Ccleaner to clear out old unused files. It only has 256meg of RAM but may be enough for her. Edited msconfig so that programs like: QuickTime, Real Player, and junk like that don’t auto-start on startup.
Went over to Stoney’s to have lunch. He made a Chef’s Salad with all kinds of stuff cut up inside: Eggs, parsley, lettuce, a bit of cabbage, hot dogs, garlic, celery, and other ingredients I couldn’t identify. Then we had cantaloupe for dessert! We sat around for a few hours jawing and messing around on his computer. The dialup service that I got for him took over 20 tries before we were able to connect to the internet; I’ll be getting rid of that ISP for him as soon as I get mine up and going. Had a mighty fine time over at Stoney‘s!
Went for my evening walk and ran into Andrew on the trail. As we were sitting on an abandoned overturned car watching the sun set, a local artist, Michael B. rode up on his bike and yapped with us for a while about the weather and how good we have it compared with the poor folks over in Florida, who have this humidity most of the time. I don’t know if this is true, but it didn’t make me feel any better!
Got back rather late, went online to checkout a few bank sites, I need to have a separate account for my business.

Friday 27- did my stretches and rode my bike.
Ron D. came by to pick me up at 12:30pm to go to town. Along the way we saw black smoke coming from a point about a mile northwest of the community center. We drove back there to see if we could help. When we arrived we saw a small truck on fire, stalled in the middle of the road (could have been on Giant Rock Road that runs along the Marine Base) with all its tires ablaze billowing black soot into the air. There were folks already mulling around without any hope of putting it out. There was nothing we could do so we moseyed on our way and saw a fire truck speeding down Winters Road on its journey to what was left of a burned out truck.
We stopped off at the bank so I could create a new account for my ISP. The nice lady there. Melissa I think was her name, asked me for my social security number. I gave it to her and she typed it in and her eyes went wide and told me it said I was dead! I told her she must be a “Ghost Whisperer” and I gave her my number again and I was brought back to life with a mistyped digit.
We went to see the movie “Transformers” staring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Josh Duhamel. About a war between two robot clans: one good and the other set on the destruction of the human race in order to find a cube of some sort with magical powers. I thought it was a great movie for twelve year old kids, but I did enjoy it all the same! After the movie we drove to JT and stopped at Santana’s to chow down on some burritos.
Andrew came over to get some programs I have and downloaded them on his thumb drive and we went on an evening walk. Then I watched “Numbers” (a rerun) but Hey I like the show.
Worked on the computer and did some more reading on my ISP the rest of the night. MySpace was down (it wouldn’t load) so I’ll have to try later tomorrow. MySpace has been really unresponsive lately, slow, or even stops working altogether. The other blogs that I post this journal work just fine and are much more user friendly than MySpace.

Saturday 28- did my stretches and ran a mile, did the steep hill in front of my house first.
Ron D. came by for a chat. He brought me an Abbey Road T-shirt (which I’ll ware to the Yucca Valley concert tonight) and an old robe to wear on them cold nights when I need to go outside at night, I guess. He decided not to go to the concert tonight because he had a lot of work to do around the house. We played guitar for a bit: him playing one of his songs he wrote and I one of mine.
Drove on over to feed my friend’s dog and cats. Then dropped by Andrew’s to see the cabinet doors he is building and ask him if he wanted to go to the concert in Yucca tonight. He said yes to the concert and the doors looked nice. He constructed them out of 1x6 fence panels with a middle dark green plywood backing.
Rushed home to cook up something for potluck. Ended up making stovetop dressing with corn mixed in. While I was cooking, Stoney dropped off a small container of his chili beans that I’ll mix with some rice tomorrow. Roger called to say that he has two CD’s for me and that Ruth will take them to potluck.
Arrived at potluck at 4pm and there was many more folks there than last time, I’d say around twenty or so. I took many pictures of everyone. Chris brought his famous macaroni salad (I took a little of what was leftover home with me). Marcie made some great lasagna. Jan and Bill brought lemon cake, my favorite! Bob S. brought a vegetable plate with dip, and his Granddaughter, who plays base in a band. And there were other fine foods to eat. Frank and Mary were there along with their bunch. Frank told me that Jerry wasn’t feeling too well and I should call him. I had to leave early so I could call my Mom and Dad at 5pm. Said my goodbyes and was almost out the door when I got a call from Roger saying that he gave me the wrong CD and to give them back to Ruth (it later turns out he gave me the right CD and that he just got confused when he loaded one he had on his hard drive and wasn’t expecting what came up on his computer screen)
I finally got home only to find a message from Dad saying that they won’t be home at five, I called them to leave them a message to say that I love them, but they were still there about ready to go over to my Sister’s for dinner. So I was able to tell them that I love them without leaving them a message.
Called Jerry and Jawed with him for a bit. He seemed his old lively self and I knew he was ok, just a little down from all the heat and humidity. Barbara was making him beef burritos for dinner, she is a great cook.
Andrew showed up to go to the concert in Yucca on the softball field, grabbed my camera and we were on our way. The band that performed was called the “Revelers” and played old rock and roll from the 60s: Beatles, Chuck Berry, stuff like that. Nice band but it seemed to Andrew and me that there was something wrong with their sound system which made it kind of weak, but nothing to do with their musical abilities. They were all born or raised in Yucca Valley. Got some nice pics of the band and of the folks there, even the Citizens Patrol.

Sunday 29- woke up to a sink and kitchen counter crawling with ants: got out the bug spray. Decided to take a day off all the exercises so I just did my stretches. Today’s weather is just like the last few days: hot and humid.
Called Jerry and yapped for about an hour and solved all the worlds problems in that small amount of time.
Started filling out the Agreement and scanning them into the computer for the ISP I am starting and caught up on some work I needed to get done for tomorrow.
My Brother Kevin called and we jawed for a while about this and that and other stuff of the most importance.
Biker Ron came by with a rear window for the “Gross Polluter” but it was way too small, but I thanked him for the effort. Then went for my evening walk.
Mike from Hermosa called to say hi. Then it was time for me to get cracking on all the scanning of the forms and finishing up on the other things that I need to apply for the ISP tomorrow.

Monday 30- first thing I did when I woke up was call the ISP to tell them I had the papers ready to send by email and to be expecting them. Did my stretches and ran two miles (had to work off some stress and it felt good).
Loaded XP Service Pack 2 , then Sygate firewall on Katherine’s Mother’s computer. The system bogged down and I called Kath to ask (plead) to uninstall AOL Version 9 from the computer, which has only 256Megs of RAM. AOL is just a lot of “Bloatware” if you ask me, just like Norton! These programs use up a lot of the systems resources, are a pain in the neck to deal with; the first thing I do on a new computer is uninstall Norton. Well Kath said to go ahead and uninstall it and will use my dialup service when I get it up and going. Got rid of AOL and the system runs fine now. I think it was having conflicts with Avast anti-virus program. Went online and started downloading Windows critical updates.
Our little Community is a buzz with the story of a shooting in our neighborhood. Stoney called to tell me that last Sunday night around 8pm, a woman allegedly shot a man in a house over near Lear Ave. on Jack Rabbit Trail. Police and paramedics were called. The paramedics tried their best but the man passed on at the house, and the woman was taken away by police. There are a lot of stories going around here about the people involved, but we'll leave it like this for now.
Went for my evening walk. Then watched “History Detectives” on PBS, about: an altimeter from Howard Hughes’s crashed spy plane, fabric from the first Atlantic crossing, a piece of an old recon balloon from the Civil War.
Got cracking on my column and sent it to my fastidious proofreader to go over it with a fine tooth comb: Thanks Terry!

Tuesday 31- did my stretches, rode my bike, lifted weights, and ran a mile. It’s funny, but when I woke up I didn’t feel like doing any exercises at all. Sometimes the best time to do something is when you don’t want to!
Got a call from the company that I am starting my ISP from. They said I was up and running. Logged into my account to mess around with some of the utilities and study some of the procedures. I will test it and add me as user later on tonight.
Went over and fed my friend’s dog and cats, then dropped on by Andrew’s to checkout the cabinets he is constructing in his kitchen.
Afterwards I went to another friend’s home who is out of town, to water his garden and make some calls: one to my friend Billie and another to my Sister Paula, we talked for an hour. And when I was done there I drove over to the community center to take some pictures of the folks at bingo.
Mac called to say hi. And so did Joel to tell me of his exploits at the VA yesterday.
Went for my evening walk with Andrew, who came by on his bike. Then I watched “Nova Now” on PBS, about: Mass extinctions cause by bacteria in deep water; Robots that mimic humans; and the bird flu and how it is transferred to humans from birds, then how it is changed to pass from human to human.
Chris and Stoney dropped over after bingo to jaw for a bit. Then I got cracking on the ISP, added myself as a user, tried to dialup with my new user ID and it failed. Spent some hours trying to trouble shoot it but ended up sending an email to them to ask what is wrong.
Finished my column and sent it to the newspaper. I feel mighty drained tonight.