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Saturday, April 30, 2005

"Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it."

--Pope John Paul II

Another month slips away.

Pope John Paul II passed away 4/2/2005.
I heard the announcement from President Gordon B. Hinckley during the second block of Saturday's conference meeting broadcast. Most (all?) of my wife's family, and my daughter's family, are Catholic... my commiseration for their loss great. I was born into the Episcopalian faith (both parents non-practicing Episcopalians) and "converted" to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a brief description from The Articles of Faith) in March of 2004.
Pope John Paul II will be remembered not only as a spiritual leader of the Catholic faith but as a world leader of great influence. The new Pope has taken the name Benedict XVI.
As an aside: My grandson David will receive his first communion shortly.

Monaco's" Prince Rainier has passed away at 81.

Weather: April showers: Sunday, the third of April,surprised me with a late thunder/lightning display after mostly cloudy skies for most of the day. After the first burst Gail and I rushed to the computers to disconnect the modems and power cables. The storm cleared by Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday provided warm and sunny again. Allergies were in control... a bit of lethargy my only complaint. A brief gully-washer of a storm again and then the weather back to a warming trend. A bit of intensification of allergy symptoms around the 15th especially the itchy eyes that I find difficult not to endlessly rub. However, no great bouts of allergic conjunctivitis like I've had in the past. One other bonus due to the warm weather storms... haven't had to fire up the wood stove to warm the home much... cool!!!... er, warm! Seattle-sunshine late Friday the 22nd through the 24th. Allergies intensified due to the high tree pollen count leaving me in moderate discomfort and losing some sleep... it's hard to use a sleep apnia mask when one is congested. Off and on cloudy and sunny and rainy days filled out the rest of the month of April... further warming into the 80°'s Fahrenheit arriving shortly.

What a wonderful experience while at the Oakland Temple! The view from the Temple was breathtaking. While there was mostly overcast skies, the San Francisco skyline was crisp and clear. I could see the Golden Gate bridge, Sutro tower, the "Pyramid" building, Alcatraz, Angel Island... and much more.I took a tour of the genealogy center in the visitor's center and was honored to be a witness to a wedding at the Temple. While what goes on in the Temple is sacred, not secret, I shan't elaborate any further than to say I will remember my experiences in the Temple with utmost reverence, love, and further contemplation and reflection.

Problems with Gail's van, again. Used my bicycle to get to Wednesday's final Temple class and a meeting with the Bishop on April 6th; the weather overcast and cool. Mostly uphill... mostly walked the 6 mile trek in a little over 2-hours. It's funny... it doesn't look like much of a grade when one drives over the same terrain in a car! My twenty-year-old 10-speed is more of a touring bike (Schwinn Traveler) than a mountain bike. Thank heavens for the ride home by one of the bishopric! I ached for days.
Repairs to the van included two half-axles at $159 USD each, Gail getting partway home before the repairs broke down and she had to return for final? repairs. Van took another dump Tuesday the 25th (April), the oil filter getting bumped or something causing a massive oil leak as Gail entered a gas station. "If it's not one thing it's another." "It just goes to show you, it's always something"-- Roseanne Rosanna-Danna (Gilda Radner).

Sent my brother Robin a birthday ecard with a short note. The music's kinda' hokey, but the artwork was amusing though primitive. He is 40-years old for the seventh time. He answered back saying he just finished a 32 mile (51.5 km.) bike ride (show off!). He's still quite the prolific bike tourer (see below).


Note to self: Musical piece: "Sweet Dreams and Starlight" by David Nevue on the album (alblum?) of the same name... a haunting piano piece I want to get hold of. Maybe use a winning free iTunes code to get it... if it's available? I downloaded the free iTunes player available from Apple Computer for Windows XP (20 MB's) on Gail's computer's dial up connection (GROAN). We'll see.

(GROAN) revisited. Evidently we have one cat who has yet to be spayed. Two new kitty cats. One kitten looks like my cat 'Taffy-Doodles'... black and white, as opposed to Figaro who's white and black (see cat photo, previous post). The other is all black. Both have tails, significant in the fact that sometimes our kittens were born without tails or with stubbed tails. I pray the loose dogs about don't find them as the Momma kitty keeps moving them.

Mom called Monday evening after I returned from Bible study with our church group (New Testament: end of St. John/backtracking to start with St. Mark... a livelier than usual discussion). She's been home from England (and Washington State) visiting family now for a week and just did get a chance to call and catch up. She even visited (rode?) the ferris wheel called The London Eye while in England.

Another vulnerability has been found in Firefox has been found in Firefox, including v. 1.0.2... sigh! The update to v. 1.0.3... issued not too much later than the announcement. Pleasantly awaiting v. 1.1.0.

Opera browser has been updated with some cool options including a simple speech implementation for highlighted text. Though the speech engine only works with Win 2000 and XP (I still stand by my Win 98 OS) AND it may fall short of Firefox's general appeal, I may download the free (ad-ladened) version to Gail's XP box to check it out.

New version of freeware popup blocker EMS FREE SURFER COMPANION v. downloaded. Although Firefox and Earthlink have their versions of a popup blocker, I want to shake it out and compare.

Want to volunteer for a worthy cause ?... a tip from my earthlink newsletter elink.

Related (also courtesy of elink): The United Nations Volunteers
Online Volunteering Service
. An international opportunity to do volunteer work from the comfort of your home computer, online.

Another find from elink: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy ... an alphabetical index.

And still another find from elink: Hubble Image Showcase... images from the Hubble space telescope.

The Elders came by Thursday the 28th for some discussions. Gail sat in when she could in between consoling grandson David. David had wanted to spend the night, but broke his word on behaving earlier in the day.


BIG EARTHQUAKES... from the bigquake mailing list I subscribe to:

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake IN THE KEP. MENTAWAI
REGION, INDONESIA has occurred at: 1.62S 99.56E Depth 30km Sun Apr 10 10:29:13 2005 UTC

Location with respect to nearby cities:

  • 115 km (70 miles) SW of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia (pop 721,000)
  • 315 km (195 miles) SW of Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia
  • 575 km (360 miles) SSW of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
  • 945 km (580 miles) WNW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
A magnitude 6.5 earthquake NEAR THE N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG. has occurred at: 3.50S 145.89E Depth 10km Mon Apr 11 12:20:05 2005 UTC

Location with respect to nearby cities:
  • 195 km (120 miles) N of Madang, New Guinea, PNG
  • 225 km (140 miles) SW of Lorengau, Manus Island, PNG
  • 675 km (420 miles) NNW of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea
  • 2760 km (1710 miles) NNW of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake IN THE SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS has occurred at: 22.04S 170.56E Depth 68km Mon Apr 11 17:08:54 2005 UTC

Location with respect to nearby cities:
  • 160 km (100 miles) WNW of Ile Hunter, Loyalty Isl., New Caledonia (pop N/A)
  • 285 km (175 miles) ESE of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
  • 425 km (265 miles) E of NOUMEA, New Caledonia
  • 1695 km (1050 miles) NNW of Auckland, New Zealand


My entries... " Poetry in Motion "... & Haiku daily contests:


Autumn foregone
through days darken

The moon peeps
through trees
snow laden

Cold starry night

:Bobby Nichols
Les Trappeurs

Longtemps dans le abers
la roche restait
Sa hardis face
mais jetant l'eau embruns
battant dans passer
yeux du feu

:Bobby Nichols


Embrace the Infinite's gnome

:Bobby Nichols

Snow-clad the mountain
where billow'd cloud no mete met
Ere err I went not

:Bobby Nichols

The willow-the-wisp's abode
Misty fen, bane's den

:Bobby Nichols


" Winternacht "... "Winter Night" auf englisch.

" Les Trappeurs "... En anglais (Babel Fish Translation... again, with my apologies to French speaking peoples everywhere:

The Trappers

A long time in the river mouths
the rock remained
Its bold face
but throwing water spray
beating in passing
eyes of fire

:Bobby Nichols
I envisioned a scene from the classic novel "Northwest Passage" by Kenneth Roberts I've read a few times where trappers "their eyes afire", would plow through the rivers and lakes of North America past. The movie starring Spencer Tracy of the same title is also a classic in its own write (sic), but doesn't relate the entire novel's story.
An aside... on Ranger Thomas O. Nichols' (related?) website artist Mort Kunstler's painting of Roger's Rangers of "Northwest Passage" fame is shown.

" Vingette " a Haiku: ... a nonce word: not vinette, nor vignette... a tweak of 'Vinge'-ness perhaps. The photo, revisited, of a cactus spire midst desert scrub with distant clouds. Meaning?... just a bunch of words, that when parsed, transmogrify the Haiku's tone interestingly... or something... or nothing at all.

" Anon " a Haiku: ... my skiing prowess lacks both breadth and depth. I've related this before (see my Haiku "BunnySloper" 4-16-2004) and so to quote myself "Been there - done that... walked all the way down a run near Mt. Lassen... mortified... but not mort !!!" This was from my ski trip in 1989 when I went by myself and spent most of the day on the "Bunny slopes". I thought to challenge myself on an advanced run for my last run of the day only for my skill and courage to fail. Most chagrined, I walked in chilled solitude until I finally reached my car near dusk. I haven't skied since.

" Fen " a Haiku: ... I found this bit of fluff in a pile of papers. The original version not up to the 5-7-5 sylabibbles necessary for the Haiku contest (actually a 7-7-6 sylabibble mess)... Sooooo, here's a quick witted edit. By the by, the photo depicted a swamp of eerie desolation.

Do widzenia !!!

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