Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mickey Mouse Club

When I was very young we lived on Fort Meyer, Virginia. We lived there from 1953-1955, so I was in the neighborhood of 5-7.

The Mickey Mouse Club started in 1955 (I had to look that up) and everyone knew when the first episode would be.

I don't remember exactly what I had done, but I had done something to get myself banned from tv and wasn't going to be able see that important first episode. So I went over to a friend's house to watch it :)

His mom asked me why I wasn't watching it at home, and being essentially a good (but obviously not too bright ;) ) kid, I told her.

Well, I didn't get to watch it there, either.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Dad's Diner Joke #2

Another of my dad's favorite jokes was about the man in the diner eating a bowl of soup until he noticed a fly in it.

He motioned the waiter over and asked him "What's this fly doing in my soup?".

The waiter looked down, thought a moment and said "The backstroke".


My Dad's Diner Joke #1

One of my dad's favorite jokes was about the man in the diner who had to use the "facilities" just as his soup arrived.

He grabbed a napkin and wrote on it "I spit in this soup", then put the napkin right next to the bowl. He hoped this would keep anyone else from taking and eating it.

When he returned he found someone had written: "So did I".


Friday, July 31, 2009


When I was in 6th grade I picked up and read a book up in the school library called Citizen of the Galaxy, by Robert Heinlein. I loved it, and that started a lifelong love not only of Science Fiction, but of Robert Heinlein. Over the years I have found my life has been influenced by the ideas he developed in his many novels. He was definitely my favorite author.

In college I found The Hobbit and read it and the rest of the series, including The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkein. I loved these books as well.

One day a number of years ago I read, on the internet somewhere, a reference to a character named Lerris. I was intrigued enough by the description to do some research and I found out that he was the protagonist of a book called The Magic of Recluse, by L.E. Modesitt. That book was the first in a series called The Saga of Recluse, which has now grown to 15 books.

I now own every book of Mr. Modesitt's that is available in paperback (it's too hard to stuff a hardback book in my back pocket) and read most of them more than once. Some of them I've carted around and read enough times that I have had to replace my original copy with a new one.

I met him (Modesitt) last night :)

There is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention in town (Spokane, WA) this weekend on the campus of Gonzaga University, called SpoCon 2009. Mr. Modesitt is the "Guest of Honor". He and four other authors had a book signing event last night at Auntie's Book Store, a local independant. This event was scheduled at the last minute, and wasn't even mentioned in the morning "Local Events" segment on NPR. But a friend who knows I am a Modesitt fan found out about it and told me.

I got to spend a few minutes with Lee (I don't know what to call him now that I have met him, but he goes by Lee) and then he got busy signing and talking. So I spent almost two hours talking to his lovely wife Carol, an opera singer and famous in her own right, and the inspiration for her husband's Spellsong Cycle series.

I think I found out about as much about Lee from her as I would have from him, and had a delightful time doing it. She, by the way, is scheduled to sit on several panels during the convention, including one titled "How to feed an artist". Since he writes 12-15 hours a day, 7 days a week, I would think that would be a very approprite discussion.

Did I mention that he took Heinlein's place as my favorite author?

Lee Modesitt is the only living person, other than LDS church leaders, that I would go out of my way to meet. The two others that would have fit that description are Robert Heinlein, of course, and J.R.R. Tolkein, both of which have passed away.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Fraggle Rock was one of the kids' favorite tv shows. Okay, I confess, it was one of my favorite tv shows. At any rate, one of the characters was Marjorie.

Marjorie was the trash heap and the font of all wisdom. Any time someone needed the answer to a perplexing question, they asked her.

We had this odd corner where the house, the fence and the patio met and over time it gathered this and that.

We called it Marjorie, of course.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The "it" Word

Breanna (age 5 last February 28th) just called from Boise. She announced proudly that she can now read the "it" word. :) She can write it, too!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

David Was Skinny

David was so skinny that he was in danger when a stiff wind blew. Anyone who has seen the Disney movie Dumbo will understand.

One day when he was about 5 he came in after a hard day of playing outside. His legs below his shorts were all bruised up, as happens with little boys.

Mildred took one look and said "David, your legs!". He looked down at them and said "Yeah, they're fat, aren't they".

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two Testimonies Of Prayer

While I was on my mission I met a young girl named Antoinette Palmièri. It was in the city of Toulon, down on the Mediterranean.

When I arrived there my companion and the Elder I replaced had met Antoinette and had been teaching her. Long story short, she eventually got baptized, but not until after I had been transferred. There is much more to that story, but I will save that for later.

After my mission I attend Brigham Young University and at one point I decided that Antoinette was the one for me. I had been back to my mission field and had seen her there, and now I wanted to marry her.

I began the usual process of fasting and praying about this.

One day a few months later it occurred to me that I had not only stopped praying about Antoinette, but in fact I hadn't even thought about her for a long, long time.

I knew then what the prophet was talking about when he described the "stupor of thought" that comes upon us when Heavenly Father is trying to tell us something. In this case the answer to my prayer was "no", and He accentuated that answer by making my mind go blank on the subject.

The second testimony has to do with Mildred. We had an on-again off-again relationship going on for a full year, from the beginning of one school year to the beginning of the next school year.

I didn't want her to be "the one" :) She was (I felt) still too young, and she clung to me like glue, etc. Finally I decided that we could pray about it, we would get the answer "no", and I could move on from there.

We didn't get that answer :)

So when someone asks "How will I know if it's a real answer or just what I want the answer to be", I tell them "You will know". Twice in my life I have known - once when I really wanted it to be "yes", and it was "no", and the other when I really wanted it to be "no", and it was yes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scapegoat of the week

We did this thing mostly out of desperation. We designated a "Scapegoat Of The Week", and passed the "privilege" around.

It worked really well. When something happened, instead of multiple fingers pointing at each other, we just blamed the SOTW and everyone had a good laugh.

Pixie Stockings

When Mildred and I were first married, as decorations for one of our very first Christmases we got six miniature felt Christmas stockings that we hung on the tree.

I got this idea of putting a little piece of candy in the one that was "hers". When she asked about it the next day, I told her the Christmas Pixies must have left it :)

We continued that tradition until the kids left and Mildred passed away.

I spent the 2008 Christmas season first in Houston and last in Utah, and the kids with kids have kept the tradition alive.

David and Ian playing with lights

When the kids were growing up, there was one thing you could count on if you were in a public place and the lights went out - it was David, playing with the switch :)

That's why I wasn't surprised last Christmastime when I was visiting with David, April and Ian, and the lights went out.... Ian is his father's son.

The International Space Station

I had read that there was always a ham radio operator on board the International Space Station, and that they took time to talk to hams on the ground.

Two weeks ago when I was driving Sally and her mom to Boise (for the birth of our grandson, Tyler), we heard the ISS! It was amazing!

Somewhere outside of the Tri-Cities I was scanning around (the ham version of channel surfing) and got a strong signal, that I stopped scanning for. The operator was talking about being 200 miles above the earth.