Tuesday, March 30, 2010


When my sisters and their families got together at our parents' house in the summer of 1993, these skating episodes were captured on video*.

I learned how to rollerblade at my sister's home in La Mesa, California, some months earlier. I borrowed my nephew's inline skates and set out from their back door.

The start was not fortuitous, as I began by going downhill on the driveway behind their house. When I got to the small level area at the bottom of that, I was unable to stop, and panicking, because there is a much, much longer downhill section next, I fell to the asphalt, tearing quite a bit of skin from the knuckles of my left hand.

Rather than give up, I began to teach myself how to stop. Starting at the bottom, I worked my way up a couple of feet and came down from there, stopping awkwardly. Gradually, I worked my way higher and higher, each time stopping at the bottom. Finally, I was able to descend the entire way and stop correctly.

I have used a similar technique to learn my parts in theater productions. Memorize the last line. Read the second to last line, they repeat the last line. Work forward until the entire part is in memory. It may be backward, but I have found that it works for me.
* Thanks to Judith Breitenstein for filming and for lending me the tapes of this footage.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Sara and I enjoyed our four week stay in Tucson.

She cared for her sister, who was ill with valley fever, with complications including lung nodules and meningitis. When we left, she was doing much better.

We also enjoyed visits with friends in the area, including new friends, one of whom runs a local cemetery, the Binghampton Cemetery, to which we are contemplating moving when the time arrives.

Several times during the stay, Sara and I commuted to Scottsdale, where we enjoyed successful treatments from Ed Sheriden, our myopractitioner.

While there, I worked remotely, from this workspace.

I kept up the pool, cleaning and adjusting chemicals, and we enjoyed a couple of swims, even though the water was exceedingly cold at 67 degrees.

Open Notes

By analogy to open letters. Only these are shorter.

1. To people who drive and use cell phones at the same time. Don't do this! You may think you have superior multitasking abilities. You don't. Those of us sharing the road with you can tell. It's pretty easy to see.

2. To whoever is handling our political leaders. You are not elected representatives. There is no constitutional justification allowing you to take power. Get your meddling selves out of their way and go enjoy your yachts.

3. To the Gecko Grill in Gilbert, Arizona. Please provide take-out drink containers to your customers who ask for them. If someone wants to take out one of your free refills, I wouldn't mind if you politely declined. But we hadn't finished our first serving. Why did we have to argue with you for a take-out container? Did you miss the day in Management 101 when you would have learned that the customer is always right?

4. To the real estate agent who stole our leads in Tucson. Shame on you, Anna! We brought in many potential renters and you led them to other properties instead of helping us help our sister. Oh, and adding insult to injury by calling our banners unprofessional. They brought in more leads than your sign. And, while we're writing of your sign, why is your name on the sign in a bigger font than the words "for rent"? Who cares who you are? How do you spell megalomania?

5. To Dan, the Mercedes-Benz rescue man. Thank you for your professional and enthusiastic care in changing our tire after the blowout.

6. To the employees of the Circle K where we waited with one flat tire. Thank you for your welcome and your helpfulness.


I enjoy this breakfast cereal any time of the day.

The latest package that I purchased included a code. Visiting their website, I was able to enter the code and they donated towards a women's health project. You can learn the details by clicking on the image below.

It was not easy to get this HTML code to work in a blog. The code as they gave it on their website did not work, but after some web searching I was able to figure it out.