My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    


My Year 2008


On January 3, 2008, I wrote an editorial, The Source of Magic, inspired by a dream I had several days earlier.

On January 11, 2008, Ed Owen and I went to the Stark Street Cinema and saw The Water horse. We enjoyed it. I wrote a poem, Animal Talk, about the myth that animals once could speak as humans do.

On January 16, 2008, I added my entire Sam and the Sea draft to my site, hoping that others might enjoy it, maybe even comment on it.

On January 19, 2008, I received a delivery by DHL that I at first thought was my bedding order from Carol Wright Gifts, but the box was too small. I was from my son Ernie and was 7 Doctor Who books (11 stories in all) and an gift card. I did some shopping and ordered a lap desk to use with the keyboard I ordered the day before. Later that day, the bedding shipment was delivered: A king-size burgundy velvet bedspread, two burgundy satin pillowcases, a curtain, and a 3' x 5' US Flag.

On January 23, 2008, I received my wireless keyboard and mouse by FedEx. I connected them up easily. The MusicMatch software that came with it "has known compatibility problems with Windows Vista", but otherwise, it works well. I am still waiting for my lap desk which reportedly left Florida the day before, and I expected to arrive first.
I put two "For Sale" ads on Craig's List (my first time to try it) for a friend who can't access the Internet.

On January 26, 2008, I wrote a poem, Love Lasts Forever.

On January 27, 2008, I got word that our beloved Pres. Gordon B. Hinkley died this evening at 7 pm (MST) of causes related to his advanced age (97). Until a new Prophet/President is called, the Quorum of the Twelve is leading the Church, with all the keys necessary.

On January 31, 2008, I walked my walker from Elderplace, 3-1/2 blocks, to CB's Tropical Aquarium. I bought a waterfall-type filter for the 29-gallon fish tank I plan to get. When I got home, I set it up in my 5-1/2 gallon tank and by the next morning, after three rinsings of the filter materials, the water was clear. The tank had been collecting debris of all sorts for over a year.


On February 1, 2008, I ordered the 29 gallon fish tank which should be delivered within two weeks. I studied up on goldfish, care and feeding, and my algae problem. I decided not to get so many new fish as I had originally planned, and not to get any of the more unusual kinds, as they would have a hard time competing for the food. I wrote a poem, Feelings.

On February 4, 2008, I wrote a poem, VALENTINES. President Thomas S. Monson (80) was announced as the new President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Henry B. Eyring (74) is his first counselor and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (67) is his second counselor.

On February 7, 2008, Mitt Romney suspended his campaign for President of the United States. In the spirit of his words, I have decided to support John McCain for the Republican nomination. I will continue to support individual issues that I value, and hope to influence, with others, the policies of Senator McCain that I do not agree with.

If Mitt Romney should ask again for my vote, it is his.

On February 14, 2008, My Valentine's Day went like this: First I got this email from someone named Peace Ukwa from Dakar, Senegal (it actually came from there) telling me she was an orphan in a refugee camp looking for a friend. I checked out some of the information that she sent me and found out it was a scam. There was an identical email on the internet three years earlier, identical down to the typos. A friend in the church got an offer finally on a diamond ring that she was trying to sell to pay her rent and that turned out to be a scam, too. They wanted us to send the ring to them (Nigeria, this time) when they sent notice that the money was on the way. Besides preventing two scams, I wrote a birthday poem to Angel41 (who is now 42), I cheered up a couple of people in chat groups who were depressed one way or another about Valentine's Day. I made my first SodaHead Poll and Blog. I got some nice graphic card Valentines in my Profile comments.

On February 15, 2008, Ed came over and we watched videos.

On February 16, 2008, Ed came over. He took me to Blockbusters in Troutdale where he bought three DVDs: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", "Transformers", and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End". We watched the first one. Then Erin came over and used the computer while I studied for the Priesthood lesson I would teach on Sunday.

On February 17, 2008, I went to church and gave my Priesthood Lesson on Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Erin came over in the afternoon to use the computer. I fixed Willy's entertainment system and a stuck doorbell. I went out with Steve to home teach and gave that lesson. I visited with Erin after supper. We have a good "friendship" going. There is a guy in the military that she likes, who may be heading to the Middle East soon. She is worried about his safety, and what kind of future they might have if/when they meet in person (they met online). He is half Korean, she is full Korean, but raised American. She is a Christian, and generally an optimist, but confused by her feelings for this guy she has never really met.

On February 18, 2008, Erin's friend, Tim, on the east coast called this morning, and I told him she wasn't here but planned to be here this afternoon. He said to tell her that he called. She called in the afternoon and I told her. She came here after making a trip to Fred Meyer. We talked and listened to music while she hoped he would go online so they could IM each other. I wrote a poem out by hand to send Christina for her birthday. I also drew a map of Sam's village from my novel. When I got back to my room after supper, Erin was using my phone and talking to Tim. At first, I didn't realize what she was doing. Her head was laying over on top of my wireless keyboard, and I asked her if she was OK. After a few more sentences I realized she wasn't talking to me. Her head was laying on my cell phone. It looked awfully uncomfortable, so I moved the stuff she was laying on and held the phone to her cheek. Then I sat down and held it for her until she was done, another 45 minutes. She was apparently comfortable enough leaning over the side of her chair. At some point, I realized that this was the longest time I had had skin to skin contact with another person since my last wife left. I had forgotten how much I missed that part of family life. It's not the first time I've touched her: I've helped put her shoe back on twice, I tried putting a pierced earring back on her ear once (I wasn't confident I wouldn't actually poke her, so I gave it up), and I held the phone for her for a short call the day before to Tim.

On February 19, 2008, I took my wheelchair down to Fred Meyer after lunch. While I was shopping I experienced quite a bit of dizzyness, making me have to concentrate just to steer down the grocery aisles. I bought a comb (couldn't find one I know is at home), some greasless hair stuff, a half dozen cinnamon/raisin bagels, and a Beatles CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. I was going to get postage stamps, and I even asked the checkout lady if she had postage stamps, but my thinking was so muddled by my condition that I didn't make sure I got them (I wasn't charged for them either). I phoned for a taxi, ate one of my bagels, and waited over two hours for the taxi, then cancelled the taxi and headed home on my own as I was feeling better. But once I was home, I began getting dizzy again. I checked my blood sugar and it was OK, even a little high. I laid down until supper. I didn't have an appetite, but ate enough to get by. After that, I felt good enough to sing karaoke for a couple of hours before returning to my room.

On February 20, 2008, Marty drove me to the podiatrist's office in the morning. His assistant soaked my toenails in something to soften them, then trimmed my nails. At one of the nails she snipped off a bit of skin, too, and the toe started bleeding, and wouldn't stop for a while no matter what she did. She apologized for the fact that it wouldn't stop. I told her it might be her fault it started to bleed, but it's obviously my fault it won't stop. I told her, "This is exactly why they don't want me doing it myself." The doctor checked my toes and said one of them was the best he had seen it, and didn't say anything about the one I bandage, but trimmed some callused skin from it.

In the evening, I went out on the front porch and took photos of the total lunar eclipse. Also took photos of the constellation of Orion.

On February 21, 2008, I went to Elderplace for my regular visit. The doctor and nurse checked me out because of my dizzy spells on Tuesday. They checked my blood pressure laying, sitting and standing, several times. The doctor didn't seem to think it was my blood pressure or my blood sugar. She did say she might reduce medications for both. She checked my ears and had a nurse to an electrocardiogram. My regular nurse checked my toes.

On February 25, 2008, I was taken to Providence Hospital for an ultrasound on my neck arteries. It wasn't painful at all, unlike previous ultrasounds.

On February 26, 2008, I finished reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". I took me three days.

On February 27, 2008, At suppertime, I experienced some dizzyness. When I went back to my room and began to work at my computer, it got worse so that I had to lie down.

MARCH 2008

On March 4, 2008, I went to Elderplace for my regular visit. I was not seen in the clinic, but I got my first official RAFT training session from Leslie. I showed her how to play Mah Jong. After supper, I made a trip in my wheelchair to Fred Meyer to try to find a small TV for my room. What I found was too expensive. I bought a Star Wars novel, "Legacy of the Force: Exile".

On March 5, 2008, Ed came over. I talked him into taking me to GoodWill. I bought a 13" color TV for $10 (got a 10% Senior discount). Then, after stopping at Ed's house we went to Taco Bell at San Rafael for supper. We watched two Star Wars DVDs until Winda reminded me there was a visiting hours limit.

On March 7, 2008, After lunch, I was driven to the Oregon clinic, where they set me up with and instructed me in the use of a 'King of Hearts' heart monitor. Ed came over after I got home and we watched "Slipstream" on DVD. I finally finished reading "Curious Lives: Adventures from the Ferret Chronicles".

On March 11, 2008, A bearing for one of the wheels on my wheelchair disintegrated leaving little ball bearings rolling around the bathroom floor. I took my walker to Elderplace and reported it.

On March 14, 2008, Someone from Elderplace picked up my wheelchair for repair and left a loaner chair with me.

On March 21, 2008, The people from Elderplace returned my wheelchair with the bearing replaced and a new screw to fasten the corner of my seat.

On March 28, 2008, We had snow on the ground again this morning. It was gone in the afternoon. Christina reported that she didn't get up early enough in Salem to see snow, but they had hail in the afternoon. 'Global Warming' is a flop.

On March 31, 2008, Erin visited, went on E-Bay, and bought a laptop computer for herself to be delivered by the end of the week.

APRIL 2008

On April 1, 2008, While at Elderplace, I used their computer to write a poem, Signs of Spring, and e-mailed it to myself.

On April 3, 2008, Ed came over and took me to Costco where he used his card and paid for my purchases of 100 postage stamps, 36 cans of Pepsi, and a large box of shredded wheat cereal for snacking. When we got home, I wrote out a check to cover it.

On April 5 and 6, 2008, I watched General Conference broadcast on Channel 11. It was very good. It was the first Conference with President Monson as Prophet.

On April 7, 2008, Vicky, the Elderplace bus driver picked up my King of Heart's monitor in the morning to return it to the Oregon Clinic. I was glad to be rid of it though I didn't learn anything from it since I did not have any dizzy spells while wearing it.

On April 19, 2008, I rearranged my room a bit more by cannibalizing my computer desk, setting my computer CPU under the window, putting my keyboard and monitor on a small set of drawers for a new moveable desk, and taking the old computer desk and making a shelf over the foot of my bed for the TV. After a lot of struggle, it worked the way I wanted it. I began having trouble keeping a connection to the Internet.

On April 24, 2008, I sold my old HP Pavillion ze4900 laptop for $60 (it would no longer load Windows because of a failing Hard Drive). I checked my bank balance and ordered a USB NTSC Tuner/DVR from so I will be able to hook up my computer to the Caple TV and watch TV on on my flat screen monitor. In the afternoon, I took my wheelchair down to Fred Meyer. I bought ink cartridges for my printer, a large bag of filberts from the bulk section, a bag of blueberry bagels, a small jar of chunky peanut butter, and a box of Kashi shredded wheat (the food was for snacking).

MAY 2008

On May 11, 2008, Ed and I went to the Stark Street 10 Cinema to see Iron Man. It was good. Afterward, we went to Blockbuster where I bought a Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium DVD. We went to Walgreens where I bought a 14" tower fan for my room.

On May 14-18, 2008, We had a 5-day heat wave here. Temperatures were around 90 degrees.

On May 18, 2008, Ed and I went to the Stark Street 10 Cinema to see Nim's Island. It was good.

On May 19, 2008, I went to Elderplace, finished two jigsaw puzzles on their computer, and was interviewed by someone from the Activities and my Social Worker for the semi-annual evaluation.

On May 21, 2008, My county caseworker came to the house for my yearly evaluation for Medicare, etc. She helped me finish some paperwork they had sent me.

On May 22, 2008, I was driven to the Troutdale Vision Clinic for an eye examination. My right eye is 20/20 with my glasses. My left eye has "epiretinal fibrosis superior to the macula". The doctor says they can do nothing about it. He says there is no sign of diabetes in my eyes. I picked a new frame for my next glasses and the doctor made adjustments to them to make them fit my face.

On May 28, 2008, Ed and I went to the Stark Street 10 Cinema to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls. It tied up loose ends from the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie.

On May 29, 2008, I went to the Podiatrist's office where he debrided my toe, diagnosed athlete's foot on my left foot and wrote two prescriptions, one for the athlete's foot and one for high topped diabetic shoes for more ankle support.

On May 30, 2008, Everyone from the Foster Home were picked up by the Tri-Met Lift bus and taken to the Hometown Buffet in East Portland near I-205. We stuffed ourselves. I had mac and cheese, a form of spanish rice, corn, and a dumpling. I also had potato salad, pea salad, and chopped egg, and stirred them together, but I couldn't finish that. For dessert, I had a strawberry sundae. We were picked up by the bus (a little late) and driven home after the driver picked up someone else along the way and dropped her off.

JUNE 2008

On June 5, 2008, I cut my hair to 1/8".

On June 6, 2008, My daughter, Christina, graduated from McKay High School.

On June 8, 2008, I went to Church. I began feeling dizziness and sweating during the last meeting. My blood sugar was OK. I received a blessing at the hands of my home teacher and began feeling better. I was back to normal by the time I got home.

On June 9, 2008, Ed came over in the morning, and we went to see "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" at the theater after lunch. Afterward, he drove with me to Lake Oswego to check on a job. Then, he dropped me off at Gateway Transit Center so He could take a family member to the doctor. I took the MAX to the Gresham TC and a bus home, a bit late for supper.

On June 14, 2008, I visited Sis. Farrier with the Missionaries.

On June 15, 2008, Today was Father's Day as well as my 60th birthday. My Priesthood Lesson was swapped to the last Sunday in July to accomodate a Joint assembly. My Home Teacher visited me in the afternoon.

On June 18, 2008, In the evening, tooth pain developed into a noticable abcess in my lower left jaw.

On June 19, 2008, At breakfast the gums at my lower left jaw were swollen and filled with pus. Winda phoned Elderplace and left a message for my nurse. My nurse called back shortly before 5 pm and said they would send someone out the next day to check on me.

On June 20, 2008, A nurse came out and checked the abscess in my jaw, which was already getting better. She phoned and talked to my doctor, who said they wanted to see me at the clinic. They sent a transport to pick me up. The doctor agreed with me that I needed an antibiotic. They sent me home again. The antibiotic, penicillin, arrived in time for me to begin taking it at 8 pm (4x a day for a week).

On June 24, 2008, I went to Elderplace, and was then taken to Geriatric Dental where they took X-rays and located the abcesses. They decided they wanted to pull three teeth when my current antibiotic regimen was done. They wanted me to get an appointment for 8:30 am and have a good breakfast. I was taken back to Elderplace, and then home.

On June 25, 2008, I was taken to a Hanger's appointment where I was fitted for my new shoes. It took longer than expected, so when I got back to Elderplace, I was two hours late for lunch and my ride home was waiting for me. Someone made me up a sack lunch that I ate on the way home.

On June 29, 2008, After wearing my new shoes all day, because of Church, I noticed a blister on my left little toe. Winda told me not to wear the new shoes again until I was seen by the doctor.

JULY 2008

On July 1, 2008, I Went to Elderplace at my usual time. The nurse looked at my blistered toe and told me they would have to have the shoes stretched in the toe area before I could wear them. Then after lunch I was taken to my Podiatrist's office where he debrided the ulcer on my toe. Then I was taken home in time for supper.

On July 3, 2008, Nearly $150 less than usual was deposited in my account from SSD due to an IRS garnishment. I went ahead and paid Winda the usual amount, but waited to find out how much to pay SPD.

On July 4, 2008, In the evening, Steve Lowder picked me up for a BBQ at his place. The Belshes were there, too. We had BBQ chicken (well I had a hot dog), potato salad, lemonade. After eating, we played a new card game called "Golf". Then we went inside and watched the Olympic trials for running on a wide-screen TV, and we caught some replay of the firework display at Fort Vancouver before Steve took me home by 11 pm. Both Winda and Dan were up working when I got there.

On July 6, 2008, I Went to Church. After lunch, Steve and I took Sis. Farrier the sacrament. Then we went to interview with Br. McCarthy about our Home Teaching families. I got home in time for supper.

On July 7, 2008, Ed came over and we watched "Gettysburg", a DVD movie he had bought for us.

On July 11, 2008, I was driven to Geriatric Dental where they extracted three teeth. I was put on "no hard food" and not allowed to spit, smoke, or suck through a straw for three days.

On July 15, 2008, I visited Elderplace as usual and asked the doctor to see me because of my teeth. I thought the dentist had wanted a preventative antibiotic after my extraction, but apparently he didn't order it. On examination, however, my doctor said she thought she saw pus and ordered another week-long dose of penicillin.

On July 17, 2008, To my surprise, an Elderplace driver interupted our breakfast asking for me. Apparently, I had a optometry appointment. When he called back to verify, it turned out it was a dental appointment. He went and picked up someone else while I got ready. On the way, He found out that it was a Dental cleaning appointment at Elderplace. I had not prepared for a stay through lunch and had to ask someone there to provide my noon Metformin. I thought it was an odd time to schedule a dental cleaning as my gums were still hurting from the extractions.

On July 20, 2008, I went to Church and led the Priesthood lesson on Obedience in High Priest Group.

On July 23, 2008, Steve and I went Home Teaching in the evening. We visited with one of our regular families. We contacted the home of a new assignee who apparently is not interested in the Church, though baptized as a child.

On July 25, 2008, I had an appointment with Hangers about my orthopedic shoes. Then I was taken to Elderplace for the rest of the day.

On July 26, 2008, I rearranged my room.

On July 27, 2008, I went to Church. After lunch, my home teacher came and visited me.


On August 4, 2008, I went to see my Podiatrist.

On August 17, 2008, I went to Church. I taught the lesson: "Establishing the Cause of Zion" in High Priest Group.

On August 24, 2008, I went to Church.


On September 8, 2008, I was picked up at 11 am and taken to Elderplace so a nurse practitioner could check out the abcess on my elbow. it was decided I would be sent to an oncologist for further assessment of it.

On September 10, 2008, I went to an oncology appointment to have a doctor check out the abcess on my elbow. He said it was a subcutaneous cyst. After which, I was taken to Elderplace for a Dental appointment which did not occur until the last few minutes before my bus was to leave. It was my folk's 61st anniversary, so I phoned them and talked to both of them.

On September 11, 2008, In the morning, I took my wheelchair on the bus to Blockbuster video at Troutdale. I bought "National Treasure 2" and "Nim's Island" DVD's. After lunch, someone came from Elderplace and swapped a "new" (had scratches and a missing spacer for the handwheel) wheelchair for my old one. I was told it was "mine" as long as I need it, but it belongs to Elderplace. After he left, I took the new wheelchair to Fred Meyer for a test and bought some snack foods.

On September 13, 2008, Winda treated everyone in the home to the Hometown Buffet. We took a Tri-Met Lift bus there and back.

On September 14, 2008, I went to Church. The Priesthood lesson was "Revelation and the Living Prophet".

On September 17, 2008, The oncologist said my elbow was healing fine and shouldn't need any more work from him.

On September 21, 2008, I went to Church. I taught the lesson: "The Great Plan of Salvation" in High Priest Group. My home teacher came and home taught me in the evening.

On September 22, 2008, I rearranged my room.

On September 23, 2008, Larry drove me and we attended a Priesthood Leadership meeting. We were instructed on how to teach the lessons.

On September 24, 2008, I was taken to Elderplace for a Dental appointment where they cleaned the lower half of my teeth.


On October 4 - 5, 2008, I watched all the General Conference sessions on TV.

On October 9, 2008, I rearranged my room by swapping my futon with my computer desk.

On October 10, 2008, I visited Elderplace and sang karaoke before lunch. My weight was down to 318.1 pounds, a record low for nearly twenty years.

On October 11, 2008, I rearranged my room swapping the shelves that were in my closet for the black filing cabinet, giving me more space in my closet for hanging clothes.

On October 12, 2008, I went to Church and after returning home for lunch, went with Steve to home teach one of our families.

Samudra, the Oregon Zoo's Newest Elephant
see My Zoo Photos

On October 14, 2008, Ed showed up at 9 am, as planned, and drove to the Oregon Zoo. The weather was perfect. We went down the Great Northwest Trail and viewed the mountain goats, black bears, bobcat, bald eagle, Cascade Streams exhibit, and the mountain lions. We passed the Trillium farm and checked out the bull elk. From there we viewed the polar bear, the sun bears, the Frogs of the World exhibit, the baby Warty Pigs (look like big chipmunks), and the baby elephant, Samudra. We had lunch at the AfriCafe (hot dog, chips, and soda). Then we went on to Africa. We passed where they were doing construction on the new African Carnivores exhibit (formerly the Alaska Tundra exhibit). We saw the hippos, zebras, gazelles, giraffe, antelope, turtles and lizard. We went through the African Flooded Forest and the Bat Cave. After we visited the tigers, we headed back up to the Main Entrance. I shopped for souvenirs for the people at my home and bought a beetle pendant for myself. I took 163 photos.

On October 15, 2008, A physical therapist from Elderplace visited after breakfast and evaluated my physical abilities.

On October 17, 2008, I went for my regular visit to Elderplace where I sang karaoke before lunch. After supper, I took my wheelchair down to Fred Meyer, where I bought the DVD of Indiana Jones IV and a microphone for my own karaoke machine. While resting at the bottom of the hill. Erin, from Norma's home, came along in her power chair and we visited. We continued to visit on the way to my place, and I returned the Harry Potter book I had borrowed from her.

On October 18, 2008, Larry drove me and another couple to the Portland Temple where we helped with baptisms for the dead. One of the missionaries performed the baptisms, several members were proxies, and I was one of the witnesses. It was my first time to see the baptismal font in the temple since the Open House tour before it was dedicated in 1989.

On October 19, 2008, I went to Church and led the Priesthood lesson: "Stand Fast in the Storms of Life" in High Priest Group.

On October 20, 2008, I had the opportunity to give blood to the Red Cross. Ed picked me up. It was a nice drive. I had not given blood since 1995 due to my blood pressure. It was 124/76. Ed waited an hour for me after he was through. As it was already supper time when I finished, I phoned Winda to say Ed and I would eat something before we headed home. We both had the Monday special at KFC.

On October 21, 2008, Through I ordered a set of CD+G Karaoke disks to use with my karaoke machine.

On October 22, 2008, Steve and I picked up a Sister from the Church and drove her to a doctor's appointment and let her fill a prescription before taking her home again. I was about 45 minutes late for supper, but my blood sugar level was OK.

On October 23, 2008, Steve and I picked up the same Sister and drove her to Fred Meyer in the afternoon. I took the opportunity to buy some snack food for myself. In the evening, we went back over to her place, home taught her and gave her a blessing of comfort.

On October 25, 2008, I had been having pain in my right foot for over a week, but it was becoming very difficult to put my weight on it any more. I'm thinking it is either arthritis or a return of fractured bone in my foot from 29 years ago.

On October 26, 2008, Winda phoned and left a message for Sana, my nurse, but didn't get a call back from her. So after supper, she phoned the after hours number and was told a doctor would call back within 20 minutes. Two hours later, Dr. Kruse phoned me and I filled her in on what was going on with my foot. She suggested a cold pack and would leave a message for my doctor at Elderplace.

On October 27, 2008, I was picked up at 11 am and taken to Elderplace. After lunch, I was seen by my doctor and nurse. They told me I would need X-rays taken of my foot and to stay off of it. I also asked the doctor about my being able to administer my own medications. She said she would start that ball rolling.

My Karaoke Machine

On October 28, 2008, I was picked up at 1 pm and taken to The Providence Professional Plaza for my X-Rays. I was brought home again by 3 pm. I voted (for McCain/Palin) and got the karaoke CD+gs that I had ordered.

On October 29, 2008, I was picked up at 2:30 pm and taken to be seen by my Podiatrist. He said my X-Rays showed no damage to the bones, so he suspects Charkot's Syndrome, damage to my ligaments and muscles due to my diabetic neuropathy. He applied and aircast to my right foot. I was returned home by 4:20 pm.

On October 31, 2008, I went to Elderplace for my usual visit. I took my own karaoke machine this time and used it for about half an hour.


On November 2, 2008, I was up until 2:30 am, then reset my wall clock, alarm clock, and wristwatch to 1:30 pm.
I finished reading "A Second Chance at Eden" by Peter F. Hamilton, a Science Fiction novel.

On November 3, 2008, My daughter phoned me for the first time since she and her mother left. She said her friends said she should "since it had been such a long time" (8 years). We talked for an hour until the friend's phone's battery went dead.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama was elected to be President of the United States by an electoral landslide. I was very disappointed.

On November 6, 2008, In the afternoon, I was taken to be seen by my Podiatrist. He removed the uni-boot dressing and said that the swelling was gone. He told me to continue wearing the air-cast for another week and to see him again in three weeks.

On November 7, 2008, I went to Elderplace for my regular visit. My Doctor and nurse gave me a 6-month evaluation. So did someone from Therapy.

On November 9, 2008, Br. Hall picked me and my wheelchair up and took me to church. Things went well getting around with my wheelchair there. I went to the Stake High Priest Group meeting in the evening.

On November 11, 2008, though it was Veteran's Day, I was taken to Elderplace for a Dental appointment. They cleaned my teeth and put flouride on them.

On November 13, 2008, I got to go without my air-cast for the first time in 2 weeks. In the afternoon, I took my wheelchair down to the US Bank to cash my Salem Electric dividend check (about half a mile). On the way back, I bought a set of three Christmas music CDs and a "Next" DVD at Fred Meyer. From Hollywood Video, I bought 3 DVDs: "Bulletproof Monk", "Inspector Gadget", and "Jack Frost". I made it back home in only two hours.

On November 14, 2008, I was evaluated by the Pharmacist at Elderplace for my ability to be responsible for my own medications.

On November 16, 2008, I went to church. I taught the Priesthood Lesson: "The Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Millenium". After lunch, I went with Br. Hall to tithing settlement. After Supper, Br. Lowder and I home taught two of our assigned families.

On November 20, 2008, before going to sleep, I wrote a poem Shadow of Death that was requested of me in preparation for Sis. Farrier's expected passing. Later that morning, I was told she had passed away.

On November 22, 2008, I rearranged my room.

On November 23, 2008, I went to Church. The messages were mainly on Humility and Gratitude. The choir sang a couple of special musical numbers. After lunch, my home teachers came over, Dan Belcher and Veraun Chipman (new). Then Ed Owen came over and we watched Church videos from DVDs. I wrote a poem THANKSGIVING.

On November 24, 2008, I set up my Christmas tree on top of my dresser, but only added a few ornaments.

On November 25, 2008, Ed Owen came over. After lunch, he drove me to Petco to buy a replacement bulb for my 5-gallon aquarium light. It said it needed a 16 inch flourescent bulb, but they didn't have one (turned out the bulb was 14 inches, but they didn't have one of those either). I had planned to go somewhere else to buy a 5-gallon water bottle to convert into an aquariium, but I found a ten gallon aquarium on sale with everything I needed to make it work, so I bought it instead. While Ed and I watched TV back home, I moved my Christmas tree to a nearby shelf and unpacked the aquarium. After Ed left, I began setting up the new aquarium. I trimmed a board for the base, rinsed out the tank, cleaned the gravel, and filled it 3/4 full with tap water and dechlorinated it. I added some plants from the smaller tank, added more water, and installed the new filter. Later, I added the fish (3 gold fish) and topped off the tank with water from the small tank. The fish seem quite happy (alert) with their new home.

On November 26, 2008, I cleaned and resetup my old fish tank thinking I will probably buy some neon tetras for it. I sexed my goldfish (or I think I did) and named them Peter, Paul, and Mary. Mary has been being chased, has the shortest tail, is a little rounder in the belly, and has an "outie" (otherwise, she looks just like Paul).

On November 27, 2008 - Thanksgiving Day, Steve picked me up at 11 am and took me to his house. I used his karaoke machine and sang until the others arrived and it was time to eat. The Belshe's joined Steve, his sister, son, mother-in-law, and me (8 in all). We had turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gelatin salad, pies, etc. After dinner, we watched a BYU documentary on the rise of the Church in black Africa. Then we played my "Apples to Apples" game. Then we watched Oprah on TV where they were showing what was done by her audience in "paying forward" the thousand dollar gifts she distributed. It was good to see how people can be so charitable, even in these times. Steve drove me home by 4:30 pm. Winda's daughter prepared our supper, Thanksgiving style.

On November 28, 2008, Ed came over and drove me to PetCo. I bought three more goldfish, a flourescent bulb for my small tank, and a weekend food supply in case I go away at Christmas time. We brought the fish back and introduced them to their new environments. Ed stayed and watched "Finding Nemo" with me. I wrote a poem, Tommy True.


On December 1, 2008, Dan and Winda set up a new 32" HD TV in a corner of the dining room. Using a DVD player from another part of the house, we watched "Fly Away Home".

On December 2, 2008, We watched "Ice Age: The Meltdown" on the new HD TV in the morning. The Comcast "Cable Guy" came about 2 pm. He was here to hook up the new 32" TV in the dining room, but when he finally left, it was not working. I examined it and found the cable was not even connected to the TV. I connected it, set up the channels (there are now more channels than our regular TVs get), and set the clock. Some of the regular channels are more or less "snowy" because of the definition of the New TV being so much greater than the signal provides for.

On December 3, 2008, The house got an electric piano. Raymond, Winda's son, can play a little. I wrote a poem, GOLD, FRANKINCENSE, AND MYRRH. My smallest goldfish died. I put her companion in the big tank with the other fish and named him 'Oliver' because he is an orphan.

On December 4, 2008, I was taken to my podiatrist's office by Matthew, who picked me up at 9:15 am, to have my feet looked at, especially the right one, and the doctor said it looked good. My toenails were trimmed, too. I waited with Sarah, from Elderplace, for over an hour for my ride home. Dawn got me home by 12:05 pm.

On December 5, 2008, I went to Elderplace as usual. On my way I saw three deer passing from one nursing home across Roberts Drive and got one photo before they all disappeared. I also got two photos of Mt. St. Helens. I weighed 320.5 lbs, and my blood pressure was 112/64, and my pulse was 60. I sang karaoke (Christmas songs. After lunch, I wheeled to CB's Aquarium shop and bought 8 neon tetras for ten dollars. When I got home, I introduced them to the small tank.

On December 6, 2008, I could only count seven of the eight tetras. I moved four to the large tank and the two smallest goldfish to the small tank. After lunch I went to Mary Lou's memorial service. I didn't get a program. They were only expecting twenty people and at least twice that number showed up. It was very good. A David McKaig (sp?) who had known her for 18 years told us about her. Bishop Ipson spoke of how the gospel affected her life. Afterward, there was a light lunch and I visited with Larry and his wife, mostly his wife. Larry helped the Bishop clean up and set up chairs for Sunday.

On December 7, 2008, I went to Church. It was Fast Sunday. Sunday School was on the first part of Ether. Priesthood was an introduction to the Committees: Preaching the Gospel, Strengthening the Brethren, and Temple Work.

On December 8, 2008, Ed came and he drove me to Dollar Tree where I bought gifts for the household. I also got some white rocks for the bottom of my 5 gallon fish tank and some snacks. We went to Round Table Pizza and had buffet, starting with salad. Then we went to Big Lots where I bought a weather station for my room (indoor temperature and 24 hr weather prediction). We went home and watched three movies. After Ed went home, I changed the stones in the 5 gallon tank.

On December 9, 2008, I wrote a poem, The Star.

On December 11, 2008, In the evening, I was told there was a full moon rising, so I went out on the front porch and took photos.

On December 12, 2008, I went to Elderplace, as usual, except\ that I wore my white shirt and tie. One of the therapists talked to me about what kind of "reacher" I needed. I sang Christmas karaoke using the Elderplace machine. After lunch, Steve picked me up to go home teach a new Ward member. Afterward, Steve gave me a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider, a jar of pistaccio nuts, and a Christmas letter. After I got home, Ed came over and we watched TV together.

On December 13, 2008, It was so cold (65 degrees in my room) that I closed my window. I learned that snow is expected, starting in the evening and several times over the coming week.

On December 14, 2008, a week before Winter officially starts, we got snow, with a promise of more and the below freezing temperatures remaining until Winter starts. I stayed home from Church because of the weather. I decided not to go to Salem for Christmas due to the weather forcast leading up to it.

On December 15, 2008, Ed came over. After lunch, we went to Hollywood Video. I bought four DVD movies: The Golden Compass, Iron Man, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Wall-E, all previously viewed videos. I had only seen Iron Man in the theater. I took photos of the snow while I was out. Dan built a snowman on the deck near the back door so everyone could enjoy it without getting cold. I donated my scarf, my Irish hat, and blue glass stones for the mouth.

On December 17, 2008, A light snow began to fall around 9 am. I rearranged part of my room, Changing my computer desk and storage units. I had to disconnect my computer in the process and was unable to reboot it the rest of the day.

On December 18, 2008, A light snow began to fall around 9 am. It began to fall much thicker an hour later and began to stick even though the temperature was still above freezing (had been all morning). There was a break about noon, then another snow shower in the afternoon. The snowman had lost all its teeth and eyes. I briefly got my computer to show on the monitor by blindly hitting the menu key, down three times and Enter; this loaded the LDS Scriptures program and the screen appeared, but I soon discovered that the wireless wasn't working. I managed to do it again about 9 pm and this time the wireless icon appeared, too.

On December 19, 2008, A light snow fell all morning with the temperature just above freezing. My regular Elderplace appointment was cancelled, as was Martha's yesterday. Ed Owen came over in the afternoon and we watched movies together (Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Golden Compass).

On December 20, 2008, I woke to falling snow. The morning weather report said it was just the foreshadowing of a big storm coming. The snow increased during the day. At 7 pm, I got a phone call saying that Church was cancelled for the next day. I phoned my home teaching families to let them know.

On December 21, 2008, First Day of Winter, Sunday: The official time of the Winter Solstice is 4:04 am PST. Shortly after midnight, the mixed rain and snow reached us while the temperature was still only 18o F. Freezing rain set in about 1 am. I went to bed. At breakfast, there was a light freezing rain. Dan built a new snowman, even bigger than the last one. I took my walker out into the snow and got halfway to the corner before turning around and coming back. I took some outdoor photos, including the front of the house. In the late afternoon, the snow resumed.

My Home, Winda's Adult Foster Care - December 21, 2008

On December 22, 2008, The snow was still falling. I got an e-mail from my daughter. The iciness is spoiling her plans to hang with her friends today, but otherwise, she has been enjoying the weather. I took photos of the street and created a panorama. Ed Owen managed to get here at noon and we watched two movies, Iron Man and The Wind and the Lion. He made it home with only some trouble waiting for others to get unstuck in two places. After he left, I worked on my website converting several pages of my autobiography to yearly pages. My daughter sent me a paragraph to add to the page I have about her and I added that as well as updating her photos.

My Street, SE Paropa Place - December 22, 2008

On December 23, 2008, Before going to bed, I ordered a 5 MP web cam (blue, of course) from It should arrive the first week in January. I got about 4 yours sleep before getting up for breakfast. Ed came and watched The Sword of the Valiant and NEXT with me. I recieved my monthly batch of medications and counted and sorted them.

On December 24, 2008: Christmas Eve, The snow was falling again by the time I got up (6:45 am). I shaved a week and a half of whiskers. I connected a USB hub to the front of my computer. After breakfast, I took a bath. I tried phoning Mom but got no answer. I sang karaoke for a couple of hours. After lunch, I napped, then I phoned and talked with Mom and Dad. Jim says he will be seeing them in the evening in spite of the weather. No one has heard from Ernie lately. After supper, we opened presents. I got a knit shirt (horizontally striped) and a pair of olive green exercise pants.

On December 25, 2008: Christmas Day, At 9 am, with the temperature outside finally up to 32o F, we had another snow shower. I sang karaoke. After lunch I took a nap. The snow came down harder for a while, then quit. Ed phoned me. I uploaded the photos in my camera to my computer. After supper, I worked on my website.

On December 26, 2008, It was 33o F when I got up for breakfast. It was up to 37o F before I took a nap. At lunch it was still the same, No snow seen falling. The trees are mostly bare of snow, but there are deep drifts on the ground. I napped some more and then went on I got an email from my Son. He says he will try to come up and see me after the snow melts. I ordered an HD TV Tuner I will be able to plug into my 19" monitor to watch HDTV (less than $40) from

On December 27, 2008, The temperature rose to 47o F today, and it rained most of the day. The streets still had snow on them, but much reduced with bare ruts where the wheels had passed. Ed dropped by and we watched TV. I hooked up the karaoke machine for the speakers and watched TV on my computer.

Mount Hood Stake Bldg. - LDS Church

On December 28, 2008, The temperature was 51o F when I got up. I got ready for Church, then I went to the front door and took photos of the street. The snow was clear from the street to make it easy for someone to pick me up for Church. After breakfast, Larry and his wife picked me up. There was still fields covered with snow with water puddled on top in some places. The parking lot at Church was cleared except for huge mounds of snow in places. In Sacrament meeting our choir sang the Christmas Cantata (delayed due to the snow) and Brother Frank Card spoke on the meaning of the Symbols of Christmas. In Sunday School, we finished up our discussion of the Book of Mormon. And in Priesthood, Br. Woolner taught the lesson "Pray Always" from the October Conference talk by Elder Bednar. On the way home I took photos of the roads and terrain.

On December 29, 2008, I downloaded and installed a freeware program called AutoHotKey to program macros. Ed came over in the afternoon and we watched TV together. I watched Tin Man in the evening.

On December 30, 2008, Ed came over and we watched Dragon's Horde and Hercules on TV. He drove me to Dollar Tree where I bought some waterless hand cleaner for Margaret and some snacks for me. I got my WebCam. At first I could not figure out how to view the picture, but I found a freeware program called YawCam that works, and I can save stills from it too, but it flashes badly. The pictures are only 640 x 480 pixels.

Ed Owen Eating His Sundae

On December 31, 2008, New Year's Eve, I got an email from the supplier of my WebCam saying that it works with MSN Messenger. I downloaded Windows Live programs, including Messenger and then I was unable to reboot properly until after lunch. Then my computer said it couldn't load Norton because my virus definitions were out of date and I had to wait for my computer to pick up the wireless signal in the house. When it did, I uploaded the lastest Norton stuff and tried to set up Windows Live, but found nothing for viewing my WebCam as I had supposed. Ed came over in the afternoon, bringing me a strawberry sundae. I received my HD TV Tuner in the mail at least five days early. It was a lot smaller than I had imagined. After Ed left, I set it up. I got a picture, and then lost it again. After struggling with the problem most of the evening and watching TV on my regular TV. I unplugged the tuner hoping to reset it and went to bed at 11:30 pm.