Tuesday, December 20, 2011

While I am on the subject of getglue............

Here is the second type of GetGlue widget.

View Russell Fletcher's check-ins on GetGlue

Social Security Disability = less blogging and more GetGlue.com posts

Unfortunately I am now disabled and on Social Security Disability. I have less activity, so I do less blogging and more GetGlue.com posts. Here are some of the GetGlue stickers ready for me.

View Russell Fletcher's stickers on GetGlue

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wow! I won't have to scrounge for quarters to put air in the tires anymore.

I got a big surprise when I went to put air in the car tires tonight.

The 76/Circle K Gas air pump on Hwy 503 in Vancouver WA (Orchards) across the street (north) from Fred Meyer now also accepts credit/debit cards in addition to four quarters.

The air is against the west side of the car wash.  It's unbelievable and wonderful at the same time. Air has a slide for debit/credit cards. 3 minutes/4 quarters or 5 minutes $1.50 by card. It shuts off after 5 minutes without adding more money to your card.  Three minutes is never quite enough time even when I remove the valve caps before I insert the quarters, so this is great.

People in other towns might want to see if the 76/Circle K in their town has this.

Logged from my Android Phone.

Posted via email from PastorDIC's posterous

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Migraine Hell

I'm in migraine hell today - my prescription didn't get rid of it last night. You would think if I managed to live 54 years without getting them I would have managed to escape them but no, this year I had to start getting migraines. Some things you expect to get with age.  Migraines were a little surprise for my middle age, but then I guess idiopathic peripheral neuropathy was another surprise.

At this point I have called in sick. I am just waiting for the two Benadryl to kick in and knock me out so I can sleep through some of this. At least I can post this via my cell phone  so that the light of my computer won't kill my eyes.

You would think that my dog could at least have the courtesy of not snoring here next to me while I wait for sleep.

Posted via email from PastorDIC's posterous

Friday, December 18, 2009

My new Verizon Droid

After about four years my cell phone gave up the ghost so my wife and I got Verizon Droids.  Now I am having fun learning how to use it. This is my first E-mail with it.

Posted via email from PastorDIC's posterous

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Goodbye Dad, see you in heaven

If you read my last post you knew what happened at the airport to affect my dad's health. That put dad in the Intensive Care Unit. Several days after dad got admitted to the ICU he unexpectedly had cardiac arrest and died. It has been a sad time for both my wife and myself. We have missed him a lot in the last two and a half weeks.

As Christians the sadness we have is not one of loss forever, but rather missing him now. With dad, my wife, and I all believing that Jesus is Lord (we should follow his teachings and example instead of our own imperfect thoughts and lives) and that God raised Jesus from the dead for our salvation we will see dad at death or at the return of Jesus Christ.

We have missed dad in a number of ways. We have missed doing things with him. I have lost count of the number of times my wife has started crying because she had picked up the phone to call dad, and then remembered that she couldn't talk to him.

My advice to everyone is two things:
1) Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Regrets are a terrible thing. Even in the last couple of years alone I have had some very good memories with my dad. I wanted to make sure I got to do some things with him. I took him to the Korean War memorial in Wilsonville Oregon and got to take a picture of him in front of the granite wall that had my dad's 7th Division patch (the hourglass) on it. It made him proud. Another thing we got to do: we took him over to the Goldendale Washington observatory. We all had a good time there. I took dad to Hood River Oregon and we went geocaching after a cache called "The Pipeline*", waypoint number GCC51C. At the time you could walk on a huge pipeline coming from Powerdale Dam. You got to walk in the caging system the power company used to repair the pipeline. There was even a section of the original wooden pipeline to splash us with water. I hear a flood washed out part of the pipeline, but there are still other ways to get to the Geocache.

2) Make a commitment to God that Jesus really is Lord and Jesus really was raised from the dead for your salvation. It is bad enough missing someone like my dad who we miss but will see again in heaven. I cannot imagine the loss people must feel over the fact that a loved one has died, and they will never ever see that person again. It must be an empty, lonely existence knowing there is no hope and you won't get to see the person alive again. That doesn't even include your own judgement on Judgement Day, followed by being sent to hell for your sins. We have all done wrong, but there is new life in Jesus Christ.

So with that I say, "Goodbye Dad, see you in heaven." It's much better to say that than "So long and thanks for all the fish." (from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.) I'm looking forward to seeing and talking with dad again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Don't grow old and need oxygen if you fly.

This weekend was a bad, stressful weekend for our family. The Anchorage Veterans Administration clinic got things set up for my father to fly down to Portland, Oregon for some treatment in an area they couldn't handle. Dad gets good medical care from the Veterans Administration. The VA got it set up so that there would be oxygen for him on the plane, giving the airlines plenty of notice and following their other requirements. (You cannot bring your own oxygen any more on a plane. The airlines has to provide it.)

Some idiot from either Alaska Airlines or Continental Airlines decided on their own that dad didn't need oxygen (even though his doctor prescribes 2 liters, 24 hours a day and the VA had the oxygen set up with the airlines.)

Dad got to the airline, found there was no oxygen, got overstressed and had an asthma attack on top of his COPD. Then it progressed to respiratory failure. For a while no one would do anything except poke him to try to see what was going on. The airlines wouldn't help him because his heart was beating, so they wouldn't help him with his breathing. Finally an ambulance came and the EMTs took care of Dad. Because of delayed treatment by the airlines and the testing they did the doctor at the hospital thought dad would show up as brain dead on the CAT scan.

My niece had to go get his power of attorney for health care which said he didn't want any extraneous lifesaving care. They took out his breathing tube and he could breath on his own! (Praise God!) He still wasn't conscious, but he was breathing on his own. Yesterday he woke up and was talking mostly gibberish. Later in the day they did a swallowing test and he could swallow fine. By the evening he could have a conversation on the phone and all but a sentence or two made sense.

I hope Dad continues to progress well, however I am concerned whether or not he will be able to fly down for radiation therapy for his cancer after all this. Who knows if there will be oxygen next time since it had been set up that the airlines would provide the oxygen for him this time and they didn't.

I hope no one else has to go through what we went through.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

North to Alaska

March 5th I am off to Alaska for a week of visiting my dad in Anchorage. I've never been up there since he moved up there a number of years ago, so it should be LOTS of fun. In addition to seeing him I'll see the start of the Ididarod, get to have a nice sled dog ride, and of course do some Geocaching in a state I have never Geocached in before.

Profile for PastorDIC

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Time for a new year's resolution

I just went to my old blog. The date of the last post is embarrassing when you look at today's date, so I just made a new years resolution to start up and keep up my blog again.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Is it life or is it a novel?

I was looking at the books on tape at the library the other day and saw The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. I checked it out of the library and started listening to it.

It took me the first chapter or two to realize that it was a fiction book. It was interesting enough that I kept listening. I listened to seven chapters of it. Something jogged my thoughts and I read the back cover and found out that it is juvenile fiction. It's good so far and I may keep listening.

It doesn't bother me that I'm enjoying juvenile fiction. What bothered me was that I thought that the book was autobiographical. True, maybe the police finding kidnapped William Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck on January 12, 2007 may have been on my mind. It seems like there are a lot of news stories lately about kidnappings, murders and pedophiles.

It is a terrible time when the news is daily filled with multiple murders, rapes, and pediphiles.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Diving into sourdough

Due to my wife now being a prediabetic her doctor has told her that she has to cut down on her bread (as well as pasta, rice, potatoes) etc. I loved baking bread and have a bread machine. Now she is limited to 2 slices of bread a day, and they should be preferably whole grain and sourdough.

We try to keep a sense of humor with my wife having edema, needing to loose weight, having two artificial hips, and needing to avoid diabetes mellitus. We joke that the doctor reduced her diet to bread and water, and now he took that away from her.

I have been investigating sourdough for about a month, and tonight I will be baking sourdough with my newly activated Russian starter from Sourdough International. Look here in my blog for how things go, including recipes I try, new sourdough recipes I create, and old recipes I convert to sourdough.

The 9th of January was my birthday, and I asked if I could get a few bread books. I stopped at three. The books I got were Ed Wood's "Classic Sourdoughs", which is very interesting, Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf, which has wonderful pictures and recipes I am very interested in trying out, and The Laurel's Kitchen Bread book, which I have just glanced at. (Dan Lepard used to be a photographer before he became a baker as well, so there are some wonderful bread pictures in his book.)

Monday, January 1, 2007

A new year can begin with a new day

Happy new year to everyone. May it be a year in which your dreams are fulfilled and you see the greatness of God in your life.

Many people start the new year with New Years resolutions. The reasons range from past disappointments to people wanting to improve themselves.

I run across plenty of negative people that are very vocal in how bad life is, how bad the day is, who are unforgiving as to what others have done to them. It is hard for them to see a way out when their minds are full of these things.

I find that for myself, as hard as it is in the middle of crisis or major disappointment, it is much better to look forward to upcoming good things. When others try to infect you with "things won't get any better" fill your mind with how you would like things to be better or how things might become better. Fill it with prayer, and with praises to God for the good things that have happened in your life. If you let your mind get polluted with others' negatives you only have a more miserable day.

For the sake of argument, let's say that things don't get better in the upcoming day, week, or month. Let's say you were right in your negative thoughts. That does not change the fact that having filled your mind with the positive possibilities and the goodness of God has still made your day, week, or month less miserable than it would have been otherwise. It may also have changed some of your circumstances.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas - be thankful no matter your situation

Everyone reading this blog have a Merry Christmas. May it be a joyous time filled with love for others and hope for better things next year.

They say that around Christmas time there is more depression and suicides than any other time of the year. It is the time of year for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Each of us have things we can be thankful for and things we could be really depressed about.

I choose to be thankful for my wife. I'm thankful for owning a home rather than being homeless. The tree toppling on my house only breaking some eaves instead of splitting the house in two. Gainful employment where I make a good wage. etc. I choose to remember the joy of giving my wife a car for Christmas, of giving the grand kids and nieces presents.

If I wanted to be miserable, disappointed, and unpleasant to be around I would only have to dwell on things happening in December to be truly miserable. A week and a half ago the windstorms weekend a tree and knocked it on my house. The peripheral neuropathy in my legs has gotten worse and I am now I am using a cane. To top it off, last Friday management decided to move my job location from one where things worked well, to one where there it will be more difficult to do my job, where I will have to carpool just to be able to park, and where I will loose $300-$400 per month due to state income tax.

Why go there? Why make myself so unhappy?

It is true that delighting myself with the things that have gone right will not make the bad things go away, but it is equally true that the bad things do not negate the good things unless I let them. I have to make a conscious choice every day (sometimes every hour) to look at the good things in life and not the bad things.

If I didn't have my faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ, this could certainly be a miserable time of year, and a miserable life as well. I chose to try to be thankful all year round and not dwell on the bad of this year or years past. We have to look at the good things and not the bad. This time of year is when I have a tendency to get sick for some reason. However, I chose not to dwell on the worsening neuropathy (and using a cane) this Christmas, getting neuropathy and having to quit pastoring a church last fall, and getting a really bad case of pneumonia one of the previous years.

My hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ and not in my circumstances. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

40 - 50 mph winds 1, house 0.

Last Thursday evening Oregon and Washington had high winds of 40-50 miles per hour in our area. Winds were higher on the coast, and down at Mount Hebo Oregon the wind even got up to 110 mph.

About 9:30 pm Thursday night we heard one loud crack and a tree came down on our eaves and roof. We had to bend down to get out of the house. Fortunately the tree only broke the front eave and a bunch of the gutter. We spent much of the day trying to find someone to give us an estimate to take the tree down from our house and cart it away. They won't be over until tomorrow and the estimator won't be over until Tuesday. It seems like a lot of other people have the same problem from the wind and the rain.

Even though things range from irritating to mildly frustrating we have a lot to be thankful for. We didn't get flooded. We don't have rain coming down in our house. We still have our roof. No tree has totaled our house like trees did some houses. We weren't killed or injured.

Praise God for what we do have and what didn't happen to us. Praise God for our not being injured or killed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My early Christmas present to my wife was a great success!

My wife is like a little kid when it comes to Christmas presents. She has to have at least one present well before December 24/25. This year her early Christmas was a big success.

I got my wife a Digital Photo Frame. You transfer digital pictures to it and then have a slideshow of your digital pictures. You can also include sound and video. The pictures look as good as a printed picture. In fact, it is much nicer than a bunch of printed photographs that you have looked at two or three times and then relegated to a box in a closet somewhere.

With the Digital Photo Frame we get to see pictures of family. We get to see pictures of vacations. We get to see pictures of day trips to take a ride somewhere. We get to see pictures of geocaches. We even get to see pictures of silly people at work. We get to see pictures of our pets.

Setup was simple, especially with the easy start guide that was included in the one we got. There is a lot of memory for many pictures, and there are more memory ports than I know what to do with. The ports include a USB port for my thumb drive, and SD and XD ports for the cards from our digital cameras.

The worst part of the entire photo frame is pretty funny. I will take a break from using my laptop and my slideshow screensaver will show up. Pretty soon I will hear "You need to put that picture in my photo frame". Fortunately with all the memory there is room for lots of pictures.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Carl's Starter never started

It has been over a year since I have baked bread. First, I was trying to cut down on bread to lose weight. Then my wife was diagnosed as borderline diabetic and she had to cut down on everything made with flour. Unfortunately, I never saved some of my starter.

Recently I had enough of being without homemade bread. I could make the bread, cut back on the amount I ate, and freeze the rest. A few days ago, I decided to start the sample of Carl Griffith's 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter sample I had received recently from http://www.carlsfriends.org/ and was without success. I carefully followed the instructions, and even had my wife double test the temperature of the water for me. It just sat there no matter how much I pampered it and stirred it for days. When it did not work, I made it thinner and then tried adding warmer water. Nothing worked.

Has anyone used Carl Sourdough Starter with success, and it is it good sourdough? I do not know. I don't know if it is it worth waiting and getting a new sample of Carl's, or should I buy a commercial one, such as from The Baker's Catalog, or one of those San Francisco ones. I live in Battle Ground WA and have not been able to find any place to purchase a starter locally.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Two versions of The Past Through Tomorrow

The other day I was thinking about how advanced that Star Trek (the original series) was in predicting science innovations. Too bad the more recent versions of Star Trek have not been as innovative. The original Star Trek series was like one version of The Past Through Tomorrow. (What we see now and what we may see in the future).

Some of the things science has come up with that were portrayed on TV are as follows:
*Dr. McCoy's hypo spray = needleless vaccination guns used in hospitals.
*Captain Kirk's handheld computer on the bridge = Microsoft's Tablet PCs.
*Captain Kirk's communicator = cell phones minus miniature bomb & locator.
*Motion sensors in ships doors = pocket doors in hospitals & grocery stores.

The other version of The Past Through Tomorrow that comes to mind is a book of short stories of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein. It is my favorite science fiction book and even though there are plenty of other things to read, I have to reread it every year or two.

The short stories in The Past Through Tomorrow work together as a timeline, and the timeline is published in some editions of the book.

Every time I read the book, I find myself sympathizing with the same characters, rooting for them, etc., even though I know about the final outcome of the stories I remember.

I do not like every story, but when was the last time you bought a music CD and liked every song on it?

Even though both the book and Star Trek are written from the perspective of being in the future when it was written, Star Trek is much more perceptive on scientific inventions to come. The Past Through Tomorrow is not only wrong in some cases, it goes in a different direction. Many of the stories are as much human interest stories as they are science fiction stories. The wrong directions really do nothing to detract from the stories.

In the US, as far as I know, the book has always been published in one volume. In the UK, the book was split and published in two volumes. When buying thy book you have to make sure whether you are buying the entire book, Vol. I or Vol. II.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Geocaching; PastorDIC handle

You might have noticed the small yellow, green, blue, and orange banner to the right of this post mentioning Geocaching. That is my favorite hobby. It even surpasses bread baking (although I might be a more active bread baker if my weight allowed it).

Geocaching is a family friendly hobby where you go to find the location of a geocaching treasure, use a GPS (Global Positioning System) such as the Garmin GPSMap 60Cx GPS. The GPS is a special receiver that uses satellites to locate where you are and where the "geocache" treasure is. Once you find the geocache you sign the logbook in the cache, and if you want to, trade something in the cache for something you brought with you to place in the cache. Once you get back home you log your find online. It is a good way to get some exercise, find new places you didn't know where there, and a good excuse to take a nice drive. The treasures are rated 1-5 in difficulty and 1-5 in terrain.

Even though I have 658 Geocaching finds, I haven't done much caching lately. I now have neuropathy in my legs, which is very painful. The doctors are trying to figure out what to do with me since there is no surgery to help. Some days exercise will help the pain, but many days I just hurt too bad to even think about getting exercise.

Many Geocachers I meet ask if I am a real pastor because of my PastorDIC username. I pastored a house church - Divine Inspiration Church (DIC) - and was one of the leaders of a house church network for several years until I developed small fiber peripheral neuropathy. Because of this condition I had to stop preaching and leading church.