Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finally a new car

I waited for the 2011 Honda Element to be released before I bought a car because I wanted to compare the 2010 to the 2011 just in case there wee improvements and upgrades.

The 2011 Honda Element turned out to be even less a vehicle than the 2010 model and had only downgrades. So I bought a late 2010 model from a dealership in Wilsonville, Oregon. It has been a wonderful car so far and I am glad I bought it. Not an ideal car for a wheelchair person, but quite usable when comparing the small number of available models for people who need a two door kind of car. I am adjusting to the car and making modifications as I use the car more and more.

Honda recently announced that the Element will no longer be built after April 2011. The model is being eliminated. So I am glad I got the model and color that I wanted while still available.

I have been pretty much negligent in updating my blog lately and will try to do better in 2011.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More TV Commercials

Just when the Political ads ended on TV we are now swamped with Christmas ads. Man....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Day

What a surprising day for early November. Mid 60's this afternoon and no rain for a couple days now.

Last week was heavy rain all week and now is supposed to be dry and sunny for several days. The mornings are quite dark and the days are short this time of year so it is a welcome break to get fantastic days like today once in a while.

The autumn leaves are great in downtown Corvallis right now, so if you get an opportunity to walk along the riverfront this is the time. I took these photos shortly before 5:00 PM today.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tired of Political Ads

I will be glad when the election is over. The political ads on TV are so negative and everybody running for any office is made to look like a dishonest crook by his opponent.

I know who I going to vote for and the ballot measures I support and those which I do not support. I have read the voters guide and have made decisions based on what I hope to happen in Oregon and the U.S. Congress.

There are way too many political ads and they are almost all negative. People running say bad things about the other guy instead of telling us what he will do to when he gets into office.

Just short of three weeks and the election will be over... whew.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Honda Element

I decided to buy a 2011 Honda Element but the new models are not yet released. Seems all the new Honda 2011 models are out except for the Element. This photo is a 2010 Element.

I could buy a 2010 model but I was hoping they might come out with cloth seats and a solid color paint that covers the entire vehicle in 2011. I don't like the black piece in back of the car. It would be so much better if it was painted the same color as the rest of the car. I am also not fond of the pseudo-plastic washable seats.

Tomorrow is October 1st, so maybe Honda is waiting to release the 2011 car in October? Maybe November? Maybe even December. I plan to wait until the release date whenever that occurs.

I can't even find any sneak peak information about possible 2011 Element in internet searches. Maybe Honda isn't doing anything at all to the 2011's so that might be why there is nothing.

Might as well wait until the 2011's finally get released. It is quite late in the year to buy a 2010. If there are no changes I can probably still find a 2010 at a discount.

Honda has released many of their 2011 models by now, but not the 2011 Element.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Went to Denver

I went to Denver last week to see my son and his family and my grandchildren.

I sure enjoyed seeing everyone and I miss my son and his family. I seldom travel because it is so difficult when one lives in a wheelchair and cannot walk even one step. I cannot even stand up because my legs are missing... My legs remained in Vietnam and the rest of me came back home.

I took a few pictures of Denver and a lot of pictures of the grandchildren. I do not usually post photos of family or people on my blog. Sometimes, but rarely.

It was hot in Colorado compared to our cold summer in Oregon. It was mid to high 90's every day. We have had very few hot days in Oregon this summer. I have lived in Oregon for 20 years and this is the coldest summer I have seen in that time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Chevy

I am still recovering from the wreck of my old Honda Accord last September.

I sold my 2010 Toyota Tacoma and am now driving this 2005 Chevy Monte Carlo. It works just OK for my needs as a wheelchair person, but I think I am going to keep looking for something that works out better. So I most likely will sell this Chevy as well.

I am waiting for 2011 vehicles to be released. It is a little difficult to find much information about 2011's on line right now. There is some information but not what I need. I suppose the car companies keep this information secret until they are ready to sell the new models.

The Chevy works out fine for the time being. But I am almost sure that I will buy a new vehicle before Christmas.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Solstice

Yesterday was the first day of summer 2010. Sure feels nice to have a bit warmer weather after such a wet and cold spring.

Oregon had a record wet and cold April, May and June. It looks like the weather is finally beginning to turn toward summer.

Every time I put away my long sleeve shirts I find that I need to get them out again the very next day. I again put them away and so far yesterday and today I have kept them on the shelf. Whew....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Field - Copy of Signed Original

McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915. Here is the story of the making of that poem:

Although he had been a doctor for years and had served in the South African War, it was impossible to get used to the suffering, the screams, and the blood here, and Major John McCrae had seen and heard enough in his dressing station to last him a lifetime.

As a surgeon attached to the 1st Field Artillery Brigade, Major McCrae, who had joined the McGill faculty in 1900 after graduating from the University of Toronto, had spent seventeen days treating injured men -- Canadians, British, Indians, French, and Germans -- in the Ypres salient.

It had been an ordeal that he had hardly thought possible. McCrae later wrote of it:

"I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done."

One death particularly affected McCrae. A young friend and former student, Lieut. Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, had been killed by a shell burst on 2 May 1915. Lieutenant Helmer was buried later that day in the little cemetery outside McCrae's dressing station, and McCrae had performed the funeral ceremony in the absence of the chaplain.

The next day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Canal de l'Yser, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, McCrae vented his anguish by composing a poem. The major was no stranger to writing, having authored several medical texts besides dabbling in poetry.

In the nearby cemetery, McCrae could see the wild poppies that sprang up in the ditches in that part of Europe, and he spent twenty minutes of precious rest time scribbling fifteen lines of verse in a notebook.

A young soldier watched him write it. Cyril Allinson, a twenty-two year old sergeant-major, was delivering mail that day when he spotted McCrae. The major looked up as Allinson approached, then went on writing while the sergeant-major stood there quietly. "His face was very tired but calm as we wrote," Allinson recalled. "He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave."

When McCrae finished five minutes later, he took his mail from Allinson and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the young NCO. Allinson was moved by what he read:

"The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."

In fact, it was very nearly not published. Dissatisfied with it, McCrae tossed the poem away, but a fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915.

This Memorial Day entry is taken from the internet thanks to the Arlington National Cemetery.

I thank Arlington National Cemetery for providing such a great rendition of Flanders Fields. Indeed one of the best poems ever written about war. It brings tears to my eyes every year when I re-read it for Memorial Day.

Arlington  National Cemetery Website Top Banner 3

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day is only one month away. It is almost May and Memorial Day is coming on May 31st.

Here is the complete letter to my local paper that I submitted in 2009. Everything still applies and my beliefs have not changed for 2010.

Memorial Day is a day when we remember friends and neighbors who lost their lives in war. And it is also a day when we remember other members of our families who lived among us but have died. It is a time when we teach important lessons to our children about who they are and where they came from. Their ancestors.
I am a Vietnam War combat veteran and I served as an infantry rifleman with the 1st Cavalry Division. We lived like animals in rice paddies and jungles. Dug a foxhole every night and lived out in the elements. Bugs, leeches and torrential rains. I saw a lot of people die on all sides. I tell friends that I will be in attendance at Memorial Day services. They reply "I can see why you would do that" They are on their way to spend a long weekend camping or just picnicking and sleeping in. Why is it that people think that only veterans should attend these services? Everybody needs to be at these things. This year please bring your kids. I see way too few kids on Memorial Day. Teach them why the day is observed. Show them the graves of their ancestors and tell them who those people were. Tell them how they they came to be in this world in the first place. They are descended from those who came before and these are the graves of those people. Tell them. I will see you at the Benton Veteran's Memorial for services at 2:00 PM on May 31st.

This photo is a picture of me while I was serving in combat in Vietnam. February 1968.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cool Food Art

As you know, emails go around the world with some wonderful things enclosed.

Here is a small sample of an email I received today. There were actually forty pictures in the email. Here are three of them.

I take no credit for this art. I admire someone who has this kind of talent. I do not know who the artist is. What vision.

Monday, March 8, 2010


This is an early Simpsons family cartoon. Cool..

I really like the Simpsons Show. It is so well written and acted. Often the situations are so ridiculous that they are just hilarious. Good Job Portland native Matt Groening!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ahhh Early Spring

I was out and around in town today and took this photo at 2nd Street and Monroe downtown with my I-Phone. The dog is a brass statue on the corner.

It was a sunny and warm day. We have had a mild winter and a warm January and February. The flowers and trees are blooming early.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vancouver Olympics

The opening ceremonies were well done. I wish there were more snow. We have had a much warmer than normal January and February this year and it looks like the olympics will just need to find a way to cope.

Sure makes our local winter more enjoyable.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Local Clouds

This odd cloud formation was outside my window yesterday so I took a picture of it.

There is a square portion hanging off the bottom of this cloud. I wonder why.

Kind of looks like a bucket of cloud without the bucket that it was formed in.

Monday, February 1, 2010

1969 Chevelle SS on ebay

The Portland International Auto Show had a lot of cars, but they did not have Acura and they did not have the Chevy Volt electric car. If they had offered any wheelchair friendly two door coupe I would have bought one.

I have looked at all the possible passenger cars that should work but there is none. Manufacturers do not make cars for people like me anymore. I have started thinking about possibly buying an "old car". An old car that has been rebuilt or restored. I looked at a 1969 Malibu last Saturday in Portland, but it has been modified too much and isn't stock. It has loud pipes and a powered up V8 engine. And it does not look nearly as good in person as it looks on ebay. That car needs a lot of work.

Here is an ebay Chevy Chevelle in Illinois that is stock and looks great. But they are asking a ridiculous price of $42,000. Man... that is a ton of money for an old car. But as you can see, it is in wonderful stock condition. I won't be buying this one either.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Portland Auto Show 2010

This is the logo from the 2010 Portland Auto Show next weekend.

I have plans to attend with a couple friends. Maybe they might have some interesting new models. Pretty much all the 2010's will be there and they said there will be some 2011's as well. And some concept vehicles that probably will never see retail sales floors.

I still would like to find a passenger car that works for my needs as a wheelchair person. Needs to be a bigger 2 door coupe like the older cars used to be. I owned a 1965 Impala immediately after I was released from the army. Bought it in Denver when I was recovering from war injuries in Fitzsimons Army Hospital. What a nice car.

The modern two door cars have a very small passenger cab. The cars are about the same size overall but the passenger space has shrunk a lot. Especially back seat space.

My 65 looked exactly like this one.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ahhh.. Back to School

Isn't it great that school is back in session. Oregon State University, Corvallis Public Schools, and all the rest. The Holiday season is over and we are back to normal everyday life. Ahhh...

I am glad to be back to my volunteering in local schools and the kids are glad to be back too. I spoke with the Principal and some teachers in my local volunteer site today, as well as the kids I work with. How fun....

Here are a few worthy quotes I have found along my way:

Holidays are enticing only for the first week or so. After that, it is no longer such a novelty to rise late and have little to do. ~Margaret Laurence

As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools. ~Author Unknown

A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep. ~W.H. Auden

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. ~Albert Einstein

He who opens a school door, closes a prison. ~Victor Hugo

Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. ~William Haley

Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog. ~Doug Larson

When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. ~Peter Drucker

Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know. ~Daniel J. Boorstin, Democracy and Its Discontents

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later. ~Dana Stewart Scott

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ~Henry Brooks Adams

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward