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Jerry’s Unbelievably Tough Verizon Samsung

I sprayed laundry spotter on the trousers, threw them into the washer, and ran it full of cold water. The next morning, I spun that water off, and at the end of that cycle removed Jerry’s trousers. There in the bottom of the washer was his phone, Verizon Samsung old school flip top. It had soaked all night in water, and now I had just spun it dry.

untitled (6 of 8)

From what I hear, Jerry is unusual in that he does not leave anything in the pockets of his clothes that need to be laundered. I never check his pockets. Mine? Those I always check, for I’m bad about leaving things in them. But he failed this one time, and now I had no doubt ruined his phone.

“Well, we’ll take the battery out,” Jerry untitled (3 of 8)said when I showed him the dripping phone, “and place the battery and the phone over the furnace vent.” We did that, then I recalled reading of placing water-besotted items in a untitled (1 of 8)bag of rice, so I dragged out a sack of rice and immersed the phone into its depths.

The next day, Jerry reassembled the phone, switched it on, and voila! the word VERIZON spread its beautiful self across the little screen. For a few days, water drops appeared under the glass, but finally they disappeared, and from the time that little Verizon baby has been turned back on, until this very moment, it works perfectly! Kudos to Verizon, to Samsung, and to all things old and tough.

untitled (7 of 8)Somewhere in a drawer in this house is a smart phone–a Blackberry. Jerry had quite an experience with it which I post about here. The original post of Jerry and the Blackberry has received more than 80,000 hits. You’ll probably want to take a look. 🙂  I also have written about changes in telephone services since I was a child here and in this one titled Number Please. You might get a kick out of them.

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Announcement: Blog Interview with Chila M. Woychik

You’re here. This is the right place for the interactive interview with Chila M. Bradshaw-Woychik of Port Yonder Press. Monday, February 18th–that’s today! She  is the owner of what has been referred to as an “exceptional midwest small press.” untitled (1 of 1)Port Yonder Press publishes both mainstream and religious books in a number of genres.

The time is 8:00 pm central, which of course is 6:00 here on the west coast. We’ll be talking for an hour or so–open “mic”–and I’m hoping you’ll all join in. Know established writers or beginning writers or “wanna-be writers”? Let them know of this event, please

Please pass the word: Coming up in a few hours here at Have your questions ready.

4:30 PST  Monday  The blog interview will start precisely at 6:00–not in this post, but in the one following. Thank you for standing by–eager to jump in.

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The Computer and I

They called me a bookworm–always have your head in a book–when I was a child, and I suppose I was, for I adored the library over on Central Street, and I recall many days as I walked home from school that I read as I walked down the sidewalk. I walked carefully, slowly, lifting an eye occasionally to avoid stepping off a curb unexpectedly or stumbling over a crack in the sidewalk. At other times, I read in the car, on the school bus, on the city bus, and at night after my dad made us go to bed, by beams from a flashlight, under the cover.

My parents taught me to read the Bible, and at youth group sessions, when we had “sword drills,” I was the fastest to find the called-out reference, because I was a reader. My sister and I were fascinated by tales we read in fairy books, and as we washed and dried the dishes from our evening meal, untitled (8 of 8)we acted them out, and then we made up our own stories. I don’t think I wrote any of them down, but if I could read them now I would probably see they strongly resemble something I had previously read. Every year from the school library, I checked out The Boxcar Children, and all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and that biographical series of Great Americans–orange and green colored, they were. One of our neighbors had every one of the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew books and she let me read all of them.

As I grew older I read newspapers and magazines and learned of such a fabulous thing as a thesaurus. And now, I read the computer. Oh, I still read books and magazines and newspapers, but there is nothing quite like a computer. I read the news, gossip, weather prognosticators, untitled (6 of 8)events taking place here in my mountains, church news, live streaming of church services, YouTube, concerts, hear from some of my kids and some of my friends, learn things, study how to write books, load my digital pictures from my camera, process them with Lightroom, study photography and understand how hard it is, write articles, write books, edit my novel The Soul of Abram Clark, learn about publishing and agents and fuss about in forums, and find recipes. I keep track of our personal banking. I “talk” to people around the world, post pictures for friends and am encouraged by sweet remarks from friends on Facebook, and hope to encourage them a bit. I make travel reservations, pull up our tax bill when I don’t receive a paper one, utilize Mapquest, and just yesterday I found the location of the nearest Subway to the Lighthouse Theatre in Redlands, then emailed the address to Holly and to Rebecca, for we will snack there on Saturday before we attend a performance of Miracle on 34th Street. And get this–right down at the bottom of my sweet Apple is a thesaurus. Amazing thing. I tweet. I blog. I learn of life . . . and I learn of death.

I suspect I am still a bookworm, and sometimes people say, “Shirley, I don’t know how you can stare at that screen so much.” Sometimes I hide, although it’s a bit harder with a computer than with a book and a flashlight.


How about you? Are you a bookworm? Your face always stuck in a screen or a book or in a Kindle? I’d like to hear from you.

America Humor Internet Political insight

The Little Red Hen and Free Bread

The little red hen called all of her liberal neighbors together and
said, ‘If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will
help me plant it?’

‘Not I,’ said the cow.

‘Not I,’ said the duck.

‘Not I,’ said the pig.

‘Not I,’ said the goose.

‘Then I will do it by myself,’ said the little red hen, and so she
did.   The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain.

‘Who will help me reap my wheat?’ asked the little red hen.

‘Not I,’ said the duck.

‘Out of my classification,’ said the pig.

‘I’d lose my seniority,’ said the cow.

‘I’d lose my unemployment compensation,’ said the goose.

‘Then I will do it by myself,’ said the little red hen, and so she did.

At last it came time to bake the bread.   ‘Who will help me bake the
bread?’ asked the little red hen.

‘That would be overtime for me,’ said the cow.

‘I’d lose my welfare benefits,’ said the duck.

‘I’m a dropout and never learned how,’ said the pig.

‘If I’m to be the only helper, that’s discrimination,’ said the goose.

‘Then I will do it by myself,’ said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to
see.  They wanted some and, imagesin fact, demanded a share. But the little
red hen said, ‘No, I shall eat all five loaves.’

‘Excess profits!’ cried the Pelosi cow.

‘Capitalist leech!’ screamed the Boxer duck.

‘I demand equal rights!’ yelled the Jackson goose.

The Kennedy pig just grunted in disdain.

And they all painted ‘Unfair!’ picket signs and marched around and
around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.

Then the leftist farmer came. He said to the little red hen, ‘You
must not be so greedy.’

‘But I earned the bread,’ said the little red hen.
‘Exactly,’ said the farmer. ‘That is what makes our free enterprise
system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he
wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive
workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy
and idle.’

And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen
who smiled and clucked, ‘I am grateful, for now I truly understand.’

But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again
baked bread because she joined the ‘party’ and got her bread free. And
all the liberals smiled.  Fairness and compassionate equality had been
established.  Individual initiative had died, but nobody noticed;
perhaps no one cared…so long as there was free bread that ‘the rich’
were paying for.

Author unknown 🙂

Came my way via the cutting-edge internet, so it must be true, wouldn’t you say.

America Children Humor Internet The World

Uh, How About a Little Common Sense, Folks?

The little boy was so excited about his camping apparatus that he took it to school, carried it in his hot little fist to his class–a first grade class. Bam! He was removed from school under a zero tolerance rule that allowed for no weapons 9_62_a320of any kind. Likely sentence? 45 days in an alternative school for unruly youngsters. His weapon? His offense? The possession and display of a folding knife, spoon and fork with which he planned to eat lunch. Silly, just silly.

Wisely, now the seven-member Christiana school board have reversed themselves and are  allowing Zachary back in his regular class.

Things have not ended so well, though, for Maxi Sopo, a 26 year old resident of the Cameroons, a fugitive, who had run to Mexico. He was kicking back on the beaches of Cancun during the daytime, then prancing around in the clubs at night.

Enter the lack of common sense: On his Facebook account, he talked extensively about how much fun he was having, then added a former s-FACEBOOK-BUST-MAXI-SOPO-largeJustice department official as a friend. Wham! He was arrested, is in jail in Mexico City, awaiting now extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges. It is reported that he and a friend illegally obtained more than $200,000 from Seattle-area banks and credit unions.

I strongly suspect his charges will not be so quickly reversed as were those of little Zachary.


computers Culture Internet Life Science & Technology Social Writing

Sorry…I Missed The Birthday

Wednesday was the day I missed the birthday. The Internet turned 40 years old and I didn’t find out about the celebration until yesterday. I, of all people, one who loves the internet so much and who uses it daily. The least I could have done was throw a small (or large) party and bake a cake (or at least a cookie or two.) We should have shared party hats and “Pin the Tail” games…or something like that.

I cannot remember when I first learned of the internet, or when I first used it, but today, I tell you, I cannot image life without it. I communicate with people all over the world, I read the news, I stroll through libraries, I laugh at funny pictures on YouTube, and watch dynamic speeches and powerful sermons, I market my books (to all three of you who eagerly await every word I utter), 800px-blue_candles_on_birthday_cakeI pay bills, I check my bank balance, I talk to my kids and my grandkids, I show off my pictures, and people tell me how wonderful they are, and a few honest ones say something like rather pitiful–surely you can do better, Helen tussles with me, I meet old friends on Facebook, and make some new ones, (some of whom have become so dear that I am making plans to meet them in person, and, actually, I have already met one in person), I advertise our church, and blog, and see articles published that I have written, see pictures of my friends and their babies, and quite old pictures where our hair and clothes look really funny, get prayer requests and praise reports from our church headquarters, and find out how hot it will be today in Lake Havasu or how cold in Crestline, and what the dewpoint is, and make airline reservations, and drool over cruise itineraries and find words to songs and learn ingredients for recipes, and check the spelling of words and the location of Scripture…and…

It happened forty years ago when some smart men at UCLA taught two computers to talk with each other, thus beginning this world wide web we call the internet. I for one am extremely glad they did, and belated though it is, I wish the internet a very happy birthday and many happy returns.

You might want to check this link for a Computer World article where there are more details about the birth of the internet.

How about you? Did you wish the internet a happy birthday? Do you like the internet? Do you wish it many more healthy years?…or do you believe its dangers exceed its profitability?

Picture courtesy of Google images

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Tweet God? is the site, Reuters reports.

Just never thought of Tweeting God or Facebooking Him for that matter, I suppose. Never occurred to any of us. Oh, we have prayer in our services, of course, and on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:00 we open the building for early morning prayer. These meetings are available for everyone, and we believe they are of great benefit to those who attend. But we just never thought of the Tweeting angle.

Alon Nir did. He is an Israeli, a resident of Tel Aviv,  a university student, and he has made available what many may feel is a direct line to God. He has established a Twitter site where prayers can be sent, and where he then will print them out, drive to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and insert the prayer papers into the crevices of the walls of this Jewish holy site that the “faithful believe provides a direct line to the Almighty.” (Reuters)

I’ve never seen that Wailing Wall, but Jerry has, and he says the reverence shown there is remarkable, and indeed the wall is festooned with rolled up scraps of paper inscribed with prayers. The men begin praying, bending low and lower with each prayer, so that finally they are nearly touching the ground with their heads as they sincerely pray.

Tucked into the Western Wall of Jerusalem tonight are Tweeted prayers. It’s a different way of praying from any I’ve ever heard, but who knows…? I suspect God hears our sincere prayers whether we whisper them, shout them, weep them or Twitter them. The main thing is that we talk with Him, communicate, let Him know our needs.

Children Family Grief Internet The World

Found on Facebook; Son Missing 27 Years

Gavin is his name; his mother and father were estranged. One day Gavin’s father picked him up for a trip to the zoo. That was the last time his mother would see her three-year-year old for 27 years, for his father abducted Gavin and took him to live in Hungary. His mother was devastated, and although she appealed to the Hungarian embassy in London and the British embassy in Budapest, and even to Margaret Thatcher, his mother, Avril, never heard another word of her son…for 27 years.

Now at 61 years old, Avril’s health is broken, for although she has other children, she never stopped grieving for her lost son. Her sister reports:

“Avril has had a hard time and endured many, many sleepless nights not knowing if Gavin was alive or dead. She didn’t cope very well and had a terrible time. She has a big heart and loves her children very much. As a result her own health has suffered.”

Mrs Wilson, 59, had spent the best part of three decades helping her sister try to trace her son. The fact that in 1982 Hungary was a Communist state on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain made the task of tracing a three-year-old boy was virtually impossible for a single mother living in Liverpool. Appeals for help through official channels fell on deaf ears.

Source: Times Online

In recent months they started searching the internet, and on Google found a promising link to Facebook. Around the same time, after the death of his father in 2006, Gavin, too, began searching for his mother. Then last October it happened: Mrs. Wilson typed into Facebook Gavin’s name…found him, and emailed him.

“I called my sister when I heard back from Gavin and told her to sit down as I had some news for her. All I heard after that was screaming…”

The complete touching story is here.


America Blogging computers Internet Lake Havasu

Internet Connection Problems

For several weeks now, we have experienced serious internet connection problems here at DJs RV park; hence the paucity of blog posts.

Today, came by a stray signal: voila! Two posts within a 30 minute period.

Thanks for your loyalty–for coming by and reading an old column or two. I’m hoping that correction of our problem here is possible.

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A Friend and Cigar Boxes

So, I have come down to cigars…well, cigar boxes, actually. Came about this way.

On Monday afternoon when Jerry came in the motor home with our mail, along with various envelopes containing statements, notices and the other typical paraphernalia of a day’s postal delivery, he also carried a box–a box addressed to me. Not expecting anything, seeing we had ordered nothing, it wasn’t a holiday, and my significant birthday was almost a month past, and had been more than adequately celebrated, I was puzzled as to the contents of the medium-sized box.

Generously, I allowed Jerry the pleasure of opening the boring, slender family-addressed envelopes, while I tackled the mysterious carton. The package was not heavy, but was securely fastened, so from the kitchen I grabbed a small knife and slashed through the tape. When I pulled away the protective paper, I saw a flat brown surface. What is this? I lifted it from the shipping container, and saw it to be a box…and at that moment I knew: someone had sent me a cigar box!

Not one, but two beautiful wooden cigar boxes had been mailed to me. I hooted with laughter, and Jerry stared at me. “Someone sent me cigar boxes.” Then I found the card with a note scribbled on the back.

“I couldn’t resist after seeing ‘cigar’ boxes on your blog site which I visit often!

My hubby smokes the cigars occasionally–so I have cigar boxes. I do have the other more cardboard type but like the wooden ones.

Love to you and Brother Buxton”


On the inside pages of the card is listed a long string of accolades: You’re marvelous……….You’re…then a naming of 26 certainly undeserved compliments.

Jean is not someone I see frequently; actually she is so much younger than I am that she used to run around with my youngsters when they were home, and when she attended my brother-in-law’s church in Ontario. I was touched by this thoughtful gesture, and talked to Jerry of her taking the time to box up the gift, buy the card, write the note, go to the post office…all that, just to give me the pleasure of owning two fine cigar boxes.

You’re a great group of people out there, you the readers of my blog. Thank you. Thank you for reading my words, for thinking about issues with me, for being concerned about God, about the world, about our families, our children, and about our nation…and for indulging me in my frivolous–and probably sometimes silly–interests. It touches me deeply.


My devotional blog is here.