Sunday, September 30, 2012

Some pictures from my motorcycle-riding days.


This is the way Glinda and I used to ride--everything except the two of us was held down with bungie cords. This picture was taken in the Sierra Nevada on Highway 49.

Here's Glinda on a trip that took us to Mendocino, Clear Lake, the Feather River, Quincy, and over the Sierra Nevada.  We'd alternate between camping (with tent), motels and bed and breakfasts.  

Here's a poster I drew for the Salinas chapter of the Harley Owner's Group (HOG), of which I was a charter member.  It's a map, detailing the route of a poker run.  After paying an entry fee, we'd all ride to various places, drawing a playing card out of a hat.  The best hand was determined at the last stop, where we'd eat and socialize.  It was lots of fun.

Now that I don't ride a motorcyle, it's pretty annoying when thirty Harley Davidsons rumble by.  Still, it was a close as I'll ever get to riding horses in a cavalry.

This was the hand we drew on one run.  The reason we only drew four cards is that we detoured off the last leg to visit my mother and stepfather who were coincidentally passing through on Hwy 101 in their motorhome on their way south.

Here's a picture taken by Glinda, who was looking over my shoulder.  It was in northeastern California, and a herd of cattle was being moved down the road.  I scooted right up to the back bumper of the car in front of me to be as inconspicuous as possible, but that bull is definitely eyeballing me! My bike was black with handlebars for horns, so I was hoping he didn't consider me a rival.

Somewhere between Silver City, Nevada, and Reno, the spotlamp weld broke and my first stop in Reno was to get that taken care of.  The dealership directed me to a small welding shop, and before long, we were on our way.

My favorite ride was on Pole Line Road (California State Hwy 167) heading east into the Nevada desert from Lee Vining (you can see the northern tip of Mono Lake on the right).  It was just as I had planned---a 45 mile straight asphalt ribbon to oblivion.  What I hadn't planned was the reflection of the Sierra Nevada in my rear-view mirrors.  What a morning.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This is great--especially after the music quits.  I would have known where that was with my eyes closed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012


Cézanne's Riverbanks popped up on my screensaver this morning, and I was happy for it. He's one of my three favorite painters, with Vincent Van Gogh and S.C. Yuan being the other two.

Here are a few more from my file.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Autumnal Equinox"   Quilt by Rachael Derstine

Friday, September 21, 2012



The principles of socialism are outstripped in the religions of God. For instance, God commands, `But [they] prefer them [the poor] before themselves, although there be indigence among them' [Qur'án 59:9]. That is, the believers spend of their substance and share their possessions and prefer others to themselves willingly and with utmost spirituality. Socialists, however, desire to enforce equality and association by compulsion. Although the preference for others which is the exhortation of God is more difficult because the rich are enjoined to prefer others to themselves, this will become common and will be the cause of tranquillity and an aid to the order of the world, because it depends upon the inclination and willingness of the giver. But socialism and egalitarianism, although easier, as those who have are made equal with others, yet such a system will not become widespread and is the cause of disturbance and tumult because it rests on compulsion and coercion.
In the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh it is mentioned that if a rich man neglects the duty of educating his children, the House of Justice is authorized to compel him to assist financially and to educate them. But this is a matter for the family of that wealthy man and comes under the jurisdiction of the House of Justice. The point is that there are matters greater than equality and socialism in divine religions. In the Cause of God there were persons like the King of Martyrs [Mírzá Muhammad-Hasan] who, in the days of tribulation, expended all their wealth and property to relieve the sufferings of the poor and the weak. In Persia the Bahá'ís were willing to sacrifice themselves for one another to such a degree that once when one of the Bahá'ís was a guest in the home of another believer, and the authorities demanded the arrest of the guest, the host gave the guest's name as his own and surrendered himself to them, was martyred in his place, thus sacrificing his life for his guest and brother.

From here (September 18)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two West Coast Swing videos.

I danced with Deborah in Seattle.  Afterwards, I told her it was as close as I'm ever going to come to driving a Ferrari.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Спаси, Господи, люди Твоя
и благослови достояние Твое
победы православным христианом
на сопротивныя даруя
и Твое сохраняя
Крестом Твоим жительство.

O, Lord, save Thy people,
And bless Thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians,
Over their adversaries,
And by virtue of Thy cross,
preserve Thine habitation.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Here's a suggestion for a new Washington State flag.  It represents the three major environments of the state:  The green is for the evergreen forests that predominate the region west of the Cascade Range--a snow-covered mountain spine that runs from the Canadian border in the north to Oregon in the south--which is represented by the white bar. The gold represents the agricultural harvest of the great eastern region.  The Western hemlock has been the official Washington state tree since 1947.

I'm not entirely comfortable with the design, but I think the concept is more interesting and descriptive than the current state flag.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

 "(R)eligion must be conducive to love and unity among mankind; for if it be the cause of enmity and strife, the absence of religion is preferable. 

When Moses appeared, the tribes of Israel were in a state of disunion as captives of the Pharaohs. Moses gathered them together, and the divine law established fellowship among them. They became as one people, united, consolidated, after which they were rescued from bondage. They passed into the promised land, advanced in all degrees, developed sciences and arts, progressed in material affairs, increased in divine or spiritual civilization until their nation rose to its zenith in the sovereignty of Solomon. It is evident, therefore, that religion is the cause of unity, fellowship and progress among mankind. The function of a shepherd is to gather the sheep together and not to scatter them. Then Christ appeared. He united varying and divergent creeds and warring people of His time. He brought together Greeks and Romans, reconciled Egyptians and Assyrians, Chaldeans and Phoenicians. Christ established unity and agreement among people of these hostile and warring nations. Therefore, it is again evident that the purpose of religion is peace and concord.

Likewise, Muhammad appeared at a time when the peoples and tribes of Arabia were divergent and in a state of continual warfare. They killed each other, pillaged and took captive wives and children. Muhammad united these fierce tribes, established a foundation of fellowship among them so that they gave up warring against each other absolutely and established communities. The result was that the Arabian tribes freed themselves from the Persian yoke and Roman control, established an independent sovereignty which rose to a high degree of civilization, advanced in sciences and arts, extended the Saracen dominion as far west as Spain and Andalusia and became famous throughout the world. 

 Therefore, it is proved once more that the religion of God is intended to be the cause of advancement and solidarity and not of enmity and dissolution. If it becomes the cause of hatred and strife, its absence is preferable. Its purpose is unity, and its foundations are one."

Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 128 New York - 1912

Wednesday, September 5, 2012