There are some question I have about the mechanism that “they” say is operative in evolution.  In the previous post, I talked about one possible scenario concerning how humans got here, the way we are today.  Let’s call the bone swinging creature “bone killer”.  Bone Killer was walking, creeping around for thousands of years, all the while being exposed to radiation from outer space.  Maybe the ozone layer was thinner than than it is now.  One day , a bone killer was zapped by some cosmic ray that changed his genetic code by one gene.  Let’s say it was one that made his offspring able to fashion tools from rocks, instead of using jaw bones of animals.  How was that passed down?  Was it a dominate gene, and all changes in genes and chromosomes were of the dominant kind?  Was there a female bone killer there with him at the time of the zapping and her eggs were changed at the same time?  If that is the case, then those two, and those two only, would have been able to pass the gene for tool making down to their offspring.  It seems rather far-fetched to me that the cosmic ray would change a whole population at the same time.  If it was one male who was zapped and the gene was recessive, how long did his offspring have to wait for a female to have the same change is her genetic code?   Could it have been thousands of years?  It would be a near zero chance that the female would have the exact same gene changed so that the two could breed offspring and go on to be the stone tool makers.  I have never heard or read yet exactly how the mutations could occur close enough together to make a difference in the population.

It still seems to me that chimpanzees are still chimpanzees and have been for thousands of years.  I am surprised that no one has observed a genetic change in chimpanzees after all the furor over the depleted ozone layer.  Humans have remained unchanged for thousands of years also.  I have not read about any genetic changes in Japan after the two atomic bomb blasts.  I know there were some horrible things that happened to some of the people exposed to the radiation from the those bombings.  Yet, still, the Japanese people are fully human beings.  No sudden change in looks, abilities, or brain power in the current population has been observed.

I understand about survival of the fittest, natural selection, or whatever you want to call it.  I just do not see how the changes came about the way “they” say it happened.  When I was a sophomore in high school, I took biology.  There was posted on the back wall showing how all the different species of birds had adapted to their environment.  The web feet fowls had adapted to water and the carnivorous birds had adapted to flying and catching other birds and animals.  As I looked at the poster, in my ignorance, I thought, “All those birds could have been created to inhabit a certain environment”.  A duck was created to paddle in the water and an eagle was created to fly to the heavens in search of prey.  It is a matter of interpretation of the evidence, I suppose.


I took my wife to her painting society tonight.  As I was leaving , I saw the couple in their powered chairs coming down the sidewalk.  They are the two we saw in Biscuit Cafe a few days ago.  I stopped the car to say hello, and then realized Bob had a problem.  One of his drive belts had broken on his powered wheel chair.  I parked and went to talk to him.  He remembered me for the cafe.  One his neighbors took out some screws, and I then installed the belt and reintalled the cover over the drive spocket.  I was glad I was able to be there at the right time and lend a hand.


I have to report that the tenants in condo #14 have been missing for about a week now.  I just hope they found a better place to nest!  Let’s hope a cat did not get them.  The tenants in #15 are busy nest building, coming and going at frantic pace at times.


Last fall, my two neighbor ladies behind us planted 7 plants near the back fence under the maple tree.  I am happy to report that 5 of the 7 plants have poked their little heads up this spring.  I still have hope that all will be showing before too long.  I will get pictures of them soon, and ask my neighbor what kind of plant it is.


Daisies on Clear Creek

Logging equipment

Sunset on the Williamson River

Until next time,

The Old Clipper Sailor








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My Take on Evolution

A few years ago, I read a book called “African Genesis” by Robert Ardrey.  It is a story about archeological finds that point backward toward our ancestor line.  That book is very interesting got me thinking about evolution.

I believe that in the beginning, God created … everything.  For the purpose of this discussion, let us say that everything started from God, and we will assume that man has come down a long path of natural selection and evolved to what he is today.  In my thinking, the end result still stays the same.  I will explain later.  By the way, when I say “they”, I mean the scientists and all such learned people.

They say that the big bang happened 14 billion years ago.  The earth is about 4 billion years old.  That means that God watched what he had started for 10 billion years before the earth became terra firma.  Now we will postulate that God touched the primordial ooze that was the ocean and a living thing was started.  I say that because “they” have yet to start life from any kind of inanimate material- and they have tried.  Now we have this living thing that God has started and is watching it change over billions and millions of years.  So, from this one little living thing, all sorts of creatures and plants and microbes and bacteria and viruses  evolved because of radiation from outer space ( that is what I think they say)!  We had dinosaurs, birds, apes, animals of all kinds, plants of every shape and description come into being.

According to the author of “African Genesis”,  one of our evolutionary ancestors was living during the Pleistocene age, 1 – 3 million years ago.  He was a small ape like creature, with a large head (brain),  who could kill animals larger and stronger that he was.  He used the humerus bone of an antelope for a club to kill baboons and other animals for food.  He was a “natural-born killer”, according to the evidence.  During the time of our ancestor, the climate was harsh, demanding, an environment hard to survive in.  Yet God saw to it that this little creature survived to hand down his legacy of a fierce will to survive against all odds.  Did you ever wonder what the opening scene of “2001 A Space Odyssey” was about?  That was the beginning of the genetic line that led to humans.  They knew, in the middle 30’s,  about the creature that could kill using a leg bone of an antelope.

Now I can see God brooding over this creature, watching the evolutionary progress toward us humans.  God wanted fellowship with his creation, so he nurtured and watched over the line that led to us humans.  Is it any wonder the we humans have a tendency to fight and kill each other, if we have the genetic code handed down to us for millions of years?  Are we not “natural born killers”?

Earlier I stated that the end result still stays the same.  Here is what I mean.  God, knowing from whence we came, knew that human kind are vicious killers by nature.  There had to be a way to redeem those unsavory. natural tendencies.  There had to be a blood atonement for being a killer (sinner)!  So, as the bible teaches us, He sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to shed his blood and die for all of us who are by nature very mean-spirited and selfish.  That is why we have the promise of eternal life to live with God forever, our Creator!

So you see, dear reader, the answer is still the same, no matter how God created us!


We have spotted several kinds of bird in our back yard aviary.  There are house sparrows, song sparrow, gold crowned sparrow, rufus sided towhee, dark-eyed junko, chickadee, stellar jay, scrub jay, a pair of beautiful doves, robins, and of course, the big bully starlings.  The squirrel is in the middle of everything.  The new condos have tenants in #14 and #15.  They have not paid any rent yet, but they keep eating the bird seed I put out!


We had breakfast at the biscuit Cafe recently.  A couple came in, the man in a powered wheel chair, and the lady in a power scooter.  The man had reddish dachshund, and the lady had a chihuahua/dachshun mix just like we have at home.  Remember the birthday party for Macy?  I left my table and went to talk to them.  They were so nice and friendly.  I am really glad I made the decision to reach out to people more and more.


Another view of Ghost Ship Island

Sandy River at Tippee Canoe  one our few sunny days

Miniature Daffodils proudly showing off

Years ago, I built some shelves out of old 2 x 12 lumber I brought home from work.  I used the shelves in the garage for my auto supplies; oil, grease, tool and such.  The wood became stained with oil, of course.  Since we now use those shelves for our pantry, my wife was concerned about placing food on the oil stained shelves.  Soooo, we updated the pantry!

You can see it is still in the garage!

Until next time,

The Old Clipper Sailor

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Pastor and I were talking the other day about how things turn out in our lives.  I told him that I think we will find out when we get to heaven how many times God was there, helping us, even though we did not think so.

Here is a little story that might demostrate how God is willing to help me.  I had some new partial plates made a few weeks ago, and now I have a great, big toothy grin.  However, I had some lumps on my lower gum that had been there for years after the dentist had to pull that tooth.  Any presssure on the that area was very painful.  The denturist modified the plates to accomodate the bulges in the gum, but it still was not going to be usable for chewing on that side.  I avoided chewing on that side for days and days.   I talked to the Lord about it, and was wanting some divine intervention on my behalf.  You have to know that I do not pray as such, but I carry on a running dialog with the Lord, sometimes even out loud.  The nagging thought kept coming to me that I should go see the dentist who pulled the tooth and show him my problem.  I still talked to God about my pain,of course.  I finally gave up, called the dentist, and made an appointment.  The dentist opened up that area on the gum, and found two sharp pointed tags of bone pushing on the soft tissue.  He ground them off with a rotary head and sewed the incision shut.  From that day on, I knew I had found the relief I needed.  I was asking for divine help, but I got it from a dentist.  Remember the old story about the man on the roof top of his flooded house?  A rubber raft, a boat, and helicopter came to help him, but each time he said no, he was waiting on God to rescue him.   I can see me asking God why he did not help me, and He will tell me, “I told you to go see the dentist.”  I am really wondering as I get older if that is the way God helps us out from time to time.  He has doctors, dentists, pastors, and all kinds of trained people with knowledge that can help us.  I keep looking for his own help, and he tells me to go see this trained person who can solve my problem.   It is just the way I am, to be thinking this way.


As I write this log, I am at my brother Ron’s house at LaPine.  He was not feeling well at all, and I came over Tuesday to be with him and be the designated driver.  We talked things over, even considering panic attacks.  Ron brought out the information about oxybutynin that he started taking about a week ago.  He had most of the side effects listed there!  Last night he did not take that pill, and today is feeling a whole lot better.  He cannot wait to get back out to his shop.  There are things to turn, drill, and bolt together.

Donna continues to thrive at Prairie House.  She is more active, and enjoying life as much as she can.


Here are some new pictures from Ron’s back yard, taken this morning.

Ah, spring at last!

Waiting for summer around the fire pit

This poor butterfly is waiting for spring to come, also! He has been there all winter, frozen stiff!

Alas, his poor mate did not survive the winter either.


Until next time,

The old clipper sailor



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I had a good day today – went to church and listened to an excellent sermon.  Pastor has been talking to us about suffering and why and how we go through suffering.  Today, he shared with us the fact that God has a wonderful plan for our lives.  What happens when suffering and disappointment interfere with that wonderful plan?  God had a wonderful plan for Jesus, his Son, but he had to die on a cross.  He has had a great plan for my life, but there are things I have been through that I would rather have skipped altogether.

“In  the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications to him who was able to save him from death, and he learned obedience through what he suffered.  Although he was son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.  And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”

I trust God to keep on making me what he wants me to be, even through my suffering.  In the end, I will be at home with my Saviour for all eternity.

The music also touched my heart today.  Brandon has a way of leading us in worship and praise through music that really helps me worship my God.


Tomorrow, the Supreme Court takes up the Obama health care law.  Is it constitutional, can the government make us purchase a product, then regulate as it sees fit?  My fear is that, if it is upheld, ALCOA will cancel my supplemental health care package, and force me to purchase the government sponsored plan.  I can only assume that it will cost me out of pocket for a plan that does not cover me as well and what I have now.



Here are some more pictures from past trips.

Mendenhall Glacier, AK

Sunset on reservoir in southern Oregon (I don’t remember the name of it)


Barbara praying that the soup is great!!

The soup was really, really, great!!!









Daughter Lori, Peytin and Ailen


Until next time,

The old clipper sailor

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I had the cortisone shot in my back on Wednesday, and so far, I am feeling much better.  I can get up from a chair with out wincing, the first time in a long time.  Thanks go to Dr. Kuether and Dr. Stapleton.


The sailing group had our annual soup party, hosted, as usual, by Babara.  We had delicious soup and great fun playing Balderdash.  I won, of course!

A beautiful table setting

Hostess Barbara standing (fiance, John, in white)

Larry took this picture of the blogger and his wife, Janice!

Needless to say, we had a lot of food and fun.


         I think the miniature daffodil might be thinking differently!


As you know from the last post, I built the 16 space bird condo and put it up.  The birds seem to be taking to it more and more.

waiting for the nest to be built

Brandon did the heavy lifting!


Macy is the black dog with the birthday collar on.  Schnitzel is the red dog, and Amber is the Cocker, who gulped her treat down immediately!  Janice set up and officiated at the party, of course.

Until next time,

The old clipper sailor

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Back in the posting business

  • I have not posted, I see, since last May.  It is time to start writing again.

The first thing I want to comment on is:  ABC’s the Batchelor.  I watch this with my wife, since she like the drama.  I thought this season was pretty good.  However, when it came time for the visit to the families by Ben, I was wanting to turn it off.

Here is Why.  Ben went home with Casey B to Tennessee.  The family was obviously strong, bible belt Christians.  Casey’s father told Ben that he would not be happy if Casey moved to California to be with Ben and then moved in with him to live together before they were married.  I could immediately see Ben’s facial expression and attitude change!   Sure enough, as I told my wife, Ben sent Casey B home the next rose ceremony.


We fed the sparrows and other birds all through the year of 2011.  I really think the nesting pairs hatched 3 batches of eggs last spring.  We have continued feeding them all year.  It is nothing to see 20 or more birds feeding on the ground and at the two feeders.  So, I built a 16 apartment house for the new pairs for this spring.  I will post a better picture when the sun comes out and the birds are inspecting the apartments.  We have had #12, 14, 15, and 16 inspected already.  I think #14 is going to be the first occupied appartment.


We took a trip to Central Oregon in August of 1995.  Here are some pictures of that trip, taken with my Canon A95 point and shoot.



We hope to be well enough this year to do some more travelling and take more pictures!

Here is the link to my Niece’s blog.  If you look at it, you will get an update on what has happened in LaPine the last week or so.


You see I am not a writer like Linda, but I will work on it.

Tomorrow I go to Providence for a cortisone shot in my back.  I hope this helps me get back on my feet.  My back has been bad even since my lumbar fusion on Oct. 31, 2011.

Until next time,

The old clipper sailor

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I have been thinking of what I want to do with the remainder of my life.  I was thinking about the first president Bush, who talked about "the thousand points of light" all around our country.  He was referring to random acts of kindness instead of random acts of violence.  So, I have been trying to commit acts of kindness whenever I get the opportunity.  I have taken a post in our church working on the computer entry system each month.  Another example is that when I mow my lawn, I also mow the strip between my neighbor's driveway and mine;  also the strip between the neighbor's sidewalk and the street.  It seems the mother in that household has a hard time getting any yard work done.  I go out of my way to speak to my neighbors and I find them very friendly and open to my advances.  I really think our society needs more old-fashioned getting together and lending a helping hand.  Understand I do these things with no thought of any reward for myself.  If you have read the novel, "The Magnificent Obsession", you know your good deed is valueless if you get it back somehow.

I was in the pharmacy at the hospital the other day and met a lady clad in Muslim garb  I had seen just a few minutes earlier in the lab.  Her family was there to take her home since she was in a wheelchair.  I asked the young man  where this lady was from.  He told me she was from Somalia and he, himself, was from Aritrea.  We had a nice visit for a few minutes.  I would not have know they were here in this land of freedom and safety all the way from Africa.  I need to keep reaching out to people more and more.


The birds have multiplied by leaps and bounds in the back yard.  We have seen eight or ten young birds being attended by adult females.  It was fun to see them land on a twig or on the ground because they always came in too fast.  The had to take a few steps on the ground to get stopped.  When I saw a twig bend violently, I knew it was a young sparrow who came to the twig with to much speed.

I must also point out that after the adults were no longer occupied in the apartments, they started courting again.  There was a of lot flittering and fluttering and playing piggyback again – or so it seemed.  In any case, there is now egg setting again in the apartments so I am expecting another hatch before too long.


I now have a 22 inch lcd monitor to go with my new window 7 OS.  I can take any of my own digital photos and make them a background on my screen.  However, my photos will not show full screen in the windows photo viewer or the Window Live Photo Gallery.  I have tried everything I could find to do, but still no luck.  I am using 1680:1050 pixel resolution on my monitor.  That is about 1.6:1 width to height ratio.  My photos from my canon A95 are 4:3 ratio.  Therein lies the problem.  If I resize them to 1.5 to 1, then they show full screen.  Oh well, you can’t have everything.

Here are some photos from the back yard again

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I have computer news.  I now have win7 64 bit installed on my desktop.  I really like it, but there is one thing I did not foresee.  There was no way to retrieve my Outlook email address book- so I am in the process of collecting email addresses from family and friends.  If you read this, and have not emailed me recently, send me an email so I can add your address to my new list in Windows Live Mail.  This program that comes with win7 seems to work ok, but I am still getting used to it.

I had completed my picture printing program running on both my computers in winXP.  However, pictures do not print the same now from my desktop in win7.  Go figure!   I will persist in finding the answer.  It might have to do with a different printer driver in Win7.  I tried to install the driver from the HP CD, but it would not install.  Instead, win7 had one of its own that is being used now.


I told you about the house sparrows in my back yard.  We have 5 nesting pairs using the houses.  I really enjoy their antics as they go about rasing another crop of new babies.  However, as in every community, there are some bullies that show up from time to time – those pesky STARLINGS!  All through the nest-building and egg laying time, the starlings would show up every morning and try to tear the nests apart, hoping to get at the eggs, I guess.  The holes in the houses are too small for them to get all the way in, so all I could see them do was drag out nesting material.  Within 30 minutes, the sparrows would have their  material picked up from the ground and back in their apartment.  Finally, about the end of May, the bully starlings had moved on to other places.  The sparrows have been in relative peace for 2 or three weeks now.


I have found that the price of gasoline has not bothered me much yet.  I have found a really simple solution.  I just do not drive much any more.  I just stay home and work on my computer. HA!!


I have found that the petty annoyances of the past few years are melting away, and I am remembering only the good stuff concerning my mother.  She was born on a farm in Illinois, raised up doing farm chores, married in the middle of the great depression, and raised a family.  She was quite a lady!!  She was a product of her childhood, just as I am the product of my childhood.  The hardships of her early days were a constant reminder to be frugal.  She could save money where none existed!

For what it’s worth, I am a firm believer in the fact that each of us have the little girl or little boy still living in our mind.  Those little guys remember everything, even though the adult person has forgotten.  Have you ever asked yourself why you do things the way you do?  The good thing is that the adult does not have to sing the same song and dance the same dance he or she was taught when they were small!


The hole seems to be growing closed.  I surely would like to know what made that nice little hiding place in the bush.


An early azalea in the front yard

Butter Cups finally showed up.  This one has a guest!

Until next time,

The old clipper sailor

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I did get my printing program working like I wanted. I can now print any size print up to 8×10, with a caption at the bottom in the color I selected. The problem was I had to select the paper size before I could select the 4×6 photo tray. I also wrote a program a few years ago to output a print on 4 pages to make a large picture for tracing onto a canvas for my wife’s oil paintings. I just enter the final size she wants, then, if the size is larger than 8.5×11, the program prints on 4 pages which get trimmed and taped together to make the large printout. I can go up to 16×20 inches.

Above is the Japanese maple in our front yard.

Above is one early blossom in our 30+ year old Rhodydendron.  I got all inspired by Niece Linda’s posts of pictures from her new camera.  I decided to try out some of features of my camera I have never used before.  The macro setting seems to work fine!  My camera is a Canon Powershot A95.

I need to update the BIRDS.  Since late April and into May, the apartments seem to be occupied most of the time by sitting birds.  I have watched the males bring tidbits to the mate sitting inside the apartment.  There is a lot of  coming and going to the houses.  One sad note to report, though.  The sun has been out for the last week or so.  We have noticed that there are traces of bird feathers on two of our windows.  That is because a bird has flown into our window, thinking the way was clear.  I think I now know why this happens.  I was looking at the house while the sun was shining brightly on it.  I could see the reflection of the trees and sky from behind me.  If a bird sees the same thing, he will think he is flying into a normal outdoor environment.  Janice tells me that the north apartment seems to be missing the female sparrow.  We can see the male fly to the opening, but does not enter at all.  I will have to watch more closely to see I can see the female poking her head out.  We once heard a loud thump on the front room picture window.  We found a mallard duck wandering around the front yard with a sore head.  He did recover though, and finally flew away.

Here is piece of trivia for you.  If you have hand washed a glass at the sink, how many times should you rinse the glass under running water?  The answer is 3 times.  I learned that when I was 20 years old working at a chemistry lab for the US Geological Survey.  My job was to wash all the lab dishware, then rinse each piece under running distilled water.  The boss said 3 rinses had been scientifically determined to be the perfect rinsing procedure.  To this day, I try to rinse hand washed dishes and plates 3 times under running water!

Here is a poem I wrote sitting in the summer shade on the banks of Lost Creek near Zig Zag, Oregon.

            ON THE BANKS OF LOST CREEK                                   by John J. Tate

The gentle murmur of rushing water fills the air,
The butterflies weave and dance through alder and fir,
The bees and flies and flying things make such a hum,
On the banks of Lost Creek.

We sat and dangled our feet in the cooling water,
We watched the butterflies make their random way through limb and leaf-
We listened with lazy comprehension to insect hummings
On the banks of Lost Creek.

How good it is to have beloved friends with whom to share
The pleasant brook and trees and flying things-
We wiled away an afternoon of talk and friendship
On the banks of Lost Creek

It is my hope and prayer to my Heavenly Friend
That somewhere in God’s Heaven
We can sit and talk together with Him,
But this time, face to face,
As we did,
On the banks of Lost Creek.

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