Redesigned WP668 Web Site

2007 WP668 over trees by Danek Duvall

I just redesigned the WP668 caboose website. I am still reviewing and posting old photos but the basic structure is done. It is restful during the coronavirus lockdown to make progress on a project I have been wanting to work on forever. After reviewing hundreds in our online family archive, I keep discovering wonderful photos I had forgotten.  I have finished 2006 and am about half done with 2007 now. More about WP668 :

WP668 is a historic Western Pacific Railroad caboose being restored by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher, a private family in San Jose, California, USA. More information and pictures are added as WP668’s story evolves.

For a summary of the WP668 story, see Katy’s May 2017 Western Pacific Historical Convention slides: “The Story of Western Pacific Caboose 668”. WP668 is the office for Mentoring Standard. Please join the WP668 Western Pacific Caboose Facebook group. WP668 was originally built as a boxcar in 1916. In 2018, the Mayor said that WP668 was the coolest office in San Jose!

As always: Please tell me if you have pre-1960 photos of our WP668 caboose. Thanks to all who have already contributed historic caboose images – especially Don Marenzi.

Thanks to John Plocher and Jessica Dickinson Goodman for technical web support!

2006: SN1642 and WP668 cabooses, at the Golden Gate Railroad Museum in San Francisco
2006 WP668 moving from GGRM in San Francisco2006: WP668 caboose on truck
2006: WP668 on Highway 101
2006 WP668 on 4 May in San Jose2006: WP668 in storage in San Jose
2007: WP668 in the air over the trees
2007 John Paul Katy Jessica in WP668 caboose2007: family on WP668 in their San Jose backyard
2007 WIllow Glen Resident 25 May WP668 story2007: WP668 on the front page!
WP668 in 2020

Images Copyright 2006-2020 by Katy Dickinson, John Plocher, and Danek Duvall

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Update for eleanordickinsonart.com Art Website

Eleanor Dickinson Dream Series art 1971

Thanks to my daughter, Jessica Dickinson Goodman, for updating my mother’s website, eleanordickinsonart.com. We put up the website after Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson died in 2017 as a way of keeping information about her and her remarkable art and legacy in circulation. Unfortunately, Jessica just had to remove all of the e-commerce features of the site because it attracted bad behavior rather than buyers.  At least once a month for two years, I was contacted by someone through the site who purported to want to purchase an artwork but really wanted to use us for money laundering. It seems that the web is not a good place to sell high-end fine art. This site redesign still makes information available but asks buyers to contact us in email. I hope the site maintains communication but reduces the fraudulent contacts.

My brothers and I are trustees of the Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson Charitable Art Trust. During the last three years, my brother Pete Dickinson and I have been working with Natalie Piazza to inventory and properly archive my mother’s art collection. During this Corona Virus lock down, I have asked Natalie to work from home preparing a selection of photos and descriptions of Eleanor Dickinson’s art for display on eleanordickinsonart.com. This site redesign will make that expansion of materials much easier – thanks, Jessica!

More about the eleanordickinsonart.com website:

Eleanor Dickinson Art contains selections of original creations from the archives of Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, a remarkable American artist who was actively creating, teaching, and exhibiting fine art for over 75 years.  Her work has been exhibited at many dozens of galleries and museums around the world, and is collected by a wide variety of individuals, universities, museums and other major institutions, including:

Eleanor Dickinson #13 Myeongsuk art 2005

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Images Copyright 1971-2005 by Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson.

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God and Suffering

This semester, I am taking an excellent class called “God and Suffering” at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology (DSPT) in Berkeley. DSPT a member of the Graduate Theological Union where I am studying for a Masters in Theology. Our inspiring professor is Father Michael, also known as Michael J. Dodds, OP, Professor of Philosophy and Theology. Each week, we read about 70 pages then write a 1-1/2 page (300-500 word) reflection paper. Below is my paper from last week, for which we read the topic “Thomas Aquinas: The classical answer of faith.” Our reading assignments were:

  • Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologica (1485), Part I, Question 19, article 9; Part I, Q.48, art.1-6; Part I, Q.49, art.1-2.
  • Edward Schillebeeckx, Christ: The Experience of Jesus as Lord (1980), 724-30.
  • Herbert McCabe, God and Evil: In the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (2010), 111-29.
  • Michael Dodds, “Thomas Aquinas, Human Suffering, and the Unchanging God of Love,” Theological Studies 52 (1991).
  • Robin Ryan, God and the Mystery of Human Suffering (2003), 116-139, 215-40.

It can be tricky writing a paper about a publication by your professor – but Father Michael liked it! I have been surprised at how much I like this class. I never took philosophy classes as an undergraduate because the cycling arguments seemed pointless. Now, I wish I had. This is one of the best classes I have taken. This afternoon, we used the Zoom video tool to hold our final class before Spring Break, on the topic “Modern and contemporary philosophical issues.” The transition from in-person classes in Berkeley to Zoom classes online has been virtually seamless. I don’t want to wait two weeks for our next class!

Weekly Reflection Paper 4
By Katy Dickinson
STPH-2209-1: GOD AND SUFFERING (Spring 2020)
12 March 2020

This presents my reflections based on our readings from Thomas Aquinas, Edward Schillebeeckx, Herbert McCabe, and Michael Dodds. I read the selections from Summa Theologica first. This is my first time reading Thomas Aquinas and he makes my head hurt. Due to what seems like many assumptions and special language, I think I understand about half of what he wrote; however, I want to understand it all. I am glad that we also read Schillebeeckx, McCabe, and Dodds, whose reflections on Thomas were enlightening and gave me more context. I was particularly interested in the “On Evil” section headed with the question “Whether pain has the nature of evil more than fault has?” Partly due to Thomas’s highly-condensed writing style and very brief descriptions, I was unclear at first what pain and fault have to do with each other. I now think that pain may mean physical suffering and also punishment, and that fault may mean sin. It seems from Thomas’s two examples, of blindness (created or natural evil), and loss of the vision of God (uncreated or moral evil), that he is considering a broad definition of evil. I can understand how blindness can be created by disease or physical disorder, but I struggle with how pain can deprive someone of the vision of God. Maybe Thomas is speaking of the depression and despair of long-term pain? Fault being opposed to the fulfillment of the divine will made more sense to me if I considered fault to be sinful pride. I visualized a rebellious angel or an arrogant and selfish man who is opposed “to divine love whereby the divine good is loved for itself, and not only as it is shared by the creature” (Aquinas, 473). I was charmed by the succinct neatness of Thomas’s reasoning, “fault is not intended for the sake of the pain, as merit is for the reward; but rather, on the contrary, pain is brought about so that the fault may be avoided, and thus fault is worse than pain” (Aquinas, 473).

The stark opening Michael Dodds’s “Thomas Aquinas, Human Suffering, and the Unchanging God of Love” was effective in creating a horrifying definition of human suffering. However, it took me several readings to understand God’s relationship to that suffering. Dodds writes that the attractive but imperfect concept of God suffering with us is incompatible with the nature of God. He then presents Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of the mystery of God intimately and compassionately identifying with our suffering, “because the head and members are one body” (Dodds, 341). I was inspired by Dodds’s closing description of the role of theologians because it feels like my goals as a teacher, “not to give easy answers to difficult questions… rather to lead them into the mystery of God and so help them learn to speak of God for themselves” (Dodds, 343).

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Images Copyright 2020 by Katy Dickinson.

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Solitaire game with Notable Women playing cards


Solitaired Notable Women card game, Screen Shot 2020-03-17

Solitaired just published a new online card game featuring the Notable Women playing cards! Play it here. I am glad to see our project featured in celebrating Women’s History Month. Jessica Dickinson Goodman and Susan Rodger and I created the project in 2014 and it is now in its 4th edition. In the original version, 25% of the 54 world-renowned honorees did not have a Wikipedia page and some had no known photo – now they all do! See the whole list of honorees.

Notable Women playing cards are associated with the long-term “CRA-W and Anita Borg Institute Wikipedia Project – Writing Wikipedia Pages for Notable Women in Computing” project.  We encourage you to use this information to inspire students and teach computer science, and write or improve Wikipedia pages – especially creating new pages about remarkable women who have none. Please watch our 2014 Kickstarter video about why we picked these 54 women from among all of the remarkable technical women.

See the Solitaired announcement for more information

Solitaired Notable Women card game, Screen Shot 2020-03-17

The Notable Women project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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Willow Glen Garden Redesign, 5 Years Later

Willow Glen Garden Redesign Plan 17 June 2015Redesign Plan 17 June 2015

Five years ago, I redesigned our front garden for water conservation. Partly as a result of my recent experience with a Pacific School of Religion class project helping to plant a food garden for The Village curbside community, aka homeless encampment, in Oakland, I was inspired to replant some of my own garden in Willow Glen (San Jose, California). John Plocher and I had to reroute the watering lines. I also had to remove couch and Bermuda grass volunteers, and relocate the many big pink worms that get mixed up in the work.

My 2015 plant list included:

  • Achillea tomentosa – woolly yarrow (yellow/grey) – still thriving
  • Agapanthus inapertus (purple) – still thriving
  • Bearded iris (red and purple and yellow and white) – still thriving
  • California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica, orange) – still thriving
  • Dymondia margaretae (yellow/grey) – removed, could not take the heat
  • Helictotrichon sempervirens – Blue oat grass – removed, could not take the heat
  • Lantana (purple) – still thriving
  • Lavender (Lavandula – purple, of course) – still thriving
  • Muhlenbergia rigens – deer grass – removed, got too big
  • Narcissus – daffodils (yellow – full size) – still thriving
  • Verbena lilacina (purple) – replaced twice and finally removed, could not take the heat
  • Verbena peruviana (red) – replaced twice and finally removed, could not take the heat
  • Phormium – flax (purple/brown) – died and was replaced with a similar plant

What I have now includes more California natives, which I hope will handle San Jose’s increasingly hot summers better.* New additions are in bold:

  • Achillea Millefolium “Sonoma Coast creeping yarrow”  (California native, white)
  • Achillea Tomentosa – woolly yarrow (yellow/grey)
  • Agapanthus inapertus (purple)
  • Bearded iris (red and purple and yellow and white)
  • California Poppy (California native, Eschscholzia californica, orange and yellow)
  • Ceanothus hearstiorum “Hearst Ranch buckbrush” (California native, from San Luis Obispo County, purple)
  • Ceanothus megacarpus “Bigpod ceanothus” (California native, from the Central Coast and Channel Islands, white)
  • Echium wildpretii “Tower of Jewels” (red)
  • Lantana (purple)
  • Lavender (Lavandula – purple, of course)
  • Manzanita “Emerald Carpet” (California native, from Mendocino County, Arcostaphylos, white flowers, red fruit and bark)
  • Narcissus – daffodils – full size (yellow)
  • Narcissus “Tete Tete” – miniature daffodils (yellow)
  • Penstemon baccharifolius “Rock penstemon” (a Texas plant, but the only red bloom that day in Yamagami’s Nursery natives section)
  • Phormium – flax (pink/brown)

On 9 February, I took out three of the lantana and replaced them with low-growing manzanita, which is a California native that I hope will be less bushy and aggressive. There are still two of the lantana, much pruned back.

* “San Jose will go from having 7 days a year on average above a heat index of 90 degrees between 1971 and 2000 to 24 days a year by mid-century and 53 days by late century, at the current rate of emissions.” – Paul Rogers, “Bay Area likely to see more 100+ degree days in coming years, new study finds,” The Mercury News, 16 July 2019.

Willow Glen Front Garden, San Jose, California 10 Nov 201510 Nov 2015
Willow Glen Garden, San Jose, California 4 Feb 20204 Feb 2020
Willow Glen Front Garden, San Jose, California 10 Nov 201510 Nov 2015
Willow Glen Front Garden, San Jose, California 4 Feb 20204 Feb 2020
Willow Glen Front Garden, San Jose, California 9 Feb 20209 Feb 2020
Daffodils, San Jose, California, 29 Jan 2020Daffodils, 4 Feb 2020
Princess Cat, 29 January 2020Princess, the Garden Guardian, 2020

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Images Copyright 2015-2020 by Katy Dickinson.

9 Feb 2020 – added a photos of 3 new manzanita

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Social Transformation in Action

Pacific School of Religion, Social Transformation in Action class, 20 Jan 2020
This month, I am taking a short class at Pacific School of Religion (PSR is my home school at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley). The syllabus for “Social Transformation in Action” describes the course as follows:

Under the PSR Stackable Curriculum, every student will engage in experiential learning during the intersession of their first or second year. This is a chance to get to know local community organizations and different ways in which they seek justice and peace for their neighborhood. The theme of this course is “Centering the Margins”. Students will consider and reflect on what it means to center the margins in community engagement.

Students will engage with the principles of community organizing, transformational change, and community development within a theological and social justice framework. The course begins with two classroom sessions of readings, lectures, and discussions. This will be followed by engagement with Bay Area social justice organizations and movements who will present opportunities for in-the-field work in various topic areas. Students will participate in a variety of activities with different organizations as a method for experiential learning field work. The class will end with a closing dinner and a final discussion and reflection of their experiences over the week.

This is only the second time PSR  has offered the class, so our professor Dr. Joyce del Rosario is experimenting with how it should best go. Our home base for the three community days was the Oakland Peace Center, where Executive Director Sandhya Jha was our host. (Oakland Peace Center was also where a different class I was in visited the “Insider | Outsider: Visionary Arts by, for, and about the Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated” exhibit last year.) This week, our class put up posters, helped to create tiny homes and a garden for The Village (which works to create and support curbside communities, aka homeless encampments), visited the East Bay Meditation Center, joined the Martin Luther King Day rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza, and helped run a community vision day for the Oakland Peace Center.

I was surprised at how much press there was for The Village project. Our class ended up in many of the photos. I am in the background of several painting my garden sign:

Now that lectures and community action are done, I need to write my paper!

Oakland Peace Center, 17 Jan 2020
Oakland Peace Center, 17 Jan 2020
Oakland Peace Center, 17 Jan 2020
Oakland Peace Center, 17 Jan 2020
Oakland Peace Center, 17 Jan 2020
The Village tiny house building, Oakland, 18 Jan 2020
The Village tiny house building, Oakland, 18 Jan 2020
The Village tiny house building, Oakland, 18 Jan 2020
The Village tiny house building, Oakland, 18 Jan 2020
East Bay Meditation Center, Kazu Haga speaking, 18 Jan 2020
Oakland protest, Martin Luther King Day, 20 Jan 2020
Oakland protest, Martin Luther King Day, 20 Jan 2020
Oakland protest, Martin Luther King Day, 20 Jan 2020
Oakland protest, Martin Luther King Day, 20 Jan 2020
Protest dog, Oakland, Martin Luther King Day, 20 Jan 2020
Oakland Peace Center, Martin Luther King Day, 20 Jan 2020

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27 Jan 2020: added news story

 

 

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22 Bishops Celebrate Lucinda Ashby (not counting Bishop Barbie)

Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020
Bishop Lucinda Ashby was ordained and consecrated the fourth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real on 11 January 2020, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Saratoga, California. Twenty two bishops participated in the consecration, ten of them women. Bishop Lucinda is the sixth woman to be consecrated an Episcopal Bishop this year. She is the second Episcopal Bishop ever to succeed another woman bishop. Like Bishop Mary, Bishop Lucinda is bilingual in Spanish. The ordination and consecration was conducted in English, Spanish, and Tagalog. The sermon was by the Rev. Dr. John L. Kater, Professor Emeritus, Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

24 of the 127 active Episcopal bishops (diocesan, suffragan, assistant or assisting) are women. The Episcopal House of Bishops has nearly 300 active members and comprises half of the governing body of the Episcopal Church. All bishops of the Episcopal Church, active or retired, make up the House of Bishops.

My husband John Plocher lead the team that livestreamed the event. John created 41 pages of notes and directions and the team practiced for months. By the end of 11 January 2020, more people had watched the event online than had attended in person. During the service, I was grateful to be able to see the live online high view of some of the more intimate parts of the service, especially when the 22 bishops laid their hands on Bishop Lucinda in blessing. They prayed together:

Therefore, Father, make Lucinda a bishop in your Church.
Pour out upon her the power of your princely Spirit, whom you bestowed upon your beloved Son Jesus Christ. with whom he endowed the apostles, and by whom your Church is built up in every place,
to the glory and unceasing praise of your Name.

Full text – Service bulletin:
Episcopal diocese ECR, part one consecration 11 Jan 2020 (pages 1 to 26),
Episcopal diocese ECR, part two consecration 11 Jan 2020 (pages 27 to 52)

In addition to the traditional presentations of the stole, chasuble, cope, mitre, pectoral cross, episcopal ring, festal crozier, and Bible, Bishop Lucinda was given a special gift, her own Bishop Barbie. The first Bishop Barbie was presented to Bishop Mary at our 2010 women’s retreat. From my blog post about that event:

Leslie Butlar and the Rev. Maryellen Garnier worked with a team to create this event… We were honored to spend part of an afternoon with our own Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves in open conversation. Maryellen presented Bishop Mary with a token of our regard, the first Bishop Barbie doll. Maryellen had the doll’s custom robes created because of a story she had heard. Recently, a little girl who was much taken with Bishop Mary, asked her why there was no Bishop Barbie. Well, now there is one.

Here are the 22 bishops who participated in Bishop Lucinda’s ordination and consecration:

The Rt. Rev.
Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev.
26th Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Navajoland
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Northern California
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Eastern Oregon
The Rt. Rev.
7th Bishop, Los Angeles, Suffragan
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Cuba
The Rt. Rev. Dr.
Bishop, Central New York
The Rt. Rev
Bishop, Hawaii
The Rt. Rev.
3rd Bishop, El Camino Real
The Rev.
Bishop, ELCA – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – Sierra Pacific Synod
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Rio Grande
The Rt. Rev.
6th Bishop, Northern California
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Alaska
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Colorado
The Rt. Rev. Dr.
Bishop, Spokane
The Rt Rev.
Bishop, San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev
7th Bishop, Eastern Oregon
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, San Diego
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Tewksbury, England (suffragan bishop, Diocese of Gloucester)
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Idaho
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Northern California

Thanks to Timothy Gee for this list!

Signed consecration certificate.
John Plocher and video crew, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020John Plocher and crew, 9:10 am.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Diocesan choir.
Interpreters, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Interpretation team.
Ed Jacklitch sound technician, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Ed Jacklitch, sound.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020St. Andrew’s altar.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Cantemus Filipinas Chorale.
Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Bishop-elect Lucinda greets her family.
Parish banners, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Procession of diocesan banners.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 11 Jan 2020Bishop Michael blessing congregation.
Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Ordination and consecration of Bishop Lucinda.
Mary Ann Gee, Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Mary Ann Gee and diocesan choir.
22 bishops at Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 202022 bishops consecrate Bishop Lucinda, 12:25 pm.
Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Presentation of the bishop’s crozier.
Presentation of Bishop Barbie to Bishop Lucinda.
Bishop Lucinda’s husband Bob Ashby with Bishop Barbie, 2020.
Bishop Mary with the 1st Bishop Barbie, 2010.
1st and 2nd Bishop Barbie, 2012.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 11 Jan 2020Bishop Michael gives communion.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church video crew, 11 Jan 2020Reviewing the video, 1:45 pm.
Bishops Katharine, Mary, and Lucinda.
Bishop Lucinda Ashby, John Plocher, Katy Dickinson, 11 Jan 2020Bishop Lucinda Ashby, John Plocher, and Katy Dickinson.

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Thanks and acknowledgement of copyright to Mark LeBlank and Elrond Lawrence for their photos of the Bishop Barbie, consecration certificate, and Bishops Katharine, Mary, and Lucinda, all other Images Copyright 2010-2020 by Katy Dickinson. Continue reading

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