Happiness and Oregon

From what I am reading, Oregon is supposed to be measured on how “Happy” the current occupants are with their life and surroundings, not based on how much better they should be doing in these economic times. I guess it is a way for our current worthless politicians to be able to pacify the masses and skate by on platitudes. Other than a few bright spots probably up by Portland, the state is doing marginal at best. This area of the state certainly struggles to build and grow business and offer better jobs for those who live here. I guess we are supposed to sit back and smell the Douglas Fir scent and feel the rain on our faces as the way to glory in that Happiness. I think we could do that in the 1970s and still enjoy our state and be happier with a more solid economy. I guess to get a better understanding of what we are missing and don’t know it yet is found in this article.


Culture leads current life experiences? Books and movies may predict what we may eventually do? Do we think that Jurassic Park was just a movie? Just because we can do something, does that mean we should? I ask these questions because there is a long article discussing how the new technology in genetics means we very possibly can bring extinct species back from extinction. Work has started on bringing back the Woolly Mammoth. The article in question addresses a more current extinction and interest, return of the Passenger Pigeon, the most populous bird in our history that went extinct within the matter of decades. Unbelievable, yet read about it here.


Following French Fries

Yesterday, the subject was growing and continuing to grow herbs. Now one can take the herbs grown and use them in recipes to make different types of french fried potatoes and/or dipping sauces. I have a weakness for really good fries, especially the thinner homemade variety. Or the curly cut homemade variety. I did come across an article that had descriptions and links to several different methods of cooking french fries. Bon Appetit!

Regrowing Herbs

Bob is the gardener in the family. He does a wonderful job with the corn, beans, and tomatoes. I am more the herb grower though I admit I don’t spend much time taking care of them. I came across this article about 10 vegetables and herbs that one can supposedly buy once and regrow forever (likely story when it comes to me). I wouldn’t mind having one of the Aerogardens where I could grow some herbs during the winter with the UV lighting as part of it. Each item in the article has a description and link on how to keep them going. One of the list is cilantro which I have a terrible time maintaining so here is hoping the ideas are good here.

Above Cities by Photography

One type of composition in photography is to get a view that is spatial and repetitive. Repetition in the right manner can be colorful and intriguing. In this article, the photographer has photographed from above cities or parts of cities to capture a unique outline along a shore or the appearance of rows of buildings. We frequently don’t get to see our world from above. It is a totally different perspective. It certainly seemed to demonstrate that when Bob took photos of our home from above while flying in Mike Winterboer’s plane.

Winter Sunrise

A winter sunrise from January 26th. It has been a cloudy winter so we have not had the bright and spectacular sunrises of some past years. I was able to snap an early photo on a frosty morning of the most recent colorful sky.

Dinner at Canaletto's at the Venetian

After a long, yet super productive day of research grant review, we all head off to eat at Canaletto’s Restaurant in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Our dining area was on the second floor and overlooked the canals full of gondolas in the hotel. The ceiling was painted with blue sky and white clouds overseeing the Italianate look to the business courtyard. The entrance to the Venetian leads to a vaulted ceiling with gold gilt and paintings much like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Very cool and very extravagant surroundings. Our waiter, Michael, is in the background. We ordered off our own little Winn menus with our Winn logo.

Board Meeting

Here we are at the Winn Feline Foundation board meeting at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas NV. Maureen is demonstrating the new Winn website pages on her computer that are the basic demo pages for how it will look.

Fantasy, The End of the Worlds?

Some are speculating that we are seeing fewer and fewer authors who create fantasy otherworlds that become cultural touchstones. George R. R. Martin is the most current who has done so. Where are the new C.S. Lewis, Tolkiens, Baums, Carrolls, and Barries just to name a few. This article poses the question and discusses what the prior authors thought of their genre.
On another note, some of the reason there are fewer authors catching on in the culture of fantasy might be found in this clever blog article by Sarah Hoyt where she writes of the dysfunction found in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association. It will put a smile on your face with the interesting way she mixes short descriptions with photos and gifs.

James A. Garfield

On an interesting note, there is a recent article that offers some background and history about James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United State, did not want to be President or at least try to maneuver his way into the position. Garfield was a general in the Civil War and acquitted himself admirably. He went on to become a Senator from Ohio before supporting another as the Republican candidate for the presidency. Garfield was the compromise choice of the convention. He tragically was assassinated by a disgruntled office seeker. With the political egos we have present now, will we ever see an honest person who did not promote their candidacy as President?

The Black Death and European Genes

Did the Plague, or the Black Death as it also is known, alter the genetic makeup of the people of Europe? Scientists with a recent study do believe so. As they said in the movie, Monty Python’s The Holy Grail, “Bring out your dead!”

“The Black Death of the 14th century may be written into the DNA of survivors' descendants, new research finds.

The study reveals that Roma people (sometimes known as gypsies, although this is considered a derogatory term) and white Europeans share alterations to their genetic code that occurred after the Roma settled in Europe from northwest India 1,000 years ago. The plague of the 1300s, which killed at least 75 million people, is a likely candidate for forcing this evolutionary change.”

Home Catification

Have you ever thought of catifying your home? Your cat probably did for you. They may even have the plans drawn up. All cats believe they deserve the best. Don’t they? Certainly the 18 cats in this home in Santa Barbara must have had a long talk with the owner and builder to get the catified home they deserved. It is aMAZEing.

Animal Photo Bombs

It is great to get a good laugh with animal photos. One of the big things shared on the internet are what are called “photo bombs”. Someone or something unexpectedly shows up in part of a photo that should be a normal photo that displays a “visitor” in the picture. Most of the photo bombs are with people. Someone put together a group of photos where animals are photo bombing the scenes. I suspect some are photo edited. They still are fun to view. Here is one where the cat steals the march on the dog from the background. The photo is an image saved down from this website.


Tree Damage

I went out at the end of the snow and ice storm to document the tree damage around the house. The worst and most obvious are the 3 branches lost from the west side of the cherry tree. This tree is most likely older than me and maybe close to 100 years old. It can really produce great Bing Cherries. It is sad to see it damaged. It is majestic to me and provides a lot of shade to the house and that part of the garden. It acts as a corner piece of established garden in relationship to the house and garage. This photo is from the IPhone. I have others taken with the Nikon. I should get a view from the driveway since the damage is more striking.

Valentine's Day 2014

Today is Valentine’s Day. The weather is a bit wet and windy, therefore gloomy. It is nice though to be able to go out for a pleasant, good tasting dinner as part of this romantic holiday. There are not a lot of sit down, nice restaurants in this area. Usually one has to drive 30-60 miles to get to the better ones. Bob made reservations at The Point in Sweet Home. It looks out over the Foster Reservoir and does a decent job with food. The fellow who owns it works hard and does appreciate his customers. He tries to provide good and friendly customer service. It was quite fun to have my hubby give me a Love Bear during dinner. Mr. Love Bear sat on the table and oversaw what we ate--shrimp cocktail, shrimp and steaks as the main course.

Early Human Footprints

Scientists have found the earliest evidence of human footprints outside of Africa. The prints were found on the Norfolk Coast in the eastern part of England. The footprints are considered more than 800,000 years old and were found on the shores of Happisburgh. They believe that there may have been a land bridge in that area to the western shore of France.
A more detailed description can be found here.

Richard III and DNA Testing

I have written a few times about the finding of Richard III’s skeleton under a carpark in mid-England at Leicester. The last reference was just a few days ago when I mentioned the determination that Charlemagne’s bones were most likely truly his. The researchers at the University of Leicester have decided that they will try to have Richard III’s DNA sequenced. They believe it will help them determine his history and health. a description of the plan can be read here.

Che Quevera and Cuba

Here is another great article and analysis of the recent history and status of Cuba by Michael Totten. He covers the bloody background of Castro’s henchman, Che Quevera. Unfortunately, a large number of ignorant individuals have romanticized Quevera and his visage is found on many a T-shirt. From all reports he was an evil man who was happy to practice revolution, especially in the form of killing anyone in his way or did not support his beliefs or efforts. Michael Totten covers this well in this article and a description of the monument to Quevera in Cuba.

Battle of the Bulge

Reading World War II history is fascinating. Certainly the particulars of the final push of Nazi German to regain ground and the momentum against the western Allies in the Battle of the Bulge is one such description. A very nicely put together and concise history of this part of the war can be found here at the

Rosanne Cash

I have been coming across different articles about Rosanne Cash, the singer and daughter of Johnny Cash. I believe the articles relate to her recent album release, “The River and The Thread”. The lyrics and music were a collaboration with Cash and her ex-husband and in addition, her current husband. This particular article describes her interest in the stories behind ballads. She in particular talks about an Irish singer who she particularly appreciates, Paul Brady.


Reports indicate that the bones on display at a German Cathedral said to be of the Frankish King, Charlemagne, are likely authentic. Interesting information following the finding of Richard III of England’s bones. We are connecting with medieval history through current research and technology. One can read the report here.

“Sometimes called the "Father of Europe," Charlemagne stabilized much of mainland Europe after a long period of decline following the late fifth-century breakup of the Roman Empire. Besides being a great military leader, he ushered in the Carolignian Renaissance, a cultural revival marked by a boom in the arts and education reform. Charlemagne became the first Holy Roman Emperor when he was crowned by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in A.D. 800.

Though he was the son of "Pippin the Short," Charlemagne was said to have an impressive physique. Rühli was involved in a study of the king's tibia in 2010, published in the journal Economics and Human Biology, finding that Charlemagne would have stood about 6 feet (1.84 meters) tall, towering over 98 percent of the population of his day.”

Cat Photography

Now after seeing a few of the recent dog photos I have taken, I did come across this article of a man who describes how to photograph a cat. He has been performing this line of photography for years and is offering his advice or secrets on how to do it better here in this article.

Beach Dog Ball

Following up on the photo of the two dogs romping on the beach, I did get a photo of one of them running and playing with a yellow ball, much like the one Dervish has. It is fun to watch dogs have a great time at play. This was taken at the beach in the center part of Lincoln City.

Little Free Libraries in Communities

Awhile ago, the local paper had a story about individuals who built small sharing libraries in their communities. It described how they built the sharing center outside. I just recently saw another article on the internet about how many of these little free libraries are popping up around. More beyond the excerpt below can be read here.

“Some of the best things in life are free.

A subscriber to that notion, and an avid reader, Judy Selle is apparently the first Decatur resident to offer a Little Free Library at her home. “I live in such a nice neighborhood, I wanted to give something back,” she said.

Selle, a member of the Decatur Public Library's Book Club, got the idea from her cousin, Jean Lawyer of Heyworth, who encountered one of these small outdoor libraries-on-a-stick at a New England bed and breakfast in summer 2012. Lawyer's husband, Dennis, then had one built for her as a Christmas gift later that year.

She followed suit to honor Jean Lawyer's mother – the late Mary Lou Bollero – a beloved aunt and a former librarian at Holy Trinity High School in Bloomington.

Measuring about 26-by-20-by-12 inches, Selle's library opened for business in October in the front yard of her South Shores home and contains approximately 40 books divided into four sections – one for hardcovers, another for paperbacks, a third for children's books and a fourth for copies of the Herald & Review when she's finished reading it.”


Dogs Having Beach Fun

The beach near the D River and the Shearwater Inn seems to collect a lot of beach goers, animals, and kite flyers. I was able to catch a couple of dogs having fun running along the beach, into the waves, and playing catch with a yellow-green ball like our dogs. The dogs here enjoy their beach run, for some reason our dogs don’t seem to enjoy it like their romps in the trees and pastures here.

Morning Sun Breaks Over Ocean

Before we left the Shearwater Inn early this morning, there was a beautiful break in the clouds where the sun burst through to highlight the sky, ocean, and beach. I was able to snap some photos from the room balcony. Here is just one of the several photos I took of this sight.

The Splash of Oceans

We were off to the Oregon coast today for a getaway. Staying overnight at the Shearwater Inn in Lincoln City as a Super Bowl viewing treat. We spent a good portion of the day shopping and sightseeing along the coast. It was a fairly nice day with some beach sun. When I was not taking pictures, Bob went and got a good photo of a wave splashing at the outlook tip near Boiler Bay. Nice colors and swirls to the wave as it pounded against the rocks. We saw a lot more wave action this trip than one month ago.

Neanderthals and Humans

I read an interesting science article discussing where Neanderthals and Humans were close in sharing genetic material and more detail on where the divergence most likely happened. They believe that the level of shared genes is at about 2%, more found in non-African people and essentially very little relationship with African people to Neanderthals. Some of the alleles that control addiction to smoking, Type II Diabetes, and some other diseases appear to have some coverage between the groups. They believe any interbreeding between Humans and Neanderthals occurred near the end of our divergence. One can find more details in the article found here.
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