Singing and Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee was discovered around the age of 10. Her one biggest hit was "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". She even sang with Elvis in her early career days. The song mentioned was a flop in early stages yet now has gone on to sell well over 25 million copies. Interesting story.

What The Deer Think

Now I will show what the deer think and how they show off for the camera. Interesting how it gives the time and temperature. BRRRR for 34 degrees at around 6:40 in the morning.

Trail Camera

Scott and Melissa got us a motion detecting Trail Camera for the Christmas holiday. We finally got it put up about 10 days ago. Bob brought the memory card in to load anything on the computer. First we do have the main wildlife in this family checking out the camera to see how it is working.

Megyn Kelly

One of my day to day heroes and I love to watch is Megyn Kelly of Fox News. It was nice to see that the New York Times (worth mostly cage paper on the political area) did a feature on her. Check it out.

Faces of Auschwitz

It is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. There have been a number of ceremonies featuring the survivors, especially that the numbers are dwindling due to time and age.
I came across this Flashback of photos from that time period and on. Many of these have been seen elsewhere though not all through this blog. Please see the faces of those who survived and others.

Churchill's Lost Election

The 50th anniversary of Churchill's passing was this weekend. I have long admired Churchill for many reasons. A lot of it is his style of writing and his sense of history especially family history. I have a number of his books in series. I love the History of the English Speaking People. I lived with those books daily for awhile. It certainly made me an Anglophile. Here is an interesting article on why Winston Churchill lost his election so soon after World War II was over.

The Internet Alexandria Library

History has described the immensity and loss of the library at Alexandria in Egypt. We lost so much when that library was burned. People think that everything that is on the internet is there for all time or certainly for a very long time. Often it is not and is purged in days, weeks, months, and maybe years. Now people have created the internet Archive and are saving webpages for posterity. They are the "go to" people for this effort. Read about it in detail here.

Flaming Trees

The sunrise was quite unique this morning where the sun "peeked" through the edge of the cloud cover over the eastern hills and mountains. It created a flaming look to the sky and behind the Douglas fir trees. Quite spectacular.

The World's First Computer Revisited

Here is an interesting story of how the world's first computer was found and put together (overall) again after it was brought back from a pile of junk or the scrap heap. More detail beyond the following can be found here.

"The ENIAC was a 27-ton, 1,800-square-foot bundle of vacuum tubes and diodes that was arguably the world’s first true computer. The hardware that Perot’s team diligently unearthed and lovingly refurbished is now accessible to the general public for the first time, back at the same Army base where it almost rotted into oblivion.

ENIAC was conceived in the thick of World War II, as a tool to help artillerymen calculate the trajectories of shells. Though construction began a year before D-Day, the computer wasn’t activated until November 1945, by which time the U.S. Army’s guns had fallen silent. But the military still found plenty of use for ENIAC as the Cold War began—the machine’s 17,468 vacuum tubes were put to work by the developers of the first hydrogen bomb, who needed a way to test the feasibility of their early designs. The scientists at Los Alamos later declared that they could never have achieved success without ENIAC’s awesome computing might: the machine could execute 5,000 instructions per second, a capability that made it a thousand times faster than the electromechanical calculators of the day. (An iPhone 6, by contrast, can zip through 25 billion instructions per second.)"

Ideal Communist City

Planners of a particular mind set are looking at ways to get more people to live in dense urban environments, close together, and to use urban transit systems. Not my cup of tea to be sure. Maybe the precursor to their ideal now was what people thought were the ultimate communist city model in the Soviet Union. I saw this sort of lifestyle in East Berlin when I visited there in 1969. Again, not the way I would live, especially behind the Berlin Wall which I saw first hand (along with the crosses for those who were killed trying to leave over No Man's Land. So take a look at what was in our past and may never be totally out of possibility with the socialist leaning minds out there.

The DFR Speech

Last night was the State of the Union speech. I could not watch the speech. Too tired of being lied to. All I can say is that everything I have been on out takes and discussions of the speech is that it should not be the SOTU but the DFR speech (Divorced From Reality) on both domestic and foreign policy. 'Nuff said.

The Klaus Barbie Trial

There is so much of what is happening in France lately to the Jews that relates back to the history of how the holocaust affected them in that country. For a bit of a history lesson on one of the worst Gestapo offenders put on trial after the war, one should read about Klaus Barbie.

Deep Thoughts from Cats

Here is a web page with a lot of fun photos to laugh at "cat thoughts". Enjoy!

Magic Rainbow

The dark clouds parted for awhile and the sun peeked out through a break illuminating the rain. Up popped a full rainbow which I was able to capture a picture with the IPad as it displayed against the mountains.

The Fall

Earlier this year I watched the first season of an interesting crime drama set in Belfast, N. Ireland. It was really good. Netflix was promoting the second season to watch so I got started doing so on my IPad. I was hooked. It was about the best or one of the best crime shows I have ever viewed. Intense and the characters were fascinating to watch. The male lead playing the serial murderer was great, really great. He played the man as such a normal family man who hid such intelligent evil under this normal surface. A master manipulator up against a female chief inspector who was determined to find and capture him. Cat and mouse play or mouse and cat play. Toying with each other and the people surrounding them too. A good TV series out of Northern Ireland, The Fall.

Disorganized Books

I saw this photo of a book store (I presume since it looks like the used book store in Lebanon looks like or looked like before it moved). The title for the picture was " one can never have too many books" which is true. Certainly this can feel like our house feels with all the books yet we aren't terribly disorganized………they are just in bookcases in most every room of the house.

Andy Kauffman Equals Elvis

I came across this link to old video of a sketch on the Tonight Show of early Andy Kauffman. About 2 1/2 minutes in he switches to doing Elvis Presley. Or is it Elvis becomes Andy? Funny and great memories. Nicely done by Andy who died too early. "Tank you veddy much!"

A Funny Fish Habit

I came across one of the "Today I Found Out" trivia pieces and had a real chuckle at the title about fish that "Talk with Farts". I didn't realize that herring had such an interesting aspect to their makeup. Gee, I wonder what people would be like if they moved around in schools directed by how they passed gas.
Check it out here.


I love to read when I have the time. I do most of it on a tablet because I can read across different e-book sellers platforms where I have purchased books. We do have 2 ereaders in the house.
I came across this link to info about BookBub as a source for discount electronic books.

"Josh Schanker, a Boston-based digital entrepreneur, thinks that he might have the solution. Like the DailyDeal, his company, BookBub, sends out a free daily e-mail that highlights deeply discounted books. However, unlike Amazon's service, BookBub offers bargains for users across all major reader platforms, including the iPad, the Kindle, the Sony reader and the Nook. More importantly, though, it allows users to select books across 17 different genres -- far more than the four offerings that come in each Daily Deal e-mail."


Yesterday Bob and I had a batch of buttered popcorn. On a rainy, gloomy Sunday afternoon, freshly popped hot popcorn is comfort food. The batch was small because we were operating on the small batch of popcorn kernels in the jar left to pop. So on to why does popcorn pop?

"So why does popcorn pop? There are three main elements of popcorn that have to come together to produce popcorn kernels that are good for popping. Those three elements are: the percentage of water content; a hard, undamaged, water impermeable shell; and a starchy center."

Wyatt Earp, Good or Not So Good?

I have felt that the movie Tombstone is a really good movie whether it is a decent depiction of Wyatt Earp's life there, or before and after. Certainly Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday stole the movie away. Great job in my opinion. Now back to the real Wyatt Earp. There has been debate over whether Earp was a good man as conventional wisdom likes to portray him or was he not such a good man? Check it out here.

"The history books (and Hollywood) often describe the famous lawman, Wyatt Earp, as many things: brave, courageous, moral, law-abiding, and honorable. In the story of the “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” Earp is often portrayed as the hero, the good guy we all should be rooting for. In truth, Wyatt Earp was a much more complicated individual who, among other things, was arrested several times in his life for various offenses, involved in a few major scandals (sometimes on the “bad guy” side), and otherwise seemed to be an individual who balanced precariously on that line between a life as a criminal and a life as a lawman."

Parisien Jihad

We have been through 3 days of intense news coverage of an overwhelming loss of life through execution shooting of a cartoonist publication office and then a Jewish market in Paris. Most of the perpetrators are dead now yet one woman is still on the loose. She was the spouse of one of the dead gunmen. France now has their most severe terrorist attack and are reeling from it. An interesting article and discussion of how France came to this pass and what they now how to look forward to with jihadists in their midst.

Celsius and Fahrenheit

Growing up in the United States, you get used to using Fahrenheit for temperatures. Once you go outside the U.S., you will have to get used to Celsius for temperature and learn to convert it (if you don't have a conversion app on your Smartphone). I have had to learn to convert of to write medical information in a combination of Fahrenheit and Celsius. How did we get to this difference or where did the determination for the two different levels come from? Read on to learn about Daniel Fahrenheit and Anders Celsius.

Shelby Foote

Potentially the most authoritative collection on the Civil War is the 3 book series of Shelby Foote, The Civil War. We have owned this set for many years. It is well done. This article is a fascinating piece of how a young man became immersed in this subject and spent almost 20 years writing a classic on this particular war. Well done, Shelby, well done indeed.

My Ceiva Picture

It is really cool to see one of the pictures I submitted for a photo contest show up on our Ceiva display. One photo I took of the Half Penny Bridge over the Liffey River in Dublin Ireland was one. It was a night photo and had great colors reflecting off the river. I rested my small Canon G-10 on the edge of the bridge to support it instead of on a tripod. It seemed to offer enough support. This is not the greatest photo from a camera of the Ceiva frame as the photo came up at one time but it shows what it is. Others around the country or world who have this unit will see my photo.

Ebola Story

Ebola has been ravaging west Africa,especially in three countries. It did make its way over to the United States and I think it will again very possibly. At one point in the spring of 2014, it looked like they had the disease under control and on the way out as an epidemic. It smoldered and came roaring back in the summer. Here is an interesting story about how that was allowed to happen.

Dinner with Relatives

The other night we met with Bob's brothers and some of the younger members of the family. Mitch was returning to his infantry unit at Ft. Benning, GA by plane later in the evening. We met at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Southcenter Mall at Tukwila. The area is now like a large town on its own. Much bigger than when we stopped there in my youngish days. It was good to see family and have dinner together. They all looked and sounded good.

Mick, Janet, and Lindsay

Lindsay, Kathy, Jim, and Bob

Bob, Kim, and Mitch


EMP Museum

We toured the EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum at the Seattle Center. We stood in line for an hour to do the 4-D Game of Thrones Climb the Wall Experience of 1 minute. They had everyone sign a release of risk and warned of problems due to the experience. I thought it was a bit ho hum and the movie Friday night in 3-D and being near the front of the theatre was more disconcerting. More alarming standing in line trying to save my knee than looking through the 4-D goggles.
Went to the Fantasy, SciFi, and Horror Movie sections. "Here Be Dragons"……..


Breakfast at Lola's

I love Eggs Benedict for breakfast. Just about the ultimate breakfast item and Lola's makes the best. Great poached eggs, done just perfect. The potatoes are smashed garlic ones and are a great compliment to the other items.


Birthdays at 63

Well, the big day of the year for birthdays has come. We have made our way to Seattle for the Hotel Andra to stay for the weekend. Our first dining experience out was at Serious Pie (where else) where we had one of the wood fired pizzas and their famous dessert of coconut cream pie. Yum. Then it was off to see the last episode of The Hobbit which was non-stop 3-D action.
Fennel sausage, peppers, and provolone cheese pizza

So good the fork didn't want to get out of the way.



Cold New Years

The weather has been bright and sunny but cold. BURRRRRRR.
Even the garden cat sculpture was frosty this morning and the cat looked like it was winking at me!catgardenornament
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