Margaret Thatcher

I have come to admire the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. I am sure this would drum me out of many English homes who don't. I do remember the turmoil of labor in the United Kingdom and it seemed to be Britain was on a precipice of being dangerously irrelevant on the world stage. She stabilized the country in my opinion and brought it back more to relevancy. It remains sadly unknown if that would continue. Here is an article about Margaret Thatcher or at least a review of a book about her. It can explain why many people such as myself admire her.

Brrr It's Cold Outside

As we cleaned off the windshield of our Subaru to head into town and onto shopping in Albany, there was a bit of ice to remove. The weather has turned chillier overnight. So in respect to the cold, I did come across this article about how one feels when they begin to experience hypothermia and "freeze to death". Not something I would profoundly wish for.

The Forgotten Genocide

One book that has stuck with me in its telling is "The Burning Tigris". I purchased "American Golgotha" as a followup though I have not read it yet. The story behind these books is the story that Turkey denies, the Armenian genocide. Christians killed for their faith and difference as a culture in Turkey during the first World War. I came across this article today and if the picture with it alone does not chill your blood, it is hard to say what will. Armenian Christian women crucified during the genocide.


My long awaited presentation at the TICA cat show in Portland happened today. The people were very nice and I am glad to have had the opportunity to be there. It was also great to see Dr. Leslie Lyons there also. My presentation pales compared to her experience. I will need to control my physiological responses for talks and am not sure how to do this currently.

Thunder Bay Books

I am a big lover of books and bookstores. I don't like to pass up bookstores and can browse in them forever or as long as the feet and knees hold up. There seems to be a bookstore in Thunder Bay area which is Canada that is dedicated to books that are obscure. A description here and…………….

"What’s most fascinating about Nicky Drumbolis and his one-of-a-kind collection isn’t its value, which he estimates is in the millions, or its size – although it includes roughly 50,000 titles, and fills the building, floor to ceiling – but the focus. He has devoted a great portion of his life and livelihood to work that, as he describes it, “slips through the cracks.” Pamphlets and hand-sewn chapbooks that were produced in minuscule print runs; novels and poetry collections published by the most obscure of presses; the work of authors whose names the world has forgotten, if it ever knew them."


I am a student of history and also fascinated by many current events. I try to keep up. I am an Israel supporter though I don't agree with everything they do as a country. One of the most fascinating parts of their history and the ongoing saga over the years of terrorism was the hijack of an airplane carrying many Israelis and diversion to the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. The hostages were held several days and the rescue by an Israeli Government strike team is considered the best hostage rescue ever. A book covering the topic thoroughly has just been published and the book review is found here.

17 Equations That Changed The World

I am not a math whiz. Bob is much better in this area than I am. I do hold my own if needed. One has to admire those who focus on math or utilize equations to better mankind. I came across this article that spells out the 17 primary equations that have changed our world over time. Some go back to B.C. times and one includes the Law of Gravity equation. Have fun with seeing the summary about each of these important steps forward.

Thirteen Hours Continued

As mentioned for yesterday, Bob and I went to see the movie "Thirteen Hours". It was definitely well worth it. Here is another article that captures the movie well.

Thirteen Hours

Bob and I went to the movie, Thirteen Hours, this late afternoon over in Corvallis. The movie is about the September 11, 2012 Benghazi outpost attack. It was a riveting movie and disturbing. I can say my reaction was blood-boiling anger that our government disrespects its citizens and also the heroic public servants and military (in uniform and ex) whose service is crucial to our protection and survival. I came across this review of the the movie says and I think it is accurate.
When we left the theatre, Bob felt sick to his stomach……….mostly figuratively but I think a bit literally too. He was tearful. One man when we left commented "That curdles your blood". Bob said one older gentleman left the showing in tears when Bob had to visit the restroom. A very emotional film.

Public Service Award

Bob and I were surprised and humbled this evening to receive a Public Service Award for our efforts with Neighborhood Watch. Deputy Don Messick read out the award and why we were receiving it. Our Neighborhood Watch Council established in 2005 is the only one in the United State plus we also have a fairly efficient list serve going for our neighbors. What a lovely recognition of our community here in Berlin.
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Due to a number of internet sites going to monthly subscribers, some links may go to articles where a subscription or login is needed to view the piece.

Reading List Comparison

So what did school books look like and cover as subject matter 100 years ago versus a selection today? I probably have seen a few of these old school books and have had a few in my possession. I'm not sure I could locate them in our many materials now though. We know students are not being educated overall as well as years ago and this demonstrates it. The classics are frowned upon. Too old and too much leaning toward being racist, etc. I guess we sacrifice our knowledge or love of it for the PC state that is being forced upon us.
Here is the list comparison.

Alan Rickman

"Hans, Boobie………you are no more." Alan Rickman, the English actor, has passed away. I always enjoyed his performances. He was memorable and helped make Die Hard the hit Christmas movie it was. Yes, I said Christmas movie. My family is firmly in that camp. He was also great and understated in Sense and Sensibility. One could always wish to have such a dedicated swain who would stand by their love and support them through thick or thin. The great Mark Steyn wrote a wonderful article, capturing Alan Rickmans' essence as an actor.

Fairy Tales History

How long have Fairy Tales been around…………..maybe since before Christianity……….back to the Bronze Age. Little Red Riding Hood is one example………..

"In 2013, Jamie Tehrani from Durham University did this for Little Red Riding Hood, charting the relationships between 58 different versions of the tale. In some, a huntsman rescues the girl; in others, she does it herself. But all these iterations could be traced back to a single origin, 2,000 years ago, somewhere between Europe and the Middle East. And East Asian versions (with several girls, and a tiger or leopard in lieu of wolf) probably derived from these European ancestors."

The story about the stories' history can be found in this article.

Runaround Sue

I had a blast coming across an article that described Dion's creating of the Number One hit song, Runaround Sue. Dion was almost lost to music legend the "day the music died" when Buddy Holly, Richey Valens, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash. He ended up missing the flight, I believe due to illness. Back to Sue. I loved the story about how he found his back up group and it is spectacular to click the link and listen to Dion singing "Runaround Sue".

Mammoth Hunting

Archeologists have found the remains of a mammoth hunted down about 45,000 years ago in the Arctic. From skeletal findings, it looks like there is evidence the creature was stabbed and butchered. Some of the earliest evidence of human presence in the Arctic, they say by at least 5,000 years. Here is a description of what they found.

Indian Summers

Downton Abbey is in its last season but another Masterpiece Theatre show held my interest this fall. It is Indian Summers and is focused on the time in the 1930's and 40's when the people of India were transitioning out from under the rule and influence of Great Britain. It is lavish and an interesting clash of cultures. Find an interesting story about the serial here.

Stalin's Size

I've posted several blogs about Stalin, a thoroughly evil man. He was short though still taller than me. Maybe he had small man's syndrome. Nope, he was a megalomaniac without that I believe. He did try to hide his small stature and look larger in photos than he was in real life. Check it out.

ET, Go Home

I came across an interesting article about how Drew Barrymore, the little child in ET, had to grow up on her own while barely into her teenage years. It is an interesting tale and I am glad I had a more stable home with my family. You can read her story here.

Who Should Write Military History?

One of my side interests is history, especially military history. So it seems that a historians' panel is looking at and stating who they believe should write good military history. It may not be who you think. Check it out here.

"It’s an old question: Does one have to have military experience to write and teach military history? Panelists at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, all of them military veterans and academics, offered fresh perspectives on the matter here Thursday. And while their responses differed somewhat, a common thread emerged: strong evidence and scholarship and -- hopefully -- good writing should matter more than personal insight."

Mass Extinction in New Jersey

Behind a Lowe's Store and shopping center in New Jersey, archeologists down to students are checking into a quarry where they believe there was a mass extinction of living creature. The sediments are 66 million years old they are sifting through. The public is welcome to sift through fossils here too. Learn more about it here.

Rainbow In Town

I stepped out of Scott's house to get some outdoor photos yesterday afternoon. The weather has been foggy, gray, and cold. We did have some sun breaks in part of the day along with some sprinkles. I found this rainbow at the end of Oak as I was looking back toward downtown Lebanon.


Looking Up

The painting is slowly getting someplace. The living room, dining area, and kitchen is close to being done. The red wall and kitchen area need a second coat. The Greige in the living area is done and looks nice. We will keep plucking away at getting the place looking much better.


Lavender Room

One room of the house Scott bought has a pretty completely painted lavender colored room, walls and ceiling. Even the shelf was painted lavender. This will be his office so he does plan to change this and it will need flooring too. Hard to live with this color.

British Folktales

I came across this article about 9 supernatural stories that come from the British Isles. One explanation of why is…

"From dragons to devil dogs, from fairies to vampires, history is full of tales of mysterious creatures that haunt the British Isles. Now, in her new book, Carolyne Larrington from the University of Oxford explores how such folktales are deeply embedded in the British landscape, and reveals how through history they have helped people to deal with ubiquitous concerns about life and death"

Who and What are these creatures or folklore stories can be found here.

Other European Ancestors

Archeology has found a fourth set of ancestors based on DNA results.

"Prior to summer 2015, researchers believed that all Europeans had a shared ancestry stemming from three tribal populations: European hunter-gatherers, early European farmers, and ancient North Eurasians. According to an article published this week in the journal Nature Communications, by studying the genomes of ancient skeletons found in two caves in Western Georgia (Kotias Klde and Satsurblia), geneticists have discovered a fourth group, Caucasus hunter-gatherers, who also contributed DNA to the continent."

Read more of the details here.

Old Town in Detroit Lakebed

Bob and I went for a drive earlier across the foothills and mountains through Quartzville and over to Highway 22. Making the circle we went by Detroit Lake. It was obvious this was a dry year and the water level was very low. It got so low toward the end they found and old wagon and parts of the old Detroit town that used to be along the river before the dam was built and the area covered. More here.

Scott's New House

Scott took possession of his new house last night. Here is a picture of it from the street. It is 1565 W. Oak St. in Lebanon.

Trench Railways

I came across an interesting article about trench railways from World War I. They were a technologic advance, light rail.

"Sir Eric Geddes spearheaded a revolution in logistics during World War I. But in terms of the railways, perhaps his most radical recommendation was the wholesale adoption of a new kind of technology. Light rail. From 1916, the British-held areas of the Western Front were transformed, as miniature railways began snaking their way across the trenches. In photographs, the dinky tracks and the scaled-down trains that worked them looked more suited to scenic tourist trains than life in the firing line. But what these narrow gauge-railways lacked in size they more than made up for in impact. They extended the railways’ reach all the way to the front line. Providing the struggling Tommies with a vital artery for essential supplies. However, convincing the British Army leadership of their advantages was an uphill struggle."

More of a look here.

When You Are 64

Today I hit the big 64……….."When You Are 64". Pretty quiet day of working as usual but Bob and I did go out to eat at the 1847 Bar and Grill where we had a great dinner, tasty and relaxing. Some of the courses were off timing yet it didn't ruin the evening. A good start to my year.


The start of a new year with the New Years. Pretty quiet day of trying to get some work and relaxing done for the day. It was a beautiful, sunny, cold day. David, Renee and the boys came to visit and say an early Happy Birthday!
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