111 Degrees

We went out to dinner tonight just after 5 pm. The Subaru thermometer read 103 degrees as we pulled up to the Schmizza Public House parking lot near BiMart. After dinner around 6:15 pm, we drove downtown the thermometer read 111 degrees as we drove on Park Street. Amazingly, it was at least 10 degrees cooler out in the Berlin area. Thankfully, we were hot but not baking hot.

Skeleton Lake

In 1942, Indian forest ranger H.K. Madhwal came across something rather disturbing: a lake filled with bones. Hundreds of people died in the lake, all at once. But what killed them?

Roopkund Lake is located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The lake sits at over 16,000 feet in elevation, and it freezes over—so the skeletons are only visible during a brief thaw. Madhwal found it at just the right time to see the bones. But how old were they? And what were they doing hanging around in a lake?

For more info and video, go here at Atlas Obscura. Hear about how they died. Interesting!

Meat From The Sky

Another strange tale from 1876. People in Bath County, Kentucky noticed what they termed chunks of meat falling from a perfectly clear sky. The first theory was that it was Nostoc. An interesting item, Nostoc, and how it comes about. In the long run, it was a different theory that was more likely. Reading about this strange phenomenon is best.

Strange Story from World War I

One British soldier captured by the Germans was given leave by the German Kaiser to travel back to England to visit his dying mother, as long as he returned in 2 weeks. British honor being what it is, he did so, returning to the detention camp in Germany. The British were not so amenable to doing so for a German soldier with the same request. The story is here.

Prehistoric Island

One sees movies or TV shows about people being shipwrecked on an island where there are natives or cannibals or something menacing. Well, there really is an island like that is this day and age. It is found in the Bay of Bengal. The people there will kill anyone who comes on the island. They shoot arrows and throw spears at any planes or copters that fly above. The island is called North Sentinel Island. It is curious though what the natives call it? More information here. The trees provide so much cover they hide visualizing where the people are.

Dog Shelter

Bob had to assist as a CERT member over at the Linn County Dog Control shelter for a Family Day. There were a couple of dogs they had that we could have been interested in. I believe they went to other homes which is best. We want to make a more deliberative decision if we can to add another dog as a pet.


A photo from this past spring up in the Cascades. Layering of brush, deciduous trees and evergreens. Unique coloring through the layers.

A Ranch the Size of Texas, Almost

One can buy themselves a ranch in Texas. One for $725 million at least. The famed Waggoner ranch is for sale. It is a sale ordered by judges on the family who cannot come to agreement on how to split up the ranch. More about the ranch here.

FOR SALE: Largest ranch in the U.S. within a single fence. Texas fixer-upper with more than 1,000 oil wells; 6,800 head of cattle; 500 quarter horses; 30,000 acres of cropland; tombstones for legendary cowboys, long-dead dogs, and a horse buried standing up. Favorite of Will Rogers and Teddy Roosevelt. Colorful history of drinking and divorce. Fifteen-minute drive to rib-eyes at the Rusty Spur in Vernon. Ideal for Saudi oil sheiks, billionaire hedge funders, and dot-commers who can tell a cow from a steer. Profitable. Zero debt. Property taxes only $800,000 a year. Price: $725 million.

Adult Elk

The cow elk came through the camera zone just before the calf. Here is an example of a well fed elk from our nearby herd.

Elk Calf

We got the memory card from the trail camera. Unbelievably, we had 246 photos on it and almost all were just of the area in front of the camera with no wildlife. Must have been set off by wind or a moving branch near by caused by wind. How disappointing.
We did get some elk photos, one of a younger calf. It looks like a pony here.


SOS Distress

So what does SOS as a distress signal stand for?

It is commonly held that “SOS” is an acronym for “Save Our Ship” and thus often written “S.O.S.” In truth, SOS is not an acronym for anything.

So why was SOS chosen to signify a distress signal? The thought was that SOS- in Morse code signified by three dots, three dashes, then three dots- could not be misinterpreted as being a message for anything else. Further, being sent together as one string (with no stops), it could be sent very quickly and needed very little power to transmit.

So, despite what you might have read elsewhere, as the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony notes, “This signal [SOS] was adopted simply on account of its easy radiation and its unmistakable character. There is no special significance in the letters themselves…”

Sherlock Holmes' Mail

Sherlock Holmes lived at the famous address of 221B Baker Street. It wasn't a real address when Arthur Conan Doyle was thinking him up as a character. The address was only added much later. When it did, as a bank, the mail flooded in to this famous address. The bank hired a secretary to respond to the letters coming in. More about the story here.
I have been by 221 B Baker Street in London though not right to the museum there. It seems that I come close but have not taken the time to stop and take tea there. Winking)

A Female Pharaoh

History has told us of Hatshepsut of Egypt. She became a Queen of Egypt by marrying her half-brother. But she also became a King of Egypt and Pharaoh to rule Egypt for her stepson who became Thutmose III. Hapshepsut was the bearded female Pharaoh of Egypt and more can be read here.

Hatshepsut was the eldest of two daughters born to Egyptian King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertari. Her younger sister died in infancy, meaning twelve year old Hatshepsut was Thutmose I’s only surviving child from his marriage to the queen. However Thutmose I, like other Egyptian pharaohs, maintained secondary wives also known as harem wives. Any sons born from those relationships could rise to the position of pharaoh should the king and queen be unable to produce a male heir.

The Original Werewolf?

Was there an original werewolf long before Lon Chaney? Maybe the Werewolf of Bedbug in Germany, a man called Peter Stumpf. More here.

What he reportedly confessed under threat of torture was that at age 12, making him 37 at the time of his capture if these reports are accurate, he’d engaged in the art of black magic and succeeded in summoning the devil. Stumpf continued by explaining that Beelzebub had presented him with a magical belt that would allow him to assume “the likenes of a gréedy deuouring Woolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkeled like vnto brandes of fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharpe and cruell teeth, A huge body, and mightye pawes…”


Another assignment was to do motion. The bee from last week was also caught in motion between lavender sprigs. A bit of a fun picture.
thebeeweb 7-16-15

A Canal Reflection

Just a short walk from Linn Benton is the canal that runs through Lebanon. It is always a nice source of reflections on a sunny day.


One of the assignments for the photography class was to get a photo demonstrating reflections. I thought this one was different with the skeleton in the Linn Benton office next to the reflection of a truck aimed at the chest of the skeleton. Implied trauma.


I missed posting this article a couple of days ago when it was the anniversary of Alexander Hamilton's death. He has been in the news a bit lately but not in a good way. They want to replace him on the $10 bill with a female heroine. It may not happen which would be a good thing since he of all the Founding Fathers had the largest influence over our monetary system and saved the country from debt and financial ruin. On this anniversary, here is a nice article about how his loss was mourned greatly by a dear friend, another Founding Father, Gouverneur Morris. Bob has always commented that one of the best books he has read was Ron Chernow's, Hamilton.It certainly made an impression.

Harper Lee

One of the best and interesting books out there to read is Harper Lee's, To Kill A Mockingbird. It was her primary novel and until now she had not written another book. This first one was so huge and noted by so many people that it seemed to drive Harper Lee into seclusion. Now she has written another, Go Set A Watchman, which I believe is a followup with Scout as an adult. The first chapter has been place online so people can read this anticipated book. So let's 'go set a watchman'.

Mixed Up Twins

I came across this article about two sets of identical twins who were mixed up at the hospital between both sets and each set grew up thinking they had a fraternal twin not an identical twin born with them. Until they found out the truth. A fascinating story about genetics, epigenetic, environment and also how one must feel when they look at their life and wonder what it would have been like if they had lived in their true parental family.

Battle of Britain 75 Years Later

How was the Battle of Britain won? They were under the gun of a determined Nazi Germany to defeat them. Britain is what stood between us and the further collapse of world order. This article is a remembrance from some of the aces (flying a Hurricane) from that time. Brave men who helped save us all.

The Tough Founding Fathers

Who were the toughest, possibly "Don't mess with me" type of Founding Fathers. Who gave their all to the cause even though it was putting their lives on the line. Interesting article in all of this. Who would you pick? Hamilton sticks out.

Fire Prevention

Our Neighborhood Watch had a meeting tonight on Fire Prevention for here in the country where we have a lot of forest land around us. The weather has been very hot and dry lately. Chad Calderwood of ODF came and spoke to us. Good information and it seemed to go over well with the neighbors. Interesting thing is that they had to leave right after to deal with fires from lightning strikes with a storm just passing on the edge of us. I tried to get photos but no such luck.

Class Today

My photography class is being held tonight. I didn't get the assignment but went out and shot a few quick photos in our parterre garden. The bumblebees were out enjoying the nectar of the lavender.

Ryan Determined

Ryan is funny when he sees his play fort and also being out at the farm. He walks or runs from place to place enjoying each spot. He can be a determined little boy, or big boy as he likes to think.

Links on Independence Day

It seems we need to treasure our Independence Days even more now. Our liberty or those of us who treasure it or treasure it differently are seeing it slip away. Here is an interesting page of different links to thoughts, speeches, articles about events and thoughts around Independence Day. Good reading and a way to keep this information handy. From National Review here.

Best Fort Around

It is a quiet and recuperating 4th of July at our house. We did spend time with David, Renee, and the boys in the early evening barbecuing. The steaks were great. Before we got to that point, Nicolas and Ryan enjoyed some time on their new play fort. Or it seems like the perfect fort for them.
It is very funny to see Ryan sit in one of the small chairs and pat the bigger one for his "Papa" to join him in the fort area.

Full Moon in Toronto

We had an absolutely gorgeous full moon over the harbor last night in Toronto. Walking back from the restaurant it was spectacular. I didn't have my good cameras so had to do with the IPhone. Getting a closer shot lost a bit yet here it is.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Bob was able to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame today with Steve Dale and Brian Holub. I unfortunately was trying to catch up and work prior to our Winn Symposium. Work never ends. Steve is blocking as goalie today.

Toronto Board Meeting

Busy day today with the board meeting in the middle of the day. Not much time for anything else other than dinner with part of the group at an Italian restaurant in the evening. With some light heartedness and some seriousness, here is Glenn, Steve, and Drew at the meeting.
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