BenTha'er-Horizons

Teenagers in Medieval Times

What does a person do with their teenager? Or is it troubled teenager? In these times, most do nothing, others take away privileges (driving, money, video games, etc.). Not very suitable punishments usually. Well, see what they did in medieval times in Europe to the young in their homes, usually the young men. They were apprenticed or indentured to others to learn skills or new trades. Maybe it was to get bad attitudes out of the home and sent somewhere else. Check it out here.
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Top Battleships

Which are the top 5 battleships of all time? Which one would win a battle over another? It depends on the circumstances and who got in the first attack. Are there mismatches or truly matches of battleships. Check it out in this article in National Interest.
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Viking Exhibit in London

The Vikings are part of the history of England. They fought and conquered much of England, Ireland, and Scotland in territory. They went on to intermingle in the populace and would bring a large part of their culture with them that became a part of how the English progressed. The city of York in England has been hugely influenced by early Viking development. There is a fascinating museum there describing the impact. Now, the British Museum is having a display currently about the Vikings and this exhibition has been very well attended. One centerpiece is the frame of a 121 ft. Viking longship. We saw similar longships at the Viking Museum in Oslo. Read about the exhibition here. A bit of flavor for what is there.

“More than 50,000 visitors have so far absorbed the tales of wily Nordic gods, admired treasure hoards from as far afield as what is now Uzbekistan and shrunk from a warrior skull used to scare off enemies on the battlefield.

Vikings have long had a special place in British lore, not least as the guys who got there first. They roamed the seas and established far-flung trade links centuries before the British did. They enslaved and conquered and built an empire, albeit briefly, that included large swaths of England and Scotland. One of their descendants, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, even went on to beat Robert Falcon Scott to the South Pole in 1911.”


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Springtime Creeks

Here is another view of a creek flowing into the South Santiam River. The run-off from the snow and excess rain has been pretty heavy. The contrast of the water with the green moss on the rocks is striking.
spring creek
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Tree Moss

At this time of year due to the rain, one sees a lot of moss covering the trees, rocks, and fallen stumps. It becomes a very colorful green. I was able to capture this moss-covered tree at the edge of the South Santiam River.
Moss
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South Santiam Area

We left for Bend Oregon yesterday, stayed overnight, and returned today. It snowed in the mountains and on the passes overnight. I could not stop well for pictures of the area though did get some with the camera phone. We did stop on the side wood bridge at Fernview Campground next to the South Santiam River. I got some wonderful colorful photos of a creek nearby and the trees and rocks at this time of year.
Santiamriver area
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Grant Not Short of Audacity

General U.S. Grant did not run around trumpeting “The Audacity Of Hope”. He just performed his job audaciously and quietly. He often was not always right in his methods in the short term but his perseverance in the long wore down the Southern armies and allowed the Northern armies to win. Another enjoyable article about Grant can be found here in the Weekly Standard.
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Does It Really Mean This?

Many of us have run across the Latin appearing wording that is used as a wording placeholder on the web. The three main words that start the phrase are “Lorum ipsum dolor.” I am running across these words right now as we develop the new Winn Feline Foundation website. Someone has now translated the text. To see what it means, read about it here. Of course, there are places on the web that have their own translation version (highly made up) to this notorious placeholder phrase.
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Sleeping Dervish

The dogs go along with Bob as he works in the woods. They play in the trees and try to race the tractor home, especially Dervish. This is hard work for dogs and it catches up to them like it does us. Just see this picture from last night with Dervish sleeping below our feet. It is a dog’s life.
Dervish sleeping
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Negotiating with Steve Jobs

I ran across this interesting article written by a woman entrepreneur. She was an early person into the personal tech world and offered a service that Steve Jobs could use for his company NeXt. She describes what negotiation with Steve Jobs was like and really how to get around a bottom line that could be a win-win for both groups. The take-aways she introduces are worth reading. An interesting story from the business world found here.
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Cats and Egyptian History

Were cats domesticated in Egypt much earlier than we previously knew? New bones of kittens excavated in Egypt say so. Read about it here.

“The skeletons of six cats, including four kittens, found in an Egyptian cemetery may push back the date of cat domestication in Egypt by nearly 2,000 years.

The bones come from a cemetery for the wealthy in Hierakonpolis, which served as the capital of Upper Egypt in the era before the pharaohs. The cemetery was the resting place not just for human bones, but also for animals, which perhaps were buried as part of religious rituals or sacrifices. Archaeologists searching the burial grounds have found everything from baboons to leopards to hippopotamuses.

The new find includes two adult cats and four kittens from at least two litters. The size of the bones and timing of the litters hints that humans may have kept the cats. The bones date back to between 3600 B.C. and 3800 B.C., which would be 2,000 years before the earliest known evidence of cat domestication in Egypt, archaeologists report in the May issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.”
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Jasmine is a Trackie

We did something different today. Jasmine has joined Junior High track and they had their first track meet this afternoon. She is competing in long jump, high jump, and high hurdles. The schools all competing were Philomath, Linus Pauling, and Lebanon. Bob, Nicolas, and I met David with Ryan there and then sat with Melissa, Denver, and Shasta. Jasmine was up and about before she went to her competitions. Scott showed up later. Jasmine ended up not running the hurdles so she could practice more. We all had fun watching the kids do their best and it was on the Lebanon High track which is in great shape. We will have to do it again. Snapped a photo with David holding Ryan.
At the school track
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Stress, Really?

The past 10 plus days, especially just the past 3, have been very busy and stressful. There has been a lot to do and some really stressful, difficult points of the days. Lots of decisions to make and hope they are right. Renee had a funny cartoon on her Facebook page that I saved as an image. It certainly fits this moment in time.
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Fascism and Communism

Jonah Goldberg has written a number of articles and a book about the twin political beliefs, fascism and communism. In this article, he gives the argument again that a political theories, they are not opposites as many portray them. They are actually closely related with different economic arms to that particular political philosophy. I agree with his take on it though I am sure there would be plenty of heavy debate on that statement. His article can be found here. The current situation occurring between Russia, the Ukraine, and the Crimea demonstrates quite nicely how this operates in real time.
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Monty Python Skits

I came across an article tonight be a writer/blogger who told the story of how Monty Python saved her life. Probably more on the figurative side versus the literal. The insight into human nature is definitely amazing along with being just plain funny. The point of her article is that the three best sketches to her are probably not the funniest. I know some of my favorites are the Cheese Shop, the Dead Parrot, and the Ministry of Silly Walks. The second sketch on her list is also one a thoroughly enjoyed for the repartee between John Cleese and Graham Chapman. The dialogue is crisp and one can sense the frustration of being up against bureaucracy. It is called The Argument and they are good at arguing. Check it all out here.
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The End of Oranges

We like oranges in this household. We had the best orange tree when we lived in California in Walnut Creek. The oranges were so sweet and tasty, especially cold. Now there comes an article where a large percentage of the orange groves in Florida are infected with a bacteria that keeps the oranges from maturing. Nothing can be done to cure it. They can spray to help prevent the take over of the orange trees. This is an expensive process and often is a losing one in the long run. You can find the full story here. So will it be the end of our orange juice?
Orange
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Top 10 Books People Lie About Reading

Here is a list of the top 10 books people lie about reading. They say they have read the book so they appear knowledgable and important. Of the list, I have read four. Most of these many years ago. One is a a favorite of mine,
A Tale of Two Cities. Check out the list here. See how you stand up against the group. I would say, I would like to read the whole list since they are a good group to do so with.
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First Black Medal of Honor Recipient

The National Gallery has had a display in recent history of photographs depicting the history and tale of .......

“Tell It With Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial," whose purpose is to dispel the shadows of anonymity surrounding a group of soldiers whose July 1863 assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston harbor was a turning point in the war.”

One of the photos shown is of William H. Carney who was a member of the 54th Massachusett’s Regiment and the first African-American recipient of the Medal of Honor. It was bestowed belatedly in 1900. The story of Mr. Carney and the other faces of courage can be found in this article.
William H. Carney
William H. Carney, a member of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment
and the first African-American recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
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Tractor Work

Bob and Nicolas were out today, working in the afternoon sunshine. Bob has been trying to pick up a lot of the broken tree limbs due to the snow/ice storm of last month. Lots of work to do. Even though this was a bit of a distance for the IPhone, I had to hurry to get outside and take the photo of the two of them on the tractor pulling the trailer with the limbs.
Tractor Work
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Best Bookstores in the World

Read about 18 of the best bookstores in the world people should visit just once. A concept that would be great if one had time and then money to do so. Powell’s Bookstore in Portland did make the list. Many in the rest of the world did also. Some pretty cool photos to be found in this article and list.
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Books Presidents Like

There have been a number of these blog posts that talk about books. There will likely be many more. I did come across this one article that told of the favorite books of all the 44 Presidents. You can check out the reading material here.
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Earthquake Felt

We learned this morning that there was a 6.9 earthquake about 50 miles off the coast near Eureka, CA. The earthquake happened last night about 10:18 p.m. Now I am usually a heavy sleeper about that time. Bob on the other hand was awake and he said that he noticed the curio cabinet holding my Toby Jugs was rattling and shifting for about 30-45 seconds last evening. He wondered what was going on to cause that disturbance and Oscar the cat was also upset at the unusual noise. So it appears that it was felt all the way up here in Lebanon OR which is quite a distance. One can read about the earthquake here.
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Winterboer House Sunrise

I posted a photo yesterday of the brilliant and large sunrise. Today I will post a photo of how the sunrise extended even toward the north and colored the sky above Berlin Ridge and the Winterboer’s house. It was unusual and quite pretty to see the sky so pink at that time. It did not last long though so the photos had to be quick and without a tripod.
IMG_4915winterboersunrise
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Surprising Sunrise

We have had fewer sunrises than usual so far this fall and winter. This morning it surprised us with a truly bright spectacular and large sunrise. Large in meaning because it extended along the eastern mountains towerd the hills of Berlin Ridge Rd. The colors covered a large area of the horizon, more so than usual.
IMG_4907sunrise
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Ukrainian Uprising

Since November 2013, the Ukrainian population has taken to the streets in Kiev to protest the President of the Ukraine turning away from ties with the European Union and moving ties toward Russia. Many, especially in the western part of the country feel closer to the EU, others in the eastern section are tied closer to Russia. This resistance has led to the President (former now) fleeing to Russia and abandoning his palatial home. Russia has asserted its power and position to the Ukraine by taking over the Crimea area and placing it under total Russian control. One article I had saved a few weeks ago about the Ukrainian resistance and uprising against police tactics discusses how the people fought back by using medieval tactics and weaponry. A discussion of this is found here.
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Checking Out Poetry

Do you like poetry? I find that I do, at least certain types and when I am presented with it. We probably don’t appreciate it as much as we should. Certainly, my favorite is Emily Dickinson. I seem to find her work will dig into my psyche more than most poets. I did come across a Poetry Foundation online where one can find certain poets and their work with some background information along with the poems. It is a good source to have handy so here it is.
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Hitler versus Stalin

I have written previously about a very good history professor and author, Timothy Snyder. He is a professor at Yale University and has considerable expertise on the Eastern European sphere of World War II. He currently has an article about how we should view the acts of Hitler versus Stalin. Who might be worse? Are the shear numbers of people killed more horrendous than the way they were killed? Did the killings overlap in some countries and could be attributed in some manner to both men? Even out of these numbers, even the difference of one is a human soul that should be mourned. It takes a lot of “ones” to add up to the millions lost. Snyder claims that the numbers attributed to Stalin may be less than surmised since more came back from the Gulag alive than previously reported. Yet, the numbers lost before the war were great and often not considered to the level of casualties during the war. Please read his work here.
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Portland Versus the Rest of Oregon

Surveys can often prove what you know in your “gut” to be true. So it is with the publicizing of a recent survey of Oregon residents. The survey compared the political views of Portlanders to the 3-county region and than rest of the state of Oregon. It confirmed that Portland was quite a bit more liberal in views than the rest of Oregon. In fact, the rest of Oregonians are pretty moderate, middle-of-the-road people. Much like I remember the state being when I was growing up..........very much on the independent side, “go our own way”. Linn County is pretty much a red county in voting, right up next to blue counties of Benton and Lane. To read a bit more about what this state is really like politically, check it out here.
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Renee's Birthday

Today is Renee’s birthday, just two days after her Dad’s birthday. The daffodils should be coming out more so a great flower to share the day with. Here is Renee with silly bug, Ryan.
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Another Cuba Time

Michael Totten has written another great follow up article to his series about Cuba. I wish our current leaders in Washington, especially on the Democrat side, would take the time to read them. Maybe then some, like Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa (who will retire, Thank Goodness) would not make the idiotic statements praising Cuba as a wonderful example of government working for the people. How the streets are clean....................could it be because they are not allowed to have anything extra as far as food and goods that would even clutter the streets? Maybe they would be jailed if they did or were menaces to society. Too bad Tom Harkin is not jailed for being a pure ignoramus. See here what Cuba is really like and why Michael Totten says he won’t return while the Castro regime is in power.
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Birthday Parties

Bob Lewis is having his 60th birthday today and Sandee had a surprise birthday party for him at their home. Family and friends came to share. His sister from St. Louis had traveled the day before to participate. Unfortunately, I did get to meet her at the party. It is also St. David’s Day in Wales, so another good tradition to celebrate too. Bring on the daffodils. Here is Ryan’s take on birthday parties.
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