BenTha'er-Horizons

Early Morning

We had to get up before 3 a.m. in San Antonio to catch the flight home. We had pretty smooth sailing along the way through Salt Lake and landed about 9:30 a.m. Home about 1 p.m. It is amazing how travel can wear a person out in trying to get unpacked and details finished up.
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Last Day in San Antonio

Surprisingly, it seemed like the numbers of attendees for the last day were way down. Certainly, not as many in the exhibit hall and much fewer in the lecture rooms. I did not place in the photo contest “dagnabit”. Bob helped Tim and Karen to pack up and get ready for a 9 hour drive.
Marybeth, Bob, and I had dinner at Boudro’s on the Riverwalk. One of their specialties is to make guacamole at your table. They took one avocado and cut it in chunks. They mixed it with juices of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lime. They mixed in salt, cilantro, and serrano pepper salsa and it was scrumptious with chips. They have the recipe on the website.photo-1 copy
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Financing talks

Another full day of lectures. Margie Scherk spoke for the morning and it was nice to say hello. Bob and I got to spend some time with the Bank of America finance person on site. We also talked with a lovely lady who also organized different insurance plans for practitioners who are looking to establish a practice. It all looks promising. The 5 Musketeers had dinner at an Italian restaurant, Luciano’s. The hot bread with herbed olive oil was spectacularly tasty.Winnmatter
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Slowing Down

I was able to get in some veterinary lectures this morning. I wound down this afternoon and just visited some of the exhibits. Bob attended the full day design conference and was able to get more information on rooms and materials from this part of the program. We wound down in the Marriott Rivercenter hotel bar with bar food and drinks.photo
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Design

Got a later than usual start and made it to the Southwest Veterinary Symposium Design Conference for the afternoon. There was a lot of good information present and a great deal of “food for thought”. Marybeth made it to San Antonio and we attended evening lectures together. I was surprised I was able to stay up to 10 pm to do so. Bob helped Tim and Karen to set up the booth for Art for Cat’s Sake.
AFCS
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San Antonio Trip

Off to the airport earlier this morning to catch a flight to the great state of Texas. We flew through Salt Lake City on the way to San Antonio. Bumpy ride down and back up with Salt Lake City. Hot and humid in San Antonio. The temperature is around 90 degrees. We got together with Tim and Karen Becnel to have dinner along the Riverwalk at The Original Mexican restaurant. Bob had a good margarita, the mexican food was not quite as good as our local in my opinion.
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An Interesting Life

Louis Mountbatten was closely related to the Royal Family of Great Britain. His life’s story is very much tied to the 20th Century’s look at the Empire of Great Britain, especially related to India. His daughter, Lady Pamela Hicks, has written her biography that includes a look at her family and their part in this history. One can read about the book here.
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Outwitting Plagues

Malaria has been a scourge world-wide to the human race. A recent article talk about looking at a totally different method to control the spread of the malarial Plasmodium parasite. Scientists plan to vaccinate the mosquitoes. Read about how they do it here.
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More Middle East

Here are two more articles about how we have given away our standing and power in the Middle East. Some of it by choice with this administration, some of it by being oblivious to the consequences. Time will tell what was the wrong course and what was right. Read about here and here. We are in the process of a long withdrawal of influence in that deadly region of the world.
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Another Good Writing Bit

I have covered this person’s writing style before from their blog. It is well-done and they seem to always have an apt written illustration of the issue to start. This article discusses how we often believe we are clever and have been so smart in what we do. When it is often that our counterpart or opponent has been much more clever because they are so much more devious and good at it. The article discusses why we should have been working at the Syria problem long before we are playing catch up and trying to look good at it.
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Clever Work

I came across a story about a family who were clever in how they took advantage of a product promotion and giveaway. If they purchased a particular chocolate pudding and sent in the product labels, they would earn air miles on American. They have well over 1 million miles that they are using to take trips around the world. They continue to build on the air miles and have higher member status to get travel perks. This probably was done around the year 2000 so whether anyone could do a similar program now is unlikely. It was clever how they used a small amount of money with some effort to obtain a very nice perk of travel. Read about it here.
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Lincoln on Jefferson

Today there was a short blog about how in 1859 Abraham Lincoln sent a letter to the Massachusett’s Republicans about what Thomas Jefferson meant to the country. The blog covers a small portion of what Lincoln wrote in his letter.
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New Thoughts on Our DNA

A recent article talks about some newer thoughts on DNA and the fact that some people may have more than one set of DNA in their body. Chimerism. It offers a puzzle and thought that if this is true for people, could this also be true in other animal species? Is this why we may not find a mutation in some cases when researchers look and don’t locate what they expect? Fascinating and very curious.
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Foreign Policy

A writer named Walter Russell Mead has a very good blog covering American domestic and foreign issues. He writes thoughtfully and offers great insight in many ways. He had a recent long piece about foreign policy that he divides into four different groups of “thought”……….Jeffersonian, Hamiltonian, Jacksonian, and Wilsonian. He describes their different beliefs and approaches based on current world affairs. It is an interesting read here.
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Farewell

A sad day in Washington DC. There was a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in southeast DC. This area is close to the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium. I have not been there though Bob and David did see a baseball game there.Twelve people are dead and then the shooter was also killed in a gun battle. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families.
Flag half mast
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Inchon Landing

Today is the anniversary of the Inchon Landing General MacArthur performed in the Korean War. This was considered quite a coup for the United States in the war. Unfortunately, the significant benefit the landing gave the U.S. in this war was not maintained and in the long run, the war slipped into an Armistice with the peninsula split into North and South Korea. A short description of the Inchon Landing is found here.
Korean War Memorial in Washington DC
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Victory Japan Day

A reminder of what the day looked like in Japan when the end of that theatre of war came and victory was declared. Just a half a world away and 3 years from yesterday’s blog on the Dieppe raid.
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Dieppe

There was a military raid or intervention during World War ll that was a serious day of loss for Canadians much like Dunkirk was for the British. It was at Dieppe in France on August 19, 1942 and it lead to a large number of casualties and prisoners. Information can be found about the Dieppe raid at two sites, here and here.
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Comedy with Sad Seriousness

Over the past two weeks we have been subjected to foreign policy issues and retreats regarding Syria to where it is hard to tell if the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello or all of them are in charge. All I know is that it smacks of the history around the Munich Pact in 1938. As Bob says, “Peace in Our Time”. One synopsis of the mess is written here. Another great analysis is covered here by the great Victor Davis Hanson in this interview with Hugh Hewitt.
HH: I am joined now to gauge reaction to the President’s speech from Victor Davis Hanson, eminent military historian and frequent visitor to my regular show. Victor, good evening, what was your reaction to the President’s speech tonight?
VDH: I was underwhelmed. I’d like to think everybody was. He wants to use force, but he doesn’t quite want to use force. It’s going to be substantial, but not very substantial. He really thinks it’s important to consult Congress, but he wasn’t going to do it. But then when he got in trouble, he was going to do it, and then when they were going to vote no against him, he postponed it. He really believes you always have to do it, but of course, he didn’t do it in Libya. And the winner of everything is Vladimir Putin. I mean, he’s Machiavelli. He’s absolutely, in a diabolical way, brilliant, because suddenly, a man with no aircraft carrier group, no Nobel Prize, no big economy, no democracy, is the moral superior to the President. He’s posing as a man who stopped a rash and immature Obama from killing people and breaking stuff. Meanwhile, he stole Bashar Assad. 99% of the people you kill, you don’t need WMD. You just keep killing them. And we’ll talk for the next month about WMD while this naïve in America keeps trusting us. It’s a win-win situation for everybody. And then Obama is reminded by Putin I prevented you from embarrassing yourself, because you would have been turned down by the Congress. He couldn’t have acted anyway. This way, you’ve got an out with my phony negotiations, which have already made you alter your presidential address. And next week, I’ll probably alter it again with a new idea.


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9-11, the 12th Anniversary

September 11, 2001 got the closest to us when we had to fly to Baltimore a few weeks after the attack. Many people were nervous to fly at that time and we met many people who wondered why people from California would come back East then. Especially those people we met in Washington D.C. An example of the impact at that time of what the terrorist did is this photo I got from Arlington Cemetery of the damage to the Pentagon from Flight 77.IMG_20130509_0021
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The Arabia

There is an interesting story online about the finding of a Mississippi River boat that had sunk in 1856 and quickly buried in the river silt. Individuals have excavated and salvaged the site using their own money. It cost at least $1 million to do this and they then have set up a museum in a local abandoned vegetable warehouse. To clean and display all the items from the paddle wheeler will take another 30 years of work. Read about it here.
Hardware salvaged from the Arabia
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Cat Island

There is an island off the coast of Japan, Tashirojima Island, where cats rule. They outnumber the humans on the island and help drive tourism. The story can be found here after reading an excerpt below.

Tashirojima is a dwindling two-port, 100-person fishing community where cats outnumber humans many times over. It's a real-life cat haven, where dogs are reportedly banned from entering and monuments to the feline overlords are plentiful. The story goes that cats first prospered on the island back when occupants raised silkworms and enlisted their four-legged friends to help keep the destructive mice away. Later in the 1800s, when Tashirojima's fishing grounds became popular, fishermen came to believe that the island’s cats gave hints about weather patterns and the day's catch. They doted upon the strays that would wander into their inns and thought that feeding them would guarantee prosperity.

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Cat and Kittens Rocks

A short way south of our motel in Bandon was a nice beach with several rocks farther out in the surf off the beach. One cluster of rock formations are called the Cat and Kittens Rocks. Since they brought to mind the love of cats, I had to get a picture of the grouping.
Cat and Kittens Rocks, Bandon
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Sunset Bay

There is a small bay west of Coos Bay that is called Sunset Bay. It is a frequently photographed place since it is a spectacular spot for sunset viewing. It is also a pleasant spot for picnicking, beach walking, water sport, and fun at the coast. At least, on a sunny warm day such as this one was for us.
Sunset Bay
Bob observing the scenery.
Sunset Bay and Bob
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Beach Play

One of the fun things for children at the Coast is to play in the sand and water. I caught a couple of boys enjoying their activities. The younger wanted to play in the sand; the older preferred to build log structures. The later activity was a struggle and he was never able to place one log up into the fork of another log.
Beachplay
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Coastal Symbiosis

After several visits to the various western states coastal sites, I don’t think I have seen such a gathering of seal types in one location like I did near Cape Arago and Sunset Bay west of Coos Bay, Oregon. It was amazingly noisy with all the “barking” that they do. Interspersed with the different types of seals are birds, such as pelicans. They seem to be at ease with each other and Mother Nature as the ocean waves break over the rocks they share.Seals and birds
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Pier Pilings

There are a number of interesting compositions along the river shores near the Coast. It makes it hard to pick which is the best of the bunch. It is just fun to play around with what is there. Here are some Coquille River pilings that look like sentinels at watch, protecting the near by shore from invaders.
Coquille pilings
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River Delights

All the time we spent in Bandon, the daytime was lovely. Really fun to get some great photos of the ocean, rivers, and life around the area. I was able to get some good photos of the Coquille River pilings at low tide with a fishing boat in the background. Earlier morning with light from the east is a great help in doing this. Lovely reflections in the water._DSC5502
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Cape Arago and Coos Bay

On this day we headed north to Coos Bay to see the area west of that town and visit the state parks, beaches, and the lighthouse there. It was another warm day with sun. How spectacular can that be! We found the community west of North Bend very depressed economically with many abandoned buildings. The state parks and beaches were not crowded and were lovely to visit. Great to come back to with the rest of the family.
Cape Arago Lighthouse
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Bandon to Brookings

We had not spent any time on the Southwest Oregon Coast so that was our trip this holiday. We got into Bandon at about 9 pm last night in the midst of coastal fog, mist, and rain. We had a nice motel lined up by Table Rock. Our room was spacious and comfortable, called the Anniversary Room. Lovely, bright red and gold furnishings.
After a nice breakfast, we headed south to make Brookings, the last town on the Oregon coast before California. One highlight was stopping at the oldest lighthouse in Oregon, built in 1870, called Cape Blanco. The day before this, the weather had been foggy and misty. One could not see the lighthouse from the gate area below. The Langlois (pronounced Lang-less) and Hughes families were keepers for the lighthouse. They raised families there in bad weather and isolation.
Cape Blanco Lighthouse
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40th Anniversary

Today is our 40th anniversary. What a milestone and miracle. I remember worrying about making our 25th due to concerns about my health. We did it. It started a beautiful morning with the sun shining brightly in Bandon. What a perfect day for photography! Here is my earlier morning photos of the Coquille Lighthouse with the sun from the east highlighting it.
Coquille Lighthouse at Bandon
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