Closer Elk Viewing

Here is another view of the elk as they try to get a better look at the camera area.

The Elk

We looked at the trail camera memory card today and there was a lot of activity on the card………..deer, a turkey, and part of the elk herd went by. See one of the photos.

The Claque

We have heard of "laugh tracks". So throughout history, there have been people available for hire or use who offer clapping at performances. It is to help boost enthusiasm in the audience for the performance. Here is more info about what a claque means.

"…a theatre or individual could order anywhere from a handful of well-placed plants to a large audience full of enthusiastic supporters to fill out empty seats or bolster the desired reaction to a début play or performance in order to influence subsequent reviews."

Civil War Songs at the New

Recently a vocal ensemble presented a collection of songs, hymns, and fiddle tunes at the Cooper Union in New York City. The hall was where Abraham Lincoln made his famous Cooper Union speech in February 1860 as he ran for the Presidency. Read more about it here.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

A book has come out recently that is a mix of old and the new. It is a book based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's experiences with comments and footnotes from the editor of the book. It has become a big bestseller and is only in hardback. The first edition is selling around 10 times the issue price. It is not an e-book at this time due to the complexity of the book. Fascinating on how we still treasure the touchstone pieces of literature from earlier days. Maybe a number of us don't want to be entertained by Kim Kardashian and her family after all. A book review is found here.


Another Centennial Anniversary today. 100 years ago the British began the battle of Gallipoli against the Turks in the Dardanelles. It was a military disaster for the British that came within a hairs breadth of succeeding. Lack of coordinated planning and will led to their defeat. Many remembrances were held throughout the various UK associated countries. Many of the men who died came from Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC forces. Please read more about this episode in history here.

Armenian Genocide

Today is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Christian genocide started by Turkish Muslims. This occurred during the height of World War I, therefore it was easier to hide the loss of over 1 million people. I did not read about the serious nature of this genocide until I read a book called "The Burning Tigris". The horrors of that time can translate well into what is happening in the Middle East currently. Savagery never ends. More can be found in this article written by a descendant of Armenians who lived through the times.

Choo Choo

Ryan came to play yesterday and he had his older brother's "letter" train set. He was very cute sitting on this rug with the train pieces pretending they will pull across the rug. "Choo Choo", he says.

Before Auschwitz

In the early days of Hitler's term as German Chancellor, many Jews and undesirables went to work camps or early concentration camps. James Rosen writes a very interesting book review of a book on Jewish Prisoners in prewar camps. Surprisingly a fair number of these individuals escaped and survived compare to prisoners at later camps. To learn more about this disturbing time in history, please go here.


We see them all over the house and outdoors. People will say, "Don't harm the Ladybugs". They really are not a bug and are of the beetle family. They live on aphids which can harm crops.The belief is that the name Ladybug is so from a specific lady—the Virgin Mary. Why? No one knows for sure. the red shell for the red cloak? More can be found here.

A Cougar on the Loose

We also had a cougar venture through almost 24 hours after the elk did. Stalking a potential kill?

Elk in the Neighborhood

Got a night shot of a recent cow elk moving through our property and triggered the Trail Camera.cow-elk-4-19-15

Going For A Drive

Headed over to Sisters, OR today with some side trips to a few spots along the way. This was a gloriously beautiful warm spring day. Many people were out traveling and enjoying the wonderful nature that is Oregon. Here is Mt. Washington standing loud and proud amongst the various Oregon Cascade mountains.


Roman Era Grave

They keep metal detecting and then digging to find fascinating caches of their history in Great Britain. Recently, a man found the grave of a wealthy Roman individual. The items were likely dating from around 200 A.D. Mosiac pottery, bronze jugs, and coins were part of the mix. More information can be found here.

Real Jurassic Park

So will we really try to do a version of Jurassic Park some day in the near future. It appears they are looking at bringing back different extinct species through using samples of their DNA, De-extinction they call it. More can be found here.

Jurassic Park has a lot to answer for. It made the idea seem so simple. Take the DNA from a microscopic drop of dinosaur blood, preserved for 65 million years in the gut of a mosquito trapped in fossilised amber. Carry out a bit of jiggery-pokery involving chaos theory and Jeff Goldblum. Insert the dino DNA into the yolk of a crocodile’s egg and leave to incubate. Soon you’ll have a thriving menagerie of once-extinct beasts roaming the jungles of someone’s private theme park. The 1993 Hollywood blockbuster and Michael Crichton novel of the same name may not have invented the idea of “de-extinction” but they certainly put it out there as a concept. And like all good works of science fiction, it showed what goes wrong when scientists get above themselves. A rampant T-rex is, after all, the ultimate invasive species.

Another Appomattox View

It was a fight to the finish. So is the judgement of this article about the End at Appomattox. Lee maneuvered his troops as best he could until the end. He finally saw where he could do no more. Here is a look at the last months, days, and day of the Civil War.

Lincoln's Assassination

Today is the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's assassination. We have been to Ford's Theater and have seen the room across the street where Lincoln died. So sad.

Interesting to contemplate if what if Lincoln had lived? Here are some thoughts.

As America remembers the events at Ford's Theater 150 years ago tonight, many are wondering how things might have been different had John Wilkes Booth missed his shot, or if President Lincoln had just stayed home instead of following his wife Mary's wishes for a night of entertainment.

Would Lincoln have been a successful second-term president? Would the reconstruction of the South been handled better with a strong and powerful leader such as Lincoln in charge? Would western cities like Denver or Phoenix have become home to free slaves and perhaps a new, more powerful black middle class? Or would Lincoln have become like Winston Churchill, a war hero who was later tossed out by voters when Great Britain's economy turned sour?

Celtic Music

Bob and I love to listen to Celtic Music. This is why we had a good time listening to this trio at the Scottish Festival. Their name is Golden Bough. They are funny and have lively music and ballads. We got one of their albums.

Off With Her Head

Under the weather today yet nice to post a photo of Queen Mary and her court. I hope she can hang on to her head this time around. Where is Queen Elizabeth when you need her?

Scottish Festival in Linn County

We went to Albany today to visit the Linn County Scottish Festival. It had been on a two year hiatus.
Here is the Eugene Highlander Pipe and Drum band getting ready. We saw them march in with the NW Scottish Honor Guard.

More on Appomattox

Here is another well written piece about the surrender at Appomattox. There are many good writers out there who can bring that day 150 years ago into the present.

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Robert E. Lee acknowledged the inevitable.

His forces shrunken and surrounded, his provisions dwindling rapidly, the Union Army pressing the attack, Lee first acknowledged to himself, then to his fellow Confederate officers, and finally to Ulysses Grant that the South was defeated.

“The time has come,” Lee told aide-de-camp Walter Herron Taylor, “for capitulation.”

“Well, sir,” Col. Herron replied, “speaking only for myself; to me, any other fate is preferable.”

Appomattox at 150

Today is the sesquicentennial of the surrender at Appomattox. We have visited this Civil War site which is not as heavily visited as many others. Bob and I were visiting Charlottesville in Virginia and were staying at a lovely B&B, At breakfast we heard some other people talking about how they had visited and felt the quiet and power of the place. We dropped our plans for the day and drove south to Appomattox. We have always been glad that we did. There is a stillness there and you can just envision all the soldiers slowly marching and waiting for the ending of a war that killed so many men, so many dreams. Here is a synopsis of different articles about this day.

100 Bestselling Used Books

I came across an article about another article covering what are considered 100 of the bestselling used books. I have read over time 31 of them and have around 10 more in my library that I have not read. So I am close to reading or buying about half of the list. I suppose that makes me a bookaholic or at least somewhat well-read. The list is found from AveBooks here. This is a good used book site.

James Madison

We have a large library in our house. Many books. A fair number of them are history books and exceptionally good ones about U.S. Presidents. One person who is often credited with being the writer and voice behind the Constitution is James Madison. We have visited his home in Virginia and almost went again (drove by but the cost to enter was too expensive then). It was interesting and his life with Dolly sounded also a story to hear. Now there appears to be even more a focus on his life. There are 4 new books out about James Madison and you can read about them here.

Ready For The Closeup

We captured some more photos from our Trail Camera of the local deer herd. One seemed to be saying, "Ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMIlle".ready-closeup-4-6-15

Easter and Family

Today is Scott's birthday and also Easter. He and Melissa could not join us for Easter Dinner. We all met for dinner last night at Momiji. We did have David, Renee, the boys, and Renee's parents, Bob and Sandee. Caught Ryan enjoying his plate of grapes since he loves his fruit and veggies.
ryan-and-grapes-2 4-5-15

Apartment Burning

April Fool's Day was not a good one for a number of people locally. A major arson fire was set at the cafeteria of South Albany High School. This whole building part of the school burned to a crisp. It serves as a cafeteria and meal center for a number of local schools and a band center too. What a shame. Then later in the day while David, Renee, Nicolas, and Ryan were out here at the farm, their old apartment they lived in until last October burned inside. All the units in this section were affected with smoke and water damage beyond this one. It was comforting they no longer lived there and no fire started while they lived there and were upstairs. The stairs were narrow, and steep with an angle. Not a good way to get out from a fire below. Supposedly the later tenants were moving out and had leaned a mattress against a heater starting the fire. Sad if true.
apartment-burning- 4-4-15

Memories of Norway

Our friends from Norway have posted a link on Facebook to a site with 30 images from around Norway. I would imagine we have seen better than 50% of these places and have photos from the areas too. Probably not as nice depending on weather, print film cameras, and location. It still is fun to compare. The first photo of Trollstigen is definitely a place Bob and I have been and have lots of photos. Here is the site.

Stallheim Gorge, Norway

Medieval Cemetery at Cambridge

A large cemetery holding the remains of approximately 1300 people has been found near the University of Cambridge. The bodies are likely from the medieval hospital located in the area and were mostly poor people. More information can be found here.
Scientists say the bodies mostly date from between the 13th and 15th centuries. They would have been taken from the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist, which stood across from the graveyard until 1511. The college, which takes its name from the hospital, was founded that same year by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII.

The bodies were buried without coffins or even burial shrouds, suggesting that most of the dead were poor. Most of the bodies were male, hinting at the hospital and cemetery's stated purpose, which was to treat "poor scholars and other wretched persons."


How Does That Work?

Ryan is having fun with one of Nicolas' toys today. He is checking it out carefully. He may ask "How does that work?' but he will figure it out.
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