Student of the Month

Nicolas got a Student of the Month Award yesterday at the grade school assembly. Most improved behavior for the month. Good for him. We attended and watched the awards. Nice little program. Interesting that the students learned to clap with applause just once for each award. It does keep the amount of time involved down. We should do it more often. Here is a history of why and when clapping started.


A fossil was found from 4,800 years ago of a mother cradling a baby. History is with us all the time. More can be found here.

Alexander Hamilton

Bob has spoken highly over time of the Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton. He thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could not get through it, more a timing issue, not enough time I am afraid. Now Hamilton has been redeemed to some respect through a Pulitzer winning Broadway play of that name. This article talks about the play and book. How cool is this information!

Vikings, A Trip

I like to watch the TV series on the History Channel called Vikings. I have been to Norway and have visited the Viking museum. We have seen Viking ships that have been restored. They are not large. It is hard to believe they crossed the Atlantic in them but they did. They are now going to cross the Atlantic in a Viking ship again. The story of the voyage is found here.

JFK, Another Assassination Attempt?

Did JFK's assassination in Dallas, TX possibly followed an attempt in Springfield, IL that was a bit of a premonition for Dallas? JFK and the Secret Service were not careful with checking his route and keeping him protected in a car with a bubble shield. I knew had heard of this so it is an interesting piece of news and trivia.

Freddy Mercury

If you like music and love to listen to Queen, you will understand why you do and what makes the lead singer Freddy Mercury so special. Check it out here.

Music and The Bridge

I am totally weak about understanding music.I love to listen to it but I know little about the notes and basis of it. I did find this article quite fascinating about how music is coming lately to dropping "the bridge" from writing of songs. I have heard of the bridge while watching American Idol and as they show mentors helping the young artists learn the craft. The article describes what a bridge is and why it is going away in many ways. The other cool thing is that there are a number of videos in the article of music I love to listen to.

More Archeology

In another area of the world, they have unearthed shackled skeletons in a grave near Athens. they think these may have been followers of Cylon, a tyrant who wanted to take over the Acropolis in 632 B.C. More can be found here.

A Roman Villa

Rome included the British Isles in the large mass of territory they conquered and ruled over. Caesar never stopped or it seemed like he didn't. They have recently found one of the largest villas under a home in Wiltshire England. More on it here.

"It is thought the villa, which had around 20 to 25 rooms on the ground floor alone, was built sometime between 175 AD and 220 AD, and was repeatedly re-modelled right up until the mid - 4th century."

Mary Shelley and the Seeds of Frankenstein

Mary Shelley is the author of the novel, Frankenstein. Her family roots are a bit famous and also likely dysfunctional. Her early life and marriage was also dysfunctional which may be some of the psychology behind the wounded soul of a grab bag person of Frankenstein. This article explains more of her life and marriage to Lord Percy Shelley and life around another aristocrat, Lord Byron.

Gaelic Language

I downloaded a new album by Runrig the other day. Yay!! Some of the songs are sung in Gaelic. Just to show how special Gaelic is too parts of Scotland and Scottish immigrants (especially to parts of Nova Scotia), I found this article that showed where Nova Scotia is reviving their Gaelic culture. Certainly they have the Gaelic college on Cape Breton Island we stopped at. I learned to love the sound of Gaelic just listening to Runrig on BBC Gaelic driving around Scotland.

Fort Hoskins

As we drove up the valley toward Kings Valley we saw signs directing us a short distance on another road to Fort Hoskins historical park. I had not heard of it. It was a spot where a small army fort was located in the mid-1800s to over see the Kalapuya and Luckiamute natives. There were at one time about 200-300 soldiers located there. It is a pretty area overlooking the river valley. Lots of blooming apple trees around. One homestead is still there.


As we ate at the Horseradish for lunch, one can see the set up inside the restaurant. They have music on Friday and Saturday nights. We had a lovely salmon and cream cheese with herb dip with chips. Yum. We also bought some really good cheese to take home, Humboldt Fog is among the best.



Out For A Drive

Having not done anything relaxing and fun plus today was a beautiful sunny day, we went for a drive through countryside we have not been before. West of Corvallis and in the Kings Valley area. The trip culminated in lunch at the Horseradish cafe in Carlton, OR. This is very much in the heart of Oregon wine country.
I did get a very nice photo of one of Oregon's covered bridges, the Ritner Creek bridge over Ritner Creek near Kings Valley.

Sunny Saturday

I have been away from my blog for over a month due to travel and tragedy. I have tried to take this weekend to do more for myself and allow some stress healing from too much work. It wasn't the best start since dinner from last was not the best for me.

I am starting to catch up. I have the fans on, the outside door open and the sun is shining. I downloaded the new Runrig album yesterday and am listening to some celtic rock while I sit here and type. Yay!


Our Elk Herd

Look at that rack of horns on this bull elk from the elk herd who visit our property. Impressive!


Tracing Fairy Tales

We've had fairy tales in our lives for longer than we think. They have traced back tales like Little Red Riding Hood for centuries, some to even the Bronze Age. Even Beauty and the Beast. Some to Indo-European backgrounds. Here is more information based on research.

Unusual Toxic Animals

We often know which snakes and other animals are deadly if they bite humans or other animals. I came across this article about some lesser known animals that have toxic qualities.

Witness to the Assassination

The ability to look at old TV and movie archives is one of the benefits of living in this day and age. It was really fascinating to come across this clip from 1956 from the TV show, "I've Got A Secret". The link on YouTube was removed but the current link evaluated the story that was covered on the TV show. He had an elderly man who was the last witness to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford Theatre in Washington DC. Just amazing to see this testimony and also how well the panelists got to the point of knowing his secret.

Hitchcock Movie Tricks

Alfred Hitchcock was well known for his cinematic technique and subtle messages. This article talks about the hidden trick in most classic Hitchcock scenes.

"That’s the thing about Hitchcock’s movies: the twist matters less than realizing you had a hundred opportunities to guess it."

Happy Birthday Scott

Today Scott is 33 and has his own house. Proud of him doing all of this and getting his house in better appearance and working order. He has a pleasant place now and it will be better as he goes along.

A good place to be at 33 in this day and age with an economy that doesn't allow as many to get ahead as they did in past years.

We went out and had dinner at the 1847 Grill at the Boulders Inn. A good place for dinner and happy hour.

Fire Alarm in the Morning

The fire alarm came blaring on in our room at the Hyatt Place in Austin, TX at 3 a.m. After getting dressed and grabbing my phone, we found the exit stairs and walked 16 floors down to the street. Not a fun walk and it was alarming since it did not seem like a drill. Surprisingly, there weren't as many people down below as I would expect.
Come to find out, some college guys broke a sprinkler head on the floor above us and the water was coming down to the 16th floor. They only evacuated those two floors. People did not leave or have an alarm they heard on lower floors. Fortunately my laptop was OK and the rooms affected were around the corner and down the all.

It was a killer for a bad knee to walk down the stairs.
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