Bobby and Billie Jean

Forty years ago this month, Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King played a tennis match against each other. The match was billed as a man’s ability against a woman’s. It was a very much hyped news event. Since our wedding anniversary is tomorrow, it is hard to believe this match was played shortly after we got married and were back to college.
The big news is that Bobby Riggs “threw” the match to help pay his gambling debts or that is the rumor. An interesting story and remembrance of the match is found in this ESPN article.


Lee Child is due to have a new Reacher novel out within a few weeks. He is one of my favorite authors to read. I got Bob hooked on his books too. His books are not fluff and I feel each word used means something. It is “to the point” type of writing. So, it was with enjoyment that I came across this article of another Lee Child fan. I can see from other authors listed that this person and I would have a lot to talk about. He poses the question of which book is a person’s favorite of Lee Child’s. I have to vote the first I read, 61 Hours. It was taught and tense. It pulled me in to where I could not put it down. I love the mental analyses Reacher goes through to evaluate a tough situation or where a fight can ensue. He plans it out and it usually works. The bad people are “toast” in the end. Yahoo!!!

Edouard Daladier Moments

I comment frequently how I love history, especially certain time periods in history. I also enjoy a good writer and one that engages the imagination with the use of their words. The words will paint images that add to what is being said. One example that is a mix of current affairs and a historical take on the run up to World War ll is found in this article. The author and blogger Diplomad is one of the writers I just described. The article to me is a well written piece and makes it point(s) well.


On one of our prior excursions around Scotland, Bob and I took a good portion of the Whiskey Trail. We have also visited sights on the Isle of Skye (Talisker………..a peppery single malt). Both of us enjoy a good single malt though we do like it on the rocks. We will drink it neat but don’t like it as well. Neat is the way one is supposed to enjoy a Scotch. In this article, they talk about drinking it with Ginger Ale. Bleech! I don’t like Ginger Ale as it is. It is fun to watch the different short segments of video watching Brian Cox saying Lagavullen or Glenfiddich or Balvenie.

A Truly Great Phony

I have never been a fan of this particular President, even from the first campaign he ran. The primary reason over time that I feel is that he is a phony. I detest phonies and their ways. You cannot trust what they will say and follow through with. If their lips are moving, they are lying or laying on a lot of, for a kind word, baloney. A good article to start with is on Powerline and the to go deeper and read the link to Thomas Sowell’s piece. Great explanation of why phonies will stand out and eventually show their true nature.

Dyatlov Pass, Siberia

A little more than 50 years ago, nine Soviet students went missing from their campsite in Siberia. They had been on a trek through mountains to do some skiing. They left their tents in a mysterious way of slashing the walls to get out from the inside. No one knows what drove them to do this and to wander into wilderness. Their bodies were found later quite a ways from the camp site. It has been considered a very eerie mystery. A movie has been made of the puzzle and no further conclusions came up. For now, there still remains Why? To read more about Dyatlov Pass and the “Mountain of the Dead”, read here.


One thing I did not emphasize enough yesterday was how thoughtful Renee was to have planned an anniversary party and have some nice touches with the decorations, cake, food, and picture slideshow. I guess I was not helpful with letting them know what our music was for the wedding. Sadly, I cannot find our wedding program. Announcements, newspaper clippings, napkins, just not the program. I do remember two songs………”Love Can Make You Happy” by Mercy and “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters. The photo is me saying Thank You to Renee for putting it all together.

Thanks for the Memories

Our children sprung a big surprise on us this afternoon and held a 40th Anniversary Party at the Church of the Nazarene. Most of the work was done by our daughter-in-law Renee. Her family and Scott’s significant other, Melissa, also helped out. It was a wonderful surprise and great to have my aunt, Doris, and cousin, Allen, with his wife, Sally, there too. They played a wonderful DVD slideshow of photos of us getting married, having kids, and growing older to the song, “Remember When”. The colors were in Yellow and White and we got to cut the cake (which was great to taste) and actually still be able to eat it. A very nice time was had by all. Happy
Another “Papa Bob” with Ryan.


Points and More Points

I am trying to assemble all the possible points I can gather to reach 500 points to recertify for ABVP diplomate status in feline. If so, this will be the 3rd set of 10 years I will embark on. I believe I will have 473 before hoping a book chapter I did would offer me other points. I spent a good portion of today making a list and planning to the ability to demonstrate and amass 200 points of this in Continuing Education hours. I feel good that I have made this effort and have a good plan to achieve this goal. I most likely will add some exam items to the group so I have a big overage and hopefully will not need to worry about this for a long time.

Webster Knows Dictionaries

The man who developed the first U.S. dictionary was Noah Webster. He was a lesser known Founding Father. He helped to build the U.S. Census, develop worker’s compensation, copyright law, and benefits to others along with publishing the first dictionary for our country. The book sold over 100 million copies. His cousin was Sen. Daniel Webster so it was a talented family all around. To learn more about him, look here.

Justified and Writing

One of the best TV shows around is Justified. Timothy Olyphant portraying Reylan Givens is a superb actor and made for that role. The writer who wrote the short stories that Justified is based upon is Elmore Leonard. Mr. Leonard passed away the other day at an age in his 80s. He was a very popular author and there was a recent article re-posted from 2001 that discussed his views and rules on writing. He advised easy on the adverbs, exclamation points and watch the Hooptedoodle. I find it always pays to listen to someone who has demonstrated they know what they are doing and he fits that bill. Here is another article from someone else who Elmore Leonard gave good life advice.

A Different Washington Post?

The Washington Post has sold to Jeff Bezos, the mind behind the “amazon” Amazon. The Graham family owned the Washington Post for many years, it was a family venture. They also owned Newsweek which I read for many years, every week and most every story. It changed as a magazine over time and became less interesting to buy. The family sold it some years ago and it does not exist now except online in the form of The Daily Beast. Katherine Graham, now deceased and the former matriarch of the family, is an interesting story when one reads the book on her. I have a fascinating one in my library. To get one opinion about how big newspapers can lose their niche and readers, there is an article by Ross Douthat who proposes it well right here.

Lawrence of Arabia

I was off to a day of relief work in Eugene. Time to get back into the swing of things and thinking veterinarian so not much time to ponder blog articles and post. Here is another look at T.E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia fame. His impact appears to live on to this day in the Middle East. Interesting discussion that he was a bit of a self-promoter.

Colorized Photos

What a pleasure to view old black and white photos from the past that have been colorized.It gives the scene and past another perspective. Maybe the colorization brings the scene more into reality versus a remoteness when viewed. Here is a post with some examples, one from the Civil War era. An extended look of the group of photos is also here.

Turning 60

Bob hit the big 60 today. He said he feels not a day older than 59. Happy
Here he is with Ryan and Nicolas. Scott and Melissa, David and Renee, and our in-laws, Bob and Sandee, came out to BBQ and celebrate his birthday. Just a busy day with getting ready, eating lots of good food, and family on a sunny day. Nicolas had been eating strawberries that are still getting ripe in the garden.


There have been recent news articles about border crossing disagreements between Spain and the island of Gibraltar. Gibraltar has been under the control of Great Britain since it was given to them under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1704. Spain would like to have control of the Rock back. Gibraltar has given Great Britain the ability to grow their naval empire of earlier days due to access and control of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. For more information about this area of history and geopolitics, you can read this article.

Typhoid Mary Today

Scientists appear to have found how Typhoid Mary was able to spread typhoid as a carrier. Another medical mystery seems to have found an answer.

When Typhoid Mary died in 1938, in medical exile on a tiny New York island, she took untold numbers of Salmonella typhi to her grave. No one knew how the bacteria managed to thrive and not kill her.

A team of microbiologists from Stanford University and UC San Francisco has found a tantalizing clue: a bacterium strain similar to the one responsible for "healthy" carriers such as Typhoid Mary shows an ability to hack the metabolism of the cells sent out to defend from infection and heal trauma.

Read the story here.

Conversation In This Day

One thing I am most interested in is improving my ability to converse or communicate. Or at least to understand it. It shapes our relationships with others and can either make our life better or much worse with its use. Here is a recent article on conversation and some “rules of the road” to follow. One key principle is to focus on the other person.

Final California

Paul Rahe finished up his travelogue with a description of arriving to Mountain View California and his impressions of what he saw there. Based on his itinerary, they traveled through the eastern part of Oregon and he did not comment. I believe he missed some of the unique nature of that area. It is geologically different and much like traveling back in time to a different era. He did impart some great advice in this piece, one I wish he had used to describe parts of Oregon too.

Twenty-nine years ago, when I headed off to Istanbul as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, the executive director of that outfit instructed me to send back a newsletter soon after my arrival describing my first impressions. "You will forget that which left you wonderstruck," he observed, "as you get used to the place. That fleeting sense of wonder is invaluable." And so it was.

His coverage and observations of parts of the Bay area are good. We lived 20 years in the East Bay area in Walnut Creek. It was a bit different than the Peninsula area of Mountain View yet close enough.

Banbury Tale

In starting a book last night, I saw the name Bambury in it. My mind switched to the thought of Banbury Tales or “feeding us baloney” or “outright lying”. I believe there is an increasing frustration and dissatisfaction with our government. Much of it centers on the fact that our elected leaders, especially the President, do not speak the truth often. Most of what we hear is misdirection or lies spoken as “the truth”. Sometimes the lies are blatant and the person speaking such Tales does not even care if it is called a lie. There appear to be no consequences for telling lies so it just escalates. It is like a little kid who did something wrong and stands there going “NaNaNa, you can’t touch me!” Because few care to do anything about it. The media won’t and that is so disturbing. We are losing our sense of right and wrong and ability to follow the rule of law. A post I came across this morning after I decided to write about this topic seems to touch a bit on this and point out how utterly worthless the media is in this day and age.
Postscript: Another article about truth and how lies creep into creating an ideological “truth” is also written about here.

Road Trip Travelogue

Professor Paul Rahe is a gifted writer and thinker. He has written a book about how our government and political system is subject to the drift of “Soft Depotism”. We certainly seem to be aiming that direction. He and his family are traveling to the West Coast where he has a 10 month visiting professor gig in Mountain View California. He decided to write about his family experiences on the trip while visiting national parks and landmarks. His dialogue mixed with videos of the different locations can be found on the Ricochet website here and here. I will most like write about additional postings in later days since they are just entering Idaho with these two links.


A new book has just been published about Charles Manson. A review of the book and a bit of discussion about Charles Manson’s psyche and predatory behavior is covered in this New York Times Book Review. Certainly one of the scariest true crime books, “Helter Skelter”, is by Vincent Bugliosi who prosecuted Manson and his followers. It delves into the crazy and dark side of human nature, drugs, and insensibility of murder. To read the review, please check it out here.


Just a short reminder of a sad yet interesting bit of history………..the dispersement of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755. This article gives a short synopsis of the times and why it happened. A much larger and well-written book is “A Great and Noble Scheme” by John Mack Faragher and is highly recommended to be added to a library. The heart wrenching poem of Longfellow, Evangeline, is based on Le Grand Derangement.
Evangeline at Grand Pre……..L’Acadie!

Unusual Weather

Today was full of calls and computer work. The weather started out hot this week and cooled some last night with rainclouds noted in the distance last night. Today is started cloudy and then warmed to be muggy and still at night. Some of the clouds are moving up from Northern California and cycling north. We have been seeing more of that lately. Here are some of the unusual clouds in the evening and sunsets.

tree-glow top-8-8-13



Bow Shoot

Our friends and neighbors, the Winterboers, had their annual Bowshoot and BBQ at their house tonight. They invite members of their church and a few neighbors. It was a night where the kids got to enjoy a shooting competition. We all ate first, with lots of Tritip and sides followed by desserts. Hard to believe all that food got almost finished off. We don’t shoot so our role was to watch and chat with neighbors and others. Mike had the fake deer target up and plenty of backup bales. Interesting show all the way around. Mike and Diane have their home and garden looking well on the way to great. I love the gazebo patio; it will be a great place to entertain when all done.
Mike setting up the target
Bob and Dan Hartman enjoying a chat and the festivities


Root Beer Float Day and National Night Out

Tonight was National Night Out for communities and Neighborhood Watch around the country. Our local community likes to get together and help recognize the day. The plan was an ice cream social with root beer floats. Interestingly enough, it was Root Beer Float Day too and I did not know it in my planning. It worked out well. Many root beer float aficionados in the group. We got to meet two new families to the area who either stopped by before the gathering or were at the Fire Station. Good to meet nice new neighbors and talk with long time other ones.
My root beer float……….Yum!
His first root beer float……..double Yum!


Creeping Bureaucracy

Or is the term better used as “creepy”. It is becoming more and more disturbing to see where our government is headed. There is much more of an appearance of autocratic, authoritarianism, statism, or dictatorial aspects to our relationship as U.S. citizens. I don’t know if there is a good sense or definition for people for the term statism which is used often. I think bureaucracy or “creeping bureaucracy” is better understood by me. It appears more and more that the political elite or focused in this country wants to determine how we live our lives and it must be in the manner they determine it should be done. Some appear to want to promote one party government and who are elected leaders should be versus letting the people make the choices. The choices will be made for us. It has been difficult to articulate though I think it was well done in this article by Kevin Williamson. The elite and the media are determining who our next President should be and setting it up so it is a given, or at least a given by those willing to turn over their beliefs and thought processes to “those who know best”. I refuse to be a celebrity-chaser and a low information voter who gives up my freedom without a care. I do care where we are going and that we have choice. Unfortunately, there are many others who will go willingly down the path of least resistance and will let their emotions rule versus evaluating information.

Warren Harding

As one delves into history and the “what ifs” and “how did that happen” scenarios, there is an interesting article on the internet about the strange life and death of President Harding. He died in unclear circumstances in a hotel room in San Francisco. His wife did not allow an autopsy. As I read through the story I get a sense of similarities to President Obama, at least in the area of cronyism and people allied to the Administration who take advantage of their status to do benefit to themselves. For a good read, check here.
President Warren G. Harding

Rosetta Stone

One of the ways Bob and I have determined is someone is somewhat knowledgable about history or even interested in learning is to ask what they think about the Rosetta Stone. No, I am not talking about the language learning product for sale on TV. We mean the real Rosetta Stone found by Napolean’s soldiers while on expedition in Egypt. The Rosetta Stone was a piece of stone issued around 196 BC on behalf of Ptolemy V that had translations from hieroglyphics to Demotic script to Ancient Greek. Without the stone, we would not have been able to translate hieroglyphics into a more modern language for understanding. It was a fabulous find in archeology and is located in the British Museum in London. One of the highlights of our time there was visiting the museum and seeing the Rosetta Stone. Here is Bob standing next to the Rosetta Stone.

Ukraine's Legacy

Two fascinating, informative, and disturbing books I have read are “Bloodlands, Europe between Hitler and Stalin” by Timothy Snyder and “Savage Continent” by Keith Lowe. Both deal with the disruption to the peoples in the region of Poland, Belarus, and the Ukraine. Bloodlands is particularly disturbing in the description of the nearly constant battle over this region between Germany and the Soviet Union. Jews in particular were at risk from both countries and the horror along with the loss of life is appalling. Both books are a must read in my opinion. To see what the legacy is still present in this area more than 65 years later can be found in this article.

Richard III of England Redux

There is further information that has come to light or at least another coffin come to light at the Richard III of England gravesite. As described in this article and below……….(later on the remains in the coffin were identified in this story).

A team of archaeologists said Monday it has unearthed an unusual coffin-within-a-coffin in the central England parking lot where it found the skeleton of King Richard III, and that they hope to identify the remains within.
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