Justified and Westerns

The TV show Justified is set to finish its last season in a few weeks. It is just about the best TV series of all time in my book. The acting and writing are superb. It holds your attention every week. I have always been a Timothy Olyphant fan along with many of the others in this series. Now I came across an article discussing how the series and the main character, Raylan Givens, relates to the western genre and modern manhood. More of the discussion can be found here. At least, I can get away from all the secular progressive garbage on the internet and look at a mix of traditional and modern concepts with this show.

Rachel Lu thinks heroes of the western genre like John Wayne embodied a noble vision of American manhood as honorable, reliable, and self-sacrificing—everything a good American man should be.

Understood in that light, Lu argues that the FX series “Justified,” although it has elements of the western genre, is thoroughly modern, its characters “infused with far more moral ambiguity than John Wayne typically faced.” The show’s protagonist, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant), might dress like a cowboy, but “as a family man, he leaves much to be desired”—because he sleeps around with strange women and refuses to join his wife and baby in another state. By contrast, the show’s villain, Boyd Crowder (the excellent Walton Goggins), is devoted to one woman and his “devotion even inspires dreams of respectability.”

Coloring With Grandpa

While I was off seeing the ultrasound of the newest Thayer rugrat, Grandpa Bob was entertaining Ryan. I caught a few moments of the two coloring together. I missed the photos of them trading color crayons with each other. Silly boys!

Ryan, Little Flirt

With it being Palm Sunday, we were invited over to David and Renee's house to have an early afternoon breakfast brunch. I was able to capture the kids outdoors on the play set on a nice afternoon before we ate our brunch. Ryan didn't want to swing yet he did like the slide. He has always enjoyed trying to slide. Here is a cutesy pose like he is a little flirt

"We Have Worms"

As Bob and I were driving back home from having breakfast in town today, I saw a sign along Highway 20 in front of a small store that stated, "We Have Worms". Now I would have preferred it said, "We sell worms". It brought back memories of the days that my grandparents raised and sold earthworms to fishermen who went up into the mountains to fish along the Santiam River or were going over to Central Oregon to boat and fish on the lakes there. They had a lucrative business and their worms were big and lively, so therefore well sought after by people who drove by. At that time they lived also along Highway 20 (or S. Santiam Hwy) were the Citgo Gas Station is now located. With that said, do fish really like earthworms? Check out the facts here.

Ili Pika

I came across an article showing an adorable looking creature called an Ili Pika. They were first discovered about 20 years ago and were recently photographed again in the Tianshan Mountains of northwestern China. This species is rare and considered vulnerable to extinction. More can be found here.
National Geographic Photo of an Ili Pika

Margie At Work

I caught a good photo of Margie Scherk, a long time friend from Vancouver, BC, Canada, hard at work during the Winn Feline Foundation grant review. She really concentrates on this.

Early Sunrise

We have been getting a number of lovely early morning sunrises again lately. This is from last week but lovely still to see and also to have some nice weather hanging around.

Old Nazi Hideouts in Argentina

They captured Adolph Eichmann in Argentina. We know conventional wisdom says many German Nazis escaped at the end of the war to countries on the eastern side of South American. Mengele lived in Brazil plus Paraguay, I believe, until he died. They found some old buildings, hideouts, in the jungle in Argentina near the border with Paraguay. Just more evidence of the stories that would make up "The Odessa File". Here is a fascinating story found in the Washington Post.

Hello, Jello

Well, who would have thunk it? Gelatin has been around as a "delicacy" since the 15th century. Jello has itself as part of the mix, over a century. Jello is a mix of a name of gelatin and jelly. How cool is that? Learn a little more about the history of jello here.

Books About Madness

Well, with my busy schedule lately, I have not been able to do much in the reading line. Certainly I can't keep up with the books I'd like to get through. I do like to read about what ones are out there. Here is a list of great novels about madness. Interesting and quite mad I would guess. Check it out here.

Forgotten Civil War Sites

I love to travel and go to Civil War sites. I especially like to find small gems of historical sites that don't always attract crowds. Bob and I have been to Gettysburg, Appamatox, Fredricksburg, Antietam, Vicksburg as some of the biggies. They are special. Now it is great to find this article about some forgotten much lesser known battlefields. Check it out here.

Baseball and Spring Training

While in Tampa, people were headed to the region to go to spring training games for the Grapefruit League. My cab driver said that Tampa was the center for a number of teams spring training camps - Yankees, Tiger, Blue Jays for some. So the trivia question of the day is why do baseball managers wear their team's uniform instead of a suit like in other sports? Well, you can find out about it here.

Robert E. Lee

One cannot read about the Civil War and not read quite a bit about Robert E. Lee. His background is fascinating and he had the chance to be a general in the Northern Army. Most likely THE General in charge. What Ifs can ponder how many fewer men and less property destruction would have occurred if he had done so. What would have been like to be in the presence of the top 3 men of that time - Lincoln, Grant, and Lee? I would have like to have sat in one some of their meetings. They all are certainly people I would like to have known. A new book is out looking how Lee squandered his legacy and connection to America's most revered figure, George Washington. A review can be found here.

Some History of Paper Making

Another trivia question is about why paper yellows and becomes more fragile. Paper came to be made out of wood pulp, a mix of cellulose and lignin. Both can oxidize a bit and therefore, discolor. Acid-free paper which lasts longer for more important documents has much less lignin in it. They do not deteriorate so quickly. To learn more about the history of how paper came to be and how it is made can be noted here.

St. Patrick's Day

Just getting home from a long trip and needing to catch up, I did not get a chance to partake of St. Patrick's Day celebrations. I also found that an online class I was taking starts tonight so no rest for the wicked as they say. I did come across this trivia article about why Ireland does not have snakes. A lot of it comes down to the fact that it IS an island and nothing to do with Saint Patrick. More information can be located here.

Lincoln's Constant Threat

Abraham Lincoln faced threats through out his later political life. Certainly around his election, first inauguration, and his years as President. Evidently, he was almost assassinated 9 months before he was assassinated. He still lived his life more in the open and did not shut himself away from meeting the public. It is sad that such a great man, IMO, engendered such hatred. There was much to learn from him than hate him. Read more about this episode here.
In 1864,
"It was during a lonely ride back to the Soldiers’ Home one night in August when an attempt was made on the President’s life. Riding slowly on the road that led to the entrance to the grounds, a rifle shot from approximately fifty yards away startled his horse; Old Abe, the horse, took off at what the President called “break-neck speed [which] unceremoniously separated me from my eight-dollar plug hat, with which I parted company without any assent, express or implied.” "

The Nature of Calico Cats

As a veterinarian, I know why calico cats are almost always female. I did come across early in my career a male calico cat. He was more black than white background with orange and white areas. He probably was fertile and I had to neuter him. It would have made him a better cat. Since I am much older, this kitty has long gone to use all of his nine lives. To learn more about calico cats, go here.

Grant Review, Dreaming of Boats

We had the Winn grant review today and got finished earlier than we thought we would. Efficient group of people. Now the other work begins. In the meantime, maybe I can dream of nice big boats like I saw at the Tampa Bay marina just outside the Marriott Hotel downtown.

Merlot Wine and Friends in Tampa

I moved over to the Crowne Plaza Hotel closer to the airport this afternoon so we could have the Winn board meeting and grant review here. The hotel gave me an upgraded room since I handled the negotiations for the meeting. The other pleasant thing is that they delivered a bottle of Clois de Bois Merlot wine to the room with cheese, grapes, and crackers. I share with my good friends, Glenn and Elaine Olah. We toasted Bob who could not be there.

More speaking in Tampa

Getting more CE in today and also watching Steve Dale speak on the veterinary industry and also the Human-Animal Bond. He does a really great job speaking and involving the audience. His mom should listen to him. Happy


Winn Day at AAHA in Tampa

Busy day in Tampa. Winn Feline Foundation had our track in AAHA conference in Tampa. I had to introduce 2 speakers over 4 lectures through the day. It all went very well and people seemed to receive the information well and pick up the Winn materials for their business. Saw one of my veterinary classmates I had not seen since veterinary school, Randy Felts. Time flies.

The Unknown Soldier

I had to get up early today for a long day of travel to Tampa, Florida by way of Denver. I felt fortunate that the flights were on time and I had no problems getting there. The city seems interesting and I wish I had more time to explore.
One additional bit of trivia for the day is about how the concept for the Unknown Soldier came about. Sites are not just located in the United States where we are most familiar as Americans. Here is some background to read about how an unknown soldier is selected. We have visited the Tomb in Arlington Cemetery and it is solemn and inspiring.
tomb-of-unknown-soldier --11-15

Quartzville Area

Bob just read the Albany Democrat Herald this morning. There is a public safety log entry for around 1:06 pm Sunday where someone called in finding a pile of bones with a baseball cap alongside at Milepost 3 Quartzville. Bob and I were driving in this area around that time, stopping to get photos. The photo here is from near that area, we have others that may be closer. Very strange and hope to find out more.

Still Snow

When we stopped at the Mt. Jefferson viewpoint, we were fairly high in elevation. There was still a small amount of snow in areas. Usually where the shade prevails and little sun enters the area. The nights are still cold. We are faced with some issues with dwindling snow and water sources in the mountains. The reservoirs have the look of a bombed out crater with some water.

Mt. Jefferson

We went for a drive today well up into the Cascades. We followed road 11 along Green Peter Reservoir and along the Yellowbottom area to where the road runs into Highway 22 near Marion Forks. It was a beautiful day full of sun and warmth. The day was crystal clear. So it was stunning to come around a curve and see such a view of Mt. Jefferson.

William Blake

Bob and I have visited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. It was a fascinating trip through the museum and they had really good food there as I remember. I came across this article about William Blake, a well-known writer/artist. His exhibit is considered different. So if you wish to enter that world and find out why, look here.

Island for Cats

"Aoshima Island is one of about a dozen "cat islands" around Japan, small places where there are significantly more feline residents than people. In Aoshima more than a hundred cats prowl the island, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in the quiet fishing village. Cats outnumber humans six to one on the island. Recently becoming popular online, tiny Aoshima has seen a steep rise in tourist visits, overwhelming the handful of permanent residents."

Read the article and see the stunningly beautiful photos of the cats. Very striking in color and similarity…….likely grouping of the gene pool.

Elk Viewing

The weather has been beautiful lately, sunny and warmer days, for Oregon this time of year. We could see our local herd of elk out sunning themselves yesterday afternoon in one of the grass fields across the way. It is close to a small creek draw with trees that they can hide in when they need it without being bothered by people. We hope they will come up our way and cross in front of the trail camera. Wouldn't that be neat?
So here we have the elk will often cross the roadway next to our little barn (seen on the home page). Would having elk crossing signs help? We have deer crossing signs down near one curve where the deer are known to frequently travel. They do seem to take similar paths as they travel. But do the deer crossing signs help? See if so here.

Lincoln's Second Inaugural

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address is considered a masterpiece of political speech. It was all of 700 words, few compared to current politicians who love to hear their own voice. It also pealed with Biblical cadences and themes.

"A hundred and fifty years ago today, as the sun broke through the clouds shortly after noon on a wet Washington day, Abraham Lincoln, with one hand raised and the other on an open Bible, took the presidential oath of office for the second time. The speech he just gave had been received by an enthusiastic crowd on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol. It took about six minutes. Then the oath. Then he said, “So help me God,” bent forward, and kissed the Bible to conclude the solemn ceremony.

Delivered in the waning days of a devastating national conflict that claimed the lives of an estimated 750,000 men, the Second Inaugural Address is widely considered among the most eloquent of all presidential utterances. Lincoln himself considered it one of his finest speeches, telling Thurlow Weed it was “perhaps better than . . . anything I have produced.” It is also among the shortest inaugural addresses, a little over 700 words in length. It is a model of profound simplicity."

An article of longer description of the speech is here.

How to Avoid Procrastinating

Procrastinating can be one of my worst habits. I had to read and keep this article on ways to avoid procrastination when you work from home as I do. My main way is to jump in and get going. This article is helpful in how to avoid getting caught in the sinkhole of email or other tasks to the detriment of others.
Here it is, how to avoid putting off to tomorrow what you could do today.

The Real Machiavelli

Machiavelli was the earlier form of cutthroat politician type. He wrote the blueprint for Saul Alinksy type tactics.
He wrote the book, The Prince, though some think it might have been meant to be a satire.

Entangled in Florentine politics during a tumultuous time at the height of the Renaissance, Niccolò Machiavelli became alternately a diplomat, a victim, a prisoner, an exile and, ultimately, the “father of modern political theory.” And although he remains famous today for his well-articulated methods for ruthlessly thriving in a corrupt world, he never said the phrase that is most often attributed to him: “the ends justify the means.”

Check him out here.

Ketchup or Catsup

I wonder if my oldest son will still want to put ketchup on his scrambled eggs if he finds out that ketchup was first found in China and based on fermented fish guts. YUMM! It evolved over time into the version we use know as a condiment, though the British introduced the term, catsup, at one point. Catsup it was called in the U.S. for many years until the term ketchup took over more. So from fermented fish guts through mushroom and walnut mixed sauce to a tomato base. What a journey! More found here.
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