Nearly everyone who works knows what “hump day” is…it’s Wednesday’s for most people, right? Monday is awful, Tuesday isn’t much better, but on Wednesday at noon you’re about half way through your work week and by the end of the day you’re up to 60% done for the week. And it’s all downhill from there!
I don’t know about you, but maybe you’ve had a tough week. Mine was complicated by my stupid habit of returning from a vacation at the last possible moment so as to prolong the time away, so we got home from our Florida vacation at about 1 a.m. on Monday morning…and it was a work day. Not smart, you say? Yeah, probably not. And then to make matters worse, I’ve had a cold since before we left Florida and it’s been progressively getting worse, not better. Today was the worst yet, so hopefully it’ll start to turn around soon. (Some of the ladies at work told me that drinking vinegar – a tablespoon at a time – helps. They were dead serious. They even had some at the office for just such occasions, so I took 2 tablespoons of the stuff today. Not bad, actually. I kinda like vinegar!) The cold has made it hard to sleep at night so I’m a bit run down…and I have to hop on a plane on Friday morning to fly to Tucson for a speaking engagement on Saturday morning. I’m just hoping it’s improved be then!
This character in today’s photo looks kinda like most people feel on “hump day”, though it was actually shot on Monday of last week. Wonder if he looks better toward the end of the week. I sure hope so! Maybe if you go visit Animal Kingdom in Orlando this week you could let us know. You can see him (perhaps) on the safari ride!
On February 4, 1974, Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California, by two black men and a white woman, all three of whom were armed. Her fiancé, Stephen Weed, was beaten and tied up along with a neighbor who tried to help. Witnesses reported seeing a struggling Hearst being carried away blindfolded, and she was put in the trunk of a car. Neighbors who came out into the street were forced to take cover after the kidnappers fired their guns to cover their escape.
Three days later, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a small U.S. leftist group, announced in a letter to a Berkeley radio station that it was holding Hearst as a “prisoner of war.” Four days later, the SLA demanded that the Hearst family give $70 in foodstuffs to every needy person from Santa Rosa to Los Angeles. This done, said the SLA, negotiations would begin for the return of Patricia Hearst. Randolph Hearst hesitantly gave away some $2 million worth of food. The SLA then called this inadequate and asked for $4 million more. The Hearst Corporation said it would donate the additional sum if the girl was released unharmed.
In April, however, the situation changed dramatically when Patty Hearst declared, in a tape sent to the authorities, that she was joining the SLA of her own free will. Later that month, a surveillance camera took a photo of her participating in an armed robbery of a San Francisco bank, and she was also spotted during the robbery of a Los Angeles store.
On May 17, police raided the SLA’s secret headquarters in Los Angeles, killing six of the group’s nine known members. Among the dead was the SLA’s leader, Donald DeFreeze, an African American ex-convict who called himself General Field Marshal Cinque. Patty Hearst and two other SLA members wanted for the April bank robbery were not on the premises.
Finally, on September 18, 1975, after crisscrossing the country with her captors–or conspirators–for more than a year, Hearst, or “Tania,” as she called herself, was captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery. Despite her later claim that she had been brainwashed by the SLA, she was convicted on March 20, 1976, and sentenced to seven years in prison. Her prison sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter and she was released in February 1979. She later married her bodyguard. In 2001, she received a full pardon from President Bill Clinton.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Because of their acute sense of smell, dogs are trained to sniff out everything from drugs to bombs to iron ore. In Ontario, Canada, instruments couldn’t locate where natural gas was escaping from a pipeline buried 18 feet underground. Trained German shepherds were brought in. The dogs worked in sub-zero temperatures and covered nearly 100 miles of frozen ground, ultimately finding more than 150 gas leaks.