When I was a kid, we had a boat and did some water skiing. It was fun, and while I thought I was pretty good at it, I was really only good enough to stay upright on the skis for quite a while.  I never did tricks, never skied barefoot or anything like that.

I’m not a real fan of snowboarding (never done it), or half-pipe in the X-Game or Olympics, but this past Saturday (the day before my birthday) I noticed that in the lake right close to where we live, they were hosting a Pro Wakeboard competition.  I’d never seen the sport at all, but thought it might yield some interesting photo opportunities…and I was right!  I had a good time taking shots even though I had no understanding of the scoring or of the “tricks” that they were doing.  The announcer would say something like, “That was a 720 with a toe hold, yada, yada, yada….” and I thought, “OK.”  Then, someone else would do something that looked identical to me, but the announcer would say something different.  I didn’t really mind, though…I was just having fun taking pictures.

Today’s photo was part of the early shots I took that morning.  Looks like fun…but I’m not about to try it.  My bones aren’t up for that anymore!!!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1941, the Germans, having already begun their invasion of Soviet territory, invaded and occupied Lvov, in eastern Galicia, in Ukraine, slaughtering thousands.

The Russians followed a scorched-earth policy upon being invaded by the Germans; that is, they would destroy, burn, flood, dismantle and remove anything and everything in territory they were forced to give up to the invader upon retreating, thereby leaving the Germans little in the way of crops, supplies, industrial plants, or equipment. (It was a policy that had proved very successful against Napoleon in the previous century.) This time, as the Germans captured Lvov, the Soviet NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB secret police, proceeded to murder 3,000 Ukrainian political prisoners.

Lvov had had a long history of being occupied by foreign powers: Sweden, Austria, Russia, Poland, and since 1939, the Soviet Union, which had proved especially repressive. The German invaders were seen as liberators, if for no other reason than they were the enemy of Poland and Russia—two of Lvov’s, and Ukraine’s, enemies. But release from the Soviet grip only meant subjection to Nazi terror. Within days, administrative control of Ukraine was split up between Poland, Romania, and Germany. Some 2.5 million Ukrainians were shipped to Germany as slave laborers, and Ukrainian Jews were subjected to the same vicious racial policies as in Poland: Some 600,000 were murdered. (Ukrainian nationalists also had blood on their hands in this respect, having gone on the rampage upon the withdrawal of Russian troops by scapegoating Jews for “Bolshevism,” killing them in the streets.)

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: DeForest Kelley (Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy) was originally offered the role of Spock. (I wonder if he said, “I’ve got no bones about it if you give it to Leonard Nimoy.”)


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