Tag Archives: Animals

Boss Dude

_MG_4604

There are always bosses, aren’t there?  It is an inescapable situation…even if you are self-employed or own your own business, there’s a myriad of tax and regulatory agencies that that you’d swear are your bosses. If you work for someone else, you have a boss, a manager, a supervisor (even if in California you can’t call them that any more because it might make employees feel inferior in some way or another.)

Not all bosses are bad. Some are wonderful! I’ve been fortunate that almost all the bosses I’ve had in my life were wonderful people.  There’s only really one that I thought was bad…and I won’t mention his name, but after he got fired from the company I worked for, we learned that at his prior place of employment, when he got fired there that the people in the office stood up and cheered as he was walking out. That is enough to give you an idea of what he was like!

This dog seem to me that he’s got a-t-i-t-u-d-e…he seems to know that he’s the boss and wants everyone else to know it. In his case, it’s not bad…in fact, I think it’s cute!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham got his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years afterwards, its existence was a secret known only to the peasants living in the region. That all changed in the summer of 1911, when Bingham arrived with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities of the Incas.

Traveling on foot and by mule, Bingham and his team made their way from Cuzco into the Urubamba Valley, where a local farmer told them of some ruins located at the top of a nearby mountain. The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, which meant “Old Peak” in the native Quechua language. The next day–July 24–after a tough climb to the mountain’s ridge in cold and drizzly weather, Bingham met a small group of peasants who showed him the rest of the way. Led by an 11-year-old boy, Bingham got his first glimpse of the intricate network of stone terraces marking the entrance to Machu Picchu.

The excited Bingham spread the word about his discovery in a best-selling book, sending hordes of eager tourists flocking to Peru to follow in his footsteps up the Inca trail. The site itself stretches an impressive five miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many different levels. Today, more than 300,000 people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over the towering stone monuments of the “Sacred City” and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous man-made wonders.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the biological sign for the female, a circle placed on top of a small cross, is also the symbol for the planet Venus. The symbol is believed to be a stylized representation of the Roman goddess Venus’ hand mirror.

A Snortin’ Terror!!!

_MG_1556

I love animals. Big ones, small ones, brightly colors or even those that are more or less colorless and transparent. I love the variety of animals that exist, and wish that the species that have gone extinct were still with us (well, maybe not T-Rex!!!).

But, I must admit, I have my limits and fears. I don’t like to swim in the ocean because there are just too many things in there that that are much larger and stronger than me, and many of them have very sharp teeth!

I am leery of just about any animal that is bigger than I am or that acts in a threatening manner. Heck, even a small chihuahua that bares its teeth and threatens to bite my ankles is enough to make be back off. I would like to keep all 10 of my fingers and 10 toes, thank you very much!

So, imagine my terror when I turned a corner in Helen, GA in the beer garden that exists in the center of town and saw the fearsome creature in today’s photo. I broke into a cold sweat. The scent of brimstone emanated from his nostrils he was so fierce! But, in the pursuit of a photograph, I pretended to be undaunted and managed to sneak in a picture before I passed out.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in was dawn on this day in 1908 when the most destructive earthquake in recorded European history struck the Straits of Messina in southern Italy, leveling the cities of Messina in Sicily and Reggio di Calabria on the Italian mainland. The earthquake and tsunami it caused killed an estimated 100,000 people.

Sicily and Calabria are known as la terra ballerina–“the dancing land”–for the periodic seismic activity that strikes the region. In 1693, 60,000 people were killed in southern Sicily by an earthquake, and in 1783 most of the Tyrrenian coast of Calabria was razed by a massive earthquake that killed 50,000. The quake of 1908 was particularly costly in terms of human life because it struck at 5:20 a.m. without warning, catching most people at home in bed rather than in the relative safety of the streets or fields.

The main shock, registering an estimated 7.5 magnitude on the Richter scale, caused a devastating tsunami with 40-foot waves that washed over coastal towns and cities. The two major cities on either side of the Messina Straits–Messina and Reggio di Calabria–had some 90 percent of their buildings destroyed. Telegraph lines were cut and railway lines were damaged, hampering relief efforts. To make matters worse, the major quake on the 28th was followed by hundreds of smaller tremors over subsequent days, bringing down many of the remaining buildings and injuring or killing rescuers. On December 30, King Victor Emmanuel III arrived aboard the battleship Napoli to inspect the devastation.

Meanwhile, a steady rain fell on the ruined cities, forcing the dazed and injured survivors, clad only in their nightclothes, to take shelter in caves, grottoes, and impromptu shacks built out of materials salvaged from the collapsed buildings. Veteran sailors could barely recognize the shoreline because long stretches of the coast had sunk several feet into the Messina Strait.

 

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  One of the first chest-revealing suits for men appeared in 1932 and was called the “Topper.” The suit had a detachable top that could be zipped away from the trunk bottoms. Unfortunately, men who chose to appear topless at the time were often arrested for indecent exposure.

Beware the Frog!

Double click for a larger version of the image...
Double click for a larger version of the image…

Did you know that there are around 5000 species of frog in the world?  Every continent has them except for Antarctica. The largest frog in the world is the Goliath frog. It can grow as long as 3 feet when stretched out, and can weigh as much as a human baby (7+ pounds). They are found in Equitorial Guinea and Camaroon in western Africa, lack vocal sacs (so they make no noise) and can as long as 15 years.

The recently discovered Paedophryne amauensis is not only the world’s smallest frog, but also the world’s tiniest vertebrate.  It is about the size of a housefly, averaging 7.7mm long, living solely on the rain forest floor leaf litter detritus in New Guinea.

The Goliath frog could be quite alarming due to its size, the Paedophryne amauensis is interesting because of it’s diminuitive size, but the poison-dart frog is the deadliest of all the croakers. On average they are about 6/10ths of an inch long and are native to central and South America. They are called the “poison-dart frog” because four species of them are used to kill prey by some of the indigenous tribes. They dip the tip of their blow darts into the poison secreted by the frogs and the darts are used to kiill prey…and on occasion, undoubtedly, people. It is said that a single drop of the poison will kill a human being within three minutes.

So, instead of “Beware of Dog”, I thought this item which I saw at a craft fair on Saturday, gave new meaning to “Beware of Frog!”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: on this day in 1998, a pipeline explosion in Jesse, Nigeria, killed 700 people. The resulting fire burned for nearly a week.

Nigeria is an oil-rich country on the west coast of Africa. The oil fields are controlled by several multi-national corporations in cooperation with the Nigerian government. Very little of the proceeds from oil exports reaches the average citizen of the country and millions of people live in abject poverty. In fact, gas pipelines run right through impoverished villages.

One such pipeline ran through the town of Jesse, where it became commonplace for residents to steal oil from the pipeline to supplement their meager incomes. This was known as “bunkering” and was taking place on October 18, when a helicopter was dispatched to disperse the people assembled at the pipeline. Just after the helicopter arrived, a massive fireball shot up 100 feet into the sky. The exact cause of the explosion remains unknown.

The pipeline explosion incinerated hundreds of people instantly. Others died from agonizing burn injuries. The fire burned so hot that rescue workers could not approach the scene for six days. Meanwhile, survivors, some suffering from terrible burns, were afraid to go to the hospital for fear that they would be charged with theft or be blamed for causing the fire.

Finally, specialists from Houston, Texas, arrived with firefighting foam that helped the firefighters extinguish the blaze. Heavier security surrounding the pipelines was instituted in the wake of this disaster.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Speed dating, invented by a rabbi from Los Angeles in 1999, is based on a Jewish tradition of chaperoned gatherings of young Jewish singles.

The Alpaca…Gentle, Lowly…Loveable????

Double click for a larger image...
Double click for a larger image…

Alpacas look like someone played a cruel joke on them, as if when God was designing them, He couldn’t quite make up His mind if they were related to sheep, goats, cows or just a combination of them all. But then again, perhaps He was just in a good mood and felt like having some fun, so He mixed things up a bit!

I shot this photo in Vermont in August as they ate their breakfast one morning.

To look at them, you’d think that they’re all sweet and cuddly, wouldn’t you? Well, let me invite you to watch this video about alpacas that was made by Polymath Innovations this summer. It’s only slightly over a minute long, and you’ll want to turn up your sound so you can get the full effect. Without further ado, I present you, “The Alpaca”: https://vimeo.com/138765794

Enjoy!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: on this day in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln observed a balloon demonstration near Washington, D.C. Both Confederate and Union armies experimented with using balloons to gather military intelligence in the early stages of the war, but the balloons proved to be dangerous and impractical for most situations.

Though balloons were not new, many felt that their military applications had yet to be realized. Even before the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861, marking the start of the Civil War, several firms approached the U.S. War Department concerning contracts for balloons. The primary figure in the Union’s experiment with balloons was Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, an inventor who had been working with hydrogen balloons for several years before the war. He had built a large craft and hoped to make a transatlantic crossing. In April 1861, he conducted trials around Cincinnati, Ohio, with the support of the Smithsonian Institutution. On April 19, he took off on a flight that floated all the way to Unionville, South Carolina, where he was jailed briefly by Confederates who were convinced he was a Union spy.

Lowe became the head of the Union’s Balloon Corps in 1861 and served effectively during the Peninsular campaign of 1862. With the view provided from his balloon, he discovered that the Confederates had evacuated Yorktown, Virginia,and he provided important intelligence during the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia.

Lowe enjoyed a good working relationship with George McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, but experienced difficulty with McClellan’s successors, generals Ambrose Burnside and Joseph Hooker, who were not convinced that balloon observations provided accurate information. Lowe became increasingly frustrated with the army, particularly after his pay was slashed in 1863. Feeling that army commanders did not take his service seriously, Lowe resigned in the spring of1863. The Balloon Corps was disbanded in August of that same year.

Lowe later became involved in a building a railway in California. He died there in 1913 at age 80.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: A normal, healthy amount of food for an average teenager or adult is about 1,800- 2,600 calories a day. During a bingeing episode, it is not unusual for someone to eat 20 to 25 times that amount, which is more than 50,000 calories, roughly equivalent to an entire extra-large pepperoni pizza, a tub of ice cream, a package of cookies, a bag of potato chips, and an entire cake. Bulimics might engage in this type of eating several times a day.

Where would we bee?

Double click for a large image.
Double click for a large image.

What do you think of when you think of bees? Chances are you think of one of two things: honey, or stings!

I don’t know of many people who like stinging insects: bees, wasps, hornets, scorpions…yuck.  Killer bees have been known to chase people over a quarter of a mile once they are angered (the bees, that is!) And then there’s all those that bite but don’t sting: mosquitos, black flies, horse flies, no-see-um’s, and the like.

But where would we be without bees? Most of us know so little about them! There are over 20,000 species of bees and the “average’ hive contains between 10,000 and 50,000 bees and 20-80 pounds of honey. If not for bees, we’d all have starved long ago as plants would have died out. So, if you see a bee, like the one in today’s photo I took in the late summer, thank it for the job it does to provide us with flowers and food!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1942, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress made its debut flight in Seattle, Washington. It was the largest bomber used in the war by any nation.

The B-29 was conceived in 1939 by Gen. Hap Arnold, who was afraid a German victory in Europe would mean the United States would be devoid of bases on the eastern side of the Atlantic from which to counterattack. A plane was needed that would travel faster, farther, and higher than any then available, so Boeing set to creating the four-engine heavy bomber. The plane was extraordinary, able to carry loads almost equal to its own weight at altitudes of 30,000 to 40,000 feet. It contained a pilot console in the rear of the plane, in the event the front pilot was knocked out of commission. It also sported the first radar bombing system of any U.S. bomber.

The Superfortress made its test run over the continental United States on September 21, but would not make its bombing-run debut until June 5, 1944, against Bangkok, in preparation for the Allied liberation of Burma from Japanese hands. A little more than a week later, the B-29 made its first run against the Japanese mainland. On June 14, 60 B-29s based in Chengtu, China, bombed an iron and steel works factory on Honshu Island. While the raid was less than successful, it proved to be a morale booster to Americans, who were now on the offensive.

Meanwhile, the Marianas Islands in the South Pacific were being recaptured by the United States, primarily to provide air bases for their new B-29s—a perfect position from which to strike the Japanese mainland on a consistent basis. Once the bases were ready, the B-29s were employed in a long series of bombing raids against Tokyo. Although capable of precision bombing at high altitudes, the Superfortresses began dropping incendiary devices from a mere 5,000 feet, firebombing the Japanese capital in an attempt to break the will of the Axis power. One raid, in March 1945, killed more than 80,000 people. But the most famous, or perhaps infamous, use of the B-29 would come in August, as it was the only plane capable of delivering a 10,000-pound bomb—the atomic bomb. The Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car took off from the Marianas, on August 6 and 9, respectively, and flew into history.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Ancient peoples, such as the Druids, considered mistletoe sacred because it remains green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear to die. Druids would cut the plant with golden sickles and never let it touch the ground. They thought it had the power to cure infertility and nervous diseases and to ward off evil.

Doofus in the Mist

Double click for a larger version of the image (if you dare!)
Double click for a larger version of the image (if you dare!)

I share today’s photo, not with the intention of scaring little children, but of simply making the point that not all alpaca’s are winsome, smiley creatures. The other day, I shared a rather happy looking alpaca. Today’s alpaca, is, well, I guess there no polite way of saying this, rather doofus-like.

What, you may ask, is a doofus?  Webster defines it thusly: “a stupid or foolish person”. That’s why I didn’t say this WAS a doofus, just rather doofus looking. I therefore christened this particular alpaca with the name, Goofy.

Note the razor sharp look in the eyes (not!). Don’t miss the well-trimmed long eyebrows and eye lashes (not!). Get a load of that aquiline nose. And I think that the coup de gras is the mouth and teeth. Perhaps the only thing that I am aware of that looks more like a doofus is either Bart Simpson or me!!!!

Still, I’m sure that this alpaca’s mother loves him.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1990, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovered three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, South Dakota. They turned out to be part of the largest-ever Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, a 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.

Amazingly, Sue’s skeleton was over 90 percent complete, and the bones were extremely well-preserved. Hendrickson’s employer, the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, paid $5,000 to the land owner, Maurice Williams, for the right to excavate the dinosaur skeleton, which was cleaned and transported to the company headquarters in Hill City. The institute’s president, Peter Larson, announced plans to build a non-profit museum to display Sue along with other fossils of the Cretaceous period.

In 1992, a long legal battle began over Sue. The U.S. Attorney’s Office claimed Sue’s bones had been seized from federal land and were therefore government property. It was eventually found that Williams, a part-Native American and member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, had traded his land to the tribe two decades earlier to avoid paying property taxes, and thus his sale of excavation rights to Black Hills had been invalid. In October 1997, Chicago’s Field Museum purchased Sue at public auction at Sotheby’s in New York City for $8.36 million, financed in part by the McDonald’s and Disney corporations.

Sue’s skeleton went on display at the Field Museum in May 2000. The tremendous T.rex skeleton–13 feet high at the hips and 42 feet long from head to toe–is displayed in one of the museum’s main halls. Another exhibit gives viewers a close-up view of Sue’s five foot-long, 2,000-pound skull with its 58 teeth, some as long as a human forearm.

Sue’s extraordinarily well-preserved bones have allowed scientists to determine many things about the life of T.rex. They have determined that the carnivorous dinosaur had an incredible sense of smell, as the olfactory bulbs were each bigger than the cerebrum, the thinking part of the brain. In addition, Sue was the first T.rex skeleton to be discovered with a wishbone, a crucial discovery that provided support for scientists’ theory that birds are a type of living dinosaur. One thing that remains unknown is Sue’s actual gender; to determine this, scientists would have to compare many more T.rex skeletons than the 22 that have been found so far.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Bela Lugosi’s (1882-1956) face was used as a model for Satan in Walt Disney’s production Fantasia (1940). Lugosi was famous for playing Count Dracula on the stage and on screen.

Duh, hi there, everyone! You look funny!

Double click to see a larger version of "Smiley"
Double click to see a larger version of “Smiley”

You just never know who you will meet, do you? Let me introduce you to Smiley, the alpaca.  (At least Smiley is my name for this lovely creature!)

Smiley and I met last week on a farm in Vermont. Smiley was just one of perhaps a dozen alpacas that live there. They are interesting animals to say the least. They are often mistaken for llamas, but they are smaller than llamas. When I went out to see them early in the mornings, they were making interesting noises…not exactly a grunt, but it almost sounded like they were gargling and grunting at the same time. Strange.

This one struck me because it looked like it was smiling at me. Probably just had a gas bubble, but it was cute. And yes, that’s a fly on the tip of its nose…I could have Photoshopped it out, but thought it added something to image…a statement of truth, if you will!

Take care, Smiley!  Keep on grinnin’!!!!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1846, after a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signed the Smithsonian Institution Act into law.

In 1829, James Smithson died in Italy, leaving his will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson wanted the whole of his estate to go to “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson’s had never visited the US and it aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Smithson had been a fellow of the venerable Royal Society of London from the age of 22, publishing numerous scientific papers on mineral composition, geology, and chemistry. In 1802, he overturned popular scientific opinion by proving that zinc carbonates were true carbonate minerals, with a type of zinc carbonate named in his honor.

Six years after his death, his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, indeed died without children, and on July 1, 1836, the U.S. Congress authorized acceptance of Smithson’s gift. President Andrew Jackson sent diplomat Richard Rush to England to negotiate for transfer of the funds, and two years later Rush set sail for home with 11 boxes containing a total of 104,960 gold sovereigns, 8 shillings, and 7 pence, as well as Smithson’s mineral collection, library, scientific notes, and personal effects. After the gold was melted down, it amounted to a fortune worth well over $500,000. After considering a series of recommendations, including the creation of a national university, a public library, or an astronomical observatory, Congress agreed that the bequest would support the creation of a museum, a library, and a program of research, publication, and collection in the sciences, arts, and history. On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was signed into law by President James K. Polk.

Today, the Smithsonian is composed of 19 museums and galleries and nine research facilities throughout the United States and the world, and the national zoo. Besides the original Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the “Castle,” visitors to Washington, D.C., tour the National Museum of Natural History, which houses the natural science collections, the National Zoological Park, and the National Portrait Gallery. The National Museum of American History houses the original Star-Spangled Banner and other artifacts of U.S. history. The National Air and Space Museum has the distinction of being the most visited museum in the world, exhibiting such marvels of aviation and space history as the Wright brothers’ plane and Freedom 7, the space capsule that took the first American into space. John Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution’s great benefactor, is interred in a tomb in the Smithsonian Building.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The Soviet Luna 9 was the first soft landing on the lunar surface, proving that a stable landing on the moon was possible. Until then, astronomers worried that spacecraft might sink into the lunar surface.

Seeing Triple

Double click for a larger size image
Double click for a larger size image

“Hey, doc!  I think something is wrong with my vision.  I’m seeing double!”  If that were true, you’d have a real problem on your hands and would need to be seen by a specialist to determine the cause.  I used to know a set of triplets.  The two girls were really hard to tell apart…their brother was easily distinguished from them, of course.  I’ve often thought it would be fun to be identical twins.  Just imagine all the trouble you could get in to and then you could blame it on your sister or brother! (Is it even possible for there to be identical triplets?!?!)

Well, I digress.  Today’s photo is of our dog and her mother and sister.  When the three of them are together, it is a bit hard to tell them apart – especially from a distance.  In this photo, our dog, Lucy, is the one at the top.  She’s somewhat easier to tell from the others because she is a bigger dog, and decidedly more FAT.  But I still think that the three of them make for interesting pictures.  And they sure have fun when they are all together!  Alas, we are now in Georgia and her mom and sis are in California, so it is unlikely that the three of them will ever be together to play again, and that saddens me.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: if there is one song that has been played more times by more bands in more garages than any ever written, it is probably “Louie Louie,” The Kingsmen’s classic 1966 hit. But if any other song warrants a place in the conversation, it would be “Wild Thing,” the three-chord masterpiece that became a #1 hit for The Troggs on this day in 1966 and instantly took its rightful place in the rock-and-roll canon.

“Wild Thing” was written in 1965 by a New York songwriter named Chip Taylor (born James Voight, brother of the actor Jon Voight and uncle of actress Angelina Jolie). After an unsuccessful version of the song was recorded and released by a group called The Wild Ones, Taylor’s demo made its way to England, where Reg Presley (born Reginald Ball), lead singer of The Troggs, fell in love with it. Like Taylor himself, who never took his biggest hit very seriously, Presley initially found “Wild Thing” to be a ridiculous trifle, but that didn’t stop him from having his then-hitless band take it into the studio. In a single take of “Wild Thing,” The Troggs captured a raw and thrilling sound that not only gave them a #1 hit, but also served as a formative influence on some of the key figures in the development of punk rock, including Iggy Pop, the Ramones and the Buzzcocks, all of whom credited The Troggs as forerunners.

There were other hits for The Troggs, including “With A Girl Like You” (1966) and “Love Is All Around” (1967)—but nothing to match “Wild Thing” in terms of success or influence. In fact, the most influential recording they made after 1968 was not of a song at all, but of an intra-band argument during a troubled 1972 recording session that was bootlegged out of the studio and passed around as “The Troggs Tapes.”  On it, various Troggs can be heard bickering and cursing (137 times in 10+ minutes) in accents and language that served as the direct inspiration for This Is Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner’s 1984 seminal “mockumentary.”

“Wild Thing” was memorably performed by Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, complete with burning guitar, and it was covered with some success by the L.A. punk band X in 1989, but it’s the Troggs’ version that has become a staple of movie and television soundtracks. With royalties earned from his band’s signature hit, Trogg frontman Reg Presley has emerged as one of the world’s foremost experts on and largest sources of funding of research into the mysterious phenomenon of crop circles.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The average temperature on Mars is -81° F and can range from -205° F in the winter to 72° F in the summer.  Humm…at least for the summers, it sounds preferable to Georgia!

DayBreaks for 7/28/15 – Journey to Nowhere

DayBreaks for 7/28/15: Journey to Nowhere

 (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” – Luke 9:14 (NIV)

You may know the famous story of Jean Henri Fabre, the French naturalist, and his processional caterpillars. He encountered some of these interesting creatures one day while walking in the woods. They were marching in a long unbroken line front to back, front to back. What fun it would be, Fabre thought, to make a complete ring with these worms and let them march in a circle.

So, Fabre captured enough caterpillars to encircle the rim of a flowerpot. He linked them nose to posterior and started them walking in the closed circle. For days they turned like a perpetual merry-go-round.

Although food was near at hand and accessible, the caterpillars starved to death on an endless march to nowhere.

That seems to be the story of many people today. They are on a march that leads to nowhere. We need to stop for a moment, and sit down in the presence of Jesus.

Have you been on a journey to nowhere? Running around in circles but never getting anywhere except worn out and disillusioned?

Then stop and receive what Christ has to offer you, just as the multitude received the loaves and fish.

PRAYER: Let us sit at your feet today, Jesus, and receive what you have for us this day!! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

The Wild Rooster

Double click for a larger version of this image...
Double click for a larger version of this image…

When you grow up on a farm, you have a greater “admiration” for roosters. Well, perhaps admiration is the wrong word for it. You HATE ’em! Why? Pretty simple, really: it means that it’s time to crawl out of your bed, pull on your jeans and shirt and head out to do the morning chores – all before the sun is really up. After the chores, you go back to the farm house and kitchen to eat breakfast…and then it’s back outdoors to start the rest of the day’s work.

There are advantages to living on a farm – lots of them.  I wouldn’t change the early years I spent on the farm for anything.  Nor would I trade a summer I spent on the farm with my cousins in Iowa (we’d moved away from Iowa and were living in California at that time) just before my freshman year in high school.  But we worked HARD that summer…very hard, and it is hot and humid in Iowa during the summer!  By the end of the day, you were exhausted and fell into bed.

But, before you knew it, there was that danged rooster again, waking you up and heralding the new day.  I wanted to kill him!  Yet, somehow they remain fairly frequent objects d’art, like the metal one in today’s photo from the Flea Market.  Fortunately, he was quiet, or I would have wrung his neck!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1916, in San Francisco, a bomb at a Preparedness Day parade on Market Street killed 10 people and wounded 40. The bomb was hidden in a suitcase. The parade was organized by the city’s Chamber of Commerce in support of America’s possible entrance into World War I. San Francisco was suffering through severe labor strife at the time, and many suspected that anti-war labor radicals were responsible for the terrorist attack.

Labor leader Tom Mooney, his wife Rena, his assistant Warren K. Billings, and two others were soon charged by District Attorney Charles Fickert with the bombing. The case attracted international interest because all evidence, with the exception of a handful of questionable witness accounts, seemed to point unquestionably to their innocence. Even after confessions of perjured testimony were made in the courtroom, the trial continued, and in 1917 Mooney and Billings were convicted of first-degree murder, with Billings sentenced to life imprisonment and Mooney sentenced to hang. The other three defendants were acquitted. Responding to international outrage at the conviction, President Woodrow Wilson set up a “mediation commission” to investigate the case, and no clear evidence of their guilt was found. In 1918, Mooney’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

During the next two decades, many groups and individuals petitioned California to grant the two men a new trial. By 1939, when evidence of perjury and false testimony at the trial had become overwhelming, newly elected Governor Culbert Olson pardoned Mooney and commuted Billing’s sentence to time served. Billings was not officially pardoned until 1961.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is the first person to become a billionaire (U.S. dollars) by writing books.