Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mystery In The Dark

Earlier this week, about nine o'clock in the evening on a totally dark, overcast night, I watched a patrol car driving very slowly past our house. He was cruising at walking speed, about five miles per hour.  It was much too dark to tell if it was a Sheriff's deputy or DPS - I could only make out the outline of the vehicle, and could barely tell that there was a highly reflective logo on the door - couldn't read it but knew it was there.
Just before he reached the corner, he stopped and backed up about 100 feet.  Then I watched as a small deer crossed the road in his headlights.  The car sat there for another minute, then the driver got out and opened the trunk.  
I couldn't tell what he was doing, so after a couple minutes, I cut through the house to the front porch in hopes of getting a better view.  By the time I got out the front door, he was gone.

Friday, December 9, 2016

(Mrs) John Glenn

Yesterday marked the passing of John Glenn - fighter pilot, astronaut, senator and by any standard, a true American hero.  He left behind the love of his life, Annie, a woman whose bravery he said exceeded his own.
Annie suffered with such a severe stutter that she was unable to do such simple things as grocery shopping, or taking a taxi by herself. Finally, at the age of 53, she found an intensive new program that cured her affliction, and she became an adjunct professor with the Speech Pathology Department at Ohio State University’s Department of Speech and Hearing Science, and a spokesperson for the disabled. 
She  received the first national award of the American Speech and Hearing Association for “providing an inspiring model for people with communicative disorders.”
As John Glenn once wrote of her: “It takes guts to operate with a disability. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do all the things that Annie did so well.”
“We tend to think of heroes as being those who are well known,” he wrote, “but America is made up of a whole nation of heroes who face problems that are very difficult, and their courage remains largely unsung. Millions of individuals are heroes in their own right.”
“In my book, Annie is one of those heroes.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Eco-Drive

Almost since the invention of the wheel, scientists and engineers have dreamed of inventing a perpetual-motion machine.  
Never happened - probably never will - but the closest they have come is probably the Citizen Eco-Drive Watch.  It is battery powered, but that battery never needs to be replaced and is constantly charged by ambient light.
I have been the proud owner of one of these amazing watches for over a quarter of a century.  It is a WR100 model, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 feet.  I never take it off - I've even worn it scuba diving - and the only time it needs adjustment is on the first day of any month that comes after a month of less than 31 days.
It has kept perfect time - never failed - until about four days ago. 
I'm not sure what is wrong with it.  It's displaying a symptom similar to what the Citizen website says you might expect if the battery was recharging after the watch had been stored in the dark for a week or two. It hasn't been off my wrist, so that obviously isn't the problem.
I've sent it in for repair.  
Now all I can do is hope, and keep looking at my naked wrist.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

War Effort




When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor 75 years ago today, they probably didn't plan on one reaction from the American public.  According to the Children's Bureau, the increase in the birth rate in 1942 was the largest since they began to keep records in 1915. Nine months after Pearl Harbor, in September of 1942, the rate jumped from 18.7 births per 1000 citizens to a wartime high of 23.3, and it stayed high. According to J. C. Capt, then Director of the Census, "the 1943 birth rate was the greatest in US history."
Those bombs that sank the Arizona were also responsible for the "Baby Boom." Patriotic American moms pumped out 300,000 more babies in 1942 alone (2,808,996) than they had in 1941. By 1943, the total increase in new births surpassed the number of American lives lost in all of WWII.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Peace and Quiet

It's a quiet day at the old Boggy Thicket - all the rain from the last few days has either run off or soaked in - everything is fine.
For some reason, that made me think of Schofield Barracks 75 years ago today.  Home of the 25th Infantry Division, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, it's hard to imagine a more perfect military assignment, but one day can make a Hell of a difference.
I have no idea why I thought of that today, but I sincerely hope it wasn't a harbinger of things to come.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Firemen

I have mentioned this before FIREMEN but somehow we are never quite prepared for it to happen.  
We live on a very quiet country road, on what is essentially a cul de sac - only one way in or out - so when we hear sirens (Lots of sirens) in the night, we naturally assume the worst.
If it is December, instead of a calamity, the chances are it's the Huffman Volunteer Fire Department giving Santa Claus a ride around the neighborhood on a fire truck.  
If they had come around last night, we might have been prepared, but this year they came on December 1st, and managed to scare the be-jabbers out of us once again.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Barbie Boom

Sony Pictures has announced that they are in the process of creating a live-action movie based on Mattel's Barbie.  It is said that their choice for the title role is Amy Schumer, the occasionally funny but always foul mouthed comedian.
If Barbie were life-sized, she would be 5'9" tall, with a 39 inch bust, an 18 inch waist, and a size three shoe.  She would weigh in at  110 lbs. soaking wet, and her Body Mass Index would make her severely anorexic.  
Schumer's stats (you can find anything on the internet) are 5'7", 38-28-39 and she weighs 160.
This could be the worst casting snafu since Paramount decided 5'7" Tom Cruse  was perfect to play 6'5" Jack Reacher.