Monday, October 31, 2011

One Of My Favorite Writers...!

One of my favorite fictional characters of all time is Sherlock Holmes!

Therefore, it stands to reason that the person who created that character would become one of my favorite authors, don't you think? It takes a special mind to create the people, places, and the puzzles that mystery writers can put together! Very special!

Oct 31, 1892:
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes published

On this day, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle, is published. The book was the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887.

Conan Doyle was born in Scotland and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he met Dr. Joseph Bell, a teacher with extraordinary deductive power. Bell partly inspired Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes years later.

After medical school, Conan Doyle moved to London, where his slow medical practice left him ample free time to write. His first Sherlock Holmes story, "A Study in Scarlet," was published in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887. Starting in 1891, a series of Holmes stories appeared in The Strand magazine, and Conan Doyle was able to give up his medical practice and devote himself to writing.

Later collections include The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894), The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905), and The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1827). In 1902, Conan Doyle was knighted for his work with a field hospital in South Africa. In addition to dozens of Sherlock Holmes stories and several novels, Conan Doyle wrote history, pursued whaling, and engaged in many adventures and athletic endeavors. After his son died in World War I, Conan Doyle became a dedicated spiritualist. He died in 1930.

If nothing else, you have to admit this ol'boy was a very interesting individual! Certainly multifaceted, I would say!

Oh, and just in case you were favorite writer of all time...BAR Stephen King! I offer this information while reminding you that Christmas is just around the corner, and books make great gifts!

Now, my friends, I have some fresh coffee to share out on the patio. It's a little cool, but the coffee is hot!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

They Call Me "Count Dracula...!"

Probably very few people are as recognizable as Bela Lugosi, the original Dracula!

When you think of what an impact this man had on the horror film genre, you would expect that he must have made a lot of money. Not true!

The fact of the matter is, he died a pauper! In fact, Frank Sinatra paid for his funeral! You can read his entire bio here!

I thought you might like to see just what kind of money he made for his films, just as a matter of history!

Glen or Glenda (1953)
$1,000 (flat rate, 1 day)

Vampire Over London (1952)
$5,000 (flat rate)

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) 
$1,500 per week with ten week guarantee

Genius at Work (1946)

The Body Snatcher (1945)

The Return of the Vampire (1944) 

You'll Find Out (1940) 

Son of Frankenstein (1939) 

S.O.S. Coast Guard (1937) 

Postal Inspector (1936)
$5,000 (flat rate)

The Invisible Ray (1936)

The Raven (1935)

Phantom Ship (1935)

Mark of the Vampire (1935)

Gift of Gab (1934) 
$250 (1 day)

The Black Cat (1934)

Chandu the Magician (1932)

White Zombie (1932) 

Dracula (1931) 

Not much money for such a well known icon, wouldn't you say? Certainly not by today's standards!

Just a little halloween history for you today!

Now let's have some fresh coffee on the patio, OK?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Great Vintage Halloween Cartoons...!

You all know that Halloween is just around the corner, and I thought that today would be a good time to watch some vintage cartoons.

These are old! When I say old, I mean even older than me! Actually, these are from 1933! That means both of these were from the time we all call the "good old days!"

Believe it or not, these were almost banned at the time because some of the images were considered too disturbing! Boy, how times have changed, huh?

Another from long ago!

It's nice to know that before all the craziness of modern days started, this time of the year was actually fun for many folks! Hayrides, Fall festivals, harvest dances...just good old fashion fun!

Might be nice to experience a little of that again, don't you think?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Almost too cool to sit on the patio, but I sure like this weather!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Start Of A Lawless Time...!

Often the best of intentions can lead to terrible results. As the old saying goes "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!"

I'm sure that if the folks in the government had known what the passing of prohibition was going to lead to, they would have done things differently. At least, I would certainly hope so!

Here is a little history of what turned out to be the start of the most crime-ridden times in our history!

Oct 28, 1919:
Congress enforces prohibition

Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Prohibition Amendment.

The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for national liquor abstinence. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes," was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. In January 1919, the 18th amendment achieved the necessary two-thirds majority of state ratification, and prohibition became the law of the land.

The Volstead Act, passed nine months later, provided for the enforcement of prohibition, including the creation of a special unit of the Treasury Department. Despite a vigorous effort by law-enforcement agencies, the Volstead Act failed to prevent the large-scale distribution of alcoholic beverages, and organized crime flourished in America. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, repealing prohibition.

Many gangsters and crooked politicians made a lot of money during the time of prohibition, and the flow of booze was never totally stopped. Only when booze was legal and taxed did the crime slow down...and the money from the taxes could be used for some much needed "public works" programs. Sort of the lesser of two evils!

Nice and cool this morning, so let's have our coffee on the patio. No 'skeeters out that I can see!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How About Some Fun With Puns...?

I started to skip posting today, but I decided to share some puns instead.

I have no idea why, but I guess I'm just getting a little nuts after the last week! Believe me, you don't really want to know!

Let's just take things lightly today and maybe have a little grin...OK?


The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out it was only an optical Aleutian.

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center read: "Keep off the Grass."

The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine.

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: to transcend dental medication.

Sorry, I know some of these are pretty lame, but sometimes when you read them again and again...lame becomes funny! Who knew?

I'm thinking I may need a vacation! Ya reckon?

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Actually, the coffee is in a mug and we take the mug to the patio...just wanted to clarify that!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Idiots With Guns...!

It never ceases to amaze me at how stupid some folks can be about the proper handling of guns.

This couple could use some very basic education in safety around the home as well! Looks like it's time to add a little more chlorine to the gene pool!

Kalispell couple thankful to have escaped blast

Associated Press | Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 2:16 pm |

Fire officials in Kalispell are investigating whether a stray bullet accidentally fired from a new hunting rifle may have struck a natural gas line, eventually leading to an explosion that destroyed a house over the weekend.

No matter the cause, Art and Diane Wright feel very fortunate they were not home at the time of Saturday's blast.

Art Wright told the Daily Inter Lake ( he was familiarizing himself with the rifle at about 5:45 a.m. Saturday when he accidentally fired it into the floor of his house.

Kalispell Fire Chief Dave Dedman said until investigators find the natural gas pipe, he can't say if the bullet punctured it. But he says it's possible.

Diane Wright said after her husband left to go hunting she smelled an odor, but thought it was from the gun. She took a shower and then left the house to run some errands.

She's convinced an unplanned stop at the grocery store saved her.

"If I had been home instead of going to the grocery store, I would have opened the door," she said, adding that a firefighter told her that action alone could have set off an explosion.

"If she had turned a light switch on, it could have been a whole different story," Dedman said.

The couple was able to recover some tools from the garage "and some of my jewelry blew up onto the roof of a neighbor's house, oddly enough, so we were able to get to that," Diane Wright said.

Neighbors the Wrights didn't even know offered to let them house-sit their home while the homeowners are out of state.

Information from: Daily Inter Lake,

I'm thinking these people certainly had an angel looking out for them on this day!

Let's have some fresh coffee on the patio this morning!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How About Some Popcorn And Coffee...?

Years ago, back in the dark ages when I was a lot younger, we had songs that needed no words to make them sound great!

No fancy titles were needed, either! So often the one word title said it all.

Many of the old timers will remember these songs, and actually they still sound pretty good for their age! Sorta like us, I guess!

Just something a little silly for a Tuesday! After all, can't be all serious all the time! Besides, I'm old and need all the smiles I can get!

Fresah coffee on the patio this morning. Pass the popcorn, please!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Crazy "Old Person" Story...!

This is another case of trying to decide if the person was extremely brave or just plain stupid!

I guess we could say it was all the fault of dementia or old age, but that would take the fun out of the story! It's more fun to speculate about this lady and her choice in her "golden years!"

First barrel ride down Niagara Falls

On this day in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Taylor was not the first person to attempt the plunge over the famous falls. In October 1829, Sam Patch, known as the Yankee Leaper, survived jumping down the 175-foot Horseshoe Falls of the Niagara River, on the Canadian side of the border. More than 70 years later, Taylor chose to take the ride on her birthday, October 24. (She claimed she was in her 40s, but genealogical records later showed she was 63.) With the help of two assistants, Taylor strapped herself into a leather harness inside an old wooden pickle barrel five feet high and three feet in diameter. With cushions lining the barrel to break her fall, Taylor was towed by a small boat into the middle of the fast-flowing Niagara River and cut loose.

Knocked violently from side to side by the rapids and then propelled over the edge of Horseshoe Falls, Taylor reached the shore alive, if a bit battered, around 20 minutes after her journey began. After a brief flurry of photo-ops and speaking engagements, Taylor's fame cooled, and she was unable to make the fortune for which she had hoped. She did, however, inspire a number of copy-cat daredevils. Between 1901 and 1995, 15 people went over the falls; 10 of them survived. Among those who died were Jesse Sharp, who took the plunge in a kayak in 1990, and Robert Overcracker, who used a jet ski in 1995. No matter the method, going over Niagara Falls is illegal, and survivors face charges and stiff fines on either side of the border.

With story after story like this popping up almost daily, why so many folks continue to think that "old" means dull and slow is beyond me! It's like the old saying goes..."growing older is mandatory, growing up is not!"

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside. Better put on some mosquito repellent! They are plenty bad right now!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Consider The Owl...!

You know, many animals we have around today would put most super heroes to shame!

Some of them have some pretty amazing powers (or abilities, if you will) that almost stagger the imagination! Just to show exactly what I'm talking about, let's consider the owl!

The Owl Is Daredevil and Wolverine Combined

Quick: What's special about owls? They can turn their heads all the way around? They can swallow mice whole?

This is a great example right here, because apparently owls can't do sh**, if comic books are our guide. While there are several owl-themed superheroes and villains in existence, they tend to be thinly veiled Batman knockoffs with no powers to speak of. Even the superpowered ones usually possess some rather sad and useless power, such as Owlman's ability to "cause confusion."

Well, all we can say to that is comic book writers need to open a damned encyclopedia every now and then. We mean, look at the creature we're dealing with here. Besides having the best night vision of all birds, owls also have a satellite dish built into their face. The circular pattern of feathers on there? Yeah, that acts as a dish, focusing the sound and giving them what may be the best directional hearing in the world. And even weirder, those feather patterns can also, no kidding, be individually adjusted to increase reception.

How well does this work? Let's put it this way: An owl can hear a mouse stepping on a twig from 75 feet away. Owls also have an incredible sense of sound elevation, meaning they can detect the height from which sound is emanating, because one ear hole is placed higher than the other. All of this is to pinpoint the exact location of the owl's prey, which in fact works so well that the bird can make in-flight course corrections to strike at its victim.

And keep in mind, we're talking about a nocturnal hunter -- they're using this finely tuned sense of hearing to take down prey that the owl can't even see. So, basically we're looking at a flying Daredevil but with a slew of built-in razor blades on its hands a la Wolverine.

To demonstrate how these powers would be handy fighting crime, we'd like to show you the following video. imagine that the lemming is crime:

To make matters even worse for the criminal element, owls also happen to have special serrated feathers that allow them to fly silently like a stealth fighter. Furthermore, they have the lowest wing-loading ratio of any bird, meaning they can fly extremely slow if they need to, or carry large loads. The owl superhero wouldn't need to zoom in like Superman or swing around like Spider-Man -- he'd just slowly, silently glide over the area, hearing everything and casting an ominous shadow in the night sky. Hell, he'd be his own Bat Signal, if the Bat Signal could swoop in at evildoers and carry them away.
Oh, and if you're now inspired to become an owl-themed superhero based on all this, there is one genus of owl that has already come up with a kick-ass name for you: Strix.

Read more: 5 Birds With Abilities That Put Superheroes to Shame |

Now, I don't know about you...but I'm impressed! I never knew any of this information about the owl! All I can say is "Super heroes, watch out!"

Let's grab some fresh coffee and sit outside this morning! Gonna be Summer again until the middle of the week!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another "Only In Texas" Story...!

It's a very good thing that Texans have a good sense of humor, because it seems we spend a lot of time laughing at ourselves!

With all the serious things going on in the crazy world around us, it's refreshing to read a story containing a little humor. That's not to say the lady in this story isn't sore and bruised, but I know you can see the underlining humor in this least, I certainly hope so!

Woman allegedly beaten with frozen armadillo

This Texas critter turned into a weapon in a parking lot throwdown near Dallas. (Chronicle file)

Only in Texas: Dallas police are on the lookout for a man who could face assault charges for throwing a frozen armadillo at a 57-year-old woman near Dallas.

The woman, My Fox Dallas-Fort Worth reports, met the man in a parking lot to purchase the armadillo carcass, which she planned to eat.

During a fight over its price, he hit her with the animal in the leg and the chest, leaving bruises on her body.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas law prohibits the sale of live armadillos, but a few Texans still go after their meat.

Those people who eat armadillo meat will find that thorough cooking should make the meat noninfectious (of mycobacterial leprosy). However, the greatest hazard of being infected (if any) may be encountered during cleaning and dressing of the animals.

….Eating armadillos is not widespread in Texas today, although it has been popular among south-of-the-border residents for more than a hundred years. Many Texans, especially during the depression years of the 1930s, dined on the “Hoover Hog,” referring to the armadillo as “poor man's pork!"

I've known folks to fight over some crazy things before, but to see them fight over a frozen armadillo...that's going just a little too close to the edge, even for me!

Pretty strange, folks, pretty strange!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Pretty warm already, but we'll tough it out!

Friday, October 21, 2011

See? We Told Ya So...!

Sometimes in this country, we rag on the government and the politicians and the law makers...but that's our right!

If another country wants to dispute the fact that we have the right to do so, then let the discussion begin!

Declaration of Independence Was 'Illegal,' Grounds for Treason, British Lawyers Say

Published October 20, 2011

The Declaration of Independence was “illegal” and “treasonable,” according to a team of British lawyers, the BBC reports.

The assertion was made at a debate in Philadelphia between British and American lawyers over the legitimacy of the United States of America.

At the debate, pitting British barristers against American attorneys, lawyers for the former colonial power argued that America’s Declaration of Independence in 1776 “was not only illegal, but actually treasonable,” according to the BBC.

The lawyers representing the British team decided that the Americans had no legal grounds for secession. "[President Abraham] Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right."

"The grievances listed in the Declaration were too trivial to justify secession," the British lawyers wrote. "The main one -- no taxation without representation -- was no more than a wish on the part of the colonists, to avoid paying for the expense of protecting them against the French during seven years of arduous war and conflict."

The American lawyers countered that the Declaration's validity has been proven by "subsequent independence movements which have been enforced by world opinion as right and just."

At the end of the debate, which took place just a few blocks away from where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration, a vote was held and American independence was reaffirmed.

Read more:

Funny how a country can be so divided so much of the time, but let someone from another place try to step in and start bad-mouthing the system...then it's "Katy, Bar The Door!"

Done in fun or not, this is certainly something to think about!

Let's have some coffee on the patio this morning. I got fresh brownies!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Now This Is Unusual...!

Many of us know what it's like to go out looking for lost pets or livestock.

What many of us don't know is that some most unusual objects can be found during the hunt! What would you do if you found something like this while wandering around the ol' homestead?

Oregon farmer finds live artillery shell

MONMOUTH, Ore. - A farmer looking for a lost cow found a fully operational pre-World War II artillery shell backed with 15 pounds of TNT, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

The farmer reported finding the shell 500 yards off Elkins Road, just south of Monmouth, in an area that used to be part of the artillery ranges for Camp Adair.

"The Sheriff's Office use to respond to two or three of these calls a year back in the 1970s," Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe said.

But the farmer's find last Friday was the first in a long time, Wolfe said.

Deputies secured the area. The Salem Bomb Squad and the United States Air Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit from Portland responded to the scene and took over the disposal process for the shell.

The EOD unit decided to wait until Saturday morning to dispose of the shell for safety reasons. Sheriff's office personnel guarded the area overnight, and bomb disposal crews returned to the scene Saturday and disposed of the shell.

Military personnel on scene identified the shell as a pre-World War II artillery shell with a range of 12 miles.

The shell was fully operational with a high explosive tip attached.

The shell measured over two feet in length and weighed approximately 113 pounds. The high explosive tip contained approximately 15 pounds of TNT.

No word yet on whether the farmer has found his cow.

I'm thinking this may have added a touch of excitement to the morning "lost cow hunt!" Just a guess on my part!

How about we sit in the kitchen with our coffee this morning?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Thought About Getting Old...!

I ran across this little gem at Linkstorm, and wanted to share it with you.

I'm not saying that you are getting older, but some of the things in this article fit me to a TEE! See if you don't find a little bit of truth here!

Getting older

Not as soon as you become a legal adult, but some time in the late 20s or early 30s, it starts happening little by little. Those little reminders that you’re no longer a spring chicken— slowly your hair starts getting thinner, knees start to hurt just a little, you start grunting every now and again when you stand up out of a chair.

And it’s not just the physical. It’s one day waking up and realizing that people in their early 20s are nostalgic for shit that came out when you were in high school or college. It’s realizing that suddenly all new music sucks and that you have no idea what teenagers are talking about. You’re not only getting physically old, but you’re slowly, day by day, becoming more and more uncool and out of the loop. Before you know it, you’re Andy Rooney, bitching about gas prices, pop music and “these damn kids today”. F**k getting old.

I find that this piece fits me pretty well. In fact, I think I've said something very similar a time or two right here!

Fresh coffee on the patio. It's really cool out today!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Now This Is Pretty Unique...!

I have to admit that sometimes a new idea comes along that almost makes me want to have one!

I can certainly say that this product caught my eye! I normally don't wear a ring of any kind, maybe because I was married before (several times)but I just don't wear them! Even if I wanted this one in the worse way, I probably couldn't afford it. As far as the cost goes, it's like the old saying "if you have to ask, you really can't afford it!"

Check this out!

CGSociety's Cyber unveils his latest project, the Ring Clock. This gadget is essentially a mechanical ring that has three rings for displaying the hour, minutes, and seconds. An indicator will ensure that the wearer puts it on properly, and the current time will always be highlighted.

Like I said, I could get used to the idea of wearing a ring again if it was something like this one. However, I just can't see how this would be practical for me. I'm just a simple guy and, to tell you the truth, I don't give a damn what time it is for the most part!

Just one of the benefits of being retired, I guess!

C'mon, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio.

Monday, October 17, 2011

One Riot, One Ranger...!

I'm sure that most folks in Texas recognize that old saying.

Just one of the many well known mottos of the Texas Rangers. A lot of modern day stories have grown up around this well respected law enforcement group, probably because of so much truth hidden in the tall tales. Isn't that the case so often in history?

Oct 17, 1835:
The first resolution formally creating the Texas Rangers is approved

On this day in 1835, Texans approve a resolution to create the Texas Rangers, a corps of armed and mounted lawmen designed to "range and guard the frontier between the Brazos and Trinity Rivers."

In the midst of their revolt against Mexico, Texan leaders felt they needed a semi-official force of armed men who would defend the isolated frontier settlers of the Lone Star Republic against both Santa Ana's soldiers and hostile Indians; the Texas Rangers filled this role. But after winning their revolutionary war with Mexico the following year, Texans decided to keep the Rangers, both to defend against Indian and Mexican raiders and to serve as the principal law enforcement authority along the sparsely populated Texan frontier.

Although created and sanctioned by the Texas government, the Rangers was an irregular body made up of civilians who furnished their own horses and weapons. Given the vast expanse of territory they patrolled and the difficulty of communicating with the central government, the government gave the men of the Rangers considerable independence to act as they saw fit. Sometimes the Rangers served as a military force, taking on the role of fighting the Indians that in the U.S. was largely the responsibility of the Army. At other times the Rangers mainly served as the principal law enforcement power in many frontier regions of Texas, earning lasting fame for their ability to track down and eliminate outlaws, cattle thieves, train robbers, and murderers, including such notorious bandits as John Wesley Hardin and King Fisher.

Even as late as the first two decades of the 20th century, the state of Texas continued to rely on the Rangers to enforce order in the wilder regions of the state, like the oil boomtowns along the Rio Grande. Increasingly, though, some Texans began to criticize the Rangers, arguing that they used excessive violence and often failed to observe the finer points of the law when apprehending suspects. As a result, in the 1930s, the state won control over the Rangers, transforming it into a modern and professional law enforcement organization.

I love the statement that " they used excessive violence and often failed to observe the finer points of the law when apprehending suspects." (In other words, we can't control them enough!) I'm thinking that a few more of these guys would come in handy about now down along the border! Just a thought here!

Ready for some fresh coffee on the patio? I have some fresh baked peanut butter cookies to go along with it! (Thanks, baby sis!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mysteries From The Past...!

I'm sure that this must have been quite a surprise to these veterans.

Probably had many of them scratching their heads as well! After you read the whole story, you'll see it's really pretty cool!

Thank-you cards from China pose mystery for WWII vets
Updated 11:09 p.m., Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ed Denzler was baffled by the postcard from China he received in Pearland. Even when an engineer at NASA translated it, the World War II veteran was stumped.

The postcard arrived in Ed Denzler's mailbox in Pearland last month, a mystery from his past nestled among the routine bills and coupons.

Addressed in neat block letters to Denzler, the handwritten note reads, in English: "It takes a strong man to save himself, a great man to save another. Thank you for 1944. From China."

On the front is a black-and-white photograph of U.S. and Chinese service members listening to an American with a fiddle accompany two Chinese soldiers on traditional stringed instruments called erhus

The card was mailed from China, postmarked Aug. 27, and had Chinese writing on the back that Denzler couldn't decipher.

The 88-year-old World War II veteran fought in Burma in 1944 with Merrill's Marauders, a famous volunteer unit, and served with the Chinese Combat Command in 1945. But he had no idea what would have prompted such a note more than 60 years later.

"I couldn't imagine where it came from," said Denzler.

Baffled, he emailed Robert Passanisi, the historian and chairman of Merrill's Marauders Association. The 87-year-old Passanisi told him that at least four other Marauders and their descendants had received similar postcards. The messages and images varied, but the sign-off was always the same: "Thank you for 1944."

Denzler was determined to figure out who sent the cards.

At first he thought maybe his card was from Frank Chen, a Chinese interpreter he befriended during the war. The two men corresponded for a while, but Chen's letters stopped coming during China's Cultural Revolution. Denzler hasn't heard from him since.

Then he wondered if the postcard might be from an American researcher, Pat Lucas, who interviewed Denzler for a Chinese history project a few years back. But when Denzler tried to email him, the message bounced back.

Denzler even took the card to a Chinese-speaking engineer at NASA for translation. 
Denzler had spent 34 years as an engineer at Grumman, working on the Apollo lunar module and other NASA projects. His fellow engineer told him the Chinese characters on the card read, "National Memories," but could offer no other clues.

So Denzler called the Houston Chronicle.

Some Internet sleuthing by a reporter revealed a plausible answer to Denzler's postcard puzzle: A Shenzhen Daily article published online reported that students at Shenzhen Foreign Languages School in China's Guangdong Province had decided to write postcards to thank U.S. veterans for helping China resist the Japanese invasion.

The students came up with the idea this summer after visiting an exhibit of World War II photographs, according to the article.

The pictures on the postcards are from the exhibit. They have been compiled in a book titled National Memories

John Easterbrook, a grandson of former U.S. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, apparently provided names and addresses of veterans who served in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II.

The article quotes a teacher, Mei Yi, who says the postcards prove that in China, young people don't forget history.

"By expressing their gratitude, the students learned that peace does not naturally occur," Mei said. "We have to strive for it."

Denzler's face lit up when he heard the story.

"Ha ha! Isn't that great?" he said.

He wants the students in China to know how much he appreciated their note. "It kind of helped me, in my recovery from a stroke, to remember things I thought I'd forgotten."

Another veteran, Jay Campbell, 86, of New York, also received a postcard. The message was the same as Denzler's, but the picture showed a Chinese boy with his thumbs up.

Campbell was so befuddled that he took the card to the post office to verify it really came from China.

"I couldn't understand it," he said.

Campbell served with the Marauders in Burma, earning three Purple Hearts.

"A lot of these guys don't talk a lot about it," said his daughter, Debbie Campbell Rice. "All he's ever said to me is, 'If I told you what I saw or did or about my nightmares, you'd lock me up in a straightjacket,' so it must have been pretty bad."

When told that the card likely came from a Chinese student, Campbell was delighted.

"I'll be darned," he said. "That is something, isn't it? Boy, oh, boy!"

In Colorado, Irene Clurman received a card with a photo showing an American GI reading to a Chinese boy. The message reads, "Thank you for 1944, and best wishes. From: China."

Her father, Charles Clurman, also had served in Burma with the Marauders. He died in 2001 at age 82.

Clurman said the card carries special meaning because her father was born in China.

"His father was murdered by Japanese in occupied Manchuria, and so when the United States declared war, my father signed up, and then he volunteered to go to the Pacific to avenge his father," she said. "I wish he were alive to see this card from China because it's all coming full circle."

Sorry about the length of the post, but I thought the story was great enough to share the whole thing with you.

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Was Stuck In My Head...!

You know how it is when you get a song stuck in your head and it just just keeps going around and around?

I've found the only way I can rid myself of this song is to play it over and over again. I don't minds that in this case, because I've always loved this song from the first time I heard it!

I know some of you will remember it, or at the very least, will remember ol' Slim!

Now that I got that song out of my system, I decided to put another old song by Slim on, so the rest of you older folks probably will remember this one as well!

There ya go, my friends! I hope you enjoyed that little trip down memory lane! I know I did!

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside. I'll leave the stereo on so we can enjoy the music, OK?

Friday, October 14, 2011

One Tough "Teddy Bear...!"

I'd be willing to bet that we don't have a single politician as tough as ol' Teddy!

During his day, a little inconvenience like a gunshot to the chest didn't stop a real man from doing what he started! You might not agree with his politics, but you have to admire his gumption!

Oct 14, 1912:
Theodore Roosevelt shot in Milwaukee

Before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Theodore Roosevelt, the presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, is shot at close range by saloonkeeper John Schrank while greeting the public in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel. Schrank's .32-caliber bullet, aimed directly at Roosevelt's heart, failed to mortally wound the former president because its force was slowed by a glasses case and a bundle of manuscript in the breast pocket of Roosevelt's heavy coat--a manuscript containing Roosevelt's evening speech. Schrank was immediately detained and reportedly offered as his motive that "any man looking for a third term ought to be shot."

Roosevelt, who suffered only a flesh wound from the attack, went on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still in his body. After a few words, the former "Rough Rider" pulled the torn and bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket and declared, "You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose." He spoke for nearly an hour and then was rushed to the hospital.

Despite his vigorous campaign, Roosevelt, who served as the 26th U.S. president from 1901 to 1909, was defeated by Democrat Woodrow Wilson in November. Shrank was deemed insane and committed to a mental hospital, where he died in 1943.

It's a shame we don't have some tough ol' boys like this in politics today! Maybe we could get something done with the mess in D.C., ya think?

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside while it's nice and cool! OK?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Remember These "B" Movies...?

Back when I was a kid growing up here in Houston, Saturday night was the night for the mostly "B" movies.

There was a show called Weird Theater that came on around 10:00PM. Believe it or not, back then a show that started that late was rather unique! I even remember the host went by the name of Dirty Jim Ross! That should tell you what kind of show this was!

Needless to say, my parents hated this show, but they never stayed up that late to watch television anyway! However, my sisters and I loved it! Of course, we only had a 10 inch screen and we had to keep the volume turned way down!

All of these shows were on at one time or another. You might say that this was our primer of things to come...maybe!

Oct 13, 1957:
Popular sci-fi film reflects America's ambivalence about nuclear weapons

Movie audiences in America are treated to the science-fiction thriller, The Amazing Colossal Man. The film revolves around a character named Colonel Manning, who strays too close to the test of an atomic device in the Nevada desert and is bombarded with "plutonium rays."

This was but one of many such movies released in the 1950s, which cannot be dismissed as merely amusing artifacts from that decade. While these weapons were the backbone of the nation's defense system, many in the United States were uncertain about the atomic and hydrogen bombs: Were they too inhumane; what were the repercussions of radioactivity; could they ever really be used without sealing the fate of all humankind?

Hollywood registered these concerns and played upon them. In Them! (1954), ants exposed to radiation grow to enormous size and threaten humanity; The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), tells the tale of a dinosaur, thawed out by an atomic test in the Arctic, that ravages New York City; and, in one of the best of this class of film, a man survives being caught in a nuclear test, only to find himself shrinking away to nothing in The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). The Cold War, and the issues it raised among the American people, had become part of the nation's popular culture.

By today's standards, these movies were pretty lame! But when you are a kid, things like this made for good entertainment! Maybe that's why I grew up sort of expecting the very worst just about every day! I think the only thing that really changed was the monsters. Today most of the monsters that we all need to worry about...are human! That is, if the politicians can be called human!

What say we get some fresh coffee and sit outside? Cool enough for the start of the day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Staying True To Yourself...!

If we would admit it, most of us have had to make some really hard choices while staying true to ourselves at the same time!

I remember something that John Wayne said about doing what needs to be done..."Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway."

This is as good example of that as anything I have ever seen!

Oct 12, 1945:
Conscientious objector wins Medal of Honor

Private First Class Desmond T. Doss of Lynchburg, Virginia, is presented the Congressional Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery as a medical corpsman, the first conscientious objector in American history to receive the nation's highest military award.

When called on by his country to fight in World War II, Doss, a dedicated pacifist, registered as a conscientious objector. Eventually sent to the Pacific theater of war as a medical corpsman, Doss voluntarily put his life in the utmost peril during the bloody battle for Okinawa, saving dozens of lives well beyond the call of duty.

Without using a weapon, without violating his own standards, without selling out...this man stepped up and did what needed to be done. He was aware of the danger, was not acting in anger, and not doing what he did for any other reason other than the fact that it needed to be done!

That, in my opinion, makes him a true hero!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Almost Like Science Fiction...!

When you look back at the impact this one outbreak had on the city of Philadelphia and it's citizens, it's pretty scary!

We would be foolish to think that someday an outbreak not unlike this one could happen again. If we continue to mess around with Bio-weapons, germ warfare, and other things best left to Mother Nature we are headed for big trouble.

In my opinion, There are some lines that man should not cross, especially when messing with virus' and germs. Mother Nature can get down and dirty, even deadly, on her own!

Oct 11, 1793:
Yellow fever breaks out in Philadelphia

The death toll from a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia hits 100 on this day in 1793. By the time it ended, 5,000 people were dead.

Yellow fever, or American plague as it was known at the time, is a viral disease that begins with fever and muscle pain. Next, victims often become jaundiced (hence, the term "yellow" fever), as their liver and kidneys cease to function normally. Some of the afflicted then suffer even worse symptoms. Famous early American Cotton Mather described it as "turning yellow then vomiting and bleeding every way." Internal bleeding in the digestive tract causes bloody vomit. Many victims become delirious before dying.

The virus, like malaria, is carried and transferred by mosquitoes.

The first yellow fever outbreaks in the United States occurred in late 1690s. Nearly 100 years later, in the late summer of 1793, refugees from a yellow fever epidemic in the Caribbean fled to Philadelphia. Within weeks, people throughout the city were experiencing symptoms. By the middle of October, 100 people were dying from the virus every day. Caring for the victims so strained public services that the local city government collapsed. Philadelphia was also the seat of the United States government at the time, but federal authorities simply evacuated the city in face of the raging epidemic.

Eventually, a cold front eliminated Philadelphia's mosquito population and the death toll fell to 20 per day by October 26. Today, a vaccine prevents yellow fever in much of the world, though 20,000 people still die every year from the disease.

You know, we can prepare for a lot of disasters, both natural and man made. The one thing we cannot predict or totally prepare for is a virus or disease spread by something as simple as a mosquito!

Coffee on the patio? Might want to rub on a little Off after all that rain, ya know?

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Heck Of A Budget Cut...!

I guess that when things are tight, you do whatever you can to save some money!

However, designing a train for commuters without a bathroom seems to be an accident waiting to happen. No pun intended there, by the way!

All in all, the solution is a fairly inexpensive alternative to putting in a bathroom...if you can sell the public on the idea!

Dutch Trains Substitute Plastic Bags for Bathrooms

Published October 07, 2011
Associated Press

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- The Dutch national railway has an unusual solution for passengers who need the bathroom on a train line designed without them: plastic bags.

The rail operator underlined that the bags, introduced Friday, are for use in emergencies only, when a train has stopped and passengers can't be evacuated. The idea has been met with incredulity by politicians and the general public already unhappy with the short-haul "Sprinter" trains' bathroomless design.

NS spokesman Eric Trinthamer confirmed Friday the "pee-bag" plan is not a joke. The bags are kept out of sight in the conductor's booth.

The bags have a cup-shaped plastic top and contain a highly absorbent material that turns urine into a gel-like mixture. After use the bags can be sealed and thrown in the trash.

Read more:

Actually, these bags seem like a good idea to me! I wouldn't mind having a couple around for an emergency. Might come in handy to have in your B.O.B., ya know? Especially if you have women in your group!

Just thinking out loud here.

How about some coffee in the kitchen this morning? Been raining for a couple of days now, off and on (can you believe it?) so the patio is still a little wet!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

When Banished, Just Found Rhode Island...!

I would say this guy had the right idea!

Maybe we should see if we can find more people with the same mindset, ya think?

Oct 9, 1635:
Rhode Island founder banished from Massachusetts

Religious dissident Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the General Court of Massachusetts. Williams had spoken out against the right of civil authorities to punish religious dissension and to confiscate Indian land.

After leaving Massachusetts, Williams, with the assistance of the Narragansett tribe, established a settlement at the junction of two rivers near Narragansett Bay, located in present-day Rhode Island. He declared the settlement open to all those seeking freedom of conscience and the removal of the church from civil matters, and many dissatisfied Puritans came. Taking the success of the venture as a sign from God, Williams named the community "Providence."

Among those who found a haven in the religious and political refuge of the Rhode Island Colony were Anne Hutchinson--like Williams, she had been exiled from Massachusetts for religious reasons--some of the first Jews to settle in North America, and the Quakers. In Providence, Roger Williams also founded the first Baptist church in America and edited the first dictionary of Native-American languages.

You have to admit, this was a very busy man! Just shows what one person can do when, with a few of his friends, gets off his backside and chooses to actually take action!

I'm thinking we should be following his example! If we don't like the way things are...we should change them!We can, we should, and we will!

Coffee on the patio? Maybe we can make some plans...!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Do You Use "Vick's Vapo-Rub...?"

Ever since I was a kid, I've used Vick's to help with a cold or the flu.

It might not be a cure, but it certainly does help to make things feel a little more comfortable. Sometimes just being a little more comfortable is half the battle. At least it seems that way to me!

Interesting history behind this product, though. It's been around a lot longer than I thought!

At the beginning of the 1900s, popular treatments for colds were poultices and messy plasters. These were typically the same forms of mustard and mint products that had been used for over 5000 years.

These products were applied on the chest and forehead, but due to the abrasiveness of the compounds, they often caused rashes and/or blisters. This was due is a large part because their main ingredients were skin irritants. The other prescribed method to cure a cold was to inhale hot herbal vapors. While this method was very successful in curing colds, it could also cause severe burns if children or patients placed their faces too close to the steam.

Lunsford Richardson, a druggist from Selma, North Carolina, was one of several druggists who sought a product that would provide relief without the drawbacks of the plasters and poultices. Two events occurred that led him to the perfect product. The first was the use of petroleum jelly as a safe base for salves and cosmetics. The second was the discovery of menthol, a crystalline alcohol extract from peppermint which released a vapor capable of giving sinus relief.

Ben-Gay and the Connection to Vick's

Menthol had been used by consumers as far back as 1898 when it was introduced in a product called Ben-Gay. This product, which was invented by Jules Bengue, combined menthol with an analgesic pain reliever in a base of lanolin. The innovative product was promoted as a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, gout and even help with a head cold.

Richardson studied the testimonials on Ben-Gay and started mixing different ingredients together in his drugstore. He finally stumbled upon using menthol with other ingredients in a base of petroleum jelly. He named his new product, Richardson’s Croup and Pneumonia Cure Salve. When rubbed onto the chest, the chemicals opened up sinus passages while they increase blood circulation. After its introduction, jars of the product flew off the shelves. Richardson could barely keep up with orders for customers and other druggists.

His only problem was the long, involved name of the product. He felt he needed a catchier moniker and turned to his brother-in-law, a doctor named Joshua Vick. Because it had been in Vick’s laboratory that Richardson had experimented to create a new product he changed the popular products name in honor of his mentor. Vick’s VapoRub was born, the year was 1905.

Read more at Suite101: History of Vick's VapoRub |

Don't know about you, but I always have some Vick's in my medicine cabinet. Might come in handy, ya know?

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit. Coffee's hot, but so is the weather!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't Mess With The Patriots...!

Some lessons in life are only learned the hard way!

That should have been a warning to the Tories under Major Ferguson. Guess they just had to learn it the hard way! One lesson that surely was passed down...when you play with fire, you're gonna get burned! BIG TIME!

Oct 7, 1780:
Battle of King's Mountain

During the American Revolution, Patriot irregulars under Colonel William Campbell defeat Tories under Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of King's Mountain in South Carolina.

Major Ferguson's Tory force, made up mostly of American Loyalists from South Carolina and elsewhere, was the western wing of General Lord Cornwallis' North Carolina invasion force. One thousand American frontiersmen under Colonel Campbell of Virginia gathered in the backcountry to resist Ferguson's advance. Pursued by the Patriots, Ferguson positioned his Tory force in defense of a rocky, treeless ridge named King's Mountain. The Patriots charged the hillside multiple times, demonstrating lethal marksmanship against the surrounded Loyalists.

Unwilling to surrender to a "band of banditti," Ferguson led a suicidal charge down the mountain and was cut down in a hail of bullets. After his death, some of his men tried to surrender, but they were slaughtered in cold blood by the frontiersmen, who were bitter over British excesses in the Carolinas. The Tories suffered 157 killed, 163 wounded, and 698 captured. Colonel Campbell's force suffered just 28 killed and 60 wounded.

There are a few things you should be taught very early as a solder, with the main lesson being that it's hard to beat a foe on their home ground! In simpler terms, it's hard to beat a Patriot at home!

We all already knew that...right? Right!

Coffee on the patio this morning. It might rain later, but we won't hold our breath!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yep... The Prez Said That !

Can you just imagine what would happen if the President of the United States said something like this today?

I'm thinking there would be at least a small panic in the streets! Maybe a LARGE panic! After all, the one person in this country that is supposed to say something that causes us to calm down, take a deep breath, and not panic would be the President, right?

I don't remember this happening, but I have no reason to doubt it! After all, those were some troubled times and probably more scary than I want to remember! Besides, given the fact that most of the politicians of today would probably be too concerned about taking care of themselves to pass on much of a warning to the general public.

I may be wrong about that, but I don't think so!

Oct 6, 1961:
Kennedy urges Americans to build bomb shelters

President John F. Kennedy, speaking on civil defense, advises American families to build bomb shelters to protect them from atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. Kennedy also assured the public that the U.S. civil defense program would soon begin providing such protection for every American. Only one year later, true to Kennedy's fears, the world hovered on the brink of full-scale nuclear war when the Cuban Missile Crisis erupted over the USSR's placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba. During the tense 13-day crisis, some Americans prepared for nuclear war by buying up canned goods and completing last-minute work on their backyard bomb shelters.

This may just have been the start of the serious Prepping movement! You can bet that a lot more of the sheeple in the world would wake up if this kind of announcement came down from the government! But then, maybe not!

Some folks would never take anything like an official warning from the PTB as reason enough to start to prepare, not even if it came from the president!

Oh well...whadda ya gonna do?

Ready for fresh coffee on the patio? Very nice and crisp this morning!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

They Almost Made It...!

It's always amazing to me when I read about the accomplishments of leaders like Chief Joseph.

He must have been a remarkable leader to his people. He also was smart enough to not antagonize innocent folks any more than necessary. Made him quite the opponent, I would imagine!

Oct 5, 1877:
Chief Joseph surrenders

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians surrenders to U.S. General Nelson A. Miles in the Bear Paw mountains of Montana, declaring, "Hear me, my chiefs: My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Earlier in the year, the U.S. government broke a land treaty with the Nez Perce, forcing the group out of their homeland in Wallowa Valley in the Northwest for relocation in Idaho. In the midst of their journey, Chief Joseph learned that three young Nez Perce warriors, enraged at the loss of their homeland, had massacred a band of white settlers. Fearing retaliation by the U.S. Army, the chief began one of the great retreats in American military history.

For more than three months, Chief Joseph led fewer than 300 Nez Perce Indians toward the Canadian border, covering a distance of more than 1,000 miles as the Nez Perce outmaneuvered and battled more than 2,000 pursuing U.S. soldiers. During the long retreat, he treated prisoners humanely and won the admiration of whites by purchasing supplies along the way rather than stealing them. Finally, only 40 miles short of his Canadian goal, Chief Joseph was cornered by the U.S. Army, and his people were forcibly relocated to a barren reservation in Indian Territory.

This man made a whole army of superior numbers look pretty bad for a very long time! You just can't do that without being a brilliant leader of men, regardless of who you are leading!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside while it's still cool! It will climb up back to the high 80s later, but it's nice right now!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Live Long And Prosper...!

Star Trek used to be one of my favorite shows!

I know I must have seen every single one of the shows at least two or three times over the years!

The original series has always been my favorite. I didn't care for the spin-offs too much. Of course, Spock was one of the more famous characters and was recognized by nearly everyone in the world with a television!

Sad to see some of the original cast fade away, that's for sure!

Spock attends his last 'Star Trek' convention

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Leonard Nimoy has attended his final "Star Trek" convention.

Actor Leonard Nimoy spoke for an hour about his life and career on Sunday, and thanked fans for their support over the years.

The 80-year-old actor, best-known for playing Mr. Spock in the original TV series that began in September 1966, formed four fingers into a V for Vulcan sign and intoned to fans Spock's most famous phrase: "Live long and prosper" on Sunday in Rosemont, Ill.

Nimoy said the convention in suburban Chicago celebrating the 45th anniversary of "Star Trek" would be his last.

He spoke for an hour about his life and career, and thanked fans for their support over the years. Some held signs saying: "We love you Leonard! Live long & prosper."

Creation Entertainment organizes the "Star Trek" conventions. Company CEO Adam Malin says the company has toured and collaborated with Nimoy for nearly three decades and that Nimoy "will be missed."

A sign of the times, I guess, when slowly but surely our stars of the past start to disappear! Makes us all realize that our time on this planet is limited at best!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. OK?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Great Teaching Video...!

When I first started to learn the art of tying useful knots, I looked around for some good instructional videos.

The one place I keep returning to over and over is at The reason? This guy makes his instructions very easy to understand and follow, and I might add that he makes the most professional looking presentations I've ever seen!

Even if you aren't trying to learn to tie knots, they are very entertaining to watch. No words, no talking, but he does a very good job of teaching knots...and the music is pretty good!

Here is a video of one of his knots. If you enjoy this one, you might want to check out some of the rest! Take my word for it, this guy is good!

By the way, I'm not associated with this guy in any way. I just like the way he presents things so that even an old timer like me can understand them.

Now, how about some fresh coffee on the patio? Perfect weather for it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Special...!

Running late today, so I thought you might like to pass the next few minutes watching this!

This man obviously loves what he does, and he is very good at it!

You have a blessed day, my friends! I wish you peace this Sunday!

Fresh coffee on the patio! Nice and cool outside this morning!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Let The Music Play...!

Hard to imagine that so many advances have been made in spreading the music!

I'll be willing to bet that when this was first made public way back in 1920, a lot of people said "no way!" Guess they were wrong, huh? Sort of makes you wonder what kind of advances we'll make in the next few years!

Oct 1, 1920:
Scientific American reports that radio will soon be used to transmit music to the home

In an 1888 novel called Looking Backward: 2000-1887, author Edward Bellamy imagined a scene in which a time-traveler from 1887 reacts to a technological advance from the early 21st century that he describes as, "An arrangement for providing everybody with music in their homes, perfect in quality, unlimited in quantity, suited to every mood, and beginning and ceasing at will." In Bellamy's imagination, this astonishing feat was accomplished by a vast network of wires connecting individual homes with centrally located concert halls staffed round-the-clock with live performers. As it turned out, this vision of the year 2000 would come to pass far sooner than Bellamy imagined, and without all the pesky wires. On this day in 1920, Scientific American magazine reported that the rapidly developing medium of radio would soon be used to broadcast music. A revolution in the role of music in everyday life was about to be born.

"It has been well known for some years that by placing a form of telephone transmitter in a concert hall or at any point where music is being played the sound may be carried over telephone wires to an ordinary telephone receiver at a distant point," began the bulletin in the October 1, 1920 issue of the popular science monthly, "but it is only recently that a method of transmitting music by radio has been found possible."

Arguments about radio's origins persist to this day, but its basic workings had been understood for upwards of 20 years at the time of this announcement. It was only in the years immediately following World War I, however, that radio made the transition from scientific curiosity to practical technology. By late 1919, experiments had begun in Britain, the United States and elsewhere that would lead to the breakthrough use of radio not just as a replacement for the telegraph, but as a communications and entertainment medium.

Some of those experiments were taking place in the laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., where station WWV was established to test various means of radio transmission. Relying significantly on amateur radio operators in the local area for feedback on its experiments, the Bureau began successfully testing the transmission of music in late 1919 and early 1920. It was those experiments that led to the public announcement in Scientific American.

"Music can be performed at any place, radiated into the air through an ordinary radio transmitting set and received at any other place, even though hundreds of miles away," the report continued, noting that "the music received can be made as loud as desired by suitable operation of the receiving apparatus." "Experimental concerts are at present being conducted every Friday evening from 8:30 to 11:00 by the Radio Laboratory of the Bureau of Standards....The possibilities of such centralized radio concerts are great and extremely interesting."

If anyone from that time could see all the things that are roaming around in this day and age, they really wouldn't believe it! Hell, folks from just 10 years ago would have a hard time!

Come to think of it, some of the stuff going on daily makes even my head spin!

Since it's nice and cool this morning, let's have our coffee on the patio.