Saturday, June 30, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The presumptive heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Hungary and his wife were assassinated by Serbian nationalists while visiting Sarajevo. Ferdinand's death led to Hungary declaring war on Serbia. Mutual defense pacts between Serbia and its allies and Austria-Hungary and its allies escalated into World War I.
1919 dateline Paris
George Clemenceau of France, Woodrow Wilson of the US and David Lloyd-George of Great Britain shown leaving Trianon Palace after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, ending WWI. Negotiations over acceptable settlement terms took 6 months to finalize. France wanted to avenge German aggression, Britain wanted German cash to pay down Britain's war debt and the US wanted the League of Nations. Be careful what you wish for.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Unlike yours, my reader stops at sites I have no business visiting. I defend my visits by calling them research. Often I'm inspired by a group of young Tumlbr's with exquisite taste and strong points of view. On a dull day one great story justifies my visit.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
For the past ten days we've had family members coming and going around here. Now it is eerily quiet. Everyone has gone home yet Mrs. T and I remain, wondering what to do with ourselves. How will we ever trump the "Broadway's Best" recital on the last afternoon of acting camp?
It is preferable to hire trained pros than to learn never to be used again outdoor skills.
Water in on or around your house is your home's worst enemy. Clean your gutters regularly and extend downspouts to drain water away quickly. In Mayberry new gutters cost $5 a foot (installed) to replace. Cleaning them is easier and cheaper than replacing. Benign neglect is still neglect. Check Craigslist if you are unwilling to clean the gutters yourself.
Moss on siding is ugly. A number of products exist which will remove it, but few things work better and are as cheap as household bleach. Wear old clothes,find an old bucket or aluminum turkey pan and pour a cup or two of bleach in. Then take a paint roller (use an extender pole if needed) dipped in bleach and roll on. Wash off with a hose. Be generous with the water if there are plants in the drip zone.
I'm back to work.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
It's near 95 degrees in Mayberry (35C) which is to be expected at this time of year. Humid too for good measure. Recess is over and I'm still piddling around the manse, painting, repairing and pitching, but I'm pacing myself. We've 10 more days to go.
Were I younger, I'd be ashamed of myself as I dodge in and out of the air conditioning while a crew of hard working younger guys work their butts off rebuilding a retaining wall.
Occasionally, I'll mosey over to watch them work, feigning interest in their progress, offering encouragement, water and ice to prod them along.
But my heart really isn't into it. Granddaughter Liz and her family are here and the pool beckons. I'm old. The kids working to beautify our home are professionals. They'd rather I shamelessly kept away.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
I found a box of old photos that I believed I had lost many years ago. I've spent too many hours since reviving old memories, trying to remember places and names from once upon a time. Some have gone and some remain. Many I've scanned for my kids, which some day they will wonder who the hell was that, especially since I have provided no background info. They'll have to make up their own stories and fight amongst themselves over who's right.
The photo above is one I never expected to see again. My first girl friend at our 8th grade graduation party, taken on this date in 1966. She moved a month later, and I haven't seen, spoken to or hardly thought of her in 45 years until I saw this photo. I remember her fondly, and hope she's well. Should you recognize her, tell her I said hi.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
With luck, I can steal a bit of time Sunday to make it work.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I've been granted a very temporary reprieve from the daily grind of paint repair or pitch. My 3 children along with their spouses and children are spending the weekend with us. It's the first time in 6 years my entire family will be together. I am over the moon excited.
The first arrives today, 2 arrive tomorrow and 5,including thespian granddaughter Liz, show up Friday. It will be like summer Festivus.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
1. China State Visit, 1986
If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.
2. To a blind women with a guide
3. To an Aborigine in Australia
“Do you still throw spears at each other?”
4. To his wife, the Queen, after her coronation
“Where did you get the hat?”
5. When asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union
“The bastards murdered half my family”
6. To a Briton in Budapest
“You can’t have been here that long – you haven’t got a pot belly.”
7. To a driving instructor in Scotland
“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?”
“You managed not to get eaten, then?”
9. To Elton John after hearing Elton had sold his Gold Aston Martin
“Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car – we often see it when driving to Windsor Castle.”
10. On the London Traffic Debate
“The problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. If we could just stop tourism, we could stop the congestion.”
11. To the President of Nigeria, dressed in traditional robes
“You look like you’re ready for bed!”
“If you see a man opening a car door for a woman, it means one of two things: it’s either a new woman or a new car!”
13. On key problems facing Brazil
“Brazilians live there”
14. To the matron of a hospital in the Caribbean
“You have mosquitos. I have the Press”
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
His straight set battles with Jimmy Conners, at Wimbledon (won) and the The US Open (lost) are the stuff of legends. The Borg/Conners/McEnroe matches helped to elevate tennis's popularity at a time when big money via television was beginning to change professional sports.
Monday, June 4, 2012
In 1998 the company which built Rolls Royce and Bentley motor cars was on the brink of extinction. It's owner, Vickers, needed to sell quickly, preferably to BMW which built the engines for the latest models. Believing they had a done deal, BMW submitted a low ball bid for the company, but were outbid by Volkswagen.
BMW didn't take losing to Volkswagen well, and got their evens. When the sale of Rolls Royce and Bentley to Volkswagen was announced, on this date in 1998, BMW approached their aircraft partner, RR LTD. with an offer to purchase the Rolls Royce name, logos, and trademarks, which was accepted, leaving Volkswagen with Bentley, an opportunity for selling parts for older RR cars and an old factory.
Today RR's are built by BMW at a new factory in England, Bentley's are built by Volkswagen at the site of the old RR plant in Crewe. Both are each doing very well thank you.
Three summers ago I replaced our dying lawn mower with a less used Husqvarna, known forever in these parts as The Iron Horse. Living in the woods I cut grass 3 or 4 times a season. It gets its greatest workout in the fall, mulching leaves.
The Horse is often rode hard and put away wet, and each winter I swear I'll tend to its foibles in the off season. I'm not that virtuous, so it needs fixing every summer. This year it was a steering part that needed replacement.
Once upon a time, boys learned how to tinker with mechanical things by working on their cars, especially if their car was British. Modern cars don't offer kids the same opportunity to learn out of necessity, it is their loss.
My first car, was a Triumph Spitfire circa 1963, purchased in 1970. I wanted to magnetize the bumpers to help catch the parts that rattled off every time I drove it. It's only saving grace was that the bonnet (hood) tilted forward so you could sit on the front tires while you worked.
It has been my experience from owning Triumph's, Jaguars, Lotus and Bentley's that Brit cars are gorgeous, poorly designed rolling money pits, but they are all fun to drive.
The Iron Horse on the other hand isn't as much fun to drive, but it's a joy to work on. It's cleverly designed, logically engineered, well built and easy to work on. Best of all, any repair can be completed using only 2 tools. The perfect vehicle to teach rudimentary mechanical skills to an interested kid.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Friday, June 1, 2012
Are you familiar with the movie that almost single handedly destroyed Richard Lester's film career The Bed-Sitting Room? Having spent the early 60's successfully making Beatles movies Richard turned his hand at satire. It wasn't a success. It took him 5 years to get approval to film for money again.