Showing posts from July, 2019

Stop the Insanity, Journalism Bly Style

Dear Henry,

Continuing in my study of "People Who Helped The Insane" - I am so relieved that Fish has agreed to clear the history on my internet browser after I die -  I have come across the story of Ms. Nellie Bly.

I vaguely remembered hearing about her when I was younger and, after some research, I have decided that even by today's standards, she would be considered one of the bravest women in journalism.

Her first article, written under the pseudonym "Lonely Orphan Girl" challenged the current role of women and argued for divorce law reform, which garnered her a full-time position at the Pittsburgh Dispatch and she immediately began reporting on the working conditions that women faced in the area's factories.

She was then promptly reassigned to the women's section of the paper and told to report on fashion.

Unwilling to report on society and unable to report on local items of substance, Nellie Bly went to Mexico as a foreign correspondent.  While repo…

A Book to Read and Love: Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market - Walter Johnson

A short summary of Soul by Soul: A look at the slave markets of the pre-Civil War South.

Questions to ponder while reading Soul by Soul: What is the price of human life?
What is evil?
My thoughts about Soul by Soul: A good look into an American evil.
A well written historical guide.
A must-read.

Meditation 7.24.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

I have discovered another reason for a road trip to Capitol Reef National Park - pie

Today I heard about a small cafe in Bicknell Utah, called the Sunglow Restaurant and Motel that serves the oddest assortment of pies, including oatmeal, avocado lime, pinto bean, and the most popular, pickle pie.

It is the pickle pie that has me the most intrigued.

The pies were the brainchild of Cula Ekker, who signed on as cook when her brother opened the motel in 1965 and while Cula died in 2014, she passed on her recipes and pie secrets to Bessie Stewart, who has continued the pickle pie tradition to this day.

So tell me, how far would you drive for a piece of pie?

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Rum Diary - Hunter S. Thompson

A short summary of The Rum Diary: Partying in Puerto Rico, with some journalism on the side.

Questions to ponder while reading The Rum Diary: Have you ever gone too far?
How much rum is too much?
My thoughts about The Rum Diary: Fifties-style guys.
Fifties-style dialogue.
Fifties-style underbelly, Carribean style.

Meditation 7.23.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

What is in a name?

If your name is Black Bart - a lot.

My knowledge of outlaws is quite limited and based upon the name Black Bart, I assumed (the mother of all mistakes) that he was an outlaw of a particularly bad and malevolent sort.  A Lone Ranger alter-ego, roaming the plains on a large, black horse, causing death, mayhem, and large insurance claims.

I assumed incorrectly.

For one thing, he never rode a horse.

Black Bart was born Charles Earl Boles in England around 1829.  His family moved to the U.S. and begin farming in New York.  Charles and his brothers joined the gold rush in 1849 and the three had about as much luck as most other prospectors did.  Charles was the only one to live to return home.  He settled down and got married before enlisting with the 116th Illinois Regiment, taking part in the Battle of Vicksburg (where he was severely wounded) and Sherman's March to the Sea.

After the war, Charles tried his hand at prospecting again, this time Idaho and …

A Book to Read and Love: 1000 Years of Annoying the French - Stephen Crane

A short summary of 1000 Years of Annoying the French: All about the back and forth bickering between the Brits and the French.

Questions to ponder while reading 1000 Years of Annoying the French:
Is there more than one version of history?
Does humor help learning?
My thoughts about 1000 Years of Annoying the French: Calling all history buffs!
A great overview of the intermingling history between England and France.
An entertaining learning experience.

Meditation 7.15.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

There was another "insect cuisine" article in the paper. 

I am beginning to wonder if there is a conspiracy and that something is going to happen to our food supply and the media is prepping us for "bugs provencal" (no, not really, I'm kidding).

In the past, and after comparing Fish's and my survival skills to those of a reality T.V. couple, I have stated that I would eat a bug if I were starving, was in competition for a half a million dollars, or was at a Mariner's game. 

I do have my limits though.

The article I was reading was talking about using the larvae of the black fly as a food source. Another name for "larvae of the black fly" is maggots.

Eating maggots is a hard no.

While the article talks about the negative carbon footprint utilizing this particular food source, the protein ratio to body size, and all of the other benefits of fly larvae as a food source. The fact still remains that eating maggots is a hard no.

I will b…

A Book to Read and Love: The Alienist - Caleb Carr

A short summary of The Alienist Profiling a climbing killer.

Questions to ponder while reading The Alienist Do you have any issues with your mother?
What are your thoughts regarding prostitution?
My thoughts about The Alienist A "Sherlocky" feel.
Great fun in a book.
A mystery to the max.

Meditation 7.10.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

Do you remember me telling you about the couple who died eating a raw marmot? I was shocked that the raw food trend had gone so far.

I was shocked again today about another raw food choice and because it turned fatal, I felt like I should warn you.

Please don't ever eat a gecko raw.  Even if someone double dog dares you.

Lizards (even the "Chicken of the Trees" can carry salmonella on their skins - which is why, when cooking and eating the iguana, you are supposed to skin and parboil the meat before seasoning it and cooking. 

More shocking, when I tried to Google the "Man dies from eating..." (I couldn't remember the which lizard type it was), lizard or gecko wasn't the first choice in the autocomplete results of the Google search box, that was man dies eating from slug (which caused rat lungworm), nor was it the second, which was man dies from eating roaches (choked to death).

All in all, I think there is a life lesson or two here:

Meals d…

Meditation 7.8.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

The 24 - hours has been a drama-filled adventure and I think it may take a couple of days for me to recover.

Do you remember me talking about my wrens living in the strawberry basket?  Well, they were starting to get big and really chatty and Ziggy wanted to figure out what the commotion was in the strawberry basket.

He pulled out the liner, spilling the nest out all over the porch.

Right away, Ziggy knew he was in BIG TROUBLE and, after Fish told me Ziggy was snuffing and nudging the baby that had spilled from the nest, I felt bad about scolding him (Ziggy got a double scolding, Fish had scolded him pretty good outside).

Fish put the nest back in the liner and the liner back into the basket back and then when waited. The parents showed up and they were quite upset (understandably).  They left and we didn't see them return.

We had done several internet searches since then and it was made clear that trying to hand feed and raise the birds ourselves was impossible, it n…

A Book to Read and Love: Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

A short summary of Olive Kitteridge: All about Olive's people.

Questions to ponder while reading Olive Kitteridge: What are you afraid of?
How do you see yourself?
My thoughts about Olive Kitteridge: I think I know a couple of Olives
Very complicated characters.
I wonder if my relationships are so complex.

Meditation 7.1.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

On NASA's drawing board, and prepared to launch in 2026 is the Dragonfly.

Although the name reminds of a space western written by Joss Whedon, the Dragonfly mission plans to create a drone that will weather the eight-year journey from the Earth to Saturn's moon Titan to explore its geological structure and look for signs of life.

Titan is Saturn's largest moon and is the only other place besides Earth with any type of atmosphere.  It is also the only other place that has liquid water and while the atmospheric pressure is fifty times that of Earth, there is much within the chemical makeup of the atmosphere that would make life possible.

The craft is envisioned as a rotary type drone and will be expected to stop and several different sites, studying the geology and chemical composition of the moon when it reaches Titan in 2034.

I know that this is fifteen years away, but I can hardly wait to see the footage.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Pigs Have Wings - P.G. Wodehouse

A short summary of the book Pigs Have Wings: A story about noble, British, fat pigs, which have gone missing.

Questions to ponder while reading Pigs Have Wings: Would you, after reading, now consider using a pin to pop a blister?
What would you do with a pig in your kitchen?
My thoughts about Pigs Have Wings: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meets Downtown Abbey meets the Three Stooges.
It is utterly ridiculous and I laughed the entire time.
The book is the cure for what ails you.