Thursday, May 31, 2018

Photos of Castle Ruins in England

Middleham in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire,
childhood home of King Richard III

Dunstanburgh in Northumberland,
built in 1313 by Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster

Castle Carr near Luddenden in West Yorkshire,
built by Captain Joseph Priestly Edwards in 1859,
family and buildings besieged with bad luck

Corfe Castle, Corfe, Isle of Purbeck, Devon,
built by William the Conqueror

Hylton Castle, Castleton, Sunderland,Tyne and Wear,
building began in 1390 by Sir William Hylton

Brough Castle, Brough, Cumbria,
building began under the orders of King William Rufus in 1092

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall,
according to legend, the birthplace of King Arthur


I have to admit that I was happy to hear that the ABC/Disney television show "Roseann" was cancelled.  I was horrified by the tweet that the star of the show, Roseann Barr, had sent out, stating that an aide to previous President Obama looked like the result of a mating between a Muslim and a creature from The Planet of the Apes.  After having the show immediately cancelled, Barr tried to explain the tweet, saying she sent it at 2 a.m. on a long holiday weekend, and she was also taking Ambien.  Ambien is a prescribed medication that helps a person sleep, and it does have a few side-effects.  However, as the manufacturer of Ambien stated, none of the possible side-effects are racism or bigotry.  Those things are inside the person already.  Period.  Full stop.
   It looks as if, at the moment, there will be eleven colts racing in the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, on Saturday, 9 June.  So far, the trainers of the following colts have said they plan on running in the 1 and a half mile race:  Justify, who has won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness; Bravazo, the only other colt who has run in both previous races; Bandua; Blended Citizen; Free Drop Billy; Gronkowski; Hofburg; Noble Indy; Restoring Hope; Tenfold; and Vino Rosso.  I won't comment on odds or my likes until the day of the post position draw, as the entries might change significantly between now and then.
   I also have to say that I laughed out loud when I saw that the polyester-haired cheeto in the Oval Office now claims that he never said that he fired FBI Director James Comey over "the Russia thing."  Talk about sheer idiocy!  Anyone can watch his interview with Lester Holt on NBC and watch him say that "the Russia thing" was the reason he fired Comey....  Of course, I wouldn't put it past him, or his paid lawyers, to claim that the man we see on tape wasn't the President - it was a stand-in, who went off script...
  There have now been 44 foals born this year to the herd of wild ponies on Assateague Island, that belong to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.  We, unfortunately, have lost two, even though the second one was under the care of a veterinarian.  But there are currently 42 babies bouncing and bucking around the southern end of Assateague.  One foal has been born in Maryland so far, and it looks as if there are three or four other mares expecting babies on the north end.  There were two pony deaths confirmed on the Maryland side; Dr. Jay (N9BFT-K) and Madeline Rose (N2BM) after their annual pony census.
   When I was a kid, I thought I'd spend my retirement years in a cottage on Chincoteague Island, surrounded by friends and a huge group of children and grandchildren.  Looking at my 62nd birthday, it seems odd.  I live in an apartment, with a view of the Rocky Mountains.  I am a widow, with no children or grandchildren of my own.  I live with a friend and two cats.  I correspond, by e-mail, with friends spread across the country.  I miss the sound of the surf, the flashes of the light house at night, the distinct smell of marsh mud, the cries of the sea birds, the smell of the salt water and salt mist and salt fog, and the sound of voices from the past....

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The 40th Bolder Boulder 10K and the Boulder Creek Festival

I have stayed at home as much as possible since last Thursday night - all due to the Memorial Day weekend.  The 31st Annual Boulder Creek Festival began Friday and ran through yesterday afternoon.  The 40th Annual Bolder Boulder 10K road race began yesterday at 6:15 am, starting with the wheelchair racers, then the runners, joggers, and walkers; followed by the elite runners on a smaller, closed course.  More than 50,000 people locomoted past the front of my apartment building yesterday between 6:18 and 10:45.....  At the corner of Mapleton and 28th, there was a rock band playing from 6:30 until 10:30.  The cats did not like the noise.  I had to listen to one song almost all the way through before I recognized what they were singing....  Now, that's a not-very-good band.
  At the Boulder Creek Festival, there are all sorts of things happening - vendors of arts and crafts, food sellers, rides, information booths, and I think there are 6 stages set up, besides the bandshell...  all surrounding Boulder Creek downtown.  Here are a few photos; the first three are from yesterday's race, the others from the Boulder Creek Festival:

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Photos


America's Memorial Day

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during our Civil War.  It was, actually, inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead.  After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action.
  Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name did not come into use until after World War II.  Originally, Decoration Day, and then Memorial Day, used to be held on May 30th, regardless of the day of the week upon which it fell.  In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends.  Because of this law, Memorial Day has been observed officially on the last Monday in May since 1971.  Prior to today, many volunteers have placed American flags on each grave in national cemeteries, and on the graves of those who served our country in community cemeteries.
   It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half staff from dawn until noon on Memorial Day.  Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.  Chicago celebrates those who gave their lives for our country with a giant parade and other festivities.  Here in Boulder, we have the Boulder Creek Festival, the annual running of the Bolder Boulder road race, and festivities at the University of Colorado stadium, including a fly over of Air Force jets and parachuters.  In Arlington, Virginia, the President of the United States (or his designee) will give a speech and place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  In Mississippi, that bastion of the Old South, Memorial Day is combined with Jefferson Davis' Birthday.
  Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance.  Many people choose to hold picnics, sports events, and family gatherings on this weekend.  This day is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season for cultural events.  For the fashion conscious, it is seen as acceptable to wear white clothing, particularly shoes, from Memorial Day until Labor Day.  However, fewer and fewer people follow this rule of fashion and many wear white throughout the year.
   Finally, Memorial Day is a federal holiday.  All non-essential government offices are closed, as are schools, many businesses, and quite a few other organizations.  Many people see Memorial Day as an opportunity to go on a short vacation, or visit family and friends.  This does cause some congestion on highways and at airports.

Remember and Honor those who died

serving our country.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My Views of Peaceful Solitude - Photos

Shooting People IS Violence; NRA Explanations

I have shot handguns, rifles, and bows.  Usually - 99.5 percent of the time - I was aiming at a paper  target.  I have shot and killed rattlesnakes in the horse pastures and the barn in Florida, many years ago.  I do not own a gun.  As I take medicine daily to combat suicidal depression, I could not, legally, purchase a gun in most places inside the United States - except at some gun shows.
   I really am worried at the violence that is spreading across our country like a dark wave.  Back when our Constitution was written, revolvers were not yet around, and flintlock rifles and single-shot pistols were used.  After each firing, the weapon had to be re-loaded in several steps.  One could not squeeze the trigger and have a continuous firing of bullets.
   Besides the shootings at public schools, there have been shootings in restaurants, at music festivals and shows, random neighborhood shootings taking innocent lives and rivals, at night clubs, and on college campuses.  There are bombings of restaurants, homes, and races.  People are run over with vehicles that weigh a thousand (and more) times than they weigh.  People around the world are stoned, beaten, battered and shoved.  Women are raped.
  I just read an article about studies done in some of the much older cities in Europe.  Skeletons were exhumed from ancient graves and studies were made of how the people had died.  Unsurprisingly, people buried in large church yards and under fine grave stones, usually died of age or illness.  But the majority of people who were buried in grave areas designated for the poor showed that almost half of them had died from, or had lived through, some type of trauma.  More than 20% had died from massive head trauma.  The people who did the study were able to access church and law records from the eras they researched - and most of the dead with head trauma were found the morning after being paid, or on a night when there was a well-established drinking pattern.
  I do realize that we humans have a nasty, violent streak (usually) deep within our psyche.  I grew up reading novels about past civilizations, about the American West, and I started reading history when I was ten years old.  I know about conquests, massacres, and enslavement.  I know that some people have depths of evil that I do not wish to explore, or even try to understand.  Their acts are hateful and heinous to me.
  I have wondered, in the past, and in this blog, if the violence we see today is aided and abetted, or caused by, the proliferation of violent movies and video games and television programs that are so easily accessible.  Does viewing close-ups of bullets striking a body and blood poring out influence a deadening of the senses?  There are a lot of movies and programs that I simply cannot, and do not, watch because of the levels of violence and destruction.  -  Yes, I used to watch the old Western shows on television with great avidity; but, then, one saw the shooting victim grasp his chest or middle and collapse like a rag doll.  One did not see the bullet plunge into a body and all the gore and destruction that followed.  Plus, old Westerns were, in actuality, morality plays...
   In any event, since the shooting last week at Santa Fe High School in Texas, the National Rifle Association and it's spokesmen, including Oliver North and Ted Nugent, have given nine reasons for the recent shootings in public schools.  They are:
 1.  America lives in a "culture of violence."
 2.  Children diagnosed with ADHD are given Ritalin to treat that problem.
 3.  Godlessness.  Since God was taken out of school teaching, the children have become open to evil.
 4.  There are too many doors in school buildings.
 5.  Unhealthy diets.  "... if you really studied the slovenliness and the zombie-like conduct of these murderers, you go back to their diet... and it's all garbage."  So says Ted Nugent.
 6.  Children in school are being over-medicated.
 7.  It's all "due to America's progressive culture and media."
 8.  It's because parents are not teaching their children "how to cope with the harsh realities of life."  Boys are being told that masculinity is toxic, and girls are being to that to be real women they should act like a man.  The youngsters are confused by this mixed-up message from adults.
 9.  It's because of "main stream media outlets, who wrote the mass shooters' playbook."  The media is "recruiting shooters to a reality show."

 Not once did any of the spokesmen say that guns should be kept in a locked safe and out of the hands of children and young people.  Not once was mention made of the adult gun owners.  It is all someone else's fault.

Well...   Screw you, National Rifle Association spokesmen.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Art Work That I Like - Photos

Purple Hat  by Diane Britton Dunham

Woodland Harmony  by Chris Heitt

Sailing to the Moon  by Mike McGlothlen

Autumn Fairytale  by Daniel F.

At Rest  by Debra DeWitt

Chesapeake Bay Sunset

Gulf of Mexico Sunrise

What Is Causing This Violence?

I haven't written much lately because it seems all the news that is reported is very disheartening...  killer cyclones, volcanic eruptions, school shootings, restaurant bombings, and the crazy man in the Oval Office doing his best to make our great country the laughing stock of the world.
   What is causing a single person to take a weapon and kill multiple people?  Why is this type of behavior, seemingly, becoming normal?  What is causing people, both young and old, to destroy multiple lives?  As someone who wants to, but is afraid to try to commit suicide (for fear of not doing the deed effectively), I cannot grasp the need to kill others... 
   I cannot imagine why two seemingly young(ish) men would take a home-made bomb into a family restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and set it off during two private parties - injuring 12 and causing critical injuries to three people.  The three have had surgery and are now upgraded to serious condition.  Canada law enforcement is looking for the two men, who were caught on video, who carried the bomb into Bombay Bhel and then left.
   Why would a student in Noblesville, Indiana ask to to to the restroom during a test in his science class, and return with two handguns, and start shooting?  Thank goodness the science teacher, Jason Seaman, is seemingly fearless.  He charged the student, who had already shot and wounded a female student, taking three bullets in his chest.  Mr Seaman tackled the gunman, and told the rest of the students to run away.  He and the female student survived, and the shooter is under arrest.  He is a true hero!
This photo is from the University of Southern Illinois, which science teacher Jason Seaman attended.
   Natural events, we/I have no way of controlling, but I still feel badly for the people afflicted with these events.
   The man in the Oval Office of the White House - well, all I can do is hope he will soon be impeached and/or imprisoned.  He is using his position as a way to stuff his own pockets (and those of his family) with money that is illegally gained.  His stupid little dancing and one-upmanship game with North Korea's Kim Jong Un is senseless.  His sudden caring about ZTE, a Chinese company banned from selling in the US due to spying and stealing in the past, is only tied to the $500,000 the Chinese government contributed to one of his building projects in a third country....
   Just thinking about that man makes me want to take a shower in bleach to remove the slime...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Miscellaneous Photos

 Eagle Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
before the fire

One view of the fire that burned 75 square miles in 2017

How I feel today...

Shooting victims from Santa Fe High School

 Sinkholes at (above) the White House 
and (below) Mar-a-Lago
Think they may be connected?  (Ha, ha, hee, hee)

Odds and Ends

On 2 September 2017 a 15-year-old boy threw an active firework into a drought-stricken area of a scenic part of the country.  I wrote "an active firework" because the boy had lit the fuse before throwing it.  The resulting fire burned for more than 3 months.  It destroyed more than 48,000 acres - or over 75 square miles; it destroyed people's homes; it trapped people hiking in scenic areas; it killed an unknown number of many kinds of wildlife.  The boy plead guilty to all the charges filed against him, and today a court ordered him to perform almost 2,000 hours of volunteer service, to write letters of apology to those trapped on hiking trails, and to those who lost their homes.  The judge also ordered the boy to pay the different people and organizations involved a total of $36,618,330.00 - and also acknowledged there was no way the young man can repay that amount in his life-time (unless he wins a big lottery jackpot).  I believe justice has been served, but the boy's attorney is fuming.  - I shrug my shoulders and say, "Too bad."  Wildfires hurt every living thing on this planet.  I like this judge!

   The orange circus peanut with cotton-candy hair in the Oval Office said today that the scheduled June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has a "substantial" chance of "not working out."  Do you think?  I, personally, have serious doubts that it will take place.  I also have serious doubts that anything will be accomplished if it does take place.  It will just be a stupid game of one-upmanship.
   Did you know there's a sinkhole in the White House lawn?  It's by the wrought iron fence behind the media area...  It seems to be slowly growing.  Do you think it could be the way that China's leader is getting to 45 about helping out ZTE?  Did someone finally did their way from China?  (I am being facetious here...)
   And EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had representatives (reporters) from CNN and the AP barred from a public meeting this morning.  The spokesperson said that there was "no room" for anyone else - but other reporters allowed inside said there were multiple empty seats in their area.   So now Pruitt is trying to keep the press away from his "public" meetings about water contamination!  He is really living up to his nickname of Screw-It Pruitt!

  Quick takes:   The father of the boy who shot and killed and wounded people at Santa Fe High School  had said Friday and Saturday that his son was a quiet, but normal boy.  Today he says that his son was bullied into taking defensive measures...
    Two accused killers are on the loose after a "short circuit" unlocked prison doors in South Carolina.  Three men escaped after attacking a guard and using his own pepper spray one him.  One of the three men was recaptured 18 miles from the prison.  The other two are on the lam.
    A Baltimore County (Maryland) police officer was run over yesterday while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle and a breaking and entering call. A neighbor saw a vehicle cruise slowly through his neighborhood and then saw three young men exit a black Jeep Wrangler and break into a friend's home.  A female officer was sent in response.  As she approached the Jeep, she told the driver to exit the car.  Instead, he ran her over and left her dead in the street.  The 16-year-old boy and his three break-in friends have been arrested.  They all have juvenile records, and the young man accused of killing the officer has stolen 4 vehicles since the beginning of the year.

 I can't understand how anyone can publish entries and betting-odds for the Belmont Stakes when the race is 19 days away, the entries have not been confirmed, and we have no idea of the weather and possible track conditions....