My Lovely Melis and I enjoy driving the old highway systems, nowadays, rather than the interstate highways initiated by Eisenhower. In the 30 plus years we’ve been running to Cincinnati, we’ve only recently begun running down US127, rather than I75. In doing so, we found that part of US127 is referred to as the “Annie Oakley Memorial Pike,” and not far off the pike is Annie Oakley’s gravesite, in Darke County, Ohio. We stopped by yesterday, on the 96th anniversary of her ashes being buried at that spot. The cemetery in which Annie is interred is out in the middle of farmer fields, and it is a rather fine burial spot, with views that stretch across the flatness of the terrain. It was nice to see that her grave does still receive visitors, as there were many tokens left on her gravesite, including coins, spent shotgun shells, and a bullet or two. Here are a few photos. I’ll stop by there again, as there is much to explore beyond Annie’s grave, including men killed in the War of 1812, WWI and WWII. I recommend it.
Eighteen years ago, on our 12th wedding anniversary, I posted a short note commemorating my life with my Lovely Melis. Eighteen years on, the words I wrote remain true, though I will not state that our years together have been without their challenges. Yesterday evening, at dinner, I asked my Lovely Melis what she most cherishes about our lives together, and she told me that she knows that I always have her 6. I do.
I wrote this about our lives together, at my defunct blog, on November 12, 2004:
I will not state we are soul mates, because we are not. I will not state that I need the Lovely Melis, because I do not. What I will state is that the Lovely Melis is an individual whose company I thoroughly enjoy, whose appeal to my senses is still sharp, whose respect I continue to strive for, and whose beauty continues to blossom like a well cellared bottle of red wine.
“The question of the control of machines (including technology – ed.) for the execution of truly human purposes involves a vast and far-reaching interrogation. It turns itself at critical periods into another question which may be phrased thus: When men of bad will make and use powerful machines for the enforcing of their evil purposes, have men of good will the right to make and use machines to return the attack of the evil men and to baffle their evil purposes so that they are brought to naught? If men can use machines to project the purposes of evil, have men the right to use machines to thwart the purposes of evil? Is all the destructive power of the machine to be turned against the good by bad men, and are good men to stand helpless, never having the right to use the power of the machine to defend themselves against the conscienceless attack of evil?
True humanistic–and, indeed, critical Christian–thought comes with an unhesitating answer to these questions. And the answer may be put in this fashion: Whenever you have evil minds dominating mechanical forces, you have tyranny and the breaking of every human right and the overthrow of every human value. Whenever you have goodness which refuses to use its intelligence to make and master machines and to hurl them against attacking evil, you have impotence and defeat coming upon the forces of goodness. When you have goodness which is not afraid to use physical force against attacking bad will, you have the securing of some sort of decency and of some sort of order in the world. Indeed, in this last case the authorities representing good will may often maintain their position by the use of potential rather than actual physical force. When the men of bad purpose know that the men of good purpose will not hesitate to use the power of a mechanized world for the forces of good and are ready to do just that, increasingly they will be brought to terms by a threat which they would ignore if they believed it merely verbal, but before which they will draw back when they know it is authentic. You cannot fight bad will with words which you are not willing to follow up with decisive acts.”
Lynn Harold Hough, The Christian Criticism of Life, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York – Nashville, 1941, pgs. 241-242
“…those of every school of thought who hate tyranny and despise injustice, who despise the very thought of a life below the human level for any of the children of men, who would make the world a better place for the last and the lowest and the least, as well as a world which gives ample opportunity to those of the highest gifts–those can make common cause in no end of battles which man fights for his manhood in this difficult world. It is a gracious thing that so many men live lives which are better than their theories, and have logic for action which is much more dependable than the logic of their thought.”
Lynn Harold Hough, The Christian Criticism of Life, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York – Nashville, 1941, pgs. 181-182
Stopping by the Smithsonian website this morning, to read about this year’s Katmai National Park Fat Bear Week vote, which evidently was somewhat controversial due to last minute voting, I read this:
Though Holly initially appeared to be the winner, the park reported that she received a high number of suspicious votes late in the voting period, per NPR’s Bill Chappell. “While not unheard of, it is very uncommon for a bear to come back late in the day like that,” Explore.org’s Candice Rush tells NPR.
To prevent future voter fraud, the online system now has a Captcha test, per NPR. Ultimately, the park threw out several thousand fraudulent ballots and announced that 747 beat Holly in the semi-final by over 7,000 votes, clearing the way for the bear’s legitimate victory and title of 2022’s champion. (bold by ed.)
Funny how a flurry of late votes in election are suspicious when voting for a fat brown bear, and not in an election for president of the United States. Maybe the True the Vote organization can learn something from those counting the votes for Fat Brown Bear week.
I’m not opposed to paying good money for a well made shoe or boot. For instance, in dress shoes I’ve always bought Johnston & Murphy, and still have 3 pair that I’ve had for almost 40 years, having been resoled or factory recondition once or twice. I also own an pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots, and it’s a fine boot, which I’ve had since Wolverine brought them back to the market, which was 10 years or so ago. Another great boot I wear is the Redwing 8-inch Soft Toe boot, which for comfort I think is outstanding, not to mention durability. All of those previously mentioned shoes and boots will set you back a minimum of $200 bucks and up to $400 bucks.
I mention those shoes and boots because I was just made aware of a handsewn boot company by the name of White’s Boots, after a good friend dropped a YouTube video in my inbox discussing White’s Boots, where I learn that you’ll not throw a pair of these on your feet unless you’re willing to part with, at a minimum, $630 bucks. I don’t think I’ll tell my Lovely Melis how much they cost until I save up the pennies required to buy a pair. Here’s a link to a YouTube video on White’s Boots (video runs just over 18 minutes) discussing how they are made, including actually cutting one in half, their comfort, etc. They take a bit longer to break in than other boots, apparently, but they look as if they will wear like iron, except comfortably. I want a pair.
Colonoscopies have been all the medical rage for a number of years, now. Marketed as the be all and end all to colon cancer, colonoscopies have been pushed relentlessly. I’m 62 and have never succumbed to the hype, though my doctor has never quit attempting to get me to submit to have my anal cavity probed.
The main reason I’ve never submitted to this colon probing goes back to 1976 when my father was deathly ill with peritonitis. While in ICU, the head gastroenterologist asked my dad how often he had a bowel movement. My dad’s response was two to three times per day. The gastroenterologist said this to my dad in response, “Well, you’ll never get colon cancer then.” I tell my doctor this anecdote every time he pushes me to get a colonoscopy, and that I follow my dad’s example in bowel movement times per day. Now I’ll hand him this information, too:
“Lay me on an anvil, O God. Beat me and hammer me into a crowbar. Let me pry loose old walls. Let me lift and loosen old foundations.”
“Lay me on an anvil, O God. Beat me and hammer me into a steel spike. Drive me into the girders that hold a skyscraper together. Take red-hot rivets and fasten me into the central girders. Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through blue nights into white stars”