Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Home Is Where The Heart Is

In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning.
--F. Scott Fitzgerald

Maybe it's because I spent Thanksgiving Day alone. Or maybe it's because I talked to my brother and two of my sisters over Thanksgiving and felt how much I miss them. Or maybe it's because I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in I don't know how many years. Or maybe it's because one of my sister's lives so far way. Or maybe it's because we bought a Christmas tree yesterday. Or maybe it's because of what happened to my brother-in-law's family. Or maybe it's because Christmas is coming. I don't know.

I do know that I am homesick. I want to move back to Denver. I miss it.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Meme Time

Stolen from Queen Of Cups:

(A) First, recommend to me:
1. a movie
2. a book
3. a musical artist, song, or album

(B) I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want.

(C) Then I want you to go to your blog/journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends to ask you anything & say that you stole it from me.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Coca-Cola Test

One of the joys of childhood is knowing you can stay home when you are sick. I remember that sometimes sickness came on fast. I would go to bed feeling fine and the next morning wake up ill. Some mornings I would wake up not really sick just feeling icky enough to not want to go to school. Then there were days when I would wake up not sure if I was sick or if I just didn't want to go to school. I was never sure which it was but my mother always knew. She also knew when I was faking illness to get out of going to school that day.

Whenever I woke up and told her I didn't feel well enough to go to school she would sit on my bed and put a hand on my forehead to see if I had a fever. If I did I was kept home. If I didn't she knew this didn't necessarily mean I wasn't ill since I could be at the just-getting-sick-stage and not have a fever yet. The only way to tell was by giving me the Coca-Cola test.

It was a long time before I figured out the Coca-Cola test. I just thought my mother was like "the great and powerful Oz," from The Wonderfu Wizard Of Oz. The Coca-Cola test was simple, so simple I didn't even realize I was being tested. My mother would ask, in a very sympathetic voice, "Do you think a Coca-Cola would make you feel better?"

If I answered no, I stayed home. If I answered yes, in a half-hour I was on my way to school. What I did not realize but my mother did, is that I never want Coca-Cola when I am sick. What I want is Ginger-ale or Seven-Up.

I have been feeling icky for the past three or four day but not sure if I was coming down with something. Yesterday I craved a nice ice-cold can of Coca-Cola but when I had it in my hand I realized I didn't really want it. What I did want was a Ginger-ale.

I think I'm sick.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Camera Obscura

-A darkened enclosure where light passes through a lens pinhole and an upside-down image is seen on the opposite surface.

The Morning News has a gallery of photos from Abelardo Morell's book, Camera Obscura. Morell created these pictures by first blacking out the windows in several rooms and then putting a pinprick size hole in the covering. He then photographed the rooms and the upside down images of the outside world projected onto the walls. The photos he created are both eerie and beautiful.

Monday, November 22, 2004

About That Election...

Sorry Everybody

Apologies Accepted

Kill The Messenger

Via Easy Bake Coven I found Kevin Sites's blog. Sites is the photographer who took the video of a Marine killing an unarmed Iraqi. Here, in an open letter to the Marines in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, Sites explains why he did not destroy the tape.

Whatta You Got For A Hungry Man?

Yesterday my husband took the dogs bird hunting then came home and had a late lunch of cold pheasant, cranberry sauce, and green beans. At 6:00PM I walked into the kitchen and found him popping corn on the stove. On the counter sat a shotglass filled with a clear liquid and next to it an open pint of peppermint schnapps. I was surprised by the schnapps because he is not a big drinker.
"Is that what you're eating for dinner, popcorn and peppermint schnapps?"
He nodded and said,"I bet no one else in the whole world is having the same dinner."
I think that was a safe bet.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Stamp Art

Nine of the ten basic cloud genera are pictured on this stamp pane and arranged according to altitude. The prefixes "cirro" and "alto" distinguish high- and middle- altitude clouds, respectively. Nimbostratus, a dark, featureless cloud marked by falling rain or snow, is not shown.
-United States Postal Service

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Drifting Along With The Tumbling Tumbleweeds

See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

-The Sons Of The Pioneers

Woke up to a cloudy, dreary, rainy day this morning. Just the kind of day to curl up on the couch with a good book and ignore the rest of the world. And, since I don't want to leave you without anything to read, I direct you to this story in today's Denver Post; Tumbleweeds may soak up toxics. Who would have thought tumbleweeds could be useful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Margaret Hassan's Murder And Killing Of Wounded Man By An American Marine In Iraq

I don't have the words to express how I am feeling about these two news items. I will let others express them for me.

Cowards are cruel, but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.

-John Gay

The quality of mercy is not strain'd.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath.
It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

-William Shakespeare

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority; the test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
-Ralph W. Sockman

Once lead these people into war, and they'll forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance ... the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fiber of our national life.
-Woodrow Wilson

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
-Sir Winston Churchill

One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.
-Agatha Christie

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Grain Elevators

This is a photo of the grain elevators at the CO-OP on the edge of town.

And why am I showing you this?

So I can tell you this. These elevators hold up to 1,340,000 bushels of grain and right now they are almost full. Two of the biggest problems with storing grain are mold and insects. To keep both from developing the grain has to be dried, this is done by cooling the grain. The grain is cooled by using large fans that draw outside air into the elevators and through the grain. Once the elevators reach the correct temperatures the fans shut down. This should be happening at any time now.

And why am I telling you this?

So I can also tell you this. These fans sound like vacuum cleaners without the high pitched squeak. They are also loud. These fans are so loud that I can hear the rumble and hum of them in my house even with the doors and windows closed. At night the noise reverberates though out the house.

And why am I telling you this?

So I can tell you this story. When my father was in the Navy on one ship he worked in the engine room. He slept in a bunk that was connected to the wall that was on the other side of the engines. When he got in bed the noise made the bunk vibrate. He said at first he could not sleep because of the thumping of the engines but after awhile he managed to sleep through the noise. Then one day when he was sleeping he found himself sitting straight up in bed with his heart pounding and fear racing through is veins. He sat there wondering what the hell was wrong. Then he realized it was dead quiet, the engines had stopped.

And why am I telling you this?

So I can tell you this. The fans have been running since the middle of October. I have reached the not hearing the noise stage and am worried the fans will stop in the middle of the night.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Harry Mellon Rhoads

It was cold, wet, and windy this weekend so I spent most of it perusing the Denver Public Library photography collection. The DPL has put over 100,000 photos from both its Western History Department and from the Colorado Historical Society Collection online. It's a little overwhelming and I decide to limit my browsing to the Harry Mellon Rhoads Collection.

Harry Rhoads was a newspaper photographer whose work is spread over a time period from 1900 to his retirement in 1968. Harry's collection of 5,200 glass plates and film negatives covers everything from his family to crime, disasters, famous people, and women, lots and lots of women. Twenty-five hundred of these photos are online.

I found the aerial views fascinating. One of City Park (Rh-298) taken in the 1930's shows nothing but open land, with farms scattered here and there, north of 26th Avenue. Another shows what will become Lowry Airfield when it was the Phipps Sanatorium (Rh-4533). It is surround by miles of open plain. I found the crime photos fascinating too, but in a different way. The 1937 photo of a dead police officer (Rh-1227). A haunting one of a women jumping off a bridge (Rh-5508). I wondered why she jumped and how the photographer got so close. A photo of a man after he committed suicide by lying down on the railroad track and waiting for a train(Rh-982). That one you will have to find for yourself.

There is a photo of Cherry Creek at 7th Avenue and Broadway (Rh-418) during the 1933 flood showing a wave cresting at least five feet about the cement walls lining the creek and rushing toward the Broadway bridge. There is beautiful photo of the state capitol building taken in the winter (Rh-5824).

Some photo's give you a little Denver history, like the one titled,"Klan Member at Klan Day At The Races At Overland Park" (Rh-460). In the 1920's the Klu Klux Klan had political control of the state with the governor, the secretary of state, one member of the Supreme Court, seven judges in Denver District Court, and the majority of the members of the state House and Senate affiliated with the Klan. The fact that there could even be a Klan Day shows the power they held.

There are many more photos in the library collection and I plan to examine as many as I can. I love Denver, history, and photography. I've found my own little bit of heaven right here on the Internet.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I'm Your Puppet

I can't believe I am going to write the following sentence. I forgot to blog yesterday. Who would of thought? So, to make up, a short post today.

I watched GW's press conference with Tony Blair yesterday and was amazed when Blair ended it with this statement:

..."we're not fighting the war against terrorism because we are an ally of the United States; we are an ally of the United States because we believe in fighting this war against terrorism. We share the same objectives. We share the same values. And we look back over our own history in the last half century or more, we -- both of us in different ways, the United States and Britain, have a cause to be thankful for this alliance and this partnership, and I should -- we -- I believe we should be thankful that it is as strong as it is today. And as long as I remain prime minister of our country, it will carry on being strong, not because that's in the interests of America simply or in the interests of the international community, but because I believe passionately it is in the interests of Britain."

You then heard Bush say, "Good job."
Blair turned toward him beaming, shook his hand and said, "Thank you."

I bet that went over big in Britain.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veteran's Day

This is my father who served in both World War II and the Korean War. Today, the anniversary of the day World War I ended, we honor all men and women who have served in the Armed Forces.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Not to see Elitch's is not to see Denver.
-advertising slogan for Elitch Gardens

When I was a kid all summers began at Elitch Gardens amusement park over on Tennyson Street and 38th Avenue. The first day we could make it after school was out for the summer we would head to Elitch's with our report cards in our hand. Report cards got you two things- free entrance to the park and free ride tickets. The number of tickets you received was based on your grades. Four tickets for each A, three tickets for each B and two tickets for each C. Failing (F) a class or just squeaking by with a D got you nothing. With eight classes you could get anywhere from 2 to 32 tickets.

After we received our string of tickets we would toss our report cards into the first trash can we passed and race through the picnic groves on our way to the center of the park. The crash of steel wheels on metal surfaces, squeals of delight and fright from other patrons, music and game noise from the Arcade mingled with the smell of popcorn, tacos, french fries, funnel cakes, cotton candy and grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. The sounds, sights and smell were a sensory overload and always made me slightly nauseous when I first stepped into the center of the park.

Next came the most agonizing part, deciding how to spend our tickets. Rides cost any where from one ticket to five tickets. You had to balance quantity with quality. The Game Arcade was always out since I never understood the thrill of gambling. The Mr Twister and the Wildcat roller coasters were off limits because the one time I rode one (Mr Twister) I spent the whole time with my eyes closed tightly, hands gripping the seat bar hard enough to leave prints, begging God to make it stop. But that still left a lot of rides to pick from: the Ferris Wheel, the Carousel, the Octopus, the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Wild Mouse, the Airplane ride, and many, many others. I loved it.

The best time I had at Elitch's was on the carousel. It was during one warm summer night before the park changed from individual tickets to an all inclusive pass. My sister, her boyfriend and I hit the park about a half hour before closing time. We wanted to ride Mr Twister (I had outgrown my fear) and hurried in and bought tickets but we were to late, they had just closed the ride. Most of the rides were closed and we raced around trying to get on the other rides that were still operating before they shut the park down for the night. Finally, we reached the point where the only ride open that we had not been on was the carousel.

The carousel was added to the park in 1928 and it took three master carvers three year to build. It had 64 colorfully painted horses (44 that went up and down and 20 stationary ones) and two Roman-style chariots. The wooden walls surrounding the machinery in the center were made up of 18 panels, each containing a large framed beveled mirror. The ceiling was painted sky blue with clouds and birds floating around and hundreds of bare light bulbs hung from the carousel roof support beams. When that thing was in motion is was magical.

We headed over to the carousel and gave the attendant all our remaining tickets and told him to keep the ride going until they ran out and climbed on board. We had the ride to ourselves. I don't know how long we circled around and around but it was long enough to get bored with riding one horse up and down. We started walking round the carousel trying to keep the machinery house between ourselves and the attendant. Then we got back on the horses and started riding them standing up. We expected the attendant to yell at us but he didn't seem to care. That's when I noticed the horses were spaced close enough so that, if you want to, you could walk from one to another. I wanted to.

When I was hidden from the attendant's view I stepped over to another horse, rode it around to the back of the carousel and when I was hidden from the attendant's view again, stepped over to another one. My sister and her boyfriend followed suit and we then discovered we could step from one horse to another quickly enough to keep the machinery house between us and the attendant. I don't know what the attendant thought when we disappeared from view for awhile but I do know we disappeared long enough to walk on each one of the 64 horses.

They tore the old Elitch's down in 1994 and build a new park now called Six Flaggs Elitch Gardens in lower downtown. The old park lost its charm for me when they switched to the "one price covers all rides" pass. Before that innovation people were more relaxed about going to the park but after the pass was introduced they were more frantic and in a hurry. It was as if they thought they had to get on all the rides they could in one visit or they weren't getting their money worth. It just wasn't enjoyable anymore.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.
-Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure

Friday, November 05, 2004

Where Or When

-by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart

when you're awake
the things you think
come from the dreams you dream

thought has wings,
and lots of things
are seldom what they seem

sometimes you think you've lived before
all that you live today
things you do come back to you
as though they knew the way

oh, the tricks your mind can play

it seems we stood and talked like this before
we looked at each other in the same way then
but I can't remember where or when

the clothes you're wearing and the clothes you wore
the smile you are smiling you were smiling then
but I can't remember where or when

some things that happen for the first time
seem to be happening again

and so it seems that we have met before
and laughed before
and loved before
but who knows where or when

Soft words for a soft day.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Fifth Book Of Peace

I can't study war no more.
-Save The Country by Laura Nyro

I have just discovered a new author. Well, she's not really new I've just never read her before. Her name is Maxine Hong Kingston and the book is The Fifth Book Of Peace. It begins with her desperate attempt to save the manuscript of her other book, The Fourth Book Of Peace, before her house is destroyed in the California wildfires of 1991. She manages to reach her neighborhood and, standing in the middle of what is left of a firestorm, gazes around until she spots a pole with the flag attached to it still flying. As she stares at this she realizes that the only reason she can see the pole from where she now stands is because her house no longer blocks the view. Her home and her manuscript have both been destroyed. The first three Books of Peace were supposedly written in China's distant past. All were considered dangerous by the powers that be. All were destroyed by fire.

It has been a lyrical read and I am now in the middle of the Earth segment of the book. But last night my mind kept going back to the beginning of the re-created Fourth Book. In the first paragraph she writes down Lew Welch's poem, "Chicago."

You can't fix it and you can't make it go away.
I don't know what you're going to do about it,
But I know what I'm going to do about. I'm just
going to walk away from it. Maybe
A small part of it will die if I'm not around

feeding it anymore.

To Welch 'it' represented the violence at the Democratic Convention of 1968 in Chicago and also the Viet Nam War. I'm not sure what 'it' is to me. Then this morning I read in my horoscope, Try to remember that the person who gets in your face may be looking for answers, not for a fight. And things begin to make sense.

The last two weeks I have found myself very sensitive to any stories about violence. (Not that big of a surprise considering what has happened.) It's like buying a new car; from the moment you drive off the lot it seems that all you see are all the other cars out there just like yours. I'm seeing stories about car crashes, murders, rapes, bombings, hate crimes, words of anger and intolerance. Each occurrence of violence I read about inflicts a tiny cut on my psyche like the blade of a small penknife.

Then yesterday I gave vent to my own self-righteous anger about the outcome of the election but I forgot what a miracle yesterday really was. We had an election in this country and although almost half of people who voted did not agree that the right man was chosen to lead this country for the next four years, today we did not wake up to find there had been a military coup during the night.

Today I am tired. Tired of my anger and everyone else's. The anger in this country has been palatable. The intolerance for the other person's political belief has been a little frightening. Anger and intolerance lead to violence. That is what 'it' means for me, anger and intolerance. So, I'm not going to feed that anger and intolerance anymore. I'm going to walk away and maybe a small part of it will die. And the next time someone gets in my face I will try to remember they may be looking for answers and not a fight.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"America Has Spoken"

-George W Bush

And it has said, "We don't give a sh@t."

One hundred twenty million people voted yesterday. That sounds like a lot but that number represents only 60% of the eligible voters in this country. Only one out of every ten voters between the ages of 18-34 made it to the polls. One out of every ten. Who said political apathy is dead in this country?

We (America) deserve what is coming during the next four years. To the rest of the world I offer my sincerest apology.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

What are you doing here looking for something to read? Go Vote!

Monday, November 01, 2004

What's the difference between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War?

A. George W. Bush had a plan to get out of the Vietnam War.

Tomorrow is Election Day. Do you know where your polling booth is?