Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29, 1845

 The New York Evening Mirror publishes Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
            She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 28, 1986

The space shuttle U.S Challenger explodes just after takeoff killing all member of its crew.

Crew of U.S. Challenger (Standing in back) Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, Teacher-in-Space participant Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist Greg Jarvis and mission specialist Judy Resnick. (Sitting in front) Pilot Mike Smith, commander Dick Scobee and mission specialist Ron McNair.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I Am Learning To Sew- Project 26

I made these pillow covers for my sister with the blue fabric she gave me and then decided to add some color to the backs along with some zippers. Doing so made the project a bit more complicated but was worth it since I learned a few new sewing techniques.

Pillow covers, front

Pillow covers, back.

Pillow covers, zipper.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Bureaucrat Scorned

"We’ve seen our own children targeted by the police for no reason other than they committed some crimes.”
-Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

You know, Tina Fey's job is so much easier now that Sarah Palin has become such a caricature of herself.

Ames, Iowa, January 19, 2016

Saturday Night Live, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dumb Ways to Die

My newest most favorite song.

Set fire to your hair
Poke a stick at a grizzly bear
Eat medicine that's out of date
Use your private parts as piranha bait

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to di-ie-ie
So many dumb ways to die

Get your toast out with a fork
Do your own electrical work
Teach yourself how to fly
Eat a two-week-old un-refrigerated pie

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to di-ie-ie
So many dumb ways to die

Invite a psycho-killer inside
Scratch a drug dealer's brand new ride
Take your helmet off in outer space
Use a clothes dryer as a hiding place

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to di-ie-ie
So many dumb ways to die

Keep a rattlesnake as a pet
Sell both your kidneys on the Internet
Eat a tube of superglue
I wonder, what's this red button do?

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to di-ie-ie
So many dumb ways to die

Dress up like a moose during hunting season
Disturb a nest of wasps for no good reason

Stand on the edge of a train station platform
Drive around the boom gates at a level crossing
Run across the tracks between the platforms
They may not rhyme but they're quite possibly

The dumbest ways to die
The dumbest ways to die
The dumbest ways to di-ie-ie-ie
So many dumb
So many dumb ways to die

Be safe around trains... a message from Metro

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pan Am Makes The Going Great

January 21, 1970, the first Boeing 747 commercial flight is made by Pan America World Airways on its New York to London route.

(Photo of aircraft on the ground at London Heathrow Airport.)

(Pan Am 747 luggage tag.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

Are You Serious?

Just when you think the 2016 presidential election could not get any stranger, a man uses his little girls to pimp Donald Trump's simplistic, paranoid, fear driven, America has enemies everywhere plotting to "sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids," political view.

Are you serious?
Apologies for freedom
I can’t handle this!

When freedom rings
Answer the call
On your feet
Stand up tall
Freedom’s on our shoulders

Enemies of freedom
Face the music
Come on, boys - take ‘em down!
‘Cause the Donald Trump knows how
To make America great
Deal from strength or get crushed every time.

Over here
Over there
Freedom and liberty everywhere

Oh, say can you see
It’s not so easy
But we have to stand up tall
And answer freedom’s call

We’re the land of the free and the brave

The stars and stripes are flying
Let’s celebrate our freedom
Inspire, proudly, freedom to the world

American pride
USA! It’s attitude, it’s who we are Stand up tall

We’re the red, white, and blue
Fiercely free, that’s who!
Our colors don’t run, no sirree

Over here
Over there

Freedom and liberty everywhere
Oh, say can you see
It’s not so easy
But we have to stand up tall
And answer freedom’s call!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


From Stones 'n Bones:

In 1905 Skyline Drive was completed through the use of inmate labor. At the height of construction, the Skyline Drive project employed sixty prisoners. It was Senator Lewis of Florence who sponsored the legislation bill that allowed prisoners to work on this public road. Prisoners working on Skyline Drive received a reduction of ten days on their sentence for every thirty days they worked on the road.

According to articles in the CaƱon City Record, a contest to name the road was held following its completion. S.A. Van Buskskirk recommended Skyline Boulevard and the name was incorporated into the deed, although, it is now referred to as Skyline Drive. The drive was originally built for biking, horses, and walking. Cars were prohibited because they scared the horses. However, popular demand to allow cars provided for their use on the drive after February 1907.

During the Best administration, the penitentiary repaired the road and built an arch at the entrance of Skyline Drive using a stone from every state in the union. When F.B. Rice, the gentleman in charge of procuring stones from individual states, contacted New York on April 12, 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the governor. Roosevelt wrote back asking Rice to ask for information regarding the nature of the project, inquiring whether or not it was a public or private enterprise. Rice informed him that it was public, and Franklin agreed to send the stone.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Yorn Desh Born, Der Ritt De Gitt Der Gue

Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!
-Swedish Chef's theme song on The Muppet Show

My sister put this photo of the salt and pepper shakers she got for Christmas on her facebook page and I wrote in the comments, "That chef looks like he would fricassee those squirrels in a heartbeat."
(Full disclosure: The chef  was my present to her.)

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year, Everyone!

2015, you broke my heart.