Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Don't Just Sit Around and Read....

....but I finished reading "Tucker's Last Stand", a Vietnam-era thriller by William F. Buckley, Jr. This author, who passed away a couple of years ago, was a legendary writer of non-fiction, a political and social commentator, a TV personality and much more. Almost as a lark, it seems, he dashed off a series of spy thrillers of the Cold War period. A typical story of the genre, with attractive but one dimensional characters; I kept thinking the book would have made a fine adult-style comic book, with a nice graphic presentation. Set in 1964, with real life political figures among the cast of characters: there is an unforgettable image of Lyndon Johnson conducting a meeting with aides from the White House swimming pool.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hobbes Calls it "Quits"

In 1995, she was a young cat, one of my Mother's "outdoor" cats in an area of "big streets". When I saw her at Mom's house, I opened the back door; the cat came in. It was near my birthday, so Mom had her spayed and de-clawed for my gift. Wonderful Cat! The past 15 months, Hobbes had kidney failure; we regularly infused her system with the prescribed saline water, but life was losing it's luster, plainly. She was in a coma when we woke up this morning, so we took her to the vet for the "help along" shot. Amen.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mother's Birthday was October 23...

So I'm early with this photo to observe what would be her 94th. It was taken in 1959 at the Munich Oktoberfest.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Source: Part 1...

Recently I mentioned I started reading "The Source", a 1960's saga by James A. Michener. Today I finished the first long chapter. The plot centers on an archaeology dig in Israel in the 1960's; and this author plays it pretty straight. No Indiana Jones stunts. Main characters are introduced, the dig has begun and artifacts are discovered. Presumably, these artifacts will figure later in the book as the history of the site is revealed in later chapters. Two things I'm not enjoying so far: the elementary level treatment of the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people, religion and culture; and the marginalization of women. Maybe because the book is somewhat dated. Truth is, I tried a Michener novel years ago (Alaska) and couldn't finish it. Why am I doing this to myself?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Madonna of the Farm Yard....Revisit

I took this photo in Autumn 2011, I believe. A young lady visiting our local park district's exhibition farm with her young child. So glad I got the shot. The tree was removed and rope swing is gone now. Our town has lost many trees due to Emerald Ash insect. But many new trees added, as well.

Friday, October 11, 2013

"The Menorah Men" by Lionel Davidson...

...a vintage 1966 thriller by the late British novelist; the story reminded me of the antics of Indiana Jones in the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which came along much later. The hero is a British professor of archaeology who is about to start a major career advancement by developing a department at a new university. He is all but kidnapped (bribed, actually) by the young Israeli government (early 1960's) to come to Israel to interpret the meaning of a newly discovered scroll fragment; there is a chance that his help may lead to the discovery of the hidden location of one of the long-lost treasures of Jewish religion and culture. He goes, he helps, he thinks, he drinks, he smokes, he naturally seduces his young female driver(it's the 1960's after all). I forget how people smoked all the time in those days! There is danger, intrigue, rattling around in the Negev Dessert escaping Arab kidnappers and a rogue flash flood. I learned was a "tel" and a "wadi" are. The story had a witty, James Bond-like feel which seems a bit dated for current times. It got me interested in the subject of locating lost artifacts so I started "The Source" by James A. Michener this afternoon on the train on the ride home. Much better.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Havest Time Favorite...

Taken along the Missouri River a couple of years ago when we biked a portion of the Katy Trail.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Few Scenes from Past 'Weens...

The sweet and pretty Asian looking girl in one of the photos was adopted from China. Originally, she was found as a tiny infant in a parking lot in China. Our Win. Thank you, China.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...