Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reading the on-line papers

  See that?  How often would you see that bit in your local paper; maybe, if they were looking for filler.  Quite often I "read/scan" papers in San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia or Detroit, and some others.  I must need more meaningful things to do, like work on a painting.  But, I like to read and books are hard to see, and this screen is large by computer standards, so I read on line stuff.
  I do not miss "kettle time".  Although the Red Kettle is the most important fund raiser the Salvation Army has, and it's a good organization, I don't miss the kettles.  I worked five years for The Salvation Army and beginning of October there were interviews and training sessions for the "bell-ringers", who were paid minimum wage.  During the kettle season there were daily deposits, two extra reports every day, sometimes more.  There was an extra weekly payroll to do, and more reports called for as the season progressed - all extra work for me because I was the one who did those things.  It was good though to see the money in the bank - but it had to last a year.
click to enlarge
  I though these people were being crushed on a huge escalator, that's what it looks like to me!

Friday, November 23, 2012

It was good in 1936, but....

The old and the new - click
  The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, normally called the Bay Bridge, was built between 1933 and 1936.  It was finished six months before the Golden Gate Bridge.  That bridge has out-lived it's usefulness.  270,000 cars and trucks use the bridge every day as it carries Interstate 80 to San Francisco where it terminates.  Workers in one city or the other use the bridge too.  At one time the bottom deck carried trains, but now the south bound traffic is on the bottom while the north bound uses the five lanes on top.
  The new bridge, made in China, yes that's a fact.  Sections are fabricated in China and shipped to Oakland and transported by barge to the work site.  Silly me!  Silly for thinking American steel and construction folks had a job.  Why in the world this is happening is beyond my imagination (and it's quite large).
  Anyhow, the section from Yerba Buena Island (in the middle) from San Francisco is finished, the Oakland to Yerba Buena Island is nearing completion as well.  The "old bridge" will be demolished, and the materials re-cycled.
This clip from Google Maps shows the old and new - click to enlarge,
you will notice the old "runway end" of the Alameda Naval Air Station,
bottom right.  Treasure Island was also a Navy installation, it's where the brig was.
Making sure the cables are in place - click to enlarge photo

Thursday, November 22, 2012

There may be things to be thankful for, providing... find them affordable.  Now, that's a whole mouthful right there, and it's too early to eat.  But, you can bet your sweet bippy that some folks will dine in style.  I offer:
Dining Room, Garden Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Plaza
Thanksgiving dinner in this hotel costs only $45.96, dessert not included.  That sounds like a lot to me, and it is.  There are propably several other locations in the City of Cincinnati that make this one look cheap.
  Looking for a place to live?  How much room does one person need?  How about a mini-condo, it will be 220 square feet.  Wait!  That's only 10x22!  Holy moley that's small!  But it must be inexpensive right?  Hold on there Little Buddy!  In the City of San Francisco the rent would only by $1500.00 per month, condo fee not included.  Jeepers!  Now you can go forth and be thankful, you're better off than you think.

San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It won't be long now......

...until all hell breaks loose.  I'm talking about "Black Friday", which is now "Black Thursday Night".  Not for me, I want no part of it.  Well...maybe if there was a free Ipad.
  I've already eaten my turkey, last Friday to be exact.  Oh yeah, we went to the Hermon Family Restaurant and I had a Hot Turkey Sandwich with gravy and cranberry sauce,  what more could I possibly want.  Trying to cook a turkey dinner for two people just doesn't seem worth the effort.
  I walked six miles again yesterday for day 2 in a row.  Started about 3:05, walked four miles straight with a break after three miles for a drink of water.  After coffee I walked in Wal-Mart and Home Depot for about a mile, and walked again here in the neighborhood in the afternoon.  Today, well it's a bit warmer, about 26 degrees, so we'll see.  Maybe four miles before coffee, that doesn't seem impossible - - - unless the wind is blowing, then no.
  Drive safe, enjoy your dinner.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's all about the numbers

Turkeys in the field - click to enlarge
Photo by Linda Grant
  I read yesterday that the average cell phone bill is between $190.00 and $220.00.  One family had a monthly bill of $322.00 making it the second largest amount of a bill each month.
  I thought paying $34.50 a month a bad enough.  I guess I need one of those "smart" phones so I can spend some real money.  You might find the article on and read it yourself, as for me I thing I'll be watching for those texting drivers.

  Since May 1st I have walked 975 miles.  That's just over the amount of miles from Levant, Maine to New York City, NY and back.  It probably would stretch as far as Edison, NJ and back.  That's quite a few miles and it had been one month since walking five miles a day last week.  Yesterday I was able to walk 5 miles before coffee at 5:00AM, I started at 3:00 and finished about 4:35.  I don't think that's too bad for a geezer.  We'll see what today brings.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Bringing in the sheaves....

What we think of as the first Thanksgiving - click photo
....bringing in the sheaves; we shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves...".  I still remember just a little bit of that hymn or song; it was sung during the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and of course, at the Grange.
  Well you ask, what the heck is a sheave.  Well, I reply it's a bundle or grain (almost always cereal grant) such as winter wheat or rye.  A shock is 12 bundles of grant, or 18 bundles or winter wheat or rye.  One University, Wichita State, has teams called the "Shockers", Kansas being a wheat growing state, at least in years without drought.  North Dakota grows more grain than any other State, thanks for the fact Wilbur.
  Now, Thanksgiving.  An official holiday since 1863, during the US Civil War, President Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving.  The date has been adjusted a couple of times, it now falls on the fourth Thursday in November.  Generally now it's know for "food and football" or as the prelude to the day that makes all shop - a - holics happy; Black Friday- which begins at 12:00AM by the way.
  Anyway that's my take on Thanksgiving, I've already had my turkey this Friday past at the Hermon Family Restaurant - a hot turkey sandwich with nice gravy.  Gobble, gobble.
What it look like when I was a kid.  Right down to the pressed back chairs - click photo

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Giving Thanks north of the Border

Canadian troops giving thanks at Cambrei Cathedral in 1918 - click to enlarge
  A statutory Holiday in Canada, for the most part, co-insides with Columbus Day, I think, in the good old USA.  Lots of Canadians use the long weekend to shop in Maine, at least around here, most from the Atlantic Provinces.   Now I need to tell you that Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador it is an optional Holiday.  And the Atlantic Provinces are where our shoppers live.
  The menu at a Thanksgiving Meal pretty much mimics the United States (mimics isn't the right word, it should be mirrors).
  Churches are decorated with pumpkins and sheaves of wheat or cornucopias.  Hymns and Bible readings reflect the Jewish Holiday of Sukkot (celebrate the harvest).

  I should note that Rat in the comic strip Pearls Before Swine wants more border patrols on the Canadian Border so they don't sneak in more Justin Beibers. 
Shopping for pumpkins in Ottawa - click to enlarge.