Saturday, January 5, 2013


Foley Brothers store in Houston in 1929
Photo: Houston Chronicle
  Do you remember when there were local department stores, un-branded family restaurants or different words for things we all used by some other local name?
  I know all of us didn't grown up in cities or places large enough to have places like I've just described, but some did.  I grew up on a small town with one store - Colbaths General Store, the post office was there too and one Mobil gas pump.
  Now it seems that any place with, let's say 20,000 people, almost all look alike, stores have the same name, there are chain restaurants and certainly stores are national chains.
  We've been homogenized, blended all together.  There is almost no local anymore.  That's what happened to the store at the top.  Foley's was founded by two brothers in 1900 with $2000.00 capital, by the 1950's Foley's had stores throughout the Texas area, things were booming.  Then came homogenization and Macy's just sucked up Foley's.  It was a big money deal.
  Most of the photos are larger if you click on one.
CORRECTION:  The girl in yesterday's story did not set a record, there are two instances of girls scoring 60 points in a game.  Most notably for this area Laura Hoit scored 60 points for Hamden in 1929, she went on the teach and coach at Hamden.  Miss Hoit left one million dollars to the Town of Hamden for a swimming pool.  The pool was built and is named the Laura Hoit Pool.  My wife goes there to exercise.  Close to home, huh?
1956 new headquarters in Houston.
1970's people shop at a sale in Foley's

Friday, January 4, 2013

Number 1311

  Well,  I have some surprising news for you today, I didn't wake up until 3:00AM!  That may be a record for me since the onset of my sleep disorder, unless I was sick.  I'm not sick, feel fine and I must be well rested.
  While I was asleep, or maybe not, Parise Rossignol of Van Buren, Maine (that's way up there) may have set a record of high school girls by scoring 49 points in a basketball game.  Van Buren is a small community in Aroostook County, and the only town in Maine that has a church that sells hot dogs in a store front "restaurant".  Miss Rossignol is the daughter of Matt Rossignol who set some records himself in high school and at the University of Maine, he is a teacher and coach.  Parise will attend the U of Maine in 2014.  Hats off to Miss Rossignol.  I love high school basketball.
  So, there you have it.  All the news from this corner of the world.
Levant, Maine - January 4, 2013.  The geezer.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Just a little discomfort

Portland Maine
Photo: Tim Greenway
  New Years day each year is the day people go to the beach.  They just don't go to the beach, they go in the water!  Brrrrr!
  In Portland, Maine it's done to support Special Olympics as a fund raiser.  In other citys and towns it may be done for the same purpose or a different one.  It really is a "fun" way to raise money for a cause.  If I were younger................
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Seattle, Washington
Should have appeared yesterday!
Photo: Facebook

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Out of touch? OUT OF TOUCH??

  Well, they got it done.  Both houses of Congress got off their collective asses and voted to pass one piece of emergency legislation.  Bless their little hearts.  Poor babies must be plumb tuckered out!
  Here are some numbers for us little people to think about:
                                       126  -  days Congress will be in session in 2013
                                       239  -  day of vacation for those hardworking dumb asses.
                                       174,000 - amount in US dollars, it's the least one of them can earn.
                                       193,400 - dollars paid the Senate/House majority/minority leaders
                                       223.500 - dollars paid to the Weeper of the House, err Speaker

  Are we starting to see why these people are out of touch with the rest of us?  Have you just lost your breakfast?  Now, now don't feel bad they're going to get a raise of between 1/2 to 1 percent of their pay; and let's not forget the free travel on "junkets" around the world to "study" problems (NOTE problems in other countries, not ours).
  I'm pretty ticked off, can you tell?  A bunch of nitwits that can't agree on ANYTHING, don't understand why families are having a hard time to pay the bills - but wait!  They'll help us little people, here's a sample:
                                   Millions of dollars cut from LIHEAP funds for elderly and poor people.
                                   They will vote to increase the amount of interest on student loans.
                                   They will cut the amount of COLA on government programs like social
                                     security and retirement benefit checks.  Those are OUR EARNED benefits
                                     not a "welfare payment" that your/my congress person thinks.
  I think it's time for a clean sweep, throw them out - nah!  Whoever is elected will be corrupted by the money (corporate) and power, and the sweetest benefits/perks that you and I can only dream about.  Maybe I'll win the lottery.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Twelve, thirteen, whatever

I must have missed the deadline
Monday's gone and the whole year too,
now it's Tuesday, oh, what to do?
Celebrate the New Year? That's not my thing;
the year will bring, what it will bring.

I don't celebrate on New Years Eve,
there's no reason the old one to grieve.
Besides I was sleeping, all snug in my bed,
dreaming of going downhill on my sled.

So?  It's the New Year? That's no big deal.
No reason for us, passing the old one to seal;
the last one was okay, no sadness here.
Oh, while I have time.  Happy New Year!
The United States Congress in action

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Burren

A section of the Burren - click to enlarge
  The Burren is a karst formation in County Clare, Ireland; a part of it is one of six National Parks in Ireland.
  I was reading a magazine about people who traveled to China, the part was all of those steep sided mountains that look like fangs are.  So I read a little bit online about them and learned that they are "Karst Formations".  That means that the bedrock is soluble, limestone for example, the rock dissolves over time and leave the hard rock.  Think Grand Canyon, it's that type of erosion.
  In Ireland the karst is not shaped like those in China or other places; it's flat rolling hills and barren.  It's amazing just in the photos.
  You'll notice the cracks in the surface the longer vertical cracks are called Grikes and the short horizontal cracks are Glints, so the surface may look like paving stones.
  For more information go to or and search for The Burren or Karst Formations.
Grikes and clints, and wildflowers - click to enlarge
A fence on The Burren, made from stone of course - click to enlarge

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just a little help for the flour mill

The Pillsbury A Mill c.1900 - click to enlarge
 I recently read that the Pillsbury A Mill in Minneapolis was listed as in grave danger if work was not started on restoration of the mill complex.  Relief is on the way!
  Pillsbury built it's A mill on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis in the 1890's.  The mills capacity of 5000 barrels of flour a day outstripped all other flour mills which averaged 500 barrels.
In 2005 - click to enlarge
  With two water tunnels each driving a water wheel there were 2400 horsepower ready for doing the mills work.  Over the course of productive life there was never an explosion (flour dust is combustible) so the original wooden framework is still in place.  Vibration of the work has called for the buildings to be reinforced from time to time and the top of the building now has bowed out so that the top is 22 inches larger than the bottom of the A building.
The A building in 2010, the bow is noticeable to some - click to enlarge