Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Marañon Crescentchest. Feathering the Storm. Real Vampires. Ruppell's Griffon. Bald Eagle Saved. Whooping Cranes. Owls. BirdNote. Nevada.


For “Winged Wednesday”:

Marañon Crescentchest

Maranon Crescentchest by Dubi Shapiro

“At the Gotas de Agua Reserve in northern Peru, a Marañon Crescentchest delivers a bright series of chirps to announce its presence, then pops into view, showing off sharp black and white wing markings and bold black stripes across its head. Perhaps the most beautiful of all South America’s crescentchests (brightly colored, long-tailed birds of arid habitats in central South America), it is also the most geographically restricted.

Unfortunately, the Marañon Crescentchest’s dry forest habitat is rapidly becoming degraded and fragmented by burning and clearance for cattle pastures, crop cultivation, and oil palm plantations.

The crescentchests at Gotas de Agua can rest a little easier now that 26 acres at this site have received official recognition as a protected area from the Peruvian national government thanks to the efforts of a local private landowner, Luciano Troyes and his family, Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos, American Bird Conservancy, Rainforest Concern, and Martin Stanley.

ABC has worked to promote Gotas de Agua for its conservation importance within a regional conservation plan and as bird-watching destination. Birdwatchers interested in visiting Gotas de Agua should visit Conservation Birding and the reserve’s own website for more information.”

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!

Photo: Dubi Shapiro; Range Map, NatureServe


Feathering the Storm

Ducks, and seagulls, use The National Mall near the US Capitol in 2006 in Washington, DC, during a rainy day.

What do birds do in a hurricane? Some of them avoid it; some of them end up 700 miles from home. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

“As Hurricane Sandy whips the East Coast, people are hunkering down indoors, seeking shelter from the wind and rain. Occasionally they may peek out from their fortresses to see birds cart-wheeling by like scraps of confetti. How do birds stay safe during powerful storms?

By getting out of dodge, going with the flow, or clinging on for dear life. Because birds are so attuned to shifts in barometric pressure, they can often sense ahead of time when a storm is brewing. That advance warning leaves them with several options. Some try to outpace the hurricane, coasting ahead on the propulsion of the storm’s outermost winds.”       More at:


 Nature’s Real Vampires: From Leeches to Bats

Mexican_freetailed_bat_Rick_WiedenmannVampires are the stuff of legend, but blood-sucking creatures are a real part of nature.

“With Halloween drawing near, our thoughts turn to horror, and among the most popular creatures of horror is the vampire.  Although nature has produced no undead beings with the ability to change into bats, it does offer several species that survive by feeding on blood.  Here is a sample:

Four Real-Life Vampires:

Vampire finches, Leeches, Vampire Bats, Candiru.”    Article at:



Ruppell's Griffon Vulture.


"The highest documented flying bird is the Ruppell's Griffon which collided with an airliner in 1973 at 37,000 feet.”




“This Ruppell's Griffon Vulture chick hatched at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo on February 28, 2011.”



Bald Eagle Hit By A Semi Released Back To The Wild

Eagle.jpg“This bald eagle was first introduced to the folks from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife about five years ago, shortly after it hatched. Before it could even fly, identification bands were attached to its feet.

Fast-forward to September 20. "The bird was on the side of the highway, probably flew up into a vehicle going by. I hear it was a semi," Allen said. "It zigged when it should have zagged and ended up entangled in the rear view mirror."     More and video at:


Plan to count whooping cranes ruffles feathers

A male whooping crane tries out some of his moves on a female. Photo: Nick De La Torre / Houston Chronicle

“The whooping crane is North America's tallest bird, standing 5 feet with a wingspan as wide as a pickup. There are not many left, and the last migrating flock in the wild returns each winter to the same marshy flats on the Texas coast.  So one might think it should be easy to count every whooper, as they are affectionately known, while they are here, but it's not.”  More at:


Owls Vocalizing in Fall

“Birdwatchers in Washington State were recently commenting about the increasing vocalizations heard from their local Barred Owls. Why are owls ramping up their territorial calls while most songbirds have already ramped down?”

Barred Owl © Dennis Paulson

Northern Saw-whet Owl © Dennis Paulson

Great Horned Owl © Dennis Paulson

Bob Pearson, an owl researcher with 20+ years of experience in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest south of Mount Rainier, provided his observations.

“I find all the owls vocal at this time of year. Since Great Horned Owls nest earlier, and Spotted Owls later, than Barred Owls, I would expect a progression of vocal "reawakening" for these species, but I find them all to start calling more in roughly the same time frame.

I think owls increase their vocalizations as they stop spending time and energy caring for their young. Territories shrink when the birds are taking care of juveniles, concentrating around the nest area. These areas tend to get depleted of prey. Adults can now move around more to find prey and can spend their time finding out what other owls are in the vicinity. The way to do this is to move around and broadcast their presence.

This time of year is also the best acoustically. Sources of outside noise -- such as streams -- are low. There are more likely to be inversions, which keep sounds near the ground and more likely to be heard at a distance. For those of us listening for owls, more owls can be heard simply because the conditions to hear owls are generally much better this time of year.

I also find more interplay between owl species this time of year, by which I mean I'm more likely to have 2 or 3 species calling at the same time. I am more likely to find the owls farther away from their nesting core areas, and sometimes find Barred Owls in adjacent Spotted Owl territories, while the Spotted Owls are in nearby territories for Barred. Great Horned Owls seem to be moving around more and I also find more Saw-whet Owls, with the "skiew" call seeming to be used more often.

Fall may be the best time of year, aided by the good acoustics, for the owls to re-establish boundaries and find out what may be new in a larger area. Testing the specific reasons for increased vocalizations isn't easy, and therefore all theories are educated guesses. Whatever the reason, this is a good time of year to be out listening for owls, and, as a plus, the nights are beautiful, quiet, and may offer the possibility of a shooting star or two.”       Bob Pearson, Packwood, WA

Listen to owl vocalizations, with notes, on Bob's website.

On Cornell's All About Birds, listen to vocalizations of:



Upcoming Shows from BirdNote—a radio program about birds, 
the environment, and more.


Eastern Screech-Owl

The Amazing,
Head-turning Owl
by Bob Sundstrom

The Moon of Falling Leaves
by Ellen Blackstone

  Common Raven

Ravens and Wolves
by Bob Sundstrom

  By Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Shakespeare's Crows,
Owls, and Ravens
with Rod Molzahn

Northern Pintail

Tracking Pintail Migration
by Todd Peterson

Northern Bobwhite

On the Trail of the Bobwhite
by Bob Sundstrom

Bonaparte's Gulls

The Spectacle At
Point No Point
by Dennis Paulson


On This Day:

The U.S. Congress admits Nevada as the 36th state, Oct 31, 1864

“On this day in 1864, anxious to have support of the Republican-dominated Nevada Territory for President Abraham Lincoln's reelection, the U.S. Congress quickly admits Nevada as the 36th state in the Union.

In 1864, Nevada had only 40,000 inhabitants, considerably short of the 60,000 normally required for statehood. But the 1859 discovery of the incredibly large and rich silver deposits at Virginia City had rapidly made the region one of the most important and wealthy in the West. The inexpert miners who initially developed the placer gold deposits at Virginia City had complained for some time about the blue-gray gunk that kept clogging up their gold sluices.

Eventually several of the more experienced miners realized that the gunk the gold miners had been tossing aside was actually rich silver ore, and soon after, they discovered the massive underground silver deposit called the Comstock Lode. Unlike the easily developed placer deposits that had inspired the initial gold rushes to California and Nevada, the Comstock Lode ore demanded a wide array of expensive new technologies for profitable development. For the first time, western mining began to attract investments from large eastern capitalists, and these powerful men began to push for Nevada statehood.

The decisive factor in easing the path to Nevada's statehood was President Lincoln's proposed 13th Amendment banning slavery. Throughout his administration Lincoln had appointed territorial officials in Nevada who were strong Republicans, and he knew he could count on the congressmen and citizens of a new state of Nevada to support him in the coming presidential election and to vote for his proposed amendment. Since time was so short, the Nevada constitutional delegation sent the longest telegram on record up to that time to Washington, D.C., containing the entire text of the proposed state constitution and costing the then astronomical sum of $3,416.77.

Their speedy actions paid off with quick congressional approval of statehood and the new state of Nevada did indeed provide strong support for Lincoln. On January 31, 1865, Congress approved the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning slavery.”




Another cool morning, so I turned the heat on in the grooming room. 

After I fed the animals, Misty and I went down to Claudia’s to pick up her granddog “Pepper” for grooming.

He is a sweet little guy, but Pepper has Addison’s Disease, and his medication makes him sleepy, so he wants to lie down all the time. 

It isn’t very easy to groom a lying down dog, so I had to hold him up a lot of the time. That gets tiring after a while.

At least he isn’t wiggly like “Lil-Miss”, who I had groomed the previous day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gonzales, TX, Where The Fight Began. Helena, MT. “Perfect Storm” Twice.


For “Travel Tuesday”: Lets Visit Gonzales.

Gonzales, Texas, Where the fight for Texas liberty began.

conflict at Gonzales was a

“Do you know who started the fight that led to the battle of the Alamo? Have you ever wondered who was brave enough to start a revolution? Eighteen men from Gonzales. Gonzales holds a unique place in Texas history as the site of the firing of the first shot for Texas independence.”




Gonzales Things to Do

Gonzales holds a unique place in Texas history as the site of the firing of the first shot for Texas independence.

On October 2, 1835, eighteen townsmen stood on the bank of the Guadalupe River, disobeyed a direct order from Santa Anna and refused to give up their small cannon to the Mexican Army. Instead they fashioned a flag showing a black replica of the cannon on a white background with words that would echo through the years, “Come and Take it.”

These 18 men stand out in Texas history as the “Old Eighteen,” a small group of men who forever linked themselves and Gonzales with the Texas Revolution.
Gonzales played a key role in many of the events not only leading up to the Texas Revolution, but during and after as well.
Thirty-two men answered the call for help from the Alamo. The immortal 32 were the only reinforcements who made it to the Alamo in time to fight and die along side many other heroes.”

More about the Battle of Gonzales here:

Gonzales, Texas (1825) and later Gonzales County (1836) were named for

“After the fall of the Alamo, during the Runaway Scrape, General Sam Houston ordered the town of Gonzales burned. The women and children who were left here braved floods and devastating odds to retreat, and travel to San Jacinto.
After the revolution, soldiers and townspeople returned to Gonzales to rebuild their town. Cattle barons and cotton kings reigned in Gonzales for many years producing huge fortunes. There are many homes and buildings in Gonzales that reflect the lifestyle and prominence of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
When visiting Gonzales you can experience first hand the pride, history and heritage of the people who built this great state.
Before the Alamo, before Davy Crockett, the “Come and Take It” challenge was issued. The “Come and Take It” spirit lives on in Gonzales today.

The 49 original blocks and seven public squares laid out in the shape of a Greek cross withstood the test of time and form the first Texas History Museum District.
Within the district are museums, historic homes, historic monuments and a thriving downtown made up of buildings built before and around 1900.
Download the GPS based Tour Gonzales smart phone app that will guide you through a tour of seven museums, 30 historic homes, downtown, parks and recreation. The app also provides information about hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts.    “Come and Take It,” come and take a tour. See the museums, historic homes and the history.”





Bird Watching

  • “Approximately 240 recorded species of birds have been observed at Palmetto State Park, located on F.M. 1586, off U.S. 183 North of Gonzales. Swamps, lush undergrowth and the park's abundant Dwarf Palmettos give the visitor a feeling of tropical paradise, a surprising contrast to the rolling hills nearby. The San Marcos River and a small oxbow lake, perfect for swimming and fishing, lend a relaxing end to a day of birdwatching. www.tpwd.state.tx.us_


Old Jail Museum

Jail“Old Jail Museum built in 1887, houses the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture offices.  Architect Eugene T. Heiner designed the brick structure to hold 200 prisoners under riot conditions. Contractor Henry Kane and Snead & Company Iron Works contracted to build the jail of concrete and steel for $21,660.20

Enter an entrance hall which was once the sheriff’s office. To the left were three rooms, kitchen and bath used as the family living quarters for the sheriff or jailer.
All of the ceilings are made of corrugated steel and concrete. On the lower floor are display cases for articles taken from prisoners, information on the sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement officials who served through the years.”


Gonzales Memorial Museum,   414 Smith Street



“A Centennial historical memorial, the Memorial Museum commemorates the ‘Immortal 32' who died in the Alamo. Memorabilia is displayed there from the founders and early settlers of Gonzales, including the come & Take It Cannon.”


The Eggleston House

Horace Eggleston Log House (1846) in Gonzales, Texas

“This ‘dog-run’ style cabin was built after the Texas Revolution and is located on St. Louis Street east of Memorial Museum.

Period furniture is on display there and a recording can be activated that tells its story.”




J. B. Wells House, 823 Mitchell Street

J.B. Wells House

“The James Bailey Wells house was built in 1885 of Florida long-leaf pine. The 15-room house features original wallpaper, drapes and furnishings.

The Gonzales Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is the custodian and the home is open for tours on Saturdays.”


Braches House & Sam Houston Oak

The McClure-Braches House HDR

“A log house built in 1831 by Sarah Ann and Bartlett D. McClure was replaced by this plantation-style house built in the 1840s by Sarah Ann and Charles D. Braches. The house became a stopping place for wagon trains, stages and mail hacks.

Sam Houston Oak, Gonzales,

After the fall of the Alamo, General Sam Houston ordered the burning of Gonzales before the advancing Mexican Army.

A large oak tree near the home will forever be known as ‘The Sam Houston Oak’, because it was here the general is said to have rested on his first stop during ‘The Runaway Scrape’.”  ( )



On This Day:

The city of Helena, Montana, is founded after miners discover gold, Oct 30, 1864:

“On this day in 1864, the town of Helena, Montana, is founded by four gold miners who struck it rich at the appropriately named "Last Chance Gulch."

The first major Anglo settlement of Montana had begun just two years before in the summer of 1862, when prospectors found a sizeable deposit of placer gold at Grasshopper Creek to the west. When other even richer deposits were soon discovered nearby, a major rush began as tens of thousands of miners scoured the territory in search of gold. In 1864, four prospectors spotted signs of gold in the Helena area while on their way to the Kootenai country, but they were eager to reach the reportedly rich gold regions farther to the north and did not to stop. But after striking out on the Kootenai, they decided to take "one last chance" on finding gold and returned. When the signs turned out to mark a rich deposit of placer gold, they staked their claims and named the new mining district Last Chance Gulch.

Eventually, Last Chance Gulch would prove to be the second biggest placer gold deposit in Montana, producing some $19 million worth of gold in just four years. Overnight, thousands of miners began to flood into the region, and the four original discoverers added to their fortunes by establishing the town of Helena to provide them with food, lodging, and supplies. But unlike many of the early Montana mining towns, Helena did not disappear once the gold gave out, which it inevitably did. Located on several major transportation routes, well supplied with agricultural products from an adjacent valley, and near to several other important mining towns, Helena was able to survive and grow by serving the wider Montana mining industry. In 1875, the city became the capital of Montana Territory, and in 1894, the capital of the new state of Montana.:



Perfect storm hits North Atlantic, Oct 30, 1991:

“On this day in 1991, the so-called "perfect storm" hits the North Atlantic producing remarkably large waves along the New England and Canadian coasts. Over the next several days, the storm spread its fury over the ocean off the coast of Canada. The fishing boat Andrea Gail and its six-member crew were lost in the storm. The disaster spawned the best-selling book The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger and a blockbuster Hollywood movie of the same name.

On October 27, Hurricane Grace formed near Bermuda and moved north toward the coast of the southeastern United States. Two days later, Grace continued to move north, where it encountered a massive low pressure system moving south from Canada. The clash of systems over the Atlantic Ocean caused 40-to-80-foot waves on October 30—unconfirmed reports put the waves at more than 100 feet in some locations. This massive surf caused extensive coastal flooding, particularly in Massachusetts; damage was also sustained as far south as Jamaica and as far north as Newfoundland.”


Now today on Oct 30, 2012, History repeats itself.

Hurricane Sandy: What it's like to ride the 'perfect storm'

Hurricane Sandy’s Waters Course Through Blacked-Out New York

Power outage seen on October 29, 2012 in Manhattan, New York. Photographer: Allison Joyce/Getty Images



Now that the 220v heater is plugged in, I could move the electric radiator that I had next to Prissy the little kitten, back into the grooming room, ready for a new customer.“Lil-Miss”, a very energetic Maltese-Poodle mix arrived to be groomed.  She was big and really strong for a 5 month old puppy, and even though she had been groomed once before, she was a mess.  They hadn’t cut down her puppy coat and it was really straggly.  I think that they found out how uncooperative she is, and didn’t want to do a full groom on her.  But charged full price anyway.

She is never going to look like a Maltese or a Poodle, so I decided the best cut for her was that of a Bedlington Terrier, especially as she has that long tail, and her ears are too high set to look like a Poodle.

She just would not hold still, and so it was quite a job. and wore me out for the rest of the day.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pet Friendly Shelters. 10 Halloween Hazards for Pets. Baby Squirrels. Stock Market Crashes. Suez Crisis. John Glenn.


For “Mammal Monday”:

Pet friendly evacuation shelters for Hurricane Sandy

Following is a list of locations accepting animals in the path of Hurricane Sandy:


Prepping your dog and cat for Sandy

“The time to ready your animal for evacuation is not when you are leaving and locking the door. Stage your animal for evacuation so there is less chance for a disaster within the disaster. It is not uncommon for an animal to bolt out the door when there is bad weather approaching or any type of commotion.”


10 Halloween Hazards for Pets

“Halloween 2012 is nearly upon us, and we want to make sure your pets wake up happy and healthy on November 1st.

There are several pet hazards related to this fall holiday, so we hope a quick review of our top 10 list of Halloween dangers will help you keep your furry family member out of harm’s way:

Opportunity to escape out an open
front door

Many shelters experience an increase in lost pets in the days following Halloween. The front door opening and closing for trick-or-treaters, coupled with the over-stimulation of the evening, can be a recipe for a lost pet.
Make sure your pet's ID tag and microchip, if applicable, are up-to-date. And take necessary precautions to prevent your pet from bolting out the front door and into the night.




Candy, especially chocolate

Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic. Chocolate contains a caffeine-like stimulant substance that when ingested by your pet can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, racing pulse and seizures.
Candy in general is a problem for pets because it's loaded with sugar and fat, which can lead to serious GI issues and pancreatitis.




Halloween goodies containing xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is showing up in all kinds of products, including sugar-free candy, gum, mints and baked goods.
A small amount of xylitol can cause a rapid and dangerous blood sugar drop in dogs, as well as acute liver failure. Xylitol's effect on cats is not known, but I would recommend keeping it far away from kitties as well.





Candy wrappers

Empty candy wrappers smell like what was in them, which can entice your pet. If your dog or cat eats foil or cellophane candy wrappers, the result can be a life-threatening bowel obstruction requiring surgery.







Some well-meaning folks hand out those tiny boxes of raisins instead of candy on Halloween. Or small bags of trail mix containing raisins.
Unfortunately, raisins are toxic to dogs and cats and can potentially cause kidney failure in very small amounts. Chocolate covered raisins pose an even bigger risk.





Jack-O-Lanterns and candles

These are fire hazards... especially when a fearful cat jumps on or over a table decorated with lit candles... or an excited dog crashes into a carved pumpkin.
Make sure all these types of hazards are well outside your pet's reach.






Glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark jewelry

These items have increased in popularity the last few years, and pets — especially cats — love to gnaw on them. The substance that creates the glow is actually phenol, which can leak out and burn your pet's tongue. Choking is another concern.






Pet costumes

Costumes can be hazardous to your pet's health. Depending on the outfit, the temperature, and the type of fur on your furry companion, it's easier than you might think for him to overheat inside that costume. Pets have also been injured when their range of motion, vision or hearing is restricted by a costume. Injuries also occur when pets try frantically to remove a costume. Buttons, bows and other small accessories can be pulled off and choked on or swallowed.




Stress from a constantly ringing
doorbell, knocks at the door, strangers at the door

Some pets become anxious, fearful or even aggressive at the sound of the doorbell, the door knocker, or when visitors are at the front door. If your pet tends to find these things stressful, it's best to secure her in quiet, safe spot before the little ghouls and goblins appear at your door.





People wearing scary costumes

Some pets become very fearful or aggressive at the sight of certain Halloween costumes. If you suspect your dog or cat might be one of them, I recommend you take precautions to keep your pet and trick-or-treaters safe.”





There's a bumper crop of abandoned baby squirrels

“It's noon, and the small army of volunteers and staff has been mobilized. One by one, the caregivers lift the tiny baby squirrels out of their cages, insert small syringes filled with squirrel formula into their little mouths and begin to slowly pump the white liquid.

It's a typical day in an anything-but-typical year at the Wildlife Center of Texas, which shares a building, and much more, with the Houston SPCA out on Old Katy Road.

Since the beginning of September, the center has taken in some 400 abandoned baby squirrels, the most in three decades, if you leave out the Ike year.

Right now the center is home to 250 baby squirrels, carefully organized by age and health, and 50 more are outside waiting to be put back in the wild. "For now, we're Mom," says Debbie Mitchell, an operations manager.

The squirrels range from hairless little wigglers the size of a thumb to solid-food-eating bruisers who look ready to take on a bird feeder. Some are the high-energy gray squirrels (white tummies), some the larger and more laid-back fox squirrels (reddish tummies) and a few are flying squirrels, with extra flaps of skin that allow them to glide, not fly.”  More at:


 Nature Helping Nature: Conservation Canines.

“A team of four-legged researchers sniff out critical conservation data to help New Mexico's forests adapt to a changing climate.”

Published on Oct 22, 2012 by natureconservancy


On This Day:

Stock market crashes, Oct 29, 1929:

“Black Tuesday hits Wall Street as investors trade 16,410,030 shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors, and stock tickers ran hours behind because the machinery could not handle the tremendous volume of trading. In the aftermath of Black Tuesday, America and the rest of the industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression.

During the 1920s, the U.S. stock market underwent rapid expansion, reaching its peak in August 1929, a period of wild speculation. By then, production had already declined and unemployment had risen, leaving stocks in great excess of their real value. Among the other causes of the eventual market collapse were low wages, the proliferation of debt, a weak agriculture, and an excess of large bank loans that could not be liquidated.

Stock prices began to decline in September and early October 1929, and on October 18 the fall began. Panic set in, and on October 24—Black Thursday—a record 12,894,650 shares were traded. Investment companies and leading bankers attempted to stabilize the market by buying up great blocks of stock, producing a moderate rally on Friday. On Monday, however, the storm broke anew, and the market went into free fall. Black Monday was followed by Black Tuesday, in which stock prices collapsed completely.

After October 29, 1929, stock prices had nowhere to go but up, so there was considerable recovery during succeeding weeks. Overall, however, prices continued to drop as the United States slumped into the Great Depression, and by 1932 stocks were worth only about 20 percent of their value in the summer of 1929. The stock market crash of 1929 was not the sole cause of the Great Depression, but it did act to accelerate the global economic collapse of which it was also a symptom. By 1933, nearly half of America's banks had failed, and unemployment was approaching 15 million people, or 30 percent of the workforce. It would take World War II, and the massive level of armaments production taken on by the United States, to finally bring the country out of the Depression after a decade of suffering.”


Israel invades Egypt; Suez Crisis begins, Oct 29, 1956:

“Israeli armed forces push into Egypt toward the Suez Canal, initiating the Suez Crisis. They would soon be joined by French and British forces, creating a serious Cold War problem in the Middle East.

The Soviet Union began to issue ominous threats about coming to Egypt's aid. A dangerous situation developed quickly, one that the Eisenhower administration hoped to defuse before it turned into a Soviet-U.S. confrontation. Though the United States sternly warned the Soviet Union to stay out of the situation, Eisenhower also pressured the British, French, and Israeli governments to withdraw their troops. They eventually did so in late 1956 and early 1957.”


John Glenn returns to space, Oct 29, 1998:

“Nearly four decades after he became the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John Hershel Glenn, Jr., is launched into space again as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery. At 77 years of age, Glenn was the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging.

On February 20, 1962, NASA and Colonel John Glenn was on the flight of Friendship 7, a spacecraft that made three orbits of the Earth in five hours. Glenn was hailed as a national hero, and on February 23 President John F. Kennedy visited him at Cape Canaveral. Glenn later addressed Congress and was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City.  In 1999, he retired from his U.S. Senate seat after four consecutive terms in office, a record for the state of Ohio.”



It was still too cold for Prime to go out on the screen porch, we need to get the vinyl panels back up in there.  Jay had said that he wouldn’t be going to work in Houston, so he would help me, as several jobs needed doing.  The hedge needs clipped, and the yard mowed, plus the home-made computer desk needed to be dismantled as we needed to make room for the 220v. heater, to keep the kitten warm.

So Misty and I went to get him, and we had to wear coats for her walk-about.  Jay said that we needed to go over to Section 2 in this subdivision as he needed to measure something, first.  Well, as they are rebuilding the bridge which goes between Section 1, 2, and 3, that meant we had to get out on the road, and go 2 miles around to the back gate.  We came back here, I dropped off Misty, and we went in the van, as the Puddle Jumper is not street legal. 

After we had measured the space between some posts on a lot, he said we needed to stop one more place. There was a 4-wheel ATV there, and he made a deal with the owner to buy it, and said he would have to go home to get the money.  He wanted me to tow my utility trailer over there, (with expired tags) to pick up the ATV.  I refused, so he called someone with a pick-up truck, and I took him home.  He said would be back here, and by this time I was really antsy, as I wanted us to get my jobs done, too.  He could have waited until the afternoon to do his jobs with the guy and the pick-up.   When I saw them coming back into the subdivision with the ATV on the truck, I drove down to Jay’s to make sure he came back, helped them unload it, and brought Jay back here before he could start washing the ATV.

Finally, we dismantled the two desktop computers and the desk, got the 220v. cord plugged in behind the corner cabinet, and put my main computer on a small computer desk that I bought a while back.  That made room for the heater, so now the kitten will be warm.

I moved my router back into the old computer area, so now I can have a desktop and laptop working in there, as sometimes I have to have 2 going at once.  Then we still had to get in my van to go get him some gas for his 4-wheeler, so he put some in my can for the Puddle Jumper. 

After Jay had left, I had the task of hooking up all the wires to the main computer, but I couldn’t get online for a while.  Then I found out one of the Ethernet cords wasn’t working right, so after changing that out, I was all set.  Always something!

Just as I was doing this, my ex-daughter-in-law Becky showed up, it was good to see her again.  She has had a terrible time with the oncologists, and finally had her double mastectomy.   She just finished her radiation treatments, and has been going to work all along.  We discussed diet, and I gave her one of my juicers, so she is going to buy some fresh veggies and fruit today.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Germany’s Victory. Horses and Bayonets. What is Truth? Halloween a "Christian" Celebration? Halloween Unmasked. Wicca. Former Wiccan. Scary Statistics. Marriage Obsolete? Gateway Arch. Leif Erickson Tunnel.


For “Scripture Sunday”:

Victory Without Weapons.

“As the history of Europe unfolds, it has become clear that Germany has risen into prominence and dominance that Adolf Hitler only dreamed of and that he thought could be achieved through war.

Without a shot being fired, the economies of Europe are now being led by a strong and thriving Germany. The nation who controls the wealth controls those who seek financial help. All Europe seems to have fallen into that cycle.

God made a promise to the children of Abraham that they would be the ones to whom the nations would come for financial aid (Deuteronomy 15:6 For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee. See All...).  Their strength lay in obedience to God's law. Germany is not a god-fearing nation. Their strength is a fulfillment of prophecy and the work of God's arch-enemy. What irony must stir in the pens of historians who note the graves of young German warriors who failed to gain control and dominance with the weapons of the blitzkrieg—but whose grandchildren have gained more than would have been imagined without any weapons at all. They achieved victory without war.”  From:


America’s Military: Beyond Horses and Bayonets

Horses and bayonets represented military strength in World War I. But what is the real source of protection?Horses and bayonets represented military strength in World War I. But what is the real source of protection? 

“How concerned should Americans be about U.S. military strength in today’s dangerous world? What does the Bible say about America’s military and its future?

In the last debate, presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that the U.S. Navy is the smallest it’s been since 1917. President Obama fired back that “we also have fewer horses and bayonets.” Modern warfare is indeed different from warfare a century ago.

Although today’s sophisticated weapons are much more destructive, the world today is more volatile. And that is why many in the U.S. believe America needs a stronger and larger military. After all, America has taken on much more global responsibility since 1917, taking over the position of policeman of the world from Britain.

Where do we place our trust?

Without a doubt, the United States has the strongest military on earth. But should Americans place their trust solely in their military?

During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt asked all Americans to pray with him during his D-Day Prayer, seeking God’s help.

On June 6, 1944, Roosevelt and the nation prayed, “They [the soldiers] will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.”

President Roosevelt knew that, as powerful as America’s military was, it wasn’t enough.

Americans today, too, should realize that there is a more important factor than the number of “horses and bayonets” we have. America needs to first come to know and then put its trust in God for help and guidance. The same is true for all nations.

As the psalmist said, “Through You we will push down our enemies; through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us” (Psalm 44:5-7).”   More at:


What is Truth? - Part 1

“Truth is usually the first casualty in any political campaign. How do you discern and come to the real truth of a subject?”

Transcript at:

What is Truth? - Part 2

“What source becomes the standard for all truth?”

Transcript at:


How did Halloween come to be considered a "Christian" celebration? Does the Bible say anything about All Hallows' or All Saints' Day?

“Originally Halloween was a pagan festival oriented around fire, the dead and the powers of darkness. How did it become accepted in the "Christian" world?”       Answer:

“Most people know that Halloween takes place on Oct. 31. Far fewer understand the connection between Halloween and the next day on the calendar, the festival of All Hallows' or All Saints' Day, celebrated by some churches and denominations Nov. 1.

One author concludes that All Saints' Day was established to commemorate the saints and martyrs of the Roman Catholic Church and was first introduced in the seventh century (Man, Myth, and Magic, Vol. 1, 1983, p. 109). Oddly enough, history shows that Halloween—this ancient, thoroughly pagan holiday with its trappings of death and demonism—is inseparably tied to All Saints' Day.

Pagan festivals have had a curious way of worming their way into Christianity over the centuries. The Encyclopedia of Religion explains that "the British church attempted to divert the interest in pagan customs by adding a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date as the Samhain [the ancient Celtic name for the festival that we call Halloween].

How did this strange turn of events come about? How did the Catholic Church transform an ancient pagan festival into one to supposedly honor dead saints?   Pope Gregory's choice of Nov. 1 for this celebration was significant. Author Lesley Bannatyne explains: "That the date coincided with Samhain was no accident: the Church was still trying to absorb pagan celebrations taking place at this time...”          More at:


God unmasks Halloween

“Every year, on the evening of Oct. 31, millions of families celebrate a distinctly odd holiday known as Halloween. For your own good, you need to know what lurks behind the mask of Halloween.

Halloween: Behind the Mask

Does the Bible have anything to say about strange customs and holidays such as this? In fact, it does—and none of it is good.

While God's Holy Days in the Bible celebrate the role of Jesus Christ in bringing mankind to salvation in the eternal family of God, Halloween is a celebration of the opposite—of demonism, witchcraft, death and evil spirits.

God's Word makes it clear that no one should dare entertain witchcraft or act as a sorcerer. "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD" (Deuteronomy 18:10-11 [10] There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, [11] Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
See All...).

God pronounced death on any Israelites who would dare dally with demonism or Satanism: "A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:27A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. See All...). "You shall not permit a sorceress to live" (Exodus 22:18Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. See All...).”  More at:


WICCA - The TRUTH (Of Witches, Satan, Halloween and Pentagrams)


A Former Wiccan Tells All

“Shalom spent most of her life searching for peace. As a teenager, she began to dabble in witchcraft and wicca, hoping the power of magic would bring her the serenity she desperately longed for. She tells her story of coming to Jesus.”


Doreen Irvine : Dangers of Halloween and Oiuja Boards

“Doreen Irvine was once a prostitute, heroin addict, queen of witches for Europe, satanist and a victim of abominable practices ... but was released by the power of God.”

Deuteronomy 18: 9 “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, 14 for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.”


Scary statistics

“Consider some scary statistics from the Oct. 29, 2012, issue of Time, p. 15, “More Trick Than Treat: Why This Year’s Halloween Will Be the Priciest Ever.” Following are four all-time records:

  • Average spending on Halloween costumes: $43.60 (up 6.8 percent).
  • Amount Americans are expected to spend on Halloween: $8 billion (up 10 percent).
  • Pet-costume spending: $370 million (up 19 percent—I feel sorry for the pets!).
  • Percentage of Americans who say they will celebrate Halloween: 71.5 percent.

Why is Halloween, a celebration of evil and darkness growing, while God's festivals are almost unknown?

What does God say?

Obviously Halloween was not commanded in the Bible. In fact, God told His people not to copy the religious customs of the pagan nations around them.

“Do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates have they done to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30-31).

God tells us He doesn’t want us to focus on witches, wizards and the dead, but to look to Him and His law (Isaiah 8:19-20). God’s way is described as light—He wants us to avoid the darkness of evil.

God tells us He doesn’t want us to focus on witches, wizards and the dead, but to look to Him and His law (Isaiah 8:19-20). God’s way is described as light—He wants us to avoid the darkness of evil.

Witchcraft is not cute and quaint to God. To Him it is akin to rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23). In fact, being a medium who claims to contact the dead was a capital offense (Leviticus 20:27), as was murder.

God has holy days that He wants us to celebrate, yet few people do today. His holy days have great meaning and show us how to walk in the light now and enter the bright future He has for us!

But too often Christians have chosen to celebrate days that were originally part of pagan religions. Days like Halloween don’t celebrate God’s way of light, but the ways of darkness.”     More at:


Today’s sermon on WGN:   Marriage: Soon Obsolete?

Is marriage outdated and antiquated? Some people think so. But what does your Creator say? Discover the vital truth.

Transcript at:



Gateway Arch completed, Oct 28, 1965:

“On this day in 1965, construction is completed on the Gateway Arch, a spectacular 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.

Photos of the Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch, designed by Finnish-born, American-educated architect Eero Saarinen, was erected to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to celebrate St. Louis' central role in the rapid westward expansion that followed. As the market and supply point for fur traders and explorers—including the famous Meriwether Lewis and William Clark—the town of St. Louis grew exponentially after the War of 1812, when great numbers of people began to travel by wagon train to seek their fortunes west of the Mississippi River. In 1947-48, Saarinen won a nationwide competition to design a monument honoring the spirit of the western pioneers.

In a sad twist of fate, the architect died of a brain tumor in 1961 and did not live to see the construction of his now-famous arch, which began in February 1963. Completed in October 1965, the Gateway Arch cost less than $15 million to build. With foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground, its frame of stressed stainless steel is built to withstand both earthquakes and high winds. An internal tram system takes visitors to the top, where on a clear day they can see up to 30 miles across the winding Mississippi and to the Great Plains to the west. In addition to the Gateway Arch, the Jefferson Expansion Memorial includes the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Old Courthouse of St. Louis, where two of the famous Dred Scott slavery cases were heard in the 1860s.

Today, some 4 million people visit the park each year to wander its nearly 100 acres, soak up some history and take in the breathtaking views from Saarinen's gleaming arch.”


Leif Erickson Tunnel completes 1,593-mile I-35, Oct 28, 1992:

“On this day, Duluth, Minnesota mayor Gary Doty cuts the ribbon at the mouth of the brand-new, 1,480-foot–long Leif Erickson Tunnel on Interstate 35. With the opening of the tunnel, that highway—which stretches 1,593 miles, from Mexico all the way to Canada—was finished at last. As a result, the federal government announced, the Interstate Highway System itself was 99.7 percent complete.

In 1958, the Minnesota Highway Department proposed a highway, to be paid for with federal interstate highway funds, right through the middle of downtown Duluth. It would be elevated and run right along the Lake Superior shoreline; to build it, many downtown buildings, not to mention pedestrian access to the waterfront, would be eliminated. It would, the mayor said, be "a face-lifter and a solution to Duluth's downtown traffic problems."

But by the 1960s, freeways in cities across the country were growing less popular every year. Opponents argued that they destroyed homes and businesses, eviscerated poor neighborhoods and made traffic congestion worse, not better. In Duluth, anti-road activists geared up for a fight. In 1970, a group called Citizens for Integrating Highways and the Environment began to argue that the waterfront was the city's biggest asset and that putting a huge expressway between it and downtown was a terrible idea. Meanwhile, a group called Stop the Freeway mobilized to do just that.

the Leif Erickson Tunnel

Highway officials came up with a compromise: They would keep the road, but they would put it underground instead of on stilts and they would build a lakefront park on its lid. This "cut-and-cover" plan turned out to be a smashing success. The $220 million tunnel kept the disruption of the road to a minimum and provided city residents and tourists with an extremely pleasant place to go and relax. The month it opened, the tunnel won an Excellence in Highway Design Award from the Federal Highway Administration. "People who once adamantly opposed the downtown freeway," Lake Superior Magazine explained, "are now some of the same people who are responsible for its aesthetic appeal. Likewise, those who insisted that the freeway could be built in no other place in Duluth admit that citizen concern forced an admiral design that might not otherwise have been considered."  A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation summed it up: "The great thing is that this… was Duluthians deciding what was best for Duluth and then all working together to make it happen."



The weather has turned colder, so Prime, my foster cat, didn’t even want to go out on the screen porch.

After feeding the animals, and our Saturday phone call with my daughter, I got ready to leave by noon to go the Willis church.  I fed Prissy an extra bottle of kitten milk as I knew that I would be gone for a while as I left earlier so that I could attend the Bible Study.  It was about the ‘Perpetuity of the Gifts of the Spirit’, with the key text Eph 4:7-16.

The sermon was about ‘Satan’s Weapons of Self-destruction’, mostly from Heb 10 and 11.  I stayed for the potluck this time, as Prissy is getting older and can be left for longer periods of time now.  As usual it was a great meal and fellowship.

After being gone for about 4 hours, Misty was so glad to see me, I think she thought that she had been deserted again yesterday.