Category Archives: History

Long Lost Relations

I received an unexpected request for family tree information last week from a woman in Canada.  According to Ancestry. com, she and I are DNA matches and are likely 5th to 8th cousins. Her great grandmother and my Great Grandfather Lunzmann were siblings. I never knew he had siblings, but there he was on her tree, the youngest of about six children. I had never really ever looked for his siblings, and searched  instead for earlier ancestors.

I am very happy that my long lost relative contacted me, since I know very little about the Lunzmann family.  I know about my great grandfather’s life after 1900, but not in the 30 years before that and not his family life in the small village he came from in Mecklenburg , Germany.

This is one time that I welcome the intrusion of new technology in my life . I don’t always feel that way about it.

What about the latest technology do you find charming? What do you find alarming?

 

 

National Zucchini Day

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown

Last week after our t’ai chi class, one intrepid soul brought out her garden bag, to see if anyone would like some… what else?… ZUCCHINI. She was able to shed a couple of them, and proceeded to tell us that August 8 is “sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch” day.  I thought perhaps she’d made that up, but a little research shows that, indeed, Tuesday August 8 is National Zucchini Day, known in some circles as Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch DayThis site states that “Desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s time to sneak over, under the cover of darkness, to your neighbor’s porch, and unload some zucchini…”

Those of you with veggie gardens know what I’m talking about. This year I have given zukes to half a dozen people so far; I think I’m caught up with our four plants at the moment, but more are on the way. I thought I was doing well when I discovered, on the ground back by the fence, a real “baseball bat”. I decided to leave it on the neighbor’s back stoop, with a note saying “Just kidding, I’ll come back for it”, because they have their own plants, and I want to keep them as friends.

Here are some fun facts about zucchini for the curious, found at

  • Zucchinis are 95 percent water, with just 33 calories in a medium-size squash.
  • One zucchini has more potassium than a banana, supplying more than 10 percent of your daily need.
  • Summer squash is rich in carotenoids, powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants that are mostly found in its skin. So be sure not to peel your squash. And buy organic to avoid pesticide residues.

I just checked the garden, and found a good sized green torpedo hiding on the ground… next year I’m campaigning for yellow squash – tastes the same in my book, and you can actually see them!

When have you sneaked around after dark, for any reason?

200 down

Today’s post comes from tim

 

Its been 6 months and hard to believe

The things that come out every day

The embarrassing premises incredible ugliness

Simply wrong things in every way

 

The sidemen and toadies the yes men galore

Looking over their shoulders for cues

The lies have become so much a part of the image

Were numb to the garbage he spews

 

I long for the elegant words to describe

The world in a nutshell we had

Instead of the tweets the trash talk and threats

And the pointing the finger from a man who’s gone mad

 

We stand at the crossraods, the result of the times

Where corruption and lies lead the way

The integrity of a whole nation is less

In a most unamerican way

 

I think this has taught us a lesson for sure

But the damage that’s done is far reaching

The whole ugly American persona weve witnessed

Is fantastic for how not to teaching

 

Impeach or hang in there its hard to decide

I can’t wish that Mike Pence were boss

The whole ugly mess is a travesty royal

What adverbs mean feeling the loss

 

The whole human race should go down on one knee

and vow to never allow it again.

There isn’t a question of if we will heal

But im not sure I can wait until when.

 

6 months puts us 200 days down the road

Another 1000 left before the election

I saw that they’re bashing bernies wife in their prep

Just in case he becomes our selection

 

Please lets all work together we are getting nothing done

Implore the majority brats

Didn’t they note nothing done in the 8 years preceding

When their directive was precisely that

 

Back in the day we’d compromise down a path

And the chips would be allowed to fall

You didn’t get what you wanted but you got what was fair

And America won overall

 

It will make us much better in the long run I hope

My mantra keeps telling myself

Lets hope this experiment dies a quick death

And the results go back on the shelf

 

It seems highly unlikely that these guys will ever

Be considered our superiors again

Their world’s made of toadies and yes men galore

But do you really want to go out and vote for them?

 

Do you like Al Franken as President?

 

 

 

RIP Michael Johnson

today’s post comes to us from tim.

http://www.rollingstone.com/country/news/bluer-than-blue-singer-michael-johnson-dead-at-72-w492020

i was a huge fan of michael johnson’s rooty toot toot to the moon and other on his there is a breeze album in 1972.

he encompassed all the attributes of the ideal performer. great ability, great artistic sense, very pleasant personality. I saw him play in a small auditorium at normandale jr college ( full house was probably 60.) ansd at the guthrie and then i think i saw him a time or two at orchestra hall the day after christmas in kind of a celebration of one more year and we are still here. even when he moved to nashville and was having reasonable success as a singer songwriter he considered minneapolis st paul his home

he was originally from denver but was so loved in the twin cities that he felt this was his true home. a year ago I saw him play at the dakota which is a wonderful small intimate club downtown and it was great. he forgot a few lines and was embarrassed by it but getting old is part of the deal. I saw him play at the hopkins theater ahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYttaL_AHLwnd he was as much into telling stories about his life and observations as he was about playing the next song. I had told my daughter emma that i wanted to have her take classes from him at mcnalley smith in stage presence. i took a master class from him at mac phail and was very impressed with his gentle direction and basically the philosophy that when you perform you are offer your audience a gift. once i heard him say that i understood why i enjoyed his stage presence so much. that was it.

when I thought of how I would like to be seen when on stage he is what I came up with.

who are some role models you’d want to emulate?

 

Inside / Outside

I love walking through a door into the outside. I noticed this about myself several years ago – a whiff of fresh air, a little breeze and I take a big breath and feel a sense of joy. Sometimes I even open my arms and take an even bigger breath.

Is it claustrophobia? I don’t consider myself to be severely claustrophobic – no problems navigating life, although I’m not sure how long I would last in a full elevator stuck between floors. The idea of crawling into a tunnel (like Phillippe in Ladyhawk) gives me the creeps and I’ve abandoned a book once because all the action takes place in a deep cave (Blind Descent by Nevada Barr). No problems with planes, no problems in crowds.  I have done caves of my own free will, although I’m really not happy while I’m underground.

But I don’t think its claustrophobia; I just think I like going outside. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

What about you? Inside or outside?

Songs That Make Us Cry

Today’s post comes to us from Steve.

So many issues ultimately come down to a chicken-or-the-egg controversy. For example, do we cry because sad music causes tears to flow? Or is it more that we get in such a funk that we play music we know will cause the waterworks to kick into high gear?

Some music makes me weep, and sometimes it is the same music that sends other folks into crying jags. But it gets complicated. Some songs that are sure to send many folks running for a box of tissues have no effect on me. I’ve read that Adele has done wonders for the sale of Kleenex, but she doesn’t get a sniffle from me. And I’m an easy weeper.

I just read an article that tries to explain why only some music makes us cry. If you are interested, the article is by NBC News, and here is the link: //https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-do-certain-songs-make-us-cry-ncna784801

What songs—if any—make you cry? I vaguely remember an earlier discussion on Trail Baboon that got into this. One surprising finding was that there is a song about a boat (of all things) that makes Baboons bawl. I’ll admit to being one of them. Here is an interesting You Tube video. It has an unusual intro that is worth listening to:

My strong hunch is that another song that makes me cry is one that also affects other Baboons. I think I’m the person who introduced Dale Connelly and Tom Keith to Eva Cassidy. I sent them a CD and a note to say that her songs make me cry, especially this one:

Of course, Cassidy died far too young, and I’m sure that is part of her impact on me.

I have long admired the special ability of Bonnie Raitt to sing what I call “heartbreak songs.” She sings many songs that involve a compassionate person talking about heartbreak in terms that seem utterly authentic. For me, heartbreak songs coming from Bonnie Raitt have more credibility than they could have from any other singer. I was touched when Raitt admitted, in a Scott Simon interview, that singing one of those songs in concert has a serious physical and emotional impact on her. As often as she has sung them, when she delivers one of those songs she is left drained and has to turn to other kinds of music in order to recover. Here is one of my favorites:

Some songs are so sad it isn’t a wonder that they make us cry. As a teen I learned to be careful where I was when I heard a song about a dead dog. So it is hardly surprising that a song like this next one would make people cry:

I mean—Clapton is singing to his dead kid, wondering if they would recognize each other in heaven! That’s pretty emotional stuff! (Pardon me while I blow my nose!)

One of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard was written by a very funny and impish guy. But I have it on good authority that this song also moves many people:

Seeing other people cry can make us cry. Here is an interesting example of that:

And—just to keep this post from being too heavy—here is a song so over the top and manipulative that I can’t imagine a normal person crying after hearing it. There is sentiment . . . and then there is maudlin weepy excess. A song that was designed clumsily to yank our heartstrings was one of Elvis Presley’s early hits. And here he is . . . with a bit of a spin. This is actually the (now dead) comedian Andy Kaufman singing one of Elvis Presley’s sappiest songs:

I need a tissue! No . . . after that one, I need a shower!

What (if any) songs make you cry?

 

The Omen

Today’s post comes to us from Linda.

Something in the picture above seems ominous. Or perhaps omenous. But what does it mean?  Wikipedia tells us:

The Romans, unlike the Greeks, considered that signs from the left were usually favorable and positive, while signs from the right were seen as adverse and negative. However, under Greek influence this procedure began to change and eventually lost its universal weight, meaning that each omen case was to be examined separately.

Left or right?  Good or bad?  Discuss.