Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Morning Edition - 2456746

Happy Sunday!  We are moving slowly this morning.  Slept in, as a matter of fact.  That's rare but it does happen.  Today's Morning Edition is somewhat odd.  We have a HUGE long piece on Madison, Wisconsin.
We also have some fun "eye candy stuff."  Well, at least it's eye candy to us, maybe not to you.

We start off with a video that is linked to the front page of today's Idaho Statesman in connection with an article about the BWCs.  The article was kinda heavy reading so we figured we'd go with the eye candy video to kick off today's edition.
Here's the video:

And for those interested in somewhat heavier content about the BWCs, here's the link:
This for me is a sad-happy-sad-happy article from my hometown newspaper in Lafayette, Indiana.  This building was "My First Museum."  I can't even begin (or perhaps ever) describe the impact this building and its contents had on my life.  You could make the case that this building and its former contents (plus the city's library) shaped my life as we know it today.  To write more commentary about how that took place its beyond the scope of this edition.  Anyway, now at least you, too,  get to take a peek inside.
Some eye candy from The Houston Chronicle.

Some more eye candy for my boat and ship loving Friends.  Who knew there was such a simulator?
Just in case you've wondered why the price of limes is so high.  Limes are one of my favorite foods.

Finally, the truth of an important matter:
The scene on Madison, Wisconsin's State Street last night after The Badgers edged The Arizona Wildcats by one point in overtime.  This is typical of what the "student body" is capable of doing after a sports victory.

We have fond thoughts of Madison, Wisconsin.  At one time we actually wanted to live there.  We visited Madison several times while we were in college at Purdue.  As much as we love the Arizona Wildcats, we also have an abiding love for The Badgers.  So as much as we were sorry to see The Cats lose, we sure were happy to see The Badgers win.

Because of the University of Wisconsin, Madison has always been a vibrant and eclectic college town.  After The Cats went down last night by one point in overtime, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and roam 'round Madison.  The trip lasted over an hour and it was quite fun and brought back a lot of memories.
Madison has always been kind of "out there," especially in the context of the staid ol' Midwest.  Seeing Madison in the 1960's from the perspective of Purdue always made me envious of Madison. So, it was fun to see this article about one of the country's leaders of the "Slow Food Movement" speaking in Madison.

This sort of strident, outspoken persona always seems to wash ashore in Madison.

I've always had a fond spot for Madison journalists, too.  Somehow, it's always been a tradition up there for journalists to talk about their stuff.  That's why I got such a kick out of this editorial cartoon and the accompanying explanation.
I joined the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Purdue in 1966.  The UW Kappa Sigma was legendary as one of The All Time Party Houses in the Big 10 in that era.  It was so legendary that once my Purdue chapter chartered a Greyhound bus to go to Madison to party with The Big Boys.  Combined together, we could have taught the screenwriters for "Animal House" a thing or two! (The phot above, of course, is theKappa Sigma house in Madison and, yes, that's Lake Mendota on the other side of the hosue.

Some memories from that trip.  The Brothers had a huge keg bar set up in their basement.  Beer Is Life in Wisconsin.  In the 1960's Beer was Larger Than Life there.  Anyway, the kegs were hidden from view.  Only the taps were visible.  One of the Badger Kappa Sigs took a few of us on tour of the basement bar and solemnly swore that because of the clout of one of the alums, the Kappa Sig house had a direct line to the brewery and they would never run out of beer.  They called it 'The Endless Kegger."  Of course, we all nodded in agreement and were SOOOO envious!

The women of the University of Wisconsin were legendary beauties.  It was said that you could simply walk into the lobby of a women's dorm and pick up the phone and call anyone at random and get the Dream Date of Your Life.  Well, naturally, I had to give it a try.  Believe it of not, it worked.  I called up someone at random and she said, "Sure."  Well, sure enough, this awesomely beautiful woman appears and we had an awesome fun time together that night.  Up until that point, she easily qualified for The Dream Date of My Life.

The Brothers at the Madison Kappa Sig really laid heavy on the comfort food.  It was some of the best food I ever had.  There were more bratwurst that I ever imagined possible with all the German potato salad and trimmings and so forth.  Some of my Brother just couldn't get enough so they stuffed their shirt pockets with bratwurst and potatoes.  It made for quite a sight as we staggered back onto the bus for the long ride back to Lay-Flat, Indiana.  Ah, those were The Daze!

Otis Redding had recently died and so there was a somber tone to our visit.  Of course, the somber tone didn't last long with The Endless Kegger.  The red push pin is where his plane went down.  Most everyone was humming or singing snippets of Redding's signature song.

- written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper
- lyrics as recorded by Otis Redding December 7, 1967, just three
days before his death in a plane crash outside Madison, Wisconsin
- #1 for 4 weeks in 1968

Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the 'Frisco bay
'Cause I've had nothing to live for
And look like nothin's gonna come my way

So I'm just gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

Look like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, yes

Sittin' here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone
It's two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this dock my home

Now, I'm just gonna sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Oooo-wee, sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

Here's a YouTube of the song:

OK, enough "wastin' time" sittin' on the dock by the bay in Madison, Wisconsin!

The link below is actually a paid ad I found either in San Francisco or Seattle this morning.  NO, I am NOT promoting the company's product.  Not at all.  I just found the content interesting.  I also found the method of presentation very interesting as well.
Well, well, well.  After weeks of seeing pure white over Arizona, now we see some green forecast during the next seven days.  Imagine that.  Here is what the Flagstaff NWS has to say about it this morning:


Meanwhile, Seattle had its wettest March ON RECORD!  Let that factoid sink in for a minute!

And, meanwhile, the rain situation in San Francisco:
 Above is Lost Trail Pass this morning and below is the Island Park Caldera north of Ashton this morning.
And now for your Weird News Of The Day...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Morning Edition - 2456745

Happy Saturday!  Today's been an interesting trip out on The Cyber Highway.  It seems like I have spent forever roaming El Net this morning.  Many of the Fun Stuff we've found just isn't appropriate for a typical Morning Edition...stuff like a giant model train show in London...stuff like the hottest new surfing spot in Portugal...and much more such stuff.

Luckily, the choice of today's lead item was easy.  It's all about know, like the ones people used to write with pens and pencils and typewriters.  Letters long ago went the way of the dinosaur...but WAIT!  They're baack!  Yes, Letters have been in the media stream lately because of a guy who started up a company to help people write letters with iPhones and computers.

First--a factoid:

"The post office says the average American home receives only one personal letter about every two months."

Here's the linage of how we found this story.  It was featured as one of the Top 4 Stories in today's Idaho Falls "Post-Register."  Naturally, that story sits behind an Iron Pay Wall.  So, we went to the source of the story in Connecticut.  And here it is:

So, here's the actual website for the company:

And here's some more background from Wiki:

Anyway, we were roaming El Net looking for a fun foto to accompany this item.  That's when we stumbled into this sweet "bonus" article linked below.  It's about a woman who writes about 60 real handwritten letters each week. Truly, this woman is practicing a genuine Lost Art.

Maggie's Mom, Flo.
After posting this Morning Edition, we rececived this Heart Warming note on Facebook from Dear Friend and LDR Maggie J. "At 91, my mom continues to write letters every day along with sending cards to commemorate special occasions for many. She has a box with dividers by month so as not to miss a birthday or anniversary with cards waiting for the date to draw near, a penciled date in the upper right hand corner of the envelope where a stamp will be placed prior to mailing. Her request for a birthday or Christmas gift is " just give me stamps!"

"When she is here during the summer, she has a section of the dining room table that is her spot to write letters to her nieces, sister, friends from years gone by and still walks out to the mailbox daily. She also then receives many letters back in reciprocation. We don't know who will keep the family news distributed to us children." THANKS, Maggie!
Ok, now this story took me on a really long and winding road.  Heck, I could still be traveling that long and winding road but I had to call it quits.  So what was the road?  The Bullshipper Road, that's what.

First, we found this great article in the Missoula, Montana, newspaper about some people who want to create a sanctuary for wild horses.

So, naturally, we became curious about the little fly speck of a town called Drummond on I-90 between Missoula and Helena.  There might be 300 people who call Drummond home....and there might not.  Anywa

"Cattle ranching is vital to this area, and Drummond's location near the railroad tracks resulted in the appropriate town motto of "World Famous Bullshippers"

My, my, Bullshippers, eh?  And that's when we turned off on The Bullshipper Road. You simply can't believe how long and far afield you can travel on The Bullshipper Road. It will takes you places you never thought you'd go.

Meanwhile, back in Drummond, we were reading this quaint little ditty about the place and came up this snippet.  It's not often we truly laugh out loud but this one (in bold) really tickled our funny bone.

"A typical excursion down Front Street could include ranchers discussing the weather, hay crops, or calving. You might even see cattle being driven to market, or there may be no traffic at all."

Yep, you know you're in Montana when "there may be no traffic at all."

Meanwhile, we came upon some great lyrics to a Bullshipper song.  Here's just a small snippet:

"We're the bullshippers big bullshippers
a haulin' them ol' bulls across the land
We're the bullshippers big bullshippers
bullshippin' truck drivin' men."
Meanwhile, The Bullshipper Road took us up to a truly obscure place in Minnesota where The Bullshippers meet every morning...and have been doing so for a couple of generations or more.  This sort of story reminds us a lot of Garrison Keillor's stuff.  Charles Kuralt surely would have loved this story, too.  It's a slice of Americana that plays itself out every morning all cross America.  The actual story is about the Wagon Wheel Cafe.  The Bullshipper slideshow is a very endearing glimpse of a time-honored American tradition.

Luckily, we were able to tear ourselves away from The Bullshipper Road.

Meanwhile, near Oakley, Idaho--The Ice Phantom Haunts The South Hills!
And what's a self-respecting Saturday without at least one Animal Story?
Oddly, there was a story in the Idaho falls newspaper about zombies.  Now we've all heard the term "must have been no news that day" for times when odd and strange things show in newspapers.  That was our first thought when we saw the headline: "Study says Idaho well-prepared for zombie apocalypse."

No kidding, that headline is front and center in today's "The Post-Register."  You can see it for yourself right here:

Well, naturally, that meant we had to go looking for this so-called, purported "study."  And here ya'll go:

Believe it or not, this so-called, purported study must have been so totally and overwhelmingly intriguing to the editors of "The Post-Register" that they actually assigned a real, honest-to-gosh Reporter to go out and find a "local angle" to the story.  Can you imagine a perplexed, young Reporter trying to figure out who to interview for the article?

In our imagination, we see multiple variations of this scenario:

Reporter Makes phone call.

"Hello, this is Lois Lane from "The Daily Planet," and I am looking to interview a Zombie Hunter.  Do you know one I could talk to?"

Person on other end of line:

"Please hold while I talk to my supervisor..."

Anyway, here's the actual full article from this morning Idaho Falls daily newspaper.

IDAHO: Where zombies go to die

Study says Idaho well-prepared for zombie apocalypse

(Copyright 2014 by "The Post-Register"  All Rights Reserved.  Used With Permission.)

REXBURG -- When the undead flood the streets, stumble up your stairs and scratch against your door, will you be ready to fight back?
If you are an Idaho resident you should fare relatively well, according to
Estately, an online real estate index, released a "study" Monday ranking each state on its residents' chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse. The study ranked the states in 11 categories, including zombie knowledge, survival skills and obesity. Idaho was rated as the fourth most-prepared state behind Alaska, Wyoming and Colorado.
"Idahoans are physically active, heavily armed and are hard to catch because they're oddly really into parkour," the study said.
Madison County Sheriff Roy Klingler said Estately underestimated the Gem State.
"I believe the study got it wrong because Idaho would be No. 1," Klingler said, chuckling.
While Klingler doesn't actually believe in zombies, he said Idaho, and specifically Madison County, would turn zombies into Swiss cheese.
"Madison County probably has more armed residents than anywhere," he said. "If you watch the darn TV, you know you gotta shoot the dang things. Most of our people know how to use weapons. I don't think we would have to worry too much."
A large portion of residents in Madison County, and throughout eastern Idaho, are Mormons whose cultural traits could help them survive a zombie attack. Max Brooks, the New York Times bestselling author of "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "World War Z," recommends "closely cropped hair" to prevent zombies from grabbing would-be victims by the hair.
The Brigham Young University-Idaho honor code states that men's "hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles or colors, and trimmed above the collar leaving the ear uncovered." Nearly 60 percent of Rexburg's 25,732 residents are BYU-Idaho students.
Brooks also recommends preparing to outlast a siege by stocking up with plenty of canned foods and water. It's a standard Mormon practice to store food in case of major disaster.
The region's physically active population also is a plus. In a nationwide annual study, conducted by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, four of Idaho's 10 healthiest counties were in eastern Idaho with Madison County at No. 1. The study was released Wednesday.
Another factor working in Idaho's favor is its residents' enthusiasm for laser tag. Idaho ranked third nationally for laser tag, behind Utah and Wisconsin. The Craze Fun Zone in Rexburg boasts a 4,000-square-foot laser tag arena, which according to its website, is one of the state's largest.
Ryan Nickum, blogger for Estately and the study's author, said Idaho's abundance of avid laser tag players works in its favor.
"Laser tag skills are probably better in a shoot out with zombies in close proximity," he said. "If a zombie tries to take over your office building, I think a laser tag enthusiast would have a better chance at surviving than a hunter."
Tony Potter, regional zombie expert and English professor at BYU-Idaho, also believes Idahoans are well-suited to survive a zombie raid, but not because of guns.
Idahoans may be well-armed, but they would need survival skills to stay alive, he said. Estately ranked Idaho fourth in survival skills. Potter said the state's geography would work in favor of those trying to escape the undead.
For Potter, the idea of zombies always has been intriguing. But it wasn't until recently that he decided he would rather take matters into his own hands than rest his fate on the trigger of an AR-15.
"Despite all of my talk and knowledge, I couldn't actually survive a zombie apocalypse," Potter said. "I don't have the skills to do that."
Potter wanted to learn how to survive, so he did some research and started so others could learn with him.
Rather than gathering food for storage and buying pre-made zombie survival kits online, Potter started at the beginning. One of the first things he decided was that while guns and axes seem cool, a crowbar was the most versatile tool for survival.
"When I hold the crowbar, it instills confidence in me," he said. "It feels incredible. Just holding a crowbar while going on a hike, it makes you feel more prepared."
Potter practiced wielding his crowbar. Then he bought a large knife and attached it to a stick to make a spear. He also practiced starting fires and digging holes to strengthen seldom-used muscles. (Brooks advises burning or burying all corpses zombie and human to reduce the bacteria hazard caused by rotting flesh.) He incorporated all of these activities into his daily life as to make them second nature in case of an emergency.
"I am confident in my ability to kill zombies, but a few months ago I realized that confidence was displaced," he said. "So for me, I want to be prepared. I don't know what that means, so I'm discovering it."
Reporter Aubrey Wieber can be reached at 542-6755.
Tony Potter's top five zombie survival tips
Regional zombie expert Tony Potter started prepping for the zombie apocalypse with the basics. These are his top five suggestions to survive the undead. For more information, go to
1. Buy a pocket knife.
Potter said this is the most important tool in the fight against zombies because it's compact and versatile. A pocket knife is also quickly attached to a stick to make a spear that could be used for killing zombies or hunting dinner. Potter uses a Kershaw folding knife.
2. Buy a 30-inch crowbar
"It can apparently crush a skull in a single blow, as well as offer some decent stabbing action. It is also, however, a pretty universal breaking-into-stuff tool," Potter states on his website.
3. Keep paracord with you.
To make it more compact, Potter weaves the paracord into bracelets. He also attaches a compass and whistle to the bracelets. Potter said he could use paracord for unlimited number of tasks, including making snares to catch animals and attaching knives to sticks for spears. He said he has also pulled apart the nylon fibers to floss his teeth and sew buttons onto his shirt.
4. Buy a large fixed-blade knife.
This is Potter's zombie-killing knife. Enough said.
5. Learn to make a fire quickly.
This creates warmth, a sense of comfort and cooks food -- all critical for survival in a zombie apocalypse. Potter carries around cotton balls soaked in Vaseline. He said the balls will stay lit for a full minute and can be quickly ignited in heavy wind with a piece of flint and a striker.

Regional zombie expert Tony Potter, right, tests starting a fire in adverse weather conditions using a Vaseline-soaked cotton ball and a flint and striker while his son Keegan, 7, watches Friday at Beaver Dick Park in Rexburg. Potter and his son regularly practice zombie survival techniques such as making weapons, starting fires and melee combat. Keegan is reacting to having cut his hand with a knife while preparing twigs for the fire.  Photo by Pat Suthpin.

Lastly, we have two techie articles.  If you're not into techie stuff, just stop right here and call it a day.

Whoever thinks up this stuff is WAY, WAY OUT THERE!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Morning Edition - 2456744

Alvie Self was featured in the local newspaper this week.  It's a great article.  We are so proud of The M Diamond Ranch for featuring Alvie for the past 10 years.  The M Diamond has a very special event coming up tomorrow, as described by Peggy Ingram:

"We are featuring “Turkey Buzzard Day” March 29, as part of Arizona History and Heritage month.  This evening celebrates the return of the turkey buzzards to Beaver Creek, with a song by Alvie Self, special entertainment by the Verde Valley Fiddlers, and real chuckwagon cooking with the Cannon Family Chuckwagon.  Please call 928-300-6466 for details and reservations.

You’ll sing along with Alvie Self, a member of  both the Western Swing and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, and his acoustic guitar and fiddle. He’ll sing you some cowboy songs and play your requests.  Alvie has been playing and singing at our evening cookouts for 10 years, and people love him (so do we!)"

Alvie Self
Here's the article:

Here's The M Diamond's website:

And here's The M Diamond's Facebook:

Occasionally, local folks get a special discount for festivities at The M Diamond.  Give 'em a call! Below is Alvie In Action at one of The M Diamond's famous dinners.
Alright, Alvie! 

Normally, as you know, we normally write an introductory narrative above our lead item.  Today, we wanted to give Alvie and The M Diamond the spotlight without any distracting narrative above.

Most of our items today are local.  The longest item today is about Betty Boop and that's quite a story in itself.  We mentioned that our blog readership took a precipitous decline this week.  Our weekly Friday statistics bear this out.  During the past 7 days, daily readership was 13 but the most telling decline was that those readers only averaged one minute, 42 seconds visiting this blog.

That tells us (or implies to us) a couple of things.  First, the Morning Edition is out-of-touch to the bulk of our potential visitors.  Second, it is almost certainly too long to be of interest to all but a few Loyal Blog Readers (LBRs).  We have heard many comments since January that the Morning Edition is too long and people simply don't have the time to read it.  Even Sweetie Susun says so.

So, why do we continue to make the Morning Edition so long? We've said it before and we'll say it again: This Morning Edition is first and foremost for ourself (AKA: Me, Myself and I).  It's something I dearly enjoy doing for the pure fun and entertainment of it for Me, Myself and I.  I am not doing this Morning Edition to draw large amounts of readers.  Although I find the daily and weekly statistics interesting, they are NOT my driving motivation to aggregate the various stories you see in these editions.

The daily production of this Morning Edition brings to life The Journalist in me.  That's what I studied in college and that was my first career.  I have always loved journalism and always will.  Finding great Fun Stuff stories brings joy to my Spirit.  I love finding stories that bring a glow to my Heart or a tear to my eyes.

In the really old days of journalism there really was something called "The Wire."  The term "Wire" harked back to when news actually came to various newspaper by telegraph, sent by beady-eyed guys tapping a telegraph key in Morse Code.  When I was a Young Pup, The Wire was a teletype machine that spit out uncounted yards and yards of narrow yellow paper.  The teletype machine made a terrible racket in the newsroom but it was actually a welcome racket to those who called an old newsroom home.

In every newspaper, there was one person designated as "The Wire Editor."  It was that person's job to watch The Wire and find stories suitable for inclusion in the next or an upcoming edition of that newspaper.  If you look closely at virtually all newspapers even today, you will see that the majority of their content has been "picked up" from some other news outlet.  There is simply no way for 99% of newspapers to generate enough locally-produced content on their own to fill a typical edition of a typical newspaper.

Some news professionals still refer to the now-arcane term "The Wire" but it's rapidly falling into oblivion.  The internet isn't a wire, even if wires do actually make up the guts of the internet.  Content simply streams into news outlets these days and someone in each news outlet scans and reviews it looking for those morsels that may interest local readers.

And so it is that I am kind of a hybrid cross between a throwback to Charles Kuralt and an old-fashioned "Wire Editor."  Exercising my journalism genes is a very fun thing for me to do.  That's why I am doing these Morning Editions.  I won't always be able to do one every day and as summer approaches, their frequency will decline.  But, trust me, I love doing them, even if I am their only reader.

Yes, it would be nice flattery if the Morning Editions had more readers but it isn't necessary and it doesn't dim my enthusiasm for this reawakening of my inner journalist.  It's just something I do and you're welcome to enjoy it...or not.

OK, End of Soliloquy!

Our first story is about the historic release of Colorado River water to run free to the sea.  We picked this media feeding frenzy foto because it somehow seemed appropriate in the context of our remarks above.
Yavapai County is going to spend $485,000 to build a bridge (similar to the one shown) across Wet Beaver Creek.  Here are the details:
Friends of the Camp Verde Library have been trying for almost an entire generation to get a modern library for their small town.  I can't even remember how far back those efforts go.  I remember hearing people talk about it in the early 1980's and got the drift it has been a topic long prior to that time.

Back in 2002, I was even approached and offered $12,000 salary to be a fund-raiser to try to jump start a new library.  That's back when I wanted nothing to do with gainful employment so I said an emphatic "NO" to the offer.  Somehow, someway, it is beginning to appear that a new library for Camp Verde really, truly might actually be happening.  This particular design started out at 27,000 square feet when the first conceptual drawings were released in 2007.  Now, it appears the final rendition will be 17,000 square feet.  Luckily, a local native was chosen to design the library so he has stuck with it because of his deep roots there.  And, luckily, Joel's concept for the building has remained intact even if it has been considerably downsized.

We all have had the forever fear that the powers that be would simply make it a pole barn.  Thank Goodness that isn't happening.  As you know, we believe libraries are the eyes to a community's Soul.  If this library comes into reality as envisioned, perhaps we can say that Camp Verde's Soul is undergoing a metamorphosis into a New Age of Enlightenment!

Joel's first drawings of the library from 2007 are here:
One of the finest businesses in Rimrock is the Vintages Grille, operated by Kathy Chambers.  It's such a Gem in our little rural community.  Everyone here is so proud of Kathy Chambers for "making a go" of the restaurant business here.  Today's Camp Verde paper did a nice write up on Kathy.

This is part of a series where the Reporter asks well known local people the same set of questions.  The two questions which elicit the most interesting replies are "What would be your last meal?" and "What was your most embarrassing moment?"

Most folks take a "pass" on both of those questions.  Perhaps the idea of a last meal is unsettling to them.  Also, the vast majority of people interviewed don't want to own up to their most embarrassing moment.  Kathy stood up to the plate and took those two fastballs and knocked 'em plumb outta the park!  WAY TO GO, Kathy!

Speaking of food...Yesterday we used the Random Point Generator.  We picked Sacramento as the starting point and asked for 10 points withing a 200 mile radius of the California Capitol.  Lo and behold, up in Eureka, California, we found a recipe for Chicken Fried Cauliflower.  Yes, that sounds like something that would come out of California's North Coast but the recipe actually apparently originated Back East.  Here ya'll go:

And so on our roam around the 200-mile circle from Sacramento, we came upon a note in the Reno newspaper about a little public train that is reopening tomorrow.  Tickets for this little train are only $2 so it is very affordable.  We became quite curious about the train and it led us into the Freedom Train as well.

Here is the beginning link which got us started:

Somehow while searching for other photos, we saw that this train once operated in Reno's Idlewild Park.  What a beauty!  SO that led us into the Freedom Train.
The train in the old photo above has been restored and now sits in the Nevada State Railroad Museum,

Here is the full scoop on The Freedom Train:

And, of course, that led us to Scottsdale's incredible "toy" train.  It's considerably more expensive to ride this train but, hey, you get what you pay for:

And so it was that we washed ashore in Chico, California, to peruse the newspaper there.  And that's where we found a short little article about a Betty Boop exhibit.  We spent hours studying Betty Boop yesterday.  Good thing we didn't stumble into that story this morning or we would have never had time to put together a Morning Edition!
Here is a photo of items from the exhibit and below is the link to the story that got us started.

This Wiki on Betty Boop is one of the better Wikis we have read in a really long time.

Above is a pre-censor-era look at Betty Boop
Believe it or not, Betty Boop actually appeared almost topless in one of her early cartoons.  We actually found the full cartoon from which this screen clip was extracted.  It's quite a bizarre cartoon and even somewhat surreal.  The audio in this copy is terrible but at least you can see the cartoon. Here it is:

Here is one of the comments under the YouTube of the cartoon:

"This is an incredibly significant cartoon. The Hawaiian music in the background is being played by Sol Hoopii who is using a 1927 Tricone resonator made by the National String Instrument Company. Hoopii, who was a god among Hawaiian steel players, set the tradition for use of resonator and electric lap and pedal steel in children's cartoons. The musical themes for Looney Tunes, Sponge Bob, and even South Park happened because of this film."

And Sweetie Susun wondered if Betty Boop appeared on the nose of various war planes.  Well, guess, what? Betty Boop has been to at least 4 wars on the noses of aircraft. (this one a C130 in Iraq)!

There are 53,281 results for betty boop on eBay!

And, finally, here is a really rockin' and rolling' YouTube of a Serbian Girl Band named, what else?  Betty Boop!

It's entirely possible that Betty Boop is actually more popular with more people today than she ever was in her 1930's Prime!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Morning Edition - 2456743

Happy Thursday.  As you can see, our Countdown Clock shows only 21 days until we skee-daddle North once again.  If past years are an indicator those 21 days will be gone in a blink of an eye.

Well, readership here at the Morning Edition has dropped off a cliff in the last couple of days, down nearly two-thirds from the average!  In fact, readership is barely above single digits each day for the past two days.  Methinks the novelty of the Morning Edition is well worn away and only a few Very Loyal Blog Readers (LBRs) are checking in each day.

That's perfectly fine and dandy with us because, as those LBRs know, we do this thing first for ourself, second for the LBRs and third for anyone else who might drop by.  By entertaining ourself first and foremost, we know that each Morning Edition has been a success even before we press the "Publish" button.  Even if only a very few LBRs come by each day, we also receive the singular pleasure of knowing we have perhaps helped brighten and maybe even enlighten a few of our Dear Friends in the process.  Thank YOU for reading!
First it was Hank The Brewers Dog and now along comes "The Big O."  Sometimes, ya have to roam far and wide to find out about stuff in your backyard.  We were perusing the San Francisco Chronicle and began reading an article about the Oakland A's last Spring Training game in Phoenix Muni Stadium.  next year the A's are moving to Hohokam Park in Mesa.  Sweetie Susun's brother, Roger is very much involved in how the move of the A's will play out in Mesa...hence my interest in reading about the A's.

So, we're reading along in the article and we come to this paragraph and say "HUH?" and scratch our head.

"A reminder: Big Orange, the stadium cat, might need a new home, though it is my hope ASU keeps the current staff on along with Big O, who is superb at keeping rodents away."

So, who's Big Orange?  Read On:

Here's the original article that prompted our search for Big :
Ironically, sometimes, our hometown newspaper back in Lafayette, Indiana, brings up to date on a story we've missed from right smack dab in our backyard here in Arizona.  This one started off in the Phoenix newspaper and then went to USA Today and then got pickup by b\"The Journal & Courier."  If you know Flat Stanley, you're gonna LOVE this article!
Back in 2004, during our first summer at Idaho's truly remote Bowery Guard Station we met a fine young man who was doing range monitoring work for the Forest Service.  He lasted only one year with Smokey and then went to work on a Sage Grouse crew.  He told us about driving through the desert at night in a jacked up pickup truck blasting Pink Floyd out of huge speakers.  Well, finally, 9 years later along comes a story that captures the essence of what Aren E. was trying to describe to us way back when:

Gotta admit, I NEVER thought I'd see the words "Rock Star" in the same sentence with "astrophysicist."
Here's your "Aw..." story of the day and as the headline says--Love is Truly Blind!

While we were visiting the Denver Post, we spotted this great aviation video.  We know we have several LBRs who are Big Time aviation fans so this one is for YOU!
Yesterday, we got all raptured by videos of ships in outrageous wind-whipped seas.  We're putting some of our key links here for archival purposes.  Many of the videos we watched yesterday came from a guy who serves on an ERRV.  What's that?  It's a rescue vessel that's required to be on duty 24/7/365 no matter what the weather.

Here's the guy's 15 videos

By and by, we found a great video of a French naval destroyer.  Here's a couple of links to that video.