Saturday, September 20, 2014

UFOs

On the outside chance you've run out of things to worry about, here's a new one:

UFOs.

No, not the "Flying" kind. The "Floating" kind.

Unidentified Floating objects.

A whole bunch of them are winding up on the beaches of a Sydney Australia beach and baffled scientists don't know what they are, but for now calling them "green alien eggs.

Their best guess is they are thought to be a rare type of living algae, brought ashore by warmer weather and rough conditions.

Translation: "We have absolutely no idea what they are."

-Ed

UFOs on Australian Beach

That will be $150

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From the Internet

Color photography was very rare until the early 1970's so when we see early historical photos, they are all in Black and White. (So was the 1954 Snips and Cuts)

Modern technology now allows those black and white images to be colorized...adding a whole new dimension to those historical icons.

Take a look and enjoy!

-Ed
Hellen Keller and Charlie Chaplin  1928

Albert Einstien


Lou Gerhig
Mark Twain



Country Store Gordenton, NC  1939




Monday, September 15, 2014

Japanese Secret to a Long Life

I just read an article titled "WHY DO JAPANESE PEOPLE LIVE SO LONG...AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO LIVE A LONG LIFE TOO.

Now that's my kind of article. I couldn't wait to pass along the "secrets" to you:

Instead of red meat, eat a lot of fish, including raw fish. That's what the Japanese do.

Instead of sitting, stand. They do a lot of that in Japan primarily because the population is so dense
over there there's not room to sit.

Delicious Seaweed
Eat a lot of seaweed.

Wear masks when out in public.

Eat a lot of rice, soy, tofu and bean sprouts.

Go out drinking with friends. (I'm not making this up.)

Walk a lot and take the train a lot.

Don't drink milk.

The Japanese diet is not easy, but for a long life...it's worth a try.

And what is the life expectancy in Japan?

79 years old.

Never mind.

-Ed

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Rambler

With apologies to our once great CHS newspaper and Warren Sparrow (who was the only student byline I ever remember seeing in that publication) I am stealing the name for this column, since it's such a perfect fit for this post.

Don Nance took a couple of snapshots of last week's LDL at Jimmies of Mint Hill.

And I was shocked to discover that only a bunch of old people showed up.

JUST KIDDING, JUST KIDDING!












The attendees actually looked great. I've always felt that our class aged darned well. And it isn't attributable to diminished eyesight either, I really mean that!

I heard that Betsy Villas White got a very good medical report the other day.  It even brought happy tears to her doctor!

I love news like that.

That reminds me of when my Mom insisted that I take piano lesions like my sister. She had bought into the piano teacher's union propaganda that all kids should learn piano before they try to learn any other instrument. I was stubborn. I only wanted to play either the guitar or the violin.
But, for about a year, the piano teacher came to the house and gave my sister lesions, then it was my turn.

My sister was very sensitive and if she felt she hadn't done well and pleased the teacher, she would cry.

When it was my turn to show the teacher how well I had done, he would cry.

###

There were still occasional horse and buggies on Charlotte Streets in the 40's.  I remember an old black man named Tom used to travel up east 5th street on his way to town at least once a week.

I remember fondly the DDT trucks spraying the storm sewers.  Thank you Lord for DDT and our
leaders who were smart enough to use it.

###

My first bus ride cost 7 cents.

It cost 10 cents to go to the Kiddie Show at the Visualite on Saturday mornings.

A bottle of Pepsi was a nickle.

A BIG bottle of RC cola was a nickle.

Don't know when they started calling it a "Moon Pie" but the ones I ate were made by LANCE and
they were called "Big Towns."

I won't tell you who it was because you know him, so I'll call him Joe Jones. He signed his Mom's name to his report card. It would have been the perfect crime except the teacher announced to the class that he had made one little error; he had signed it "MISS JONES."

I'd love to hear from some of you.  Let me know what's happening in your exciting lives....or whatever....Me and that old Devil the SHINGLES are just sitting up here keeping on...keeping on...
I do think that SHINGLES is a sissy name for this disease, it should be called something like DEVIL FIRE FROM HELL.

If you haven't already, GET THE VACCINE.

-Ed





Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Ultimate Snipe Hunt

Only it's not a prank.

It's real, and it's diabolical.

It might be the the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind, and it's getting very close to succeeding.

Posing for Al Gore.  Polar Bears can swim over 200 miles
It was originally called global warming, until people started noticing that the climate was getting cooler. In fact it's been getting cooler for the past 10 years or so.   

Instead of admitting they might have been wrong, they simply renamed what has become like a religion to them; climate change. I guess they will stick with that, since it covers just about everything.

Ian Plimer, Australia's most prestigious scientist and professor in the school of  Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, in his book Heaven and Earth, points out that the "Dark Ages" (roughly from 535 - 900 AD) were not only years when almost no human progress was achieved, but were literally DARK.

"It was a terrible time to be alive. Sudden cooling took place.  It was cold; there were wars, famines,
changing empires and the stress humans succumbed to the plague. Around 540 trees almost stopped growing flooded bog oaks and timber from this time have very narrow growth rings.  It was a global event because it is also recorded in tree rings from Ireland, England, Siberia, North and South America. The weather of Constantinople was described by Copropius:

"the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon during the whole year and it seemed exceedingly like the Sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear, nor such as it is accustomed to shed"

A similar account was given by John of Ephesus:

"The sun became dark and the darkness lasted for 19 months. Each day it shone for about 4 hours and still this light was only a feeble shadow...the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes."


Ian Plimer (Hated by the Left)

Plimer says that , "The Dark Ages ended as quickly as they began as the world became warm again. The  Medieval Warming  from 900 to 1280 was followed by two decades of very changeable weather as the Medieval Warming changed to the ensuing Little Ice Age. The Medieval Warming was not all beer and skittles, because there was a cold period from 1040 to 1080 AD when the sun was very inactive. "



 The Medieval Warming is just one of the many warm periods that Earth has enjoyed without any help from humans and and their automobiles and Big Oil and the Koch Brothers.

Nature sure is something!

I can't keep up with what the disciples of the Church of Global Warming believe, because it keeps changing. But I think they were originally saying something like the "Planet has never experienced something as potentially devastating as the possibility that the man is causing the temperature to rise maybe as much as 2 degrees in the next 100 years. The planet will die!  Oh, the humanity!


Al Gore
So far their "computer models and predictions have all been proven wrong (Five years ago, Al Gore
predicted that the Polar Ice Caps would have melted by now; in reality they have increased 50% since 2012.)

Instead of admitting they were wrong about just everything, they now say that they have always claimed that it was unpredictable, and that's why they were right all along.

(If you can explain that logic, then surely I can teach my cat to learn algebra.)

Most of the "Scientists" who are going along with this "man made Climate Change Hoax" are being paid by the Federal government which has spent millions of dollars on Grants that only go to those who support the Hoax.  No money goes to the skeptics, or Deniers who many believers think should be jailed.


Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk
Hence, the government has purchased its own cheer leading squad that is in charge of advising Congress.
Andrew Mountford of the Daily Mail writes that,
"Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earth’s climate on computer simulations.
But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming – nearly 18 years long on some measures – since the turn of the last century
Global Warmists "prove" Arctic Ice has melted.

In recent days a new scandal over the integrity of temperature data has emerged, this time in America, where it has been revealed as much as 40 per cent of temperature data there are not real thermometer readings.
Many temperature stations have closed, but rather than stop recording data from these posts, the authorities have taken the remarkable step of ‘estimating’ temperatures based on the records of surrounding stations. 
So vast swathes of the data are actually from ‘zombie’ stations that have long since disappeared. This is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using estimates even when perfectly good raw data is available to it – and that it has adjusted historical records.
Why should it do this? Many have noted that the effect of all these changes is to produce a warmer present and a colder past, with the net result being the impression of much faster warming."

I think that the majority of Americans no longer believe man made global warming.  However, it is continuing to be pushed by the "progressives" and others whose goal in life it to control others. Unfortunately, our President and many of our "leaders" are continuing to push for it.
I don't think they even believe it anymore, but they zealously campaign for it because it will reward them and their followers with what they desire most in life:  More Power and Control.

All we will get is the loss of our freedom and confiscatory taxes.

Speaking of the Dark Ages, can you say, breathing tax?

-Ed



My thanks to my old Piedmont friend Richard Ratcliffe who introduced me to Ian Plimer's Heaven and Earth book. Richard was one of those who went to Tech but re-connected with me via the Internet. He and Bob Ellis have been friends since grammar school.




Sunday, September 07, 2014

Flashes From the Past

...in no particular order.

Those great peanuts in a small wax paper bag served free with every glass of fruit punch from Tanners on Tryon Street with the black lady slicing oranges in the window.  As I recall, the punch was a combination of Orange, Grape and Pineapple juice. The peanuts were the best I ever tasted and were unlike any I have ever seen since.  Someone, somewhere must know what kind they were, but I have searched high and low never even come close to finding out anything about them.

The first, and best ham salad sandwich I ever had was from the drug store counter in the Johnson
Building.

I've never been able to learn the name of the long pole that our grammar school teachers used to open the classroom windows. It surely must have a name.

I don't recall any of my Elizabeth School teachers having husbands.  Perhaps because of the war?

The first male teacher I ever had was Irv Edelman, who was my 9th grade homeroom teacher at
Piedmont. World famous author Jan Karon (Janice Wilson at Piedmont) was in that class.

Most of the boys at Elizabeth School wore knickers (made of corduroy which made  noise when you walked....which was almost as "cool" as wearing metal taps on our shoes that made sparks when walking on cement.  That was about as cool as we could get ...until pegged pants came along.



You are encouraged to add to this list......

email me at shephard@gmail.com

Have a good Monday....and don't forget tomorrow's LDL!

-Ed

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

60 Years Ago


The Excitement of Young Scholars Returning after Summer Vacation

Young scholars eagerly returning to CHS September 1953











Scholars my ......Foot!
Here's why they were eager to return:





And This was just the tip of the iceberg! We are expecting a roomful of our many CHS 54  beauties to be at Jimmies on Tuesday. If that doesn't inspire you men to join us ...then you're older than you think!

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) to be held on
Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.


Whooping it up at Jimmies a couple of years ago


This is your invitation to join us. Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

-Jerry and -Ed

j

Where Did the Bugs Go?

 I stopped watching TV back in the mid 70's when I began spending a lot of time in my "darkroom" developing film and printing pictures. Photography has always been a "close second" to radio as far as my hobbies are concerned.

One thing you can't do in a darkroom...is turn on a TV set.  If you do, the dark goes away.

Film, of course finally did go away, and so did my darkroom, but I never bothered to turn the TV set back on again. 

I've lived happily ever after since. So far, so good.

However, there is one downside: if  something happens that isn't mentioned on the radio or the Internet, then I know nothing about it.  For example,surely I'm not the only one who noticed that there were no bugs this summer. I'm talking about insects. Darned if I don't think I saw even one all summer!

I don't really miss them, but if I remember correctly, we were once taught that little creatures like Bees, butterflies, fireflies, mosquitoes and ticks are the small creatures that hold up entire ecosystems? 


We might really miss the those.

Bug scientists have noticed for years that the firefly population has declined, but they attribute this to the proliferation of more lights that disrupt their communication with other fireflies. But that is only a theory.

I don't have any idea, unless all the bugs, like more and more of our liberal friends are moving down to the Red States like North Carolina and unfortunately bringing their voting habits with them.
Let me know if they ( the bugs) showed up down there this summer.

-Ed

Albert Einstein once said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!” 

“If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.”

-Dr Jonas Salk





Monday, September 01, 2014

Welcome Back Mitford!

Jan's latest Mitford Book
Just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose millions of fans refused to let him give up Sherlock Holmes, our own Jan Karon's millions of fans let it be known they wouldn't let her mythical town of Mitford disappear without a fight.

The fans, of which I am one, prevailed and TODAY (September 2nd) the town of Mitford and all Jan's wonderful characters are BACK...on the shelves of your favorite bookstore!

This is not only NATIONAL news, but INTERNATIONAL!

Here's how it was reported in England's DAILY NEWS:

NEW YORK (AP) — Jan Karon is going back to Mitford.
Nearly a decade after the novelist announced she was done with her multimillion-selling Mitford Years series, she has signed up with G.P. Putnam's Sons for two more installments about the fictional North Carolina town and such residents as Father Tim Kavanaugh and his wife, Cynthia. The next release, "Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good," is scheduled for September second.
Karon said in a statement issued Tuesday by Putnam that her decision to resume the Mitford series proves that one should "never say never." She has written nine previous Mitford books, most recently "Light From Heaven," published in 2005.
Jan Karon

FILE - In this undated photo provided by Viking, Jan Karon, author of the Mitford books, poses with a pan of cornbread, in this photo from "Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and  Kitchen Reader," her new book about the little Southern town where the kitchen is "the heart of the home." Nearly a decade after the novelist announced she was done with her multimillion-selling Mitford Years series, she has signed up with G.P. Putnam's Sons for two more installments about the fictional North Carolina town and such residents as Father Tim Kavanaugh and his wife, Cynthia. The next release, Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good, is scheduled for September 2014. (AP Photo/Viking, Christopher Hirscheimer, File)
Linda and I have every book Jan ever wrote including her cookbook. The recipe for that cornbread she's holding is in there and is the best cornbread I've ever tasted!

I'm going up to the kitchen and make some right now!

-Ed

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Year of No Summer

That's what I tell my friends as I am well into my second week, of my second month of living with SHINGLES.

I hope you never get it, but statistics say that 20% of people who have ever had Chicken Pox will get it, usually when we get as old as we are.

Chicken Pox normally goes away in a couple of weeks, but it leaves a virus in you body that is just waiting to attack. Not much you can do about it, but getting early treatment often shortens its duration. It sometimes mimics a heart attack. Those were my first symptoms,  but my Cardiologist was absent from class the day they discussed that in Medical school, so it was left to my wife Linda to diagnose my problem.  Delayed treatment is probably what has caused my Shingles to last so long.

Enough about me.

There once was a worldwide Year of No Summer.  It was 1816.

I don't recall ever reading or even hearing about it until I started feeling sorry for myself and began looking for others whose summer was ruined by Shingles.

This is how Wikipedia describes it:

The Year Without a Summer was an agricultural disaster. Historian John D. Post has called this, "the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world".[5] The unusual climatic aberrations of 1816 had the greatest effect on most of New EnglandAtlantic Canada, and parts of western Europe. Typically, the late spring and summer of central and northern New England and southeastern Canada are relatively stable: temperatures (average of both day and night) average between about 68 and 77°F (20 and 25°C) and rarely fall below 41°F (5°C). Summer snow is an extreme rarity.

North America

In the spring and summer of 1816, a persistent "dry fog" was observed in parts of the eastern U.S. The fog reddened and dimmed the sunlight, such that sunspots were visible to the naked eye. Neither wind nor rainfall dispersed the "fog". It has been characterized as a "stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil".[6]
At higher elevations, where farming was problematic in good years, the cooler climate did not quite support agriculture. In May 1816,[1] frost killed off most crops in the higher elevations of New England and New York. On June 4, frosts were reported as far south as northern Connecticut and the highlands of northwest New Jersey. [7] On June 6, snow fell in Albany, New York, and Dennysville, Maine.[8]
Many commented on the phenomenon. Sarah Snell Bryant, of CummingtonMassachusetts, wrote in her diary, "Weather backward."[9]
At the Church Family of Shakers in upstate New York, near New Lebanon, Nicholas Bennet wrote in May 1816, "all was froze" and the hills were "barren like winter." Temperatures went below freezing almost every day in May. The ground froze solid on June 9. On June 12, the Shakers had to replant crops destroyed by the cold. On July 7, it was so cold, everything had stopped growing. The Berkshire Hills had

frost again on August 23, as did much of the upper northeast .[10]
A Massachusetts historian summed up the disaster: "Severe frosts occurred every month; June 7th and 8th snow fell, and it was so cold that crops were cut down, even freezing the roots .... In the early Autumn when corn was in the milk it was so thoroughly frozen that it never ripened and was scarcely worth harvesting. Breadstuffs were scarce and prices high and the poorer class of people were often in straits for want of food. It must be remembered that the granaries of the great west had not then been opened to us by railroad communication, and people were obliged to rely upon their own resources or upon others in their immediate locality."[11]

Europe

Cool temperatures and heavy rains resulted in failed harvests in Britain and Ireland. Families in Wales travelled long distances as refugees, begging for food. Famine was prevalent in north and southwest Ireland, following the failure of wheat, oats, and potato harvests. In Germany, the crisis was severe; food prices rose sharply. With the cause of the problems unknown, people demonstrated in front of grain markets and bakeries, and later riotsarson, and looting took place in many European cities. It was the worst famine of 19th-century Europe.[8][14]
Again, according to Wikipedia,

The crop failures of the "Year without a Summer" may have helped shape the settling of the "American Heartland", as many thousands of people (particularly farm families who were wiped out by the event) left New England for what is now western and central New York and the Midwest (then the Northwest Territory) in search of a more hospitable climate, richer soil, and better growing conditions.[24]
According to historian L.D. Stillwell, Vermont alone experienced a drop between 10,000 and 15,000 people, erasing seven previous years of population growth.[5] Among those who left Vermont were the family of Joseph Smith, who moved from Sharon, Vermont, to Palmyra, New York.[25]This move precipitated the series of events that culminated in the publication of the Book of Mormon and the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[16]
In June 1816, "incessant rainfall" during that "wet, ungenial summer" forced Mary ShelleyJohn William Polidori, and their friends to stay indoors for much of their Swiss holiday. They decided to have a contest to see who could write the scariest story, leading Shelley to write Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus and Lord Byron to write "A Fragment", which Polidori later used as inspiration for The Vampyre[26] — a precursor to Dracula. In addition, Lord Byron was inspired to write a poem, "Darkness", at the same time.

Darkness

BY LORD BYRON 
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:

Mount Tamboro Eruption
I believe the reason very few people have ever heard of the YEAR OF NO SUMMER is because for many years it was simply a WEATHER story.  It had to wait for fairly modern communications to learn that disastrous year was caused by the eruption of Mount Tamboro in Indonesia, the largest volcano eruption in recorded history. It killed over 90,000 people.
By the time the world found out, it was "old news."

I'm not trying to out scare any of those great story tellers of the 1800's but scientists who should know, say that Mount Tamboro could erupt again any day now.
It's already been rumbling for over a year.
-Ed 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

They say you never forget your first love


I don’t know about that, but I know you never forget your first car.

At least I haven’t and neither has Don Nance. In fact, it was the same car; and it didn't belong to either one of us.

It was my Dad’s 1952 blue Pontiac.  

Thanks to his job as a stock broker, he got off work about the same time school was out, and with much persuasion, I basically owned that pretty thing for the rest of the day. My first stop was Don’s house and more often than not, we spent the rest of the afternoon looking for excitement.

We never found any, at least none that was more exciting than just riding around in that beauty from Detroit with the Indian Chief on the hood. If truth be told, I think we both were hoping to impress the girls.
 
It didn’t. Neither did we.

But it sure made a permanent impression on Don and me.  Especially Don. So much so that 62 years later, thanks to his extremely talented sons and a few friends,that Indian is riding again!

Donnie and two other main members of the crew.(L to R)Ricky, Jeff and Donnie





































1952 Pontiac

By Don Nance


Eli Caruthers of Graham, NC, purchased the 1952 Pontiac when it was new. In 1985, he drove the car to church in the morning and died later that afternoon. In 1987, I purchased the car from his family. From 1987 until 2010, the car was stored in a barn at the McMillian’s Farm who were friends of ours. In 2010, we started restoring the old chief. Oh yes, it is a 1952 two- door Pontiac Chief Deluxe. Donnie named the car “Lazarus” because it was being raised from the dead.
8 year old Sam
The main people helping to restore the car are our sons, Donnie, Tommy, and Patrick, and my grandson, Sam.  Others helped… Ricky Holmes (Donnie’s friend from middle school), and neighbor, Jeff, in Graham, NC.   John Keck, in Graham, built the radiator. The engine was overhauled by a friend of my sons in Haw River, N C.  The starter was rebuilt by Patrick’s father-in-law, Jack Tibbits, in Basset, VA. The body and paint was done by Tom Young at Young’s Body Shop in Elon, N C. The chrome was refinished in Elizabethton, TN. 
 I enjoy having the car since it brings back wonderful memories of the 1950’s. I worked in the concession stand at the old Armory in Charlotte for Donald (Spike) Coffer. He owned a car like this one with the same colors.  Ed Myers’s father, Walter Myers, owned a car just like this car with the same colors. When Ed (Lee Shephard) was 15 years old and I was 16 year old, Ed would drive his father’s car so we could cruise around Charlotte.

Indian Chief and Donny, the Restoration Chief
The Grill, which had not been installed when picture
 at top was taken.

Tommy under the hood





The Nance Boys plus Letty's finger in  right hand corner

WOW!  Thanks Don. I can't wait to take a ride in that thing again. I got my driver's license in that car. Since the statute of limitations has expired I can finally admit that for about a year, I was driving the "blue beauty" before I was old enough to get my license. Fortunately, I never was stopped by the cops. However, one of our classmates got stopped many times (and we all know who that was) His license was withheld for years. I believe he was about 40 before he finally got it.
Oh, by the way, ask Donnie to look under the back seat. I think that's where my girl friend's "Key Club" pin that I gave her fell off and wound up. 
Thanks for bringing those great memories alive!
-Ed