I Don’t Know Why This Cracks Me Up

I wont print this whole article, you will have to open it and read it or maybe better, move on to my next post. The only thing I could think of when reading this article is the idea that after school programs are being cut for the neediest.

The article reminds me of Howard Stern’s great line when he arrived in a limo to Donald Trump’s second marriage to Marla Maples, “I know it is in bad taste but I give it 6 months!” He was wrong on his timing but not by a lot.

Wedding from Hell

LBJs Visit With A German Prime Minister

Today President Trump met with Angela Merkel, the Prime Minister of Germany. They both spoke, answered questions and had lunch…end of event.

Last Saturday night I went over to Wingdale for a meal with some  visiting friends, one from Midland Texas, and had a good meal at Big W’s Barbeque.

Now when you want to talk about diplomacy and showing a visiting dignitary a good time, click on the history of BBQs at LBJ’s Texas Ranch. It’s a great history and in particular how to treat our German visitors.

lbj_and_guest (1)walter_jetton

 

Diplomacy Texas Style

Historic AT&T high seas radio station to be demolished

As some of you know I  have always been interested in radio and while  communications have changed radically, it is always sad to see an end to an era.

The towers and antennas below were what were called rhombic antennas and were built with wires strung on very high poles. As with everything else things have gotten a lot smaller for many reasons, and the picture below of the radio operators must seem like something out of the middle ages for anyone younger than 40, make that 50.It is an interesting history to read.

The remains of shortwave radio station WOO — for decades the Atlantic coast hub of American Telephone & Telegraph’s high seas radio service — will likely disappear in the coming weeks.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with contractor Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure Inc., plans to remove more than 500 antennas and poles that stud 222 acres of salt marsh on New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay.

The site at Good Luck Point was the transmitter station for WOO, which from the early 1930s onward was a shore-to-ship critical link to U.S. bluewater and coastwise shipping. Right up to the dawn of cellular telephones in the late 20th century, mariners could place telephone calls by contacting the AT&T marine operator on VHF channels.

High seas and overseas radio operators at AT&T's New York City switchboard in 1943 handled calls through station WOO. AT&T photo.

Also known as the Ocean Gate site, the transmitter worked in tandem with a receiver site about 15 miles south on the marsh at Manahawkin, N.J. Both were part of AT&T’s national “long lines” system, along with stations KMI near San Francisco and WOM near Miami.

An operator at radio station KMI in California, 1966. Maritime Radio Historical Society photo.

As technology changed and users began falling away, the stations still provided single-sideband (SSB) radiotelephone service up to February 1999 when AT&T announced it was ceasing operations. Satellite service had usurped the old manned shoreside station model, and the company was selling customers on its own Sea Call service using Inmarsat technology.

The New Jersey sites were soon abandoned, and the Good Luck Point tract was purchased in 2003 by the non-profit Trust for Public Land, to be donated to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

Among boaters passing on Barnegat Bay, the decaying antenna array is jokingly called “the telephone pole farm.” U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists always wanted to clean up the site and restore the marsh to improve its value for wildlife, but never had the money.

That changed after Hurricane Sandy hit the region in October 2012. Parts of the 47,000-acre Forsythe refuge were inundated with wreckage from  flooded homes and marinas, and the wildlife service eventually got $15 million out of federal Sandy relief funding for the cleanup. Some $1.7 million of that will go to clearing the Good Luck Point site, which is getting priority with the limited funding.

Contractors will use airboats to work in the marsh and bring cut-up poles and steel in for disposal. Some poles will be left standing, for use as osprey nest platforms.

 

WOO Radio Station RIP

New Neighbor, Old Song

Well big news from Clove Valley, our neighbors have sold their house to Steve Miller, the guitarist of the Steve Miller Band. The house isn’t near the farm so the music shouldn’t disturb the chickens.

In honor of our new arrival here is a great video of the great blues guitarist,Lead Belly from 1935. He made Good Night Irene a standard and Pete Seeger made it famous. This video is a real period piece, my how things have changed.

“A folklorist, John Lomax and his son Alan Lomax, with funding from the Library of Congress recorded Huddie William Ledbetter, commonly known as Lead Belly or Leadbelly. They first meet him while he was imprisoned. They were deeply impressed by his vibrant tenor voice and huge repertoire, they recorded him on portable aluminum disc recording equipment for the Library of Congress. They returned to record with new and better equipment in July of the following year (1934), all in all recording hundreds of his songs. On August 1, Lead Belly was released (again having served almost all of his minimum sentence), this time after the Lomaxes had taken a petition to Louisiana Governor Oscar K. Allen at Ledbetter’s urgent request. The petition was on the other side of a recording of his signature song, “Goodnight Irene.”

Kip Lornell, a Leadbelly expert, thinks this is almost certainly footage from March/April 1935, shot in Wilton, CT. — probably at the home of friends of the Lomaxes. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever seen footage from this event (Martha joining Huddie in NYC) but I have seen stills. He confirmed that, this was before he recorded for ARC, though he had previously recorded for the Library of Congress. Its also well before he recorded anything for Moe Asch, which is now Smithsonian Folkways material.”

 

Pills Etc.

I had my annual physical, which I have every few years. My doctor is wonderful and believes in the Do No Harm theory. I had been taking Nexium as a stomach smoother but he confirmed what a neighbor had told me that Nexium used long term may cause harm, not clear how bad, or what harm. Anyway I got off it a few days ago and my stomach hurts.

My neighbor who knows about alternative medicines, or supplements as they are called, sent me a whole box of pills for the stomach. The ingredients are all natural and I took one this evening so stay tuned. And while you are waiting to hear results listen to Steve Martin’s essay on side effects.

A few years ago I was invited to read an essay of my choice at a party. Someone read the poems of some one I have forgotten, maybe Khilil Gabron, and when it was my turn I tried to read the below. I cracked up after one minute!

Side Effects

 

New Travel Ban

The latest travel ban outlines, the nation’s refu­gee program which will be suspended for 120 days, and it will not accept more than 50,000 refugees in a year, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

50,000 immigrants represents less than 1/10 of one percent of our population, a number so small as to in effect exclude virtually all but very few, at a time when the need for scientists, farmers, laborers, doctors, nurses and others to add to our numbers is acute.

The sad part of this story in addition to the personal tragedy of those who are left out is that none of this will do anything to make us safer, and in fact may do the opposite.

Guns

I have written about guns before. I believe that responsible people should be allowed to own guns for sporting purposes. Having said that I agree with Ronald Reagan that owning guns shouldn’t permit someone to own a AK 47 for sporting or even protective services. I also believe that guns like cars should be handled by people who have been trained properly and have passed physical and mental tests.

The below is a tragic illustration of a sad unnecessary death. I also note that the grave of a Marine killed in Korea is nearby.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori- it is sweet and honorable to die for one’s country

Missouri Tragedy

missouri gun grave

Poughkeepsie, Bad News

Last week two Poughkeepsie sons made the bigtime, both with ignominious accomplishments.

Carter Page who graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes High School, was caught on national television lying about having met with the Russian ambassador during the convention in Cleveland. I watched him on national television being interviewed by Chris Hayes. When caught, he said he had only met him in Cleveland!

President Trump was quoted as saying, “I can’t stand seeing Carter Page on Television.”

The second person who made headlines was much worse, Juan Thompson.

” A federal judge has charged a St. Louis man with making bomb threats against Jewish organizations across the country as part of his efforts to harass his ex-girlfriend. Juan Thompson, 31, is charged with cyberstalking. Prosecutors say he tried to intimidate a woman by threatening JCCs across the country.”

The good news, if there is any, Thompson went to Vassar for three years but didn’t graduate. Also he may not have been from Poughkeepsie originally.

On the good side we still have FDR and Samuel Morse!

Doozies and other Whoppers

Donald Trump is unable to admit a mistake even when it is a doozy. The below article tells some whoppers and who made them and how they admitted it. DT should read this and practice.

I thought it was Truman but one of our readers came up with the below article from the NY Times many years ago. It even has the term dipsy doodle. Now are there any of my readers, who will get the usual one year free subscription, if they can name the Yankee pictcher who was known as the dipsy doodler?

doozies