White Footed Mice, Carey Institute

The article below describes a study related to the tick problem in the Northeast. They are everywhere in the woods and when the dogs are out they often come in loaded with ticks. Ticks somehow jump off plants and land on you and find a nice warm spot to dig in.

The Carey Institute is in Millbrook and was founded by the Flagler family who I think among other accomplishments built the railroads in Florida and the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.

Now here is a little known fact about the Flagler family. Their original name was Vlageler and they were German Palatines who came to America in 1709 as refugees from the war between England and France. They settled in….. yes…. Clove Valley!


white footed mice

Pip Squeak

I don’t know why the words came into my mind, maybe I saw some pip squeak on television talking about some political matter. Many politicians are pip squeaks. You may want to send in your favorite one.

Anyway when I looked up the word I found an interesting link to a Second World War device described below.

We saw the movie Dunkirk last night and it was pretty good but I dont go to the movies that often anymore, too much effort and two of the lead actors we had seen in Netflix, Wallender and Peeky Blinders lead actors were in the movie.

Pip-squeak was a simple radio navigation system used by the British Royal Air Force during the early part of World War II. Pip-squeak used an aircraft’s voice radio set to periodically send out a 1 kHz tone which was picked up by ground-based high-frequency direction finding (HFDF, “huff-duff”) receivers. Using three HFDF measurements, observers could determine the location of friendly aircraft using triangulation.

Pip-squeak was used by fighter aircraft during the Battle of Britain as part of the Dowding system, where it provided the primary means of locating friendly forces, and indirectly providing identification friend or foe (IFF). At the time, radar systems were sited on the shore and did not provide coverage over the inland areas, so IFF systems that produced unique radar images were not always useful for directing interceptions. Pip-squeak was added to provide coverage in these areas. As more radar stations were added and over-land areas became widely covered, pip-squeak was replaced by IFF systems of increasing sophistication.

Pip-squeak gets its name from a contemporary comic stripPip, Squeak and Wilfred. It was first implemented in the TR.9D radio. The system was also used by the USAAF, where the equipment was known as RC-96A.

Coffee, Olive Oil and Other Things

I’m not very careful about what I eat, yes not too much red meat, not too much fried foods, plenty of fish, you get the idea.

But i saw an article recently linked below that coffee is good for you and may reduce death. Now that doesnt mean it will eliminate death but may not bring it on early and may in fact delay it.

I stopped drinking coffee a few years ago and usually drink tea but recently I have started to have a cup of coffee from time to time. When I go to Babette’s in Millbrook I sometimes ask for a small coffee with the croissant (which I am sure is bad for you) but now here is one for those who are careful students of diet and what to put in your mouth, Olive oil!

We have a neighbor who was horrified that I was using corn oil to cook in. Of course I don’t cook that much but I listened. She told me avocado oil or what I thought was olive oil was good for you. But when I saw her she said regular olive oil wasn’t good for you only extra virgin.

Enough of this stuff, a good cup of coffee and God Forbid, an old fashioned donut from Dunkin Donuts, might kill you but it does taste just fine.

coffee and death

Occoms Razor and Baily’s Beads

Ok here we go, a one year free subscription to those who know the meaning of both……

First Occum’s Razor, see the below link:

occum’s razor

But far more interesting is Baily’s Beads who I saw back in 76 at the last total eclipse of the sun in Nova Scotia. I intend to go out to see the total eclipse in Kentucky, the best place in the country to observe it on August 21st, should be a steller show!

Baily’s Beads

baily's beads

Peter Javsicas

He was an old friend and a fellow runner in college. He was a terrific distance runner and was known for an amazing finishing kick after a two mile race. We lost touch for years although in the last few years, we occasionally connected through Facebook.

He was killed by a runaway van a few weeks ago in Philadelphia. His son posted an amazing obituary on Facebook which is below.

Peter Javsicas RIP

A Letter from Far Away

Below is a letter from one of our readers, maybe our farthest away, who left Bethlehem Connecticut about 10 years ago. He is a master carpenter, a close friend who pulled up stakes, sold his house and some land on the Cape, and bought 16 acres on the big island of Hawaii. It sounds like paradise but the idea of leaving family and friends and starting from scratch while daunting, is an American dream, little different from those who crossed the prairie 150 years ago.

“Aloha Peter,
Time does have a way of getting away from us.  I just turned 68 and can’t believe we have been here 9 years already. So much has happened I am not sure quite where to begin.  First of all, I want to thank you for your newsletter.  Though we are far away and I am still curious about NY/ New England and enjoy the history you present.
I am sitting here on our lanai enjoying a cup of own coffee eating a fresh papaya looking out over the ocean and it is 71 degrees.  Sounds ideal doesn’t it.  In so many ways it is, no heating or air conditioning, incredible fresh air, views of whales breaching, the sky so amazing with it’s display of clouds and colors.  A night sky with the Milky Way  , satellites and often viewing the ISS.  From our home in CT with just a tiny hole in the tree canopy above house,  to this Big Sky country, it is awesome.
We love the people here,  such a mix of races and nationalities with a good dash of Aloha spirit.  We know twenty times more people here now then we did in the thirty years of living in Bethlehem.  So many of us are transplants with families on the mainland that we have connected here in many different social circles.  One curious note is that many are pilots, retired or active, who have traveled the world and finally “landed” here.
The bad or tough news is that 16 acres here is not the same as 16 acres in Clove Valley.  It is a lot of work.  It is a constant battle to grow the things you want and keep back the things you don’t.  Even chickens,  we have a bunch that is s free range ( with a rooster named Grandma, a story in it’s self ) and a five in a coop.  I am fighting mongoose everyday to keep them out of the coop.  Those hens don’t have any street smarts and wouldn’t last a day if I let them out. We have 3 acres around the house that is fenced in to keep the feral pigs out and the dogs in.  We have a small orchard of various tropical fruits, a pineapple patch and of course, coffee trees.  This acreage has to be mowed all year round.   If we let it grow it, the grass would be 7-8 feet tall.  The other 13 acres is pasture and we broke down and bought cattle.  Just five to start, two heifers and three steers.  They are slowly making a dent in the tall grasses.  The first few weeks we couldn’t even see them.  I did train them to come to my whistle so we know they are still in the pasture. ( I had to learn how to whistle all over again. )
I had just the one colony of bees that I lost to the Small Hive beetle.  The honey was  so good !  I hated to run out it.  Even some life long bee keepers here have given up.  Just to frustrating trying to fight the pests.  There are pockets of successful beekeeping.  I might try again once I have a better understanding on how to cope with the pests. For a couple of years we didn’t see any bees on the coffee trees and now we are starting to see more.”

A Most Amazing Call

I received a call from a neighbor who had heard recently a podcast about the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The recording was made by the BBC in 1960 and featured America’s entry in the War in 1918. Among those who were interviewed was my father who was wounded twice in the First War and also fought in the Pacific in the Second World War.

None of the family recalled that he had made the broadcast and of course we were amazed and deeply moved to hear his voice describing the battle of Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood. He was wounded twice in that war. My father died in 1978 on Memorial weekend before he could spend the Holiday in Clove Valley.

Postcard at the top of Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing (Centre – R), the US Army General who led the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, being welcomed in Boulogne, northern France, by French General Peltier .

Click on the below link to hear the story.

BBC 1960