Friday, January 25, 2008

My credo....I am glad to be this way. I could never be like others. Sharing with all the other crazy people out there.

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world,
Are the ones who do

This was part of an commercial for Apple Computers.

I love this. I live this too. Much to the trouble of many people I deal with. But I have to walk to beat of my own drummer. I hope you do too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The last of the 'spit ball" pitchers in baseball.. Burleigh Grimes ..... He tossed the slick ball till 1934

He was nasty on the diamond. He was scary in his actions. He did not shave on the day of a game. He would battle on a moments notice. He was quite the character.

But old Burleigh Grimes was the last pitcher who threw a spitball in professional baseball. It had been outlawed in 1920, however the remaining fellas who used the spitball were grandfathered in. All 17 of them.
At the time of his retirement in 1934, he was the last of the 17 spitballers left in the league.

He would often fake a spitball and then surprise the batter. He finally left the Field in 1934. With him went the notorious spitball and the last bit of the golden age of stunts of that game. Rules became paramount, and they standardized the game. Today's baseball is so very different from that of a century ago.

By the way I hope you all know what a spitball was? Well it was a ball whetted with saliva to make it slick, and to make it move in ways a dry ball would not.

In addition, there were many safety issues with the spitball, as at times pitchers would use tobacco spit from chewing tobacco as their spit. This was not only rather vulgar but nasty to the hitters.

In fact the spit ball is credited with the death of a batter. Many consider the death of Ray Chapman in 1920 partially as a result of the spitball, since Chapman could not see the ball coming before it struck him in the head, killing him.

After that incident the spit ball was banned save for the 17 users. I find that odd that it was not banned altogether. But that was the rule.

It is interesting that at the same time the entire country through prohibition went dry. However the baseball remained wet. In 1934 the entire country celebrated as the country became wet again as prohibition was repealed. Then baseball became dry. Rather ironic isn't it?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ramon Reyes Lala...Born in Manila, educated in Europe, and later banished by the Spanish, Lala became the first naturalized Filipino-American citizen

His first book on the region from 1899.
Here you see a picture of him from the book
Here is the book that he would often have around during his talks on the Philippines.
He would sometimes sign one of these copies for a person interested in the message. These books are quite rare.

Born in Manila, educated in Europe, and later banished by the Spanish, Lala became the first naturalized Filipino-American citizen. His talks would cover the early history, the British occupation, the Spanish colonial government, the Church, religion, tribes, Muslims of Sulu, Manila and other cities, commerce, agriculture including sections on hemp, tobacco use and culture, coffee cultivation, Betel-nuts and grains, wood, minerals, natural history, plus the various insurrections, rebellions, the loss of the Spanish to Dewey, and the American occupation.
Much of the history of the Philippines and our war there, was much like our battles in Viet Nam

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dr Franklin, King George III did not like your lightening rod and made some changes to it.

Benj. Franklin invented the lightening rod and was very proud of the invention. As a gift to the public he never took out a patent on it. Now Franklin's work on the lightening rod started in the 1750's. His lightening rod had a sharp end to it.

By the 1770's when there was not to much love being shared between the American Colonies and their mother country England, a controversy started concerning lightening rods. In fact it was stated and ruled by King George himself that a lightening rod should have a ball on the end of it. In fact he had small cannon balled put on to the ends of all lightening rods. In fact he made it a law.

Franklin was not at all pleased by this action and wrote to the King to dispute that opinion. But the King did not change his course or opinion.

Who was right?

Funny to mention it, but King George the 3rd was.

In fact today lightening rods do not have a sharp point on their end, they have a bunt tip like a small ball.

So to Franklin we thank you for the invention of this wonderful device and to King George the 3rd, thanks for your improvement to the invention. Although we hardly ever hear about it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The death of James A Garfield...Shot by a madman, sadly killed by his doctors. The great and terrible assassination in 1881

James A. Garfield 1831-1881.... 20th President of the United States
Even Alexander G. Bell got into the act trying to locate the bullet with a crude metal detector. However the bed springs interfered with his signals and he mentioned were he thought the bullet may be, but was not sure. Of course the doctors operated on the poor man again with out finding the bullet.
The assassin
Pass to view the remains in the Capitol rotunda
The President as drawn after his death in New Jersey.
The widow mourns over her fallen husband.
The President and his wife lie in state in their monument in Ohio.
Garfield's casket lying in state under the Capitols rotunda.
A closer view of the two coffins in the tomb. There are several points to be made here. The first thing that comes to mind is the difference in the styles of the coffins. Mrs. Garfield died in 1918, so her casket is quite a bit more modern in style. Secondly, Garfield's casket that we see here is an out covering of the casket, not the casket like we see in the photo above. The casket he was placed in was put into a larger outer shell. That is what you see here. It was a common practise in the 19th century to have several layers to a coffin or casket as we call them today.
One of the many memorial books put onto the market as soon as Garfield died. This book came out in fall of 1881. I am sure every memorial book was already written and sadly the writers were waiting like vultures for the moment of death to pounce and produce their book.

A you can see here this book fills us into all the details of life, death, autopsy, burial, etc etc...

Dr. Willard Bliss and his team of doctors is in many respects one of the reasons James A Garfield died. Many may find this statement harsh, as Bliss was Garfield's head doctor in the case after he was shot.
Yes, Charles Guiteau became incensed when his application to be the U. S. ambassador to France was denied. And yes he shot the President in the back on July 2, 1881. In the Washington D.C. train station terminal.

But what that madman could not do, the Presidents doctors did! Bliss would insert his fingers, unsterilized probes, unsterilized knifes into President's wound.
Many other doctors would make probes into the poor man's wound. Doctors from the Army and Navy were brought in to consult on the wound. One of them actually pierced the Presidents liver with their finger!

There had been talk before of cleaning instruments and sterilizing them. But these doctors did not believe in that. Therefore the wound that started as a small entrance wound ended up being a 20 inch canal of oozing puss. It was a loosing battle.

The President grew steadily weaker. No one thought that perhaps they might just leave the bullet where it was. They just kept probing and digging and cutting...All the time the President got weaker still. Till he was so weak that it became only a matter of time before he would die. Garfield was in fine physical health before he was shot, yet by the time of his death he looked like a man in his 70's. He was but 49 years of age.

There was matter of arrogance here, but of course they were the experts. Garfield's wound was not that serious. In fact he should have been encouraged to move around. But they pushed, probed and cut him till he was a lost cause. I find the assassination of James A. Garfield a terrible loss. It needed not to be.

For of the four Presidents who have been assassinated, he is the one who should not have died from his wounds.

In fact if the doctors had done absolutely nothing, he would have probably lived!!!!

But hindsight is 20/20, and Garfield died. He was the second of three Presidents to die at the hands of an assassin in a 36 year period from 1865 till 1901.

This of course led to the many memorial books that came out in droves that had hardly an accurate statement in them. But they bought by a grief stricken nation as they mourned their dead leader.

Garfield was pictured all over and his casket laid in state under the dome of the Capitol.
Garfield was given a grand funeral and today lies in state in his mausoleum. His and his wife's caskets are on display, and in a sense they remain lying in state there, so long after the fact.
It is a unique thing in the world of the Presidents. No other President's casket is on view. All of them are buried, in mausoleums, or uncased in stone vaults.