Monday, August 25, 2014

Remembering the Dead

I am at a loss for words.  On Sunday, the memorial mass for slain journalist James Foley took place in his home town.  A letter of condolence sent by Pope Francis was read.  The congressional delegation representing New Hampshire sat with the Governor.  The President chose not to send a representative.  On Thursday of the previous week Major General Harold J. Greene was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.  General Greene was serving in Afghanistan.  He was shot at close range by a terrorist.  Hundreds of people joined his family at the funeral.  His wife, retired Army colonel Susan Myers, his son Army First Lt. Matthew Greene, and his daughter Amelia held hands.  Lt. Greene supported General Greene's father. The President chose not to send a representative.  Today Michael Brown was remembered in a funeral.  Brown was shot and killed in an altercation with a police officer.  President Obama sent three representatives.  The Brown funeral will have been covered extensively by the press.  General Greene's honor deserves the same.  Here is a video.  You may wish to stand and salute.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Technical Upgrade

When I started this blog very few read on a hand held device.  Today, not so.   Imbedded videos do not play on such devices.  I have learned how to insert videos in a different way so that they can be viewed on tablets and smart phones.  Here is one of my favorite videos, going viral right now.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Man Hug

From the "Urban Dictionary": A handshake that transitions into a hug-like, semi-embrace that lasts no more than one second and may be accompanied by a firm slap on the back. An acceptable way for one guy to show appreciation for another male friend.

Verdi  was way ahead of his time.  In his epic masterpiece, "Don Carlo" he provides the tenor and baritone leads a magnificent duet in which a Man Hug is mandatory.  The men are Spanish noblemen.   They are acknowledging their bond and pledging themselves to liberate the oppressed people of Flanders.  Their commitment is dangerous and treasonous.  The oppressor is their own king, Phillip of Spain.  Carlo, the tenor, on the right in the video, is the king's son.  This clip is drama at its best.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Snake in the Grass

We live on the shore of a very small lake - really more of a pond.  One of the features of our shoreline is garter snakes.  These beautiful creatures rustle through the tall grass and swim quickly away as I approach.  They have a dark body with three stripes - most often yellow although green, blue, red and orange are not unusual.  The little boys in our neighborhood search for garter snakes in a nearby vacant lot.  Cats sometimes carry them home.  I know that many people do not welcome snakes in their grass, but I do.  Here is a web site from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife that will tell you all about our snakes.  If you live in another state, check your browser for snake information.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Israel is getting some bad press.   My mind is clear.  A country has a right to defend against attack.  Death and destruction will be a consequence of any path Israel chooses.  Standing down in the face of an enemy such as Hamas is a certain death sentence for her people.  Attacking with the intent to destroy Hamas' military capability is a certain death sentence for some Palestinian civilians.  Hamas declares their intent to destroy Israel and all Israelis.  I'm in for Israel.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

To Save a Forest Harvest a Tree

I visited the stump of a large maple tree today.  Yesterday I and others in our neighborhood watched as men came with chain saws and pulleys and climbing spikes and cut the tree down, limb by limb.  They were careful to spare the houses on either side.  The tree had rot in its trunk.  It was in danger of falling.   My husband and I made much of our living managing timber harvest and the manufacture of wood products.  I was sad to see the maple go and sadder for those who enjoyed its shade.  The maple's job was ornamental, part of a prized landscape.  The trees of our careers had different jobs.  They were part of working forests - grown for the value in their fiber.  While growing fiber, the trees in a working forest provide other benefits. The forests offer shelter for species of all kind.  Their bogs and marshes filter water.  Their shade keeps streams cool for fish.  A working forest consumes carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.  Working forests support a vast economy of jobs and raw material for many products.  Did you know that rayon is made from cellulose?  56% of America's forest land is privately owned.  62% of that private ownership is in small, family farms.  Most privately owned forests are managed carefully and with far more investment and intensity than public lands.  Seedlings are planted after each harvest to assure that the forest will remain.  Setbacks and set-asides are managed to protect rivers, streams, endangered and threatened species and public views.  Here is a link to a US Forest Service publication that tells the story of private forests.  A tree cannot live forever.  Like the maple on our street, it will rot and fall.  But a forest can live forever - as long as there is market value for the wood.  Without a market for wood products, the landowner might be tempted by a higher value use for the land.  Perhaps a housing development or a new highway.  If you want to save a forest, harvest a tree.