Saturday, June 30, 2007

Two bits....

Got a nice shave and a haircut today with the boys at "The Quinntesential Gentleman" in Baltimore.

Nice ambiance. One suggestion for the decor: Wood paneling. That's the only thing I can think of that would improve it. Well...perhaps the smell of old money or cigars.

Alas, I couldn't stay for lunch as I had an appointment in Columbia that I had hoped would be short, but turned out to be an hour plus. work on the 2008 B&ORRHS Color Calendar is over and yet another crisis has been averted. I swear I feel like a fireman at times.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Okay, I know a guy who tells me there may be a nice job opening in Houston in the next year.

First step towards dream job. It's an interesting workplace...but...

It's in Houston.

My inner careerist says GO FOR IT!

The rest of me isn't so sure.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pulling a J.P. Morgan...

In April of 1912, J.P. Morgan took industrialist Henry Clay Frick's place on the Titanic's roster. Between the time he booked his space and the day of departure, he opted instead to stay in Europe and missed the sailing...and we know how that ended.

Well, it looks like Joe Girardi decided not to get on the Titanic as well.

Smart move.

Look up...

Got to see the ISS and Space Shuttle Atlantis fly over last night. Two bright moving spots of light in the sky. Pretty neat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Today in 1812...

The US declared war on Great Britain...again.

Yup, today is the day the War of 1812 started, the war that gets the short shrift in any and all public school history classes for two reasons:

1. Stuck between American Revolution and the Civil War, two popular wars for historians and students.

2. We damn near lost it.

The War of 1812 was our first ill-advised war. Granted the reasons were more compelling than the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. US Citizens were being impressed into the service of the British Navy, we couldn't trade with anyone in Europe without ticking off France (The Continental System) or Britain. I think it was finally at a point where the US had to say "Dammit! You all are being unreasonable! Dude, Britain, c' are being so uncool about us trading with the French and the Dutch. Fine, be that way, we're declaring war."

Now, granted if your reasons are sound, such as a naval base in Hawaii being attacked by surprise or insurgents fire upon a US Fort in Charleston Harbor after declaring themselves independent just so they could keep owning slaves, or trying to protect your rights in the face of two superpowers who are fighting each other, then ok I can give any country the benefit of the doubt on the wisdom of declaring war...but seriously we picked Britain?

The British Empire, the largest navy in the world at the time full of seasoned admirals and captains who had fought and learned their trade under Nelson? A British Army full of seasoned combat veterans who fought against the French? Are you bloody daft? Seriously why didn't we opt for France? Hell we could have beaten France. We could have told the English, "Dude, we have guns and ships. Give us 3 weeks and we'll have some people over to help." But noooooo. Jimmy Madison and the Congress picked Britain. That's a slam dunk there fellas.

What do we get:
The humiliating and sad defeat of the USS Chesapeake to the HMS Shannon in the Chesapeake Bay. :-( Booo.

USS Constitution capturing HMS Java. :-) Yay!

DC Burned in 1814 after a stunningly bad defense. The sitting Secretary of War...SITTING SECRETARY OF WAR...didn't believe the Brits would attack DC. Something he believed right up until the Battle of Bladensburg. We lost the entire Library of Congress in that fire!!! Fortunately for us Thomas Jefferson had a library of books and he needed to sell them to pay off some debts and hey...we needed a library! Two great tastes that go great together.

Another failed invasion of Canada. This makes the US 0-fer against Canadians.

A National Anthem. Okay not too shabby and it got Baltimore some everlasting press in the History books. I'll take that.

Andrew Jackson. Well I disagree with his Trail of Tears policy but his "If South Carolina even THINKS about leaving the US I will personally lead the army down there to kick your asses." policy speaks to me. If he hadn't won at New Orleans I don't think that threat would have carried the same weight. Also if you have a chance to see a movie called "The Buccaneer" see the 1950's version with Charlton Heston as Andrew Jackson. PERFECT CASTING! There's a scene where he comes in a room and basically yells, "What the hell is going on here!?!?!?" and I could see Jackson doing that.

The Treaty of Ghent. The only time Ghent ever gets any press in public school history. Sorry Ghent. Be glad you have this.

There are many more battles in here but these are the ones that stick out to me or are easiest to use for a cheap laugh in a blog. All in all we could have gotten away with not fighting this war, but it did tell the Brits that they couldn't keep pushing us around anymore. Americans can be a lot of trouble. Just ask Tony Blair.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blog name change...

Okay, I'm here at work and I just had this moment of inspiration.

What do you think about this for a new Blog Title:

"The Abe Frohman Memorial Blog: A Tribute to the Sausage King of Chicago"


Adieu Mr. Wizard...

Don Herbert aka Mr. Wizard has passed on to that great science demonstration show set in the sky...

Mr. Wizard was one of the great benefits of going to the beach house the extended family stayed in at Ocean Pines, MD. It had cable, and it had Nickelodeon and Nickelodeon had Mr. Wizard. And Mr. Wizard was a neat show for your average ten year old science geek. At home I had to make do with Newton's Apple. That itself was a good show, but it didn't have the gravitas that Mr. Wizard had.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June 6, 1944...


Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is will trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I know, I know...

I haven't been posting. It's because I was trapped in an alternate universe where Wacky Neighbor had a fu manchu, we were winding down the second term of the Gore administration, gas was cheap. I tell ya, it was crazy.

Work has been pretty wild over the past two weeks, lots of OT. I'm starting to get burned out. I've also got a rush project for the Historical Society and it's finals week at Drexel's ischool. yay.

I'll be back posting as soon as I have something to say that's interesting.