Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 -- December 31, 2013

This year I decided to increase the number of posts about early movies. In order to make more room for them, I started doing more than one post per day on many days.  I aimed for an average of 40 posts a month.  In August, I raised the average to 44 a month so I could reach 500 by the end of the year.  In early December, I made my 2000th post on this blog.  This is my 500th post of 2013 and my 2040th overall.

The Giants had to rally to finish in third place.  Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter and Yusmeiro Petit almost threw a perfect game.  Barry Zito finished his career with the Giants.  Hunter Pence won the 2013 Willie McCovey Award.  The Giants resigned Pence and Lincecum. 

The rebellion in Syria drags on.  The people suffer, especially the children.  At least the Syrian government has given up its chemical weapons. 

 In January, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Stan Musial, Harry Carey, Jr and Huell Howser died.  I started new monthly series with photos of movie stars Clara Bow, Bessie Love and Tom Mix.  I started another series of Sherlock Holmes movie ads.  Barry Bonds did not get elected to the Hall of Fame.  Inauguration day fell on King Day, so I was able to watch the ceremony.

In February, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would retire at the end of the month.  The San Francisco 49ers came close, but did not win the Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens.   I started a new series of photos of posters called The City on Film.  Grand Central Terminal celebrated its 100th birthday. 

In March, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires became Pope Francis.  That is an excellent name.  I attended the third annual San Francisco History Expo at the Old Mint.  I won a prize in the raffle.  We celebrated John Garfield's 100th birthday.  I wrote about Robert K Massie's Castles of Steel, the sequel to his excellent history Dreadnaught.  Patty Andrews and Donald Byrd died.  I started a new monthly series of movie theater photos.  I enjoyed watching the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which was won by the Dominican Republic.We implemented a huge project at work. 

In April our little cat Mittens died.  I miss her.

Also in April, two terrorists left bombs at the Boston Marathon.  A fertilizer plant in Texas blew up and killed many people. 

We took our first drive through the new Devil's Slide Bypass Tunnel. 

I started a new monthly series of photos of historical markers.  My San Francisco history tour was an item in two auctions.

In April and May I did a series of posts on different movie versions of The Great Gatsby, leading up to the release of the latest version.

In May I participated in a blogathon for Peter Cushing's 100th birthday.  I made four contributions, based on the concept of Degrees of Separation.

In June the Save the Redwoods League put up the money to repair the collapsed tunnel on the California Western Railroad, which allowed the Skunk Train to resume full service and rescued the Mendocino County economy, which had been suffering.

In June, the Supreme Court issued several important opinions.  They gutted the Voting Rights Act, striking down the rules which said what states/counties had to comply.   Several southern states immediately moved to limit voting rights of minorities.  The Supreme Court also ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and that the challenge to the overturning of California Proposition 8 had no standing.  Same-sex marriages resumed as soon as the appeals court lifted the stay.

In July, BART workers went on strike.  BART management was unwilling to negotiate.  The workers went back for 30 days, and BART's chief negotiator went on vacation.  Obviously BART was trying to break the union and not negotiating seriously.

Also in July, a Korean 777 crashed at SFO.  Two passengers died right away and one after some time in the hospital. Our Disneyland vacation got interrupted by illness back home.  It turned out to be less serious than it could have been, but I'm glad we went home. 

In August, I did some research posts on  Harry Langdon's last silent feature, Heart Trouble.  Elon Musk announced his idea for the Hyperloop.  The Wells Fargo History Museum in San Francisco closed for refurbishment.

In August and September, a huge fire burned around Yosemite.  It took weeks just to contain it.

In September, I took part in a blogathon celebrating the Gish Sisters' 101st anniversary in movies.  I posted three articles, using lots of magazine and newspaper items.  During the America's Cup races, I posted some newspaper articles about earlier contests.

In October nihilists in the Tea Party shut down the government of the United States and threatened to force the country to default on its debt.  President Obama stood firm and remembered the words of Ronald Reagan: "We do not negotiate with terrorists."  The Affordable Care Act rolled out despite Republican efforts to torpedo it.  There were problems with the national website, but there was a huge demand from people who wanted to enroll.  BART workers went on strike again because management refused to negotiate seriously.  The death of two workers killed by a train operated by a trainee sobered them up.

In November, my home desktop died.  That was inconvenient.   The BART board announced that they had not read the contract that they had signed, and they repudiated a clause pertaining to family leave.  This is a fine example of arrogance and incompetence. 

In November, the Obama administration negotiated a deal with Iran to stop their nuclear program for six months while a final deal was worked out.  The Republicans called him Chamberlin and Hitler.  Some Republicans said he did it just to distract from Obamacare.  John Bolton, chickenhawk and former UN ambassador, said we should bomb Iran anyway. 

I participated in a blogathon dedicated to Lon Chaney and his son, Creighton, who later became known as Lon Chaney, Jr. 

At the end of November, we adopted a new kitten. 

In December, Nelson Mandela died.  The excavation for the Central Subway passed under Market Street.  The 49ers played the last regular season game at Candlestick Park.  Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine died.  The government of the UK pardoned Alan Turing.  We had a harsh cold snap and no rain.  The Boy Scouts of America will allow young men who are gay to join, but will still ban gay leaders.  It's a start, I guess. 

I see I didn't write anything about the growing conflict between people who have lived in neighborhoods like the Mission for a while and Silicon Valley tech workers who have been moving in.  Google and other companies send private buses to bring them to work.  These have been regarded as a symbol of working people being pushed out of San Francisco.  There have been protests and attempts to block the buses. 

After thinking about it for more than one year, I have decided to launch a new movies-mostly blog, The Big V Riot Squad, which will premiere on 01-January-2014.  Most of the movie items I do on this blog will move there. 

The image shows actresses Thelma White, who appeared in many movies including Reefer Madness and Dorothy Lee, who appeared in most of the movies of Wheeler and Woolsey. It comes from the wonderful site LucyWho (http://www.lucywho.com/).

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