Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get In Line With the Big Steam Calliope -- December 31, 2008

2008 has been an exciting year. Obama won. The economy lost. The two wars go on.

Freddie Hubbard died. VSOP. Very cool.

This is my 300th post, 200th for the year. This was not coincidental. I noticed that I got up to 100 at the end of last year. I figured that 50 a quarter would get me 200 for this year. Then I figured that if I posted on every odd-numbered day, plus one other day most months, that I would get to 50 a quarter. For 2009, I probably won't be so rigid.

Thanks to all the people who have commented on this blog.

From the 31-December-1908 San Francisco Call.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Get All You Can For Your Money Without Risk -- December 29, 2008

An ad from the 29-December-1908 San Francisco Call tells people they can invest their money without risk in the Ocean Shore Railway. It didn't quite work out that way.
Ann Savage died. Detour. Great movie.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Giants Wall of Fame #3 -- December 27, 2008

In September, 2008 the Giants unveiled their Wall of Fame along the King Street side of the ballpark. The second set of plaques in the series honors pitcher Bobby Bolin, who I do not remember, pitcher Mike McCormick, who was the only Giant to win the Cy Young award before Tim Lincecum, wonderful third baseman Jimmy Davenport, and tough catcher Dick "The Mule" Dietz. Davenport was not much of a hitter, but he was a great fielder. I was sad that things didn't go better when he became manager in 1985.

I took the photo on 29-September-2008.
I was going to skip doing this posting in December, but KCBS radio announced this morning that the Giants had signed Randy Johnson. That is going to be difficult, like when they signed Orel Hershiser. They will repeatedly show the fight in Houston where Johnson wound up putting on a Giants hat.
Today we went to the Depot Cafe in San Carlos, in the Caltrain Station, with a high school friend of my wife and her husband. The food was good. The room was full of photos and models of trains. I had a good time. After we drove to Half Moon Bay and had a walk along Main Street.
Good Shepherd recently received the old organ from Saint Peter's. The pianist was playing it a bit before mass. It sounded good.

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #18 - December 26, 2008

My wife took this on Christmas Day after we opened the presents. All rights reserved.
I'm really enjoying the phonograph/cd player/cassette player/am-fm radio. My daughter got me an Arcadia book about SF State.
Everyone came to our house. It was crowded but nice. Very cold outside.
Today there were three passengers on the northbound bus. Not many people in the office. I came home early.
Eartha Kitt died. "Santa Baby" is a favorite with the family.
Harold Pinter (pause) died. Perhaps I am just a Philistine, but I have never gotten much out of his work.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas #2 -- December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, everyone. Peace on Earth and goodwill to men (women, and children).
The image is from the 25-December-1908 San Francisco Call.
We went to 5 o'clock mass. I received a new turntable so I can listen to my records again. It was too big to wrap and/or hide.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Signs of the Times #24 -- December 23, 2008

I walked by the ballpark yesterday after I went to Borders and saw this sign. Good job, Timmy.
It rained some yesterday. Not today.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Panoramic View of the Panama-Pacific Exposition -- December 21, 2008

KQED is repeating the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker, taped this season. It is set in San Francisco during the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. We enjoyed it more than the last time we went in person. I find it interesting that the postcard is tinted only in the area of the Exposition.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Radio Site #1 -- December 19, 2008

The San Francisco Radio City building at O'Farrell and Taylor was built for NBC (the National Broadcasting Company) in 1942. Stations KPO (NBC Red Network, later KNBC, now KNBR) and KGO (NBC Blue Network) were housed there. NBC sold the Blue Network, which became the basis of ABC (the American Broadcasting Company) in 1943. KGO continued to use Radio City until 1954. KNBR moved out in 1967. The building was later used for many years by a UHF television station, KBHK, Channel 44.

I took the photo of the CJ Fitzgerald mural in July, 2002.

Radio history from John Schneider's wonderful site Voices Out of the Fog:

The family joined me downtown after work. We went to the Cheesecake Factory at Macy's for supper. The lady in the ground floor lobby said it would be 35-40 minutes for three people. We went upstairs and found the lobby jammed with people. We put in our name and the guy at the desk said to come back in 20 minutes and get a pager. It took another 25 minutes. Then we got a table outside on the balcony. Despite the heaters, it was very cold. The food was good and the lights were beautiful. We had a nice time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cold and Clear -- December 17, 2008

The outside temperature gauge in the car said it was 38F when I got in this morning. It said 34 when I got to the beach. A former co-worker insists that the gauges in that model are always 3 degrees high. I might be happier if I didn't have the gauge.
When I got to work, the newly installed monitor in the elevator said it was 41.
On the other hand, it was very clear. I took the photo this morning.
I've been meaning to look at the blog statistics and see what searches are finding this site. Here are some recent ones:
1. air filled viscus melie (!?)
2. douglas tilden Admission Day
3. qfm key west
4. locomobile automobile
5. mutoscope (two times)
6. houdini movies
7. red-devil horseless van (!?)
8. san francisco midwinter fair
9. midwinter fair + de young
10. funicular restaurant california haft moon bay
11. barney oldfield (two times)
12. train bridge photos by gutekunst
13. the karno troup
14. ball track sphere art rail
15. hannibal boek 2008
16. midwinterfair foto,s 2008
17. midwinterfair 2008 photo
I find that with the image searches I can tell what image they found, but not the criteria they may have entered to find it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold and Wet -- December 15, 2008

It rained yesterday and today and was very cold. There was hail in the afternoon. I took this photo today in the Park and Ride lot.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Tree Hunting #2 -- December 13, 2008

Today we drove to Half Moon Bay to cut our Christmas tree at Santa's Tree Farm. It was very cold and it rained a bit while we drove back. The lady who took our money said business was good this year.
The pink candle was lit on the Advent wreath.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Smart Meter - December 12, 2008

PG&E left a hanger on our door yesterday saying that they had installed a Smart Meter. It listed the many benefits of the Smart Meter but did not mention time of day pricing.

The weather is very cold. It could rain.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reminiscences of an Active Life #11 -- December 9, 2008

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde was born in Nymegen, Holland in 1813. He went on to live a remarkable life of achievement in the sciences and the arts. He died in America in 1895.

While serving as editor of Manufacturer and Builder Magazine, he wrote many articles, including the ones which gave this blog its name. In 1893 and 1894, he published a 23-part (!) memoir in the same periodical. Here is the eleventh part. He continues to discuss his training in theology. Some of his statements on the Bible would be controversial in fundamentalist circles today.

The image comes from the first installment, in the February, 1893 issue.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Part Ten

Reminiscences of an Active Life.


From Manufacturer and Builder, Volume 25, Issue 12, December 1893

(Continued from page 249.)

6th. Career as a Theological Student. -- Previous to the events relating to the conflict of orthodoxy vs. progress, described in the last number of the MANUFACTURER AND BUILDER, I had passed, at the age of nineteen, an examination in the presence of the elders and deacons of the Netherlands Reformed Church, to which my ancestors had belonged for more than three hundred years, and I was, as a result of this examination, in company with about one hundred other young men and women, confirmed as a member of that confession. This ceremony took place in the large cathedral of my native town, Nymegen, with the customary solemnity.

Persistent Bible-reading was, on that occasion,very urgently recommended to us, and I made up my mind to read every morning a few chapters, so as finally to succeed in reading the whole book, and I commenced the task with the best intentions. As I had come to the conviction that reason is the most precious gift of God to man, which distinguishes him from the brute, I considered it a sin not to use it, and believed it a duty to apply it to the fullest extent; therefore I never read mechanically while thinking of something else, like some who say their prayers by rote; but when I reached chapters about which I had been catechised and understood, I went on to the next; also, when I found chapters which were irrelevant, or which I could not understand, and especially when they were decidedly indecent, such asI found in Ezekiel, I took the liberty of passing them by. In this way I became in a very few years acquainted with the whole Bible, to the great delight of my orthodox, pious aunt, who preferred that I should often read in the old family Bible, in great folio, with brass clasps, and explanatory notes in smaller type on the margin. I found that she was right, as these notes were often of great benefit; however, they were also an impediment to the prosperous achievement of the great task.

All this reading was done in the language of Holland, but the polyglot Bible was not neglected, especially for practice in the Latin text, which induced me to try my hand at translating from the old Roman authors who had attracted me by reason of their piety in regard to their pagan gods,and made a strong impression upon me, because it required nothing else than to substitute the monotheism of the Jews for the polytheism of the Romans to make the expressions very acceptable to every thinking being. One of them was that found in Marci Antonini "De Rebus Divinis Liber XII., v. 28." It begins thus: "Interrogantibus ubi Deos Conspicatus, etc." I will give only the translation of the sentence in full:

"If you are asked where the gods are to be seen, and how you know that they exist, and why you do them reverence, you answer that the gods are visible; that the wonderful results of their power, which you experience every day, prove to you that they exist, and compel you to do them honor, bow down before them, and adore them."

I found other passages similar to this, and also details regarding the development of the state of things which we see around us, in "Lucretius Carus; De Rerum Natura" (On the Nature of Things). I commenced to translate his introduction, and found that his explanation of the manner how nature came into the condition in which we see it, was based on gravitation, by which he explained how this divine power caused the heaviest things to collect low down; and the lighter things, such as water, above the bottom of the sea, and the lighter the air and vapors above the water; and the lightest, the fiery stars and all heavenly bodies to ascend to the firmament.

It was at that time unknown that the earth was a globe floating in space; the planetary system of Copernicus had not yet been discovered, but the earth was supposed to be flat, and at the bottom of the universe.

Intelligent Bible-reading makes it evident that the writers of the Bible in this respect knew no more than their pagan brethren; while their childish account of the creation of the world compares by no means favorably with that of the pagan writer, who attributes it to the laws working by the divine force of gravitation which pervades all matter.

No divine inspiration is claimed for this pagan writer, as is the case with the Bible of the Jews, which, in fact, is only a reflex of the erroneous notions of the writers, whoever they were. (One thing is certain at present, namely, that Moses never wrote the books attributed to him). When I compared these passages from the Roman author with my daily Bible-reading, it was clear that those of the Roman philosopher were far in advance of the understanding of the writers of the various parts of the Bible, for which divine inspiration is claimed.

If this claim were correct, these writings should be in unison with the progress of man's increasing knowledge; they should foreshadow the great truths discovered by astronomy and geology; but in place of this they offer only the erroneous notions of early ages, invented during the infancy of human knowledge, and do not reveal the higher truths which the pagan writer Lucretius Carus so forcibly brings forward.

(To be continued).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Visitors -- December 7, 2008

Yesterday family visited from out of town. We went to the Cliff House for breakfast/lunch. I think this is the first time I have eaten there since the remodeling. We were upstairs. The food was good. It was windy and cold outside.

We took two young ones downtown. They enjoyed looking at the painted Victorians in the Western Addition. Fifth and Mission was very crowded, but we found a space. We went across the street to the San Francisco Center. Under the Emporium dome, we told them about the Roof Rides. Then we walked up Powell. They were interested in the guy with the "Jesus Saves" signs and the other guy who preaches with the loudspeaker. We watched a cable car turn around.

We looked at the animals in the windows at Macys. We went in and looked at the Christmas stuff on the first floor. Then we visited the FAO Schwarz stuff on five.
We went to Union Square and took a photo with a guy dressed as the Grinch, then went to See's Candy.

Everyone got together for dinner at the Outback Steak House near Serramonte.

I was sad to read that Forrest J Ackerman, creator of Famous Monsters of Filmland

had passed away. I enjoyed reading it when I was in grammar school.

Pacquiao beat De La Hoya. The pay-per-view people are probably very unhappy.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Firehouse #14 -- December 5, 2008

Station One, on Howard near Third, decorated for Christmas. I took the photo today.
At lunchtime I walked over to the Wells Fargo History Museum to see the current exhibit and do some Christmas shopping. The exhibit was about fighting crime. There was a nice display on Black Bart.
The Giants have signed Edgar Renteria. Good idea, I say.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Train Station #5 -- December 3, 2008

The Northwestern Pacific/California Western Railroad's Willits depot, built out of redwood in 1915. We stopped by on our way back from a ride on the Skunk Train in 2006.
Today I saw New Orleans 952 decorated for Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aviator's Wife, Sitting in a Biplane -- December 1, 2008

"Portrait of Mrs. James. C. Mars, aviator's wife, sitting in a biplane on Grant Park aviation field in Chicago, Illinois, during an aviation meet held between August 12 and 20, 1911."

James C (Bud) Mars was a pioneering aviator who lived until 1944. No one seems to know Mrs Mars' first name. He made demonstration flights in Asia in 1911.

The photo comes from the Library of Congress' wonderful American Memory site ( n057651, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

California Academy of Science -- November 29, 2008

Today we went to see the new home of the California Academy of Science. We drove to the park and found a space by Stow Lake. We walked down and found lots and lots of autos. There were long lines out in front, including one slightly shorter for the members. While we waited, an announcement said that they had stopped selling tickets for the day and that only people who had bought tickets online or members could get in.
It was too crowded. My wife pointed out that the structure was poorly laid out. The two big domes, for the rain forest and the planetarium, took up too much space. The penguins are now in the African Hall (they preserved or reproduced the old roof), but there are no bleachers to watch them. We couldn't get downstairs to reach the acquarium. We found stairs and went up to the roof. The view was nice.
I took the photo today.
We went to Target in Serramonte and did some shopping. Also crowded.
The Advent wreath was up at mass.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving #2 -- November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I'm grateful for health and life and the recent election results.

The photograph shows Barbara Kent, who is one of few surviving people who acted in silent films as adults. Thank you to Amy at It'll Take the Snap Out of Your Garters (

There have been many stories about the anniversary of the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk. People don't pay enough attention to George Moscone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #17 - November 25, 2008

I took this on 11-November-2008.
It was very cold yesterday and today. There weren't big lines for the auto show.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

San Francisco Walking Tour #2 -- November 23, 2008

Yesterday was sunny and cold. We did another walking tour for people who bid on me for the community support campaign. This year's winner wanted to hear about the Barbary Coast and crime, so we went from the Ferry Building around to Mission and Steuart, then up Market to Drumm, then over on Drumm to Pacific and Front, where I talked about Shanghai Kelly and the crimping business. Then we went over to Jackson Square and back over to Pacific to look at the Hippodrome. Then Portsmouth Square and south on Grant Avenue. We had lunch at the Irish Bank.
As we drove home from my mom's tonight we saw that some people had put up Christmas lights and trees. Far too early.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Midwinter Fair #2 -- November 19, 2008

Another postcard from the 1893 Midwinter Fair, showing the Administration Building and the Fine Arts Museum, the original De Young Museum.

If you are interested in expositions, I can highly recommend KenBlog (, which is "devoted to World's Fairs & Expositions, and other historical & contemporary subjects." It started just this month with several postings on the Midwinter Fair.

I'm having trouble figuring out what to think about the bailout that the auto manufacturers want. Is it throwing good money after bad? If we let them go bankrupt and reorganize, who will buy their cars?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Peace In Our Time -- November 17, 2008

Today I went out at lunchtime to buy my Christmas cards. On my way there, I noticed some sidewalk art in front of the Museum of the African Diaspora. I liked this one, "Peace in our time." I walked right by here on Saturday and didn't notice it. I saw people walking down the sidewalk on top of the art. When some of them noticed me looking at it, they stepped off of the art.
It was warm again yesterday and today. Way too hot last night.
SI beat Sacred Heart the other day to win the Bruce-Mahoney again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Giants Wall of Fame #2 -- November 15, 2008

In September, 2008 the Giants unveiled their Wall of Fame along the King Street side of the ballpark. The first set of plaques in the series honors early San Francisco Giants pitcher Stu Miller, slugger Orlando Cepeda, outfielder and later manager Felipe Alou and catcher and later manager Tom Haller.

I took the photo on 29-September-2008.
It was warm and sunny today. We went downtown and saw the California Historical Society's current exhibit: "California Presidential: Candidates and Campaigns from the Golden State." I liked the set of signs explaining their criteria for including or not including candidates. Adlai Stevenson was not included since he was born here, but didn't reside here. A giant poster of Herbert Hoover was scary.
We walked over to Market to go to Macys, but found the anti Proposition 8 rally was making the turn from Market to Stockton. Where were all these people before the election? There were a lot of anti-religion signs.
We stopped at Old Navy then went home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Train Station #4 -- November 13, 2008

The California Western Railroad's Fort Bragg depot. We rode a steam-powered train from there in 2006.
Yesterday they were setting up the Christmas tree and skating rink in Union Square.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans' Day #2 -- November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans out there. Thank you for your service to our country.
This is the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day. France moved its ceremony to Verdun. France and Germany lost their last vets this year. Britain has three or four left. We have one.
Tim Lincecum won the National League Cy Young Award. He is only the second Giant to win it. Wow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

California State Railroad Museum -- November 9, 2008

Yesterday we took a drive up to Sacramento. Traffic was light except around Vacaville. It was cloudy all the way. We visited the California State Railroad Museum. There was not a big crowd. There was a nice exhibit of photographs taken around the Nevada Northern. The museum people appear to have finished the latest round of rearranging the exhibits. We went under the freeway and had lunch at Panda Express in the mall. Then the family went shopping. It started to rain lightly. After we went back to Old Sacramento and walked around a bit. Traffic was light on the way back except around Berkeley.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reminiscences of an Active Life #10 -- November 7, 2008

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde was born in Nymegen, Holland in 1813. He went on to live a remarkable life of achievement in the sciences and the arts. He died in America in 1895.

While serving as editor of Manufacturer and Builder Magazine, he wrote many articles, including the ones which gave this blog its name. In 1893 and 1894, he published a 23-part (!) memoir in the same periodical. Here is the tenth part. He continues to discuss theology.

Henry Ward Beecher was a prominent clergyman and social reformer in Brooklyn, NY. I took a creative writing class from a relative of his, John Beecher. He had just been reinstated in 1977 after being blacklisted in the 1950s for refusing to sign a loyalty oath.

Herbert Spencer was a British philosopher who came up with the idea of Social Darwinism.

When he describes "Rev. P. H. Scholten", I wonder if he means Hendrik Pieter (H. P.) Scholte, who founded Pella, Iowa, and doesn't sound like as bad a guy as the Doctor describes. Holland, Michigan was founded by Doctor Albertus van Raalte.

The image comes from Manufacturer and Builder Volume 4, Issue 10, October 1872, page 233.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Reminiscences of an Active Life.


From Manufacturer and Builder, Volume 25, Issue 11, November 1893

(Continued from page 559.)

6th. Career as a Theological Student. -- The locality where I was a witness of the conflict between ultra-orthodoxy and progress, was the city of Heusden, ten miles west of the capital of North Brabaud, s'Hertozenbosch, where, as was mentioned in the February number, I gave my first extempore lecture on acoustics. This city contains the largest and finest cathedral in the Netherlands, in regard to which possessors of the back volumes of the MANUFACTURER AND BUILDER may see a fine engraving and description on page 232, October number for 1872. This structure, in point of size, is inferior to the colossal cathedral of Cologne, but the beauty and symmetry of its design is considered by experts to be far superior as a specimen of the purest Gothic style.

In the city of Heusden is also a very old cathedral of smaller size, of which, in 1832, I was appointed organist according to the rule prevailing in Holland, which prescribes a comparative examination by experts. There were some twenty candidates, each of whom had to perform the same prescribed numbers of a programme. The examiners did not know who was playing, neither had the candidates a chance to hear one another. Soon after this appointment I was also the leader of an orchestra, and began then and there my career as a musician, to which in the future I will also devote a few articles.

The preacher of this cathedral, the Rev. Pape, was almost as influential a man in the smaller circle of the surrounding cities and villages (all densely populated) as was Henry Ward Beecher in the wider circle of Brooklyn and New York. He was one of the most enlightened and eloquent preachers, and belonged to that party wbich did its utmost to keep the Reformed Church at the level of the progress continually made in natural sciences, to which party also belonged the leading clergymen of the large cities, as well as the professors of the universities and the heads of the Department of Public Worship, from the treasury of which all the salaries were paid.

It must be stated here that only those denominations partake of the government salaries which existed when the kingdom of Holland, with its old republican local laws, was established on the ruins of the fallen Napoleonic empire, by which the church property had been confiscated and transferred to tbe new independent government established in 1815.

It is evident that such a system tends to prevent the formation of new sects, based on notions about things which Herbert Spencer has so properly specified as belonging to the unknowable. Therefore they have in Holland no Unitarians or Universalists as separate sects, but thousands of church members believe in these doctrines without separating themselves from the Church in which they were born, and which they will not leave, because it tends to reform itself in accordance with the advancement of human knowledge.

Here we have arrived at the cause of the schism referred to before. In the vicinity of the city of Heusden was a small village, of which I have forgotten the name, but not that of its preacher, P. H. Scholten, who found that many of the inhabitants were ultra-orthodox, which means that they liked to hear sermons about eternal damnation in a hell of fire and brimstone, where all would go who did not believe exactly as they did. They preferred, also, to sing only David's divinely inspired psalms, as their fathers did, and not the new-fangled hymns, which they considered in conflict with the Bible, as there was one line in them which mentioned God as the creator of a thousand suns, while the Bible mentioned only one sun. Therefore the Rev. P. H. Scholten never gave out hymns to be sung, but only the psalms as inspired by God to King David, who they considered as a very pure and holy man, notwithstanding the Bible states the very reverse of this.

When the hymns were first introduced (after having been selected by a committee, discussed, and approved by three different synods, first in Zwoll, in 1797; then in Gorcum, in 1798; and in Leyden, 1801), there was some opposition, wherefore the classis, which is a church government, decided that every preacher should give out at least one hymn to be sung at every service. They all obeyed, and hymns and psalms were sung by the congregations, until Dominie Scholten (as they call their preachers there) refused, and made himself conspicuous by omitting the hymns. It gave him great popularity, and farmers with their families came from considerable distances to attend the services where uninspired hymns were not sung, but only the psalms of the holy David, while in addition they were edified with liberal doses of damnation for their enemies, in which Dominie Scholten only followed David's example, as is proved by the very psalms which David wrote.

As the classis had not the power to suspend the preacher for his doctrines, that body had to confine itself to his disobedience of the order of his superiors to give out hymns. Therefore he was discharged, salary stopped, and another preacher appointed in his place. Then one of the farmers offered him his large barn to preach in. This offer he accepted, and the schism was completed; the ultra-orthodox came to the barn; they were in the majority, while the newly-appointed preacher had a congregation which was in the minority in regard to numbers.

Dominie Scholten, however, saw soon tbat his influence was merely local, and that he never would succeed in making his orthodoxy spread. He saw that the intelligent over the whole land were satisfied with the hymns, and despised any retrograde steps from the road of progress which thus far had been wisely followed by the great body of Protestants; therefore Dominie Scholten, considering the hold he had upon his followers, commenced preaching about emigration to the United States, where there was freedom, and no supervision of the classis or other church authorities. It was said that Dominie Pape of the church where I was organist, favored the plan in order to get rid of a demagogue whose purpose was self-aggrandisement.

That this conclusion was correct, was proved when Scholten induced the farmers to sell out and give him the money so that he could go to the United States and buy land for them. This was done, and he selected good land in Michigan, where afterward the emigrants followed him, and established the town of Holland on the land he had purchased, and distributed among them according to the amount of money they had invested.

If they expected that they could now hear his sermons on the old faith of a heaven of bliss for the elect and a hell for the damned, they were disappointed, as he soon found out that there are more profitable kinds of business than preaching; he became a land agent, and as such is well known in the West. He is well off now, and it is said that he has given up preaching orthodox sermons.

(To be continued.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Firehouse #13 -- November 5, 2008

Station 10 is on Presidio Avenue near California Street. The San Francisco Fire Department Museum is at the left. I took the photo on 18-August-2008.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day -- November 4, 2008

Senator Obama has won. I pray for him to succeed. Senator McKane made a gracious concession speech.
I caught the first bus home. I had to park way up the street from the polling place. The gym at the school had a lot of people in it, with long lines at some of the precinct tables. There were no voters at my precinct. I was happy to see that two of the workers were young people. They said they were very busy today. I used the electronic machine again.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Almost There -- November 3, 2008

People keep saying they wish the election would be over. I'd like that, too, but I hope the Republicans don't steal it this time. Senator Obama's grandmother died today. I'm sorry she didn't live to see the results. I understand the California State Republicans chose today to file a complaint to FEC about his recent trip to visit her. Shameless. It rained hard in the afternoon. Traffic was horrible on the way home. The driver called the dispatcher to tell him we were tied up on the 280 Extension. John Fell died. I took a film class from him at SF State. I saw many movies, like "The Adventures of Dollie," for the first time.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eugene Ely -- November 1, 2008

On 18-January-1911 Eugene Ely, a Curtiss pilot, took off from Tanforan race track and landed on a temporary deck built on the cruiser Pennsylvania. This was the first time an airplane landed on a ship. On 14-November-1910, Ely had taken off from a temporary deck built on the cruiser Birmingham at Hampton Roads, Virginia. Ely's two pioneering flights were a step towards the development of the aircraft carrier. Ely died in a crash later in 1911.

I took the photo on 11-October-2008 at Tanforan.

It rained hard today and the wind blew heavily at times.

The ad hominem attacks on Senator Obama are getting worse.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween #2 -- October 31, 2008

I took this photo of the Museum of Modern Art and the Pacific Bell Building this morning. It rained yesterday and there was a strong wind last night. We had a little bit of rain today.

Not many kids came for candy.
Studs Terkel died. Good writer. Good guy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

KFRC -- October 29, 2008

KFRC has really been gone for a while -- it moved away from 610 AM in 2005, iirc -- and I haven't listened to it much for many years, but I was sad to hear that call letters disappeared Monday morning. I listened to KFRC a lot when I was in grammar school and the first couple of years of high school. Disco drove me away.

KFRC started broadcasting on 24-September-1924 as the official station of the San Francisco Bulletin. I remember when they celebrated their 50th anniversary. After the Bulletin, the station was owned by the City of Paris, then became the foundation of the Don Lee Network. It was the home of the famous "Blue Monday Jamboree".

The Phillies and Tampa have finished game five after a two-day rain delay. Philadelphia won.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #16 - October 27, 2008

A rare shot of the cat awake, hoping to share in our chicken. Taken on 06-October-2008.

The Phillies won an exciting game last night. They are ahead tonight, but it is raining.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Good Shepherd Fall Festival -- October 25, 2008

This weekend Good Shepherd School has been having its Fall Festival. Last night they had a nice blues band. It was a beautiful evening, but it got cool later on. Today it was warm and sunny. Attendance was good. We helped some kids prepare for a big trivia contest that will be held Monday at Junipero Serra High School.
I took the photo last night at Good Shepherd.
Merl Saunders died. He came to Good Shepherd and played for my daughter's class. His grandson was a classmate. Nice man.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coming Soon -- October 23, 2008

This branch of Wachovia has been under construction for some time in the De Young Building at Market and Kearny. I wonder if it is going to open. The newspaper reported that Wachovia has lost many depositers.
The Phillies won the first game. Tampa is ahead tonight.
I wish the Republicans would stop calling Senator Obama a socialist. Real socialists must take offense. He's as much of a socialist as FDR was.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Locomobile Automobile Driven by George Robinson -- October 21, 2008

"Unidentified man reaching into a Locomobile automobile driven by George Robinson." I like the crew member's Locomobile sweater. The 1909 photo comes from the Library of Congress' wonderful American Memory site ( SDN-055642, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.
The Mortgage Bankers' Association was having a gathering at Moscone West. I didn't get to see any protests.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Giants Wall of Fame #1 -- October 19, 2008

In September, 2008 the Giants unveiled their Wall of Fame along the King Street side of the ballpark. A plaque like this, at each end, explains the project.
I took the photo on 29-September-2008.
Tampa Bay beat the Red Sox, who had come back from a 3-1 deficit. So it will be the Phillies and Tampa Bay in the World Serious.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else" -- October 17, 2008

So I was driving home from the park and ride yesterday and I heard an interesting story on NPR, about a Southern California Republican Women's group that had reproduced this image in its monthly newsletter. I had to look it up and see if the radio story was correct. The newsletter's introduction to the image read "Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on????? Food Stamps, what else!" When reporters asked the writer about this, she is quoted as saying it was "strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don't want to go into it any further. I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn't my attempt. I didn't see it the way that it's being taken. I never connected. It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else." I can see why she doesn't want to go into it any further. I worry that we're going to see more crap like this before the election.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Midwinter Fair -- October 15, 2008

In 1893 the American economy was suffering through a slump. Mike De Young of the San Francisco Chronicle was inspired by Chicago's Columbian Exposition to bring some of its exhibits to Golden Gate Park for a World's Fair. Today's De Young Museum and Japanese Tea Garden are descendants of fair exhibits.
Last night as the DX was pulling off of One onto Palmetto a fire truck went by with siren blaring on its way up Palmetto. As we waited to pull out of the first stop, a South San Francisco engine crossed the freeway on Manor and continued across towards the beach. As we tried to turn right from Manor onto Oceana, we heard a siren and saw paramedics go by and turn onto Manor. After I got off the bus and was driving up Linda Mar, another engine went by going towards the beach. I have not been able to find out what was happening.
Tonight the candidates had the last presidential debate. It was more active. Bob Schieffer tried hard to keep them on point. They argued about who was running a nastier campaign. I didn't see a knockout blow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Book: The War with Hannibal -- October 13, 2008

I finished reading the Penguin edition of Livy's The History of Rome from Its Foundation, Books XXI-XXX, which covers the Second Punic War. The only works of Titus Livius that I had read before were books I-V, which covered the history of Rome from its foundation to the sack by the Gauls. I noticed many differences in Roman customs. I don't remember a mention of sacrifices with "full grown victims" in I-V. I don't remember the practice of strewing the couches of the gods.
It's not Livy's fault, but there were far too many guys named Hasdrubal.
There has been a big fire on Angel Island. No historic buildings destroyed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Columbus Day #2 -- October 12, 2008

Tommy Lasorda was going to be grand marshal of the parade, but he had to be with the Dodgers, who had fallen behind the Phillies two games to none.
The Knights of Columbus were recruiting after mass. I'll have to sign up one of these years.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reminiscences of an Active Life #8 -- October 11, 2008

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde was born in Nymegen, Holland in 1813. He went on to live a remarkable life of achievement in the sciences and the arts. He died in America in 1895.

While serving as editor of Manufacturer and Builder Magazine, he wrote many articles, including the ones which gave this blog its name. In 1893 and 1894, he published a 23-part (!) memoir in the same periodical. Here is the eighth part. He begins to discuss his training in theology.

It was a popular theory in Europe that Hebrew was the first human language --
spoken by Adam and Eve. Evolution is still a hot topic.

I mistakenly rolled out the October installment in September, so this is the September installment.

The image comes from the first installment, in the February, 1893 issue.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Reminiscences of an Active Life.


From Manufacturer and Builder, Volume 25, Issue 9, September 1893

(Continued from page 186.)

6th. Career as a Theological Student. At the time of my boyhood there were in Holland no Sunday-schools, nor Sunday-school teachers. Religious instruction was given by the preachers themselves, who, on certain week days, instructed classes which met at the preachers' respective residences, or, in case this was not convenient, in or near their church. Frequently such instructionwas also given by catechisers, who were licensed after examination, and who were paid by the parents of the pupils.

Being an only son, I was taken regularly to the church by my mother, and attended the catechising classes at the residence of one of the preachers, where I received instruction in the fundamental principles of the Christian religion, and especially in Bible history, in which I took so much interest as to be always at the head of the class. However, a maiden aunt (my father's sister, to whom I have referred on page 33 of this journal) had her conscience disturbed by the idea that her only nephew did not receive enough instruction in thetheory of the orthodox Church, and that among the several private teachers who came to our house to instruct me in various languages and branches of knowledge, the most important of all -- religion was not represented; therefore she induced my father to engage a special catechiser in the person of an old maiden lady, for whose benefit an hour was interpolated between my other lessons, and who was especially charged by my aunt to give particular attention to my instruction in the 52 chapters of the Heidelberg catechism, and in the 72 articles of faith, as established by the National Synod of the United Netherlands, held in the city of Dortrecht in the years 1618 and 1619. She intended to do her utmost to have me prepared to become a preacher of the faith as set forth there, and in the defence of which our ancestors had so prominently distinguished themselves in the war with Roman Catholic Spain, and which resulted in the establishment of the Dutch Republic.

I went so successfully through this additional training, according to the report made by my teacher to my aunt, that, as a premium for my industry, she presented me with a polyglot Bible in large quarto, printed in four columns; the first was Hebrew, the second Greek, the third Latin,and the fourth German, according to the translation made by Martin Luther while he was imprisoned, apparently as a punishment for being a heretic, but, in fact, to protect him against the persecutions of fanatics.

I was then almost as familiar with the German and French as with my native tongue -- that of Holland -- and so this assisted me in understanding the Latin and Greek; the latter, however, I have now almost totally forgotten, except the letters, as these are frequently used in mathematical formulae, it kept them in my memory.

My father was in favor of learning first that which was first known by man. Thus, for instance, I had to learn geometry before algebra, because the former was earlier studied than the latter (Euclid 300 B. C., and Descartes 1660 A. D.,) a difference of almost twenty centuries.

In order to be consistent, he held, also, that I should study Hebrew first, as this was anterior to the other languages, the Old Testament having been originally written in Hebrew. So he engaged the son of a Rabbi to teach me Hebrew. The novelty of writing the other way -- from the right to the left -- amused me. The written Hebrew letters are very different from the printed letters, these being still more mutually unlike thanis the case with the printed and written German letters. I did not like the Hebrew much; it appeared to me to be a very poor language -- far inferior to the Latin, as well in the number of words at disposal, as in the force of expressing ideas, in which the Latin is superior to all others; that is, so far as I can judge. A peculiarity in writing and reading that language, is that the vowels are all placed above the consonants, like the accents in French, and that in some books these vowels, or accents, are omitted, so that one has to guess what word is intended. As this can only be successfully done after having attained an extensive knowledge of many words, it is a serious difficulty for beginners. If the Hebrew were as rich in words as the English, for instance, it would be a far more serious impediment than it is in Hebrew with its very limited vocabulary.

A peculiar event made my knowledge of Hebrew of great benefit to one of my cousins, who was a lawyer, and had been engaged in the prosecution of a Jew who was imprisoned for fraudulent practices. By order of the court, the correspondence to him and from him, in the interest of justice, had to be examined. To his great disappointment, my cousin found that it was written in Hebrew; but, remembering that I was studying that language, he brought the letters to me, when I found that it was simply German, written with Hebrew letters -- a very common practice among the German Jews, and the matter of translating them became an easy task.

The main impulse which induced my aunt to furnish me with extra religious instruction, was that among the leading clergymen a tendency was developing to abandon the Calvanistic orthodoxy and omit preaching St. Paul's doctrine of predestination; also avoiding references to the theory that God made man perfect, and that the first pair turned out to be a failure. On the contrary, some of the preachers went so far as to exhibit a tendency toward the doctrine of evolution, which was then already explained to the theological students in some leading universities. Once I told my aunt that my catechising preacher had said that the story of the snake seducing Eve was the result of an attempted explanation in words of very ancient hieroglyphs, symbols, or picture writings (thus, for instance, an ostrich feather was the symbol of truth, a snake the symbol of treachery, etc). Hearing this, my aunt grew indignant, and the result was the additional private teaching referred to above.

Besides the liberal opinions which commenced to take hold of many, the evolution theory began to prevail among the most advanced thinkers of Holland, while several books were published setting forth such doctrines long before Darwin published his book on The Origin of Species. This book, and other similar writings, found in Holland a more welcome reception than in any other country of Europe, and later meetings were held by those who fostered the same advanced views and a testimonial was gotten up, consisting of a beautifully-bound album containing the photographs of some hundreds of Darwin's admirers in Holland, with a letter thanking him for having given shape and a solid foundation to a doctrine they had fostered for many years, and which wanted only a master mind to be established as one of the turning points in the progress of human intelligence. There are, however, many in Holland, as well as in this country, who adhere to the orthodox doctrine of Calvin and do not want new-fangled notions regarding evolution and the improvement of our race, but say: Give us the old doctrine of a heaven of bliss for the elect, and eternal damnation for the rest -- a hell of fire and brimstone, with the devil as the chief actor. That's what we want, they say.

(To be continued.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Train Station #3 -- October 9, 2008

The Ocean Shore Railroad has been gone since 1921. The Tobin Station in Pedro Point is a private home.
I took the photo on 10-October-2007.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Culture Bus -- October 7, 2008

Muni's latest novelty is the 74X Culture Bus, a line that runs from Howard and New Montgomery to Golden Gate Park by way of Civic Center, connecting many of the museums in the city. I guess the biggest one they missed is the Legion of Honor. The seven dollar (!) fare allows one day of unlimited rides on the Culture Bus and other Muni lines except the cable cars.
I took the photo of bus at Howard and New Montgomery on 03-October-2008.

I'm sorry to see the presidential campaign descend into lies and name-calling. The Republicans must be really worried to claim that Senator Obama pals around with terrorists and to bring up his pastor again. I thought Senator McCain was going to behave with honor.

The town hall format of tonight's debate kept the presidential candidates more on track than the vice presidential candidates. I liked the last question: "What don't you know and how will you find out?" I didn't like Senator McCain calling Senator Obama "That one."

The stock market keeps falling.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Good Shepherd School 40th Anniversary -- October 5, 2008

Today at 12 noon mass we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Good Shepherd School and the memory of Father Jerry Dybdul. My wife organized the mass. She got very stressed, but it came out well. The readers, including my daughter, did a good job. The bit where kids brought up symbols of the school was nice. The singers were very good. I've always liked the guy who plays the flugelhorn. Unfortunately, the chimes fell to the floor during communion. My wife thought it may have been Father Jerry expressing his disapproval of a few details. I said it's nice he still takes an interest ;0)

After mass, we processed down to the school, where Father Piers and Deacon Ben blessed a new garden dedicated to Father Jerry and his parents. He donated the statue just before he died.

There was a reception in the gym with old school pictures and yearbooks. Two good cakes. Boards set up by different classes to say what they liked about the school.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was playing when we went to my mom's house, but I couldn't hear the music.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Firehouse #12 -- October 3, 2008

Station 14 is on 26th Avenue between Geary and Anza. This structure, built in the 1970s, iir, replaced a pre-1906 firehouse. I remember visiting that firehouse for a school field trip. The Vice Presidential debate was polite. People were surprised to see Governor Palin avoid crashing and burning. Senator Biden spoke clearly and to the point. Governor kept winking and exagerrating her accent. My wife said she couldn't stand four years of that voice. My daughter moaned every time she said "new-kew-lure". My mother likes her smile. I wish she wouldn't use the baby as a stage prop. I was worried when she didn't seem to understand the question about Dick Cheney and vice presidential power. She tap danced around most of the questions.
Wells Fargo has made an offer for Wachovia. Citibank is complaining that they had a deal first. But Wells Fargo offerred to buy the whole company, debts and all, with no government bailout. I hope Wachovia goes for the Wells Fargo offer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Glenn Martin Sitting in an Airplane at the Cicero Air Field -- October 1, 2008

Glenn L Martin went on to found the Glenn L Martin Company, the forbear of today's Lockheed Martin. Here he is participating in the Second International Aviation Meet in September, 1912.
The photo comes from the Library of Congress' wonderful American Memory site ( DN-0059580, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.
The Senate passed a bailout bill today.
The Dodgers beat the Cubs in the first game of their playoff series.