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.