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.