Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bill's Place -- January 31, 2009

Today we had lunch at Bill's Place on Clement. I have been going there since shortly after it opened in 1959. We had not been for a while, so I was happy to see that the Jazzbeaux burger was still on the menu. I had one. Then we went to Stonestown. We went to mass at 5pm.

Friday, January 30, 2009

When the Clouds Roll By -- January 30, 2009

Douglas Fairbanks starred in When the Clouds Roll By in 1919. It was directed by Victor Fleming, and was an early production of United Artists. The ad is from the 08-November-1919 Motion Picture News.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Giants Wall of Fame #4 -- January 29, 2009

In September, 2008 the Giants unveiled their Wall of Fame along the King Street side of the ballpark, whatever it is called this week. The third set of plaques in the series honors catcher Bob Brenly, a good guy, pitcher Mike Krukow, who was the last Giant so far to win 20 games in a season, Chris Speier, a wonderful shortstop who had two stints with the Giants, and Atlee Hammaker, a left-handed pitcher who had more than his share of bad luck.
I took the photo on 29-September-2008.
It started to get warmer today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #19 - January 26, 2009

I took this on 18-January-2009. Then I turned her ear right-side out.
John Updike died. I've only read his essays, not his novels. Good writer. "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu":

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy #3 -- January 25, 2009

Happy Lunar New Year.
The image comes from a "CABLE CAR RIDER ALERT" issued during the 2002 replacement of the turntable at Powell and Market. Nick Kibre explained that the top two characters represent "cable car" as "string cart". I like that.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Catholic Schools Week #2 -- January 25, 2009

Today is the start of Catholic Schools Week. I'm grateful that my parents put me in Catholic schools for 12 years.

At 5 o'clock mass yesterday, Good Shepherd celebrated the start of Catholic Schools Week. There was a good turnout of kids and parents. Good Shepherd gave our daughter a great education and continues to do the same for many other children. It is worth considering if you live in or near Pacifica.

After mass, the Knights of Columbus had a crab dinner. We had a nice time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wizard of Oz -- January 23, 2009

An ad from the 20-March-1904 New York Sun, for the musical Wizard of Oz, starring Fred A Stone (The Scarecrow) and David C. Montgomery (the Tin Man).
It rained most of the day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Signs of the Times #26 -- January 21, 2009

This sign at Howard and Main marks the site of the Temporary Transbay Terminal, which will be used while the East Bay Terminal is being replaced. I took the photo on 16-January-2009.
It rained lightly today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Era -- January 20, 2009

God bless America. Guide our new President in wisdom.
When I got off the bus, I noticed that the sidewalk on Mission across from Saint Patrick's was blocked off and that there were two large television screens. There was already a crowd of people waiting for the inauguration. I went back at lunch time and there was still a good crowd of people waiting to see the parade.
"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy 200th Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe -- January 19, 2009

Today is Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. I find it hard to imagine another American who has had so great an effect on world literature -- even Zane Grey.
"I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat."
The Chronicle has been celebrating its 144th birthday. Today the Sporting Green was green. Hallelujah.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Radio Site #2 -- January 17, 2009

A view of the Palace Hotel from New Montgomery Street. I took it on 19-December-2008. The Palace was the home of several radio stations, including KSFO and KQW (now KCBS) when it moved from San Jose in 1942. KCBS has been advertising this as it's 100th year. They make that claim because Doc Herrold started regularly scheduled broadcasts from his Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in 1909. Herrold went on to make demonstration broadcasts from the Panama-Pacific Exposition to the Fairmont Hotel and San Jose in 1915. He had to shut down his broadcasts after America entered World War One. He started up after the war but had to give up his arc phone in 1921. He received a license for KQW in late 1921. CBS took over KQW in 1942 and moved it to San Francisco. It became KCBS in 1949.
Today we took a drive down One to Pescadero and the Fipps Ranch. Traffic was heavy around Half Moon Bay.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Doctor King #2 -- January 15, 2009

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Be Seeing You -- January 14, 2009

Patrick McGoohan died. I saw The Prisoner on television when I was very young and it made an impression on me. Later, Public Television stations played it over and over again. It never got old. I have sometimes wanted to be that snippy with people, but I have never been good at it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Train Station #6 -- January 13, 2009

Ardenwood Station serves as the entrance to Ardenwood Historic Farm Regional Park in Fremont. It is, I believe, a replica of a South Pacific Coast depot.

It got very warm yesterday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reminiscences of an Active Life #12 -- January 11, 2009

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 twelfth part. He continues to discuss his training in theology and his reasons for not becoming a Doctor of Divinity.

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

Part Eleven

Reminiscences of an Active Life.


From Manufacturer and Builder, Volume 26, Issue 1, January 1894

(Continued from page 273.)

6th. Career as a Theological Student. -- It is evident from the last paragraph of the preceding account of my reminiscences, that my industrious Bible-reading did not produce the result which my aunt, and others who advised it on the occasion of my confirmation, hoped for. This was simply due to two facts:

First, the influence of my mother, who, from my childhood, impressed me with her admiration for the beauties of nature, which are so abundantly displayed around my native town Nymegen, situated as it is on the top of the extreme western promontory of a spur of hills, extending from the volcanic mountains which border on a large por
tion of the German Rhine, and dip in Nymegen under the fertile alluvial plains of the Netherlands.

The largest of the three branches into which the Rhine divides itself when entering the plains of the Netherlands, gives a charming variety to the landscape as seen from the hights of the city, where the public parks are situated, especially as the serpentine windings of the stream cause it to approach the foot of the hills on and around which the city is built, of which the cathedral is very prominent, even its base projecting upward above the roofs of the houses, while its tower is very much in the style of architecture of the tower of Madison Square Garden in New York city, only its size is much larger, especially in the horizontal dimensions. On that tower is a set of chimes which can be played from a keyboard of fully four octaves, with all the sharps and flats, making in all forty-nine bells, a compass unparalleled in the United States and in England, but very common in Holland, Belgium and France. My performances on these Dutch chimes belong to my musical career and will be treated of later, as well as those on the American calliope, or steam organ, when I give an account of my musical career.

I must add here that the public parks referred to are made more interesting still, by a few old buildings and ruins, such as that of part of a Roman temple two thousand years old, and an octagonal chapel built by Charlemagne, and therefore more than one thousand years old.

In addition to the impressions made upon me from childhood by the beauties of nature and the teachings of my mother, was the conviction that these were the true revelations of divine power and wisdom which nobody could deny, and which are found all over our world, preaching tbe same sermon everywvhere, while the written revelations are by no means the same, every nation, or group of nations, having adopted such as suited themselves. The Turks have their Koran, the Hindus their Zendavesta, the Jews their Old Testament and Talmud, the Chinese have Confucius doctrines, the Christians their New Testament, etc.

Still another reason why I refused to become a preacher of an orthodox faith, was that my mind had become impressed with the principles of the evolution theory, which was becoming more and more prevalent in the Netherlands among the more advanced thinkers, as was stated on page 205 of the September number of this journal.

A short time before I left my father's house to become the organist of the large church and leader of an orchestra in Heusden (see page 249 of the November issue of this journal), my aunt wanted me to abandon my musical aspirations and go to the Leyden University to prepare for the pulpit. When I told her that I had made up my mind never to bind myself to expound doctrines which I could not myself then believe, she became excited and told me that if I would not go to Leyden as a divinity student, she would disinherit me and leave all her wealth to my sister. I told her that this was exactly what I wished her to do, as my sister, with her daughters, needed it, and that the free expression of my opinions was not for sale, and never would be. This was the last I saw of her, and after that we did not even write to one another.

The outcome of all this has been that I never was graduated as a D. D., but am still a theological student, and will remain so until the year 1900, more or less. In the meantime I have kept up my studies of the natural sciences, and intend to continue to do so, as instead of losing interest by old age (to-morrow I will be 81), I am taking more and more interest in the new developments of different branches, especially in electricity.

In order to give the reader an idea of my vitality, I will state that lately, Mr. Gerard, the publisher of this journal, received a letter asking if Dr. Van der Weyde was still alive, as he wanted to ask him some knotty scientific questions. When this was communicated to me, I was almost insulted, and felt like the apparently dead Irishman, who (as the comic song tells us) while a wake was being held over his supposed remains,suddenly sat up in his coffin and said, "I am not such a fool as to be dead when such nice stuff is going round; I want some too." My feeling is this: "I don't want to be such a fool as to be dead when such great improvements in dynamos, telephones, etc., are going on; I want to see where these things will lead us, for as long a time as I possibly can keep alive."

(To be Continued.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Ball Player -- January 9, 2009

Douglas Tilden created The Ball Player in 1889, while he was studying in Paris. It now stands on John F Kennedy Drive near the Conservatory of Flowers.
Bob Wilkins, host of Creature Features, has died. I remember when the show started on KTVU, Channel 2. I watched every week. I learned a lot about watching movies critically from his comments.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Firehouse #15 -- January 7, 2009

The Disneyland Fire Department's firehouse has been at the foot of Main Street since opening day in 1954. Walt Disney and his family had a private apartment upstairs. I took the photo in August, 2008.
The Chronicle says Stacey's will close in March. I feel guilty that I didn't buy any books there during the Christmas season.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Signs of the Times #25 -- January 6, 2009

Rumors are flying around that this will be the last MacWorld. Apple said this was the last year they would participate. Steve Jobs wasn't there. Rumors also flew around that he was dead. I didn't see a big line of people of people waiting to get in this morning for the keynote, but they may have let people in early because of the cold.
I took the photo today on Howard near Third.
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, so I wore one of my Christmas ties for the last time this season. Tomorrow we start to take down the tree.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thomas Sopwith in Monoplane -- January 5, 2009

"Head and shoulders portrait of Thomas Sopwith sitting in a monoplane on the ground during the International Aviation Meet held in Grant Park, in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, from Aug. 12-20, 1911."
Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, later Sir Thomas, was a pioneering British aviator who went on to found the Sopwith Company, which built some of the greatest fighters of World War One. After the company was forced out of business by punitive taxation after the war, he founded Hawker Aviation, which built the Hawker Hurricane, a critical fighter in WWII.
I remember when the RAF celebrated his 100th birthday in 1988 by doing a flyover. He died in 1989.
The photo comes from the Library of Congress' wonderful American Memory site ( n009316, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Golden Gate Express Railway -- January 4, 2009

Yesterday we went to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. The plants were in great shape. In the special exhibit room at the west end was the Golden Gate Express Railway, a garden scale layout designed by Cal professor Chip Sullivan. Various historic San Francisco structures, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Ferry Building, were made from recycled materials by Figureplant ( On the upper level, New Orleans street car 952 ran back and forth from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Chinatown gate. On the two lower loops, there were two Amtrack trains and lots of tunnels.

I posted a video:

I'll put more information and images on my Park Trains site at the end of the month.

It was very cold yesterday. After the Conservatory, we drove over the real Golden Gate Bridge to the Village in Corte Madera. We haven't been for a long time. The food court is gone. Boudin's, where we had soup for lunch, has moved across the way.

We had the mass for the Epiphany. I'll miss the decorations and the Christmas songs.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year #2 -- January 1, 2009

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

From the 01-January-1909 San Francisco Call.