Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sede Vacante -- February 28, 2013

On 11-February-2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced that was resigning effective 28-February-2013.  We were all shocked.  I think he is setting a good precedent. 

Clara Bow #2 -- February 28, 2013

Red haired Clara Bow was probably the most popular silent actress after Mary Pickford. Right handed Clara waits for the next pitch. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Christie at the Starting Line -- February 27, 2013

Walter Christie was an imaginative automotive engineer.  In this image from the 27-September-1906 Motor Way, Christie and his mechanic wait at the starting line of the Vanderbilt Cup race in his front wheel drive car.  Later, he developed a tank suspension which the United States Army did not adopt, but which the Soviets used for the T-34. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In Middle of Bay Whale and Fast-Ferry Boat Meet -- February 26, 2013

North Pacific Coast ferry San Rafael sank on 30-November-1901 when she was rammed by ferry Sausalito on a foggy day. 

From the 02-August-1907 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. A passenger on the San Rafael, he is mentioned in the story.  Click on the image to see a larger version. 


Leviathan Sullenly Places His Back in Opposition to Floating Rival and Shock Creates Panic Among Passengers.

CAPTAIN McKENZIE and Chief Engineer Jones of the ferry steamer San Rafael had many a quiet little laugh over the story of the Bonita and the whale. The jolly old skipper insisted that the sinking of the pilot schooner by a. leviathan was a fish story of giant proportions, while Jones was of the opinion that the tale  was a "pipe dream."

Both gentlemen changed their tune yesterday, and are now willing to swear before a notary public that a whale did really and truly wreck the Bonita. Incidentally a whale nearly sent the San Rafael to the bottom on the 1 p. m. trip yesterday and gave the passengers and crew a scare that they will not get over in a hurry.  The firemen and coalpassers rushed up to the deck, thinking the ferry-boat had gone ashore, while the captain and mate were of the opinion that the vessel had run over a cluster of submerged piles.

When the whale came up astern of the ship, however, the mystery was explained.  "We left Sausalito on time and were about a mile out in the bay," said W. A. Coulter, the well known marine artist, who was aboard the San Rafael. "The whale has been in the bay for nearly a week, but whether it is the one that sunk the pilot boat Bonita or not neither I nor anybody else can tell. The leviathan rose in front of the ship about twenty yards away. Not a thing could be done, and before the wheel could be swung over we struck the mammal. The shock felt exactly like that of running into a mud bank. Our progress was not retarded to any great extent. We must have passed clear over the whale, as it came up astern, spouted and disappeared."

Captain McKenzie says that it felt as if the San Rafael struck the whale twice, while Chief Engineer Jones says the vessel will not require to go on the drydock for a year to come, as the whale must have scraped all the barnacles off her bottom.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

1935 Auburn 851 Speedster -- February 24, 2013

San Francisco's Academy of Art University has a fine collection of classic cars available for study by its design students. They shared the collection at the 2010 San Francisco International Auto Show.

This photo of a 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster is a little fuzzy, but the car is still beautiful.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gung Hay Fat Choy #6 -- February 23, 2013

We listened to the Giants play their first spring training game.  They defeated the Angels. 

After 5 o'clock mass, we went to Kay Heung #2 and got some Chinese food. Then we went home and watched the Chinese New Year parade.

This the year of the serpent.  I took this photo of a garter snake on 02-August-2008. 

Sherlock Holmes Solves the Sign of the 4 -- February 23, 2013

In 1913 the Thanhouser Film Corporation produced a two-reel adaption of The Sign of the Four, entitled "Sherlock Holmes Solves the Sign of the 4," starring Harry Benham as Sherlock Holmes and Charles Gunn as Doctor Watson. Reviews of the time commented that Benham and Gunn were unusually youthful-looking for the parts that they played. Below are larger versions of the pictures and the description from the ad in the 01-March-1913 Moving Picture World.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ghost Sign #16 -- February 22, 2013

The South End Warehouses on Delancey Street have been converted into pricey lofts.  I took the photo from the steps up to Bryant Street. 

Happy Birthday, President Washington #5 -- February 22, 2013

George Washington was a popular subject during the early days of the American film industry.  "Washington at Valley Forge" was a Universal four reeler. The ad is from the 28-March-1914 Moving Picture World. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Comic Book #21 -- February 21, 2013

Marvel's Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created Sergeant Fury and His Howling Commandos in 1963.  Stan Lee claims that he made a bet with Marvel's publisher that Lee and Kirby could make a successful book with the worst possible title.  The Howling Commandos were a special forces team led by Sergeant Fury through actions in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.  Nick Fury later went on to a career as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Grauman's Chinese #23 -- February 20, 2013

In July, 2012 we paid a return visit to Hollywood and Grauman's Chinese Theater.  Sid Grauman was a San Francisco showman who came to Los Angeles and built three major houses, the Million Dollar, the Egyptian, and the Chinese. The theater has hosted many film premieres, but is most famous for the hand and footprints (and hoofprints and nose prints and other types of prints) in the forecourt.

Musical star Alice Faye left her hand and footprints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese on 20-March-1938 (I think).  She was 20th Century-Fox's big musical star till Betty Grable replaced her.  Alice Faye went on to marry Phil Harris and star with him in a successful radio show.

I have always loved her version of "You'll Never Know." 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pulp #40 -- February 19, 2013

The Spicy pulps from Culture Publications, Spicy Mystery , Spicy Detective, Spicy Adventure and Spicy Western, were too intellectual for some people, but they remained popular for several years. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

See Comical Charlie -- February 18, 2013

The Optic Theater in Los Angeles ran all-comedy bills for some time around 1915. I like the layout of this ad, featuring Charlie Chaplin the "The Champion."  I would be willing to pay a nickel to watch comedies from 9am to 11pm. 

The ad is from the 17-March-1915 Photoplayers' Weekly.

Happy Presidents' Day #5 -- February 18, 2013

This article, from the 25-August-1895 Los Angeles Herald, talks about future president Theodore Roosevelt during his time as a New York City police commissioner, when he made a big impression on the force and on voters across the nation. Note that it says he has no political ambitions. "Well heeled" below means armed. 


The Combination That Has Turned Gotham Up-side Down

What New York's Most Talked About and Most Hated Man Does in Twenty-four Hours -- Hated by Many

Teddy Roosevelt, the man who has ripped the police department of New York wide open and turned it upside down in a very short space of time, has no political ax to grind. He is not working for future recognition when fine offices are to be distributed. In fact, he says that just as soon as a man begins to consider the effects of his actions on his political future he loses all his usefulness.

A day with Mr. Roosevelt is about the busiest day that can be spent in New York these hot times. This young man, who has been called the "dude commissioner," knows no rest. The hottest day does not worry him. He goes right ahead working and showing his teeth.  This latter is no figurative bit of speech.  It is literal. His fine white teeth, which glisten and shine all day long, are known and feared by each one of the 3000 and odd of the police force. "Teddy and his teeth" is an awful combination in Mulberry street. It is a difficult matter to say when Mr. Roosevelt's day begins. Often be works right on from midnight of one day to the next. He has set a terrible example for the rest of the easy-going, luxury-loving, office-holding world of the city.  It was a strange sight in the old days if any police commissioner averaged throughout the week more than two hours work a day. Sixteen to twenty is Roosevelt's average.

An ordinary day is begun by this unusual president of the police board at 7 a.m., when he flashes into the building on Mulberry street. Like a streak of lightning the news darts into every ear, in every room, on every floor, that Teddy is on deck, teeth, eye-glasses, energy and all. 

The clerk who manages the mail of the most talked about man in New York has no sinecure. Roosevelt likes to begin the day by going over these letters.  There is as much excitement in them as in cow punching, a trade in which the head of the New York police excels. It's an off day when less than fifty threatening letters are received. These come mainly from the hangers-on of saloons and the small fry criminal classes (generally Roosevelt has driven the eight thousand and odd owners of saloons well nigh crazy by his Sunday crusade against them, and as each proprietor has at least six hangers on who swear by him, Roosevelt has a fine brigade of 5,000 men pitted against him. This, of course, represents only one division of the grand army of his enemies. In round numbers there are about 250,000 persons in New York who would smile if he were dropped into the river some dark night. But against this quarter of a million there are more than a million and a half of people who are with him up to the hilt.

In eight cases out of ten the letters received by Roosevelt are anonymous. That is the reason the threats do not worry him. It's a question whether they would cause him any disquiet if they were signed. He lived in the western country and with "bad men" on all sides of him for a long time, and always held his end up. He is an adept in the use of all kinds of fire-arms and a fine athlete.

Only the other day a stonemason, a big, brawny fellow, called to see him for the purpose of getting on the force.  Roosevelt used to box regularly every morning in an uptown academy, and soon outgrew the other members of the school. He put too much steam in his blows even for the instructor. So the stone mason was called in to spar with the coming president of the police board.

The craftsman had hard muscles and thought at first it would be great sport to polish off the dude. But it wasn't. The dude could fight. The stonemason soon learned to respect the slugging abilities of the dude. They fought each other early every morning for a long time. If the stonemason passes the regular civil service examination he will get on the force. If he doesn't he won't. Roosevelt likes him and would be glad to do him a favor, but influence, political pulls, etc., are things of the past.

There are hordes of callers every hour in the day upon the commissioner. All kinds of wrongs are poured into his ear.  His sudden prominence has caused many people to believe that be possesses every legal power from that of United States supreme court justice down to street sweeper. He sees all callers and disposes of them with terrific speed. One woman wanted him to come right away and arrest the woman living in the next house to her for throwing things in her back yard. Cranks who want to argue, the excise question with him call in droves and try to present elaborate arguments showing why the citizens of New York should have Sunday beer.

Mr. Roosevelt's position on this question is not generally understood. He says that he is in favor of more liberal excise laws and is not opposed to the sale of drinks on Sunday more than on any other day. But while there is a law in existence prohibiting the sale on Sunday he intends to enforce it. It is not within the scope of his duties to pass judgment upon the justice or injustice of the laws;.  all he must do is to enforce them.

A dozen times in the day Acting Chief Conlin, the present executive head of the department, has conferences with Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. Conlin is striving with might and main to hold the job from which Mr. Byrnes was ousted. Conlin is an old police officer who has been in the service almost as long as Mr, Roosevelt has been on earth, but he, like many others, has found that the newcomer can teach him something.

Roosevelt's main ambition is to show the people of New York that all reformers are not theorists, and consequently impracticable. He says he is a reformer, but he doesn't indulge in the luxury of theorizing unless honesty and sound business methods are to be classed as theoretic. He knew nothing about running a police department when he took the helm. He makes his plans as be goes along and learns. He is manipulating the machinery of the force to suit local conditions. This is the foundation of his plan. Find out the local conditions in each precinct and then adapt the police work to suit them. In many respects Roosevelt has shown the Byrnes regime to be a farce-comedy, particularly as to the suppression of disorderly resorts and the enforcement of the excise law.

Roosevelt usually remains at headquarters until 8 o'clock. Then, if it is to be one of his roaming nights, he starts for one of his many clubs, where he dines and reads until 10 o'clock. About this time the policeman is beginning to feel tired. There are fewer people on the streets and he can indulge in restful violations of the discipline laws with little chance of discovery. At least be could do so before Roosevelt adopted such unholy habits of prowling about all parts of the city at night unearthing the uniformed delinquents.

It may be in Harlem that the commissioner will strike like a bolt of lightning.  Or it may be the far west side or the down town slums of the East Side or perhaps in the turbulent quarter of Hell's Kitchen, where the occupants amuse themselves by dropping bricks and heavy household utensils upon the heads of passing policemen. It is safest to walk in the middle of the street at night time in this quarter, a fact which many policemen have learned. There is less danger of being ambushed by ambitious thugs. No one knows where the commissioner will strike, but he has already worked so much damage to heretofore spotless records that the policemen have created a system of signals by which they inform one another that tbe terror is abroad. What this system is has not been learned, but it is doubtless worked with the aid of saloon hangers-on, who are impressed as messengers and sent flying about the precinct on their mission of alarm.

On his first night's tour Roosevelt found only one policeman doing his  duty. Now it is hard to find one policeman not doing his duty. Whether it is the result of the signal system or an honest improvement in the work of the men is hard to say. It is probably a combination of both.

The police have not taken kindly to this prowling about of their chief, and their friends are even more indignant.  Roosevelt runs the risk of serious injury during his wanderings. Not long ago a man who looked like Roosevelt was mistaken for the commissioner by a crowd of Harlemites. They tried to mob him, but he escaped by fleetness of foot and catching an elevated train. But Roosevelt's nerve is good, and although he is not a big man, he is a fighter, and there is a general impression that when he is sleuthing at night he goes well heeled. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Nickname #23 -- February 17, 2013

Earl Hines was a wonderful pianist who had a  wonderfully long career.  I almost went to his last show in San Francisco in 1983.  I first learned about him from a record of his early piano solos from the Anza Branch library and from the book Jazz Masters of the Twenties by Richard Hadlock, also from the Anza Branch.  I just about memorized the album.  "A Monday Date" is one of my favorites.  Then I found the Hot Sevens with Louis Armstrong, his big band work from the 1930s, his time playing traditional jazz in San Francisco, and his late revival.  By then I had enough money to buy his tributes to Gershwin and Ellington and others.  His nickname, Fatha, was perfectly appropriate. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Car One -- February 16, 2013

San Francisco Municipal Railway Car 1, built in 1912 by San Francisco car builder WL Holman, was one of the cars which began Muni service on 28-December-1912.   It retired in 1951 and its motors were removed.  Charles Smallwood, a Muni executive, saved the car from scrapping.  In 1962, it was restored to operating condition for Muni's 50th anniversary.  I remember seeing it on the street for various charters, but I did not get to ride it till the Trolley Festivals in the 1980s.  I took the photo on the Embarcadero on 13-November-2012.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Marvelous Filmization -- February 15, 2013

The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, located in Los Angeles, was formed in 1914 to produce movies based on stories by L Frank Baum, the creator of The Wizard of Oz.  The company made some movies, but was not a financial success. The ad is from the 01-August-1914 edition of Moving Picture World. It has some nice stills, and the only use I have ever seen of the word "filmization."  "Competent critics positively assert that in this, their first great feature film, the Oz Company has created a newer and better era and opened a new vista in the field of Picturedom."  I wonder what incompetent critics thought.   

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ferry Napa -- February 14, 2013

High speed catamaran ferries Napa and Golden Gate started life as Washington State Ferries' Snohomish and Chinook. Washington State Ferries mothballed its passenger-only ferries in 2007 and Golden Gate Ferries acquired the sisters in 2009. 

 I took the photo of Napa backing away from the Ferry Building in January, 2013. 

Happy Saint Valentine's Day #6 -- February 14, 2013

Happy Saint Valentine's Day, everyone.

Sue Carol appeared in late silent and early sound films.  She later started a talent agent.  Her third husband was Alan Ladd.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ann Arbor Railroad and Steamship Lines -- February 13, 2013

This pair of ads, from Railway Agent, February 1899, describes railroads which ran between Ohio and Michigan.  The Ann Arbor connected Great Lakes steamers with many manufacturing cities. The Detroit and Lima Northern Railway was a major component of the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railway when it was created in 1905. The Ann Arbor wound up being controlled by the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton on two different occasions (1905-1908 and 1963-1977).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, President Lincoln #6 -- February 12, 2013

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 204th birthday. My favorite president.  This year we will observe the sesquicentennials of the conquest of Vicksburg, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address.  We have already observed the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

"Truth is generally the best vindication against slander."  I have frequently thought of this quote when I hear people attacking President Obama for made-up things. 

Collier's Magazine, a popular voice for reform, published this cover for the centennial of Lincoln's birth in February, 1909. 

The image comes from ( 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nitrous Oxide Gas -- February 11, 2013

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. This item about laughing gas is from the 26-March-1864 New-York Times.  Gardner Quincy Colton was a pioneer in using laughing gas as an anesthetic. The image comes from the February, 1893 issue of Manufacturer and Builder.

NEW-YORK, March 26, 1864. 

Since the introduction of this gas as an anesthetic in dental operations by Dr. COLTON, now of the Colton Dental Association, No. 22 Bond-street, much has been said about its safety and efficiency, as compared with ether and chloroform. The following letter from Prof. VANDER WEYDE, of the New-York Medical College, sheds light on the subject:

DR. G.Q. COLTON: DEAR SIR: In answer to your letter, asking my opinion about the comparative safety of nitrous oxide gas and ether or chloroform, I must say that as soon as you introduced this gas among the dental profession, I immediately advocated its use, and pointed out, principally to my class in the New-York Medical College, the advantages connected with an anesthetic, which in itself is a powerful supporter of combustion and of respiration, in place of the suffocating ether and chloroform. The fact that you have administered it to about 20,000 persons, without a single fatal result, is an unanswerable proof of its safety as an anesthetic.

I am satisfied that nitrous oxide can be used in all cases where ether and chloroform cannot be safely administered; in many cases, the use of the two last-named anesthetics is, by judicious physicians, considered unsafe; notwithstanding this, there are too many cases on record where counter-indications were overlooked, and fatal results have followed the use of ether and chloroform. I know of no case in which I would consider nitrous oxide gas unadvisable, except in a stage of consumption so far gone that the excitement attending the extraction of a tooth would be unsafe without any anesthetic.

When, now, we look at the hundreds of cases directly killed by ether or chloroform, on the operating chair or table, the comparative value of nitrous oxide must be apparent.

It is a singular fact that among the three anesthetics now in use -- ether, chloroform and nitrous oxide -- the first is combustible in itself, though the very opposite of a supporter of combustion and life; the second, chloroform, is neither combustible nor a supporter of combustion; whilst the last, nitrous oxide, is a powerful supporter of combustion and of life!

The difference between the nitrous oxide and ether and chloroform is that the first, being a supporter of combustion and respiration, stimulates the nervous system and produces an increase of vitality, while the two others, ether and chloroform, being non-supporters of combustion and respiration, depress the nervous system, and bring vitality below the standard, though with the same final result -- perfect unconsciousness of pain; the difference only is, that the unconsciousness produced by the increase of vital action by the nitrous oxide is harmless, and the same result produced by the depression of vital action by ether or chloroform is injurious, and may prove fatal. Very respectfully,

Professor of Chemistry New-York Medical College, and at Cooper Institute.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tom Mix #2 -- February 10, 2013

Tom Mix was the biggest cowboy star in silent movies.

The image is from the 17-January-1914 Moving Picture World. His clothes became flashier in later years. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The City on Film -- What's Up, Doc -- February 9, 2013

The San Francisco Arts Commission ( has set up a series of posters by artist Christina Empedocles honoring "the City’s rich history as an iconic cinematic backdrop."  This one depicts a poster for What's Up, Doc? by Peter Bogdanovich. I remember when they shot a scene on Balboa, where the street makes a big dip. This was the favorite movie of a friend who lived right by the location.  He could quote all the dialogue.  The carrots in the background refer to Bugs Bunny. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Train Station #56 -- February 8, 2013

The Ocean Shore Railroad has been gone since 1921, but Pacifica's Vallemar Station has housed many restaurants since then. The current eatery is a sports bar with good food. It has a nice selection of railroad photos.  In the lobby and the bar are two models built by Armando and Danilo Vargas, representing Ocean Shore scenes.  This one shows a San Francisco-bound train arriving at Vallemar Station. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Donald Byrd, RIP -- February 7, 2013

I was sad to learn that trumpeter Donald Byrd (Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II) has passed on.  He made many wonderful records for Blue Note and other labels.  He got into fusion and funk very early.  This is one of my favorite Blue Note covers. 

Bessie Love #2 -- February 7, 2013

I have always been fascinated by the career of actress Bessie Love.  She was born in Texas.  Her name was Juanita Horton.  Her family moved to Los Angeles and she went to Los Angeles High School.  Looking for work, she met director  DW Griffith and got a small part in Intolerance.  She appeared in movies with William S Hart and Douglas Fairbanks.  She was a 1922 WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) Baby Star.  She played many leading roles, most famously in The Lost World, but never broke through until the talkies came, when she starred in The Broadway Melody.  Her career was hot for a few years, but then tailed off.  She continued to appear in small parts in movies until the early 1980s. 

 This item, from the September, 1929 Photoplay says that a few years before, many people thought she was not the type to carry a big production.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Firehouse #64 -- February 6, 2013

Pumping Station 1, at Second and Townsend, was built as part of the Auxiliary Water Supply System, which was designed to provide water to firefighters even if regular water mains broke, as they had during the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Pumping Station 1, along with Pumping Station 2 at the foot of Van Ness were built to supply bay water to the system if it was needed. Pumping Station 1 is also the headquarters of the San Francisco Fire Department. I took the photo on 24-March-2008.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Open Challenge to Hardeen -- February 5, 2013

This ad, from the 05-November-1908 San Francisco Call, describes a challenge to Escape artist Theo Hardeen, younger brother of Harry Houdini, from Sam and Nat Berger, San Francisco haberdashers. Their carpenters would assemble a case on stage and Hardeen would escape.  The ad also mentions the Milk Can Mystery, which he had borrowed from his brother Houdini.  The challenge to/from local institutions was a popular feature of both men's acts.  It was good advertising for stores.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version. Other acts at the Pantages-Empire near Sutter and Steiner in the Western Addition include "Leon Morris and the Wrestling Ponies" and "Musical Huehn, Comedy Musician." 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Patty Andrews RIP -- February 6, 2013

Patty Andrews, the last surviving Andrews Sister, has died.  I had a friend who loved their recording of "Rum and Coca Cola."  I remember seeing them when KBHK Channel 44 would play Abbott and Costello movies on weekend afternoons. 

Ruth Elder -- February 4, 2013

Ruth Elder was an aviatrix and an actress.  In October, 1927, inspired by Charles Lindbergh, she tried to fly her Stinson Detroiter "American Girl" across the Atlantic.  She and her male copilot made it to within 300 miles of Europe but were forced to ditch because of an oil leak.  Elder did not become the first woman to fly the Atlantic, but she and her copilot were rescued safely and received many congratulations.  The caption of the photograph, from the July, 1929 Moving Picture Magazine compares her style to Suzanne Lenglen's.  Suzanne Lenglen was a French tennis champion. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII -- February 2013

I hardly ever mention football in this blog, but it seemed appropriate because the 49ers are playing the Baltimore Ravens today in the Super Bowl in New Orleans.  There has been a bunch of vendors on Market Street every day selling 49ers stuff. 

The image is from the 29-November-1901 San Francisco Call.  It shows the Olympic Club playing the Reliance Club on a muddy field at 16th and Folsom.

Update 8pm:  The 49ers started out flat and Baltimore was way ahead.  After a 30-minute power outage early in the second half, the 49ers woke up and very nearly came back to win.  But they didn't.  Still, it was a heck of a game. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Grand Central Terminal 100 -- February 2, 2012

Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal opened on 02-February-2012, replacing the earlier Grand Central Depot and Grand Central Station.  It remains a vital transit terminal and a beautiful building. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version. 

Happy Groundhog Day #4 -- February 2, 2013

Happy Groundhog Day to all.

"Groundhog in Lincoln Park" reads the caption from a 1925 Chicago Daily News photo. The Groundhog is posing at the zoo, in front of a painted background. I hope it is not a stuffed groundhog. 
The photo comes from the Library of Congress' wonderful American Memory site ( DN-0078555, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Update at 9pm:  We had a nice drive to Princeton.  We visited the Harbor Village Mall and had panini for lunch at the Mezza Luna Cafe.   We went to 5 o'clock mass, which was the monthly teen mass.  Two of the young men helping with the collection had done it last month, so I had them go down the center aisle.  We had dinner at Vallemar Station. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

2007 -- February 1, 2012

I didn't start doing a year-end summary in this blog until 2010.  I thought I might go back and review the years before.

I launched this blog on 24-June-2007, after a false start on Geocities earlier that month.  The Geocities software was not mature, but several of my favorite blogs were hosted on Blogger, so I went there.

In June, I started my oldest yearly series, Red Devils Return to Pacifica, about the fireworks stands that appear every year.  Our charities have come to depend on the money from fireworks sales.  Rod Beck died.  I started an irregular series about the Waterless Knox automobile and other occurrences of the Knox name.  The series pops up every now and then.

In July, for the first time, we saw Tim Lincecum pitch in person.  The Giants hosted the All Star Game. I started my oldest continuous monthly series, It's Hard Work Being a Cat.  I made a post about the Ford 999 racing car.  This has been one of the most-queried posts in the blog.  I wrote about Neal Gabler's Walt Disney/The Triumph of the American Imagination and Joe Posnanski's The Soul of Baseball/A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America.  Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni died on the same day.

On 04-August-2007, in San Diego, Barry Bonds hit his 755th home run, to tie Hank Aaron's major league record. On the 7th, Bonds broke the record at home.  I wrote about JK Rowling's last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I started posting a 4-part series "The Pneumatic Rolling Sphere Carrier Delusion," by Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde. That what where I found the title for this blog.  Max roach died.  I tried to hold a contest but no one came.

In September I participated in the Slapstick Blog-a-Thon and had a lot of fun.  Luciano Pavarotti, Phil Frank and Joe Zawinul died.  I wrote about Jasper Fforde's First Among Sequels.  The Giants announced that Barry Bonds would not return the next season.  On 26-September-2007, at home, Barry Bonds played his last game as a San Francisco Giant.  We visited the Nut Tree and the California State Railroad Museum.

In October, Original Joe's Restaurant was closed by a fire.

In November, I started a monthly series of photos of firehouses.  On Thanksgiving, Pacifica celebrated its 50th birthday.  16-November-2007 was the 175th birthday of the horse car.  My friend Walter Rice died.

In December, we cut our Christmas tree at Santa's Tree Farm in Half Moon Bay.  I attended the Cable Car Division Senior Luncheon and met Miss Cable Car 1973, Barbara Walsh.  I saw the double decker bus that Muni was testing.  I wrote about Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

The summary from my last entry of the year:
2007 was an interesting year. I started this blog. I was impressed to find that people actually read it and occasionally make comments. Bloggers love comments. I thank all the people who have let me know what they think.

I took the photo above on 09-June-2007.