Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Grace Slick 75 -- October 30, 2014

Happy 75th birthday to Grace Slick.  I remember the Jefferson Airplane when I was very young. 

She wrote in her autobiography about getting arrested four times for Driving Under the Influence while not actually being in an automobile. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Over the Top -- Chapter 3 -- October 28, 2014

Arthur Guy Empey was a member of the US Cavalry who resigned to volunteer for the British Army during World War One. He was wounded during the Battle of the Somme. When the US entered the war, he tried to rejoin the Army, but was rejected because of his wounds and possibly because of some disparaging comments about American draftees. He wrote a book, Over the Top, about his experiences during the war. With the 100th anniversary of the war, I thought it might be interesting to post his story. Empey later became a prolific pulp magazine author, a movie star and producer, and a playwright.

CHAPTER I -- From Mufti to Khaki
CHAPTER II -- Blighty to Rest Billets


UPON enlistment we had identity disks issued to us. These were small disks of red fiber worn around the neck by means of a string. Most of the Tommies also used a little metal disk which they wore around the left wrist by means of a chain. They had previously figured it out that if their heads were blown off, the disk on the left wrist would identify them. If they lost their left arm the disk around the neck would serve the purpose, but if their head and left arm were blown off, no one would care who they were, so it did not matter. On one side of the disk was inscribed your rank, name, number, and battalion, while on the other was stamped your religion.

C. of E., meaning Church of England; R. C., Roman Catholic; W., Wesleyan; P., Presbyterian; but if you happened to be an atheist they left it blank, and just handed you a pick and shovel.

On my disk was stamped C. of E. This is how I got it: The Lieutenant who enlisted me asked my religion. I was not sure of the religion of the British Army, so I answered, “Oh, any old thing,” and he promptly put down C. of E.

Now, just imagine my hard luck. Out of five religions I was unlucky enough to pick the only one where church parade was compulsory!

The next morning was Sunday. I was sitting in the billet writing home to my sister telling her of my wonderful exploits while under fire -— all recruits do this. The Sergeant-Major put his head in the door of the billet and shouted: “C. of E. outside for church parade!”

I kept on writing. Turning to me, in a loud voice, he asked, “Empey, aren’t you C. of E.?"

I answered, “Yep.”

In an angry tone, he commanded, "Don’t you 'yep' me. Say, 'Yes, Sergeant-Major.'"

I did so. Somewhat mollified, he ordered, "Outside for church parade."

I looked up and answered, "I am not going to church this morning."

He said, "Oh, yes, you are!"

I answered, "Oh, no, I’m not!"-—But I went.

We lined up outside with rifles and bayonets, 120 rounds of ammunition, wearing our tin hats, and the march to church began. After marching about five kilos, we turned off the road into an open field. At one end of this field the Chaplain was standing in a limber. We formed a semicircle around him. Over head there was a black speck circling round and round in the sky. This was a German Fokker. The Chaplain had a book in his left hand—left eye on the book—right eye on the aeroplane. We Tommies were lucky, we had no books, so had both eyes on the aeroplane.

After church parade we were marched back to our billets, and played football all afternoon.

Next: CHAPTER IV -- Into the Trench


The Giants lost the sixth game.  10-0. 


Update 29-October-2014

The Giants won the 7th game 3-2.  Tim Hudson went fewer than 2.  Affeldt came in and did well.  Then Madison Bumgarner came in and pitched the last five.  So the Giants have won the World Series three times in five years.  Bumgarner is the MVP.  He had three wins in the World Series.  It was a heck of a season.  The Royals put up a great fight.

Update 30-October-2014

The official scorer changed the winning pitcher from Bumgarner to Affeldt.  I think that is the correct decision.  Bumgarner got a save. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dylan Thomas, 100 -- October 27, 2014

Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, is famous as a man who liked to take a drink now and then.  We didn't know that when we read his poems in high school, but it helped to explain why he didn't live to see 40. 

Dylan Thomas was one of many cultural icons who appeared on the cover of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Knox Patrol Wagon -- October 26, 2014

The Waterless (air-cooled) Knox automobile was manufactured in Springfield, Massachusetts. I like the name Waterless Knox. It reminds me of a Doctor Seuss character. This image, of a Knox police patrol wagon, is from Scientific American, 01-January-1905. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.


Madison Bumgarner defeated the Royals 5-0, pitching a complete game shutout.  The Giants lost Thursday in Kansas City and Friday in San Francisco, bot won Saturday night.  The Giants lead the series 3-2. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Cat #12 -- October 25, 2014

I took this photo on 18-October-2014. 

I took this bonus photo on 10-October-2014. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Hyderabad Near to Destruction -- October 24, 2014

The drawing is from the 13-June-1899 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view. The text is from the 12-June-1899 Call.  Hyderabad reached San Francisco on the afternoon of the 11th after a troubled passage.  I posted an earlier report here:


A Close Call of the Hyderabad.


Sails Blown From the Bolt Ropes, Running Gear Chafed Away and Vessel Thrown on Her Beam Ends.

The overdue British ship Hyderabad reached port yesterday afternoon. She was 106 days coming from Newcastle, N. S. W., and 25 per cent premium had been paid to reinsure vessel and cargo. The Italian bark Mario, which sailed nearly a month after her, beat the ship by six days into port.

The Hyderabad had a most exasperating voyage. Nothing but light winds and calms were encountered until the coast of California was reached, and then a northwester was run into that nearly piled the vessel up on the Farallones. In fact in order to wear ship in a hurry some of the sails had to be cut away and then it was touch and go with vessel and all on board.

For weeks the Hyderabad never changed her position and the wear and tear on the sails and running gear was worse than if she was in the hardest gale that ever blew. In three weeks she only covered forty-two miles and nearly all of that was made by drifting with the current. On May 24 (Queen's Birthday) the ship whs eighty-nine days out and 1560 miles from San Francisco. Both captain and crew were sick and disgusted, and it began to look as though there was a hoodoo on the ship.

A change was coming, however, and when it started it came with a rush. Last Sunday week a breeze sprang up and that day the Hyderabad logged 205 miles. The next day, June 5, it was blowing a gale and big seas were constantly breaking aboard. A squall struck the vessel, bringing her up in the wind and laying her over until the lee rail was under water. It looked for a moment as though all was up with the Hyderabad, but Captain Scott ordered the topgallant and upper topsail halyards let go and away went the sheets. This saved the masts and eased up the ship.

"The decks werre full of water to the rail." said Captain Scott when speaking of the danger. "and nothing could be done to save the sails. Five of the crew were injured by being washed into the scuppers and some of them only escaped being washed overboard by a miracle. The ship was lying aback in the trough of a heavy sea with her main hatch under water. All the running gear had gone out through the ports and was by degrees chafed off. By 8 p. m. it was blowing a living gale. Three upper topsails, three topgallant sails, the mainsail, cross jack and main topmast staysail were carried away and the braces and running gear chafed off.

Just as we got straightened out a bit the Farralones loomed up black and threatening. All the the sail we could carry was set In order to clear the rock, but at midnight it seemed as though we were going to strike. I had to wear ship in a hurry, and in order to get her round I had to order the three lower topsails cut away. We got out of that scrape, but the gale did not abate any and the next day (June 6) we lost three royals and two small staysails. Oh, I tell you we made up for the months of calm we had gone through. Why, the wind took those sails out of the gaskets as though they were so much brown paper. It was June 9 before the gale subsided and we were able to lay our course for San Francisco again.

On June 9 the five disabled members of my crew were able to be about again and then I made an estimate of the damages received during the gale. Besides all the sails I lost the upper topsail and topgallant sail chain sheets were broken, the jack stays and screw dogs were broken and torn away from the yards, sheaves in yardarms broken and chain gear aloft damaged. How was that for a wind up to three months of light winds and calms?

"During our spells of light weather we had two other encounters with islands, but, thank God. the ship was never in danger. On April 4 we drifted past Sophia Island and on April 13 we were three miles off Hulls Island. I saw a tall flagstaff and two huts and one building, but no sign of life. I hoisted our flag and signalled, but no one responded. There was evidently no one on the island and I suppose the huts flagpole were put up by a British man-of-war. This has been about the longest voyage the Hyderabad has ever made. On her last trip from Newcastle to San Francisco she made the run in fifty-eight days."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pier 1 -- October 23, 2014

Pier 1, just north of the Ferry Building, is the headquarters of the Port of San Francisco. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sherlock Holmes Found -- October 22, 2014

Moving Picture World, 21-October-1916

The first actor to become famous for playing Sherlock Holmes was American William Gillette. Arthur Conan Doyle had killed Sherlock Holmes in 1893, but, needing money, was happy to let Gillette write a four act play, Sherlock Holmes, or The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner. In fact, Gillette had to write the play twice, because the first manuscript burned in the fire at Lucky Baldwin's Hotel and Theater at Powell and Market in San Francisco on 23-November-1898. Gillette played Holmes more than 1300 times, and his play was the basis for later films with John Barrymore and Basil Rathbone. The play also introduced a love interest for Holmes, Alice Faulkner. Gillette played Holmes in a 1916 feature film, which had been believed to be lost.

I was happy earlier this month when the  San Francisco Silent Film Festival announced that a print has turned up at the Cinémathèque Française.  The  Cinémathèque and the Festival are working together on a restoration.

Learn more about William Gillette on my other blog:


The Royals beat the Giants 7-2.  Jake Peavy started well, but the wheels fell off in the sixth. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow Sedan -- October 21, 2014

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  Pierce-Arrow built five 1933 V-12 Silver Arrow sedans with revolutionary streamlined styling.  Three still exist.  Pierce-Arrow went out of business in 1938. 


The San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in the first game of the World Series.   Madison Bumgarner's streak of scoreless innings in the World Series got broken, but he got the win. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mad #2 -- October 20, 2014

The December 1952-January 1953 issue of Mad, probably published in October, was the second issue of a great American tradition. EC, famous up to that time for horror comics, had moved in a new direction. Published by Bill Gaines and edited by Harvey Kurtzman, Mad introduced sharp satire (Humor in a Jugular Vein) to comic books. Mad became a magazine in 1955. Legend said it was because of the growing controversy about comic books, but it was done to satisfy Kurtzman's ambition. I read Mad for many years and it certainly influenced my sense of humor. I know some movies better through having read the Mad parodies rather than seeing the movies themselves.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Baseball Stories -- October 19, 2014

This is a repost of an entry from October, 2010 and October, 2012. 

 The cover of the Summer, 1947 Baseball Stories.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jerry Siegel 100 -- October 18, 2014

Writer Jerry Siegel, who was born 100 years ago yesterday on 17-October-1914.  With his Cleveland friend artist Joe Shuster, Siegel created the character of Superman and sold it to the company that eventually became DC (Detective Comics).  Superman first appeared on 18-April-1939 on the cover of Action Comics Number One.  I have always liked the guy in the left foreground. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Loma Prieta Earthquake, 25 -- October 17, 2014

[H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]

Twenty-five years ago today, I was at work in an office building at Fourth and Howard.  I usually left for home at 5pm, but I was debugging a series of programs that I was writing, trying to figure out why the output counter on one program did not agree with the input counter on another.  I was anxious to get home  to see the third game of the World Series between the Giants and the Oakland Athletics.  At 5:04pm, the building began to shake.  Several people ran to look out the windows.  I told them to get away from the windows and find some cover. 

The emergency team would not let us leave the floor.  My sister, who worked in the same office, and I were able to get out after a while.  I needed to catch BART to Daly City, but I figured it was down and I wanted to make sure my sister got home safely.  I later learned that my manager was on the crowded platform at the BART station when it went completely dark.  Eventually the emergency lights came on. 

My sister and I walked to the East Bay Terminal.  We saw a lot of broken glass.  We got on a 38 Geary.  It wasn't dark yet, so we saw damaged stores and terrible traffic.  We got off at Geary and Park Presidio.  I walked with her down to California Street, hoping to catch a 28-Nineteenth Avenue to the Daly City BART station.  I saw that traffic on Park Presidio was virtually stopped, so I decided that the bus was not coming soon. 

I walked out California Street.  It was starting to get dark and lots of people had candles on their stairways.  All lights were out.  The weather was warm and the air had a nice smell.  I walked up to my parents' house.  I knocked and then opened the door with my key.  I said "It's me."  "Who?" said my mother.  I explained.  Their house was not damaged, except for  some glasses leaning against the door of the china hutch.  I tried to call home and couldn't get through.  I asked if I could borrow their car.  I asked my mother to keep trying the phone.  She got through later. 

I drove carefully to the beach because the traffic lights were out.  I drove along the Great Highway, Skyline and Highway One.  The lights were out all the way.  When I got home to Pacifica, the lights had just come on.  My wife and daughter were ok and the house was not damaged.

They had been watching the game and saw the famous interruption before the power went out. 

I don't remember much of that night.  I called my parents to let them know I had made it home. 

The next morning I called my manager and he said we were supposed to stay home.  This was before we had remote access.  We drove to Daly City BART to get my car, then on to my parents' house.  We returned their car and checked to see if they were ok.  My wife was able to rescue most of the glasses leaning against the inside of the china hutch door. 

On Thursday, they let some of us volunteer to clean up the office.  We had to wear hard hats.  The building had big X-shaped beams in the windows.  Huge bolts had popped out of them and were lying on the floor.  I hadn't noticed on Tuesday, but many of the file cabinet drawers were open, especially the ones that contained heavy listings of programs.  I don't remember how long we stayed or what we did. 

On Monday we were able to go back to work, but in cubicles on the other side of the floor.  Many people were nervous about the bolts which had popped out.  I found the answer to my counter problem right away.  All of our batch processes, running in a data center on Fifth Street, had run without problems.  I later learned that the only system that had gone down was an Atalla device that fell over. 

After a few days, Wells Fargo said we were moving out.  Many people speculated that Wells wanted to break the lease and this was a good excuse.  The building continued to be used for years until it was torn down for Moscone West. 

We moved to the top floor of the data center on Fifth Street.  We worked in a big bullpen.  This required adjustments because we were accustomed to working in cubicles.  We didn't have voicemail.  In February, they moved half the team, including me, to a building in Oakland.  We learned that the previous group had moved out because of asbestos  contamination.  The other half of the team moved to a building at Third and Howard. 

Two years later, I transferred to another group in the building at Third and Howard.  I stayed there till 2012. 

The photo, from the US Geological Survey, shows the collapsed Cypress Structure in Oakland.  One of my coworkers lost his partner there. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mel Ott -- October 16, 2014

Inspired by the book Few and Chosen: Defining Giants Greatness Across the Eras by Giants great Bobby Thomson and Phil Pepe, I thought I would devote my nickname meme to Giants players for several months.

Mel Ott, "Master Melvin" was a slugging right fielder for the New York Giants.  He played for the Giants from 1926 to 1947.  He was the first National Leaguer to hit 500 home runs.  Many people said he took advantage of the short porch in right field in the Polo Grounds.  He managed the team from 1942 to 1948.  Sadly, he was the subject of Leo Durocher's famous statement which is remembered as "Nice guys finish last."  What Leo the Lip, then managing the Dodgers, said was “The nice guys are all over there, in seventh place.” 


To quote Russ Hodges:  "The Giants win the pennant.  The Giants win the pennant.  The Giants win the pennant."   The Giants won the National League Division Series, beating the Cardinals 6-3 on a walk-off home run.  They will face the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Busy Cotton Season -- October 15, 2014

In this scene from The Picayune's Guide to New Orleans (1903) we see a Mississippi riverboat with a full load of cotton. 

The Port of New Orleans—Scenes along the Levee. The visitor to New Orleans will have missed the most interesting as well as important feature of this city should he fail to make a personal inspection of the magnificent harbor known as the Port of New Orleans. For a distance of fifteen miles along the city front there extends an almost unbroken line of wharves and docks, sufficient to accommodate a vast fleet. Owing to the great depth of the Mississippi River, ships are able to lie close alongside the bank and load cargoes through all hatches at once. There is an equal stretch of fifteen miles along the west bank of the river within the port limits, although as yet only a moderate portion of this space available for shipping is used.  Along the harbor front there are five great grain elevators, extensive railroad terminals, including the famed Stuyvesant Docks, belonging to the Illinois Central Railroad. There are several fruit docks, with covered sheds, for the handling of tropical fruit. Another conspicuous feature is the fine new coffee dock, with its immense iron shed to protect freight from the weather. Along the city's wharves will be seen some of the largest freight ships afloat.  The best way to see the river front is to walk along the levee. It is called the levee because it consists of a great bank of earth thrown up to protect the city from the invasion of the Mississippi, which at flood rises far above the level of the streets. For many years, however, the river along most of the front has withdrawn itself a good way from the original channel, so that many solid blocks of buildings now stand where the Mississippi flowed when Bienville first looked upon it. The constant additions made to the levee in consequence cause a gradual slope up to the river front. The slope begins at a considerable distance back, and the ascent up hill is so gradual as to be imperceptible.  Many interesting sights attract along the river front.  Near the foot of Canal Street is the
Steamboat Landing,
where boats of all sorts and sizes, from the stately river packets which trade up the river to Vicksburg, Memphis, Cairo and St. Louis, to the little sternwheelers which run up Red River and into Bayou Atchafalaya and along the lower Mississippi coast, are to be seen the year round.
Here the packets lie, busily receiving and discharging freight. The immense loads of cotton and sugar which they take on, make them especially interesting to the stranger. It is very picturesque to see the throngs of darkies handling these cargoes, and singing old plantation melodies or camp-meeting hymns as they work away. When the vessels are loaded to the guards and are ready to leave a great shout goes up from the throng of laborers and roustabouts. Then they turn their attention to the next big cargo.


The Giants beat the Cardinals 6-4.  The Giants lead the series 3-1.  Barry Bonds threw out the first pitch.  Vogelsong did not start well, but Yusmiero Petit picked up the game and carried it along. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1499 on Church Street -- October 14, 2014

I recently went to Saint Anthony-Immaculate Conception School in San Francisco to talk to the Fifth Grade about an American history essay contest:

I studied Muni maps to try to figure out the best way to get there from downtown.  I could have taken BART, but there would be a 20-minute walk from 24th and Mission, unless I took a 14-Mission to Cesar Chavez.  I could have taken the 12-Folsom but it doesn't run very often.  I decided to take a J-Church and walk down the hill from 26th or Cesar Chavez. 

When I got to the Embarcadero Station, there was an inbound delay, but a J came eventually.  I enjoyed the ride up the hill.  Dolores Park is all torn up.  I was a little early, so I got off at 24th and walked down to Cesar Chavez.  I took this photo of Breda 1499.  I turned down Cesar Chavez and took some photos. 

I got to the school just in time to sign in at the office. 

The Giants beat the Cardinals 5-4 in the 10th on a bad throw. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ferry Tales 22-July-1912 -- October 13, 2014

G Lindsay Campbell's column "Ferry Tales" ran for many years in the San Francisco Call. This example is from 22-July-1912. "Overland" is a general term for a transcontinental train.  The "Overland Limited" was the best train from Chicago to San Francisco, with a ferry transfer from Oakland. Sunny Jim Rolph was Mayor of San Francisco from 1912 to 1931.

See more on my San Francisco Bay Ferryboats site:

The "After Deck Squad" has offered a prize for the discovery of the oldest commuter.

The A. D. S. may be found any business afternoon on the boat that leaves the ferry at 5:45 for the Alameda mole. To locate the squad all that is necessary is to stand on the afterdeck until the boat gets under way. It will not be long before you hear a chorus of laughter. Walk right over to the scene of the disturbance and In a voice as nearly natural as the somewhat unusual proceeding will permit, utter one of the squad passwords. There are several of these. Here are a few of them: "Oh George!" "Jack!", "Hello, Van!", "Say, Denny!" Any of these will do.

* * *

"Watch closely the effect. Some member will turn quickly as if stung. Walk right up to him. Present your card with the name and address of the oldest commuter plainly written on the back in your own handwriting. If he says: "What's this?" with a rising inflection on the "what's" you will know that you have found the right party. The name of the winner will be published in this column when the claims of your candidate have been verified.

* * *

Perhaps you never heard of the "After Deck Squad." Its members are all bright and shining lights in the commercial life of the city. As a squad they are a little more conservative than the "Rudder Club," which meets in the morning on the 8 o'clock city bound Key Route, and not as exemplary in their habits (every member of the A. D. S. smokes) as the members of the "Sunshine club," also a Key Route commuteration.

"Commuteration" goes. It has the sanction of a U. C. professor who occasionally helps the sun keep the club bright.

The "Sunshine club" meets on the southeast corner of the upper deck of whatever Key Route boat leaves the Emeryville pier at a few minutes after 8 o'clock every morning. While the "Rudder club" on the deck below hides itself in a cloud of tobacco smoke and frivols away the 15 minutes that span its daily existence in plotting future discomfort for some absent member, the "Sunshiners," on the upper deck, take deep breathing exercises, discuss plans for sleeping porches that will increase the velocity of the night air and scheme for the reformation of the "Rudder club."

* * *

According to the latest official figures 101,593 people travel on the transbay ferries every day. The majority of these are commuters. To a large extent the commuter is an individual of regular habits. The same crowd travels at the same hour every day. Congenial souls naturally gravitate together. Hence the commuter clubs, of which only three have been mentioned, but of which scores exist. Of the others, later on.

* * *

It was a prominent member of the "After Deck Squad" who divided the commuter crowd into four classes or groups, as they might say on the Key Route.

Those that travel regularly between 6 a. m. and 7 a. m., he said, are the workers.

The seven to eighters keep track of the workers' work.

The eight to niners enjoy the fruits of that work, and the from nine to nooners dissipate those fruits in riotous shopping.

This scale works only for west bound travel, but can be applied, inverted, after 3 p. m. to the east bound stream.

* * *

It's fine to be a commuter. You're sure of having in your pocket at least once a month $3 in real cash. If you don't have it you don't commute.

* * *

"What's the matter with San Francisco?" exclaimed a proud resident of "the city that knows how" as he stood at the foot of Market street the other evening with a friend from London who had just got in on a belated overland. The San Franciscan made a gesture with his arm which swept the new built skyline and the street crowded with commuters hurrying ferry ward. The visitor saw only the crowds and noted that they were hastening to the ferry with the apparent intention of taking the boat that had brought him across the bay.

"Yes, by Jove!" And the Britisher peered into the faces of the east bound throng, as if seeking signs of alarm. "They all seem to be leaving. I wonder what is the matter?"

It is some army, this commuter throng. Fun has been poked at it and urban sympathy wasted upon it. It has been threatened with the loss of its daily bread If it didn't sleep where it worked. It has been denounced for its nerve in criticising conditions where it had no vote and for taking credit for the election of Jim Rolph. in spite of all handicaps, however, its volume grows with every improvement in tranebay transportation. The official census of this daily exodus was published a few weeks ago and the reason why the harbor commissioners found it necessary to replank the bridgeways leading to and from the upper decks of the ferry steamers then became evident.

G. L. C.


The Cardinals beat the Giants 4-3.  The Giants kept tying it, but the Cardinals kept hitting home runs and going ahead. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Uhlan vs Armored Car -- October 11, 2014

The cover of the 24-October-1914 Collier's Magazine features a German Uhlan trading shots from horseback with an armored car.  I suppose this was inspired by the Belgian use of armored cars to try to defend itself against the German invaders.  A German Zeppelin looms overhead. 


The Giants defeated the Cardinals 3-0 in the first game of the National League Division Series.  Madison Bumgarner was the winning pitcher. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Yosemite National Park and Mariposa Big Trees -- October 10, 2014

This ad appeared in the Los Angeles Herald 100 years ago today, on 10-October-1914.  The Southern Pacific offered special excursions at reduced rates "account Indian Fandango and Festival."  It says the Piute (Paiute) and Digger (a derogatory term for certain bands of Paiute) will put on a "spectacular war dance" and there would be an "Exhibition of basket and bead work..." 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Train Station #70 -- October 9, 2014

The West Bay Model Railroad Association occupies a former Southern Pacific baggage building on the grounds of the Menlo Park Caltrain Station.  I took the photo as I rode past on Ravenswood Avenue on 29-June-2014. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It Keeps Its Shape, It Gives Satisfaction, It is Guaranteed -- October 8, 2014

I am a little confused by this ad for the Reach Ball from the 1898 Spalding Guild.  "Adopted by the American Association."  I thought the major league American Association went out of business in 1891 and the minor league American Association didn't start until 1902.  Perhaps AJ Reach kept the name in its advertising after the league was gone. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Cabinet Open for Inspection -- October 7, 2014

From Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions, Including Trick Photography, edited by Albert Allis Hopkins. The cabinet will be used in the Cassadaga Propaganda illusion. 


The Washington pitcher walked a Giant with the bases loaded. 1-0. Joe Panik drove in a run on a groundout. 2-0. The Nationals tied it. 2-2. The Giants scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch. 3-2. There was a wild pitch during an intentional walk and Posey got thrown out. The Giants won the game and the series.   

The Dodgers lost today, so we will play the Cardinals for the pennant. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Entertain Your Lumberjacks -- October 6, 2014

Canadian Forest Product Industries, 01-July-1914

"It will pay you to give your men entertainment after the day's hard work.  It will keep them cheerful and contented."  This is even better than giving them fair pay and decent working conditions. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bombs Dropped From Zeppelins -- October 5, 2014

Antwerp was the first city to suffer from aerial bombing when the Germans attacked it using Zeppelins during September, 1914.  The Germans used V-1s and V-2s against Antwerp during the Second World War.  The photos are from the 16-September-1914 Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger.  Be sure to click on the photos to see larger versions. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Feast of Saint Francis, 2014 -- October 4, 2014

Today is the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.

“Lord make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.

"O divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive-
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And its in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Saint Francis Church in North Beach is now the National Shrine of Saint Francis. The former gym/church hall contains the Nuova Porziuncola, a model of the little church rebuilt by Saint Francis. They just finished refurbishing the church and the hall.  I took the photo on 20-August-2011.

Yesterday I took the cat to Good Shepherd School to meet the Third Graders and attend the blessing of the animals.  Father Lu was called away, so the student council gave the blessing.  The cat did not get scared, as far as I could tell. 

The Giants second game in the Washington series started at 2:30pm.  We watched until 4:30, when we left to go to church.  The Nationals were ahead 1-0 and George Zimmerman was pitching.  So was Tim Hudson.  In the top of the Ninth with two outs, Pablo Sandoval drove in Joe Panick.  We drove to Half Moon Bay and had dinner at Cameron's Pub.  The game was on.  No one could score.  When we were leaving, a man who had just sat down at the next table said "You'll get home they'll still be playing."  Traffic was very heavy and it took a long time to get through Half Moon Bay because people were trying to get to 92.  Yusmiero Petit pitched six scoreless innings in relief.  We got home about 8:30 and parked out front as the Giants came up for the bottom of the 18th.  We heard neighbors across the lawn cheering.  My wife said "The Giants must have scored."  Belt had hit a home run, so it was 2-1.  They held it in the bottom of the 18th, so the Giants lead the series 2-0.  Petit got the win. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Villa Revolt -- October 3, 2014

Bisbee Daily Review, 03-October-1914

This cartoon shows Pancho Villa slipping a cactus under the seat of Venustiano Carranza, the President of Mexico after the despised Victoriano Huerta was overthrown. Villa, commander of the División del Norte, thought Carranza was another potential dictator.


Jake Peavy and the Giants beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 in the first game of the National League Division Series. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Child's Journey Through Ellis Island 2 -- October 2, 2014

Exhibitors' Herald, 28-May-1921

Today I went to Saint Anthony-Immaculate Conception School in San Francisco and talked to my daughter's 5th grade about "A Child's Journey Through Ellis Island." They are participating in a DAR essay contest on the subject. I talked about the skills involved in writing a good essay and targeting it to your audience. I gave them background on US immigration history and nativist reaction to immigration. We talked about who they were travelling with, how they would get to Ellis Island and what would happen on the island. It was fun, and they asked good questions. After, I was very tired.   When I got home, I had to work on a production problem. 

Alice Brady was the daughter of theatrical impresario (great word) William A Brady.  She was a popular actress in silent and sound films.  She played Carole Lombard's mother in My Man Godfrey.  In the lost film The Land of Hope, she played a Russian immigrant who arrived at Ellis Island. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Here's Louvain's Finest Thoroughfare After City's Destruction by Germans -- October 1, 2014

100 years ago the German Army, in the process of violating the neutrality of Belgium, burned much of the city of Louvain (Leuven), including the university's renowned library.  The Germans made crazy claims that the son of the burgomaster had shot a German officer, but that did not happen.  The Germans did execute civilians and burn much of the town. 

In this photo, from the 01-October-1914 Bisbee Daily Review, we see "the fashionable Rue de Station." 

Read about the burning of Louvain:

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.


The Giants are playing the Pirates in a one-game wild card "play in."  Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam.  Hunter Pence scored a run, driven in by Belt.  5-0.  Madison Bumgarner is pitching well.  Brandon Belt drove in two more.  7-0.  Posey drove in Blanco.  8-0.  The Pittsburgh fans look sad.  Bumgarner had a four-game shutout.  Friday they play Washington.