The Volkswagen TDI diesel scandal timeline and summary

| May 14, 2017

My take after reading the informative Volkswagen Diesel Scandal timeline article published in the New York Times a couple months ago was that the stricter diesel engine emission standards imposed by the U.S. EPA forced Volkswagen in a corner. With the prospect of losing business, they opted to "cheat" in order to continue selling their […]

Reading and downloading ebooks on my Kindle Voyage

| April 27, 2017

After borrowing my daughter’s Nook, and my friends Kindle, I finally have my own ereader — thanks to MyDesultoryBlog readers and discreet Google Ad clickers. I now can travel and read comfortably without disassembling the keyboard off my iPad Air2 and "hefting" the much heavier and larger tablet in front of my face. My second-hand […]

A timeline of US immigration from theSkimm

| March 13, 2017

The US has been going through immigration policy mood swings since the American Revolution. At first, only “free white persons” can become citizens. And over the next several decades, immigration (mostly from Europe) is fairly free flowing, because Thomas Jefferson and friends want more people to come party in the USA. In 1868, an NBD […]

What does one do with an old cigarette box or cigarettes?

| February 21, 2017

I was fortunate to have one of the greatest childhoods. My immediate family was very close with my mom’s parents (my grandparents) and her sister and family. We spent many times together and every holiday. My cousin Diane and husband Bert remain “relatively” close to this day and occasionally text message back and forth. Hm, […]

Presidents Day: Leaving behind debt (as a share of GDP)

| February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents Day … if you can still smile after the lack of discipline and leadership.  

MusicMonday: Shocker not to have mentioned American Pie yet?

| February 20, 2017

There’s probably not a more iconic early 1970’s American song than Don McLean‘s American Pie … I’m shocked no to have posted about it before? If you were a kid growing up with music coming from a AM transistor radio when the popular song came on, you knew that the next 8 minutes would be […]

President Trump and Andrew Jackson – a comparison

| January 31, 2017

Is there a comparable president to Donald Trump? People say President Donald Trump is unique in U.S. history, yet a few who study presidential history say it is not entirely true. Doug Wead, a presidential historian, compares President Trump to Andrew Jackson, as he did shortly after the November 2016 election on "Happening Now" with […]

Time.com – How Hot Was Your Baby Name?

| January 2, 2017

This Time.com post isn’t brand new, but since my daughter is due in March, “we” have an interest in baby names. Have you ever wondered how popular your or your child’s name was when named “back in the day?” We you a “Trendsetter” or named “after its time?”

A date that will live in infamy — December 7, 1941

| December 7, 2016

It has been a few years since our family visited the historic sites at Pearl Harbor …  it was very sobering. Why do human beings continue killing each other — it is as senseless today as it was 75 years ago. I would like to think that we are wiser and could agree to inhabit […]

The training of Shaolin monks – photo from 1971

| December 4, 2016

One of the television shows I enjoyed growing up watching was Kung Fu with David Carradine. The program regularly flashed back from Carradine’s character Kwain Chang Caine in the old west to China where he grew up learning the Chinese martial arts from the monks at the Shaolin Monastery.  When I saw this photo from […]

Testing a new computer and Open Live Writer set-up

| November 19, 2016

This is only a test post … but of a painting I like. It depicts Oliver Hazard Perry, of "Don’t give up the ship" fame, and the September 10, 1813 Battle Of Lake Erie.

Neil Armstrong memories … he would have been disappointed

| November 11, 2016

A lot has changed in the 11 years that have passed since I posted on "First Man" Neil Armstrong … but after re-watching the 60 Minutes clip and pondering going "back to the moon and to Mars by 2018," Armstrong would have been disappointed as a lot hasn’t changed. Click for post from 11/11/2005 WHY […]

R is for Robert, or is it Roger … or maybe Romeo?

| November 7, 2016

A learning game we played while traveling by car was to spell things out using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Both Katelyn and Taylor did a great job learning it … and I think to this day they remember it. Give it a try if you need a way to pass the time AND practice for […]

A WW2 map that illustrates the ugliness of war

| November 1, 2016

For those who study history and in particular World War II, this map illustrates the human toll on each country around the world. Likely the information is well know, but seeing the losses as a percentage of population suffered outside the United States visually leaves an impression.

National Geographic iconic Afghan Girl arrested in Pakistan

| October 29, 2016

Pakistani police have arrested National Geographic’s green-eyed “Afghan Girl” — whose striking picture became the symbol of the plight of refugees– for having a phony ID card.Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency conducted a raid Wednesday at a residence in the city of Peshawar, where Sharbat Gula was taken into custody. The FIA had gotten word about […]

TechFriday: Tim Berners Lee — The Double Slash

| October 21, 2016

Given what Sir Tim did for all of us when he developed HTML and created the World Wide Web, he’s got a fair amount of credit in the bank. If he did have any major regrets about the web, we wouldn’t find it too difficult to forgive him, but his mea culpa relates to only […]

Celebrating Independence Day with a bit of trivia

| July 4, 2016

Most people know that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner, which would become our National Anthem, as he watched the shelling of Fort McHenry.  Few people know that his poem had additional verses (link – verses below)… or that the music it was eventually set to is from a 1771 English drinking song […]

D-Day: Debunking the myths of the Normandy landings

| June 6, 2016

Anniversaries are useful moments to pause and reflect. For the anniversary of D-Day — June 6, 1944 — and subsequent campaign in northern France, it is also an opportunity to look at the past in detail and ask how much of what we think we know is true and how much is well-entrenched myth. Not […]

Honoring those who gave everything for our country

| May 30, 2016

Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of warm weather, longer days and for some, in this sluggish Obama economy, maybe even a summer vacation? “Enjoying summer” is privilege we Americans have because so many before us gave their lives for the protection, prosperity and freedom we all enjoy. Looking at our short history, we’ve fought way too many wars and lost far too […]

Thoughts of war, a nuclear exchange and our human condition

| May 16, 2016

While listening to Pianobar (Pandora app) on the Raspberry Pi this weekend, an oldie from Barry McGuire called Eve Of Destruction (1965) was "hypothetically spinning on the turntable" and reminded me how human history continues to repeat itself. We cycle through anger, hatred, genocide and war over and over again, no matter how destructive and […]

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Ed "Too Tall" Freeman

| May 13, 2016

Sharing a post as it was written back in August of 2008 then edited with shaming political commentary many times after. It is still as poignant as ever. For me it is worth sharing again not only to remember Captain Ed  Freeman, but as a reminder to Americans of those who served our country heroically […]

Book: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

| May 5, 2016

A good friend of mine loaned me his copy of Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger yesterday and as someone who enjoys learning about history, I can’t wait to read this book. At a time when four Muslim nations routinely captured American merchant ships along the North African Barbary coast […]

A lot of great blog posts on War History Online

| May 1, 2016

I recall thinking a bit more about the barbarism of the Empire of Japan during (and prior) to World War II when I read the book Flyboys by James Bradley a few years back. When it came out in 2003, I remembered thinking about just how tainted public secondary and higher had become in regards […]

Americans are giving up independence for dependence

| April 19, 2016

Recorded a bit of audio off the television this week as the intellectual thinker Charles Krauthammer summarized in about a minute and a half just how and why our country move from its independent founding to the dependent populous we see today. Krauthammer’s best comment in the exchange was “the big debate between left and […]

Kee Bird B-29 Superfortress story

| March 16, 2016

Watched an older aviation documentary this past weekend on YouTube (remembered reading about it years ago). The attempted rescue of the Kee Bird was a 1996 video story and heroic attempt ending in disaster — NOVA: B-20 Frozen in Time.

World-famous Gipsy Moth IV yacht headed to Jersey Boat Show

| March 10, 2016

The restored Gipsy Moth IV will be in attendance at next month’s Jersey Boat Show to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its historic round-the-world sail. Source: World-famous Gipsy Moth IV yacht headed to Jersey Boat Show – YBW

Can running for political office get much uglier?

| March 3, 2016

Yes … it probably can and will IF “friends” like  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton go at it. On the otherhand, they still have some mud to sling to reach the level of the John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson campaign as highlighted in the WSJ. Political Mudslinging, 1828 If you think this presidential campaign […]

Leap Day! An explanation from across the pond

| February 29, 2016

February 29 crops up every four years, but what is a leap year and  why do we have leap years? A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is down to the solar system’s disparity with the Gregorian calendar. A complete orbit of the earth around […]

Before there were Harley-Davidson Hogs …

| January 13, 2016

William Harley and Arthur Davidson, founders of Harley-Davidson, with their motorcycles in 1914.

Twas the Night before Christmas … and to all a Good-Night!

| December 24, 2015

   Nearly 200 years ago, Clement Clarke Moore “wrote” (still debated) a Christmas poem for his children, not realizing it would later be published and become the classic we all know and love — “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (A Visit from St. Nicholas). Many still do not realize that today’s image of Santa Claus […]

Remembering our veterans on Veterans Day 2015

| November 11, 2015

At exactly 11:11 a.m. every Veterans Day (Nov. 11), the sun aligns perfectly with the Anthem Veterans Memorial north of Phoenix, Arizona to shine through the ellipses of five marble pillars representing each branch of the Armed Forces. The desert sun illuminates The Great Seal of the United States in the shadow of the memorial. […]

InterestingEngineering.com is always educational and informative

| September 19, 2015

It’s probably being marveled by all things engineering that has me gravitating daily to the Interesting Engineering website and I probably browse longer than I should through the educational and “interesting” posts. Image Courtesy of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Architecture, skyscrapers and buildings around the world are a monumental undertakings and amazing […]

This farmer had a great way to commemorate Patriot Day

| September 11, 2015

Fourteen years after Islamic extremists affiliated with Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization attacked the United States with commercial airliners on 9/11/2001, we solemnly remember the 2977 who were killed with a national day of prayer and remembrance. A bill to make September 11th a national day of mourning was passed into law […]

Tidbits from the old days: The origin of sayings (maybe)

| September 5, 2015

The origins of these idioms are interesting (even if untrue). I didn’t bother looking any of them up, just posted the saying from a forwarded email … although probably pulled from a magazine or an archived site? “In the old days,” a big kettle hung over the fire and was used to make a stew. […]

Fifty years ago radio personally Paul Harvey saw the future

| August 29, 2015

Maybe it didn’t take much imagination to see where society and our country was heading … but it does give me the chills to listen to radio personality Paul Harvey’s broadcast from 1965 when Democrats embraced their big government solutions and promoted President Johnson’s Great Society program. (and the answer from today’s Liberal Progressives is […]

History repeats-Part 2: This is how we know we are getting old

| June 28, 2015

Read ONLY if you don’t’ mind getting lost in the weeds. I felt bit lost in my own country after the Supreme Court decisions this week and am concerned for the future. As a Christian, I’m trying to looking past my own traditional value and faith-based Biblical beliefs which have long been part of our […]

History repeats–Part 1: This is how we know we are getting old

| June 27, 2015

Read ONLY if you don’t’ mind getting lost in the weeds. I felt bit lost in my own country after the Supreme Court decisions this week and am concerned for the future. As a Christian, I’m trying to looking past my own traditional value and faith-based Biblical beliefs which have long been part of our […]

Early Roman version of the Swiss Army multi-function tools

| June 18, 2015

For those who carry or admire those multi-folding tools like the Swiss Army knives and tools (like me), here’s something that pre-dates the popular red ones that many of us carry from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, UK. This multi-function spoon, fork, knife and picks “eating implement” was made from iron and silver and was […]

Investing: Bull Markets and how long can they run?

| May 31, 2015

If you’ve been watching the “easy money” policies from central banks around the world (following the U.S. Fed’s lead), you may being wondering just how much money can be infused by government without suffering an economic calamity? So far, those investors “borrowing” at low interest rates in order to participate heavily in the stock market […]

A few thoughts on the movie American Sniper

| May 27, 2015

Brenda and I finally watched the Clint Eastwood directed movie about Navy Seal Chris Kyle titled American Sniper this Memorial Day weekend. It was worth the price of a DVD purchase, although I’m not sure emotionally I’ll want to see it again. The movie left me with gut wrenching sorrow and little solace that the […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.