Pyramids: Amazing human-powered ancient engineering

| October 17, 2021

Saw this last week posted on the @ArchaeoHistories Twitter feed. This is how the pyramids looked when they were built four thousand five hundred years ago. Where it was covered with white limestone and its top was made of gold to reflect the sun’s rays.

A colorized photo triggering interest in Ernest Shacklton

| September 30, 2021

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success." –Ernest Shackleton  Seeing a colorized version of a photo on Twitter the other day from the British National Antarctic Expedition at the turn of the century triggered memories of […]

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Supernova in the East #podcast

| September 27, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, Taylor introduced me to a Dan Carlin “Hardcore History” podcasts. He thought I might enjoy them, since both of us particularly appreciate learning more about military history. The series is called “Supernova in the East” detailing the Japanese Empire from pre-World War Japan through WW 2 in six long lectures […]

Högertrafikomläggningen in Sweden

| September 26, 2021

What does it take for a country to switch from left-hand to right-hand driving? Sweden did just that in 1967 … with a lot of preparation. It was called Dagen H or “Högertrafikomläggningen.”

A modern old favorite map (Pangaea – 175-300 million years ago)

| September 21, 2021

When I was a kid, I remember studying the illuminated glass globe in my bedroom and my grandparents pre-WW II atlas and then stumbling across the science theory showing the Alfred Wegener proposed supercontinent called Pangaea. The other day I saved the image overlay of today’s international borders on top of the globe image (click […]

Are we really safer from terrorism 20 years after 9/11?

| September 11, 2021

The news media has been doing their part this week to remember the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and memorializing the 2977 people killed by 19 radical Islamist terrorists. Twenty years ago, four commercial airliners loaded with unsuspecting passengers were hijacked and the fuel-ladened planes were used as suicide weapons. To […]

Audiobook: Bill O’Reilly and "Killing the SS" on the Libby app

| September 5, 2021

Last week I downloaded a new library app called Libby that is an Overdrive component for audiobooks for borrowing digitally from the library. I put it to use immediately after checking out the Bill O’Reilly book “Killing the SS.” So far it is very interesting considering I’m only in chapter 2, but love the storytelling […]

Books (audio): In “Search of a Kingdom” by Laurance Bergreen

| July 28, 2021

Perhaps it is my aging eyes, just worn out in the evening … or just too many distractions when the TV is on … but my book reading has slowed a bit. Of the several books sitting next to my chair, on my Kindle or iPad, most have been started, but sit unfinished.  So this […]

The legendary Thomas Sowell and his economics, politics and social theory highlighted by Jason Riley for PragerU

| July 27, 2021

As a longtime subscriber to the Wall Street Journal (and for the last decade or so Barron’s), I’ve learned to appreciate certain journalists, economists and opinion piece writers like Jason Riley at the Manhattan Institute. When he told the inspiring story of Thomas Sowell for PragerU, I quickly viewed the video and applauded – well […]

Book: Operation Pedestal – The Fleet That Battled to Malta, 1942

| July 14, 2021

Progress has been slow in my latest nightly book reading, in part due to being wiped-out by full days with our granddaughters last week and more recently watching a few episodes each night of an old 1965-1971 sitcom called Hogan’s Heroes (mention once before). So for a update on reading Operation Pedestal by Max Hastings, “I […]

Books: “Beyond”by Stephen Walker about Yuri Gagarin

| July 7, 2021

One of the segments from the Wall Street Journal that I especially enjoy are the book reviews … or the “bookshelf.” I’m always intrigued by the history selections and the review on Stephen Walker’s book “Beyond” was no exception. It so happened that it is also a WSJ+ “free book club read” for the month […]

The mixed messages on inflation and what does it mean?

| June 23, 2021

Although I’m likely tainted in having lived through a period where inflation was real and uncontrolled, I do worry that people living today either ignore or downplay the negative impact inflation, stagflation or worse … hyperinflation … can make on our country. For those who know me, I’ve likely been the “boy who calls wolf” […]

WW2 Aviation History: Why are F4U-1 Corsairs so taped up?

| June 12, 2021

Well talking to Taylor at his birthday dinner, I mentioned someone posted a photo of a WW2 Vought F4U Corsair and asked about the “stripes” … or duct tape … on the cowl in front of the pilot. The answer from a HistoryNet.com researcher below is a great aviation tidbit for those with a curious […]

Memorial Day: Honor those who gave their life for our country

| May 30, 2021

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and was first observed on May 30th, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifice’s of Civil War soldiers. It was declared a General Order No. 11 by General John A. Logan on May 5, 1868. The General Order stated: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose […]

Audio book from WSJ+: "All Against All" by Paul Jankowski

| May 22, 2021

Audiobooks and eBooks are some of the perks that come with being a long time Wall Street Journal subscriber. This WSJ+ membership includes early pre-production copies and likely word-of-mouth publicity marketing associated with giving away free “controlled” copies of books. I say controlled because readers do not really own the books, but are granted the […]

Music Monday: The Who – “I Can See For Miles” triggered by an astronaut Alan Shepard memory

| May 10, 2021

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Happy Easter 2021 – He is risen. He is risen indeed.

| April 4, 2021

For Christians, there’s no more celebrated day than Easter … for without a risen Savior, no other day in Christianity would matter. He is risen indeed!  BUT … why does the day always change? I mean, we’ve assigned December 25th to celebrate Christmas and most other holidays on our calendar at least fall in the […]

An etymology share: ‘What Time Is ‘Noon?"

| March 31, 2021

When was ‘noon’ a time that was later in the day … like 3PM? Let’s check with merriam-webster.com: There’s something aesthetically pleasing about the word noon. Its palindromic spelling feels appropriate for the middle of the day, when the sun is directly overhead and the hands on the clock are pointed upward in a straight […]

A softening in attitude towards socialism for America

| March 16, 2021

Support for socialism has been on the rise in America as I have previously noted and according to trend we have seen and the acceptable rhetoric/terms politicians have been willing to adopt this past decade. Liberals, who now prefer the “progressive” label, have decidedly shifted from resisting the status quo, traditional “right and wrong” norms, […]

How to run email lists, sell your product and retain customers

| March 10, 2021

After cleaning out my email in-box and “attempting” to unsubscribe to a bunch of marketing oriented email lists, it became clear that I chose to remain subscribed to the lists that do more than plug their products or repeat sales again and again. A couple “subscribed-to” lists stood out because they were informative and were […]

Thoughts on the passing of conservative icon: Rush Limbaugh

| February 21, 2021

Rush Limbaugh died on Wednesday of this past week. It wasn’t a surprise to those who have followed his health challenges and in particular a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis a year previous. He continue his radio work up until the end and left a G.O.A.T. legacy in conservative talk radio that will likely never […]

Bold and accomplished leaders often lack diplomatic tact

| January 9, 2021

As a “very” amateur military history buff who is currently reading the book “I Marched With Patton,” I came away from Frank Sisson’s memoir in thinking about other leaders who earned the respect of their men, but offended others and were seen as abrasive. Accomplishing a goal and “winning” was for the most part their […]

A cigar box for sewing clips and NE Ohio drugstore memories

| January 2, 2021

Adam Savage, from Mythbusters claim-to-fame, has been regularly posting a few of his shop ideas online. A few months ago he triggered me into improving my portable Sailrite Sewing machine set-up (well my wife’s sewing machine that I use .. cough, cough). Anyway, a few weeks after he built his table for his impressive Sailrite […]

Old handsaws, rusting jack posts and a deck of cards #TBT

| December 24, 2020

Since I expect to be busy with our family on Christmas Eve Day, I’ll prepare a post for Throwback Thursday #TBT with a few old handsaws from my families past and asked the rhetorical question to myself: “Why do you keep old handsaws that you never use?” Actually I don’t recall really needing to use […]

Remembering Pearl Harbor and a few personal family thoughts

| December 7, 2020

Recognition and remembrance for those of the Greatest Generation who were killed on December 7, 1941 are compelling reasons why Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day rings loud with me … but my remembering is also partially due out of respect for my parents. For them (and my late mother and father-in-law), the attack by Japan and […]

Books: Finished Operation Vengeance, starting Pacific Crucible

| October 14, 2020

This past week I finally finished Dan Hampton’s excellent historical World War II book titled “Operation Vengeance” about the operation to kill Isoroku Yamamoto and can finally move on to the book I mentioned in September after reading a WSJ review. Since the “reviewed” book was the third and finally Ian W. Toll’s book in […]

The 19th Anniversary of 9/11 and thoughts on our current path

| September 11, 2020

It seems like yesterday, but it was 19 years ago that the US was attacked by our own commercial airliners taken over by radical Islamic terrorists and orchestrated by Osama bin Laden. These evil men following a twisted ideology attempted to trigger an all out war between Muslims and who they perceived as the enemies […]

Books: Starting with "Pacific Crucible" by Ian W. Toll

| September 2, 2020

As a World War II history buff, and someone who has read a few Navy and Merchant Marine stories over the years, I was triggered to start a hefty Ian W. Toll trilogy after reading a book review in the WSJ last weekend of Twilight of the Gods. The 3 volume work starts with Pacific […]

The differences between a Willys, Ford and Hotchkiss Jeep

| August 5, 2020

Ever since reading Boys’ Life magazine as a kid and perusing the “military surplus” advertising, I’ve wanted a classic military Willys MB Jeep (or Ford GPW). I’m sure that I was not alone? The old restored Jeeps have been staples at car shows, parades and aviation fly-ins for decades and I’m always attracted to them […]

The longest serving US military rifle – the Coconut Rifle

| July 8, 2020

The “Coconut Rifle” … known to most as the Colt ArmaLite AR-15 (SN 000106) … the original for what is now the longest primary service weapon in our country’s military history. The originals firearms (20 of them) were manufactured by Colt in 1959. One of them #106 was involved in a July 4th 1960 “Watermelon […]

Winning freedom is one thing, maintaining it is yet another

| July 4, 2020

As we celebrate our country’s freedom from oppression and an independence won from Great Britain this July 4th, it is hard to imagine any US citizen wanting to give up their liberty? Yet once again, it is looking more and more as if a vocal and radical segment in the most successful democracy on the […]

A long winded reader answer with a bit of my Internet history

| June 20, 2020

A couple weeks ago I shared an old automotive link from MyDesultoryBlog.com on Twitter and one of my automotive buddies sent me a private message asking about the name of my blog (now nearly 7000 posts). The conversation had me contemplate the early decisions and thoughts .. or lack of thought .. when all of […]

What are we hearing as the 2020 presidential election nears?

| June 14, 2020

Ok … I’ve decided that most of the outrage (see 1, 2 & 3) in our country happening is politically motivated and it is being fanned and fueled by political operatives and left-wing ideologues as we approach the 2020 election. Considering we’ve been through racial outrage before, the latest looks to me to be a […]

Book: “Fortitude” by Dan Crenshaw (thanks, Taylor)

| May 16, 2020

I commented to Brenda, “We must have done something right?” It was both a statement .. and a half question .. when reflecting on the book our son Taylor read, liked and then bought to give me for my birthday. It was definitely a very thoughtful and appreciated gift. Representative Dan Crenshaw’s book Fortitude slightly […]

What is so appealing about the P-51 Mustang? #aviation

| April 18, 2020

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is one of the most celebrated Allied fighter planes of WW II. It continues to have wide-spread aviation enthusiasm to this day … and one look (and listen – volume up!) will have you understanding why it is so admired.

Tech Friday: Word processor WordStar in 1980 for the Apple II

| April 3, 2020

Above is a graphic sent by a friend, who knows of my long time Apple addiction … and it had me pondering the Steve Jobs vs Steve Wozniak struggle when trying to grow Apple Computer back in the early days (watch the Danny Boyle movie called Steve Jobs). One of the founders was an advocated […]

Will we ever see modest interest rates again? #TBT

| March 26, 2020

When I was growing up, I had a passbook savings account that was a teaching tool used by my parents to instill responsible money management. I deposited a small amount in it every few months or so when my mom would go to the bank and got my passbook stamped with an update as to […]

As depression kicks in, watched the film “Miracle” for inspiration

| March 18, 2020

For those of us who in December thought this Coronavirus ‘thing’ was a Chinese story and not going to be a big deal here in America; we were wrong. COVID19 and the economic impact is being felt far and wide by everyone in the world. I still want to believe it will be short-lived and […]

All things RMS Titanic … now you know the rest of the story

| March 11, 2020

My friend Jeff gave me a couple “used” books for Christmas this year after we talked last year about our favorite authors and books over the decades. Sloan Wilson, of “Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” fame, also wrote several World War II US Coast Guard and Merchant Marine novels that both of us read […]

Tech Friday, sort of: If you like geography, world history and maps – you will like this

| February 28, 2020

Right-click and Save-as for a very interesting larger download version of this map A new Brilliant Maps twitter feed is constantly sharing some very interesting mapping  projects and this one was particularly intriguing. As a commenter posted, “obviously a map like this is going to disputed, but PisseGuri82 has gone to great lengths to explain […]

Low inflation. Will it continue? It depends on who you ask.

| January 5, 2020

An interesting take on “inflation” and how different generations perceive the possibility of it accelerating in the next decade or so … and perhaps the effect it can or will have on our lives. For example, in the graph below, pick your birth year and note the color bars to determine how many years of […]

Automotive history photo and story that got attention last year

| January 2, 2020

Every once in a while, a story about cars and history (my memories) catches eyeballs. One such story in Hemmings Motor News last year did that for me in part because my dad had a 1972 Ford Pinto and because the Mt. St. Helens eruption in May of 1980 was a big deal news story. […]

Can stamps get you in the Christmas spirit? #random

| December 8, 2019

While trying my best to get in the Christmas spirit … how about something from the philately world? Although I’m not a stamp collector, back in the day my company Consolidated Printing and Publishing did some plate work for special cancels and printing for a stamp collecting organization. Besides, my father-in-law had an impressive stamp […]

Remembering the 2403 who died on December 7, 1941

| December 7, 2019

One of the most impactful photos for me on Pearl Harbor Day is one we took while watching the oil still rising to the surface from the USS Arizona while visiting the memorial. It was a solemn visit and moving time for us, decades after the surprise attack by Japan on December 7th 1941. As […]

A little Computer Mouse history … and then some #TBT

| November 21, 2019

Hello World! It is frightening to think that I’ve been using computers for FORTY years and have used and have seen the slow evolution in input devices clustered around a device called the Computer Mouse. So for ThrowBack Thursday #TBT this week, the above is a photo of the original “mouse” in 1964 by Douglas […]

Do improvements in technology change views on abortion?

| October 29, 2019

It has been 26 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade. In 1973, our nine justices decided that pregnant women should have the right to legally choose an abortion (would it be different today?). Our national debate has continued non-stop for decades, but the call is getting louder to re-address the issue […]

Patriot Day -; Are you as vigilant today as the day after 9/11?

| September 11, 2019

Remember to pause for a moment of silence at 8:46AM this morning … and if you fly a flag, lower it to half-staff as a mark of respect for those who died on on 9/11. Patriot Day :– A day to remember. A day to never forget. On September 11, 2001, four commercial planes were […]

Do you recycle or think about your environmental footprint?

| July 24, 2019

As a conservation minded “conservative” and as someone who has always balanced the cost vs benefits of decisions, I once thought “recycling” was as simple as “not littering” and cleaning up pollution highlighted by the 1971 ad campaign (Iron Eyes Cody photo above). From an early age we were bombarded by pointing out how careless […]

Fifty years ago NASA launched Apollo 11 in our race to land a man on the moon in the 1960s

| July 16, 2019

In the space race with the Soviet Union (USSR) during the 1960s, the United States “rocketed” ahead on July 16, 1969 as NASA sent the three men of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space at 9:32AM EST. The Apollo command module and Lunar Module (LM) sat atop the huge 363-feet […]

Book: Moondust – In Search of the Men Who Fell to the Earth

| July 14, 2019

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon in 1969, I’ve been enjoying both television anniversary shows, articles and the book Moondust – In Search of the Men Who Fell to the Earth. The Andrew Smith book, in particular, has been enjoyable as it blends events from the author’s memory […]

Congratulations – 130 yrs for the Wall Street Journal newspaper

| July 8, 2019

As a newspaper oriented guy from years ago, I have a soft spot for ink on paper and digital journalism (started as local newspaper photog when in high school and worked for Knight Ridder in the 1980s). Even my eventual career path followed from what I learned working for newspaper companies. But as a subscriber, […]

Happy Independence Day 2019 – tainting another symbol

| July 4, 2019

Most Americans love their country and enjoy celebrating our country’s “amazing” 243 year history and success. We are thankful for the rag-tag group of patriots from the 13 original colonies who boldly fought for their independence from Great Britain. In school, my generation (and previous) learned about our forefather’s near impossible struggle for freedom and […]

The Spot, a Sidney Ohio landmark & Rob Lowe memories #TBT

| June 6, 2019

Who doesn’t enjoyed reminiscing and remembering fond memories from the past?  I know I do … and it is obvious the actor Rob Lowe does as well. Last week the actor was in Sidney, Ohio before his one-man show at the Schuster Center in Dayton. His fondest for the Dayton area is fairly well know, […]

Preparing for Memorial Day: Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery – Sen Tom Cotton #Imprimis

| May 26, 2019

Earlier this week I posted something frivolous for a Music Monday, which happens to be Memorial Day, so I’m going to include is post a day early on Sunday thinking others might read it as a way to learn a little more about those who make the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. If […]

The Notre Dame de Paris burned – April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

One of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in Paris, France was gutted as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris France burned. The entire roof and main spire collapsed (below) along with what looks like significant damage to the rose windows. The heart wrenching images and video flooded social media streams and newsfeeds at […]

Music Monday: The Rascals and “A Beautiful Morning”

| April 15, 2019

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How big is the Antonov An-225 Mriya? Total payload 559,580 lb.

| April 7, 2019

The Antonov An-225 is one big aircraft … a strategic airlifter built in the Soviet Union in 1985 with a first flight in 1988 with the designed purpose of airlifting Energia rocket’s boosters and the Buran orbiter for the Soviet space program in the 1980s.

Food for thought with all the political labeling nowadays

| April 6, 2019

Obviously labeling someone as a “fascist, socialist or an authoritarian dictator” is not new in politics, but the bigger government grows, the more we U.S. voters need to defend America’s founding principles such as individual liberty and personal freedom. During the 2016 campaign and election of President Donald Trump, those on the political left were […]

Tech Friday and some etymology history of the word Emoji

| March 15, 2019

I enjoy receiving the occasional email on words from Science Diction (Science Friday folks) and this one from the word emoji was a good one. READ the full history here  … or on the archived WaybackMachine LINK

Ancestry: Allen George Howard’s horse was named Gus #TBT

| March 14, 2019

Throwback Thursday posts can be interesting, especially when archiving a couple of my old photos from the early 1990s and tidbit of information that is likely not saved any place else (the horse was named Gus). Here’s a little Howard family history (my wife’s side of the family): Brenda’s grandfather, Allen George Howard died young; […]

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.
My Desultory Blog