Betrayal in Utah—a Sad Poem

Bears Ears—Listening in Pain

Sacred are the lands once protected
by more honorable men…
betrayal stings by smiling lies

Navaho gods are weeping,
for the fork-tongued leader
has betrayed their hearts

Let thunder crash as the deed
becomes known in shameful terms—
greed and deceit are the law of the land

Drums echo in the desert valleys,
vibrating the monuments of the ages
now damp with tears of the betrayed.

As the horrors and heartbreak meet
where arrows once flew…perhaps again?
Fate twists the work of Evil… to wreak revenge.

©Sometimes, 2017

 

Caribbean geography lesson…

Every now and then I like to get out a map and reassure myself that when not knowing the location of Yemen, or Utah, or Antiqua (for example) all I have to do is look it up on a map. A paper map, preferably, but sometimes even an online map will do.

So I wanted to see if Puerto Rico was really far out in the middle of the ocean someplace, or, as I suspected…in the Caribbean. So I did a search “Puerto Rico” and Bing zeroed in on a nice map of the island, in great detail of cities and even roads and topographical details like mountains. Zooming out to get the big picture…including the Pacific Ocean and all of Russia…the exact location of Puerto Rico became instantly remembered.

Looking Southward, from Florida, the island is sort of beyond Cuba, north of Venezuela, and in a line with other islands and chains of islands in the Caribbean, forming a line of defense reinforced by territories possessed by friendly allies: the French, Dutch, and British. This was perfect—especially back in the days of the conquest by Spain of the New World.

Actually the United States was interested in keeping the Spanish at bay as much as possible, while maintaining a strategic position of buffering between the British (our best friends forever) and “other” European or South American nations from getting any ideas. Or Japan…or anyone else.

The last good-size war the U.S. had with Spain was the Spanish-American War, which effectively booted the Spanish out of the area and declared US hegemony in the close-in islands, including Puerto Rico. It is true that the U.S. had a good line of defense in the Caribbean, and although U.S.-Cuban relations suffered during the Cold War…to the point where until the Cubans would acquiesce in being beaten by the U.S. Embargo, which effectively put Cuba and the Castro Dictatorship in its place as an oppressed and bullied island which “refused to straighten out” and endured sixty years or so of hardship and political hassles because of it.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, part of the spoils agreed on by the two nations was the prize of Puerto Rico…ceded to the U.S. by Spain. One of the results was that the Spanish-speaking citizens were required to speak and use English-only.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and thus Puerto Rican citizens are citizens of the United States, and are entitled to vote in U.S. elections…except for the office of President. They elect representatives to the U.S. Congress, who are on the same basis as reps and Senators from the 50 other states.

One difficult hang-over from the early 20th Century is THE JONES LAW, which forbids Puerto Rico to receive shipments of any materials or products from any sources except on officially sanctioned United States registered Ships. The result of this is that now that Hurricane Maria has devastated the Puerto Rican island, the Jones Law limits what foreign aid they can receive. The U.S. Congress has the power to rescind or modify the law…but has so far declined. It may be nteresting to note that the Jones Law has been suspended in other U.S. ports under emergencies created by Hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, as well as other U.S. controlled islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort has, as of this Wednesday morning, been sent to Puerto Rico. The reasons for the delay apparently have been worked out, especially the excuse of the ship being “too big to park in the harbor…” and the hospital ship will anchor off-shore and apparently transfer patients from the mainland of the island by helicopter.

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Puerto%20Rico&vdpid=202&mb=19.029888040912922~-69.22080993652341~17.464867724672842~-64.03526306152341&ppois=18.2491397857666_-66.6280364990234_Puerto%20Rico_~&cp=18.2491397857666~-66.6280364990234&v=2&sV=1&style=r&trfc=&lvl=7

Cornflower or Chicory? beautiful blue blossom!

 

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Cornflower Blue: a Crayola crayon color, gorgeous delicate blossoms, big bad weed.  A flower by any other name is still beautiful.    Also known as Chicory, among other names.           ©Sometimes, 2017

 

Johnson’s Island, Confederate officers prison on Lake Erie, Ohio (Part Two)

(all photos on this page © Sometimes, 2017)   These photos were taken in May 1981 by Bob Dreger, my late husband.

The island prison housed Confederate military officers who were originally  captured during Civil War battles, and imprisoned  at Camp Chase, Columbus Ohio.   The object was to separate the officers from the rank-and-file soldiers and house them in the Northern prison where they remained until the end of the Civil War in 1865, or their death, which ever came first.    Over two hundred of them remain there, in their graves, to this day.

There is more to come from SOMETIMES, so please check back for more information about Johnson’s Island.     (I would continue now, but I have a lunch date with my best friend where we will fight the Civil War again.   We are on the same side…North, anti-Slavery, but present upheaval over Civil War statues opens up new debate across our nation—as if we don’t have plenty to debate! 🙂   For what it’s worth, this on-going perennial battle never dies.

 

 

Johnson’s Island confederate cemetery on Lake Erie, Ohio….photos of Southern soldier statue (Part One)

Here are two photos of the statue at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, taken by Bob Dreger in 1981.   The cemetery is a protected U.S. site, where more than two hundred Confederate military officers are buried.    I do need to clarify that Bob Dreger was the photographer, in 1981.  The copyright  is ©Sometimes, 2017.

This island is far North, half way to Canada.   It was important because all of the prisoners were Confederate military officers (Lieutenant and higher) who were separated from the rank-and-file soldiers incarcerated at Camp Chase, Ohio, and transferred to Johnson’s Island.

Later today I will try to post several more photos from this same batch.

This is the first part of this post on SOMETIMES, photos of the statue itself, including the pedestal, or base, which clearly explains the presence of a Southern monument this far North.   Johnson’s Island is located off of Sandusky, Ohio, in Lake Erie.   The island itself is privately owned, with controlled access.     Visitors to the federal cemetery do have access to the cemetery grounds, however.

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U.S.Civil War. Statue of Confederate Soldier, at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. Photo by Bob Dreger, ©Sometimes, 2017
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Base of Confederate Soldier statue on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, Civil War Prison. ©photo by Bob Dreger, Sometimes 2017)

Magic of WordPress support

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/reblogging/

 

I love the way WordPress support people just hang on my every word and serendipitously post the perfect article pertaining to questions on which I am obsessing at any given time.

OK, logic tells me that it isn’t really magic, more like internet triggers that connect information sites with people who want to know.     I admit that I have been searching the support pages for re-blogging information.

The question of re-blogging is one that bothers me a lot.   The rules of correct citation of articles, papers, and texts are not strictly enforced as they are in a language class at a high school or university.     No one whips out a theoretical red pencil and “corrects” what we write, and plagiarism is rampant…although it is mostly not intentional.

Sure, it could be argued that commenters in an online chat room don’t know and don’t care if facts are really true or if they are “fake facts.”

So what do we expect from blogs?    At times all I expect is a nice poem, or a page of pretty flowers, an outrageous point-of-view or page of insults.     Jokes, comics.    How to raise children; How to raise chickens; How to bake an apple pie…all interesting.     But I also turn to certain bloggers that are knowledgeable and educated to some degree on topics of world upheaval or historical background on new or on-going crisis spots across the globe.     No one can know everything about everything.

This is where the subject of re-blogging comes in.   I often re-blog posts from other bloggers.     Criteria for a reblog is that my readers know exactly where the piece comes from: who wrote it, the reason for re-blogging it, and where to find it.      Sometimes it is difficult to trace back to an original source…then decide if it should be para-phrased or quoted directly.

The new re-blogging system of WordPress is good, it takes care of notifications to the original blogger…although there should always be that information in the very top of an article.   Admittedly I’m lax about this, and although try to specify the original source in the headline of the post, and include an introduction as to the author.    A link is easily copied from the address bar.

The thing that worries me is that someone will think that a post is mine, where in fact it is written by someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

toning down the glare

Last month I got a new computer, printer, and camera.   Yesterday the monitor had to go back to the store because the brightness control didn’t work.    I have had computers since 1983, and the first thing I ever did when setting them up for use was to adjust the brightness of the screen.   The manufacturers insist upon having white backgrounds on much of the content, but there was always the option to turn down the brightness by using the control button.

So in a search for the control that I knew had to be there, finally found the controls, and set out to change the brightness.    So I went online and asked google how to change the brightness.   Easy…they told me…giving detailed instructions.    Nope.   Then checked the discussion pages….the people who say stuff about their frustrating experiences with their new computers.      In a nutshell, they followed the instructions, to no avail…gave up.

After convincing myself that the brightness control on my monitor did not work, I turned to my second plan of attack—the first being to solve the problem myself—which involved asking my daughter, who is something of a computer guru, to look at it and tell me what I was doing wrong.   She arrived, and conducted a search of her own, trying all the tried and true tricks that a neophyte like me would not know.

Finally, daughter arrived at the point where I had given up and her opinion was that the control system was not working.    So, we went off to BestBuy, where the GeekSquad woman ran the monitor through its paces and arrived at exactly the same conclusion that we had reached—the thing did not work!

All ended well though—I paid an extra $30.00 and got a new monitor.   It’s about an inch larger screen than the one it replaces.    The brightness control works…and the controls themselves can be manipulated easily and efficiently without standing on my head to find the control board.

Now…I am having a problem getting the CD with the instruction booklet for the monitor to download.   I know the CD drive works because I tested it last week.   But this won’t be a major issue, because I DO know enough German to read the on-screen directions if I need to make other adjustments.    Sprechen zie kleine bissel deutsch, so I’ll manage until I have the wits to adjust the language.

Teotihuacan 1996 revisited

Wow!   Two promises in two days….      I checked out my Digital Film/Slide Projector for my pal Judy Dykstra/Brown over at Lifelessons, AND in the same swell swoop…or is it fell swoop?… found some of my ancient slides of ancient archeological sites as I had promised my buddy BadFish!

I will do a proper post about these pyramids  soon, right now the goal is to show that my old slides really can be  resurrected and restored by even ME…klutz that I can be even after thirty-some years of computer-practice.

The purpose of this post is to show the results of my test of my scanner converter…yes it works, and yes I love it!    It took me about four times longer than it should have, and I had a LOT of hassle getting the photos into the post.

No, that is not me up on that pyramid…no way.   It may or may not be my late husband, who went up part way.

These shots were taken in 1996 at the Teotihuacan archeological site near Mexico City.  This particular occasion marked the last time Bob and I went to Mexico together, although I made several more trips by myself.

These are not Aztec pyramids, but were constructed by the Teotihuacanos, who predated the Aztecs by centuries.    The city was a hub of commerce and trade that extended even down into what is now Guatemala.   National Geographic did a great magazine issue featuring this fascinating city.

There are hundreds and hundreds of photos of the pyramids.       https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=teotihuacan+pyramids&FORM=IARRTH&ufn=teotihuacan&stid=1a1f9c4b-ec11-aeee-db7b-def752eff0af&cbn=EntityAnswer&cbi=0&FORM=IARRTHds   I’ll check it.   I just googled Teotihuacan pyramids and got it.

OH yes!  the link works…many of the photos I looked at on the site have been taken much more recently.  There has been on-going reconstruction work at many of the Mexican sites for many years.

All photos were by Robert Dreger, 1996.   © Sometimes, 2017

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The Pyramid of the  Moon photo © Sometimes, 2017
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The much larger Pyramid of the Sun.
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A partially reconstructed Administration or residential Building.

They seem to have fixed Add Media Thank You Word Press!!!

 

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Ah ha!    It looks like it may be working… this guy in the chair is from an ebay listing I was attempting, but on closeup it is obvious that his make-up crew isn’t doing a very good job, so he hasn’t made the cut.       It does appear that Mama sitting on the chair here is also waiting for Make Up to return.      I believe these are some old (1950s I think) Marx Toys, which were originally plain pinkish-beige plastic, and someone tried to paint them.     The painter apparently wasn’t very good at painting facial features.   The bottom photo shows the family posing with a US Quarter… I had some with them sitting on my hand, but it made my fingers look fat.  (Kidding…I couldn’t get the crop feature to work.   🙂

 

 

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the trouble with time limits

Every election, and whenever the subject comes up in between elections, there is a big
“thing” about term limits.

“Throw ’em all out…ALL of them.”      This seems like a good idea…on the face of it…except that it would almost always be a disaster.     This point of view is often described as “clear the swamp.”      I like my clichés to have literal meaning, so when someone says that I picture a real swamp, with hanging moss, fragrant jungle flowers, glass-bottomed tour boats, and alligators sunning themselves in mis-leading innocence.    Yeah, this is all very picturesque.    The thing to “clear out” of the actual swamp/jungle, presumeably is the alligators, and other creatures that will eat you if they get a chance.   In the metaphorical  swamp, to which the plotters and pundits refer,… is of course Washington D.C.   The best allusions may be to the alligators, standing in for elected members of Congress.     (No aspersions cast on the alligators.)

Depending on the speaker, there is usually no consensus of exactly WHOM to throw out.     The “commenters” are not very specific either….they mostly just advocate getting rid of “ALL of them,” and starting over with an all-new brand-spanking lot of Congress people and their respective entourages.

“Don’t throw out MY Congresspeople though!”    Ah-ha, therein lies the rub…the Dems want their own representatives, and Republicans back theirs (most of the time…moreorless.)     That could be called the “Your Rep is a crook…Mine isn’t” theory of political adequacy.

Yes, I DO have an allegorical illustration for my point…which is that it is basically impossible to start over completely, from scratch, at a grass-roots level.     Once…back in the proverbial day…a would-be entrepreneur presented to our City Council a plan to open a new restaurant.    He said he intended to hire ALL NEW staff—new cooks, new waitresses/waiters, now known as “Servers.”      New hostesses, new managers, new bartender…even new dishwasher/busboys.     By “new” was meant workers who had NO experience in any of the positions.   They would be trained “to order” by the owner, in his own expectations for how to do their jobs.    In other words, no one would have even a clue of what they were supposed to do.    Needless to say, if the restaurant ever had materialized as planned it could have been named “The Fiasco Diner.”

That’s what would happen in Washington if there was a law that all new politicians had to be completely inexperienced.    Wow!     As if the atmosphere there is not already terrifying!     Actually the current experiment in Foggy Bottom threatens to loom menacingly as The PEOTUS seems to be introducing a concept of “let’s just see what happens!”     Maybe its a principle of “…keeping one’s friends close and enemies closer.”

Here’s a scary one: “let’s call up all our enemies and suggest we all play nice.”

 

Tributary (Reblogged from Behind the White Coat)

This post is about a topic that I think about often….namely, friends in our circle of virtual friendship.   I did not know the subject of this, but in fact…popular as he was, he is thus gaining even more interest.

 

Behind the White Coat

bright uellow gerber daisy

There are exceptional people you can come across in life if you are lucky, people who make you feel like a better version of you. Smarter. Prettier. Kinder. More patient.

Not empty flattery. No. They have a knack for finding the gem of you and making you sparkle and shine.

I have been blessed to find a few of these people in my lifetime. Paul Curran was one of those. I looked forward to his comments for that very selfish reason. He made me feel better about me.

I realize that he was a virtual friend, someone I never met, but what I feel now is a very real sense of grief and sadness. Strangely that is made worse by the fact that I can find no obituary, no mark of his passing except for the deafening silence that exists now on my blog and on many others.

I want…

View original post 62 more words

May in Bombay

There was in Bombay a young lady named May
who more than anything, wanted her lover to stay
though she knew he had a life-long longing
to be a sailor, and sail away from Bombay
to work on a fine and glorious ship
with sails yet furled but soon
preparing to sail away.

There was in May a sailing ship set to sail
that needed a deck-hand to fill its crew.
The young sailor knew that his dream
was about to come true
though his heart ached and his eyes
teared for he knew that too soon
he would sail away
and leave behind his lovely May.

There was set to sail across the sea and away
a grand sailing ship with strong timber masts
and billowing sails, once underway.
The lad could see as the ship pulled away
from the dock…
back to the slim girlish form
in the bright yellow frock.
He watched and waited and felt his heart break,
and seized by a sharp stab of regret,
he vowed in his fervor, a promise
to return to Bombay–if it took forever.

But many long years came and went
as the ship maneuvered the crest of the sea
and adventure and circumstances
did not relent
and the whispers and wails of the salty winds
belabored his promise to return
to Bombay–and to May.

At last came a voyage which quickened his heart
and the great ship pulled into
a promising port
a great harbor festooned and bedecked
with much regalia and sport.
Then came the cry that gladdened his soul–
“On to Bombay!”

But the closer the shore, and the shorter the days,
a great fear grew in his heart
until he was near to drown in his sorrow
convinced that his lover must have found another
and the poor sailor moped in despair.

When the day finally came he helped
with the sails, and all that entailed,
and time dragged as the distance narrowed
Then–at last!
the sight of the shore and the lights of Bombay!
‘Twas misty and cool, and he barely dared to breathe
Then as the mist cleared–
behold on the dock!
stood his beloved lass May, alone and glowing
in her bright yellow frock.

They were wed on a bright sunny day in May
after May was assured that his dream
of being a sailor had passed,
and he’d had quite enough of the sea.
No regrets had he, as he and May
watched from the dock
and waved–all happy and gay–
as the ship took sail
and sailed away from Bombay.

©Sometimes2015