Saturday, August 31, 2013


The following text came with the photos.

Every so often, usually in the vast deserts of the American Southwest, a hiker or a backpacker will run across something puzzling:  a large concrete arrow, as much as seventy feet in length, sitting in the middle of scrub-covered nowhere.

What are these giant arrows? Some kind of surveying mark?  Landing beacons for flying saucers? Earth’s turn signals?

No, it's...The Transcontinental Air Mail Route.

On August 20, 1920, the United States opened its first coast-to-coast airmail delivery route, just 60 years after the Pony Express closed up shop.  There were no good aviation charts in those days, so pilots had to eyeball their way across the country using landmarks. This meant that flying in bad weather was difficult, and night flying was just about impossible.

The Postal Service solved the problem with the world’s first ground-based civilian navigation system: a series of lit beacons that would extend from New York to San Francisco. Every ten miles, pilots would pass a bright yellow concrete arrow. Each arrow would be surmounted by a 51-foot steel tower and lit by a million-candlepower rotating beacon. (A generator shed at the tail of each arrow powered the beacon.)

Now mail could get from the Atlantic to the Pacific not in a matter of weeks, but in just 30 hours or so. Even the dumbest of air mail pilots, it seems, could follow a series of bright yellow arrows. By 1924, just a year after Congress funded it, the line of giant concrete markers stretched from Rock Springs, Wyoming  to Cleveland, Ohio. The next summer, it reached all the way to New York, and by 1929 it spanned the continent uninterrupted, the envy of postal systems worldwide.

Radio and radar are, of course, infinitely less cool than a concrete Yellow Brick Road from sea to shining sea, but I think we all know how this story ends. New advances in communication and navigation technology made the big arrows obsolete, and the Commerce Department decommissioned the beacons in the 1940s. The steel towers were torn down and went to the war effort. But the hundreds of arrows remain. Their yellow paint is gone, their concrete cracks a little more with every winter frost, and no one crosses their path much, except for coyotes and tumbleweeds.

But they’re still out there.

Humor --

Don't pass cars
On curve or hill
If the cops
Don't get you
Morticians will

Guys whose eyes
Are in
Their backs
Get halos crossing
Railroad tracks

She kissed
The hairbrush
By mistake
She thought it was
Her husband Jake

If you
Don't know
Whose signs
These are
You can't have
Driven very far

"At ease," she said
"Maneuvers begin
When you get
Those whiskers
Off your chin"

Big mistake
Many make
Rely on horn
Instead of

Don't lose
Your head
To gain a minute
You need your head
Your brains are in it

Friday, August 30, 2013


The range of color never ceases to amaze!  See for yourself --

Cherry Blossom Avenue, Bonn, Germany

Flower Bower, Brisbane, Australia

Flying duck orchids

Maple orchard, British Columbia, Canada

Patio Garden

Seaside Park, Monterey, California

Fun -


Come, now.  At least a few of these were among your upbringing!

~ My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

~ My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

~ My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

~ My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

~ My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

~ My mother taught me WISDOM .
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

~ My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.”

Thursday, August 29, 2013


And what better way to test than on my favorite subject --

On my knee

I like it up here where I can watch what you're doing.

Can I chew on these papers? Just a little?

One of her favorite places -- on top of the shredder

Really?  I didn't know that!

Wake me when it's time to eat.

Fun --


If you dislike
Big traffic fines
Slow down
'Till you
Can read these signs

A peach
Looks good
With lots of fuzz
But man's no peach
And never wuz

At crossroads
Don't just
Trust to luck
The other car
May be a truck

Said Juliet
To Romeo
If you
Won't shave
Go homeo

You can't reach 80
Hale and hearty
By driving 80
Home from
The party

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Here is a collection of scenic sights for sore eyes.  Enjoy!

 Transylvania, Romania

Cypress trees, Pt. Reyes, California

A night bridge -- from here to there.

Lakeside homes


Mt. Fuji, Japan

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

New York City park

Ocean trench, western Samoa

Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

No idea where this is.

Humor --


He had the ring
He had the flat
But she felt his chin
And that
Was that

You know
Your onions
Lettuce suppose
This beets 'em all
Don't turnip your nose

To get
Away from
Hairy apes
Ladies jump
From fire escapes

No lady likes
To dance
Or dine
Accompanied by
A porcupine

Hardly a driver
Is now alive
Who passed
On hills
At 75

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


parable |ˈparəbəl|  noun
A simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.

I have no idea if this story is true, but it certainly holds its own as a parable.


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.  One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.  He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"  He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."  To stress his point he said to another guest; "You are a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?” (She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor if this student has been barely passing.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 minutes without an I Pod, Game Cube, or movie rental.

You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.  Not just say I'm sorry, but I am sorry for.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them to write and then I make them write.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, because we live in the United States of America.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant.

You want to know what I make?  I make a difference.  What do you make?"

Fun --

I have been told that falcons do not nest in trees.

(That right, Alison?)


We're getting there ...

Monday, August 26, 2013


Cute or funny, for the most part.

Hi!  My name isn't Dumbo.

Yeah, I'm a widdle guy.

Look out below!

Buddies.  For the time being.

Ain't I the cutest!

Oh, we're off on the road to Morocco...
(From the movie of the same name.)

Just tasting.

Ha, ha, ha! That was a good one!

What I do on a hot day.

Listen, Ma, psssst!

I told you the elephants took a different road!

Food!  Food!  Food!

Humor --

I OWE MY MOTHER  (Were ever told any of these?)

~  My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

~ My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

~ My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

~ My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

~ My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

~ My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

Saturday, August 24, 2013


The birds really get a good look!

Mount Reinebringen, Norway

Nordlingen, Germany

Paris, France

San Francisco, California
That's the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground, 
and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, top, center

Seattle, Washington
That's Mt Rainier, top, left

Sydney, Australia

Tulip fields, Spoorbuurt, Netherlands

Vancouver, British Columbia

Venice, Italy

Humor --


Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs....'

Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Alcohol and calculus don’t mix. So don’t drink and derive.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

My dietician says I should eat lots of seafood.  Every time I see food, I eat it.