Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where've they been?

The monarch butterflies that we've been seeing must have emerged from their chrysalides right here. We have such thickets of milkweeds in pots that we don't see everything clinging to them. Other notable sightings have been a downy woodpecker who's just not afraid to look people in the eye, plus various flycatchers. We hear warblers but haven't seen any yet.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scan-O-Rama concluded for the season

There were a few days there when it was possible to bring out old documents and photographs. The humidity was low. That's all changed now, and this is not a climate-controlled environment. We've already opened one of the four transoms, and the fans have been in operation. So those prom pix will just have to wait.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Soapy, not soapy

I've always thought that many varieties of sweet peas small like chap soap (Camay, Cashmere Bouquet, Lux, etc.). But some of them smell like freesias. This morning we found blossoms that were a deep rose pink on the buttom and a pale pink on top. They have the best scent yet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

That's one way to cut back on them

Portfolio magazine is giving up the ghost. All magazines are becoming skinnier, some whittled away to slivers of their former selves, as ad revenue declines. I love magazines. Anyone who has ever lived in a remote location where newspapers don't exist for practical purposes and where even telephones are non-existent or scarce and expensive knows why. Mail-order shopping and postal delivery of magazines are among the great delights of the simple life. Some magazines these days publish less frequently than they did; others profess to have transformed themselves into on-line publications. When they become electronic, I find that I sop reading them. I had read every issue of PC Magazine from the very beginning. Now, I never look at it at all. Some vanished mags are missed more than others. Two that I'd subscribe to again are Third Coast and Wigwag. It might be fun to see what Spy would make of these times, also.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"An Auxiliary Range Corrector Scale for Infantry"

Here's more from the scan-o-rama. The author of this little booklet is Capt. H. E. Eames of the 18th Infantry, and the material is reprinted from the Infantry Journal of July-August 1915 by the Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. of Rochester, New York. Uploaded here are the cover and the first page of twelve. The inside title page adds this: Description of "Eames Scale" as applied to Bausch & Lomb Stereo Prism Binoculars. This may be the same Captain Eames who appears in bibliographies of military manuals as author of The Rifle in War (1905).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Photo post cards from Pershing's punitive expedition

Click on these for larger versions. The captions are:

"off for the border"
2nd N.Y. Inf. Reg. ready to entrain
Camp Whitman, N.Y. July 7, 1916

goat herd at Mission, Texas

Mexican section at Mission, Texas

The Rio-Grand near Mission, Texas

2nd N.Y. Infantry about to encamp at Mission, Texas

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trains and war

The number on the locomotive in the head-on photograph is 884, and it can be seen that it was made by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia. Another photograph, the one with the sideways view and the person, shows a locomotive numbered 885. This series of photographs appears to depict equipment being loaded on shipboard via crane, apparently during the era of World War I, in an east-coast port. If anyone knows more, add a comment. Larger versions will appear by clicking on the thumbnails. They're on the page in reverse order.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Two transcriptions

I'm not sure that I've ever seen these before. They are newspaper clippings related to the death of one of my grandfathers. Here's a link to a photograph of the family that includes the four sons as children. Clicking on the image will download a larger, more detailed version of the photograph.

Obituary: David A. Lisle died yesterday afternoon at the residence of his son, Richard L. Lisle, 1651 Tibbits Avenue, after a long illness. Mr. Lisle was born in Beaufort, Wales, seventy-eight years ago and came to America when he was twenty-seven years old and had lived in this city since. He had been connected with the Troy Malleable Iron Works for more than forty years and did not retire from active business until two years ago. Mr. Lisle had been a deacon of the Second Baptist Church for forty-eight years, and he was also a member of Apollo Lodge, No. 13, F. and A. M., and the Troy Masonic Club. The survivors are four sons, Richard L., David B., Herbert and Warren E. Lisle. The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at the residence of his son, Rev. William M. Hull officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.

Resolution: David A. Lisle, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Second Baptist Church for thirty years, died Tuesday, October 23, 1923. The service rendered by Mr. Lisle to the Board and to his Church all these years was never failing and none have ever shown a more constant attention and devotion to the best interest of the Church and its growth.

As fellow members of the Board, we hereby express our sympathy to the family and record our own sense of the loss of a Trustee and friend whom we loved and honored for his charm of personality, his devotion to his Lord and Master and his loyalty to his Church.

A man of simple modesty, but in whose advice there was wisdom and kindliness of thought and a quick decision unerringly in the right.

To have known him and worked with him those years has been an inspiration to all and of untold help in the work of the Board.

We shall miss the lovable and kindly spirit he always showed in all his ways and treasure the memory of our friend and co-member David A. Lisle.
Board of Trustees, Second Baptist Church

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Punitive expedition

I believe that's what the "PE" stands for in this photograph. This man was born in 1883, and the expedition under Pershing took place in 1916-1917. This is part of the continuing scan-o-rama series.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Those were the days

This is from a 1966 or 1967 hockey program. Note that all-cotton Gant shirts are $7.50 and $8.00. Also note that the Co-op has shirts for women in the Distaff Shop. Needless to say, this is before women were admitted to Yale. There was also an ad for Tiparillo Cold Smokes. This image is brought to you as part of the continuing scan-o-rama series.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Many happy returns

What a year this has been for amaryllises! Those in the ground are blooming, and ancient bulbs that have sat in pots for years shooting up a weary leaf now and then are performing spectacularly. A particular returning favorite (from three or four years ago, if memory serves) is Pink Floyd. These flowers are smallish and narrow. And pink, as might be expected from the name. They have a beautiful freesia-like scent. They had been a gift and it's only because somehow the little identification stake remained in the pot that we know the name.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"I don't see any flowers"

That's what rude people say when asked not to trample or permit their dog to trample the flowers. Many people know nothing beyond "plant" and "tree" when it comes to recognizing the vegetable world. Anyhow, despite being walked on and broken off and subjected to various forms of animal insult, a handsome coreopsis has persisted through the winter and is now blooming profusely. We're even seeing the return of a few pink evening primroses (many call them buttercups).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In the same container

We've grown Peach Melba nasturtiums before. They're a pale buttery yellow with a ring of red-brown spots. This year they're joined by a variety new to us: Creamsicle. Creamsicle is really generous with its flowers. I find no good photographs of Creamsicle: the color is all wrong. The flowers really are varying shades of sherbet-like or milky pale orange, just like a Cremesicle, as they're back to being called (here's a picture of a "Creamsicle"). Arching over the pot are sprays of the blue-red semidouble mystery rose that has been about ten times more prolific with its flowers than ever before. The scent of these roses is very pleasant. Some years it never puts forth a single bloom.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This rings true

I've been reading The Big Sort. "In Austin, public policy is often negotiated among interest groups, with government only ratifying decisions made behind the scenes." This declaration comes with a superscript keyed to a note at the back of the book citing Bill Bishop himself writing for the local daily: "Austin Wants to Be Austin," February 26, 2006.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A rare sight

These are large and old irises, given by a neighbor many years ago. There are leaves every year but flowers seldom. I didn't catch a picture of these until after the first flower was done. The most common irises around here of the types that were grown long ago are the white ones. The white ones have quite a scent, but these have their own very fierce aura of licorice. They are of a very subtle color, not easily captured in any photograph. I think that they appear at their best under cloudy skies.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

April 1982 books read

These are the last of the April entries from the record recently discovered:

Eleanor Perenyi: Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden
Howard Moss: Whatever is Moving
William Thackeray: The Newcomes
Willie Morris: North Toward Home
Humphrey Carpenter: The Inklings
Louis Auchincloss: A Writer's Capital
William Dean Howells: Indian Summer

It's time to read a lot of Thackeray again.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

April 1981 books read

Henry James: Partial Portraits [Trollope, George Eliot, Stevenson, Maupassant, Daudet, Turgenev, etc.]
Margaret Mead: Blackberry Winter
Ann Monsarrat: An Uneasy Victorian: Thackeray the Man
Joan Morrison and Charlotte Fox Zabusky: American Mosaic: The Immigrant Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It
Anthony Powell: Faces in My Time
Richard Lingeman: Small Town America
Howard Mumford Jones: An Autobiography

All these came from the library; I wonder how many remain on the shelves.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

April 1980 books read

Conrad Aiken, The Collected Short Stories of
Dorothy Stickney: Openings and Closings
Martha Gellhorn: Travels with Myself and Another
Joseph Wechsberg: The Vienna I Knew: Memories of a European Childhood
Virginia Woolf: Letters vol. 5 1932-1935
Lionel Trilling: The Last Decade: Essays and Reviews 1965-75
ed. Richard A. Levine: The Victorian Experience: The Novelists

Monday, April 06, 2009

April 1979 books read

Pierre-Jakez Helias: The Horse of Pride: Life in a Breton Village
Charles E. Clark: Maine: A Bicentennial History
William Shakespeare: Measure for Measure
H. E. Bates: The Vanished World
Ivan Doig: This House of Sky
Elizabeth Coatsworth: Personal Geography
George Gordon, Lord Byron: Letters and Journals: Alas the Love of Women 1813-1814
Gwyn Williams: The Land Remembers: A View of Wales
Frances Partridge: A Pacifists's War
K. M. Elisabeth Murray: Caught in the Web of Words: James A. H. Murray and the Oxford English Dictionary
ed. U. C. Knoepflmacher and G. B. Tennyson: Nature and the Victorian Imagination
William Shakespeare: Henry the Eighth
Elizabeth Bowen: A World of Love
Elizabeth Bowen: The Little Girls
Ivan Turgenev: First Love

Except for the Shakespeare and the Bowens, all these books were borrowed from the Austin Public Library. How the library has changed! Now, there are a few books about books, but seldom the books themselves. De-accessioning has taken a massive toll.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Novelties in the garden

For the first time in ages, perhaps even a decade, a certain rosebush is just covered in buds. I think this bush was a present and one of those J&P so-called "experimental" unnamed varieties. Also for the first time in at least a decade, irises given long ago by a neighbor will bloom. I can see one stem with at least four buds on it. These, I think, will be blue or purply, not the more usual white ones so common around here from days gone by, the ones that sometimes bloom two and three times a year and have an anis-like scent. Firewheels show signs of being prolific this year as well. Pollinated oak flowers are wafting over from a neighbor. Our trees are still dropping leaves. Butterfly larvae are happy on the passion vines and in the fennel. The sun is too strong today for good pictures with the toy camera; everything's close to being solarized, but a few captures are up at Flickr.

April 1978 books read

N. Scott Momaday: The Names
Edward Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Elizabeth Inchbald: A Simple Story
Henry Beston: The Outermost House
George Rude: Hanoverian London 1714-1808
Agnes Smedley: Daughter of Earth
Kathleen Raine: Farewell Happy Fields
Agnes DeMille: Dance to the Piper
William Plomer: Double Lives
Clark Blaise and Bharati Mukherjee: Days and Nights in Calcutta
Charles Dickens: Our Mutual Friend

I loved the Gibbon, read for the first time, borrowed from the library in a set of those small Oxford World's Classics hardbacks with the India paper and the narrow ribbon bookmark. Virago must have been publishing by then. The Dickens was first read in 1963. I seem to remember that the DeMilles were followers of Henry George and summered in Port Jervis.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

April 1977 books read

In this fairly eclectic assortment, only Mill's autobiography and the William Dean Howells were re-reads.

Graham Greene: A Sort of Life
John Stuart Mill: Autobiography
John Galt: The Entail
William Dean Howells: The Undiscovered Country
George Gissing: Thyrza
G. E. Aylmer: A Short History of Seventeenth-Century England (The Struggle for the Csontitution 1503-1689)

It's been a long time since I've met anyone named Thyrza.

Friday, April 03, 2009

April 1976 books read

Edward John Trelawny: Adventures of a Younger Son
Richard Henry Dana, Jr.: Two Years Before the Mast
Vincent Scully: Pueblo: Mountain, Village, Dance
Nancy Mitford: The Pursuit of Love
E. E. Cummings: The Enormous Room
Henry Adams, The Education of
Osbert Sitwell: Great Morning
Robert Graves: Good-bye to All That

I disliked the Henry Adams and loved most of the rest of these, especially the Trelawny and Two Years Before the Mast. Someday, I'll own a copy of the Trelawny.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

April 1975 books read

Arnold Bennett: Anna of the Five Towns
Arnold Bennett: Clayhanger
Arnold Bennett: Hilda Lessways
Arnold Bennett: These Twain
Anthony Trollope: Autobiography
Willa Cather: Lucy Gayheart
Willa Cather: The Professor's House
E. M. Forster: The Longest Journey

This is from the recently found record of some reading done. Evidently, I was taking a break from the nineteenth century and moving on to the Edwardians and a little beyond, for a change. It may be time to revisit Bennett, all those good, thick volumes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April 1974 books read

Events are moving faster than I am, so forgive me for the skips. I hope to fill in with notes from real life, including the garden.

Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers
Anthony Trollope: The Last Chronicles of Barset
William Shakespeare: Henry VIII

These are transcribed from the old record recently discovered. I must have read a lot of mysteries (seldom recorded) or seen a lot of movies or just been very busy at something. These three books were not read for the first time. Stay tuned for books read in April 1975.