Month: February 2010

Old Texas county courthouses

More snow, a day later Originally uploaded by CaptainJustice I have a few courthouse photos and hope to add those to my Flickr site, and to add to the collection. I just wish I’d had the idea of a book of Texas courthouses before someone else did it. Actually I did think of it, while a senior in high school! Should have worked on that instead of wasting time in college. So here’s one for starters: San Saba County, Texas. Like this:Like...

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William Bennett Creates Innovative History Series for Grades 8-12

This is big. The history of America (as opposed to simply “American history”) is a fabulous story in spite of the many bumps encountered along the way. It is a history of which to be proud to have inherited, to be a part of preserving, and to be a part of creating for future generations. Yet, sadly, as Secretary Bennett states below, it is not only our school children’s worst subject but it is being steadily illegitimized. (Update: Links to purchase the books. Amazon.com & Barnes and Noble.  No pecuniary interest in this — just an advocate for a better education in history.  And go to the sample site for the online component of the history series as it would be used.) Secretary Bennett stated: “History is our nation’s school children’s worst subject. And yet, the history of America is the greatest story of the modern era. It should not be boring, it should not be dumbed-down, and it should not be politicized. It is the story of a great experiment—what Abraham Lincoln called a ‘proposition.’ It is the story of many noble efforts to live up to that proposition, sometimes failing, more often, succeeding. This great adventure is told the best way I know how, chronologically, excitingly, honestly. ‘Once Upon A Time’ can still be an invitation to our youth and there is no greater ‘Once Upon A...

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The Will of Herman Obelweiss

Why you should be nice to your relatives, especially the older ones … WILL OF HERMAN OBELWEISS I am writing of my will mineselluf that dam lawyer want he should have too much money, he asked to many answers about family. first thing i want i dont want my brother oscar have a dam ting what i got. he done me out of forty dollars fourteen years since. I want it that hilda my sister she gets the north sixtie akers of at where i am homing it now. i bet she dont get that loafer husband of hers to broke twenty akers next plowing time. she cant have it if she lets oscar live on it i want it i should have it back if she does. Tell mamma that six hundred dollars she been looking for for twenty years is berried from the backhouse behind about ten feet down. she better let little frederick do the digging and count it when he comes up. Pastor lucknitz can have three hundred dollars ifhe kiss the book he wont preach no more dumhead polotics. he should have a roof put on the meetinghouse with (it) and the elders should the bills look at. Momma the rest should get but i want it that adolph shud tell her what not she do so no more slick irishers sell her vokum...

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APRS tracks – an example from the Austin Marathon

APRS, the Automated Packet Reporting System is a mystery to many — hams and “civilians” alike — and continues to be to me as well.  It is often used for community events such as marathons and I thought this set of tracks from the 2010 Austin Marathon was interesting: You can see several APRS units having been tracked here. This view was captured about 1pm with a 6 hour window looking backwards so what you see is virtually the entire APRS support for the marathon. I’m not sure what the AMDOWN-1 tracker was, but I’m suspecting it was a mobile digipeater to give better access into the APRS-IS system, i.e. feed the tracks into the internet. These type events are done as a public service and also to drill the skills that may be needed for emergency communications. Like this:Like...

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Murder on the Mountain — a tale of justice

(This was originally done as a speech for the Highland Lakes Toastmasters, and is based on an actual case. The essential facts are true, with minimal poetic license taken.) I am here to tell you a tale of Murder on the Mountain.  A true tale, and you know it is for I would not tell you that were it not so.  It’s a tale of evil.  But evil is often juxtaposed with good, and sometimes they meet head to head.  And we hope that good wins over evil. First let me share a tale of two people sharing a seemingly good life, indeed an idyllic one.  The couple met when she was only 16 and while he was a good bit older, there was an immediate attraction and on the very day they met, on a sunny afternoon beside the river, they made love on the cool grass of the river bank.  Over many years there were children, and they traveled back and forth between Texas and Colorado in their RV, enjoying life.  Somewhere in the 20 years another woman came to live with them and the three commenced enjoying what some would call an “unconventional” relationship. In spite of their seemingly idyllic life there had been evil even before they met.  There had been a murder on a mountain.  On a cold, high mountain top in Colorado.  How...

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