Miss Sill Laney, Us; National Parks, Sam Shepard

The National Parks Service offers a Senior Pass for those who visit national parks, a lifetime card for those 62 and over. I have one, and I assuredly recommend it. But the government is raising the price from $10 to $80 as of August 28, 2017.

The NPS, unsurprisingly, is experiencing a backlog of Senior Pass orders. “If you need your pass in less than three months, consider purchasing your pass at the first site you visit,” which will also avoid the $10 processing fee.
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I know I saw True West, the Sam Shepard play, fairly early after its 1980 debut. I think it was at Union College in Schenectady, but I can’t swear to that.

Shepard, unfortunately, died at the age of 73, a result of complications from ALS. And I got only sadder reading My Buddy by Patti Smith.

Critics for The New York Times on Sam Shepard’s Plays, Books, and Movies.

This quote was attributed to him: “Democracy’s a very fragile thing. You have to take care of democracy. As soon as you stop being responsible to it and allow it to turn into scare tactics, it’s no longer democracy, is it?”
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There was a CBS lawyer drama called Doubt in February of 2017 on CBS. Two episodes aired and it was canceled, actually before I saw it. Now the remaining shows are being burned off over the summer, but only some are being broadcast. So if you happen to have On Demand, the listings will show for July 1, 8A, 8B, 15, 22A, 22B, 29. The B shows never aired, so if you had watched the episodes that were on TV on the 22nd and 29th, you’d see the beginning of the 29th ep, hear “Previously on ‘Doubt,” and wonder, “When did THAT happen?”
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Were You There When They Crucified Our Lord? by Linda Bonney Olin is now live on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions, for those of you who don’t think Christianity is that weird. I should note that 1) Linda is the wife of my wife’s cousin Bill, and 2) I was one of the people who proofread the book.
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Ever notice how people put info on social media and you want to know more? “A 3-9 putout” in a baseball game, or “If true, he should resign.” Which game, and how did it happen? If WHAT is true? WHO should resign? OK, I can guess who.

January rambling #2: Jerks on the Loose

The Wife and I saw Something Rotten at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady.


‘Doomsday Clock’ Moves 30 Seconds Closer To Midnight

From the Barmen Declaration: 8.18 We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.

“I was a stranger and you did not welcome me.” and What the Bible Says About How to Treat Refugees

Christians’ Call to Speak Truth to ‘Alternative Facts’

Crowd statistics worldwide, 21 January 2017

If you’re looking for those climate change and LGBT rights and Native American pages on whitehouse.gov that disappeared on January 20, know that they are archived at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/

Obama Foundation

The legitimacy and illegitimacy of 45 and A Guide to His Huge Debts—and the Conflicts They Present. Mr Brunelle explains it all

Inaugural speech was the most dreadful in history

This Is Our Most Dangerously Retrograde Government in 150 Years, including, but not limited to, intentionally lying to us and/or gaslighting us and attacks on the freedom of the press – Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques and getting payments from foreign governments, though we have no idea what they are and Aides Keep Leaking Embarrassing Stories About How He Can’t Handle Embarrassment and struggles badly to pass a test of presidential maturity, while using the White House page for puffery

The “Muslim ban”, which these politicians fought, is “Immoral,” “Stupid,” and “Counterproductive” and excludes those countries from the ban that have killed Americans on US soil, while including those that have not. Quebec Mosque Terrorist Is White Christian Pro-Trump Fanatic

Not to mention: controlling Voice of America and silencing EPA and the cone of silence on USDA scientists. Is this a trial balloon for a coup?

Make of this what you will: his mother was a Scottish immigrant. And his father’s middle name was Christ, pronounced Krist, the surname of Fred’s mom; Fred said he was Swedish, when his parents were German.


(From here)

Kellyanne Conway on Donald Trump, BEFORE he hired her

I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah

Possibly the worst news of the month: Steve Bannon Gets A Seat At The NSC Table

Steven Mnuchin Unmasked By Samantha Bee – he’s the Treasury Secretary nominee

Joy Reid of CNN: “We have to think about how do we, a free press, operate with an increasingly authoritarian regime and change everything we’re doing. We can’t just report what he says and live on his Twitter feed.”

1984 climbs the bestseller list — almost 70 years after it was published

How to lose the war on terror

Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream – The dangerous culture of male entitlement and sexual hostility hiding within America’s national parks and forests

Something Rotten (Boston Globe review) – When the Wife and I saw it at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady earlier in the run, we laughed uproariously.

PK Miller, an Albany original and colorful character, dies at an uncertain age – I’d see him often at our monthly concerts at my church, among other places. we’re FB friends, and a couple weeks after he died I got one of those cloned invitations to Friend him.

When I posted on Facebook that Miguel Ferrer had died of cancer at the age of 61, people kvetched about what shows Variety noted. NCIS: Los Angeles (his current gig, which I’ve never seen) and Crossing Jordan (which I watched regularly), as opposed to Twin Peaks and Robocop and Star Trek.


John Hurt: 1940-2017

Della Street, er, Barbara Hale, R.I.P.

Dick Gautier, R.I.P.

Dan Savage speaks frankly about Savage Love

Mark Evanier: Rejection – a wilderness guide for writers

John Oliver returns February 12

Historic Albany Foundation Inventory – An attempt to document the oldest structures in Albany, NY

News anchor sets off Alexa devices around San Diego ordering unwanted dollhouses

Now I Know: New Jersey’s Shockingly Dangerous Water Slide and How Pride Makes Basketball Players Worse

Fortune teller who uses ASPARAGUS to predict the future

NOT ME (guy in Australia) WHEN Roger Green was nominated for the Clarence Valley Local Hero Award, he had raised more than $64,000 in 12 years.

Music

Gimme Some Truth- David J

Get Up Stand Up – Bob Marley

Ladies First – Queen Latifah

“Kellyanne Conway” cover Chicago’s “Roxie” on SNL

I saw the Roches a couple of times and got several of their albums. So I was sad to hear about the passing of Maggie Roche, at the age of 65, from cancer. Listen to We and Hammond Song and Hallelujah Chorus and Keep On Doing What You Do/ Jerks On The Loose and about 100 more tunes. Also Was a Sunny Day – Paul Simon featured Maggie and Terre Roche; Liquid Days (Part I) – Philip Glass Ensemble has Maggie and Terre and Suzzy; Forgetting – Philip Glass Ensemble has Linda Ronstadt and the Roches.

Derrick Boudwin: For Utah Father, Music Eases the Pain of Going Blind

Jeanne Mitchell: America’s First Young Lady of the Fiddle

Butch Trucks, Allman Brothers Band Drummer and Co-Founder, Dead at 69

The passing of Soul Survivors vocalist Richie Ingui

Coverville 1156: The Warren Zevon Cover Story II – he would have been 70 this month

Orion, The Would-Be Elvis

Paul McCartney sued Sony/ATV, the massive music publishing company that owns, among other things, all of The Beatles’ songs written by Lennon and McCartney. Paul wants his 50 percent share of the songs back.

Buddy Greco, Jazz Pianist, Vocalist and Las Vegas Mainstay, Dies at 90

First Ladies National Historic Site

“Being pretty, fashionable, and a leader of the younger set in Canton did not satisfy Ida Saxton, “

saxton-houseWednesday, July 13, 2016, Canton, Ohio

The Wife, knowing she and the Daughter would likely tire of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, looked in some AAA guidebook, and stumbled upon the First Ladies National Historic Site, also in Canton.

There is an Education & Research Center where the museum is housed. But we spent the bulk of our time at The Ida Saxton McKinley Historic Home, which is a “brick Victorian house, built in 1841 and modified in 1865.” It had fallen into private hands for a long while, as a retail store space, and as apartments.

But in the 1990s, the house was restored, furnished in the style of the late 1800s. “Costumed docents provide tours, and exhibits focus on President and Mrs. McKinley, photos of First Ladies, and Victorian decorations.” Here’s a description.

Ida Saxton McKinley was the elder daughter of a socially prominent and well-to-do family. Her father, James A. Saxton, was a banker, who had his two daughters educated them well in local schools before “sending off to Europe on the grand tour.

“Being pretty, fashionable, and a leader of the younger set in Canton did not satisfy Ida, so her broad-minded father suggested that she work in his bank.” She fell in love with “Maj. William McKinley, who had come to Canton in 1867 to establish a law practice.”

Her life turned difficult. She soon suffered from various ailments, including epilepsy and phlebitis. In a short span, her mother, and both her daughters died; one child died in infancy, the other of typhoid fever before she was four. And, of course, her husband was assassinated in 1901.

I admit that I’m very weak when it comes to remembering the 19th century First Ladies. There was Dolley Madison, who saved the Washington portrait, the troubled Mary Todd Lincoln, and “Lemonade” Lucy Hayes, who abhorred liquor.

Naturally, then, we bought a placemat, listing all the first ladies. Both John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson were widowed, then remarried, while President. James Buchanan never married, and his niece served the function of First Lady.

I can imagine going back to First Ladies National Historic Site and studying more history. Though on the National Parks Service list, this venue was not free with my Senior Pass, but we did get in at a reduced rate.

Canton is only about an hour from Cleveland, and the site was anticipating some delegates from the Republican National Convention, taking place a few days later.

America the Beautiful Pass

The Continental Congress issued a proclamation for a national day ‘for solemn Thanksgiving and praise.’

ColorMmnt2_1In anticipation of doing some traveling, the Wife and I stopped at the Saratoga National Historical Park back in May, which is not actually in Saratoga but in relatively nearby Stillwater, to pick up one particular America the Beautiful Pass.

I bought a Senior Pass. For $10, U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can get access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. One can order it online or through the mail, but then it cost ten for the Pass plus ten for processing the application.

The Park Ranger who issued my card asked where we were from. I admitted, sheepishly, “from Albany, and I had never been” there before. She said, “That’s all right. I’ve come across people from Saratoga who hadn’t visited previously.”

The Senior Pass “may provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.” Unfortunately, my bride was too young to take advantage, but since she was accompanying me, her entrance to Saratoga National Historical Park was free.

In Revolutionary War parlance, Saratoga refers to two battles in the autumn of 1777. “After capturing Fort Ticonderoga with almost laughable ease, the British army, led by overconfident General John Burgoyne, crawled south at a tortoise pace, giving the rattled Americans time to regroup under Horatio Gates. To support him, General George Washington sent Benedict Arnold, his best infantry commander; Colonel Daniel Morgan and his crack regiment of Virginia riflemen; and two brigades of Continentals from the Hudson Highlands.”
Saratoga25
On October 17, 1777, Burgoyne surrendered to the American forces under General Gates. “To celebrate the American victory at Saratoga, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation for a national day ‘for solemn Thanksgiving and praise,’ the first official holiday observance with that name.”

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and it seems like a good time to start visiting America.

Incidentally:
1) the monument pictured was built about a century after the battle
2) the national parks quarter featuring Saratoga, the last of five quarters issued in 2015, I haven’t gotten yet! And I’ve been looking.

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Oldest US Park Ranger Beaten and Robbed in Her Home; Presidential Coin Stolen