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Old Military Highway Clint's Abbreviated History Clint's WWII Old Log Entries Thimbleberry Patch Miscowaubik Cruise Montreal River Intra-Coastal Waterway Phi & Fiboncacci Stephen Josiah Cook ("The Reluctant Warrior") The World is Flat Miscowaubik Cruise 2006 Somalia Chapter Carport Tiling Hour Angle Differences Discussion Hour Angle Differences Chart (This is a PDF file and requires Adobe Reader to open. Use browser's back button to return.) Miscowaubik Cruise 2007 Upper Deck Screening Project Miscowaubik Club History by Bob Carlton Click for 2008 to 2010 entries
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We have joined the hordes, lazy ones all, who have put up a Web as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family. One buzzword for what we have in mind is 'Weblog.' It's even been shortened to 'Blog.'
This ploy has some advantages over other ways of communicating: Visitors can log in only when and if they want to. It's cheap and easy to do. It's fun. We can include some of Mary's photographs. Visitors can easily comment, protest or otherwise respond.
There are some disadvantages: It's pretty impersonal, even more so than the holiday form letter many of us have scattered around. It works only for those who are on-line. It's very public, worse than putting your message on a penny post card (Well, I can remember when they went for one cent.)
But, We're giving it a try.
On this opening page we post a daily (or weekly or whatever) log of, mostly, trivia. Periodically the current log will be removed and added to a running log page accessible through a link in the 'Links' frame at the left. If you're a regular visitor this page may be all you'll want to view for each visit. (The picture is Mary and Clint, costumed for a Miscowaubik garden party amid the lupines on Agate's South Bay.
Current Entries, sequenced with latest first. (Pictures are thumbnails, click to enlarge, use browsers back button to restore or choose 'back' from the right-click dropdown menu.)
Friday, 28 September. First attempt to publish from Texas.
Monday, 9 June.† Reporting from the Keweenaw.
lTuesday, 22 May, 2012. As you probably know there was a central solar eclipse today. Since the moon is near the apogee point in its orbit its image is too small to completely cover the sun resulting in an 'annular' eclipse. The path of the moon's shadow as it swept across the earth ended in west Texas and here one could only see a bit of the sun blocked out. And from our deck the partly cloudy sky prevented a really good view. Clint caught a glimpse using, as usual, his cardboard box pinhole viewer. We made no attempt to photograph the eclipse, not having the equipment anymore, but Mary did get a shot of the retired astronomer.
Saturday, 19 May, 2012. The picture was taken May nineteenth. It has a history that explains its mediocre quality. The town of South Padre Island maintains several web cams whose output is accessible on their web site. One of them is mounted here in Port Isabel and trained on our lighthouse. So, after lunch this day along with our good friends Roy and Mary Ruth Jumper we gathered by the lighthouse. Roy got their son, Davis in Bloomington, IN, on his cell phone. At his computer Davis logged onto the SPI site and directed us how to pose in the web camís field. We moved around and froze for a number of shots. When we got home they were already in our computer; Davis had attached them to an e-mail. The photo at left is cropped from the original.
Sunday, 13 November, 2011. Quiet day so far but a lovely one, temps in low seventies but a pretty strong east wind which tends to bring in sand from across the canal. Hadn't been to Manuel's this fall except for take-outs so went there for a late breakfast this morning. They were packed so we had a bit of a wait. I asked Mary not to mention it was my birthday for fear they'd do something silly. But when my pancakes came there was a lighted candle stuck in them. Neither Jay nor Frank would say how they knew. But it seems Dad remembered the date from last year. That was when we were with the Jumpers and Ashley and Mary Ruth brought a cake which we later shared with the staff. The date must have stuck in Dad's (Manuel's) mind.
Monday, 17 October, 2011. The City of Port Isabel went all-out setting up Halloween decorations this year. Mary took pictures of some of the displays set up in the median of Queen Isabella Blvd. These are a couple of them. Mary also used them in fashioning home-made Halloween cards.
Monday, 3 October, 2011. Now that it's well behind us it's time to tell the story of our trip back to Texas. It was the worst trip we've ever had but there were many heartwarming features too.
We were scheduled on Continental Airlines to leave Houghton/Hancock Wednesday, 28 Sept. at 5 a.m., arrive at Brownsville at 4:15 p.m. John R. agreed to meet the plane and bring us to Port Isabel. First surprise, although we were booked on Continental flights our e-tickets were issued by United Airlines. But on Tuesday I was blocked from printing our boarding passes for some reason. So, on Tuesday after we'd buttoned down the cottage and drove the rental to Arcadia Inn (located at the airport drive leading off U.S. 41) we stopped at the terminal. Within minutes the United attendant had printed out our three boarding passes--Hancock-Chicago, Chicago-Houston, Houston-Brownsville. So, we were all set. Ha!
Up at 3:00 a.m. not having slept much we found the fog so dense Mary had to take over the driving. Creeping all the way, Mary got us to the terminal. Only to learn our plane was not able to land and departure was schedule for 10:30. Some six hours to wait. We could have kept the rental and gone someplace but where do you go at 4:00 a.m.? Alternately dozing in our seats and pacing the aisles we waited.
We were going to miss all our connections of course so United rebooked our flights getting into Brownsville at 7:15 p.m. We had no way to let John know the change, no computer for an e-mail and we didn't know his phone number. As the first act of the kind resourcefulness of the staff, one of the federal security guards used her computer to consult whitepages.com and got the number of a Rogans in Brownsville. The United attendant used his phone to dial the number and we were able to speak to John and give him the new time.
After daylight the fog did lift and we all--some seventy Chicago-bound passengers--made our way through security check. Mary of course having to be patted down since her pacemaker can't take the x-ray screening. After we were all crowded into the small boarding area it was announced, No, our plane isn't coming yet. When diverted to Duluth one of the engines ingested a bird and it'd be some four hours before it would leave Duluth. We didn't rebook our flights since it wasn't clear when we would get to Chicago. There we all sat. Our fellow passengers were great, one example of the many kindnesses we were to experience this day.
Those that wanted to were allowed to go out for a beverage but would have to go through the security check again. Most of us stayed where we were. And to our surprise they announced that pizza was going to be served. Since there were so few airport personnel in Houghton/Hancock's tiny airport, the federal security team pitched in and did most of the work scrounging paper plates etc. and spreading out the pizza feast.
A plane did eventually arrive and we were airborne sometime in the afternoon. It's a short flight to Chicago and our wheelchairs were waiting for us at the plane's door. United fashioned a new itinerary and we weren't long in Chicago. We were concerned that John would leave for the airport before we could inform him of our still later arrival. The Chicago-Houston leg was our longest of course and we got a bit cramped. But they did serve quite a tasty snack.
After landing in Houston the stewardess held us aboard saying our wheelchairs weren't there yet. 'Twas a fairly steep decent from the plane but before we could start a crew of a half dozen rolled up to the door a towering, sloping ramp that must have been twenty some feet long and leading down to our wheelchairs waiting in a pretty steady drizzle.
We were going to have some four hours wait in Houston so we had the wheelchair drivers take us to Continental's President's Lounge where our platinum American Express card got us admitted. The lady at the desk dialed John's number and spoke to John herself, telling him our arrival would be around ten thirty.
So, we were comfortable had snacks and free beer (except for the expected tip). We declined wheelchairs in Brownsville, it's such a small airport. John, bless him, was waiting.
We had checked one small bag in Houghton/Hancock but I didn't expect it to arrive on the same plane we did with all the rescheduling. Sure enough ours didn't seem to be among the few that rolled by on the carousel. There was no one on duty to report the missing bag to so I thought I'd fight it out later by phone. John had pulled his car up to the baggage claim exit and we were all loaded in when an attendant rushed up and asked, "Is there a Mary Thomas here?" He had the bag. Where he found it and how he guessed we'd be in the car about to leave I don't know. But it was another demonstration of how a great number of wonderful people were looking out for us on this unexpectedly long trip. John got us home safely no thanks to me since I dozed most of the way. Our own beds sure felt good.
Thursday, 15 September, 2011. Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine (www.pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com ) currently discusses brother Frank's cartooning career and displays a series of his Chuck Hardy panels. I made an error in the e-mail I sent Pappy awhile back. Jim is John Bardeen's oldest son, not his youngest.
Friday, 2 September, 2011. The chill of the current evenings doesn't prevent our enjoying great sunsets when they occur. Mary wasn't quick enough to get the sun setting but did catch some lovely afterglow. Settling-in mode is merging right into closing-out mode here. We're looking forward to the arrival in the area of the Jumpers--Roy, Mary Ruth and Davis on their long trek from Mani-toulin Island, Canada to Port Isabel, Texas.
Monday, 29 August, 2011. I was sitting on the deck waiting to watch the sunset when this yearling wandered up to have a look at me over the deck edge and under the lattice. I think his/her comment was, "Well?" or something equally profound. He stood there long enough for Mary to grab her camera and take this shot before drifting away.
August, 2011. Partly in an effort to find a place to take walks safely
we've discovered some locales in Copper Harbor we didn't know existed. One is
the Third Street Park. Third Street runs along the west side of Mariner North,
crosses Bernard and ends on Broadway. There there is
a lovely little park maintained by Grant Township. There's a small parking lot,
a latrine, a sign announcing this is a place for quiet meditation, not loud
parties. A board walk leads to an overlook with a couple benches, steps leading
down to provide access to the pebbly shore, perfect for skipping stones or even
a chilly dip in the lake. This is a great destination for a walk from, say,
Grandpa's Barn and back, maybe, to George's ice cream stand.
Then yesterday we explored another most interesting and lovely site, Hunter's Point Park. located at the western edge of Copper Harbor's harbor. Access is via a long snaking gravel road which leads off M26 just west of the point where Brockway Mountain Drive joins M26. Here the facilities are even more generous than the Third Street facility. A good little hike to the Hunter's Point overlook over another boardwalk. Steps provide access to the rocky shore and to a trail which leads along the shore to the Marina from which the Copper Harbor Lighthouse boat departs, a quarter mile hike. We drove into the Marina and spotted the other end of the walking trail from Hunter's Point. It's a hike I'd like to take sometime soon if I can persuade my chauffer to meet me at the other end.
Saturday, 6 August, 2011. Our favorite view here at Agate Harbor is just that, Agate
Harbor, South Bay that is. The northerly view from our deck is a continual
source of delight--the wilderness on both sides of South Bay, the water
sometimes glassy, usually with flowing waves, sometimes even white caps (but no
current, there's no outlet), a variety of water fowl, an occasional eagle, a
jumping fish that you never see, only the returning splash. We don't see the
ore boats on the big lake, but often a fisherman trolling, some neighbors in a
fleet of kayaks, a one or two man paddle boat, not many canoes. And of course
there are breathtaking sunsets we try never to
But there are also interesting things in the other direction, south where M26 traffic is usually pretty dull. But not always. Today the third leg of the triathlon out of Copper Harbor, the bicycle one. Several dozen bikers in colorful helmets and jerseys stream by in both directions. The route is from Copper Harbor to the east, through Esry Park a mile west of us and back, some 16 miles. On my way to the Township waste facility this morning I drove amongst them and to the cadre of flagmen (and women) who were protecting their exit from Esry. And last week we watched the antique car parade from Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor. Mary found getting pictures a challenge since they rolled along, probably 15-20 miles an hour or so. But she did get several and here is a sampling.
Thursday, 16 June, 2011. If you're thinking of adding a pet to your household, you need to check out the blog at www.peggyjohn.blogspot.com . It's put up by Darby, a young English springer spaniel who's taken up residence with Peggy and John Malone. Darby explains his tribulations in training his human housemates, who, by the way, fancy themselves something of dog trainers. It become clear who the 'trainer' and the 'trainees' are. Darby sometimes lets his cohorts use the site to tell their side of the story.
Sunday, 7 June, 2011. Mary just finished a sewing project, a baby shower gift. It included a colorful baby bib and before wrapping the gift she wanted a picture of her handiwork. It looked as though it would just fit Ikie, our resident frog who sits on the rail of the ground floor deck. Sure enough, it's a perfect fit.
Wednesday, 7 April, 2011: Kaplan continues to unearth intriguing gimmicks and displays the derivation of a way to generate Pythagorean triplets by manipulating any two relatively prime numbers. I've added a discussion to the PDF document announced Saturday. Click to open it and scroll to the second page.
Monday, 11 April, 2011: Still reading Kaplan's Hidden Harmonies and have added a page to the Fun With Pathagoras page which you can open by Clicking.
Saturday, 2 April, 2011. Have been slowly working through the Kindle version of Robert Kaplan's Hidden Harmonies: The Life and Times of the Pythagorean Theorem. Partly as an excuse to play with AutoCAD I designed a little treatise dealing with a long-known extension of the theorem, which theorem, by the way, has intrigued me ever since I applied it to square up the forms for concrete joints while working for Fry Construction as a teen ager. Click to access the treatise in PDF format.
Friday, 1 April, 2011. Always on April Fool's Day i remember the prank Frank and I pulled on our father. Dad, as do I, had a full teaspoon of sugar in his morning coffee. We, I think Mom was in on it, sneakily filled the sugar bowl with salt. But Dad, always one ahead of us, caught on immediately and, to our disappointment, drank the coffee as though nothing was wrong.
Tuesday, 22 March, 2011. Granddaughter Sarah is the first one in with the answer to query posed below. She writes :
I figured it out I think. No books were used. Only my head!! Ok. So. n=4 which is 2+4+6+8 which equals 20. What you do is sqare that number, (this time being 4) then add the number you sqared, (being 4 here). And that equals 20. When we do n=6, it is 2+4+6+8+10+12 which equals 42. When you square 6, you get 36. Then you add 6 and you get 42. The same works for 8 too. Also, you start from 2 then use even numbers up until you have the same number of even numbers as the number n. Is that right? Absolutely, congratulations, Sarah.
Friday, 18 March, 2011. At Sue Henry's suggestion I've started to read Hidden Harmonies: The Life and Times of the Pythagorean Theorem by Robert and Ellen Kaplan. It's an example of the several current books debunking much of what is in our history textbooks. My enjoyment is in part because of the snippets of math I've forgotten or more likely never knew. I'll describe one such. Ancient Bablonians apparently deduced the fact that the sum of the first n odd digest is a perfect square, in fact is n squared. Thus the sum for n = 3--1 + 3 + 5 = 9 which is 3 squared and for n = 4 is 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 = 16 which is 4 squared. Etc. So, if your mean arithmetic teacher assigns the sum of, say, the first 20 odd digits you can just write "400" which is 20 squared. Now here's a challenge: Find the rule for the sum of the first n even digits. Thus for n = 4 it's 2 + 4 + 6 + 8 = 20 which not a perfect square. No fair consulting a math text or using Google. Pretend you're an ancient Babylonian. There's no cash prize for the rule but the first one emailed to me will be recognized on this site.
Wednesday, 23 February, 2011. Two or three times a week Clint tries to take a long walk although some days his arthritic knee makes it more of a 'limp' than a 'walk.' Often his destination is the American Legion bar and grill where he can have a draft and, hopefully, wait for Mary to pick him up. The Legion is outside the Village across the swing bridge, a good mile and a half away. On this day, however, Mary overtook him while he was still in the Village so he didn't get in his whole walk. But Mary brought her camera so they drove on to the Legion where they stopped long enough for this picture, then, as they often do, on across the Causeway to South Padre Island and a snack at the D'Pizza Joint and an hour enjoying Mike D'Piano Man.
Visitors since re-setting counter on 1 April, 2011.