Thursday, February 28, 2013

Does America Still Work?

Yes, yes, YES!  That magazine cover is IT.  America is not working.  America is not working because we're thinking and innovating small. The great minds, like the late Steve Jobs, are devoting their creative energies to making a better mousetrap-when there was nothing wrong with the original-instead of, I don't know, creating an alternative to mousetraps. They are bricoleurs, not inventors. We get the latest branch on the cellular telephone family tree or the office software or social media family trees when we need different species of trees, not more branches. We kill the Supercolliding Superconductor and get Facebook and Windows 8. We SUCK!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Does America Still Work?

American ingenuity. The engine of the American economy. Innovation.

Apple's iphone is not a better telephone than less complicated cell phones with fewer whiz-bang gadgets.

Google Chrome was not an improvement over Google. Chrome blocks Java installations.

Adobe: you continually have to upgrade to the latest edition to be able to open pdf files.

Windows 8: "We're trying to get rid of the tool-bar."  That's okay. With the, like, "tools," in the tool-bar I can do nifty things like minimize one page and open another without having to go back to start. It was helpful.

Women's bras:... Well, I will tell you how I know about women's bras if you give me a second. CCC says every time they come out with a great bra they discontinue it for some new and improved one.

"New and improved." You could sell cockroaches to Americans if you advertised them as "new and improved."  How did Apple become the most valuable company in the world: by coming out with new iterations of its cell phones every 10 minutes. They may be (slightly) new but they're not necessarily improved. Apple may be the most valuable company in the world but it's not because it's products have produced peace (although that's overrated) and conquered disease. Apple sells bling. These innovations do not work well, they have not made people more efficient. How much "innovation" is possible in the manufacture of women's brassieres, huh?  Or shaving razors: remember the Trac II?  That was considered virtually Nobel Prize-worthy when it first came out; that was also about a dozen innovations ago. Now it's as obsolete as the original "brick" cell phones. I know we have three-bladed razors now, maybe more, I don't know. We have them coated with titanium, accompanied by shaving jell.  Good God, it's a razor blade. But Americans will pay for all this stuff, and pay a lot. The newest and improved-est razor blades go for $3-4 per unit and if you lose your iphone and have to buy a new one it's like $600.  $600, yeah right. Apple, you can keep your blingy, bleepy iphone. I'll keep the $600. I need new razor blades.

And Google Chrome.

Windows 8 can shampoo my crotch.
"The Senate will confirm Hagel. The president ought not give senators the opportunity. He should pull the nomination."

And the Senate did confirm Chuck Hagel yesterday to be the next U.S. Secretary of Defense. 

There is an excellent article today in the online version of The Atlantic on the Hagel confirmation fight and how some prominent hawkish writers let their personal opposition to Hagel's nomination, similar to the one expressed here, influence what they told their readers the likely outcome would be, the opposite of what was written here. There was never a point in which Hagel's confirmation seemed seriously in doubt yet Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and others wrote various-shades-of doubtfully about it. As The Atlantic article also says, this is a recent pattern among Republicans: Mitt Romney thought, really, really thought, he was going to win the presidency . His pollsters and advisers, prominently Karl Rove, told him so. And told the rest of us. To state the obvious it does no one any good to report personal preference as fact. If that is obvious why do the Republicans do it?  I don't know.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In this post I shall attempt to justify placing a photograph of my daughter on the "cover" of a publication named "Public Occurrences:"

A relative of the undersigned travelled to Italy recently.
No popes resigned.
Italy is a beautiful country.
This is a photograph of Capri. 
It is beautiful. 


Monday, February 25, 2013


Keith has resigned.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

That particular google image of Seated Youth came from a website called "homoerotimuseum." By the way.

Catholics, Convicts & Etc.

We wish again to add our depressed voice in further vituperative condemnation of the Roman Catholic Church over the latest incident of sexual misconduct involving priests. A BIG priest. a A "Cardinal."  This bird of strange plumage is "Keith O'Brien." Keith is ("was" will soon be the more  appropriate verb) the head of the Church in Great Britain. He has been accused by four men, three priests, one former priest, of "inappropriate unwanted attention."  That means he homosexually propositioned the four.

May we ask, are all Catholic priests gay?  No?  How many then?  Some?  Lots? Lots and lots? Did some-I said some-obtain their degrees from that Sodom and Gomorrah of central Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania State University?  It's just a question.

Image: Seated Youth, (1917) Joseph Lehmbruck.
Twitter is this big thing, right?

Driving to the office less than an hour ago I received a call from my son. He said he had just awakened and had checked Twitter to see what was going on in the world. The number two event "trending worldwide now" was "MCFC." 


Manchester City was playing Chelsea...Attractive match...City was 15 points, which might as well be light-years, behind Manchester United...Chelsea were even further back...Slow social media day?  "Joe Hart just made this incredible save on a penalty kick. Lampard," said my son. And so it was:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Catholics and Convicts.

A sex scandal, a cover-up, the fall of a revered leader.


"Vatican City is hereby placed on four years probation, fined $60 billion, baptisms are restricted to 4,000,000 per year and...GAME ON!

There is no way to do this; there is no governing body over the Roman Catholic Church, or if there is it's a heavenly governing body.


Pennsylvania State University and the Roman Catholic Church are both organizations under the law; both organizations' revenues are tax-exempt because of the "higher mission" of the organizations; sex crimes were committed by both organizations' people; both organizations' people covered up the sex crimes.  Both organizations can and should be prosecuted criminally and civilly under state and federal Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws. Penn State hasn't been; the Catholic Church may be. But probably not. GAME ON!

Friday, February 22, 2013

No...the year.

"korean idiot."

Search keyword of the day.

He-he-he-he. Oooh doggie, the Center's going to be maaad about this. I bet Professor Dikotter doesn't get invited to Celebrate Lei Feng Day now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

War with North Korea: Let it Be.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korean Psychotic Racist Dwarfs (DPRK) has released a new hit movie. No, no, no, I'm not going to describe it, just watch:

:)  I get it. I get the plot line there. Let's go.

Jessie Jackson, Jr., former Congressman, son of Reverend Jessie Jackson, pleaded guilty today to using $750,000 in campaign contributions for personal benefit. Congressman Jackson's is a strange case. Last June he disappeared. Just didn't show up for work in Washington, Chicago, anywhere. Never did show up for work again. Didn't campaign for reelection in November but got reelected anyway. At some point it was revealed that he was severely depressed. He was treated at the Mayo Clinic for a time.  Even these scanty details had to be dragged out of those closest to him. Very strange. Then he resigned from Congress and now has pled guilty to a federal crime. Today in court, Jackson showed great grace in getting up from the defense table and going over to the prosecutor's table to shake the hand of the FBI agent who investigated him.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


On the subject "Exposed in Red" we next turn to the sporting world.  In London.  In this building:
There has been some hacking going on there too in the last while. On Saturday Blackburn "Rovers" F.C. beat Arsenal F.C. the only way Blackburn could beat Arsenal: with a second-rate Arsenal lineup...on a shot that the Arsenal goalkeeper swatted as if he was playing volleyball...knocking it into the path of another Blackburn guy... who hacked and scuffed it into the turf...causing it to bounce in the air...then off the goal post...nothing but net. Ah jeez.

That embarrassment knocked Arsenal out of the Football Association (FA) Cup.  That combined with today's exposure by Bayern Munich in the same building may knock Arsene Wegner out of the manager's box.  Wenger is a brilliant manager, one of the best in the world.  He hacked on that lineup card against Blackburn, though. He fielded a reduced roster to save his stars for Bayern in the Champions League, thinking that Arsenal's second string could beat second division "Rovers" at home.

They expect greatness at Emirates Stadium in North London. They haven't gotten it since 2005. Arsenal has not won a single trophy in eight years. They had a hacker's chance in the FA Cup. They had no chance to be European "Cham-Pee-Ons!" Yet Wenger sent out Team Pink against Blackburn. Arsenal is owned by an American, Stan Kroenke, who charges the highest ticket prices in the English Premier League, whose team plays in a massive new stadium in a high-rent district in one of the world's most glamorous cities, who gets gobs of TV money, who makes money hand-over-fist.  Yet Arsenal have sold their best players to others teams in recent years.  To make more money.  It's the Americanization of an English football  club. Anyone who has seen a professional basketball game in New York or Los Angeles or Miami will recognize the scene described in the Daily Mirror:

Arsenal...attract some spectators who may not be there primarily for the football. A season ticket holder writes to say that, at a recent match, two male supporters in front of him were discussing cheese when the linesman put his flag up for a free-kick. The ensuing conversation went like this:

FAN 1: "What was that for?"
FAN 2: "He was offside."
FAN 1: (sounding impressed):"How come you know so much about football?"
FAN 2: "I don't.  I heard the chap behind me say it."

To see and be seen. The scene's the thing, not the football.


The communists deny it: A report issued this week by an internet security firm traces widespread, global hacking of websites to the People's Liberation Army.  In Shanghai.  Unit 61938. In this building:
I don't know, that looks like an official Chinese government building to me...sort of "modern prison" construction genre...nice red star....That's pretty specific information too, "unit 61938."  But the communists deny it. Who to believe, who to believe.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I thought I was still drunk and didn't realize it.
See. I just saw one by my house like this.
There's a car with eyelashes.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today Public Occurrences is dedicated to Professor Bernard Bailyn.

Friday, February 15, 2013

ROOSKIS, it was the Chinese!

It becomes our disagreeable duty to report that one of the buses used by Carnival Cruise Lines to rescue passengers from its stricken ship has broken down. Francesco Schettino, the bus driver, abandoned the bus because it was dark outside. Schettino, Carnival's designated disaster driver, was also at the helm of the ship, named the Triumph of the Sewage. The ship lost all power when Schettino hit a Russian meteorite. Schettino abanboned the ship for the bus despite being ordered to "Get back on board, dick!"  Four thousand passengers, who couldn't use their iphones due to wiggling icons, had been stranded on the ship since Sunday. The iphones were made in China.

ROOSKIS!  It was not us.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I just called the store to see how to get my icons to stop wiggling.  They said...Yes, as a matter of fact I did have to call the store to see how to get my icons to stop wiggling...They said they have a "class" on Saturdays, "Getting the Most Out of Your iphone"!  A class!  They have a class on how to use a frigging telephone!  Ridiculous.  I'm going to give this frigging "smart" phone to my daughter and go back to a simple "dumb" phone; you know, one that you can just make, like, phone calls from. A phone, not a personal entertainment center.

Why do the icons wiggle?  Who needs wiggling icons?  I do not need my frigging icons to wiggle. That does not enhance my iphone "experience."  I do not feel smart or chic that my phone has icons that wiggle. "Oooh, you don't have wiggling icons, you are such a loser."  I do not think that.  All I want is a wireless telephone, okay, I don't need surround sound, 3D graphics or wiggling icons.

Arright fine, maybe that one's on me.  Fine.
Ohh, so I wasn't supposed to dial 7363 after #BAL, I was supposed to dial #BAL and then hit "send?"  Oh, well then why doesn't my frigging iphone have a "send" button, huh?  Why does it have a "call" button?  If it wanted me to "call" #BAL, why didn't it frigging say "call #BAL"! 
Why, in the name of Benedict, when my frigging iphone says if you want your balance "dial #BAL SEND," and I dial #2257363, I say, when I do that why do I get a recording "your call cannot be completed as dialed?" Huh?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God, I'm still reeling from God resigning. Benedict was not very popular I've read. His namesake St. Benedict is not very popular with Stevie Greenblatt. The Saint is the one who rolled around in the nettles to cure his lustfulness.  That would make him the Anti-Epicurus.  Hiss, Pfft, Pfft. Benedict XVI wasn't popular with Professor Greenblatt either: German, Catholicism the one "true" religion, all others "deficient, Christian. Probably not a good idea to have appointed, or anointed, or elected, whatever a German. I hope God doesn't do that again. John Paul was, is, extremely popular. Polish guy. Any other good Poles out there?  I've read some Africans and some South Americans are up for It too.  That'd be great.  Maybe I'll write the Cardinals about that.  How about some guy not in his seventies this time.  If Benedict really did de-pope because of age and health, what did they expect of a guy who was 78 when he was chosen?

Monday, February 11, 2013

The United States Naval Academy Men's Glee Club:

When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
Arose, arose, arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter, the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves.
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair;
Blest Isle! With matchless beauty crown'd,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.
Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

Pope Resigns.

"Pope Resigns?"  What do you mean "Pope Resigns?"   Popes can't resign.  I thought being Pope was like being in the Hotel California, you can check out any time but you can never leave. Bunch of popes have checked out, never heard of one resigning.  What is he going to do, like, retire?  Garden? I don't know. He's resigning though. Age and health, he says. I immediately text-messaged my daughter, who leaves for a class trip to Italy, including the Vatican, on Friday: "I was relieved.  I thought it might be he knew you were coming."

Sheesh, unbelievable. The Pope resigned.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New uniforms?

What are LeBron James and Dwayne Wade doing? LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were at a basketball game yesterday in Miami. Not playing but watching. And cheering.

The University of Miami has had an ambivalent attitude toward the game of basketball. The school sponsored a team, then dropped the sport altogether, then revived it, and has since struggled for attention and relevance in a city more enthralled with professional sports teams, models in bikinis, and the sun and beach.

Yes, like that. That is the third google image under search keyword "florida gulf coast."  At the beginning of this college basketball season Miami played against a university named Florida Gulf Coast. And lost. When you're competing for attention against the Heat, Dolphins, Marlins, and Models you cannot lose to the Florida Gulf Coast "Eagles." Ditto when you're struggling for relevance in your sport. After that embarrassing November 13 loss Miami lost twice more before the new year. And then...

They have not lost since. They have now won eleven games in a row. And they have been killing teams (they do that in Miami): 71-47, 72-50, and on January 23 they beat the number-one ranked team in America, Duke University, by the score of 90-63. 90-63! :o  That got people's attention and they started going to games. It also made the "Hurricanes" relevant.  They entered the top-25 of nationally ranked teams and have risen to eighth.  In its on-again off-again history Miami has never been ranked higher than as the eighth best team in America. Yesterday before a sell-out crowd including LeBron James and Dwayne Wade Miami routed another team, the University of North Carolina, 87-61. When the new rankings come out Miami will best its historical high.

The most enchanting thing about sports is the unexpected and nothing has been as unexpected in the sport, perhaps in any sport this year, as what the University of Miami basketball team has done.
THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

Every last one of us yelled, "Mama!" to the top of his lungs as soon as he entered the door.  It wasn't home if Mother wasn't there to greet us.  Mother baked bread three times a week and when we came home from school simply starving, Mother would have a warm loaf of home-baked bread on the kitchen table with a plate of butter and a bowl of apple butter.  We all wanted a piece of the crust.

Father didn't send us to Sunday School and church,--he took us.  Always I remember him as the secretary of the Sunday School and leader of the singing.  He loved to sing and knew most of the hymns by heart.  In one of the revivals in the church, I was converted and then baptized by immersion by our beloved pastor, Reverend Henry Armstrong.  Sometime later we became members of the Presbyterian Church with Reverend Gettman as pastor. I have been a member of this church since 1906, especially active in all parts of the Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.  I am still a teacher of the Bible Class in our church.

Memorial Day was a special day when were growing up.  Many of the old neighbors had lost their lives in the Civil War, among them my own grandfather, Second Lt. [sic, Sergeant.] Nathan R. Bracken, who was killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On Memorial Day about nine o'clock in the morning the Sheepskin Band, organized by some of the old soldiers in this area, could be heard playing up in Grass Hill Cemetery where some of their comrades lay.  In the afternoon they gathered at McDowell Cemetery to honor their dead. Descendants of members of the first Sheepskin Band still continue their band and hold Memorial Services at McDowell's Cemetery each May 30th.


Happy New Year.

The Year of the Snake. Happiness to all Chinese, especially to Genxium, 白日放歌须纵酒, Woyuanwoyuan, Yao, Alix, and Frida.

Friday, February 08, 2013

My goodness.  It gives me great pleasure to type my grandmother's history because I get to read it again.  Such a wonderful childhood she had.  I thought, even when she was alive, that she had lived the most interesting span of time that any human being ever had. She went from the horse and buggy era to seeing a man land on the moon!  Imagine.*  The winter scene just posted reminds me very much of the way that James Fenimore Cooper describes, from his childhood memories, a turn of the nineteenth century winter scene in his realistic novel, The Pioneers, one of my favorite books. The subtitle of The Pioneers is Sources of the Susquehanna, the main branch in upstate New York, not the West Branch in western Pennsylvania. Frontier life had not much changed in the northeast United States in those hundred years.

*The photograph above is wonderful metaphor for the changes Mrs. Gill saw. As a child she knew the Kittanning Path as "the old Indian trail"--and lived long enough to see it cut through with paved roads for automobiles.**

**Which reminds me...I do not recall if Mrs. Gill treats of this subject later in her writing so her grandson will now:  Daniel Garman was one of the first people in the area to buy a car. Imagine that when you've only been used to horses!  Crank what? The gear shift, the pedals, all those mechanical things, oh jeez. So it was a real event when he got a car and everybody came out to see. Somebody gave him instruction on how everything worked.  It was an uncertain period of instruction imperfectly comprehended but after a skittish beginning he managed to get the hang of it and proudly drove a short distance as a "test drive" and all the family and neighbors were impressed. Came then time to put the new horseless carriage in the ol' barn, as it were, an ol' barn being what it really was.  He got the thing into reverse. Gave it a little gas. Gave it a little too much gas for his comfort, misremembered his instruction on that mechanical thing called "the brake," reverted to old habits and shouted "Whoa!," and drove the car straight through the back wall of the ol' barn. Imagine.
THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

And the wonderful sledriding!  Every family had two or three good sleds and the fields were filled with kids of all ages. There were sled load parties for the older people with fast horses and a good driver.  The sled bed had a bench around the outside and the bed was filled with straw and warm  woolen blankets, which were used for the horses.  A party of 20 or 30 young people all bundled up to their eyes were snug and warm, singing song after song, shouting and laughing, the horses flying and the sleighbells jingling.  We would ride for miles, stop to eat at some designated spot, reload and sang the whole way home.

When were in school and a blizzard blew up during the day, Father hitched up the horses to the sled and at about a quarter of four, just when school was to dismiss, the horses with jingling bells, tore down over the school yard and came to a sudden stop at the command of Father's "Whoa!"  Every kid who lived along the road and all the Steal Corner kids plus all of Father's own, climbed in.  Some hitched their sleds to the back and had a fine ride. When some one yelled, "Whoa," Father stopped to discharge his passenger.

Christmas was a glorious time.  Everyone of us believed in Santa Clause as long as possible.  We were afraid not to for when the stockings were hung up in a row, instead of oranges, popcorn and candy, the one who did not believe received a lump of coal in his stocking.  Our gifts were books, games, skates, warm mittens, scarves, etc.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Friedman's column today is entitled "India vs China vs Egypt."  Just the title aggravated me. I can't read it.  I'd like to hit him on the head with a skillet.
I did not know the West Branch of the Susquehanna River like that. We called it the "shit creek." Once when I was delivering newspapers I stopped on a little bridge and looked down at a tributary, one leading from "Number Nine," that flowed into the river. I saw a big log of stool followed by toilet paper float by. Besides human waste the river was polluted by waste water from the coal mines that kept it from freezing. The river never froze and was a yellow-orange color when I grew up there in the 1960's and '70's. My father once asked me to trace the source of the mine pollution and write about it for his newspaper. He told me to follow the river by crossing bridges until it turned clear and then to get out of my car and walk it to the source. (I did.) I found mine water gushing up from underground and flowing into river. In one direction the river water was as pristine as my grandmother describes it. In the other, the mine water merged with the river water.  The mine water was a milky green and for a short distance the river was visibly divided between this milky green and the steely clear river water. Quickly the mine water subsumed the river water. From that point on the river was dead. The source of the pollution was a "monkey dump" of an abandoned coal mine belonging to a defunct coal mining company."Monkey dump" is the name as I remember it now but in googling the term, I can find no direct reference.

"How dear the river was to us!"

THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

How dear the river was to us! In the summer we swam or paddled and threw water on each other, or ducked one another. In winter the beautiful clear water froze over completely from shore to shore, so clear that through the ice we could see the stones lying on the bottom. We all skated, from the oldest to the youngest. Ernest excelled in skating. He could skate backward as fast as forward and did fancy figures on the ice. He usually won the races. We could skate to school and back and on Saturdays the boys with others from Barnesboro skated to Cherry Tree and spent the afternoon on McKeage’s Dam. There were wonderful skating parties at night with a fine fire on the bank to warm ourselves.
The seminal event in the history of this area was when "small coal mines were drilled." Barnesboro was named for one of the co-founders of the Barnes and Tucker coal-mining company. With the coal mines came the railroad. Both changed the life and the environment here described irrevocably.
THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

Small coal mines were drilled into the coal out in the Hollow and Father leased some of these for selling house-coal as well as providing for our own use. A lovely long path traversed the length of the Hollow ending at the fields of the Mock farms. Other paths led up to the Somerville Road where the Somerville family lived, and others in the opposite direction led up over the hill where we could look down over Barnesboro and across the river to the little village called Steal Corner.

Below the woods were fields where corn, oats, wheat and rye were planted. To the right was a large orchard with peaches in the highest fields and an apple orchard below that contained a variety of apples,--Northern Spy, Rambo, Pippin, Russet, Jenny Lind, Jonathan, Honey Sweet and Winter Sweet.

Before the railroad came through our land, the river made a wide curve to the right and back again. When the railroad was built in the early 1890’s, it cut across the curve on bend in the river and we found on our property a fine body of water we called the pond. In winter it froze over quickly providing wonderful skating for us and our friends. As the winter deepened the ice on the pond became very thick and beautifully clear. Father had built an ice house on the edge of the pond and filled it with sawdust. Where the ice was thick and heavy he and the boys cut it in great cubes with long saws and buried it in the sawdust for the family to use in the summer. With our ice cream freezer, homemade ice cream was a common dessert. When Father dug out the huge blocks of ice in the summer we kids were always with him to bury our bare feet deep in the sawdust and fish around with our toes for ice. Father was never too busy to take us along on the wagon or sled, or to give us a ride on the horses and he plowed. Sometimes there were two or three on a patient old horse.

THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

Eva loved horses and could hitch up a horse to a buggy or a cart and drive as well as a boy. When she rode a horse she rode at a gallop. She had long wavy brown hair that hung to her waist, and when she rode she drew many admiring glances as she galloped along, her long hair flying.
Ernest didn't like school but loved to read. He liked the outdoors, hunting and fishing, and he was an excellent ice-skater.

From the time he was a small child, Harry lugged around an old satchel and proclaimed himself a doctor. But, of course, even doctors if they are raised on a farm have to take their share of the farm work as did each of the boys. Harry was always a willing worker in anything he did.

In 1890 our new white house on the farm was built and the family moved in. Here, on August 13, 1890 I was born.

Our Farm and Our Home Life

One side of our farm was crossed by the Somerville Road which was a part of the old Indian Trail through to Kittanning. On the other side of this road was a high hill, a part of our land we called Bunker Hill,--why, I do not know. I know for sure that the battle wasn’t fought there. We kids gathered strawberries, and dew berries on that hill for mother to make preserve and jelly. Part of our land was covered with trees which we called the Hollow. A fine brook flowed down through the Hollow and on across the fields on its way to the Susquehanna River. The water was crystal clear. It gave us kids great pleasure to catch minnows in it and paddle our bare feet. Many a picnic we have had with our friends out in the Hollow beside the brook. Many a basket or bucket of blackberries and black raspberries came from our Hollow, and along the fences were rows of elder berries.

[My mother, Mrs. Gill's daughter, told me a story of her grandmother cooking in her outside kitchen and being surprised by an Indian come up behind her. She hit him on the head with a skillet.]

Images: Above, the Kittanning Path, "the old Indian Trail" used by the Lenape, Shawnee and John Hart who traded with them at Hart's Sleeping Place; header, part of the Path today. 

An 8.0 earthquake has hit the South Pacific and Kiribati is in the path of the tsunami. something.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

For the rest of her life my grandmother described what she felt on her brother Ross' death the same way: as a cold rock in her chest. I can see her face and hear her voice now. Below is Dr. Garman's obituary:

Cambria Freeman 

Ebensburg, Pa. 
Friday, 13 Apr 1906   

Death of Dr. J. Ross Garman

At the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Garman (near North Barnesboro) the  immortal spirit of J. Ross Garman passed from time into eternity.  Dr. Garman was a  young man, being only 23 years, 4 months and 23 days of age and until overtaken by  his last illness had every reason to look forward to a bright and successful future. 
On February 28th he was compelled to return home, owing to an attack of typhoid  fever, which developed into the most virulent type.  Although everything in medical skill was resorted to and every loving attention lavished upon him, he was forced to give up his brave battle against the angel of death and on Saturday, March 31st, surrounded by his loved ones, calmly bade farewell and peacefully passed to that other shore, where we hope and believe he was received and welcomed by the host of redeemed ones.  
Surviving him are his parents, five sisters and three brothers.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Holy Hell.
Who you rootin' for Palau, Niners or Ravens?...Ever heard of Barnesboro?
Welcome to the Republic of Palau from which we have a pageviewer at the moment.
THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

My Parents and Their Family.

When Father was courting Mother he sometimes took her for a ride with him on horseback. She sat behind him with her arms locked tight around him. He loved to ride fast while she hung on for dear life. He was an expert horseman on horseback or driving in a buggy or carriage or handling a team of workhorses. His hands were so strong, he had a powerful grip.

Father and Mother were married March 15, 1877. Aunt Mallis, a half sister and James Garman, a cousin were their attendants. Father owned a farm just outside the present town of Barnesboro and there he took his bride. Two years later in 1879 their first baby was born, Ruhama Therona, soon nicknamed Ruie. In 1881 James Ross was born, followed two years later by Eva Lucretia in 1886 Ernest Eau Claire and Harry Franklin in 1888.

In the spring and summer of 1890 Father had built a lovely white frame farm house. I was the first child born in the new house and when I arrived on August 13, 1890, Mother named me Elizabeth Henrietta, the first name for my Grandmother Bracken and the second name for Henrietta Long, a good friend of the family. Two years later Carl Roy was added to our family and then Lisle Warden who died of cholera infantum at four months. Out beautiful little boy baby was gone and we were heartbroken.

Our grandmother, Lucinda Dunkel had lived on a farm close to what we call Number 9 before her marriage to Peter Garman. The Dunkels had given a part of their farm for the building of a church and a cemetery, called the Salem Cemetery. There our Grandmother and infant daughter had been buried when Father was only a young boy. Now, our baby, Lisle Warden, was buried not far from his grandmother.

In 1896 Nell Marian was born and we thought our family was complete but-Lo and Behold! In 1903 on March 14th, we awoke in the morning to find that we had a beautiful curly-haired brown-eyed baby sister. Such excitement! And we all wanted to give her our own selection of a name. Mother always had an affinity for fancy names, and from the latest book she had read she chose the name "Nathalie." One of us insisted on "Esther", another held out for "Irene" so Ross who was always a big clown declared he would settle it for all of us. He took down the Family Bible where all the marriages, births and deaths were inscribed and added as a last recorded births in the family: Esther Nathalie Irene William Bill Garman, born March 14, 1903. So there we were, a complete family of ten children, five boys and five girls.

Mother was determined that each of her children would have the best education that it would be possible for her and Father to provide. We had a pedal organ and when Ruhama showed an interest in music she was sent to Freeburg Musical College in Selinsgrove. By this time Father had bought us a piano of which we were very proud. Ruhama gave music lessons and had quite a class. She married Dr. M.M. Palmer and lived in Homer City.

Ross had a fine mind and loved his books. He was especially fond of poetry and had a splendid tenor voice. He taught school thus went to Dental College in Pittsburgh where he graduated in 1904. In the fall of 1904 he set up his office in Pittsburgh. We were all so proud of him and loved him so. In March of 1906 he was brought home with typhoid fever and died at the age of twenty-four. What a crushing blow! My poor dear Mother! Father buried his oldest son beside Baby Lisle in Salem Cemetery close to his Mother, Lucinda Dunkel Garman. How I had loved Ross! I'll never forget the cold lump in my chest that was supposed to be my heart. I was fifteen years old.

Image: Daniel Aaron Garman and...what was her name.  Mrs. Gill does not name her mother in this family history. I should know this. DAMN. I have the original wedding documents somewhere. This is Daniel Aaron Garman and Mrs. Garman on their wedding day, March 15, 1877. DAMN. (Anne Bracken-February 10, 2013.)

THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

Some of his land was sold for farms to his neighbors. One such sole was a large plot of land sold to Daniel and Betsy McAnulty. Years later our present town of Barnesboro* was begun and located on the McAnulty farm. It is interesting for us to know that our grandfather once owned the land where we who live here in Barnesboro now reside. He gave land for a church and a school and helped to build the Church of God at Garman and the Garman School. The church at Grass Hill, the Good Ridge Church and the Pine Grove Church all shared his interest and financial aid, as well as a school called the Salt Well School near the junction of Emeigh and Cherry Tree roads.

There is an old adage, "Behind every successful man there is a good woman." That was true of both the first and second wives of Grandfather. Both were hard-working industrious women, wonderful wives and mothers and good managers of a large and growing household.

For his retirement years Grandfather built a red brick house in Indiana on Grant Street. It is now being used as one of the cottages for students attending the University of Indiana (sic, Indiana University of Pennsylvania). The red bricks have been painted white to combine with the campus buildings. 

* The town Barnesboro no longer exists. After merger with adjacent Spangler the combined entity is now known as Northern Cambria.

THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

My grandfather was a successful business man. He lived too far up the river to engage in rafting timber down the Susquehanna in which many men made fortunes, but he had many men engaged in cutting and hauling lumber. He owned and operated a saw mill and a grist mill. He had a general store and had the post office. So many men were employed that the place became a village and assumed the name Garman's Mills which was also the name of the post office.

Before the Civil War Grandfather had built a large new house part of which still stands, now used as a hotel. It was necessary to have accommodations for boarding many men as they rode their horses in on Sunday evening and stayed all week for work until Saturday when they rode home to spend the night and Sunday. The long dining table seated 22 men and there were bedrooms for all. Grandfather became a well-to-do-man. The Susquehanna turned the wheels of his mills as they sawed the lumber and ground the feed and flour. Men with teams cut and hauled lumber.

Image: Peter Garman's mill today.

THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971

...The land in the Garman purchase included the creeks flowing from each side into the West Branch of the river almost to Cherry Tree. I am not relating this as a fact, but as a story that has come down through the generations. However, we do know that the land-holdings by the Garmans were extensive and were bought from the Penn Heirs.

The first Garman of whom I have any personal knowledge was my grandfather, Peter Garman whom I knew and loved. Around about the late 1820's he married Lucinda Dunkel and settled where the little village of Garman, or Garmantown as it is commonly called, now stands which, of course, was named for him. To this union were born Sarah, Daniel Aaron (my father), Franklin and Mary Jane. My grandmother, Lucinda Dunkel Garman died in childbirth, also her baby when father was eleven years old.

Later Peter Garman married Caroline Bracken and the following children were born: Malvina, Etta, Emma, Harry and Edna Tweet.

Image: Monument to Treaty of Fort Stanwix 1768, Cherry Tree, "Canoe Place," Pennsylvania.

"Postcard from Fee Egypt," dedicated to Thomas L. Friedman.

"Sex attacks against women in Tahrir Square alarm rights group:"

"Brutally frank video of mass sexual assault in Cairo:"

"French journalist raped in Tahrir Square:"

"They did it," Thomas L. Friedman. 

Saturday, February 02, 2013

THE GARMAN-GILL FAMILIES, Elizabeth Garman Gill, January 1971.

Our ancestors settled among the Plain People in Pennsylvania in the vicinity of Chambersburg.

The story of one of the earliest Garmans is that one of our ancestors bought from the William Penn Heirs at a dollar an acre all the land that he could encircle in a day's ride on horseback. From Hart's Sleeping Place he rode out over the heavily wooded area, up and down over the hills and above where Moss Creek now stands over the Good Ridge, bearing west to Cush Cushion Creek, round to where Emeigh now is, over the hill to Plattsville as we know it, and back by Hastings. This land is drained by the West Branch of the Susquehanna River whose source is on the present Strittmatter farm, a mile or so south of Carrolltown. 

Image: Hart's Sleeping Place, white structure in distance, and surrounding area.


Elizabeth Garman Gill

January 1971

At the request of my eldest grandson...I shall attempt to put into a story what I remember and what has been told me of our families, that my grandchildren may know something of their forefathers and the way we lived a few generations ago.

The Garman family came from around the Dutch border of Germany, and in Ireland there is a lake called Loch Garman, indicating that Garman was a name common in that area. This gives us a Dutch-German-Irish descent, and, of course, we are Yankees.

Image: Elizabeth Garman Gill, valedictorian of Barnesboro High School, 1908.

Http.Citi Exchange Trust Bank PLC
Feb 1 (1 day ago)
to me
Dear Benjamin,

Thank your for the response,please fill the Bank form attached and return back to us to enable us start the transfer process.

Dr.Kathy Edwards.

Feb 1 (1 day ago)
to Http.Citi
Dear Dr. Edwards,

Just mail the check to me at the address previously provided. I am not going to give you my bank account number.


Benjamin Harris

Http.Citi Exchange Trust Bank PLC
3:26 AM (15 hours ago)
to me
Dear Benjamin Harris.

We must follow the banking system,you must fill the form and forget
puting your bank details then pay the administrative of $500 stated in
the form.

After completing the process you can choose check and we will obey
your demand insure and send it to you.


Kathy Edwards.

Members, pageviewers, should I "pay the administrative of $500?"    

Friday, February 01, 2013

Egypt Teeters.

A gate of the presidential palace aflame.
Former Senator Chuck Hagel had his hearing for confirmation as Secretary of Defense yesterday. He refused to answer a direct question from Senator John McCain on whether he had been right or wrong to oppose the troop surge in Iraq. On a nuclear Iran, Hagel said he supported  "the president's strong position on containment" (Obama's position is no containment.).  Throughout the hearing Hagel did not appear very informed or bright.  The consensus of the cognsescenti is that it was a poor performance. The Senate will confirm Hagel.  The president ought not give senators the opportunity. He should pull the nomination.

Desiderata v. Benjamin Harris.

Go placidly [I am not placid.] amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. [I do not seek to be on good terms with all persons.]
Speak your truth [I do that.] quietly [Not that.] and clearly; [Do that.] and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. [I do that.]
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, [I am a loud and aggressive person.]they are vexations to the spirit. [Yes, we are.]
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; [Don't do that.]
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. [I don't think I have achieved much; I don't have any plans; I've only got 25% of life left. What am I going to plan, my frigging funeral? ]
Keep interested in your career, [I am.] however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; [I can't balance my checkbook.] for the world is full of trickery. [I don't think the world is full of trickery.]
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; [I am not blinded to virtue; I see it all the time.] many persons strive for high ideals; [Yes.]
and everywhere life is full of heroism. [Yes.]

Be yourself.[THAT I do.]
Especially, do not feign affection. [I don't do that but I find that strange here. Why "especially?"]
Neither be critical about love; [Don't know what that means: don't be critical of love? I'm not critical of love, why would anyone be critical of love?] for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. [I don't dye my hair or get hair transplants.]
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. [I have a strong spirit, too strong.] But do not distress yourself with imaginings.[I don't.]
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. [Never had any fears before I calculated that I only have 25% of life left. Now I fear death. "Atoms and the void" is not a good choice. Fatigue makes me depressed; have almost never been lonely.]Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. [I have not been disciplined enough so I've been too gentle with myself.]

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; [Desiderata and the Ten Commandments don't apply to the trees and the stars. You have to have free will to comply with this or the 10-C's. I have free will; I have not complied.]
you have a right to be here. [No, we don't have a "right" to be here.]
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, [I am not at peace, I wish God was at peace with me; I am not unconditionally in favor of peace with other people.] whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.[Not at peace with my soul.]
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. [Yes, it is.] Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy. [Ah, it comes down to the p.o.h. No, I'm not going to strive to be happy; I'll strive to be a better person even if it makes me unhappy.]

© Max Ehrmann 1927

My life is 76.6% over (based on average life expectancy of American males). I have not lived according to Mr. Ehrmann's advice.

Nor have I obeyed the Ten Commandments (only three). With 25% life remaining and 30% commandments remaining I could violate them all before I die.

Nor have I lived according to Confucius' teachings:  I have not been content with my station in life.

By the moral creeds, religious and secular, known to me, I have failed in life. I wish I had lived a more moral life.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

I'm fucked.