Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We finally did it!

I went to lunch with my friends Kathy and Ann today at Cantina Lena to have some of Megan's popsicles.  We had only been planning this lunch for six months.  So many cancellations and re-schedules.  I can't tell you how many.

But this time, we knew, it was time that, no matter what, we were going to do it.  No flaking!  And it was easy and fun.  Cuet picture of them, the one with me in it, not so much.  But a nice picture of ladies at lunch.  Why not?  Life is short!

We've all had challenges the last few years but we're all looking good!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cornerstone - closer to home

I'm working on this time capsule/cornerstone project.  Motivated by the box that I think is still the cornerstone on the historic site of Mishkan Israel in New Haven (1896).  I have a clipping from another cornerstone time capule for B'nai Shalom also of New Haven, now longer in existence (1895).

But really, can't I look into things closer to home.  Like Seattle?  Hey, De Hirsch Sinai had a cornerstone/time capsule commemorated in the above photograph for a building that they never did build (1901).  Pretty close in time.

And, the contents are at UW Special Collections.  What say, I go down there and check out what they have?

The experience from participating in Prof. Pianko's Digital Jewish History class last spring will help me as I spent quite a bit of time in Special Collections.

Also I have to find out what others have written about this.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Congrats to Abe B

My cousin Lynn posted some pictures of her son's graduation from a private school in Hawaii.  Very handsome young man.  Colorful with the white outfits and the dancing.  Very dramatic.  Height runs in that family (not mine) and he's a very tall young man.  I've met him a few times and wish him the best in college.  Congratulations!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Farewell to Howe Field



The Oregon Ducks softball team won their super-regional against North Carolina State yesterday and today in two straight games.  They are now on their way to the Women's Championship World Series that starts on Thursday.

And the last game played at Historic Howe Field.  The bulldozers come on Tuesday.  They're building a new stadium on-site which should be open by the start of next season.

Susanna played all on her games at Howe Field and, though we had good times there, it's definitely time for Howe Field to go.  We went down there to watch a game earlier this season, Cheridan Hawkins perfect game against Washington.  Built as a baseball field in 1936, I've longed maintained it is the oldest field in D1 college softball.  But not up to U Oregon's standards.  I think it's a disgrace that they waited so long.  The seating was dangerous.  I didn't have the nerve but I thought I should fall down those stands and then sue.  Take one for the Ducks.

As I've written before, until 2004, they expected the fans to use port-a-potties!  In the middle of the University of Oregon campus with its celebrated facilities.  I, myself, got them to open the Mac Court bathrooms not 10 feet away.

The seating was dangerous, there were no bathrooms, it was not handicapped accessible. Yes, you could put a wheelchair up top but an assistant coach said she had a horrible time trying to get a player on crutches down to the field.  Let alone a wheelchair.  Big sections of the concrete stands did not have line of sight to the field because of the dugout roof.  If the games were broadcast, the announcers had to sit on a jerry-rigged platform covered by a tarp.  C'mon UO, of the Nike deep pockets, you had a nationally ranked team play here.  The team had locker rooms in the basement of Mac Court were rather dingy and everybody knows that the cockroaches are what holds that old building together.  They just replaced it with a 100m dollar facility.

There were good points.  The location is great, right near the center of campus, it did have it's distinctive atmosphere right there on University Street.   Some great wrought iron gates which I'm not sure will be incorporated into the new design.  The playing field was professionally maintained and was a favorite with players throughout the Pac 12. 

But I will shed no tears, time for Howe Field to go!

Picture posted on UO softball twitter's page of the two top pitchers junior Cheridan Hawkins (one of three finalists for player of the year) and senior Karissa Hovinga taking some dirt from the pitcher's circle.  Maybe they will take it to Oklahoma City.  You sprinkle it in the circle there and it becomes your home field.  And maybe keep some for next year to make the new stadium their own.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Scrapbook paper gets a home

Heard from my editor from "Connecticut History Review"  I had pitched a piece on the Maier Zunder scrapbook for the Research Notes section of the journal.  These are shorter pieces about resources available to historians.  She said she would be interested.  I submitted a much shorter piece.  I tried to do some sort of quantitative analysis of the contents.  I just couldn't figure out where it fit in.  But I thought it might work.

This was for the Spring 2015 issue and spring is getting on.  I heard last night from her with edits and tasks.  I had an out of date citation and needed better quality graphics.  She really changed the order of the components. Completely different order of my 1300 words.  She took out one paragraph that I was thinking of deleting anyway.  But it works, it works fine.  So I'm going with it.  She added an ending sentence that was a bit weak. 

I have some time here so I'll see if I can think of a better ending sentence.  I've done most of the tasks already.

I'm pleased; really pleased.  I'm beyond a late bloomer in the field of academic publishing. So I'll be taking every advantage I can find.

Picture taken of Ceceilia Bucki, Editor of Connecticut History Review holding up the journal. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Trying to make sense of my CMI pictures


I've found, to my untrained eye, that I never get enough pictures at crucial moments.  Especially when I'm absorbed in the action.

On my recent trip to New Haven, I made much more progress than I ever expected in locating the box located in the cornerstone of the building constructed in 1896 by Congregation Mishkan Israel.  The congregation itself moved to suburban Hamden in 1960 and sold the building.  It's now occupied by ECA, Educational Center for Arts, a special arts high school.

I managed to talk myself (and my entourage, including Peter M. a forensics expert, Dennis and my cousin Mary Ann) into some remote corners of the building including the payoff, the storage room or 'the dungeon' with the exterior brick wall exposed.

First here's a shot of the front of the building, a bit of a funny angle and not all of it.  The cornerstone with the dates is circled.  We still have not resolved the difference in the format of the dates described in the newspaper articles and the dates engraved in the visible cornerstone.  Colin C. thinks it's the original sandstone cornerstone where a bit would be hollowed out and a box inserted.



I have only a few shots of the dungeon. 



At first we pointed up at the stairway structure and said "oh these are stairs."   Yes, we are below the broad stairs going down to the street.  But we are not looking up at the main stairs which are much broader.  If you look closer at the picture, you can see the top of those narrower stair steps.  Maybe these narrow stairs were used previously to get to the top of the tower.  The main stairs are quite a distance from the outer wall and the stairs we were looking at are almost flush against the wall.  I think that the big structure in the foreground is the pillar supporting the tower.

Looking at the wall, you can see the brick arch above the florescent light and an area with much newer looking larger concrete bricks.  Is Peter standing by the front wall?  If so, the cornerstone would be right above his head.

I forget the purpose of the big square structure next to us retrofitted into the building.  The newer bricks would support its installation.


I'm trying to match what we're seeing on the inside to what's on the outside.  It's really hard.  Here's a shot of the side of the building.



The cornerstone (the side of it) is again circled. I can't see those new large concrete bricks.  The different brick is between the two boxes.  Is the large three piped structure in front of the big square thing in the dungeon?

I'm going to ask Colin to see if he can help me understand what I'm looking at.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scooters in China

Looks like Matt and Ilana are having a great time visiting Emily....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Players dancing




NCAA Division 1 softball played the 16 regionals this past weekend.  64 teams started, 48 now eliminated.  The remaining 16 will play in eight super-regionals this next weekend.

The Oregon Ducks won their regional and will be moving on.

Many more games than the March Madness basketball tournament as the regional format is double elimination rather than single elimination with the super-regional being 2 out of 3.

I first heard of double elimination tournaments when Susanna was about 10 and playing in the local city soccer tournament. I thought it was some kind of voodoo.  Made no sense to me, I didn't know about brackets, thought no living person could comprehend it.

But I love this video.  The Baton Rouge Regional hosted by #5 seed LSU had many weather delays.

So guess what the teams did.  Downstairs, waiting it out, they all danced.  Enjoy the Texas Southern and LSU softball teams as they wait to resume play.

Love it!  Invest 18 seconds to watch them dance,.

Makes me wonder, would men's teams dance together on a break in a season-ending elimination tournament?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Frame by Frame

We saw two movies today at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival).  We buy a six pack and that means we HAVE to get out of the house six times over 3 weeks to see movies.  We've decided that, this year, we would see films by and/or about women.

Earlier in the day, we saw Tea Time, an enduring portrait of a group of elderly Chilean women who meet for tea every month since high school.  Very sweet and real.

The second movie I chose was "Frame by Frame" about photojournalism in Afghanistan directed by two women.  Very compelling and positive about the power absorbed those by who make photos as well as those that make it.  Portrait of four photographers.  We knew the directors would be there but it was a surprise when the four Afghan photographers were there too.  So powerful!!

I've included a low quality picture of the group on the stage answering questions at the end.