Thursday, January 31, 2013

Darin and Brooke Aldridge

Hill folk music at its finest. Listen

OMG...I lv it!  Ree Ree I'm looking for a DVD to send you.

Pretty Halcyon Days by Ogden Nash

....How pleasant to gaze at the sailors.
As their sailboats they manfully sail
With the vigor of vikings and whalers

a halcyon upon his perch
In the days of the vikings and whale.

They sport on the brink
Of the shad and the shark;
If its windy they sink;
If it isn't, they park.
It is pleasant to gaze at the sailors,
To gaze without having to sail.....

jpr: I never played vikings or pirates as a kid. Did I miss something?

viking skull in National Museum of Ireland

The Viking Age in Ireland (800 AD to 1150 AD) was very important to the growth and cultivation of Dublin.  Most of the culture, trading systems, and art styles of Ireland originated from the Vikings.  

This Viking age artifact shows some two dozen wounds.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Up Halle Aa

The 2006 Jarl Squad assemble for the official photograph at the Bressay Ferry Terminal. Photo courtesy of Millgaet Media.

Today 1,000's of the residents of the Shetland Islands celebrate the festival of Up Helly Aa to mark the 500 years of Norse occupation of the Island.s  The 'fire festival' formally begun in 1870 to replace a much larger and riskier celebration.  The holiday is a historical Viking tradition that marks the end of the Christmas season.  Wearing traditional viking garb, participants march in a torch-lite parade, set fire to a traditional Viking long boat, and then head out to various venues for parties, skits and considerable drinking.  Tomorrow is an official holiday to allow for recovery.

2. Up Helly Aa is held on the last Tuesday in January every year, whatever the weather. The event culminates with up to 1,000 'guizers' - men in Viking costume - throwing flaming torches into a Viking longship.

the most expensive shoe in the world

Each pair of The House of Borgezie shoes  is handcrafted from solid gold and then encrusted with 2,200 brilliant cut diamonds, totaling 30 carats. Priced at 140,000 euros.

jpr: some 300 million children have no shoes!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kelly Nieto

It is an imperative to see/hear the story of this amazing woman who was a staunch atheist for most of her life.    Warning the emotional content is extreme!!

jpr's approval 5 stars.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thomas of Aquino (1225 – 1274)

“Aquinas" is the demonym of Aquino.  Thomas came from one of the noblest families of the Kingdom of Naples. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of  modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics,  natural law metaphysics, and political theory.

Today is his feast day. He was most influential in my college studies.

The Beauty of The Haggis

Haggis is a savory pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver, and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. Tradition holds that at a haggis is a small Scottish animal with legs on one side longer than those on the other, so that it can run around the steep hills of the Scottish Highlands without falling over. While associated with Scotland, the origins of the haggis are unknown.  Some evidence suggests it was common among the Romans and introduced during their efforts to occupy Scotland.

The haggis is used in sport as well, haggis hurling.  The current world record, set in 2011, is 217 feet. 

The US Food and Drug Administration prohibits the importation or manufacture of traditional Scottish Haggis. Wonder why? Certainly explains why the meal must be taken with large amounts of whiskey.

The Grain Tax by Bai Juyi, 800 AD

There came an officer knocking by night at my door
In a loud voice demanding grain tax
My house servants dared not wait till the morning,
But brought candles and set them on the barn floor.
Passed through the sieve, clean-washed as pearls,
A whole cart-load, thirty bushels of grain.
But still they shout that it is not paid in full:
With whips and curses they push my servants and boys.
Once - a mistake - I entered public life;
I am inwardly ashamed that my talents were not good enough.
One after the other I held four government jobs;
For doing nothing — ten years' salary!
Often have I heard that saying of ancient men
That "good and ill follow in an endless chain."
And today it should set my heart at rest
To return to others the grain in my great barn.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

the highlands

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.


Robert Burns

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bindi Sue Irwin

Bindi Sue Irwin (born 24 July 1998]) is the daughter of the  star Steve  (killed on TV by a sting ray), and Terri Irwin  .She is a child celebrity and busy with acting, singing, songwriting, dancing, rapping, and a fitness DVD. Her first name comes from the name of her father's favorite female crocodile and her middle name is from the family's dog Sui.  Bindi is an aboriginal word that means "young girl".
On 20 September 2006, Bindi received a standing ovation after delivering the eulogy for her father in front of a crowd of 5,000 and a worldwide television audience of more than 300 million viewers

Happy Birthday Robbie

Today marks the birthday of Robert Burns (25 January 1759), renowned Scottish poet, songwriter and social commentator.  Scots world wide, dressed in traditional tartans, will gather to honor him with a traditional Burns Night.  

The basic format for the evening remains unchanged since 1796. Guests share a meal of cock-a-leekie soup (or Scotch broth) and haggis with "tatties and neeps" (potatoes and rutabagas), Tipsy Laird (sherry trifle) followed by oatcakes and cheese, all washed down with liberal tots of whiskey.  The ‘haggis’ enters the room accompanied by a bagpiper and recitation of  Burn’s  “Address To A Haggis.’”

Next comes the Selkirk Grace (written by Burns):
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit

Guests are expected to drink, make humorous speeches, and offer selections of Burn’s work. The evening ends with the singing one of Burns's most famous works, Auld Lang Syne.

some of this blog's stats

jpr: Thanks to all of our blog writers and to all those viewers (~100/day)!

Burial place of Ruth

Ruth was  the great-grandmother of  King David. She is buried in Hebron in the West Bank.

Friday, January 25, 2013

taxes 2013

jpr: How are you doing???

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Taxation Poem by Anonymous

Tax his land, tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule

Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom!"
And when he's gone, we won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance tax

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


One From One Leaves Two

Higgledy piggledy, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen.
Gentlemen come every day
To count what my black hen doth lay.
If perchance she lays too many,
They fine my hen a pretty penny;
If perchance she fails to lay,
The gentlemen a bonus pay.

Mumbledy pumbledy, my red cow,
She’s cooperating now.
At first she didn’t understand
That milk production must be planned;
She didn’t understand at first
She either had to plan or burst,
But now the government reports
She’s giving pints instead of quarts.

Fiddle de dee, my next-door neighbors,
They are giggling at their labors.
First they plant the tiny seed,
Then they water, then they weed,
Then they hoe and prune and lop,
They they raise a record crop,
Then they laugh their sides asunder,
And plow the whole caboodle under.

Abracadabra, thus we learn
The more you create, the less you earn.
The less you earn, the more you’re given,
The less you lead, the more you’re driven,
The more destroyed, the more they feed,
The more you pay, the more they need,
The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to take
If the tax-collector hasn’t got it before I wake. 

Samson's burial place

They took Samson and buried  him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial of Manoah his father located in modern Israel. The name Samson means "Little Sun."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The Rainbow

after summer's rain
God's promise is remembered
glorious rainbow

(Gen (:8-17)

photo contest winner

Winners in the "best use of color" in a family photo, "originality in a group pose" and the "save the space" design. Congratulations to all the rainbow members.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Kensington Rune Stone


The Kensington Rune Stone found in 1898 by a farmer in Minnesota was written in the 13th century according to a number of scholars and represents a common Swedish language used in legal documents of the period.  Scholars are increasingly confident of its validity. Translated if reads

Kensington Rune Stone

"Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians on a journey of exploration from Vinland very far west. We had camp by 2 rocky islands one day's journey north from this stone. We were out fishing one day. After we came home we found 10 men red with blood and dead. AVM [Ave Maria] save us from evil."

"Have 10 men by the sea to look after our ships 14 days' journey from this island. Year 1362."

Wyoming County Petroglyphs

Three counties in West Virginia; Fayette, Boone and Wyoming contain the chiseled writing known as petroglyphs. The Wyoming County area has four known petroglyph sites. These are believed to be dated from 6th -8th Century A.D.

Written in early Irish Consonantal (no vowels) Ogam , the message deciphered reads: "At the time of sunrise, a ray grazes the notch on the left side on Christmas Day, the first season of the year, the season of the blessed advent of the savior Lord Christ. Behold he is born of Mary, a woman."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

brandenburg stone

The stone was discovered in a Paradise Bottom farm in Meade County, Ky by Craig Crecelius in 1912.  The writing from the early Welsh language of Coelbren. According to them the stone reads: "Toward strength (to promote unity), divide the land we are spread over, purely (or justly) between offspring in wisdom."
There have been 55 stones with similar markings on them found in numerous states.

Stan Musial, RIP

Probably doesn't ring a bell with most but as one of the all-time great baseball players he has a significant place in my childhood memories.  Had a couple of his cards.  Today they'd be worth a lot but I  treasure the memory most.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The lost colony of Roanoke

In 1587, a colony of 116 English settlers landed on Roanoke Island, led by John White. He left the island for England for more supplies but couldn't return again until 1590 because of the war between England and Spain.
When he came back, the colony was gone -- lost in the wilds of a young America

A fresh review of White's map with newer technology provides a clue to the colony's disappearance. A mark indicates what is believed to be where a future fort for the colony was intended.

"We believe that this evidence provides conclusive proof that they moved westward up the Albemarle Sound to the confluence of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers," said James Horn, vice president of research and historical interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

The land where archaeologists would need to dig eventually is privately owned, and some of it could be under a golf course and residential community. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Brown's Island

Browns Island is an island on the Ohio River within the corporate boundaries of Weirton in Hancock CountyWest Virginia. Browns Island was the site of a coke plant, which was in operation until 1982. Griffen Island lies on the Ohio to its southwest. Browns Island is known to be the site of an ancient Indian burial ground.

There is new industrial development coming due to the abundance of cheap natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Deposit.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

the extinct dwarf elephant

Adding to the mystery of the Dwarf Elephant, it hasn't yet been proved that the extinction of these 500-pound-beasts had anything to do with early human settlement. This adult elephant would be the size of  a young bovine calf.

burial place of Moses

"In the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth-peor" Moses was buried. 
This place is in Palestine, east of the River Jordan and northwest from the Dead Sea.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

elephants of india


As part of the Holi – the Hindu Festival of Colors to celebrate the arrival of spring – the Elephant Festival has become a large tradition.  In Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, each year elephants are paraded, bejeweled, and painted. The end result is a fabulous transformation from a grey behemoth to a wonderful palette of colors and designs.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

facts for cat lovers

1. Just over 32 percent of households own a cat, and the average cat owner has at least two felines.   
2.  Around 54 percent of dogs and cats are overweight or obese. That comes out to about 50 million corpulent cats.
3.  The Amazon-dwelling cat, called a margay, was seen making monkey noises to attrack its prey.
4.  People living in countries with high the parasite T. gondii infection rates are more likely to be neurotic than people living in areas were infection rates were low. This parasite can on;y reproduce in the stomach of a feline.
5. Warmer temperatures and shorter winters could lead to longer breeding seasons for cats. That's not great news for cats, however, because many of those kittens end up as strays.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

quiet appalachia

Just in the back of the house for most of us hill folk.

wettest places on earth

Mount Waiʻaleʻale in the Hawaiian Islands averages  more than 452 inches of rain a yea.r 

Washington State's Aberdeen Reservoir has an average yearly precipitation of 130.6 inches.

 CrkviceBosnia with 183 inches annually is the wettest place in Europe.

Debundscha, a Southwest Region of Cameroon, is said to be the wettest part of Africa. The town receives approximately 411.9 inches.

Cherrapunji, a village, in the Meghalaya state, northeastern India. Is the wettest place in Asia with 450 inches annually and holds the world record for one year of rainfall at 1042 inches. 

flooding in Ireland

Indeed! It's for sure, the boys are busy about it.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Located between Mt. Gerizim (left) and Mt. Ebal (right). Shechem is preeminent in the biblical record. The remains of Joseph brought out of Egypt are buried here. It is part of the West Bank.

Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
William Butler Yeats

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Castle is an American comedy-drama television series, which premiered on ABC on March 9, 2009. The series is produced jointly by Beacon Pictures and ABC Studios.

Jpr: I'm a devoted fan. The series is now running on cable channels in all day back to back episodes. The end is near.


  a lost skill??? Where is your Red-Flyer??

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

redneck cartoon

Thanks Goran!

Chinese Zodiac

  According to the legend of the Circle of Animals, Buddha summoned all the animals to bid them farewell before he left our world. Only twelve species answered Buddha's call. They form the Chinese Zodiac and symbolize the twelve paths of wisdom that are still valid nowadays.
The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao in Chinese, is based on a twelve year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. 

jpr: I've been rightly called a "pig" all my life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

where are the future ballerinas?

Dancers from the American Ballet Theatre and the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club came to Central Park,  NY and broke the Guinness record for most ballerinas en pointe for a minute, with 230 participants successfully completing a simple routine on their toes.

CRC Basketball classic

The Cancer Research Classic is the best high school basketball tournament in the nation (albeit catholic schools). The tournament occurs at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WVa in early January.

The field:










Monday, January 7, 2013

Sondra Locke?

Sondra resides in the Hollywood Hills, where she has settled into a quiet retirement.

Ludmila Semenyaka

Ludmila Semenyaka was born in St. Petersburg in 1952, January 16. She finished the ballet school (now the St. Petersburg Academy of Russian Ballet n. a. A.Y. Vaganova). In 1972 she joined the Bolshoi (prima ballerina) and works now as a repetiteur there.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Morgantown Theatre Company

369 High St.
Morgantown, WV 26505
jpr: This info is for Owen!!!

Sophie Traub

She is a Canadian actress and without her the movie Daltry Calhoun is less then ordinary. Bravo Sophie!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Katrina Holden Bronson

Katrina is an American film directorscreenwriter and actress. She is the adopted daughter of fellow actors Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland. See her 2005 production of "Daltry Calhoun", a most excellent film.

Friday, January 4, 2013

River Snow by Liu Zongyuan

A thousand mountains, no sign of birds in flight;
Ten thousand paths, no trace of human tracks.
In a lone boat, an old man, in rain hat and straw raincoat,
Fishing alone, in the cold river snow.

Mother Seaton

"Live simply, so that others may simply live.

This is her feast day!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Morning Poem by Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes
Smooth and clean and frosty white
The world looks good enough to bite
That's the season to be young
Catching snowflakes on your tongue
Snow is snowy when it's snowing
I'm sorry it's slushy when it's going

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Emma Stone

jpr: This actress is the real deal! Oh Yeah, she is a natural blond of Swedish origin.

Richard Hanley Jaeckel

Richard Hanley Jaeckel (October 10, 1926 – June 14, 1997) . A short, but tough guy, he played a variety of characters during his fifty years in movies and television and became one of Hollywood's best known character actors. Jaeckel got his start in the business at the age of seventeen while working as a mailboy at 20th Century Fox studios in Hollywood. A casting director auditioned him for a key role in the 1943 film Guadalcanal Diary, Jaeckel won the role and settled into a lengthy career in supporting parts.