Thursday, January 11, 2018

Check on My Predictions for 2017

OK, let's do this.

It's time to review the political predictions I made for 2017 now that the miserable year has ended and we're coming up on a year of trump in the White House. (By the way, my life is pretty good in other regards).

I am most happy to say that my prediction that a nuclear bomb would go off somewhere in the world did come true, but it was only a "test" by North Korea and not an attack on us or our allies. But it's not like we're still worried about that or anything.

Kim Jon Un posing as if he were watching a missile launch--or worse.
I failed in my prediction that even trump would realize that Putin is not his friend. If anyone has heard any criticism of Putin by trump, please let me know because I think he is one of the very few world figures that trump has not criticized.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

More Pioneer Research, Winter Edition

Centerville Ward Chapel, Davis County, Utah (1879). Centerville Canyon behind.
Only the center part is original. There have been several additions over the years.
Strolling the streets of Centerville, Utah today, it was nagging me that I still haven't solved the problem of where in town the Thompson Family lived for a few years in the 1860s when my 2nd Great Grandmother, Annie Thompson, was born April 3, 1863. She died as a young mother in 1890, leaving my Great Grandfather at age seven. He died in 1963 and I knew him well, so there is some responsibility here.

Hitting the internet when I got home, I checked out the listing of historical sites for Centerville to see if there is a record of a pioneer home built by a Thompson Family. I'm suspicious there was not. They were hard-working but not with much financial means in life and they likely boarded or shared space with another family in their brief time here. Or because they were here for a few short years, any home would not have been long remembered as belonging to them.

Monday, December 25, 2017

More or Less a Christmas Poem by Cousin Henry Vaughan

A little historical and literary context here for my distant cousin, Henry Vaughan (1621-1695). He came from a conservative corner of Wales that was mostly loyal to the King in the English Civil War. He did not like Puritanism and his allegiance to the King was both religious and political. This poem gives feeling to the sentiment of the old church (High Anglican wasn't much different from Catholicism out where he was) that was passing away. He was a religious purist sometimes admonishing the excesses of the conservative church and sometimes the harsh, judgmental heresies of Cromwell's Commonwealth governed by Puritanical values.

There is a Christmas sentiment here: The Shepherds seeking a new Christ Child for restoration of the True Christian Religion. And what is this about "westward hence thy course will hold?" There is the obvious astronomical reality of the light or sun setting in the west, but the New World was discovered and inhabited by Europeans before the time Henry Vaughan lived. Could he have been holding out hope that a new revelation or restoration could come there away from corrupt Europe and England? Maybe so.

The problem is that current political and religious power in the United States leaves me in the same despairing worry as Vaughan.

Maybe somewhere in the West there will be a new Nativity of True Christianity.

Cochiti Pueblo Nativity by Louise Suina

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Disney Pixar's Coco, highly recommended

Coco is the Christmas movie I would recommend. I haven't seen the new Star Wars yet, but my son-in-law has tickets for us to go the day after Christmas. I understand there are controversial surprises in The Last JediCoco surprises in its unique presentation of the Mexican traditions for Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, or the celebrations, yes, celebrations around All Saints Day.

The altar in Coco with photos of deceased family members

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Hiraeth 2016: Dydd 29-30, The Valleys, Cardiff, Farewell

We had a morning appointment to arrange for a replacement monument for the grave of our 4th Great Grandfather, John Vaughan (1789-1851). The place was in the outskirts of neighboring Newport. Across the street, I noticed a Reliant Robin, the amazing three-wheeled British car! I went over to snap a few pictures at various angles. A group of tough looking mechanics came out of the garage and demanded to know why I was taking pictures. I explained that I had never seen a Robin before except for, you know, that show about cars on TV.

"Top Gear," one of them said, and we all started to laugh which defused the situation to avoid me becoming a rugby ball.

A Reliant Robin in all its glory.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Hiraeth 2016: Dydd 27-28, Hay, Blaenavon, LLantilio Crossenny, White Castle, LLansantfraed.

There is a strange reluctance with me to finish projects that I enjoy. But finish we shall even if the hiraeth is overwhelming.

The 27th day in Wales was a work day as my wife and I helped pack up and clean the BYU House. We wanted to earn our keep to stay a few extra days until the lease expired. My wife did break away to go back to the antique mall Professor Tom showed us in Cardiff to purchase the best example of what we think the teapot was like that my ancestor may have carried across the plains of America.

Mid to late 19th Century, inexpensive pewter teapot similar to what we imagine would have survived a handcart journey
tied to an apron string

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Hiraeth 2016: Dydd 26, Welsh National Museum and Cardiff Bay!

It was sad to break the fellowship of British Expeditions 2016. As our time wound down, Professor Tom headed off for an adventure hiking the Pembrokeshire coastline trail. The rest of the group had a drawn-out farewell in Cardiff.

First we went off to the National Museum Cardiff. What a place! Dinosaur bones to masterpieces of art! And am ddim! (free entry).

My fave, the Blue Lady or La Parisienne, 1874, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
No, I think this was my favorite: