Friday, November 28, 2014

Native Earth

We made it up to southwestern Idaho for my dad's 80th b-day celebration tomorrow. The Best Western, Caldwell Inn and Suites, gets good ratings so far. Very large rooms. A pool the grandkids are enjoying. My son is enjoying the hot tub with the Westminster Women's Basketball team here for a tourney. Free internet. It's a win-win-win-win.

My usual travelogue about the pioneer trails and old Highway 30 (particularly with Bliss that used to have cool, cement dinosaurs - kinda like Vernal, UT). And the features on top of Mountain Home mesa (no mountain and not my home). I pointed out to the south and west how we could see to Nevada in the peaks of the Owyhees (I've been to Duck Valley Rez on business) and the far end being in Oregon. As the sun set I tried to explain how the Easterners have it all wrong pronouncing a "gone" at the end of my native state. It hasn't "gone" anywhere. And it has to match the rhyme of the state song, "Land of the Empire Builders/Land of the Golden Sun/Hail to Thee, Land of Freedom/My Oregon."
Vintage Bliss

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving - Henry Vaughan

From my Cousin Poet, Henry Vaughan, the Silurist (1621-1695)

O lead me, where I may be freeIn truth and spirit to serve Thee!Where undisturb'd I may converseWith Thy great Self; and there rehearseThy gifts with thanks; and from Thy store,Who art all blessings, beg much more.
Give me the wisdom of the bee,And her unwearied industry!That from the wild gourds of these days,I may extract health, and Thy praise,Who canst turn darkness into light,And in my weakness show Thy might.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Orienting/Indexing the Tithing Maps of Wales, 1843

Thanks to Twitter at: Archives Wales retweeted
New tithe maps website
I just did the coolest thing!

The Welsh National Archives are asking for our help to index and orient the tithe maps of Wales from the 1840s! I was able to locate several data points that matched a modern Ordnance Survey map with the 1843 Tithe map for Llanfoist, Monmouthshire! (By the way, I also learned that Welsh spelling for Llanfoist is Llanffwyst. It makes a difference.) You can see my work here. Click on "visualize" and you will see the overlay based on my data points.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

James Island: The Original - More Family Totems

Now we wrap long-standing friendships into our family totems. My old friend I've known pretty much since birth (and maybe before) took some excellent photos of oil paintings that my dad gave to his family and another friend from Seattle days.

Evidence of the lengthy friendship is here:

And the paintings are here:

Missionary Gratitude - Happy Thanksgiving!

This just came in my son's latest email from Japan:
Lots of other cools things happened this past week, but because Thanksgiving is coming up, and because I am a missionary, I figured I could get away with doing tacky things, so I made a list of 100 things I am grateful for as a missionary. I will try to write some explanations as time permits. Here it goes.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mechanism and Meaning - Book Report

Usually I would wait until I finished reading before recommending. No wait necessary with the kindred spirit I've found with Dr. Sam Brown's new book, First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple (Maxwell Institute, Provo, Utah 2014). I just read a paragraph that I have to share:
. . . . Mechanism is not meaning.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Strangers in a Strange Land - Immigration, 1860

Here is one more view of Mormon immigrants in Carson Valley from our correspondent to the San Francisco Herald, July 25, 1860:
Considerable number of immigrants have already arrived in this country from Salt Lake; but I regret that they are not generally of a class that we can welcome, being mostly Mormons, or apostate Mormons. As far as I have been able to observe in a three years’ residence in Utah, I see but little difference between the regular Mormon and the apostate; they are all, or nearly all, of the very lowest class of English, Welsh and Danes.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Identity Crisis

My government ID expires this month. It says so right on the front, "NOV2014." I need it to enter the federal building without going through security check like they do at the airports but without the special lines and exceptions. Basically, an undocumented federal employee. So, you might think I would be getting a new one. The answer is . . . maybe.

You see, I agree 100% with the President's goals in documenting the previously undocumented people who live in the U.S. I think our borders should be as open as possible. My idealism says, "Open them all!" But the practical in me agrees with the President's new bumper stickers:
But Mr. President, why now?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Mormon Threat

Going through a source for information on the critical years of 1857-60 in Carson Valley, now Nevada, seeking to resolve some family history issues, I came across this:
Genoa, Carson Valley, U.T. July 11, 1859 . . . . The Mormon Imbroglio

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Poli-Sci 101 - How the Republicans Won

Not being one of the 5% that can hire their own lawn service, I was out mowing (hopefully for the last time this year). My boy was kind enough to rake up most of the leaves.

And it came to me. This last midterm election was a classic. Here's a simple explanation for what seemed like a very complex situation.

First, each party's themes are laid out with their explanations.


The closest I could find to Groucho's "Boogity, boogity!" scene
Here's a link provided by elg below: Boogity link.
"Boogity, boogity!"

"Boogity, boogity!"

"Boogity, boogity!"

"Boogity, boogity!"

"Boogity, boogity!"

Government in general:
"Boogity, boogity!"

The Munchkin Vortex

Don't get me wrong, I've always loved the Munchkins. I just wasn't sure they should be in charge of the government.
Dorothy escaping the Vortex.
The Munchkins won big the other night. But they are caught in a conundrum. The mandate was from a still angry and unsatisfied electorate, most of whom, do not like the President even if they could never beat him in a general election. Yes, a lot of Dems didn't vote in the off-term or they could have prevented this. It's not like we're an organized party or anything.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Graveyard of a Surprising Hero

Free use courtesy of Jim Herman - Many thanks!
Elinor Jenkins Vaughan could be here! We know that her daughter died and was buried in Jacks Valley - also in an unmarked grave. It is very likely that Elinor was too. The earliest grave identified in this beautiful cemetery is from 1860. There is plenty of space and apparent depressions for lost grave sites.

Monday, November 3, 2014

More Family Totems

A couple of weeks ago, I was at my parents' house. And having delivered to my dad a few framed pieces (he prefers a particular framing shop in Salt Lake City), I followed him around seeing some of his work and attempted a few more photos. I don't know what he thought I was doing, but I share here some important, family totems even if the first two weren't by him:

St. Francis by Ben Ortega
Lightning Pattern, Navajo Rug
Ben Ortega is now deceased, so I think the one I gave to my Mom a while back has probably increased in value. It's not like you should be placing values or buying and selling in St. Francis carvings. It sounds rather disrespectful to me and missing the whole point of the Santo.

On the right, is one of many Navajo rugs my parents own. Price is more invaluable as they seem to belong with my parents ever since they fell in love with Santa Fe in 1966. We earned some points with them for our nine years of residence there.

And now back to my dad's work, back to the very earliest days of his good art work. The first is a piece he did just after graduating from Brigham Young. I would have been about four months old. It hung in our house for all the years I can remember in my youth. It's good to have a photo of this one:

(c) 1957, Larry K. Vaughn