Friday, June 30, 2017

Dear Red States

Can you please finally admit that there are worse things than a Black Man in the Oval Office?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Updated Trek Guidelines

As a Pioneer Trek Agnostic, I found Keepa's link to an updated booklet of the LDS Church on Handcart Trek Reenactments interesting.

Once again, don't get me wrong! I love a good historical reenactment as much as any interpretive historian. I've explored a lot of pioneer trails, etc., etc. What I don't like is emotional manipulation as a substitute for a truly valuable, spiritual experience.

So, I was pleased to see that the worst abuses of trek are now discouraged. I cut and pasted the items in italics:
Reenacting deaths or violence—including mob violence— is not to be included as part of treks.
I guess that's a bit stronger than "discouraged."

There was a Senior Seminary trip to Echo Canyon I attended years ago. It was a lot of fun to travel there and stand beneath those pinkish sandstone cliffs as they told us about the Utah War and the defenses built up on top where we were to hike. Then, a couple of cowboys rode up on horses and in very threatening manner yelled at the leaders about why we were there again when they had been told to stay away, etc.

One of the fathers that had driven our group ran for his car to get his gun. You see, we had come from the Wyoming side of the trail. Well, a little south of the main overland trail, but right on the later trail of the out-and-back companies, the stagecoach, and the eventual railroad. Rock Springs is a wild and woolly place even today.

Echo Canyon, Utah, on the Mormon Pioneer, Pony Express, and California/Hasting Cutoff Trails
Free use Wikipedia commons by gracious permission of  Flckr User: Leoboudv

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Parade of States

As it was vacation, I had my own agenda at Philmont. I had to address some work issues when I could get internet and cell coverage. And I had my historical projects to continue.

But I was asked by one of my wife's fellow faculty to prepare "A Parade of States" slide show like the one she had me do about ten years ago for a sample Cub Scout Blue and Gold Dinner. I thought I still had it and it needed some updating. Searching my cloud, I only found the "Answer Key" which gave me a good guide to redo it. I even found some of the original pictures on Google.

It really is a challenge to find a unique and "positive" picture that reflects a state. A few of them present quite a challenge. How do you do something for Mississippi that couldn't apply as well to Alabama, for example?

My biases go to the National Parks and some are just too easy like the Grand Canyon for Arizona. But what do you do for Iowa?

Well, I'm going to share with you now to see if you can identify the 50 States (sorry, DC, I did not include you. Besides, you would have been one of the obvious ones).

Tomorrow, I will post the Answer Key and you can self-grade to see how well you do. I"m sure there are ways to Google the image, or break the embedded codes, whatever, especially if you are Putin's hackers, but try to do it fairly.



Monday, June 26, 2017

Guest Post - Moral Development in Children

My Daughter (A-4) is pursing a Masters Degree and prepared this pamphlet for a class assignment. I thought it was worth sharing and she gave me permission.

Take it away!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Why I Hate Government

Evil everywhere
Yeah, really I'm no different than anybody else. Except I seem to be the one idealistically bashing my head against the wall trying to make things better.

Last night we watched an episode of The West Wing in which the usual crises appeared and circumstances were such that there was no good way out or to solve the bigger problems of evil.

I have a difficult work assignment in personnel law, an area of the practice that I've been trying to get out of for a good 20 years now but can't seem to do so because there is no one else to do it and I have the experience and I'm stuck. I can't resolve the problems of right and wrong any more than an attorney in the practice of domestic relations (at least I have that to be grateful for, but personnel law is second only to divorce on the civil side for horrible situations - thank heavens I don't deal with too much criminal!!)

And then there's fired FBI Director Comey's testimony coming up this morning. Today will not be the end of the most disgustingly corrupt and morally evil man to inhabit the White House since maybe Warren G. Harding. Or what I'm afraid of is that trump is actually the worst ever. The Republican Congress still controls. They will not likely turn on trump as long as they think they can squeeze through things to help the wealthy or those who think they are or want to be wealthy (like a lot of Americans) to the disadvantage of the poor and especially disfavored minorities. There is some overlap there in the electorate. Kansas is starting to figure that one out. But it takes a lot of thought and some bad things happening for most people to get it.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Last Wagon

Nobody died. Nobody ate anybody. But we did have an adventure on the Donner-Reed Party's route along the Hastings Cutoff.
The Last Wagon by Lynn Fausset
We went with some great public servants from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). When I saw the notice of this trip on BLM's Facebook page, I immediately thought of my old friend from all the way back to grade school who is now teaching Law Enforcement at Great Basin College, Elko, Nevada. And he has a four-wheel drive.

In the old days, we did our exploring on bikes and in the woods. Sometimes our moms would meet at the grocery store and each would say, "I thought they were at your house!" while we were miles away from either. We found a lot of cool places but the golden hoard of some lost mine or buried treasure always eluded us. We did learn that the reward is in the adventure itself. That is the life lesson. So we took on another adventure yesterday on National Trails Day. 

The best part was to spend some good time together in one of those friendships that picks up after 40 years without skipping a beat. His wife came along and the night before our adventure, she and my wife found a connection in quilting and got along great. My buddy and I talked a lot about the old days but more so about who we are now and the mutual respect we have for each other. Friendship.