Friday, April 26, 2019

Edison-Ford Winter Estates.

About 40 minutes up the road from Naples, Florida is the Edison-Ford Winter Estates, the places these great wizards came from the North Land to spend their winters.

It is a lovely place to visit, right on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River

Built back in the good-ole days, before air-conditioning, so it was expected that the houses would have porches, wrap-around porches and very high ceilings.

Some of the labs, offices and work spaces are provided and presented to the public.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Shakespeare at the Park

Shakespeare at the Park
Downtown Naples at the Sudgen Park

Not much music - (Must have been pre-Mendelssohn)

great weather - good shade

 lots of emotion shown in the play - little audience involvement-almost as if it were being given without an audience  - right downtown .

Other artists were performing with Chalk Art in the street about a half a block away.  (Street was closed to traffic!)

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Koreshan SP, Florida.

Koreshan State Park (KSP) is a remarkable place which memoralizes that great period when the Nineteenth Century turned into the brand-new Twentieth Century.  KSP was truly remarkable in many ways, especially for its "knowledge" of the solar system.  Remember, this was back when electricity had just been discovered, and the automobile was presenting itself as a useable alternative to horse back travel. Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford not only still walked the earth but they visited the area now known was Koreshan State Park several times. What would you do, for example, if you not only knew the entire universe was inside the earth – but you could prove it as well?

Dr. Cyrus Teed
Dr. Cyrus Teed had come upon the new way of "seeing" the planet Earth and the universe because of his expertise as a mathematician.  Professor Teed was also expermiting with electricity, and in the process he shocked himself into oblivion – almost.  Actually, he recovered several hours later and thereafter proceeded to "teach" what he claimed he had "learned" during his process of unconsciousness.

To prove Cyrus Teed’s strange theory, Professor Ulysses Morrow devised a huge instrument he dubbed the Rectilineator, which would measure the (inverse!) curvature of the Earth. The weird contraption consisted of ten huge, double T-squares made of seasoned mahogany, set horizontally on ten carefully balanced mounts. In January 1897, it took nearly a month for Professor Morrow and a dozen workers to setup and calibrate the big apparatus on a stretch of beach at Naples, Florida.  In the process, they "proved" the entire universe was  inside the planet Earth on a stretch of beach at Naples, Florida.
Today, Koreshan State Park is an interesting place to visit and walk the nice trails that accompany the Estero River, and also to roam through the beautiful area that accompanies the river and the park

There are many buildings that accompany the state park area, and it actually must have carried the atmosphere air of a great university. . . a University of Tomorrow, well . . . time will tell.

But it is a lovely place to visit, and walk on its trails, and perhaps, find out the great mysteries of the universe.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Clyde Butcher

Quick trip down to visit with Clyde Butcher who was having a "Meet the Artist" session today.  An hour and twenty minutes took   us 71 miles from our home in Naples to his place in Ochopee,  (o-CHOP-e) Florida

He was a friendly guy who met us and talked with us, very casually, as if he had no other thing planned for the day.  He let us  question him and he smiled often, even posing for pictures 
Later, we walked a small bit in the preserve which surrounds his place, 

and saw an amazing alligator (made out of nuts and bolts, bicycle chains, and rubber tires!)

We bought a great book of his fabulous photos and he autographed it for us.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

BlueZones by Dan Buettner in Alico Arena at FGCU on 2018.0416

Join the members of the Blue Zones Project and UUCGN Blue Zones Committee on Monday, April 16, to celebrate the 2nd Annual National Walking Day event and to hear from Blue Zones Project Founder, Dan Buettner! Beginning at 6 pm at FGCU’s Alico Arena, NY Times Bestselling Author, Dan Buettner, will share lessons from the world’s happiest people 
and how to apply them to your own life. Following the presentation and a Q and A period with Dan, Blue Zones Project will celebrate National Walking Day by hosting a one mile walk around campus. Doors open at 5 pm and the event is free for all participants. The Blue Zones Committee of UUCGN would like a group to have interested people carpool from the congregation and walk together. Please get your ticket for the event from eventbrite and sign up at the Blue Zones table after the second service or contact the office for carpooling or walking as a group. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.


Items in the Circles, above,  are those things that people
who live in the Blue Zone do daily:

Internal Inventory
Care for others.
Have kids
Life Satisfaction:
Work full Time
Make $75K
Financial Security
Right Job:
Own dog
Right Home
Sex twice weekly
Try New things
Daily Emotions
Sleep 7 hours
Access Nature
Laugh Daily
Vacation 5 weeks

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse day 2017.0821Mo.

Eclipse day 2017.0821Mo.  Dog walk, home to breakfast - a biggie - grits, sausage and toast & jelly, then to the YMCA.  

Getting home just as the Great Eclipse begins.  

During the eclipse, what I kept noticing was the difference between the shade, the shadows, and a little bit of confused reaction from bird life.  Some of the nocturnal sounds natural to the creatures of the night could also be heard starting up during cloudy periods, but they were faint and only one or two tries.  The creatures of the wild seemed to me to be definitely concerned.  


  In the maximum part of the eclipse, the major indications were (again) the depth of tree shade and the leaf shadows.  Oh yes, some of the mailbox-street lights came on too.  The shade was darker than usual, and definitely had a different feeling to it than it normally does. 

The shadows cast by tree leaves were “curled”, wispy-like, as if cast by Japanese or Chinese artists.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

A Shooting at Shalom.

First, it was a Jewish woman who was insulted when she was leaving the Temple.  A day or two later a swastika appeared back behind the main building.  Next night, a shotgun blast hit the Temple Shalom sign out in front, out by the road.  

This took place in Naples, Florida, in November, 2016.  Coinciding with the election of Donald Trump as president, and an increasing number of such incidents observed taking place all over the United States and Europe.  

Someone suggested a multi-religion attendance at a Friday night Shabbat  presentation. 

Word spread among the churches.  And when the night arrived there were more than 1,400 people who were able to squeeze into the temple, and many others were turned away, or waited outside as the service proceeded.   

Churches present were represented by Catholic,  Unitarian, United, Episcopal, at least two Muslim Mosques, a Bahai, and many other denominations.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

German-Fest in Naples, Florida

Held on Saturday, February 4, 2017  at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Naples, Florida.   

There was a very large turnout and music was  everywhere - good, German music all over the place.  Music was available for the dining areas and then there was a dance floor with a band, the “Florida Snow Bird Polka Band” playing polkas and waltzes mainly

Great German food was available, and being devoured by people who  apparently had not had such a meal in a long time.  My wife and I had sausages, I had a knackwurst and a brat, with sauerkraut and spaetzle with gravy.  Rye bread was added and it took me right back to Germany. Wow!  The sauerkraut especially was a little bit different and it was great! A couple of pretzels with German mustard made a superfabulous desert. 

A great time was had by all who attended and it was all made even better because of the way the people who provided the wonder treated us!  We were very special guests.  That was obvious.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Missile Launch - 50 Years Ago!

 50 years ago today, my crew assumed command of Titan II missile #459 in site 395 B at Vandenberg AFB, in California.  That missile tour ended about 0350 hours the next morning on July 22, 1966, when the SAC Command Post broadcast a warble tone followed by a coded message “ . . . for Vandenberg Air Force Base and Site 395 Bravo only.”  My deputy, Lt Jim Harshbarger and I copied the message, decoded it, verified it was a valid launch message for our silo, and I directed the crew to enter the Missile Launch Checklist.  The BMAT, Senior Master Sergeant Walt Kundis, called out “BMAT ready to launch, sir”, and the MFT, Master Sergeant Jim Meddress responded, “MFT is ready to launch, sir”.  I press Plumbing Shutoff pushbutton and it lighted white.  “BMAT, set circuit breaker 103 to “on”. “Roger Commannder, circuit breaker 103 – set to on”  Electrical power can now be applied to the missile ordinance items.  Proper target selection is verified.  “Deputy, insert your key and turn on my count of “Mark”.  We both snap safety seals off our Launch Commit covers.  Deputy responds “Roger, sir, key is inserted.”  I continued:  “three . . . two . . . one . . . mark!”  The deputy and I turn our keys and “Launch Enable” lights, then “Missile Batteries Activated” lights.  The 750 ton silo door slides open on its railroad tracks as the Silo Soft pushbutton lights.  Guidance Go pushbutton lights, and Fire in the Engine lights a steady red.  Then the klaxon blasts out and Fire in the Engine begins flashing red.  I push the klaxon off. It sounds again as

Oxidizer in Launch Duct is flashing red.  I push the klaxon off again.  Another pushbutton lights a steady white – easy to overlook – it reads “Liftoff”.  I announce, “Crew we have Liftoff.”  The klaxon sounds again and again, and I turn it off again and again.  In less than a minute the missile has lifted off.  The penetration team, topside and 2 miles away, felt the earth pound up and down like a powerful earthquake happening when the engines lighted, then felt the pulse of its sound waves beat against their bodies, finally the rumble of the second stage climbing into space was all that remained.  That was 50 years ago, tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Photo Display in von Liebig Museum in Naples, Florida.

To the von Liebig Art Museum (vonLEEbig) in Naples, Florida.  The draw was “Camera USA 2016”, a national photography exhibition and award, presently on display in Naples, from June 20 to August 5, 2016.

The quality of the art varied enormously and some of it was clearly borderline photography, having been severely maipulated after having been “shot”. Nothing wrong with manipulation, I “adjust” almost all the photographs that I make, and some photographs are made with the  intention of manipulation in mind from the very beginning.  Most of the photographs currently on display

are clearly camera productions.  Some of them portray far-away scenes from distant parts of the world, and some look like they could have been made right down the street or in a nearby woodlands.  

Most of the photographs here clearly stand on their own art.  You can tell that from the initial view.  Others are a bit of a puzzle.  One or two can only be understood by reading the comments which accompany them.  To their credit, all of those currently on display which need description for understanding, tend to amaze the viewer, with people gathered around them, pointing out items to their open-mouthed companions.  It is a good photographic display, open’minded and inspiring.                                                                                                       

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wild Places

I have spent a lot of time in some of the Wild Places of the world and I never really thought much about how those places felt, or if they ever thought about anything.  But there is some almost-magnetic attraction that keeps
pulling me back to them and I know that I am not alone.  I have met some of you there.   I suspect many of us share knowledge we try to ignore because it does not seem to fit the world in which we think we live.

Now I wonder even more.  Do the Wild Places have Emotions?  How would we know what they feel?  Can we feel those emotions ourselves?  How can we describe them?  Can we establish a relationship between ourselves and them?

Is the realm of Thought apparent in the Wild Places?  How can we describe our encounter with Wild Places thinking?  How does our own personal thought process change in the Wild Places?

Keep in mind that Wild Places exist on great beaches, on rocky shores, high on mountaintops, and in green prairie grasses, but their Wild seeds lie scattered everywhere.  Wild Places  can be found in animals, in insects, in grass and trees and rock and stone and even in the air.  You can find a Wild Place in a park, by a waterway, even in a yard.  When you find one, even for just a moment, how do you feel?  How does it feel?  What do you think?  What do you think it thinks?     WildPlaces

Friday, June 17, 2016

College Graduation

I graduted from college on 17 June 1956.  Sixty years ago, today.  I left with a brand new B. A. degree, 2 brand new gold bars of a second Lieutenant - penned on my shoulders by my mother.  Walked away penniless but without owing a penny.  

Every good thing that has ever happened to me since that day is a result of my going to college.  I was a lonesome traveler, just a kid, getting ready to leave a country high school out on the Illilnois prarire and go forth into a world which was poised to fly into the greatest changes that had ever happened to any nation in the history of humanity.   

Looking back I think the reason it worked so well was that we were mostly farm kids.  We did the impossible every day.  We always had problems that we couldn’t do but we had to do something, and we usually made the day turn out better than it would have been without us. 

Now we still look forward to the future  which gleams so brightly I can’t imagine what will happen next.  Still, I look forward with the desire to confront a new course, to learn a new skill, a new subject, and to change who I used to be for someone who can create a new future.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Magic of Easter

Eostre - “a-OH-ster” - Goddess of Springtime, goddess of dawn.  The overall ruler of the magic of Easter.   

Easter is heavily celebrated by the Christian faith, but that is for a reason far different from its magic.  The Christian celebration of Easter is due to an  accident brought about  by the Jewish Passover which really only concerns Easter by a coincidence.

While the Christian celebration of Easter clearly goes back only about 2,000 years, the homage – indeed, if you can call it  that – bestowed upon its pagan predecessor, Eostre goes back ten, twenty, perhaps fifty thousand years, maybe hundreds of thousands of years!  

As nomadic voyagers began moving into the plains and mountains of central Europe they began to discover different aspects of life.  One was a vast wilderness filled with both strange plants and different animals, another the encounters with wild and savage people, and then there was the cold weather of winters they had not really known before.  The cold weather could be handled if you were able to keep the seeds from last summer’s harvest.  They could be replanted after the last freeze of the subsequent winter and would sustain themselves, and you and your family.  The further north you moved though, the trickier came the great decision– when to commit those last seeds you had saved into the earth?  The answer to that question is the Magic  of Easter.

The  people who lived back then had no TV, computers, radio, or anything else like that.  They lived out under the sky, and the sky was their master, their leader, their guide, in many ways their gods.  They were keen observers of all things in the sky.  They knew when the sun set each evening and how far south or north it was when it did so.  They knew when the sun had reached its southernmost point and when it would start back north again.  They knew when it would be safe to plant their last seeds.  BUT.  There was a trick involved.  A big trick.  A killer trick.  That trick involved the moon, because while it is the sun that plays the tune of the seasons, it is the moon that throws the switch that makes the change take place!  

A good example is this year.  2016.   The equinox occurred in the US on the east coast at 30 minutes after midnight (DST) on March 20.  The following full moon, the moon of Easter, occurred on the east coast 0805 (DST) on March 23.  Meanwhile, winter weather struck one last blow at the north east and the mid west.   

We mentioned the church earlier, the Christian church.  They threw an additional requirement into the equation, and that was there had to be three inputs to get the Springtime.  1)  The Vernal Equinox had to occur.  2)  The subsequent full moon, the moon of Easter had to reach fullness, and in more recent years (since 1923) 3) there had to be a Sunday.  That’s where the Magic of Easter comes from – not from the time to celebrate the Easter service, but for the time to commit the last of the seed from the preceding year into the fertile ground.  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Kites over Naples

Kites abound in the skies around Naples, Florida.  They fly elsewhere too, but seem to be quite happy here.  This appears to be a Swallowtail Kite, one of several seen here and they hang out high, sometimes barely visible, way up there, then they come in tight between the tree tops, right at you! 

Halo Moon

Halo shinning brightly around the moon tonight in Naples.  That normally speaks to a rain event within the next three days. 
Tomorrow will be Friday, so the sky seems calling for a weekend full of rain.  

Sunday, February 28, 2016

What's Going On in Naples, Florida?

"REAL ESTATE!  REAL ESTATE!!"  It's a little like Obama's current song:  "Hey, hey!  Ho, Ho, Hay-hay Ho-Ho!  Real Estate, Real Estate! Get it quick! before it goes up! Higher, Higher, Higher - even higher Yet!!"  The newspaper today showed some other stuff, but there were 4 segments devoted to Real Estate, two were 6 pages each, one was 18 pages and the biggie was 38 pages.

Meanwhile, the very short editorial section is ringing loudly their concept of the value of the Republican Party, with the very notable exception of mention of Donald Trump.  Perhaps they think he will vanish somehow.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Nuclear War.

The planetary survivors of such a war would be genetically altered, and their children would be even more so. The pollution from a war of that nature would be incomprehensible and its affect on all growing things would create a new form of evolution.  

The answer?  Government.  The sitting down with your enemy and talking frankly about your common problems – yes, each other –  and then beginning to make plans together.  Nothing easy about it.  Really, it’s stupid and dumb.  It’s time-consuming and wasteful.  But.

The planet Earth will still be here.  It will continue its orbit and there will be sunrises and moonsets, and rain and snow will fall, and it will create and evolve with its new creatures.  It doesn’t need people.  It doesn’t need governments.  It doesn’t need religions.  It doesn’t need heavens or hells or gods or devils.  It will still be here after the people kill each other.  It can handle the nuclear radiation, it won’t mind the poison gas.  Plants that need poison gas will begin to grow and start consuming that gas.  

What about it? Government IS a pain in the ass.  Agreed.  But there are a million billion planets in the universe.  Here is a chance to make a difference and be somebody.


Think about it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Manatees in Ft Myers

Six of us Napoleons (or Neapolitans) drove up to Ft.Myers Manatee Park to see the amazing creatures who often swim into the area.  

The water was somewhat brackish and that rendered the manatees more difficult to see clearly, but a short walk down the viewing trail quickly revealed that there were a large number of the graceful beings who were looking back at you!

Lectures were provided and were well attended, and the park has prospered in the past several years, expanding in size and facilities.