Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LOST With Elizabeth - Season 1, Disc 3

Changes to previous answers are highlighted.

Disc 3 Questions

Why is the airplane so important to Kate?
I don't know.

Is Rose right about her husband?
Yes.

Are they more than "just friends?" [Sayid and Shannon]
Maybe.

And what does her brother think of it? [Boone]
I don't think he likes it.

Why was it so important for Claire to fly on Flight 815?
I think he [the psychic] can see what can happen to people. At least until they change their mind.

Where is Claire?
The French woman and Ethan aren't working together but they know each other are on the island. Claire escaped Ethan but was captured by the French woman.


Disc 2 Questions

Who attacked Sayid?
Ethan or someone helping him.

A friendship or more? [Sun and Michael]
Friends but not sure what to think of him but trusts him enough to let him know she speaks English.

What will he find? [Sayid]
He found the French woman [Danielle].

Will the survivors ever find more food?
Yes.

Who is the real Sawyer?
Not sure who but most likely known to one other character.

Will life be better at the caves?
About the same but Charlie and Jack will be there [that's a good thing].

Disc 1 Questions

How did John end up in the wheel chair?
Disease.

What's wrong with Sun's marriage?
She wasn't really excited about getting married and didn't know how to break the news and isn't telling him everything and he doesn't like that.

Where did Locke learn to hunt?
His father or grandfather taught him.

Why was Jack in Australia?
Finding or trying to find his father.

What did Kate do?
Know more but still don't know where she stands.


Where is the transmission coming from?
From the French woman [Danielle].


Will Charlie kick the habit?
Yes, he burned it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

LOST With Elizabeth - Season 1, Disc 2

Changes to previous answers are highlighted.

Disc 2 Questions

Who attacked Sayid?
Jin.

A friendship or more? [Sun and Michael]
Friends but not sure what to think of him but trusts him enough to let him know she speaks English.

What will he find? [Sayid]
He will find out what the monster thing is like Locke did.

Will the survivors ever find more food?
Yes.

Who is the real Sawyer?
Not sure who but most likely known to one other character.

Will life be better at the caves?
About the same but Charlie and Jack will be there [that's a good thing].

Disc 1 Questions

How did John end up in the wheel chair?
Disease.

What's wrong with Sun's marriage?
She wasn't really excited about getting married and didn't know how to break the news and isn't telling him everything and he doesn't like that.

Where did Locke learn to hunt?
His father or grandfather taught him.

Why was Jack in Australia?
Finding or trying to find his father.

What did Kate do?
Still don't know but is trying not to be that person anymore.

Where is the transmission coming from?
[Liked the old answer of "The monster thing ate it along with the French girl." but didn't think it was realistic.] Probably buried but not on purpose more like because of time. Like on the other side of the island.

Will Charlie kick the habit?
Yes, he burned it.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Coming Out Of The Closet

I won't pretend my announcement carries as much weight as someone that actually comes out of the closet as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or anything else. It was purely meant to grab your attention and to get you to read.

So what is my big announcement?

I think I know what my new identity is. It's house spouse.

I say "think" because I'm still struggling a little bit with the new identity. But after 15 months of being one, it's finally dawning on me that it's okay to be a house spouse.

Let me back up a little bit.

Even though I grew up in a household that was anything but traditional, I was always taught that a man runs the house and earns the money while the woman takes care of the kids and cleans things. And before my mom freaks out, I will clarify that I was never taught this by my parents. It was by society as a whole. Any movie or TV show or book or magazine or some random stranger you'd see in public would always emphasize, either deliberately or subliminally, that the man was the one to earn the money and the woman was meant to take care of him and the house.

Even through college, I saw examples of this in my own family. It was just normal. And that was fine with me. I never questioned it. It's how everyone lived.

But as I got older, more and more people defied that norm. Some did it in their own way, quietly, on their own. Others were more vocal about how they wanted to break with that American caste system. For me, I was happy to support anyone's way of life. For me, I typically earned less than my wife, and while it bothered me that I wasn't the head honcho of money, I never really felt bad about it. Over time I eventually made more than my wife and again, while I felt proud to be successful, I never really felt like I was better than her.

I guess in the end, as a couple, we usually decide on things together as equals.

As I embrace this new identity, I don't feel like I'm less than an equal in my marriage. Sometimes I feel like I'm the one with the better deal in that I can spend more time with my kids, but I don't feel like I'm less of a husband, less of a man, or less of a person just because I make less money than before.

So where does that leave me? Like I said, I've spent the last 15 months as a house spouse. I joked about it in the past but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this really was what my new job was. And since most men identify themselves by their profession, I'm a house spouse.

So there you have it. My big but not so earth-shattering announcement. Most of you already know I had a massive career change last year. This is just me finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and finally recognizing what kind of moth I am now that I've emerged from my cocoon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

LOST With Elizabeth - Season 1, Disc 1

Go here to see how this series started.

Disc 1 Questions

How did John end up in the wheel chair?
Disease.

What's wrong with Sun's marriage?
Her husband tells her what to do.

Where did Locke learn to hunt?
His father or grandfather taught him.

Why was Jack in Australia?
Some sick patient or for his job.

What did Kate do?
I don't know [then she whispered "she's dangerous"].

Where is the transmission coming from?
The monster thing ate it along with the French girl.

Will Charlie kick the habit?
He better because there's not much left.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - August 1977

I was a gold medal winner! Well, at least it looks like I was a winner of something. I can't quite tell what the medal is for, nor do I remember that far back. But I'm pretty sure the photo was taken at my grandparents house on Mockingbird Lane in Oxnard, CA. The flowers and brickwork in the background look vaguely familiar from their house there.


The photo of me playing on the kitchen floor I'm going to guess is at the house on Foxglove Place in Oxnard, CA. I'm basing that guess completely by the presence of the kitchen table, which as far as I know came from my father's childhood home in Nebraska and has lived with him since. Plus my dad is sitting at the same table at Christmas during 1976 and it was clearly taken at the same house. Plus, the second picture shows me playing on the floor in the same outfit but on that nasty peanut butter puke brown shag carpet. Which we already know was at the Foxglove house.

Speaking of that second photo, there's more in that that I remember growing up as a child. The odd book shelf made from large dowels and planks was around the house when I was a kid but I always remember it being very shaky. Shaky enough I didn't really want to touch it because I was afraid I would knock it over. So seeing it with that many things on it was surprising. Seeing National Geographic is not surprising. They were always around the house when I was growing up too. The cloth book I'm reading and the small toy next to me are vaguely familiar and we may even have them stored somewhere. And yes, that's the same playpen that was in the van from a few months ago in May of 1977.

A couple of side notes. First, I have no idea what's on the hat. At first glance it looks like an Indian but I'm not sure. Second, that kitchen table played a central role in my childhood and is something I never want to lose.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Grocery Shopping

In #housespouse news, men are buying more groceries.

Even though I didn't get groceries today, I'm doing it more and more. So it's nice to see that some retailers are recognizing that. Men's Health recently did a survey, of JUST men, and got some (expectedly) skewed results. But there is some truth to it.

Like "...when they do head to the store, men tend to buy many items at once, and shop alone..." [The Washington Post - July 28, 2017]. Fits me to a tee. When I shop, I prefer to shop alone because I can get in and out of the store faster. And yes, I buy lots of stuff.

And then there's the part about buying for that day or night and not the upcoming week [ibid]. Yep, I do that too. I'm terrible about making a menu for the week. But I'm still wrapping my head around being a house spouse so it's still new for me. Plus I'm still on probation when it comes to cooking.

What I'm curious about, and something that wasn't really mentioned, is what about bargain hunting? I'm all for paying less for something but I've never been a fan of coupons. They always seem like a hassle. I mean, you have to cut it out, organize it, remember to take it to the store, and hope it doesn't it expire. But I'm more than willing to stop, pull out my phone, do some math, and find what store has the lowest price.

Which brings me to my question for you. What's easier, coupons or finding the lowest price? How do you make couponing less of a hassle?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

LOST With Elizabeth - Introduction

I've periodically blogged in the past about TV shows, usually roping in my kids or wacky inspiration to help make things interesting. Sometimes it works (I watch Knight Rider with William when he's sick), sometimes I run out of energy (Magnum Monday), and sometimes plans change (Three's Company Thursday).

Well, the newest idea is introducing my daughter Elizabeth to LOST. I have a hard time classifying it as the best TV show of all time but it's pretty darn entertaining and I knew if I could get her to make it past the first couple of episodes, she'd be hooked. She likes that kind of brain game stuff and always seems bent towards the supernatural. So watching it with her seemed like the best thing to do.

What I didn't plan on was turning it into a regular blog post idea. The questions at the end of each disc are great and just about perfect for a solid 20 minute discussion of the show and where she thinks it will go. I also didn't plan on how hard it would be to keep my mouth shut as she answers the questions.

Anyway, what I'm aiming for is a regular series of questions and answers. The disc will provide the questions and she will provide the answers. I'm also going back to each set of questions every time to re-visit all of them to see if she wants to change her mind on any of her answers.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - July 15, 1977

Two different entries for today. The first is yet another visit to see Dr. Cho. Thankfully this time it was just a well baby check and not another ear infection.


The second is more interesting in that it shows a side of my father I never really saw. He had his hunting license issued. The California Hunting License cost him $10 and expired June 30, 1978. Only the Deer Tag line has a number printed. The Bear Tag line is blank and there are no pheasant or duck stamps on the reverse side. While some sellers and researchers have left the personal information on their online photos, I've redacted my dad's just to play it safe.



Saturday, July 01, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - July 1977

Forty years ago, I sat for another photo session. This time I was sporting a fancy shirt that zippered up the front and had embroidery on the chest (there was a barn, car, house, and two trees). In addition to the typical head shot, my parents put me down with some props. A bucket and sunglasses, along with a tropical backdrop and what looks like brown carpet, made for a great beach scene. The shot also shows my matching shorts and cute little boots. Less impressive is the third shot where I'm sitting on a stool in front of a dark wood panel. But it looks like I made up for it with a smile and a tug on my ear.








As icing on the cake, I have two additional photos from July 1977. The first shows me in the bathtub playing with my rubber duck. Not sure that I remember it clearly but I want to say the duck still lived under our bathroom sink when I grew too old for baths. The second shot is just a candid one of me holding something in my hand.



Friday, June 23, 2017

The Prince That Lived In King George, Virginia

For local historians, the Tayloe family has an important role in the early history of King George County. But did you know they had ties to one of the most famous impostors of the 20th century?

An early settler to the Northern Neck, the Tayloe family had ties to other major families like the Lees and Taliaferros and they held land in several counties. One of those pieces of land was Powhatan Farm in King George. As the land was divided over several generations, Powhatan Farm came to be held by Bladen Tasker Tayloe. Falling on hard times in April 1935, Bladen sold Powhatan Farm at public auction to John W. Walters from New York. Mr. Walters would eventually sell the farm in 1955 to the current owners, the Guest family.

While the Guest family may have real royal connections, there was a Russian Prince living at the farm before they purchased it. Prince Michael Alexandrovitch Dmitry Obelensky Romanoff. Don't worry if you've never heard of him. I only knew him from Miracle on 34th Street (1947) when the Doctor is trying to argue his case that Kris Kringle isn't a danger to society and he says:

"Why there are thousands of people walking around with similar delusions, living perfectly normal lives in every other respect. A famous example is that fellow — I can't think of his name — but for years he’s insisted he’s a Russian prince. He owns a famous restaurant in Hollywood and is a highly respected citizen."

That's right, Prince Michael Alexandrovitch Dmitry Obelensky Romanoff, or Prince Mike if you prefer, was an imposter.


Prince Mike went by countless aliases, false names, and false titles. He claimed to be everything from a Count to a Captain and a Vanderbilt to a Rockefeller. In the end, or really the beginning, he was Harry Gerguson. In 1935, with Mr. Walters as the new owner of Powhatan Farm, Prince Mike came to take charge of the farm. Using the alias John William Adams, and posing as a professor from Yale, Prince Mike took over managing the farm. Reportedly in ruins, he kicked out the sheep living in the house and made repairs, built roads, and cleared fields.

Prince Mike was apparently isolating himself so that he, acting as the Yale Professor, could write "The Philosophy of History." Despite his isolation, he did make friends; a horse named Betty and a cat named, of all things, Gerguson. He was friendly with the Tayloe family as well, even gifting them a small puppy that would end up bearing his name.

From Return to Powhatan by Roberta Love Tayloe

His self-imposed isolation only lasted a year. He made a trip to Richmond to see a show and was identified by a society reporter as Prince Mike. He would leave King George in an old, junky car and would turn up in Hollywood a few years later sporting a wad of cash, a fancy car, and a new restaurant.

Prince Mike would become Hollywood royalty after opening his restaurant. Here are a few names from the very long list of Hollywood types he associated with; Charlie Chaplin, James Cagney, Jack Benny, Barbara Stanwyck, Clark Gable, and David Niven. Prince Mike reportedly only came back to the Fredericksburg area once shortly after his re-birth in Hollywood as a restaurateur. He would eventually die in September of 1971, nearly a decade after closing his famous restaurant.

One parting ironic twist. Prince Mike's early childhood was nearly a mirror to that seen in Boys Town (1938) staring Mickey Rooney. As an orphan and runaway and petty criminal, Prince Mike needed a father figure in his life to set him on the right track. While he wouldn't find it until he left King George, both Prince Mike and Mickey Rooney would follow the same path, this time in real life, as they served as pallbearers for Errol Flynn in 1959.

Sources:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

OPINION - The Newest Stoplight To Avoid

Welcome to your newest form of torture, the stoplight at Dahlgren Road and Caledon Road (Routes 206 and 218 respectively). Before you yell at me and tell me that the light is a necessary evil, I will forewarn you that I only agree that some improvement was necessary there. However, I feel a traffic light is not one of them.


Traffic circles get a lot of negative press, and even more than normal here in King George. But before you shove those fingers in your ears and start yelling "LA! LA! LA!" let me remind you that the science is there to prove traffic circles work at not only moving traffic faster through the intersection but also doing it more safely than a typical stoplight.

Before we continue debating the pros and cons of lights and signs and circles, let's take a moment to look at a potential solution. VDOT has installed the stoplight and we all know they’re not likely to remove it anytime soon. Maybe we can find a solution that will make some of you happy. Or at least less upset at driving through yet another stoplight on your daily commute. With nearly 10,000 employees, Dahlgren is the host to our area’s primary employers. Factor in Potomac Elementary School during the school year, limited capacity on local roads, and it's a recipe for a commuter's nightmare.




What I propose is an alternative route to Dahlgren. My proposal is based on a few assumptions so let's get those out of the way first. I'm assuming that most of the traffic comes from the Fredericksburg area. I'm assuming that most of the traffic is going to Dahlgren's Main Gate. I'm assuming that we are all driving the speed limit because, well, we all know that’s the right thing to do.


To measure my distances, I used two points; Sealston Elementary School and the Dahlgren Post Office. I measured various routes using main roads and secondary roads, counted the stoplights, and even compare distances that are two lanes versus four lanes. Below is the end result of what I found.

#
Route Used
Total Distance
Number of Stoplights
2 Lanes vs. 4 Lanes
1
Route 3 to Route 206
19.6 miles
7 (Sealston, Hopyard, Post Office, KGMS, St. Paul's, WaWa, PES)
11.0 miles vs. 8.6 miles
2
Route 3 to 603 to Route 218 to Route 206
20.7 miles
4 (Sealston, St. Paul's, WaWa, PES)
20.7 miles vs. 0 miles
3
Route 3 to Route 205 to Highway 301 to Route 206
20.7 miles
10 (Sealston, Hopyard, Post Office, KGMS, KGHS, KGES, Rankins, Hillcrest, WaWa, PES)
4.2 miles* vs. 16.5 miles
4
Route 3 to Route 206 to 611 to Highway 301 to Route 206
21.8 miles
7 (Sealston, Hopyard, Post Office, KGMS, Hillcrest, WaWa, PES)
7.4 miles vs. 14.4 miles
5
Route 3 to Route 301 to Route 206
22.8 miles
11 (Sealston, Hopyard, Post Office, KGMS, KGHS, KGES, Tractor Supply, Rankins, Hillcrest, WaWa, PES)
2.9 miles* vs. 19.9 miles
6
Route 3 to 694 to Route 218 to Route 206
23.2 miles
4 (Sealston, St. Paul's, WaWa, PES)
18.4 miles vs. 4.8 miles

*The distance from St. Anthony’s Road to Tinsbloom Lane, where Route 3 goes to two lanes, is approximately 1.1 miles.

It’s pretty easy to see that the shortest distance is the tried and true Route 206 (#1). But when you look at #2 and #3, you’ll see the distance is only another mile further. For the fewest traffic lights, you’ll need to use #2 or #6. For the longest distance on four lane roads, #3 and #5 are your best bet while #2 has only two lane roads.


After crunching way more numbers and datasets than I expected, after learning more about the differences between geometric mean and harmonic mean, I finally stopped my circular calculations and decided to arrive at a ground-breaking opinion.

I say ground-breaking because I’m going to disagree with my own data as well as my own attempt at weighting the different routes based on these factors. In other words, I’m going to go with my gut. And my gut says, use option #3 (Route 3 to Route 205 to Highway 301 to Route 206). I feel like this gives you the best option to drop off your kids at all the different schools, it allows you to safely make left-hand turns, and it gives you the best combination of faster roads and shorter distances.

#
Distance (miles)
4 Lane %
Stoplight Time (seconds)
TOTAL
1
19.6
43.88%
245
308.48
2
20.7
0.00%
140
160.70
3
20.7
79.71%
350
450.41
4
21.8
66.06%
245
332.86
5
22.8
87.28%
385
495.08
6
23.2
79.31%
140
242.51

*To determine the best 2 vs. 4 Ratio, I subtracted the 4 lane distance in miles from the 2 lane distance in miles. This would give the routes with more 4 lane mileage a lower number, which would better align them with the other scores.
** The Stoplight Time is based on an average of 70 seconds per cycle. I then divided each cycle in half (35 seconds) and multiplied by the number of lights on the route.
***The Mean and the Average only differed by a small amount in the Distance and the Total columns. Because the difference was so small, I felt it wasn’t important enough to include this math in the chart.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - June 1977 - Part II

When it comes to historical research, there are times where the content can be disturbing. I recently sat down with my mother to go through some old photos and she did a great job giving me dates and stories and names of people in them. But along with that great information came some horrible stories. While I don't want to white-wash history and make everything look great, there will be certain aspects of my research that I will keep private.

I want to make it clear that it's not an attempt to make my life look better or to make anyone else look better, or worse, than they're perceived to be by the rest of the world. Instead, I just want to preserve the privacy of those that are still alive and not force them to re-live their nightmare.

With that being said, here's my mother, her step-father Ted, and his dog Teddy. My grandparents always had a poodle of some sort for as long as I can remember them. So it's no surprise to see one in this picture. I don't have an exact date on the photo, but the month and year are pretty clear.



Wednesday, June 07, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - June 7, 1977

Big surprise here, I had another ear infection. This appears to be just in my left ear. But as I learned from my mother, my dad didn't have spell check. So what he wrote as "serious" was actually "serous" which is essentially fluid in the ear. You can see my update on my last "serious/serous otitis media" entry on May 31, 1977.

Once again I saw Dr. Cho. This visit was a "recheck" a week after my the last entry at the end of May. My last recorded ear infection (but not serous otitis media) was on April 26, 1977.


Thursday, June 01, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - June 1977 - Part I

This is actually a bit of a deviation from my personal story as it's a letter to my grandmother Dorothy, but I wanted to include it because it had a wealth of family information in it. I thought by sharing it, it may allow other distant relatives find a familial link or fill in some empty spots on their family tree.

The letter is from Ruth who lived at 2205 E. Linden #29 in Caldwell, Idaho, 83605. It was sent to my grandmother, Dorothy Hollingsworth, who was living at 4001 Mockingbird Lane in Oxnard, California, 93030. Below is a transcript.

Thurs. P.M.

Dear Dorothy:

How I enjoyed your letter that came this A.M. I have certainly been thinking of the past!!! Ralph Jones was in your Mother's + my 8th grade picture!!! (I have it!) And Mrs. Kate (?) Jones (mother) was my Sun. school teacher for several years. And I certainly remember the sisters and the Butmans - Everyone would remember Jessie as she was very good and generous giving "readings" at any and all gatherings - I wish I had kept some of them - She was very good, too. Meeting the public where I was shy and kept in the background.

It is interesting that you should meet + get into conversation with Margaret -

Perhaps you have heard that I flew to So. Calif. with Bob the 13th of April. He was going down on College business. We went to Ontario where he picked up a rental car and we drove to Whittier. We called on Bob + Margaret and drove around town some, then he left me with my old (?) childhood chum and he went on to San Diego. Chris' niece lives in Corona del Mar + she came up to Whittier after me on Fri. A.M. and Bob stopped there that eve. on his way up to West Covina where my nephew (Howard Way, Jr.) lives. Bob had to go on to Las Vegas still on school business and I stayed in West Covina until Wed. A.M. when I flew up to L.V. to meet Bob for our trip home - (Are you still with me?) Dorothy Way + I drove up to San Bernardino

Del Rosa, etc. My! but every place in So. Calif. has grown!! It was a great fun week and I would like to go again and visit with you folks - Am not real sure about doing it but will think about it. Thanks for the invitation -

The Howard Way your Aunt Mildred (I met her once!!) spoke of was, no doubt, my nephew. And the baby you mentioned in the other letter you wrote was his grandson. My brother's oldest daughter, Katherine Kelly, died of cancer about three (3) months ago and was buried in San Ber- She lived in Sunset Beach.

Yesterday I mailed two paintings (by your grandmother) and frames to Bob + Marg. as it seemed the like an Ashton should have them. I showed them to Shirley

Ashton once when she was going to our college + said - Aunt Ida painted them + she had no idea who Aunt Ida was - (her great grandmother) I guess that is understandable, tho'.

Even tho' I am 84 I still drive and am as active as I want to be (??) I live in a one bedroom mobile home + take care of my own yard except mowing the lawn !! Bob's live about two miles from me but there are phones and lots of communications -

Tho't you might be interested in this picture - Have other things I know you and Cleta, too, would be interested in so come see me!!!
Love - Ruth

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - May 31, 1977

I was not sure where to enter this particular info but as it appears that everything was written on May 31, 1977, that is the date I will stick with. This entry has two parts, one that occurs on May 31, 1977 and another that's post-dated for May 29, 1977.

The first entry is yet another ear infection, this one labeled as "serious." I can only assume Dr. Cho worked his magic and I healed just like I did from the other ear infections.

The second entry is dated May 29, 1977 but is listed as a "NOTE:" directly under the May 31st entry. It states I went to the Emergency Room in Bountiful, Utah and saw a "DR Mathews for a gastrointestinal virus" and that it was "contagious." As a parent, I can imagine how much that experience sucked.

What I find interesting from this second entry is that I was in Bountiful, Utah. This is where my aunt and uncle lived for decades.


[EDITED June 1, 2017]
Based on some additional information from my mother, it wasn't a "serious" ear infection but instead "serous" as in "serous otitis media" as in fluid in your middle ear. In other words, typically what small children get tubes in their ears to prevent from happening.

Monday, May 15, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - May 1977 - Part II

This is the second part of May 1977 and will focus on our trip to New Mexico. While I'm sure it was part of the same trip we took to Arizona and Nebraska, I'm not entirely sure. But I am pretty certain everything happened in May.

We start things off with what looks like a rest stop picnic area where I'm just chilling out on the picnic table. This photo is labeled as May 1977 but it's the small details that helped link this to the New Mexico trip. The key evidence is my dad's hat and lack of beard.






For the visit to New Mexico, we saw my Aunt Lorraine who was married to my mother's brother Dan Lester. The green van would play an important roll in my life much later.