Who Will Win the 2020 Election?

Interesting take based upon multiple key suppositions. Hope he’s right this time too.

By Hook Or By Book

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Allan Lichtman is an American historian and some say a political prophet. Back in 1980 he developed a presidential prediction model that over the last four decades has correctly called every presidential election from Ronald Reagan in 1984 to Donald Trump in 2016. He also forecasted Trump’s impeachment. So, what does Professor Lichtman have to say about this year’s election? Take a look!

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November Holidays to Celebrate

November is Native American Heritage Month.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.
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From the National Park Service:

America is a vast land of many cultures dating back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the land. History, heritage, or culture of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are part of every national park and communities across the country today. Every November during Native American Heritage Month and throughout the year, the National Park Service and our partners share history and the continuing culture of America’s indigenous peoples.

November is also Aviation History Month.

According to the Government Printing Office, “National Aviation History Month is dedicated to exploring, recognizing and celebrating America’s great contributions and achievements in the development of aviation. Aviation history refers to the history of development of mechanical flight — from the earliest attempts in kites and gliders to powered heavier-than-air, supersonic and space flights.”

HOW TO OBSERVE #AviationHistoryMonth

Do you remember the first time you flew in an airplane? For some it’s the most exhilarating experience and for others it’s nerve-wracking. Explore aviation history, the people, the places and the technology. There are numerous ways to learn aviation history, too.

  • Read a book about aviation.
  • Visit an aviation museum.
  • Talk to a pilot or go for a ride in an airplane.
  • Listen to a podcast about aviation history.
  • Watch a video about aviation history.
  • Find an airshow event near you.

November 3 is US Election Day.

Did you know that the voting age was changed from 21 to 18?

The Twenty-sixth Amendment (Amendment XXVI) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from using age as a reason for denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States who are at least eighteen years old. It was proposed by Congress on March 23, 1971, and three-fourths of the states ratified it by July 1, 1971, the quickest adoption of an amendment.

The drive to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 grew across the country during the 1960s, driven in part by the military draft held during the Vietnam War. The draft conscripted young men between the ages of 18 and 21 into the armed forces, primarily the U.S. Army, to serve in or support military combat operations in Vietnam.[1] A common slogan of proponents of lowering the voting age was “old enough to fight, old enough to vote”.[

National Kindness Day is November 13.

November is National Picture Book Month

The Randolph Caldecott Medal, frequently shortened to just the Caldecott, annually recognizes the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children”. It is awarded to the illustrator by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Caldecott Medal

If you are unfamiliar with picture books, selecting a Caldecott Medal winner might be a good place to start.

2020 Medal Winner

The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Kadir Nelson’s rich illustrations amplify Kwame Alexander’s poetic tribute to the resiliency, strength, and perseverance of the historical and present-day Black experience. Gripping, realistic oil portraits use light and forward movement to portray the deep humanity and contributions of Black brilliance in America.

“Through color and composition, Kadir Nelson’s daring visuals erupt off the page.  They challenge our emotional capacity in this layered journey of heroes,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Julie Roach.

2020 Honor Books

Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris, and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

“Oh, what a ride!” After tumbling into a river, Bear is swept into an epic journey, collecting woodland companions along the way. The river comes to life with Pham’s energetic lines, gradual increase of vivid color, and surprising page turns to form a rollicking adventure and bonding connections.

Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children’s Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

Ignited by an electrifying snap of the string bass, Nic navigates between the symphony of two worlds: music and community. Syncopated rhythms, musical harmony and familial love are vibrantly expressed through riotous color, dynamic lines, and kinetic movement. This inventive composition visually illuminates the auditory experience that is the blues.

Going Down Home With Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons, and published by Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.

An African American family reunion gives a boy a chance to connect to his vibrant roots. Featuring a warm, rich color palette, every spread has multiple, complex layers. Earthy imagery and Adinkra symbols help tell a story of intergenerational love and ancestral memory.  

October 30 is National Speak Up for Service Day

Speak Up For Service Day on October 30th recognizes the importance of young people to be actively involved in community service. Too often, the good deeds of young people go unnoticed by their communities. Speak Up For Service Day gives recognition to the overlooked. It serves as a reminder to tell others about the contributions of young people to their communities.

This year seems like a particularly good time to recognize this day. Young people are taking an active role in this year’s election by serving as poll workers, urging people to vote (for whoever the candidate maybe), going door to door or making phone calls urging people to vote, etc. With many seniors (the normal poll workers) afraid to come out because of COVID, the young people are filling a vital role as an unprecedented number of Americans turn out to vote in what has been called the most important vote of a lifetime.

History from the National Speak up for Service Day website.

The Speak Up For Service Project’s history began in 2003, when the Fargo, ND Lions Club initiated a public speaking contest for area high school students in honor of Laura Christensen Espejo. Laura devoted her life to improving the health care services available to the less fortunate in the Fargo community and Peru, the country of her husband, Lucho. Lion Robert Littlefield coordinated the contest on the local level. Soon, he was launching it as a statewide initiative while serving as District Governor in 2010-2011.

UVA Library Ghosts

A recent list of statistics published about the University library includes many of the expected facts, things like the number of books (more than 5.1 million) and manuscripts and archives (19.1 million). One entry, however, is more surprising: “Ghosts reported: 2.”–Robert Vicellio


Alderman Library, University of Virginia

From “Ghoulish Grounds” Vicellio identifies two ghosts:

Dr. Bennett Wood Green, a Confederate surgeon whose collection of books was donated to the University library after he died in 1913. According to legend, Green’s ghost once haunted the Rotunda, which served as the library until 1938. When the books were moved to the newly constructed Alderman Library, Green’s ghost followed them across McCormick Road.

Dr. Bennett Wood Green

Alderman is being modernized and remodeled. Many of the books have been transferred to the Ivy Stacks on Old Ivy Road. Some of the book have been transferred to the Clemons, the undergraduate library. I don’t know where the Green collection ended up, but I wonder if Dr. Green followed his books to their current location.

The library’s other ghost haunts the Garnett Room, which houses a large collection of books donated by the family of Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett. The ghost is not a member of the Garnett family, and is instead believed to be the ghost of a physician who often visited the family’s home in Fredericksburg, Va. The estate was abandoned after the Civil War and was vacant for many years. The collection of books, however, remained immaculate, and some say the doctor’s ghost took care of the collection he had admired while alive. The books were eventually given to Alderman Library, where the ghost still watches over the collection.

This collection seems to have ended up in Ivy Stacks. I wonder if the ghost likes his new accommodations.

Fall Flowers, Flames, and Leaves

The colors have been brilliant this fall. The warm days and cool nights have given many October flowers a spring-like lease on life. Leaves are multi-hued. Fire pits help outside diners stay more comfortable as they try to lengthen the outdoor dining season.

At Glen Manor Winery near Front Royal, VA

A flaming bush Fog framing Skyline Drive Gnat in Hodder Hill wine

From the Devil’s Grill atop Wintergreen, near Afton, VA (about 3500 ft elevation)

Around the ‘Hood

Local wild and cultivated flowers

Wildflowers along Garth Rd Flowers at Cardinal Pt. Pumpkins & Pansies

Reblog: Why Do We Remember the Casualties of War?

Denzil Walton, of Discovering Belgium, has penned a thoughtful essay prior to Armistice/Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in the US) next month, on why do we remember the casualties of war.

Some of his points include:

  • Does it remind us of the horrors of war?
  • Does remembrance help avoid future conflicts?
  • Does it express our gratitude?
Old Guard Tomb Soldier at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

Another Use for a Dead Card Catalog

When libraries began discarding their card catalogs in the 1980s and 1990s, there was much gnashing of teeth for people that grew up using one of the early information retrieval systems, typed or hand written on 3X5 cards. As long as there was an author, title, or subject card, you could find what you were looking for.

The wooden card catalogs were things of beauty. Whether a 6 drawer set sitting atop some file cabinet or rows of catalogs that filled a room with their lovely wooden symmetry.

The Graduate Hotel (formerly a Howard Johnson’s) in Charlottesville, has turned two card catalogs into their front desk. I don’t know their provenance but I hope they may have been repurposed from one of the University of Virginia Libraries.

In pre-Covid times, the tassels indicated which drawers held treats. The tassels near the floor held dog treats in this dog friendly hotel.

The Ghost and Miss Maddy

Maddy has been selected as the subject for this year’s Library Halloween t-shirt so I decided it was an opportune time to catch up with the Midway Library’s favorite mascot. 

  • What do you think about being the inspiration for this  year’s Halloween t -shirt?  Is your ghost, your buddy from Annex 2, Monty?

Mom and I were both happy and surprised when we found out about this year’s Halloween t-shirt.  Yes, Monty is the ghost in Annex 2, but I wouldn’t call him my buddy.  I don’t feel comfortable with him and I worry about him around my Mom.  After all, it is my job to protect her.

  • Your mom recently had another fall.  Was this as scary as the fall out of the  helicopter?  How did you help with her rehab?

It was very scary.  This time we were home all by ourselves.  I knew immediately something was wrong—my Mom fell so hard.  She hit her head on the door frame, broke her left arm and fractured her left foot.  Mom got herself up, made several phone calls, put her arm in a sling, and got my food, bowls and bed together and walked me up to the neighbors.  She left me there and told me she was going to the doctors.  That was a very long doctor’s appointment–she was gone 5 days!

When she finally got home, she couldn’t lift me up by herself so we came up with a way where I would jump up and she would get her right hand under my bottom and lift me into the chair.  It was a little clumsy, but it worked. 

After a couple of weeks, the doctor had her start bending her elbow, so I would sit on her lap and give her moral support.  If I thought she was slowing down, I would pat my paw on her tummy.  When she was done with those exercises, I would get a treat for being such a big help to her.

  • Do you like Halloween?  Do you greet the Trick or Treaters that come to do the door?  Do you dress  up for Halloween?

Yes, I do like Halloween.  Mom dresses me up for Halloween.  I have been an angel, a ballerina, a pumpkin and a ladybug.  I love putting on costumes—they make me feel very pretty and everyone always smiles. 

We are in Idaho a lot for Halloween, so I just normally sit on the couch with my Mom when the kids come to the door.

  • What is your favorite season?

My favorite seasons are fall and winter.  I like the cooler weather and Mom always decorates the house, especially for Christmas.  There are lots of good scents, pretty lights and different things in the house.  For Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas I get treats, so it’s hard to choose which one I like best.

  • Do you look forward to your Mom going back to work?  What changes do you expect because of COVID?

I know before Mom got hurt we weren’t going to the ship and I couldn’t understand—in fact we weren’t going anywhere and I really like going for rides.  We went to the ship last week for the first time for a meeting and there weren’t hardly any of my special friends there. The ship didn’t have as many people there either.  I don’t understand what COVID is, but I don’t like it.  I am looking forward to things going back to normal—hopefully that will be soon. 

  • I hear the Midway Library staff wants to write a book based upon the t-shirt.  Do you think it should be a picture book, comic book, or graphic novel?  What will be your part of the book writing and preparing?  You are going to be a media star and  you heard it hear first!

The meeting Mom and I went to last week was about the book.  I’m not sure what all of it was about but I know my Mom was very impressed with the work that had been done—I heard her tell them that.  My only part of the meeting was lying on the floor and listening and then getting pets from everyone there. 

  • Are there other publicity outlets you would like to explore—plush Maddy toys, YouTube channel,  Instagram, Pinterest?

Since I really like squeaky plush toys, maybe a Maddy plush toy would be something interesting.

  • What do you and your Mom have planned for Thanksgiving?

We’re going to go to my Aunt Shelba’s house in Riverside County for Thanksgiving.  In August, my cousin and her husband moved very close to Mom and me and they will be going to Aunt Shelba’s as well.  It will be a fun day—Aunt Shelba and I are very close.

  • What do you think of all of the wild fires on the West Coast?   Have you been affected by them yet?

The fires are terrible and I know they have hurt a lot of people.  We had one not too far from our home and with the Santa Ana winds moving in there was fear that it could come close to our home.  It was a very tiring day.  Mom spent a lot of time going from room to room and putting things together and since I knew she was upset, I had to follow her everywhere.  Finally when the afternoon came and I was exhausted, I would lay in the hallway so I could see what room she was in. 

  • What is one thing you would like your legions of adoring fans to know about you? 

I just hope everyone is well and that soon we get to do the things we always did.  I miss seeing all of my friends–you know I’m a very social girl!

Since Maddy and Nan answered these question, they are both happily back on the Midway.

Reblog: Book Review of the Photographer of the Lost

Britain made the decision not to repatriate the bodies of servicemen killed on the Western Front. Instead, the families would be sent a photograph of the grave marker. Denzil’s book review, The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott, covers this, in addition to the story of a widow who receives a photo of her husband looking older than the last time she saw him. The photo arrives in an envelope with a smudged date stamp and no other information. To find out more, click here.

October 21 is National Reptile Day Awareness

While the history of reptiles may go hundreds of millions of years back, National Reptile Awareness Day has an unfortunately short history in comparison. Additionally, it wasn’t really until 1966 when the first Endangered Species Act was passed that awareness of the needs and threats facing reptiles (or any animal, for that matter) started to make its way into our cultural mainstream. 

Herpetophobia is a common specific phobia, which consists of fear or aversion to reptiles, commonly lizards and snakes, and similar vertebrates as amphibians–so fear of more than just reptiles.

Famous fictional reptiles

  • Geico Gecko
  • Godzilla
  • Reptar
  • Yoshi

Top 5 Characteristics of Reptiles

  • Reptiles Are Four-Legged Vertebrate Animals. …
  • Most Reptiles Lay Eggs. …
  • The Skin of Reptiles Is Covered With Scales (or Scutes) …
  • Reptiles Have Cold-Blooded Metabolisms. …
  • Reptiles Breathe With the Aid of Lungs.

Examples of Reptiles

  • Snakes
  • Lizards
  • Turtles
  • Tortoises
  • Alligators
  • Crocodiles
  • Komodo Dragon

WWII Sketchbooks have been Digitized by Library of Congress

Eyewitness drawings of military life created while Victor Lundy served in the U.S. Army; from his training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; through transport aboard ship across the Atlantic; to frontline duty at various locations in France.

To Lundy, who survived the war to become an architecture, sketching was as natural as breathing.

From Modern Met, “Lundy, who went on to have an acclaimed architecture career, donated his eight sketchbooks to the Library of Congress in 2009. The sketchbooks have all been digitally archived and are now available for viewing online. Lundy’s gift is a precious one, as in this age of continued war and terror it is more important than ever to learn from our past history.”

Lighter side of 2020

From a forwarded email

The devil whispered to me, “I’m coming for you.”  I whispered back, “Bring pizza.”  

It’s weird being the same age as old people.  

When I was a kid I wanted to be older…this is not what I expected.  

Life is like a helicopter.  I don’t know how to operate a helicopter.  

Chocolate is God’s way of telling us he likes us a little bit chubby.    

Never sing in the shower!  Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked.  So remember…Don’t sing!  

 I don’t think the therapist is supposed to say “wow,” that many times in your first session but here we are…  

If 2020 was a math problem:  If you’re going down a river at 2 MPH and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to re-shingle your roof?  

I see people around my age mountain climbing, I feel good getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.  

We can all agree that in 2015 not a single person got the answer correct to ‘Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?’  

If you can’t think of a word say “I forgot the English word for it.”  That way people will think you’re bilingual instead of an idiot.  

I’m at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out.  

Cronacoaster  noun:  the ups and downs of a pandemic.  One day you’re loving your bubble, doing work outs, baking banana bread and going for long walks and the next you’re crying, drinking gin for breakfast and missing people you don’t even like.  

I’m getting tired of being part of a major historical event.  
I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit.  

How many of us have looked around our family reunion and thought “Well aren’t we just two clowns short of a circus?”    

At what point can we just start using 2020 as a swear word? As in:  “That’s a load of 2020.”  or “What in the 2020.” or “abs-2020-lutely.”  

You don’t realize how old you are until you sit on the floor and then try to get back up.  

We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads.  
 
This is the day dogs have been waiting for. They realize their owners can’t leave the house and they get them 24/7. Dogs are rejoicing everywhere. Cats are contemplating suicide.  

If you are trying to impress me with your vehicle it better be a food truck.

Days of Wine and Roses

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Vitae Summa Brevis by Ernest Dowson

Why are roses planted at the end of each row of grape vines?

Rose bushes at the end of a each row of grapevines at Barboursville winery

I somehow thought that it was to help identify whether grapes were white or red because I saw white roses or red roses planted in front of differing rows of grapes. But actually it’s more of a canary in a coal mine reason.

Enjoying some prosecco (including rose) at Barboursville winery

Humidity helps the disease spread and one of the signs of an infected vine is white felting on the foliage and grapes. Another reason for the presence of roses harks back to the days when horses and oxen were commonly used to plough the vineyards. Rosebushes at the end helped the animals navigate the vine rows. Idealwine

Fall at Linden vineyards