Category Archives: Harry’s Diary

Women’s Vitiamins

The good life has hit a pot hole which I am not inclined to BS about at the moment. There will be time for that later but know I woke up today momentarily inclined to once again ratchet up my game. If all goes well I will be facing two or three months of stay at home 24 hour fussing. Please God let all go well and forgive me my agnosticism if that’s an impediment and By God! if it is that’s both our problem.

Anywhoo.

I decided it was time start in on my office reorganization. I was thinking of all the things I wanted to write……largely books instead of blog posts……and how I really needed to make my stuff accessible and get it off my floor. Clutter keeps me out of the office. I’ve become allergic to it in my dotage as it only adds to my confusion.

But, as you can clearly read, I’ve stopped to pontificate on the blog so here’s what I have to get off my chest to proceed to the organizing. Write a letter to a friend, get blogging out of my system for the rest of the day and clean up my room. Before that began I crawled out of my bed at 4. Spent an hour denying my morning cat food until I had folded the sheets from last night’s laundry, put the clean dishes away, pulled my Duluth Trib out of the back door and quickly peruse it and take my woman’s vitamin. First digression.

I got my dalmatian done on Thursday – my 101st blood donation. (See 100 pints.) For years I was given a pass after a pin prick to my middle fingers to test my hemoglobin. Had I not had sufficient iron in my blood I would not have been permitted to donate that day. A year ago they raised the requirement from a 12 something, which I always had managed, to a 13 something. Suddenly I was barely making it. One month I didn’t make it but a nurse suggested I squeeze my fingers to get fresher more ironic blood to my finger tips. That worked. But the next time I came in I wasn’t given the option. I had to turn around and go home. I made it up later after eating hamburgers…..not that this is what helped.

My wife suggested vitamins and went out to buy some for me. The only bottles that had iron in them were women’s viatimins…….for that time of the month. Well a blood donation comes every other month for me but those viatimins have done the job. Last month I was at 14 something and on Thursday I was at 15 something.

So, I looked at the Newspaper, briefly I think I mentioned and putting my new my improved work ethic at risk I decided to look at the funnies in the back. Well, I’m glad I did. I’m always pleased when I see two unrelated commics coincidentally cover the same idea on the same day. I clipped these two out and taped them to my wall. Fortuitously, they both reinforced my newly found dedication. I taped them to my office door.

Its been two hours since I woke up and I haven’t yet attacked the floor. I did however get this written do the chores previously mentioned and am trying to bat some neglected work out of the way…..by doing it. Just before I began this I decided to act on the threat of losing my longest functioning formerly free photo sharing ap Flickr. For a month they had been sending me a warning that I was way over the 1000 picture limit. Unless I finally joined as a dues payer they would start deleting my uploaded photos. Gosh, I started relying on Flicker in 2006 when I first started the blog. I lost forty or fifty pictures of Denmark when my computer crashed years ago but I had uploaded a dozen of them to Flickr. I then used Flickr to post them on my blog for some color. They are still there. But. My pictures on these old posts will disappear if Flickr deletes them……so with that gun to my head I’ve started paying up.

Well, that gets blogging out of my system for the day. On to that letter and on to my clean up.

Bonhoeffer vs Hitler and and the attack on my nemesis

For the last two months I’ve been avoiding the last great organization of my house – the higgledy-pigaledy files I’ve successfully brought together up in my three year-old-office. Two months ago I was about to attack them when I let myself be distracted by, of all things, stamp collecting. I left roughly one third of my office floor with stacks of yet to be filed stuff.

I’ve been waiting for something to kick me into gear again. I cranked up the heat an hour ago, and its pouring out furiously with the zero temps outside the roof above. But I got distracted again. This time it was by the gift my daughter got me for Christmas. I’d let everyone know I wanted a copy of the book below on the right. Its called “The Faithful Spy.”

Next to it is a book I randomly found as a remainder. Its chock full of historical cartoons of Adolph Hitler’s rise and fall. Recent events call this man to my mind. I’ve been nibbling at it for a couple months.

I parked myself and began reading the book about the attempted assassin who Hitler would later execute for trying to topple him from power. I haven’t read a book since I finished one on Napoleon right after getting back from my trip to France in October. I think I need to read a good book on a sobering subject to light a fire under myself. After that and after the office clean up I’ll have run out of good excuses not to start writing my own book.

Facebook Debating

What prompted my upcoming Reader column is a recent spate of Facebook debating I’ve found myself taking part in. On the one hand it got me typing up my thoughts rather than waking up to them in nightmares. For instance, after cranking out 1100 words for the Reader last night I slept seven solid hours. That’s rare for me.

Among the debates have been one with a friend of a half second cousin who dearly loves folks who hate the President she voted for. After corresponding with her extensively I asked if she would mind if I posted part of our conversations without mentioning her name. She demurred. Still, it was good to have someone take over for my now deceased “Buddy” with whom I can no longer fuss.

Then there have been old-time DFLers and newbie Bernie worshipers and Women’s Marcher types arguing over the recent DFL endorsement and primary election going on to Duluth’s south. I sympathize with both sides in a fight that is not mine. But I worry it is a sign that Democrats will go into the election of 2020 divided against each other. I saw what happened last time and tried to remind the DFLer’s of this.

Then an old college buddy began sending out posters of villains who are crossing our borders. He was joined by his Obama hating friends who who are mad at Tump haters. I couldn’t resist tossing in a dollar’s worth of two cent replies. However, all these debates remind me that a society devoted to argument rather than solutions, mutually if reluctantly agreed upon, is heading up merde creek without a paddle.

Its too much work to copy the back and forth down although I’m pleased with my ripostes. I will give you the background of one of many discussions to set up the one reply I sent out.

The Background.

My old college chum was going on about the mass leaker Edward Snowden who skipped town and settled in Russia. He mentioned a former secret service agent who had guarded both George W Bush and Obama and has been busy pedaling the allegation that Obama chased him away because he had dirt on Obama. This fellow Daniel Boingo Boingo quit the Service to run for the US Senate while imitating Rush Limbaugh as a radio talk show host. Conspiracy buffs can make lots of money this way kinda like get-rich TV Preachers. Boingo’s also been on Fox’s Hannity and Info Wars. My old friend wrote something about Obama laundering millions of dollars through Switzerland to help terrorists in Iran or something like that. I guess Snowden had made this all public and Obama wanted to shut him up. It sounded vaguely familiar and not unlike the Info Wars’ hooey that prompted a young man from one of the Carolina’s to shoot up a Washington DC Pizza Joint said to have been protecting Hillary Clinton’s pedophile friends.

Anywhoo: After explaining I wasn’t a “Deep State kind of guy” I sent this final riposte:

OK. I Googled Snowden. This comes from WAPO so you can be assured it isn’t as trustworthy as Info Wars. Still, you must take into account that deluded people like me invest a great deal of faith in the rag that exposed Nixon’s treachery.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/16/trump-once-demanded-edward-snowdens-execution-for-giving-serious-information-to-russia/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6343e0b4b091

I really have to ration my Facebook debate time. I could spend the next thirty years in a very Deep State rabbit hole.

brrrrrrrrrrrrr

This was at 7AM this morning. It may get colder here in Duluth in the next two days. A news story this morning compared it to a temperature of 1 degree above zero which one of the rovers on Mars recently registered. I peaked out of my blinds early this morning and it looked like good old Mars was aligned with both Venus and a crescent Moon above our eastern horizon and our frozen Great Lake. Its only a few minutes by light speed beyond Earth. Well Mars may be sunbathing at perigee and all but you still couldn’t breath the air there. It barely has any. Closer to home in Antarctica I heard it was 18 degrees above zero at one of our Scientific outposts. That’s tropical. Fly me down and I’ll whip up some pina coladas.

Je ne suis si desole pas

If my French is correct the title says I’m not so sorry. That makes this a non apology for leading my eight loyal readers along about the week-old post promising a couple stories about Minnesota politics and the mafia.

First I rediscovered that one of the ties was probably wrong involving Duluth’s most famous millionaire and then I lost interest as other things filled up my plate. The later example was about another Minnesota millionaire who used to hobnob with the mafia in Las Vegas till they cut off his hand. The jail house rumor was that after he failed to pay the mob back it was that or the life of his daughter. I wonder if the President would have been so noble?

It was an anecdote I planned to at least footnote in this book I never got around to writing.

I’ll post something else soon.

Goodness Gracious! Harry is blogging today


A view from my car just before turning into my driveway this morning after dropping my grandsons off at school. This is first day Lake Superior has iced over this Winter after a recent blast of cold.

Two nights ago I reverted to my sleepless self for four wakeful hours for the first time in four nights. I even enjoyed solving the worlds problems for a change despite my annoyance that I was failing in my efforts to get eight hours sleep. This morning I woke up after six solid hours of slumber. As this is a Harry’s Diary entry I explain this minutia in case some future me is interested in my state of mind during this national crisis over our Mafia President. I explained a new serenity in my second to last Not Eudora column about the New Year’s Baby losing his cheeto-colored head.

And today’s news indicated to me that I’ve been right all along that even Trump’s supporters are beginning to see through him. People are not completely stupid and oblivious to the obvious even when it annoys them.

Two nights ago I got one of the best compliments in ages from a fellow who has gotten a mention or two in this blog several years ago. It was during one of my previous run ins with the law. As I passed out cookies for my grandson’s recent birthday he told me he was very glad that Not Eudora was back. I was floored. I know. This is a little opaque. Too bad for you dear loyal readers but it made my day.

Making my day is a lovely thing. I am running out of organizing in the rest of my life which leaves me with little to organize but some month old piles of documents on my office floor. I left them where they were when I decided, eccentrically, to organized my stamp collections a quarter century after leaving them unattended. I also have a jigsaw puzzle I am finishing alone seven or eight weeks after setting it out for the holidays. Its three quarters done. I mostly neglected it because I’ve been attending to more pressing concerns but, doggone it, as long as I keep putting off writing the third and fourth chapters of a book I’ve been teasing out of myself I’ll be able to finish it and get it out of my system. Heck, I’ve done two snow sculptures since New Years. One of them earned a compliment yesterday that I also enjoyed.

In the evening I went to our church’s every other Wednesday family night. Our pasture had called the Coast Guard and offered to let furloughed Coast Guard families come and have a dinner with us at no charge. She was taken aback when told that there were 200 employees in Duluth affected. We weren’t really in a position on such short notice to help quite that many folks. In the end about 8 families dropped by and joined us. One of the Guardsman recognized me from my recent appearances on the News and asked if I was the fellow who did the snow sculptures. He really enjoyed the one about the President/New Year’s baby. So did his wife. I guess missing a couple pay checks has not left this loyal American with much sympathy for his/our Commander in Chief.

My four hours of rumination last night left me with a number of things to post about later today. Because I’ve not blogged much my head needs a good emptying. I still keep putting more on my plate. I have yet to finish my application to substitute teach in the Duluth Schools but I’ve sent an inquiry about try outs for the Duluth Symphony Chorus. Its been a few years since I was a member but despite threats of running for the School Board I find myself with more time to rejoin it……if they are that desperate for a baritone.

My French lessons are chugging right along. I have a new 90 day streak of practicing. I would love to follow up my September trip with a week or two surrounded by non English speaking French speakers. A trip allowing that might be in the works.

But first more thoughts on the Mafia (which BTW are known to have deep tentacles in the garbage hauling business.)

And after snapping a picture of our iced over lake I stopped to take this picture of our garbage container which has missed two Friday pick ups. As I was contemplating this shot a neighbor backed her car up to ask me if I was having problems with Waste Management. Oh yes, I told her, I’ve missed two pick-ups and had called their hotline to report our growing debris six times. Each time I was assured they were going to do a quick pick up. That, more than a glitch in pick ups is what irritates me. I can imagine how a new driver perhaps missed us once or even twice. But to have their hot line folks tell me that they were going to fix things time after time and let me down is hard to take. If they miss my garbage a third Friday I might just paint a half dozen signs and post them in my front yard pointing out how they have left me with crow enticing sacks of garbage in my driveway.

Like the mafia I know how to break bones. BTW our recycling has been picked up regularly.

In the DNT and good bye to Baby New Year

I still subscribe to the DNT because I would miss things if I relied solely on checking it on my cell phone. And despite my sometimes contentious, if not acrimonious, fuss fests with its editors I regard my ongoing subscription to the paper copy as a civic duty. I want a local paper of some consequence however diminished it may be from the golden age of broadsheets.

I learned two things. Why it was that St. Louis County Sheriff Litman was shepherding former Vice President Mondale around. And I learned what happened to the fellow I began referring to as “my buddy” for long years in Lincolndemocrat. My oldest readers may recall those occasional email exchanges I put on the blog. (“My Buddy” shows up in 245 posts in my search function)

“My Buddy” was Vic Ulmer a longtime attorney for the City of Duluth. I first met him forty years ago when my wife briefly worked for the Personnel Office under Personnel Director John Muldoon.
Vic stopped replying to my blog posts about two years ago. This was the last time I posted one of our email exchanges. Vic died last February apparently after moving back to his old home state of South Dakota. That’s when he died. last February. In the early days of the blog I would simply call him Vic until it occurred to me that readers might be able to deduce who he was from some of his writings. He was single and died apparently unlamented until he was remembered in another DNT story about local attorneys honoring attorneys who had pass on the great courtroom behind the Pearly Gates this year.

Our latter emails began growing contentious and I would stop replying to his until we simmered down. If there’s a heaven Vic, I hope you don’t let it put too much of a damper on your ornery opinions.

At ten last night I dismantled the New Year’s Baby and tried to hide its gaudy painted snow. I took a reserve of sticky snow and until midnight molded it in the rough shape of a more sober sculpture meant to take its place. I slept well till 8AM. Now that I’ve got a couple things off of my chest its time for me to see if I can find that sculpture in my pile before it turns too cold.

On shoveling snow

I’ve just returned home from lunch at Duluth’s charming Italian restaurant Valentini’s where for an hour over an “Iron Range Porketta” Sandwich I was able to postpone shoveling the heart attack inducing snow covering my home’s driveway. On the way out after lunch I found a car parked in front of the stairway from which an elderly but distinguished gentleman had just exited. A peripheral glance showed St. Louis County Sheriff acting as his chauffeur. “Senator” I began expressing my delight at seeing Walter Mondale.

“We may have to drive the Vice President by your house,” the Sheriff corrected me in the most complimentary way my having acknowledged only the second highest office attained by Mr. Mondale. He added this after I quickly proffered my hand to the Vice President for a friendly hand shake.

The Vice President joined in a quick three way 45 second conversation as Littman told him I had a sculpture of the President in my yard and then explaining that it was a little worse for wear. The Vice President asked in some seriousness if the President would approve of it and I said I didn’t think so but that there was no accounting for Trump’s taste.

On my way home I decided I was in no hurry to change out the sculpture although I had already piled up snow to do just that. Baby New Year’s is still visible but imprissoned on either side by a vice of clean white snow. Just in cast the Vice President does take a detour past my house I don’t want to deny him the sight of the cheeto in my front yard.

BTW – This is the third time I’ve shaken the hand of an American Vice President. Spiro Agnew was the first followed by George H W Bush (prior to his election)

I came home and shoveled….slowly. This is heart attack snow. Just a week ago a wonderful fellow my age died shoveling and he was a fellow who had climbed Mt. Matterhorn and he was still slender and fit. The eight inches of snow that fell overnight ended up at our house as two inches of slush. Shoveling such snow is like shoveling lead and it is one of the most common stimuli to spark a heart attack. I’ve paid close attention to this because I shovel vast quantities of snow for my sculptures and I’ve always planned to live to be 100.

I have three policies while shoveling that I pretty strictly adhere to 1. Shovel like I’m in a marathon not a dash. 2. Pause when winded. 3. Never hold my breath when I’m lifting and tossing a shovel full of snow. Holding your breath puts a much greater pressure on a heart. I always in or exhale while lifting a load.

Its almost two and I’m still in marathon mode. I have twenty or thirty years worth of plans that I don’t want to be short circuited. Here’s what I just sent a reluctant Trump supporter by email today by way of apology for not replying to an email of hers to me:

S…..,

You have a compelling story especially where loyalty to those you disagree with is concerned.

If you will grant me a pardon I have a couple time consuming activities ahead of me. We got 8 inches of freezing slush for me to shovel last night. I promised to repair a punky shower wall for my daughter. I have a column to write for a local tabloid and I want to replace the New Years Baby statue to something less alarming.

I haven’t had much use for debate since high school. I prefer conversations. I think we could have a good one. I’ll get back to you in a day or so.

All the best.

Harry

This doesn’t even include the hour of French I continue to put in daily. Now for that shower wall.

Not so fast Harry!

Before I break into some self defensive confession I must first say I’m delighted by my Baby New Year’s (aka Donald Trump) losing his head. Renee Passal from WDIO joined the Trib’s Brady Slater in giving giving my front yard and its headless snow sculpture some attention and since I’m no shrinking violet I didn’t mind the attention one bit.

Best of all, I was given a very sympathetic treatment by FOX News’s Nikki Davidson. She popped by with a sprained ankle and gamely clambered around my dangerously slippery, snow covered slope with camera and tripod in hand.

I chatted her up as I sawed Baby New Year’s head into manageable pieces and she took plenty of footage to edit down into a story for her station’s 9 PM News broadcast. Its a nice little story and I was charmed by News Anchor Dan Hanger’s banter with Nikki after the segment aired. Here’s the clip:

President Trump New Year’s Sculpture Decapitated

Admission to follow: Continue reading

The surgery has not gone well

I attempted an untested surgical procedure in order to return the New Year’s Baby’s dismembered head to its rightful place. Present to record, for posterity, this unusual procedure was crack Fox 21 News reporter Nicky Davidson. I hope she offers her viewers a warning that they look away during any airing if they were squeamish .

The procedure was a double crainiotomy in order to relieve pressure on the surgeon’s back. First the jaw was cleanly sawed off and replaced on the severed neck with freshly warmed surgical snow. There was some failure at the jawline but enough glue left over for the placement of the middle piece of skull including a recently deviated nasal septum. The scalp will have to wait until tomorrow after more fresh surgical snow is melted to a snowball consistency.

I chatted through the procedure with Nicky and observed that if I had discovered the miscreants who pushed the New Year’s Baby’s head off while living in a good Republican, “Stand your ground,” state and properly armed, I could have gotten away with plugging them for their trespass and damage to property.

This is the current state of the New Year’s Baby while it awaits a final operation followed by some cosmetic repair. It reminds me of the characters on the Simpson’s Itchy and Stratchy Show.

Winter busywork

The absence of blog posts doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to pontificate about……But perhaps silence really is golden.

In that case here are a couple pictures. They may be worth a thousand words. Or maybe they’re not.

First, above. One of our two cats in the midst of our Dickens’ Village.

And below, a picture of our winter kissed St. Scholastica on the day after a foot of new snow:

I have a new column to write for the Reader with a deadline pushed ahead two days.

I’m also piling up snow for a new sculpture. It is forecast to be 30 degrees tomorrow and Sunday which will give me pleasant working conditions. I’ll just have to cook some snow.

And I’m trying to be a decent host to our holiday guests. Its good busywork.

Thank you Ben Franklin

I was surprised in Bruges, France this September when just past the city’s great cathedral I found a philatelie shop. That’s philately in English and its stamp collecting. I had no idea if stamps were still being collected let alone in France. My collection began with my Dad’s Uncle Ben. When I was in grade school his wife Aunt Mary passed her deceased husband’s collection on to me. My Dad threw himself into helping me expand his Uncle’s collection. We began buying stamps on approval which meant they were sent to me for me to pick through and return those I was not interested in. Those I bought were put on hinges and into my new Regent Stamp Albums. Continue reading

Untitled

Since my last post I turned 68 and had a half dozen items I felt ought to be posted. But I didn’t write or post. Sometimes its best to let ideas steep. Another item that has been steeping for the past two weeks is the Not Eudrora column I have to write today if it is to make this week’s Reader.

I’ve posted this only to assure my eight loyal readers that I have not dropped dead. Not yet. Neither am I showing any signs of dropping dead. I even got an assurance from a doctor’s visit that one troublesome bump was just that. A bump.

And I got word that my son is coming home for the Holiday’s. That was unexpected good news. My Christmas is going swimmingly. My grandsons and I even captured a wily tree which has not been mounted after the appropriate Christmas taxidermy.

Damn. I forgot I had a meeting two minutes ago. Gotta go.

I’m back. Looks like I’m going to have some fun in February. (This is last year’s webpage – it needs updating)

Oh and here’s the tree we nabbed:

Teaching, Writing, Publishing, Campaign preparation

When you are unwilling to forget anything but were denied a photographic memory there is only one alternative – never throwing anything away. This, by the way, was the subject of this odd recent Not Eudora Column.

While moving, sorting, categorizing and refiling stuff I noticed this old newspaper ( above ) that I kept from my college days. Its pinned on a cork board under the Prayer of St. Francis. How’s that for an appropriate contrast. It has a certain resonance today, 44 years later.

When my office was fixed up five years ago, in time for me to use it for my School Board work, I had so much stuff I only crudely organized it. Its been sorted in bits and pieces since but not to my satisfaction. As all of it is intended for reference for the half dozen books I repeatedly threaten to write I desperately need to be able to find things without wasting time scrounging through it all. Like the Saturday Night Massacre headline things go missing.

I crammed myself in the corner of my “storage closet” to take a picture that would give my eight loyal readers a sense of where I work. I couldn’t capture the other side of this space but it too is crammed with files: Here’s the photo: Continue reading

Not withstanding the news I wish you a Merry Christmas Season

And I’m feeling pretty cheerful at the prospect of a new Democratic House of Representatives. The Republican legislators in a couple of states which elected Democrat Governors are busy being sore losers and lame duckishly crippling the incoming governors with some Christmas restrictions. Ah, but in few decades these shenanigans will all have been forgotten. Who today can still remember Watergate?

So, I posted the following three pictures to Facebook today with this explanatory text:

“The only Christmas decorating left at our house is the tree. That may be delayed 2 weeks till our grandsons have a weekend free to help us chop down a tree. In the meantime, I noticed our quails hiding in the goblets my parents gave us as a wedding gift 43 years ago. I thought it was a fetching pose. Then I noticed the reflection of the nativity scene that forced them into hiding. Then I decided to take a picture of the whole dining room with a winter sun flooding in.

Merry Christmas everyone.”

I have church to go to. I’ll edit this later re: George Bush and other stuff

This Harry’s Diary post didn’t start out with a title drawing attention to my dawdling over posts. But its a good reminder to my eight loyal readers that I don’t always consider my posts finished even at first posting……and here’s a pic of the cookies we decorated for shut ins at Glen Avon Presbyterian last night.

I watched the funeral for President George H W Bush this afternoon. Last night I watched, for the first time, the two-hour American Experience program about George Bush. It is at least ten years old. I learned some new things most of which softened me up toward the man I wouldn’t vote for in 1992.

Although I voted for George and Ron in 1984 George lost my support initially when he joined the Reagan campaign as the VP candidate. In 1980 I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a Democrat so I voted for Independent candidate John Anderson.

My principle grievance is simple. As Reagan’s successors turned their back on Reagan’s “big tent,” George Bush could only succeed by being complicit in the new GOP regime’s marginalization of moderates like me and like George Bush had once been. Where has the party of Lincoln gone?

I was reminded of this during my ongoing process of reorganizing my office files today. In a folder labeled “Crazy Republicans” was this newspaper clipping: Reuter’s story. 30 percent of Republicans considered Obama a worse threat than Russia. Holy S’moley!!!!!!!

It has been reported that the Clintons and Trump did not shake hands when Donald made his sulky appearance at George Bush’s funeral. I don’t blame them. He led cheers of “Lock her up.” at his rallies. That’s close to the equivalent of saying “F*** America” considering that over half of the votes went for Hilary Clinton in 2016. Think of that – Trump’s “Republicans” wanted to jail the American that half of America voted for for President. Is it any wonder that Hillary’s supporters are licking their lips at the prospect that the President who led that cheer might himself face a life behind bars? Would Pence pardon him? I wonder. It cost Jerry Ford the Presidency in 1976.

Although winnowing my voluminous files has been my primary activity for the past few weeks I managed to crank out a new column for tomorrow’s Reader. Its called 100 pints of blood. I also applied to renew my substitute teaching license. Returning to the classroom, even as a sub, has intrigued me for the past twenty years. I chatted with 709’s Human Resource Director for a summary of how to go about doing it. It turned out to be pretty simple.

Among the items I reorganized yesterday were the documents from my legal challenge to the District in 2009 “Welty et al” vs. the Duluth School District and Johnson Controls. I rediscovered one of our attorney’s discoveries which greatly amused me.

The current School Board’s attorney, Kevin Rupp, had a hand in that case defending the Board against me and four other plaintiffs. In the Trib he claimed that a school district could not be sued for violating its own policies. Here’s what the plaintiffs attorney, Craig Hunter, discovered:

This only amplifies my frustration at not having been successful in severing our School board’s ties with Rupp’s firm when I served on the School Board. NOTE: Readers of this blog will find ample examples of my jaundiced view of Mr. Rupp’s legacy in this blog.

And while our lawsuit fell apart for reasons pinned to Mr. Hunter he had the District scared witless while single-handedly fighting off dozens of attorneys for three top legal firms. I found Craig a sensible and honorable man. I’d hire him in a flash if I needed legal help again.

Busy but not blogging

I’ve spent the last few days doing a deep clean and reorganization of my basement instead of blogging or writing. Today I looked at an old stamp collection for the first time in a decade – since stamps went from being licked to having a gooey stick on surface. I even opened up my old Regent Stamp books.

I have oodles of duplicates of some US commemoratives and wondered if they could be sold on ebay…..maybe for Presidential campaign pin money.

I noticed these two from just before and just after my birth. The US post office was pretty cheap using the same image for both the last reunion of surviving Union (Grand Army of the Republic) soldiers and Confederate soldiers a couple years later. The last of the survivors was, of course, from Duluth.

In a couple hours we will dive to the Cities to see an opera: Silent Night at the Ordway. Its about World War 1’s unexpected Christmas Truce. Of course after committing the sin of exchanging gifts with the enemy the trenches had to be cleaned out and the good cheer replaced with more determined killers.

The Holidays with Eugène Delacroix

My eight loyal readers know that in the Holiday season of the late fall I put jigsaw puzzles together. When I go on trips I look for interesting puzzles to bring back to remember our travels. In the case of China last year I never found one in China so I ordered one through Amazon instead.

The first puzzle I started this year was purchased in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Because I’ve started getting puzzles from family for Christmas I’ll probably get three or four done by New Years. I prefer them to new neck ties.

Delacroix was a historical painter and a major obsession of his was to glorify the Republic of France. Here’s a picture I took of this famous painting while I was at the Louvre:

And here’s another of the entire setting for the painting. The Louvre is palatial because it was the residence, castle, for the King of France before an even grander palace was constructed at Versailles.

There was a long passage in the The Greater Journey about Samuel FB Morse who along with other great American painters traveled to France in the early decades of the 1800’s to learn how to paint from the French masters. We in America know him better for developing an idea he picked up in France – his invention of a working telegraph. That made him a millionaire or its 18th century equivalent but his original desire was to become a great “history” painter.

Before photography such painters were the great teachers of history to the common folk.

An uncomman man has just aquired such a painting for the White House. It is even more preposterous than the idea of a lady liberty urging the revolutionaries on and a little more mundane…..like those paintings of dogs playing poker. What do you think of it?

You could buy a print for $75.00. As for me I prefer the one the artist painted with Barack Obama.