55 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 9-19-19

  1. I thought Michelle and some others might find this interesting. A local hero and some others gets their Bronze Stars, 74 years later. 🙂


    “It’s been almost three-quarters of a century since the epic tank battle on the streets of a German city, one that was caught on film and seen around the world. The one that earned Clarence Smoyer the title “Hero of Cologne.”

    The 96-year-old World War II tank gunner from Allentown was presented a Bronze Star on Wednesday in a Washington, D.C., ceremony, along with posthumous medals for three comrades.

    The event was a surprise for Smoyer, according to media reports, and was arranged by Adam Makos – whose book “Spearhead” documents Smoyer and his tank’s role in the battle of Cologne – and Sen. Pat Toomey’s office.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jo’s photographer friend knows his stuff!

    AJ- I sent the Pigskin Picks last night. Did you get them? I had to use my kindle since there was a thunderstorm and we had the desktop computer unplugged. (We’ve already lost one computer to lightning and don’t want to take any more chances.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @ 9:28. Thanks Kim, I need that this morning.
    You don’t hear good music in church anymore.

    Re: bronze Star. I think I told this before. On of Elvera’s brother’s in law was in the Battle of the Budge. tt was years later. They sent him a bronze star in the mail. Just like that.
    Someone asked why he hadn’t said something before: His words exactly::”I didn’t care about no medals, I just wanted to get the war over and go home.” I think he spoke for millions.

    I’ve been waiting for the Pigskin Picks. Save me from having to bet on the Gamecocks again. It was a disaster last week.


  4. Good morning. Finished a pair of 12 hour shifts and off for a few days. My orientation will be coming to a close soon. Feeling nervous about being on my own. It is not the patient care, but the paperwork that is overwhelming.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Good morning, all. A beautiful day in the neighborhood. I maybe should not have lifted that bag of all flock to put into the can this morning. Back is not completely on track yet. We will see.

    So, who has headed off to Area 51 for the big todo?


  6. Yesterday I practiced with our tiny upstart choir. My eyes were still a bit dilated. I was an extreme beginner. It is a nice group. We had a wonderful meal catered by Panda Express. I hope we do that more. And the Bible study time about Biblical hospitality was good, too. I was blessed to meet a homeschooling mom who is black. She’s a wonderful person.


  7. As for my eyes, the verdict is that they are stabilized, and I can wean off drops and get glasses. I did not get a full exam yesterday so I do not know if I can see well enough to pass the driver’s license exam. When I go for glasses then I can find out. Unfortunately, Art had not recorded his appointment with the endocrinologist and it was suppose to have been yesterday (results from parathyroid test).
    I guess he will be charged for that. I don’t think we got a reminder call, but our phone situation is quite a mess right now so who knows!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. We are watching the Country music documentary by Ken Burns. It’s excellent. If anyone else watches it and sees the part about Johnny Cash that shows his backup guitar player, Marshall Grant, he is Art’s cousin. The program we saw last night said that Marshall Grant had to remind Johnny Cash that he was a married man. This is near the part when they talk about the song I Walk the Line. And later, of course, is Ring of Fire.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Spectacular photo. We’ve had photographers on staff who take an interest in wildlife shots and have taken similar photos while they’re out on other assignments (it’s turned into what we used to call “wild” art, photos that can stand alone in the paper/online). Having the top-end manual camera equipment (and knowing how to expertly use it) really makes a difference. But that also must be teamed with an interest in the subject matter, time, patience & a good eye (I think here of Cheryl).

    Janice, sounds like progress on your eyes, that would be wonderful to get the driver’s license in play again. And your little church chorus sounds fun.

    Roscuro, enjoy some well-earned days of rest. Praying for 2nd in-law’s job situation.

    We’ll have to hold an intervention with the worship music team at Chas’ church, I think. I am grateful our church has found a way to stay grounded in the hymnal while still integrating “good” music material that is still being written today for the church.

    In my world: Another day, another 3 stories. … But it starts with an interview and walk-through with developers who will remake the community’s Army-Navy YMCA overlooking the port (built in the 1920s, the building was turned into the largest home for the mentally ill in the 1960s). Their plans are to create cool apartments while maintaining the historic elements inside the building (which is a historic landmark and can’t be significantly changed on the exterior, thankfully). The building is popular for film shoots and includes original tile, an open lobby with a vintage coffee house nook area, a gymnasium with an elevated circular running track and basketball court. It’s a classic old 5-story building that I’m glad to see finally has plans to get some new life and a new use.

    A couple restaurants also are planned, I believe, where live entertainment would be offered. The big challenge is finding a place for resident parking.

    It’s also in the area adjacent to our mini-skid row, which now stretches 2-3 blocks with tents and debris. The tents have begun to encroach on the building’s property which has a small vacant lot corner (now a camping ground).

    And speaking of which, I also have a homeless story to write today and, if I can get to it, a port development story. Tomorrow morning I have another interview scheduled for another story. It’s been a very stressful, too-busy week for my mental health.

    And I have so much on my plate that I’ll have to skip today’s staff meeting that the publisher and chief editor are holding in replication this week at various “hub” papers in LA/OC/San Gabe etc. counties. Attending our local meeting would kill the entire afternoon for me today when factoring in travel time to and from the location. The meetings aren’t mandatory and I already have received the rundown of what’s being said from those who attended the earlier regional sessions. No real bad news (layoffs or pay cuts, whew), no bottom-line good news (new hires to fill vacancies, raises = forget about it, 11 years and counting now, we’re pretty much beaten down to a permanent acceptance of this). Our digital subscriptions are increasing, as hoped for, we just need to increase those more and at a faster pace. I’m told my stories (they have a way of researching this) are bringing in a steady stream of subscriptions each month — nothing exploding off the charts, but consistent numbers each month so my immediate editors are happy.

    Most of these larger staff meetings are taken up with discussions about advertising, understandably, and how we’re trying to get more money to keep it all going. (Kind of like me and my 1923 house & 2007 Jeep, another day, another month, another year … 🙂 The little train that could.)

    One concern is a move toward using what’s known as “sponsored content” which is what, in the old days, was commonly called “advertorial” — items that can look like actual news/feature stories but are actually paid content, sponsored by people giving us money. There’s a strong insistence from editors on the straight editorial side that these items need to be clearly labeled for readers.

    On a side note, the dogs and I almost had a way too-close encounter with a skunk on our walk late last night. His tail was high and he kept his eye keenly on us (if looks could kill …) as he crossed right in front of our path. We respectfully froze in place to allow him passage.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 11:17, two great Johnny Cash songs. So cool Art has a family connection to Cash, Janice. I’m not a huge fan of country music but Johnny Cash was one of those cross-over artists who made an impression. I thought the movie they made of his life wasn’t bad, Reese Witherspoon, one of my favorite current-day actresses, starred as June Carter.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Kizzie asked about Max Lucado yesterday. I remember always seeing his books advertised/promoted in Focus on the Family publications. I think I was in my twenties before I actually read his most famous book You Are Special and being unimpressed. There are a lot more interesting picture story books out there. I have heard rumblings of criticism of Lucado ideologically of late years – more a backlash, I think, against the feel good optimism of Christian popular culture of the 90s and early 200s – but my assessment of Lucado’s work is just based on literary quality. There are those who can spin a yarn, and those who communicate a life lesson. Lucado communicated a life lesson, but did not spin a yarn.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I feel like a farmwife. We used a coupon yesterday for $10 off a $50 Fresh Thyme order. I got salmon (which my husband won’t eat), beef (which he will), and lots of veggies. They had tomatoes on the vine for I think 70 cents a pound (before the coupon), so I got a whole bag of them.

    I am currently drying tomatoes in my dehydrator, cooking apples on the stove, and baking sweet potatoes in the toaster oven! White and red potatoes sit on the counter waiting their own turn.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Allowing a story to become a sermon is always a bad idea. One of the most famously forgotten (for all but two of his large output of books) authors of the Victorian era was William Wilkie Collins, a somewhat younger contemporary of Charles Dickens. Collins’ two most well known works, The Moonstone and The Woman in White are remembered the way the song of a one hit wonder band is remembered, as signs of a genius that never came to full fruition. Part of the reason for Collins’ stagnation is that he allowed his social messages to overwhelm his story. The irreverent late Victorian poet Algernon Swinburne once quipped, “What brought good Wilkie’s genius nigh perdition? Some demon whispered—’Wilkie! Have a mission.'” Lucado’s work bears the same flaw as Collins’, as he sets out to teach life lessons through story telling, rather than just telling a story.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Cheryl’s in aprons. 🙂

    Facebook is sending people out next week to offer training for our journalists on something called ‘CrowdTangle.’ We’re being encouraged to attend.

    I don’t know what CrowdTangle is. But I looked it up and found this:


    Facebook buys CrowdTangle, the tool publishers use to win the internet
    Understanding how news goes viral

    Nov 11, 2016

    … CrowdTangle has developed an outsized but mostly hidden influence on the stories you see popping up in your news feeds throughout the day. The move shows Facebook is continuing to court publishers at a time of continuing uncertainty about how to build sustainable, profitable businesses when most news is consumed on platforms that publishers don’t own.

    Facebook says it will continue to invest in and operate the service so that more publishers could take advantage of it. CrowdTangle’s small, distributed team, which had raised about $2.2 million from investors including Betaworks, will continue to lead development of the product.

    “Publishers around the world turn to CrowdTangle to surface stories that matter, measure their social performance and identify influencers,” Facebook said in a statement. …

    I think I still don’t know what it is. 🙂


  15. Good late morning (if you’re in the Central Time Zone). Good something else if you’re elsewhere. 🙂

    Janice, I’m glad your eyes have stabilized and you can wean off the drops. Hoping your vision will be such that you can drive again.

    Amazing bird shots in the header lately. I don’t always have time to comment, but I try to peek in here to see the header and read the Psalm of the Day and prayer requests.

    Speaking of prayer requests, someone is going to have to assist me with a tiny problem I have. Yesterday’s prayer thread has six comments, and the number of “likes” on each comment, from the first to the last, goes like this:


    May I request that one additional person go and “like” Mumsee’s 6:46 pm so that the numbering goes 6-5-4-3-2-1?

    Thank you! LOL. 😛

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Janice’s link at 1:59 — now that would be scary.

    Cheryl, over on you-know-which thread — that’s better yet! 😀 I would have commented over there, but I don’t think we can do -1 likes. 😉


  17. I appreciate Max Lucado’s work for being a good simple beginning place for people who need what he offers as an appetizer for deeper personal study. I am on the launch team for his newest book, How Happiness Happens. It draws people in with the universal thought of people wanting to be happy which especially appeals to unbelievers. In the book, he points to Jesus and joy. It is a good starting place for those who would not pick up a Bible. He points directly to the Bible. Some people are way beyond his writing so I understand that. At the same time, I would not discount the many ways that God uses to draw people to Himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Next thing we hear, Cheryl will be making fried apple pies. My mother made those while wearing her apron♡ As she got older she began using flattened out canned biscuit dough to make those delicious pies, but previously she made up her dough from scratch which I preferred because it was more crispy.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Fun week of piano lessons. All my students got to play on the grand for the first time. I’d also sent an email to my piano families last weekend, announcing the arrival of the new piano and inviting the parents (and other family members, if they’d like) to come in at the end of the lesson (some always sit in, some don’t) to hear me play a short piece on it.

    The music was by a contemporary composer, and was titled “Goodbye to Summer.” A lovely piece, fitting for the last week of summer, and full of musical nuances enhanced by a great piano. The music takes only about a minute and a half to play, but hearing it spurred some good discussion about a variety of musical considerations.

    My youngest student, a little 7-year-old boy, and he is quite little, physically, loved watching the piano action as I played. His mom picked him up in her arms and held him near the instrument so he could see the hammers hitting the strings. (I was playing on “full stick,” with the piano lid open as far as it would go, so he got a great view of everything going on.) This little boy hardly says anything, and when he does, he speaks so quietly I sometimes can’t tell what he’s saying. But he had several questions last night about how the piano works, and what are those hinges for in the lid, and so on.

    I enjoy when students are inquisitive like that. It really enriches my piano teaching experience.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. 6 Arrows, when Wesley was home I pulled up your composition piece played by the young lady. He really liked it. I put a short video of him playing our terribly out of tune piano on Facebook. I enjoy hearing him play even though he had only a few lessons at a young age. He mostly learned on his own.


  21. Janice, no on the fried apple pies. I don’t like apple pie. My husband does, but he also likes fried apples (which is way easier), and so I made fried apples of some apples that turned out to be too tart for eating. Making an apple pie is wasteful, since he won’t eat a whole pie and I won’t help eat it. If there is no other dessert with a meal, I’ll sometimes take apple pie, but inevitably I remember why I don’t usually take it, and the next time I don’t bother. It’s one of only two or three kinds of pie I don’t like. I don’t actively dislike it (as I actively dislike strawberry rhubarb and several aspect of mincemeat), but a bite or two is plenty, and I’ll never take it if there is any other option.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Dibs on Cheryl’s apple pie.
    I just watched Kim’s 8:28 for the third time. Had my own little revival.
    Next time around I’m going open the link to see whay Trey Gowdy had to say.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. We are enjoying that series on country music. It is fascinating to hear some of the behind the scenes stories of the songs. The progression and evolution of the music is also very interesting. We have not gotten to the story of Johnny Cash, however. I have read many auto-biographies and biographies of him and others, so much is not new. I had no idea, though, of how old some of those songs were. My husband’s group does both the ones Kim shared and they always are popular. It is surprising the many people who like them and yet are not country music fans.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Cheryl, is it the combination of textures in apple pie that bothers you? When I was younger I did not like that combo. But then I learned that I love heated apple pie with vanilla or praline ice cream. It was a game changer for me. Key Lime is still my favorite if made properly.


  25. Trey Gowdy is sporting a more flattering hairstyle now that he’s out making money, Chas 🙂

    I spent the morning touring the now-empty 1920s building which is gorgeous. I’d seen much of it in the past on visits there for stories, but this time I saw a couple side rooms — both with grand and ornate fireplaces — that I hadn’t seen before. Best of all, the developer said he’d be saving all the ground-floor wood windows, which warmed my heart. The upper floor windows have mostly been replaced over the years. The developer has some very good ideas if he can ever find the money and avoid a Coastal Commission appeal. Just getting through the city of LA with all the permits they needed was bad enough. But he plans 100 apartments on upper floors with 2 restaurants, including outdoor patio seating in the original courtyard, a ‘speakeasy’ style bowling alley/live entertainment venue in the basement, and a gymnasium (restoring the original Army-Navy gym that’s already there, with wooden basketball court and elevated track around the top) that will be open for public membership. Some rooms have balconies and there are great views from all of the floors, some of the harbor where the commercial container ships all come in, others of downtown LA (provided it’s a clear day).

    The building has been used frequently for film shoots and while he was giving the photographer and I a tour, a group of about 20-30 location scouts flooded into the lobby, they were also on a tour to see what might fit into their upcoming productions.

    I’ll probably not write that until Monday, I had a homeless story to do today and a restaurant development story to do tomorrow.

    Other than that, it’s been a busy news day locally for our small staff, starting off with a homeowner shooting and killing a burglar who broke into his house early this morning. A couple cities over, a small plane crashed into a shopping strip mall shortly after takeoff at around noon, shutting down two of our main highways. We’ve also had a couple gang shootings in the past two days, with one killing a 16-year-old girl and leaving several others wounded.

    I feel mentally and spiritually fatigued. I can’t seem to quiet my mind enough to do any serious meditation or devotional reading, I feel on edge and restless, distracted but also tired.

    Is tomorrow Friday already?

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Re the plane crash, the pilot died, passenger survived but was injured. I don’t believe anyone on the ground was injured.

    As for the homeowner who shot the intruder (who could see that someone was home & in the house), sounds like there may be more to that story as it unfolds.

    The gang shootings are just so sad and senseless. They’ve been increasing over the past few years and we’re in another active period right now; one side attacks, then the other side “needs to” retaliate. It’s all so predictable. And witnesses or victims often won’t cooperate with police to ID suspects because they are either also implicated in the wrongdoing or fear retaliation.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Peel and core the apple. Then slice it in 1/4 inch round slices. Sprinkle with sugar, drop on a hot nonstick pan, cook until you have a nice glaze. Add scoop of vanilla ice cream to top.

    Bam….. dessert. Apple pie ala-mode, sans the fattening dough.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. AJ, the recipe I used was slightly more complicated. A stick of butter, four apples sliced (but not peeled), with sugar and then more sugar and cinnamon, cooked until soft. It’s my husband’s choice of side at Cracker Barrel, and I think his mom also makes it sometimes.

    Janice, I like the crust in apple pies, generally. It’s simply not my favorite way to eat apples, and I’m not that big an apple fan anyway. (I don’t dislike them, it’s simply that they are the fruit I eat only if there is no other fruit in the house. Pears I won’t eat at all, but apples are next to the bottom. I like gala apples OK, I just like most other fruit better.) Sometimes I’ll slice an apple as a snack for my hubby, and I usually eat a couple slices or slice a second for myself. But when I was single, four apples might last me three or four months.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sounds good! Apples are about the only fruit I eat, but only fresh from my trees. But sugar and cinnamon with apple can’t be beat. Unless, of course, one was to add ice cream…..and those graham crackers might be good too.

    Liked by 1 person

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