mayflowerThe Mayflower

About 1607 or 1608, Christopher Jones and several business partners purchased the Mayflower....... for the next ten years, he took the ship to La Rochelle and Bordeaux, France, and Malaga, Spain, often several times a year. He would return to England with a ship loaded with as much as 200 tons of French wines, Cognac, and occasionally some vinegar.

In May, 1620, after returning to London from Bordeaux, France, the Pilgrims made contact with Christopher Jones, and they hired him to transport them to America.

The Mayflower stayed with the Pilgrims in America the first winter, and departed home for England in April, arriving back home in May 1621. Master Christopher Jones, the ship's captain, died the next year, in March 1622. Christopher Jones owned a fourth of the ship, and when he died the ownership of his share passed to his widow, Josian.

Josian, with the other three owners, stopped using the ship, and by May 1624 it had fallen into ruins. It was appraised at that time to a value of just over £128, and because of its very poor condition it was almost certainly broken up and sold off as scrap.

liliyvalleyMay's Flower is the Lily-of-the-Valley
(Convallaria majalis)

"A slow but aggressive spreader, Lily of the Valley will tolerate dry conditions but after blooming the foliage will die back. Fragrant bell shaped flowers are followed by glossy red berries."

"Transplanting is easy - dig the roots up at any time and cover with a couple inches of soil - keep moist until established then spend the rest of your time trying to beat it back ! Once established it is hard to get rid of. The smallest piece of root will start the cycle all over."

King Kong vs Godzilla

my 2 favorite giant monsters in one movie .... oh boy !! ..... THE worst G-movie ever .... turned off after 15 very patient hopeful minutes .... soooooo incredibly bad, not worth the postage back to netflix...... maybe i'll sue TOHO inc., for the postage.

No-Stress for Cats

our cat, Sabrina, howels incessantly, every waking moment .... but happily, the drug merchants have yet another cure for what ails us ... and the animals we live with (over there on the right)....


May.02.2009: Thermo class was short (15 minutes!), so i went to the Wentworth library and took out a free faculty pass to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which is right across the street ...... but first had a muffin and coffee at au bon pain to get spritually close to my urbane/artsy self.

daffysmile i ask the museum guard if pictures are allowed, he says "yes, but no flash, please" ..... i scoff and say "i never use flash anyway" .... take out my little panasonic and BANG (the flash triggers when i take the picture) ..... i turn to the guard, give him my best Daffy Duck grin and quickly fuss with the camera settings, while everyone in the room watches the fool with camera be stupid.

my visit there got much nicer after that, and it was good .... especially this one Japanese painter named Sapen (?) whom i promised myself i would read up on when i got home.

mufapic1 mufapic1

May.04.2009, 1:30AM

Il gatta, Sabrina, e' morto.


Riposi in pace, vecchia signora.

The Way Home

jpg this is a "small" no-budget, Korean film, and the main character is a mute, very old woman. the supporting role goes to a young spoiled brat boy. it is in Korean, so you have to read subtitles to know what's going on...... this is not the stuff of boxoffice blockbusters !

someday, though, you should do yourself a huge favor, put your day-to-day life aside and watch this film.

JA deal

new plan for JA in the future ..... we'll base the classes on the lessons i've been using, but i will stay in the background and switch roles with my "assistant" who will take over the presentations..... much better deal all around.


another rainy morning, it's 7:30AM and i am playing around with dad's old movies until D wakes up. in all the 13 hours of the film reels (that i edited down to one good hour!), there are only a very few short clips of my mother's father, Sebastiano Fazio. this is my favorite, enhanced via the GIMP....

short movie clip

not much going on

been raining now for 6 years ..... i am keeping busy cleaning out basement junk (old computer trash), and puttering house details (like screens) .... mike picked me up and we had lunch at Paisano's Pizza, which is a neat little place near town .... D's at work now, i am sneezing myself to death with allergies.

Chris did a remarkable job finding B&B's for our October trip to Italy ..... but the citizenship paperwork is dragging on and on and the bureaucracy is mind-wobbling.

the house is a little weird, not tripping over Sabrina and her furniture .... even Zach is prowling around more than usual.

a religious belief of mine...
printed on my new shirt

jpgthose are Maxwell's equations and they explain God's creation of electromagnetic fields.

discover science and you discover God, deny science and you deny God (that's me talking there). if you say that science disproves God, you are a moron. if you say that your "religious scriptures" disprove science, you are a bigger moron than the first moron i just mentioned. ( i laugh at the countless , conflicted "sacred scriptures" in the world.)

science is the path to understanding God, everything else is bullshytt.

i thinks this is a pretty cool shirt, which, of course is why i bought it.

(for the record, before anyone imagines that i am a member of some religion or religious cult ..... i am not. )

addendum ...... but while i am dispensing my science & religious opinions, i will continue, a bit ......

The Last Law of Science

jpgof course there is no "scientific proof" that God exists (or doesn't exist !), and there can't be because we (humans) ain't that smart yet. but, if we evolve for another million years, and continue to explore science and math and come to discover how the universe really works, then i believe someone will prove irrefutably that God exists. like all new ideas, it will be argued, re-tested, and put through the rigorous process of becoming scientific fact (rather than theory). this will be the very last scientific discovery and proof that man ever finds in this universe, The Last Law of Science, if you will.

until then we each must accept or reject the existence of God, not as scientific fact, but as a matter of personal faith.

Latest Pics from Loretta

That's (left ro right), Rachel, Jack, Rebekah, Jacob and Ryan.


(Jake's my buddy but you can tell he's thinking of something devilish.)


The Queen (holding a beer!), the King,
and Her Majesty Rachel.

Italy, October 2009

i am way ahead of schedule on setting up this web page, but wanted to get it started..... to be revised and updated many times before October.

thanks to Chris and Mike for the extensive planning and research !!

mike updated my mini-netbook OS to ubuntu 9.04 , so now i am close to the bleeding edge..... taking it to italy in october.

cameras, cameras .....
which two to bring ? (mike will use the panasonic) maybe i'll have the leica D2 re-skinned in italian racing red?


perfect day for yard work (AND they cancelled JA class today), so i cleaned up the front corner patch of hostas, went to the nursery and bought 3 cottoneaster bushes. then rotor-tilled a 300sq-ft patch on the side, which has great soil but its in the shade of a 50 maple, anyway i planted the 3 new bushes. if i was a native american, today i would be called
"David Blacknees"

(and, when i looked up in the sky, i saw my old native american friend "Patchy Lowclouds".)

the pond is still going through its ammonia & nitrogen cycles (because i change ¼ of the water) so its milky-cloudy, but looks like most of the green floating algae is gone (which is good). fish are doing fine and come up when i feed them .... need to get some plants in there, but the nursery didn't have much of a choice.

"welcome to medicare"

jpgi got the letter today .... felt like when i got the "welcome to AARP" letter years ago, but let's say 10× worse.

it doesn't kick in until september (i think i read it correctly), so there is yet a small sparkle of hope left for me .... possibly the doomsday asteroid will collide with Earth and the fact that i am old enough to be on medicare will become fairly insignificant, by comparison to the end of life on Earth .......
(there's always, hope ........ isn't there?)

May.14.2009 / My Last Design Course

my senior design course (link) at wentworth is always a lot of fun through the summer, so i am sad to say that this summer will be the last one, as the school is shutting down this degree program. i knew it was coming, but now that i see NO ONE has registered for it (it starts in 2 days), reality is sinking in and feel bad about this.

hopefully SOMEONE will sign up and keep it alive for one more summer (please!)

$3500 / month

over the last 2 years, we have been drawing from our savings at the average rate of $3500 / month (this is in addition to spending all our monthly income!).

i don't have the slightest f$%#@&g idea why this is happening (we have no mortgage or debt or unusual expenses) .... but the good news is, this must stop because there is nothing left in the savings account !!

this, i think, is that economic slump they're talking about on the news ....?

from the New Yorker ....


Marathons, Quilts, and my Baby Brother .....

my brother, Bob, turned 40-something this year, and his family made him a quilt of the marathon T-shirts he earned by ...... uhmmmm..... running marathons.

"That quilt was my birthday gift from the family. It is a quilt of 24 of my running T-shirts, including the 14 marathons, and a family picture of our get together in Gatlinburg in February. I've had the shirts in a box for years waiting to make the quilt and it never happened until now."


Family portrait in Gatlinburg



so .... 2 students enrolled for my senior design course, but only one showed up this morning, so we sat across the table and chatted for 2+ hours, one-on-one. he wants to design his own air intake manifold for the turbocharger he has on his diesel truck engine .... so we picked at the fluid mechanics and thermodynamics issues he would have to address to do that .... cool project, but not easy .... we have 2 weeks to finalize the project agreement.

he's been in 2 or 3 of my previous courses, and has a (certified in writing) learning disability, so he thinks a little different from most people, and (since i myself think a lot different than most people) we two struggle to understand what we are each thinking, but somehow we manage.

came home, force-fed myself a hot dog an hamburger, then mowed the lawn after i broke the weedwacker (which was 15+ years old anyway), so i bought a new one, after i drove D to work.

here's a pidgeon drying off after a bath
(remind me to change the water tomorrow )


data update:
today i am 23,460 days old; resting blood pressure = 117 / 70; pulse = 83; weight = 166#

so, if i did the calculation right, my heart has beat about 2,803,939,200 times so far.

Pictures from a Dance Recital .....

well, D and i missed the trip to Texas and missed the dance recital, but L sent up a few pictures this morning ..... Rebekah is 3rd from left in the group shot, and that's Rachel over there on the right.... they are way too cute, i think .... wish we could have been there.


jpg "Pizza"
a nice "indie" film

... by me.

Two cannibals are eating a clown.
One says to the other:
"Does this taste funny to you?"

From today's New York Times .....

WASHINGTON: Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency ....

Pakistan's drive to spend heavily on new nuclear arms has been a source of growing concern.... at a time when Washington is .... trying to assure the security of an arsenal of 80 to 100 weapons so that they will never fall into the hands of Islamic insurgents.

Bruce Riedel, the Brookings Institution scholar who served as the co-author of Mr. Obama's review of Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, reflected the administration's concern in a recent interview, saying that Pakistan "has more terrorists per square mile than anyplace else on earth, and it has a nuclear weapons program that is growing faster than anyplace else on earth."

The View and I


Producers of The View have known how bad their program is, so they invited me over to help improve their ratings ..... well, Whoopie, Barbara, etc were so gracious, we ended up being ever so very chummy and went on to a variety of topics.

The episode is scheduled for a June date, but here is some of the upcoming dialog.....

The View: Dave, why did you loose the Presidential election?
Me: Barbara, I don't like to say that we lost ... you know I send the White House e-mails twice a week explaining how they should handle this and that, so they are getting my input on the big issues.

The View: But are they listening?
Me: Absolutely ! The FBI has been to my house many times regarding those e-mails.

The View: Who will be your running mate in 2012?
Me: Well, you know that Cameron [Diaz] will be tied up with a movie then, so that kind of leaves the slot open for now.

The View: What has been your best accomplishment so far this year?
Me: Po Teeko's Cave.
The View: Yes, people are saying it's the best short story since Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea".
Me: You know, Whoopie, I think it's better. Hemingway's story is just about this old guy who catches a fish.

The View: Are the rumors about you and Katie Couric true?
Me: I dumped Katie weeks ago. All she ever talks about at dinner is "news, news, news".

The View: How's Debbie?
Me: Who? ..... OHHHHH..... Debbie! .... yeh she's probably watching this right now wondering why I had to wear a dark suit and tie while Whoopie there shows up in her gardening clothes.

jpg jpg

jpgthe Sal and Ann Rose Garden is leafing out by the pond, with St. Bartholemeau (or someone) watching over the birds, and that angel back there watching over the spirits and such.

one more statue out there and they're gonna move the Vatican here.

a side note: nobody, but nobody writes or sings a song like Roy Orbison ..... nobody.

From the NY Times....

This (link) is an extremely informative set of comments from some experts regarding the "new" credit "crisis" .... well worth 15 minutes of your reading time.

Even though we pay our card down to zero every month, I am about to trade our credit card in for a debit card .... probably should have done it years ago.


"The Visitor" → this is a small "indie" movie, worth a netflix rental (netflix link ).... another no-budget movie that stands on the acting and directing, and does pretty well. the storyline is that a very bored, and boring, college professor gets his life entwined with a young foreign couple (from Senegal and Syria) who, it turns out, are living in the US illegally. you walk away from the movie with feelings torn between your compassion and the law...... i don't know what the right answer is, but i'm glad i watched it.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

jpg D worked this morning, i made really good garden dirt and moved it here and there and relocated an old mountain laurel that i think is going to wither and die anyway. turned over the compost pile and about died from the smell ..... smells like a zoo or a farm (whose idea was this?).

the backyard is changing all the time, but today it's looking good →→

99 years old and still kicking hard !

jpg my neighbor, Louie C. is 99 years old and is a local legend around town. he's an artist, and i posted some recent pictures of him at work (here is the link)

his son, Ernest is a decent guy who lives nearby and takes care of dad and the house pretty well, and has the most incredible personal woodshop (above his garage) i've ever seen .... seriously rivaling those guys on TV.

E and i were chatting about lawns today and we drove to his place so he could piss me off by showing me his flawless lawn (compared to my perfect crop of crabgrass and weeds), and we ended upstairs in his shop, showing me what he and his dad are working on ..... a new crucifix (maybe 8 feet tall) .... the body is 20 hours aways from being completed, and i am in awe of this level of talent. E says that these days, dad and he work up there on the statues. (see the link above).

we drive back here, pull into the driveway and there is 99 year old Louie cutting some bushes out with his chain saw !!! (E was not pleased and got out the small hedge trimmers for dad).

so i am thinking that the "secret" to a long life is one of 3 possibilities (1) go to church often (2) keep moving and never sit down (3) don't be very big.

conclusion .... there's a 2/3 chance that i will live a long life !!!

(ironically i am 2/3 as old as he is and he is 2/3 as tall as i am and my name has 2/3 as many letters as his name has ..... i think the stars are lining up for me)

Memorial Day Cookout





emergency branch repair - two ½" × 6" carriage bolts through a branch with a spiral twist failure (ice storm)


yesterday, we saw JB's tree repair .... two 1" × 18" bolts clamping split tree trunk..... which inspired me to the branch repair above (hope it works.... the tree is a Japanese red maple).

Last JA class for this year

i survived the last class. i had them play a quiz game in teams. i asked questions, the teams wrote their answers on a dryboard and won $1000 per correct answer.

Q: how many people live in China
A: 26,000
Q: how many people live in the USA
A: 4 million
Q: how thick is the Earth's atmosphere (in miles)
A: "what's an atmosphere" ..... (no joke) ..... oh ..... 4 million miles thick.
Q: if you have to pay a bank $360,000 over 30 years, how much is that each month
A: ..... no answer, they did not know how many months in a year (they guessed 360 then guessed 56).

The back yard in 3600

someday, i will do it right, but i'm too lazy at the moment, here is a patchwork collage.

patchwork of yard photos

scroll ....

jpg Happy Birthday Catherine !!


today is C's birthday
and, here is .....

C's facebook page

The Chicks Just Won't Leave Me Alone

D and i went grocery shopping today (miserable weather .... set the computer on autopilot and left).

we're in the vegy section and i bump the cart into D's back and she yells and me apologizes.

next to us is a woman about my age with her mother ..... her mother says "you can bump into me any day, sonny" .

there's no denying it .... i'm hot and it's hard to hide.

Sonia Sotomayor

I think her personal story is pretty impressive.....

jpg President Obama has decided to nominate the federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, choosing a daughter of Puerto Rican parents raised in Bronx public housing projects to become the nation's first Hispanic justice.

Born in the Bronx on June 23, 1954, Judge Sotomayor was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 8. Her father, a factory worker, died a year later. Her mother, a nurse at a methadone clinic, raised her daughter and a younger son on a modest salary.

Judge Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude in 1976 and became an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She spent five years as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney's office before entering private practice.

Sucked Down The Wormhole of Technology

jpg i spent today (all day!) trying to complete a "15 minute" task (simply move my tikmark domain name to point at mike's server), and i still can't get it working. my brain is now little toast crumblings like you find on your kitchen counter ..... little burned out specs of carbon with no life left in them ..... you sweep them callously into the sink...... this is the sad state of my brain at the moment.

as a last ditch effort, i even took out a new domain name (davesjournal.us) ..... did it work ? .... HHHAAAA! .... would i be bleeding all over you now if it worked ??

nights like this are why God, in Her great wisdom, inspired man to create Tom and Jerry.

AWK Lives!

checking google-analytics data on my awk-engineering page, it is averaging 4 hits per day and average time on the page is 8+ minutes!

also, people are downloading Mohave and it's tilesets, and Mohave has been packaged (by someone?) for debian (don't ask me to explain how that happens ??).

so, i guess i will NOT shut down the tikmark awk-Tcl-mohave pages.

though my plans are now to relocate these journal pages to [davesjournal.us] (since i bought the domain yesterday) when we solve the server problem.

My Journal Pages (you are reading them now) Are Moving

i am moving all my webnotes (that's what you are reading here) to Mike's server. this will happen in the next few days..... i hope June.01 is the transfer date ...... i will post the web address here as soon as the file transfers are completed.

same old journal pages, just a new address for your web browser (to be announced soon).


jpg possibly the most wonderful thing about getting older
is that you don't take yourself so seriously anymore.

(possibly the worst thing about getting older is
no one else takes you seriously anymore.)

Index of My Journal Pages

The Names of 4000 Dead US Soldiers