For many years I had a recurring dream that I was in the Brown University Bookstore on Thayer Street in Providence, Rhode Island. (Above you see a picture of the Brown University Bookstore I took last year. The store is the grey building on the left. To the right is Thayer Street.)
After some years of this dream, I began to think about this place during my waking hours.
As long as the dream went on, I never figured out why I was having the dream.
As a kid I often went to the Brown U. store. Last summer, in Providence for the first time in 20 years, I went into the bookstore for first time since maybe 1980. I’ve not had the dream since I went into the store last year.
In the past couple of months, I’ve had a new recurring dream. I dream I’m in parts of Providence that I knew as a kid, but did not see when in Providence last summer. I’ve now had this new dream three times.
Though I lived in Providence for my first 13 years, I consider Cincinnati, Ohio my hometown far more than Providence. Cincinnati is where I lived the 18 years after Providence. Yet its Providence I keep dreaming about.
I think this is in part because I visit Cincinnati twice a year and have only been to Providence once in the past 20 years. I think if I did not regularly see Cincinnati, I would dream of that city as well.
In any case, all this got me to thinking about the subconscious mind. What is the subconscious mind?
A New York Times article from 2007 says it is something that guides your actions more than you realize. It says our minds respond in ways we don’t fully control in response to clues and triggers. For example, if we see a briefcase we may become more competitive.
Past that article, what I found by poking around on the internet—perhaps reflecting a subconscious view that I don’t really want to know what is lurking in my mind—was nothing very solid.
There is a lot of stuff about using your so-called subconscious mind to quit smoking or become rich. Other web pages had a New Age feel. New Age stuff is fine for people who go for all that–But it does not do so much for me.
Beyond my wariness of what I read in Wikipedia—And I do appreciate Wikipedia for all the pictures I use on this blog that I get from that source—I find myself wondering how we can well-define something that takes place in our subconscious. How can anyone know for sure?
I’d like to think that right now in my subconcious mind some type of dinosaur fight is taking place—
Here is the defintion of subconcious from The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.
” Of or pertaining to, existing in, the part of the mind which influences actions etc. without one’s “full” awareness.”
I think this is as close as we are going to get to a good definition.
Your subconcious mind is present in some respect and it is messing with you in someway. If all it is doing is making you have a dream about a place you left a long time ago, you’re likely getting off lucky.
( Here is a link to information about Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Maybe those of who reached this post via a search engine question will have thoughts of all the good FDR and the New Deal accomplished planted in your subconscious when you are deciding in the future how to vote.)
Here is what the great economist John Maynard Keynes (above) said in favor of government intervention in the economy—
“….There was no expenditure…it was thought proper for the State to incur except for war. In the past, therefore, we have not infrequently had to wait for a war to terminate a major depression. I hope that in the future we will not adhere to this purist financial attitude, and that we shall be ready to spend on the enterprises of peace what the financial maxims of the past would only allow us to spend on the devastation of war.. At any rate, I predict with an assured confidence that the only way is for us to discover some object which is admitted even by the deadheads to be a legitimate excuse for largely increasing the expenditure of someone on something.”
I like this for two reasons. One is that it allows me to help make the case for government involvement in our economy. It is good that we live in a time when government is taking an active role in our economy, and is seeking to regulate and guide the economy rather than just letting this current deep recession take its course on people’s prospects in life.
If we’re all just left the private sector, we will not have the opportunities in life that collectivist initiatives can offer the struggling but hardworking person.
Here is a profile of Keynes from the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Read about him and see what you think. Keynes lived from 1883 until 1946.
The excerpt above comes from the book Global Capitalism–Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century by Jeffry Frieden. This is a solid book that fills you in on capitalism as practiced—for both good and ill—in all parts of the world for a span of more than 100 years.
The other reason I like what Keynes said is that it allows me to run a picture of some deadheads from a Grateful Dead concert. Below you see a picture of many deadheads at a Grateful Dead show.
I once went to a Grateful Dead concert. I was curious to see what it was like. I went at some point in the early 90′s. The show was just outside Columbus, Ohio and I think the temperature was about 102. The opening act was Bruce Hornsby and the Range. I have to admit it was one of the most boring concerts I’ve ever seen in my life. That said, I had some sympathy for the deadheads traveling around and following the Grateful Dead.
They were just bumming around and getting stoned and whatever else they were doing. They were not bothering anybody and they seemed good-natured enough. I remember some of them were selling food and other things in the parking lot at the show. I bought some spaghetti with sauce a one guy. Maybe my purchase bought him a gallon of gas to help him get to the next concert.
Above is the old Alive With Pleasure ad for cigarettes.
There is really nothing I can add to that picture and those words.
Taschen is a book publisher with a large selection of books on advertising and the history of advertising. It is well worth checking out the Taschen site.
Sleazy John Edwards has admitted he is the subject of a federal probe of his 2008 Presidential campaign. It’s possible that he misused campaign funds to pay off the woman he was having an adulterous affair with while his wife suffers from cancer.
Above is a couple in Japan in 1860 being shown in public for adultery.
I’m 41 and have been married nine years. If I ever feel I’m having some type of midlife crisis, I’m going to read a long book. That will be how I let go and feel young again.
The longest book I’ve read is the one you see below The Power Broker by Robert Caro. It is 1344 pages. I read it when I was in my 20′s. If you ever see me reading an even longer book, maybe I am having a midlife crisis and i’m doing something to make me feel young again.
( Blogger’s Note 6/5/10—Things at the Flagship are no different today than when I made this post in April of 2009.)
Above is a picture of a room at the Flagship Hotel on the Seawall in Galveston.
Now those are rooms with a view.
The Flagship was damaged by Hurricane Ike. This picture was taken just a few weeks ago. The hurricane was in September.
I’m sorry that the Flagship was damaged and that people who worked there have lost their jobs. But I’m not sure the Flagship was very nice.
The Flagship had been renovated in recent years, but every time I walked by it I could see evidence of poor or non-existent maintenance on the grounds of the hotel. I’d see people driving to the place to check in, and I’d think that they were paying hard-earned money for a place that was not so nice.
Below you see where the driveway to the Flagship was once located. There is a small walkway beyond the former driveway, but the driveway is washed away. I wonder how long it will be until someone comes and cleans up this damage.
There are nice places to stay in Galveston and it it worth your time to visit Galveston. There is still damage from the hurricane, but repairs and improvements are being made even as we speak. Please click here to review what you can do in Galveston.
Here is a book review for Hotel: An American Historyby A.K. Sandoval Strausz
From the review—
Hotels were originally conceived as a way to shelter and control strangers — a growing preoccupation in a country whose citizens were becoming among the most mobile people in the world. Foreigners remarked on the unusual and easy freedom of movement Americans claimed as a birthright; indeed, it seemed a hallmark of a democratic society. Anyone (except blacks and Jews) could go wherever he wanted. Sandoval-Strausz dates the inspiration for the creation of the hotel to the first presidential tours of the new colonies, from 1789 to 1791; to avoid the appearance of favoritism, George Washington insisted on staying in inns and taverns, converted houses with liquor licenses. His accommodations from New Hampshire to Georgia, when they were available, were for the most part dirty and uncomfortable; it was not uncommon for guests to share beds swarming with insects. Local burghers were so embarrassed by the reports of shoddy hospitality that they began to finance the construction of large, lavish public accommodations, the better to receive notable visitors to their cities.
Above is a ship called the Sanko Bright. This ship is registered to Singapore.
This picture was taken in Galveston Bay last week from the Bolivar Ferry.
The Coast Guard put out a press release involving this ship back in 2007—The Coast Guard medevaced a crewman from an oil tanker in the Galveston Fairway anchorage off Galveston, Texas, this morning. A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston received a call for assistance at 6 a.m. from the captain of the Sanko Bright, a 783-foot oil tanker, reporting one of his crewmembers was having difficulty breathing and his face was swelling. The Coast Guard patrol boat Skipjack was diverted from patrol to medevac the man. The boat arrived on scene at 7:19 a.m. and crewmembers went aboard the tanker to assess the man. The Skipjack transported him to the Coast Guard base in Galveston, where awaiting emergency medical personnel transported him to the University of Texas Medical Branch, also in Galveston.
I hope the crewman was okay.
Though the ship is supposed to be from Singapore, it is owned by a Japanese company—The Sanko Steamship Company.
A book I read about global shipping is The Outlaw Sea by William Langewiesche. The book talks about ships with poor safety records and about tax avoidance and poor regulation at sea. Here is a review of this book from The National Sea Grant Law Center.
It is fun to see big ships in the ocean, though I do feel they should all be regulated and that the people who own the ships should pay all taxes due.
This is why I am hoping to be appointed Czar of the World’s Oceans by the United Nations. I will keep my readers up to date on my quest for this title.
My in-laws are in town and I’m busy being a good son-in-law. This post will just be some notes. Still—even on busy days— I make time for the blog reading public.
At the Houston Museum of Fine Arts yesterday I got a reminder of why I disliked school so much. Some kids, maybe fifth or sixth grade, were on a field trip to the museum. They were touring the galleries. The chaperons were repeatedly telling the kids not to speak. I’m not sure if the adults were teachers or parents. Though it makes little difference. (Above— One room school in Alabama 1935.)
Why not instruct the kids to offer reactions to what they were seeing? Why not ask questions of the kids? Why not tell the kids to talk to each other about what they were seeing? Other visitors to the museum were speaking in the galleries. If the adults did not feel they could control the kids, then they should not have been leading the trip.
I can remember field trips like that when I was in school in Providence, Rhode Island. We’d go to the Boston Science Museum or the Boston Aquarium–over and over we would go to those places—and get no input from our teachers about what we were seeing. The high point of the day would be the visit to the gift shop. It was just a day to screw around.
If you have kids, maybe you could tell them to listen to teachers who have something to say, and tune out the others. There is possibly nothing at all wrong with a kid who does not like school and who is wary of his or her teachers. Maybe the only thing wrong with that kid is that he or she is smarter than the teachers and the other kids.
The first paragraph of the book, as far as I’ve read so far, talks about contemporary art as more widely popular than was art before World War II. I would imagine that this wider popularity comes with the usual trade off a bigger public following against a more uncertain level of quality. Depending on my mood, I’m generally in favor of the wider public acceptance. People can make the effort to find the good stuff if it matters to them enough.
I read yesterday that fishermen in the Philippines caught a very rare Megamouth Shark and went on to eat it even though they were asked not to eat the creature. Below you see a picture of a Megamouth Shark. The picture was taken by a Tom Haight. Here is some very good information about this sea beast from the Florida Museum of Natural History. It says that Sperm Whales have been known to attack this type of shark. I’d sure like to put film of that taking place on the blog.
Time now to go pick up my in-laws and go to the deli to pick up the food for Passover.
It might be time to write someone a letter.
I’ve been thinking that for myself of late, but I can never get from under the daily need to fill this blog space. Take today for example, I’m writing for the blog instead of writing a letter in the time I have left before I have to go to work.
I’ll just have to make the time.
The poster above is a New Deal poster in support of national Letter Writing Week. Here is a link to a number of New Deal era posters that were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration.
There still is a National Letter Writing Week. It takes place each January. We’ve missed it for 2009, but we can all still write a letter.
A very good book of letters is Letters of the Century–America 1900-1999. I’ve read this book and I can recommend it to you.
I’m behind in responding to a number of people who have e-mailed me in recent weeks. I keep meaning to write a blog post that says nothing but I’m taking the day off from the blog to respond to personal e-mails.
Though if I really meant it, I’d get the address of the people I owe e-mails to and write them a letter. Then they would have a letter to keep that suggested I take my relationships with these folks seriously enough to make a full effort.
Because we are not always in control of our lives, I find myself in frequent communication with people I have no real interest with. This is a source of daily regret in my life. When I go without communicating with my friends for some period of time I feel that I am falling behind and that my relationships are dissolving.
Though the truth is that my friends are just as busy or more busy than I am, and that almost any effort to keep in touch is long-recalled. We should be very slow to give up on or move on from a relationship that at some point had value in our lives.
The very act of communication is an expression of our values. Not just what we are communicating, but the fact that we are communicating at all in a discordant and superficially fragmented world.
Communication is simple enough if you make the time and put some thought into it.
It’s the simplest things done well that often make the most difference in life. Simple things done well are also good in expressing optimism about the value of day-to-day life.
Killer Whales have been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico.
Below is a picture of killer whales seen in the Gulf of Mexico. Behind them you seen an oil rig which is pretty good evidence that you are looking at the Gulf of Mexico.
Here is a link to YouTube video footage of killer whales in Texas waters.
Below is from the Houston Chronicle story on the killer whales—
“Scientists say orcas have been in the Gulf for years but are rarely seen because they live far from shore and beyond the typical range of commercial fishermen. Still, a recent sighting of killer whales 95 miles off the Alabama coast has captivated those who work and play in the warm waters of the Gulf. “It was like being at Sea World because they’d come right up to the boat,” said Eddie Hall, captain of the Shady Lady, the charter boat that spotted as many as 200 orcas feeding on tuna. Hall recorded the close encounter on video, and the National Marine Fisheries Service confirmed that they were, indeed, killer whales. Tony Amos, a researcher with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, said confirmed sightings of orcas in the Gulf date back to at least 1985.”
The guy in the Chronicle story said that it was just like Sea World. Yes–It was just like Sea World except that the whales were free and not in a kind of sea jail in the form of a (sort of ) big tank.
A killer whale is not a whale. It is a kind of dolphin. It is a very big killer dolphin. Its presence in the Gulf is not so much a surprise when you consider that it is the most widespread of any whale or dolphin. Here is some discussion of the differences between whales and dolphins.
Killer Whales can grow up to 30 feet long and live up to 90 years. Female killer whales can hang on for 80 to 90 years while males make it between 50 and 60.
A great book on marine mammals is the National Audubon Society’s Guide To Marine Mammals of the World. (Books remain the stronger source on very many issues and questions than what you are able to find on the internet. Please consider getting off the computer and reading a book.)
Here is a bit of what the Audubon Guide says about killer whales—
“The world population of killer whales seems to consist of specialized subpopulation, each adapted to live off the resources available within its home range. In this sense killer whales are much like wolves.”
A book I don’t own but that maybe someday I will is The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico.
There are many types of marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico. Please click here for a list of such creatures.
The American Cetacean Society is a good on-line reference for marine mammals. You can find killer whale information at the ACS.
Cincinnati NAACP Hires Right-Wing Attorney With Poor Civil Rights Record—Can’t Black Folks And Gay Folks Get Along Better?
The Cincinnati NAACP has hired conservative lawyer Christopher Finney to serve as it’s Director of Legal Redress.
(The links above are to my blogger friend at Queer Cincinnati. Texas Liberal is always glad to be listed at that shop as a Queer Cincinnati blogger.)
Mr. Finney had a large hand in the passage of the terrible Issue 3 in Cincinnati back in 1993. This measure denied legal protections to gay citizens of Cincinnati that were extended to all other Cincinnatians.( It has since been repealed.)
The rights all people are connected.
I’ve long had the frustration that some advocates of gay rights don’t look behind their own interests. They don’t always seem to see the link between their rights and the rights of all people. Sometimes they come of as elitist and looking for more of a kind economic empacipation rather than looking for the freedom of all people.
Yet what impression can be left with gay rights advocates and with all freedom-loving people in the Cincinnati area when Christopher Finney is hired to work for the Cincinnati NAACP?
Why can’t black folks and gay folks get along? When will leaders in the black community speak more forcefully about accepting all people as they were born? Black folks and most gay folks came together to vote for Mr. Obama last November. Can’t this fact be used as a starting point for better relations between the two groups?
Writing about this issue and seeing that Chris Finney is still causing trouble after I’ve been away from Cincinnati for 11 years reminds me of the Jean Sartre play No Exit. The same people year after year after year afflicting each other by dredging up bad memories and the inability to leave the room even though they may in fact have the option to go elsewhere.
It’s not really different anywhere else. Though in a big spread-out place like Houston, with a young and often transient population, fewer people make the pretense of caring. I don’t advocate widespread apathy, though sometimes I see its virtues.
I’d be remiss not to run a picture of the so-called Sausage Dog Pony on this blog.
This Shetland Pony, who lives in over in Great Britain, has very short legs. From a distance, people think it is trapped in the mud and call the local fire squad for a rescue.
Below is a more normal-sized Shetland Pony. It is something of a hippie pony I’d say.
Below are some hippies at Woodstock.
I’m not sure that I would have been a hippie if I had lived back in that time. Though I am glad to see that two people in this picture are reading books at Woodstock. I’m certain that if I had gone to Woodstock that I would have taken a book.
Below is a picture of the Shetland Islands. I’d sure like to see a place like this in my life. What do you think it would be like to live in a place that is quiet? Here is information on visiting the Shetland Islands.
This history says that people have lived in the Shetland Islands for 5000 years.
What a big world it is to be full of sausage dog ponies, hippies and the Shetland Islands.
This video is called Reading About The Panic of 1873 While In Front Of The Former Enron Building. It is the second video on the blog. This video is about three minutes long.
I view the ability for average person to make a video as an updated kind of folk art. Here are various definitions of folk art. One idea of folk art is people without any artistic training creating something with the tools they have at hand.
All people are able to express themselves in some creative way.
Here is information about the impact of the Panic of 1873 in New York. This article discusses what the 1873 crisis had in common with the current economic distress.
There were issues of banks and credit and greedy speculation.
Here is a good essay about the impact of the Panic of 1873 in Illinois.
Here is the Panic of 1873 for kids from PBS.
The book I read from in the video is The Age of Lincoln by Orville Burton.
Here is a chronology of Enron events from USA Today.
Here are a series of articles about Enron from the Houston Chronicle.
In the video, the sun is partially on my big head while the other portion of my head is in shadow. This makes my head somewhat like this drawing of the Earth—Part light and part dark. Here is an explanation of daylight. Here is an explanation of night time on the Earth.
Thanks for reading Texas Liberal. Please feel free to offer a comment. If you like the blog, please forward the link. A blog grows one reader at a time.
Which states have our Presidents called home? Which states have been the home states of the most Presidents?
(Above–John Tyler. He was the last President from Virginia.)
By home state. I mean the place where a President held office before becoming President. In one case—Dwight Eisenhower—there was really no home state. He did a lot of moving around. So I’ve made him “stateless.”
Zachary Taylor,a general like Eisenhower, is a close call on this matter. But he did live at a plantation he owned in Louisiana and his regional identity had a role in his election as President. So I’ll count Taylor as from Louisiana.
There are a few ways you could look at the question of what Presidents are from what states. You could list each state and count the number of Presidents from that state. This is what is done on the first list below.
You geta somewhat different picture if you limit the list only to Presidents who were elected, and exclude Vice Presidents who became President, but who never won election on their own. (These Presidents are Tyler, Fillmore, A. Johnson, Arthur, and Ford.) Doing it this way offers a sense of states and regions of the nation in the ascendancy at a given time. This is how the second list is complied.
(Below–Gerald Ford, in college here at the U. of Michigan, was not elected to the Presidency.)
Overall, 17 of the 50 states can claim a President.
New York (6) —Van Buren (8), Fillmore (13), Arthur (21), Cleveland (22 & 24), T. Roosevelt (26), F. Roosevelt (32)
Ohio (6) —W.H. Harrison (9), Hayes (19), Garfield (20), McKinley (25), Taft (27), Harding (29)
Virginia (5) — Washington (1) , Jefferson (3) , Madison (4) , Monroe (5), Tyler (10)
Massachusetts (4) — John Adams (2) , J.Q. Adams (6), Coolidge (30), Kennedy (35)
Tennessee (3) —Jackson (7), Polk (11), A. Johnson (17)
Illinois (3) —Lincoln (16), Grant (18), Obama (44)
California (3)—Hoover (31), Nixon (37), Reagan (40)
Texas (3) — L. Johnson (36), G.H.W. Bush (41), G.W. Bush (43)
New Hampshire— Pierce (14)
Indiana—B. Harrison (23)
New Jersey—Wilson (28)
(Below–Woodrow Wilson throwing out the first pitch in 1916.)
Lsit # 2—-
1789, 1792—Virginia (Washington)
1796—Massachusetts (John Adams)
1800, 1804, 1808, 1812, 1816, 1820—Virginia ( Jefferson, Madison, Monroe)
1828, 1832—Tennessee (Jackson)
1836—New York (Van Buren)
1840–Ohio (W. Harrison)
1852—New Hampshire (Pierce)
1860, 1864, 1868, 1872—Illinois (Lincoln, Grant)
1876, 1880—Ohio (Hayes, Garfield)
1884—New York (Cleveland)
(Below–Grover Cleveland in 1905. He left the White House, for a second time, in 1897.)
1892—New York (Cleveland)
1896, 1900—Ohio (McKinley)
1904—New York (T.Roosevelt)
1912, 1916—New Jersey (Wilson)
1932, 1936, 1940, 1944—New York (F.Roosevelt)
1968, 1972—California (Nixon)
(Below–Jimmy Carter in 1937.)
1980, 1984—California (Reagan)
1988—Texas (G.H.W. Bush)
1992, 1996—Arkansas (Clinton)
2000, 2004—Texas (G.W.Bush)
Our first six Presidents came from either Virginia or Massachusetts. Then there was a move west and towards the frontier with Jackson and Polk of Tennessee. Between 1860 and 1908 every elected President was from either Illinois, Ohio or New York. Hoover of California was in 1928 the first President from the West Coast. Beginning with Lyndon Johnson in 1964, every President gaining the White House by election was from either the Sunbelt or the South. Barack Obama of Illinois broke that trend in 2008.
Two good books to learn about the Presidents are The American Presidency–The Authoritative Reference edited by Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer and The Complete Book Of U.S. Presidents by William Degregorio. These books compliment each other well. The first provides short essays about each President’s term and the second is more biographical information.
(Below–A bunch of them in one place.)