Well, that was a good break. I drank some water out of one of our water buckets and then went "pee" over in the far northeast corner of our fenced in two acres. I decided not to go visit Daisy up front. I wonder when Mr. Steve will give us our first snack of the day?
Since I was "Stretching my legs" anyway as they say; I checked along the fence behind the three Sheds. Daisy will be responsible for guarding or "keeping an eye on" the big front area of our land today. And she'll do it for the next three days too so I can do my work.
Oh! The Chimes are ringing. Is that You Holy Spirit? I hope it is. I'll get back to work and not be lazy. I still have so much work to do today. Thank You if You're using those Chimes to send me a message and remind me to work hard. I wonder what my boss is doing?
Able Company of Quail are now moving out into the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. The scout Quails are dashing out ahead of the main body. I can hear some of the Pigeons up on the Patio roof cooing. The sky is so blue right now. I love breathing through my nose.
Ah! Max the Hummingbird scared me. He dropped right out of the sky like magic the way Hummingbirds do. He's looking at me over here on Elvira. His glass feeder is empty so there's nothing to eat. The Pigeons are flying out into the desert. I hear their wings flapping.
Wow! Time is going fast. I'm having so much fun learning new things. Judging by where the Sun is right now I'd say it's about ten thirty. Oh! Andy the Ground Squirrel just ran under Moe the middle Shed. Max just spun around and zoomed off. His wings are buzzing.
Andy and Helen the Squirrels seem to like hiding under Moe. Mr. Steve thinks Andy would protect Helen if something threatened her. Well, who shows up just when I was thinking about her? Helen the Squirrel just ran under Moe too. Ah! I like breathing through my nose.
The sunlight is now coming down into the desert at an angle that makes all of the shadows look like they're leaning toward me over here. As the day goes on and the Sun goes up and over the house the shadows will gradually lean away from me sitting here on Elvira.
Birds are still flying about. Behind our three Sheds in the eastern desert I can see a number of Crows sailing around. And I can hear their caws faintly. Sometimes Crows seem to talk to each other as they fly along. Boy, that sunlight really brings back some old memories.
Seeing the way the sunlight looks right now makes me remember certain scents. And that's mainly because when I smelled those things in the past the sunlight looked just like it does right now. Oh wow! I'm having one of those "Déjà vu" feelings again.
I just noticed this Fly sitting on the wooden "Coffee Table" in front of my couch. That table used to belong to Mr. Steve's girlfriend Emily but is now back here on the Patio. I wonder why they call it a Coffee Table? Maybe you drink coffee when sitting around it?
That Fly is cleaning itself by rubbing it's head and body with its little arms. Daisy and I have noticed that our neighbor's black and white girl Cat Cher often sits up on top of one of our three Sheds and licks her paws to clean her head in the same way Flies seem to do.
I wonder if it's true what Daisy told me a while back? She says when Flies are first born they start out as Worms called "Maggots." And she told me that Butterflies are the same. That Fly just flew away. I sure do hope there aren't too many Flies around here this year.
Well You Guys! Here goes chapter four! Thank You for helping me so far. Ah! I just picked up the scent of one of those "Juniper" plants. There are a few Juniper "Shrubs" out there in the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. I just snapped at a Fly who tried to land on me.
Well God! This is the first scent of Juniper this year. Mr. Steve met a South Korean man in Phelan who raises and sells little "Bonsai" trees. They're "miniature" Juniper trees. Mr. Steve tried to grow one but they're kind of fragile so it died. I hear a Crow cawing.
In the early-1990's Mr. Steve and his brother Rock worked with their father inside an Indian Casino called "Viejas;"to the east of San Diego. The Native-Americans who ran the Casino are "Kumeyaay." According to my Spanish Dictionary Viejas is "Old Lady" in Spanish.
This pretty Kumeyaay girl told Mr. Steve about how her tribe has used Juniper for centuries; either the shrub or tree. I guess, from what that girl said, the berries from Juniper plants can eaten or ground into "meal" for baking. And Juniper can be used as a medicine.
When Mr. Steve was talking to that girl he told her he and his parents had been Tour Guides at the San Fernando Mission. So he had read about her people. When The Spanish first came up to Alta California in the 18th century they called the Kumeyaay "Degueño."
Mr. Steve says there's no such thing as "Paradise" on this earth, or in this life but, if there was he jokes, our two and a half acres of CÓRDOVA might come close; at least for the 3 of us. But of course he says; "we could be accused of being just a little bit biased."
I love our land! I just looked up the word land in my Spanish Dictionary and it's "Tierra." Sitting on this old couch, looking toward the eastern horizon; I feel so good. I like taking in deep breaths of air because there are scents which are only around during Springtime.
According to my outline for book two I'm scheduled to write about the topic of what they call "Surnames" or "Last Names." But I suddenly kind of feel like doing it now instead. And the main reason is because I'm thinking about our last name. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Wow! My Encyclopedia says there are over forty five thousand English surnames. Some are to indicate "occupations" like "Carpenter" while others tell where you work like "Hall." One of the new baby Ground Squirrels just ran bye. It's so small and cute the way it runs.
WILLIAM "THE CONQUEROR" (0000-0000)
I guess last names were not "common" in England until after 1066 A.D. when a "Norman" King "William the Conqueror" conquered England. I'll write about him later when I talk about Vikings. "Normandy" is on the French coast and was important in World War II.
This Encyclopedia says "population growth" was another reason why in England and other parts of Europe last names began to be a lot more. So it then became more necessary to what they call "distinguish" people. I hear one of our neighbors Ducks quacking next door.
In England after 1066 some people "adopted" last names which indicated some "physical characteristics" like "Young" or "Strong" or "Gray." In Germany names like "Rothschild," or "Red Shield;" began to be used to tell everyone you were from the high classes.
The main reason why I'm interested in last names is because I know that Mr. Steve is kind of interested in that subject too. I remember that time he told me how some cultures' last names are based on the men. Oh! I just picked up the faint scent of Jack the Jackrabbit.
I remember when my boss told Daisy and me about that one nice older lady he met down at the Sylmar Library. She was interested in last names and "perked up" Mr. Steve said, when she was told our last name. That lady sort of reminded him of his own mom.
From what my boss told me, that one lady said many Armenian names end in "ian" because that's "masculine." In Ireland she said, a last name can also be connected to the masculine; like "Fitz;" or a relation to someone. "McDonald would be "Son of Donald."
Mr. Steve and that lady at the Library, who was French; discussed how in Spanish cultures a person can take the name of the father and the mother too. I just noticed Jack the Jackrabbit sticking his nose out from under Manny the far right Shed. He hasn't smelled me yet.
Because Daisy and I, especially me, don't really know exactly who our parents were; we both decided to just go ahead and use our boss's last name. Dais told me she knows for sure that our boss wouldn't mind us doing that. I just looked up the word "Appropriated."
Hey God! As you know, if Daisy and I could use Mr. Peabody's Time Machine we'd go back to meet our parents. Dais is so lucky! She remembers her mother's scent. I sure wish I could smell my mom God. That would be so great! A Finch is singing out in the desert.
Daisy made a good point a while back. She said if we went back in time to see ourselves that must mean we'd be in two places at once. And if we time-traveled could we even touch or smell ourselves as babies? Boy! I'd sure like to find out the answer to that question.
If we were Native Americans Mr. Steve says we would have names that were based mainly on a physical or personality trait. In book two I'm scheduled write about these two guys named "Crazy Horse" and "Sitting Bull;" plus some other Indians too. I hear Birds chirping.
SITTING BULL (1831-1890)
That one lady at the Library down there in Sylmar said she thought it was interesting how Native Americans gave names to people based on something they did or on things "associated" with an event or situation around the time we were born. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Jack still hasn't noticed me over here sitting on this couch Elvira. But I sure can now smell Jack. Daisy and I have at times wondered if Jack is a boy or a girl. I mean, we just call him his name because he, or she; is a Jackrabbit. Oh! Jack just ran out into the desert.
Tomorrow I'll write about President Thomas Jefferson and a famous thing called the "Lewis and Clark Expedition" of 1804. So then I'll also talk about is this one girl named "Sacagawea." She was an Native American "Interpreter" and her name means "Bird Woman."
In the notes in my outline I can see that lady at the Sylmar Library also knew about "Asian" Surnames too. She told Mr. Steve that in China there are a few hundred names and about half of them use the name of what they call the "Clan." That means "family group."
Mr. Steve thought is was interesting when that French lady told him that in Korea there are only a few Surnames and three of them "comprise" half of the people. And the same is pretty much true in another country called "Vietnam." I'll write a lot about Vietnam later.
Even before he met that French lady at the Sylmar Library Mr. Steve knew a little bit about the history of "Japan." So when she told him that until 1868, three years after the end of the American Civil War, no one had a Surname; he was aware of that fact. I smell Sage.
This one Encyclopedia says that until 1868 Japan was an "isolated" and "Feudal" society ruled by "Samurai" warriors. Mr. Steve told me it's normal for all cultures to have what they call "Classes" in which "Haves" do better than the "Have-Not's." A Finch is singing.
According to what Mr. Steve says, even what are called "Socialist" cultures have an "upper" class and "lower" classes. Over the next three days at times I'll write about all the differences between a "Capitalist" and Socialist society. America is a Capitalist country.
This Dictionary says Feudalism in Middle Ages Europe, after the fall of the original Western Roman empire, is defined as; "Economic and social system in which land, worked by serfs, held by vassals in exchange for military and other services to an overlord." A Crow cawed.
I guess a "Vassal" is the person who "holds" the land but doesn't own it. He's the one who is required to perform military service or things like that for the owner of the land. The "Serf" is sort of like a Slave as best as I can understand it from Mr. Steve. I smell a Cholla cactus.
The Samurai warrior class was kicked out of power in the 1860's; when the United States was having the Civil War. It became the law that you had to have a Surname whether you liked it or not. Oh! A little Ground Squirrel sprinted bye Manny; the Shed on the far right.
That little Squirrel better be careful. Like Dais told me, it will be interesting to see when the Hawks show up this year. This is just the first day of our new year. Everything will start to what Daisy calls "unfold now." Life will renew again. Thank You so much Holy Spirit!
This is interesting. Another definition of Feudalism is; "A society which is structured around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for services or labor." Boy! I'm kind of glad I'm not a Serf. That would be so terrible. I would try to escape if I could.
In 1868 Japan started to become more "Modern." From that point until 1912, the year New Mexico and Arizona became States, it was called the "Meiji" era. In 1905 they had such a good modern Navy that they even beat Czarist Russia in a war. I hear Crows cawing.
Hey God! As You know, I'll write about Japan, the Koreas and China a lot more in books two and three. I'll also write about Vietnam. I can't wait. Mr. Steve and Daisy will be so proud of me and I'll learn so many new things too. The next three days are going to be so great!
Both Daisy and I really want to impress our boss! He's our Chief. But, at times I'm a bit too competitive. I don't like to lose! Mr. Steve is 58 years old and never married. He never had any children so, in a sense, you might say Daisy and I are sort of like his "kids."
Daisy and I enjoy it when Mr. Steve talks to us and tells us things. We're a family of 3! Our boss jokes we're a "gang of 3" or a "democracy of 3 citizens." But ultimately, as Daisy says, Mr. Steve has the "final word;" he is the owner after all. What he says goes!
Fannie and Freddie the Crows are flying bye over the three Sheds. They sometimes talk to each other as they fly. Mr. Steve jokes that Fannie and Freddie in some ways remind him of his parents; "two halves of the same coin" he says. I now kind of like Fannie and Freddie!
GEORGE ORWELL (0000-0000) ALDOUS HUXLEY (0000-0000)
Mr. Steve told me about a book called "Animal Farm." It was written by an "Englishman" named George Orwell. I'm going to write more about him in my three books. And I'll also talk about his College Professor Aldous Huxley. Oh! I can smell a Lizard around here.
This Encyclopedia says that guy Aldous Huxley lived most of his life over there in England. But then he and his wife moved to America; first to New Mexico and then out here near us. I'll write about where they lived in a place called "Llano" over the next three days.
My Encyclopedia says in 1932 Aldous Huxley wrote a book called "Brave New World," the year before Adolph Hitler and Franklin Roosevelt came into power. That was during the Great Depression; which I'll refer to a few times. I'll write about Brave New World later.
Daisy told me a while back that in that book Animal Farm there's a part where it says; "All Animals are equal" it's just that some Animals are "more equal than others." This is funny but is kind of true. Mr. Steve is more equal because he's the owner after all Dais says.
Our Chief is the "First among Equals" Daisy says. We're not Slaves but are considered what they call "Personal Property." Mr. Steve can do with both of us whatever he wants. But Daisy and I don't mind! In fact, we kind of like it that way. Aha! I see the Lizard over there.
SOUTH DIRT PATH ROMAN LEGION
Our two acres are "crisscrossed" with dirt paths Daisy and I have "carved out" over time on our patrols. We know them by heart! We can get from one place to another in a short time; like a Roman Legion marching on a Roman road. Our boss calls it "Rapid Deployment."
We have a "Paved" road that runs north, south in front of our two acres. That Dog Blackie who's buried in our graveyard was killed on it. And there's a "Highway" a mile to the south of where we live. But there's a lot of dirt roads around here too. The Lizard ran away.
I just looked up the word "Meander" in my Dictionary. Mr. Steve used it to describe some of the dirt roads nearby. It means "to take a winding course." He also said some of those roads are "rutted;" which means they have "grooves or tracks made over time by many wheels."
Hey Lord! As you know of course, Mr. Steve's family are Catholics and now so are Daisy and I. That's why we like it so much when we learn about Your life when You came down here. Mr. Steve tells us about You too Blessed Mother. I smell one of the new Spring Sage plants.
In June of 1985 Mr. Steve's parents "Organized," through their "Parish" Saint Ferdinands; a trip to Italy and Israel. I'll be referring to that trip in all three of my books. In fact, I'll be writing about that 1985 trip in just a minute. A Mocking Bird is imitating a Finch.
I guess in Spanish Saint Ferdinands is "San Fernando" just like the name of the city next to Sylmar. The original name of the 18th century Spanish Mission established by the Franciscan Priests was "San Fernando Rey de Espana" or "Saint Ferdinand King of Spain."
From first through eighth grade my boss attended the Parochial school run by the Priests and Nuns at Saint Ferdinands. The city of San Fernando is located "right next door" to Sylmar. Mr. Steve's brothers and sisters also went to Saint Ferdinands for Elementary School.
Hey Lord! As You know one of my goals in life is to someday see the inside a real Church like Saint Ferdinands. Mr. Steve says Catholic Church's, unlike Protestant Church's, have statues and images of You and other Saints in and around the area called the "Altar."
I wonder if there could ever be a Church for Dogs? If not maybe we could start one. And I'd allow Cats in too God. After all, You created all of us and we'd all like to give You thanks. Mr. Steve and Daisy think it's important to be grateful to something beyond ourselves.
Daisy says our boss has a "Crucifix" high up on the wall above the drums in his Bedroom; about fifteen feet tall she thinks. Boy Lord! I really have to get over my fear of going all the way down the Hallway. Then I can hang around in Mr. Steve's Bedroom with Daisy.
Hey Lord! I know what a crucifix is; as You of course know already. It must've been really painful to have died the way You did. Daisy says the big crucifix in Mr. Steve's Bedroom is very realistic. Thank You for letting the Romans do all of those bad things to You for us.
On that 1985 trip Mr. Steve took pictures of "Pope" John Paul II in a place called "Vatican Square." He also walked on and took pictures of a famous old Roman road called the "Appian Way" or "Via Appia" in Latin. This is to the south of the city of Rome. I smell Sage
Hey Lord! In 1985, from Italy my boss's "Tour Group" went on to visit Israel. They got to see sites from the Bible and also places associated with Israel's independence since 1948; four years after World War II. I'd like to travel but, I'm still afraid of riding in a Car.
POPE JOHN PAUL II (1985) APPIAN WAY (1985)
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
I guess in 1985 Mr. Steve's Tour Group landed in the city of "Milan" in early June. But then they went down to Rome. The city of Rome is another thing I'll be writing about over the next three days. Daisy thinks Mr. Steve's lucky his parents organized those trips. Me too!
Two of the Pigeons were up on the roof of the Patio right above me. I didn't even know they were there. One always follows the other. It's hard to tell them apart. Daisy thinks it's the boy Pigeon leading the way. Two other little Birds just zoomed out into the eastern desert.
I've learned so much from Daisy. She notices things even more than I do sometimes. She jokes how the boy Pigeon is kind of like a World War II Fighter Pilot flying ahead of the bigger "Bomber" Planes in order to protect them in case "an unexpected problem comes up."
I like when these Encyclopedias have maps and pictures to go along with the text. And in looking at this one map of Italy I can tell why they call it "the Boot." It does kind of look like one of those tall Boots the Cavalry soldiers wore back in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A while back my boss Mr. Steve says he had a pleasant dream about walking around the city of Rome. Because he seems to think dreams are at times important Daisy has me scheduled to write about Mr. Steve and our dreams. Sometimes I still have some bad dreams.
Sometimes I have those dreams called "Nightmares." They're usually about when I lived homeless out in that field. In my last bad dream my bad Angel Lilith tried to convince me to kill another Dog and steal it's food. But then Stanley my Guardian Angel scared her away.
Mr. Steve is for some reason is interested in hearing or reading about what people say just before they die. So of course when he read that Pope John Paul II's final words were "Let me go to my father's house" he "took note" as they say. I hear some Wrens chirping.
My boss is so lucky! In 1985, while in Rome, his group visited this big Church called "Saint Peters" Basilica. It's next to "Vatican Square." They also saw this man named Michelangelo's 16th century sculptures and his "Sistine" Chapel too. I smell a Lizard nearby.
In 1985 Mr. Steve's Tour Group visited this area in Rome called the "Forum." They also stood below the balcony from which this man named Benito Mussolini used to make speeches to thousands of people way back in the 1920's and 1930's. Mussolini was a "Fascist."
BENITO MUSSOLINI SISTINE CHAPEL
Vatican Square and Saint Peters in Rome are huge my boss says. Looking up at the Sistine Chapel and the Saint Peter's Dome Mr. Steve and his Tour Group wondered how anyone could even have built such an immense building. Aha! I can see the little Lizard over there.
"Out of the corner of my eye" as they say; I noticed the Lizard. It's standing on one of the big rocks Mr. Steve has around the bottom of the big tree. It's small and kind of blends in with the rock. But I have what they call an "Eagle Eye." Daisy agrees with me on that.
In book three day after tomorrow on Saturday; Daisy has me scheduled to learn and then write about the Byzantine Empire and Turkey too. So one thing I'll look up is a Church which is now a "Mosque." It's called "Hagia Sophia." It's even bigger than Saint Peter's.
This Encyclopedia says the Sistine Chapel was painted on a "tall ceiling" by a man named Michelangelo Bounarroti. But now he's just "Michelangelo" for short. He, along with other men like Leonardo da Vinci; lived at the time of the 16th century "Renaissance."
DA VINCI (1452-1519) MICHELANGELO (1475-1564)
My Encyclopedia says Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were from Italy. But Mr. Steve told me one time they were what's called "Competitors" and didn't like each other. I'm going to be writing about them over the next three days. That one Lizard is gone now.
Because Mr. Steve does a lot of artwork he admires many of the Artists who lived during the time of the Renaissance. He's even copied their work just to see if he could do it. Over the years people have joked Mr. Steve could've been a "Forger." I can smell a Creosote bush.
This Encyclopedia says Renaissance means "Re-Birth" and refers to the "period of learning" that followed the "Middle" or "Dark" Ages. I guess "Medieval" is another way to call that "era of ignorance" in Europe that happened after the Roman Empire in Italy fell.
In June of 1985 our boss and his Tour Group saw what Italy was like. Mr. Steve says many historical things have happened there. Oh wow Blessed Mother! In this Encyclopedia there's a picture of a "sculpture" Michelangelo carved. I smell one of the new Spring Sage plants.
Blessed Mother! The caption below the picture says Michelangelo's "magnificent carving" shows You holding Your son's dead body. It's called the "Piata." Daisy says our boss Mr. Steve has a miniature version of that big statue. Boy! Now I really want one too Lord!
FATHER MAHER / MR. STEVE'S FATHER MR. STEVE / SISTER CELINA
Hey Lord! I guess in 1985 one of the Priests who was stationed at Saint Ferdinands Parish was named Father Maher. He was from Irelnd and he was so grateful to Mr. Steve's father for that trip. He even got to say Mass in Israel at the "Church of the Holy Sepulcher."
A group of small Birds just zipped bye. And right now they're zooming out into the eastern desert beyond the three Sheds. The high sky is so blue but there are a few wispy white clouds hanging above the horizon. I can hear some Sparrows are singing happily.
SISTER'S SUSAN-CELINA / GRANDMA CÓRDOVA / MR. STEVE'S MOTHER / FATHER MAHER
VATICAN SQUARE (JUNE, 1985)
One other place Mr. Steve and his Tour Group visited in Rome was another Basilica. It was dedicated to that guy Saint Paul and is built over the spot where supposedly he was killed by that one Emperor named Nero. In my Dictionary a Basilica is a Church. I smell a Squirrel.
My Encyclopedia says Saint Paul's Basilica was built by the Roman Emperor Constantine I; "The Great." Over the centuries it was "enlarged." As I mentioned earlier, Saint Paul's Jewish name was "Saul." A group of Finches are flying bye out there in the eastern desert.
Hey Lord! As You know, Dais has me scheduled to write about that guy Constantine The Great over the next three days. Mr. Steve thinks he and his mother Helena were important in the history of Christianity. Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to become Christian.
SAINT PAUL'S BASILICA (ROME)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Hey Lord! It says here Saint Paul was not one of Your original twelve "Apostles" but was still a "Disciple." And even though he was Jewish he was also a Roman citizen. Is that why he at first persecuted Your followers after You died? I now can see the little Squirrel.
This is interesting Lord. When Saint Paul was on his way from Jerusalem over to that other city called "Damascus" You appeared to him and may have knocked him off of his Horse. You made it so bright he went blind. But after that he "Converted" to Christianity.
It says in my Encyclopedia that up until he was blinded Saint Paul didn't like it when Jewish people gave up "Judaism" to follow Your ideas Lord. So for three days he was blind. And I see here that You called him "Saul." That Ground Squirrel just ran off into the desert.
Hey Lord! This one map in my Encyclopedia shows how after his conversion on that road to Damascus Saint Paul made three "Journeys" around the Roman Empire "Selling" You. Then he went to the city of Rome where it's thought that his head was cut off.
Daisy says our boss told her and that other Dog Millie about a book called "The Greatest Salesman in the World." I won't "give away" the surprise ending. I guess Mr. Steve over the years has lent that book to Salesmen he trains. I smell one of the old Sage bushes.
One time Mr. Steve smelled "Incense" in this one big Catholic Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. It brought back memories of his Tour Group's visit to Saint Paul's Basilica in Rome as it smelled similar. Sometimes he burns Sage and incense inside our house.
On that trip to Italy Mr. Steve, "on his own," walked around the city of Rome. He went to the "Piazza Campo de'Fiori" which is an old what they call "Open-Air" market in Italy. He even ate lunch there and had a nice talk with this older man who spoke English.
My boss asked that man at the market what "Prego" meant in Italian. He said it depended on the "context." It could mean "come in" or "you're welcome." But prego at times could also mean "please, after you." Someday I might learn how to speak Spanish or Italian.
"VESPA" MOTOR SCOOTERS
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
One thing Mr. Steve and his sister Celina noticed when they were in Italy was how many of the people rode these things called "Motor Scooters" instead of Cars. Dais has me scheduled to write about Motor Scooters later today. I'm pretty sure it's in chapter eleven.
In 1985, after my boss's Tour Group visited Italy, they went on to Israel. The other day Mr. Steve showed some of the pictures he took on that trip to a friend. Hey Lord, he said it brought back memories of going to that city called "Jerusalem;" where You died.
Someday I'd like to visit Israel. Then I could see where You grew up Lord. Mr. Steve told me the city of Jerusalem is one of the most "sacred" places for Jews, Christians and Muslims; or the three biggest religions who believe in only You God. I smell some Cholla cactus.
THE "WAILING" WALL
In the "Old City" of Jerusalem Jews go to pray at this place called the "Wailing Wall." Mr. Steve prayed there too in 1985. Above and to the east of that tall wall is an area known by the Jews as the "Temple Mount" and the Muslims as the "Noble Sanctuary."
Up on the Temple Mount "Plateau" Muslims pray at two places; the "Dome of the Rock" and this "Mosque" called "Al Aqsa." Jews are not allowed up there but Mr. Steve and his Tour Group were and they even walked around. A Mosque is sort of like a Church.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
The top of the Temple Mount was called "Mount Moriah" in the Old Testament of the Bible. My boss told Daisy and me that later it was where the Jewish King named Herod built a really big Temple which was eventually destroyed by the Romans. I smell a Mouse.
Mr. Steve says sometimes Jews and Muslims fight each other up on the Temple Mount. But luckily many Rabi's believe Jews shouldn't go up there anyway because they might accidentally walk on this area which used to be called the "Holy of Holy's. I now see the Mouse.
FIRST JEWISH TEMPLE
According to this Encyclopedia the Holy of Holy's was what they call the "Inner Sanctum" of the Jewish Temple that was there even before King Herod's Second Temple. That first Temple was built by King Solomon but was destroyed by Babylonians from Mesopotamia.
This is interesting. The Holy of Holy's was where they kept that famous gold chest called the "Ark of the Covenant." That was where they stored the tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments on them. The Mouse is gone now.Hey God! According to this Dictionary a "Covenant" is "an agreement or promise." So I guess inside the Ark of the Covenant must have been the written agreement between You and the ancient Jews. Dais thinks it was the Tablets with the Ten Commandments on them.
Hey God! As You know if I had a Time Machine I'd go back to meet that man Moses. And I'd really want to see how he got You to "part the Sea" when those Egyptian soldiers were trying to re-capture the Jews. Boy! That would be so amazing. Two of the Pigeons are flying bye.
In my Encyclopedia there's a really good picture of this Actor named Charlton Heston. He played the part of Moses in a famous movie. Charlton Heston is Mr. Steve's favorite actor so I plan on writing a lot about him later today. Dais and I made a good outline on him.
Hey God! As You know, Dais told me that sitting on the divider between the Kitchen and the Dining Room in our house Mr. Steve has a little plastic model of the Ark of the Covenant. It'd sure like to see it someday; as You of course already know. I can smell Juniper.
Daisy says no one knows what the real big original Ark of the Covenant looked like. The one Mr. Steve has in the house is what the Ark of the Covenant might have looked like. Someday I'll see it; when I get over my fear of going in the house that is. I like how Juniper smells.
ARK OF THE COVENANT
From what Mr. Steve told me, one of the biggest mysteries in history is what happened to the Ark of the Covenant. It disappeared when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and then took the Jews into what they call "Exile." I just smelled a Cholla cactus out in the desert.
I guess some people think the Ark of the Covenant was hidden by some Jewish Priests before the Babylonians "Sacked" and then burned down that first Temple. Mr. Steve says some think the Ark of the Covenant was taken to this place in Africa called "Ethiopia."
Hey Lord! According to my boss there are those who think these soldiers called the "Knights Templar" may have found the Ark of the Covenant or even the "Holy Grail;" the cup You used at the Last Supper. I wish I could go back in time to see the real Ark of the Covenant.
My Encyclopedia says the Knights Templar were a "Christian Military Order" or "Warrior Monks." I guess they were kind of like Priests; but also trained in the "Arts of War" too. Mr. Steve has a big Knights Templar flag draped over his Bedroom door Dais says.
We have a statue of a Chinese Warrior Monk out in our front yard. It's up on a little hill and overlooks everything. Dais and I sometimes lay up there next to it because not only can you scan the area we have to guard easier; but you can feel the cool breezes better on hot days.
Dais says Mr. Steve's Knight Templar flag is mainly white with red cross's on it too. Mr. Steve has collected a lot of flags and what they call "Banners" over the years. Daisy told me that over the door going into the Guest Bedroom he hung a big blue and yellow flag of "Sweden."
Someday I'll have enough courage to go all the way down the hallway. Then I can see things like the Sun-Moon plaque. Dais says there are two beds in the Guest Bedroom and one of them has a World War I "Imperial" German flag spread out on top of the blankets.
From what it says here in my Encyclopedia the Knights Templar began in the 12th century A.D. This was after Christian "Crusaders" had taken back the "Holy Land" from the Muslims. This was in the "First Crusade" and I guess it ended in the year 1099 A.D.
Hey Lord! My Encyclopedia says the city of Jerusalem was captured in the First Christian Crusade. Then the Crusaders "occupied" the region where You grew up. Thousands of Muslims were slaughtered inside Jerusalem. I hear two Crows fighting out in the desert.
I guess about twenty years after the First Crusade the Knights Templar were formed. That was during the third or "Venetian" Crusade" of 1122 through 1124. The Knights Templar's job was to protect Christians "Pilgrims" from Europe who went to visit Jerusalem.
It says here that the Knights Templar would become one of the richest and most powerful groups in Europe. They were even sort of like Bankers. In1985 Mr. Steve walked near the area on the Temple Mount where the Knights Templar stayed. I smell a new Sage plant.
Mr. Steve says that Jews have this bugle called a "Shofar." It's made out of a Ram's horn he told me. A Shofar is blown for religious ceremonies. Boy! I'd really like to have one of those Shofar's. We could've blown it yesterday to celebrate the first day of Spring.
In Jerusalem you can hear a Jewish Shofar blown, the "wail" of a Muslim "Muezzin" calling people to pray, or the sound of Christian Church bells. And all in one city! That's what my boss told me. A new Bunny Rabbit just ran bye right in front of Manny, Moe and Jack.
When Mr. Steve went to the Wailing Wall he walked over to the area reserved for females and noticed that certain girls were allowed to use a Shofar to call the other Jewish women to prayer. Hey God! If I had one of those Shofars I know for sure I'd use it every day!
Tomorrow in book two I'll write about this Mexican worker named Mr. Esteban who my boss hired to do yardwork. They discussed "Tijuana," a Mexican city just south of the United States-Mexico border. It's near the California city of San Diego. Mr. Steve has been to Tijuana.
My Encyclopedia says Tijuana is now a big "modern" city. That worker Mr. Esteban agreed with my boss that it's a place where people have to "improvise" because they're poor. I guess the people who live in Tijuana are called "Tijuanenses;" or "Tijuaneros" in slang.
When Mr. Steve was in Israel back in 1985 one of the things he and his family did was browse and shop at this place in Jerusalem called a "Suq." It's like what they call a "Bazaar." And in Tijuana I guess they have places like that too. Some people call them "Pulgeros."
My Spanish Dictionary says in Spanish "Pulga" means "Flea." So I guess a Pulgero would be a "Flea Market." Oh! This is interesting. It says right here in my Encyclopedia that the name Tijuana might be from the Kumeyaay Indian word "tiwan" and means "by the sea."
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia another story about how Tijuana was named is that it's a Spanish "conjunction" of "Tia Juana" or "Aunt Jane" in English. I guess the Spanish had a story about a lady named Tia Juana who provided a place to eat and rest.
Hey Lord! As You know, Mr. Steve's friend Frank told him about a really big "Sculpture" of You up on a hill south of Tijuana. It's of You stretching out Your arms and looking toward the Pacific Ocean. Seeing some of our bigger Joshua trees makes me think of that statue.
PHOTO BY FLICKR USER SUPERFERN
The Mormons though Joshua trees resembled the Prophet Joshua lifting his arms up in the air to worship You God. I just used my Spanish Dictionary to look up what "Cristo del Sangrado Corazón" means and I guess it's "The Sacred Heart of Christ" in English.
One time Mr. Steve and his friend Frank discussed how the American city of San Diego to the north of Tijuana got its name by what they call a "fluke" of history. In 1602 Spanish explorers under a man named Sebastián Vizcaino arrived at what would be called "San Diego Bay."
SEBASTIÁN VIZCAINO (1548-1624)
I guess, from what it says here in this Encyclopedia, in 1602 those Spanish under Vizcaino just happened to arrive in the area now called San Diego on the "Feast" day of "Saint Didacus de Alcalá." So that guy Vizcaino decided to dedicate the place to Saint Didacus.
Oh! I just noticed that there are two Ground Squirrels fighting near the back gate. They're rolling around in the dirt and screeching at each other. Boy! Those Squirrels are really "going at it" as they say. Now one Squirrel is chasing the other one out into the desert.
There's a picture here in this Encyclopedia of the type of wooden Ships that were used back in the 16th century. You can see that Ships in those days had big sails so the wind could push them along in the water. As a kid my boss once built a model of a Spanish "Galleon."
In Spanish Saint Didacus would be "San Diego." Mr. Steve and his friend Frank also talked about how modern San Diego has what they call a "Sister City" over in Spain called "Alcalá de Henares;" located about twenty miles to the northeast of a city called "Madirid."
This is interesting. That city over in Spain, Alcalá de Henares, is where Miguel de Cervantes lived. Tomorrow Daisy has me I'm scheduled to write about Miguel de Cervantes in my second book; when I tell about a local homeless man named Mark who lives around Phelan.
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES (1547-1616)
I'm tempted to write more about that man Miguel de Cervantes right now. He wrote a good book called "Don Quixote." But I better not. Daisy has that for tomorrow when I write about how that man Mr. Mark walks around town with his little Yorky Dog named "Karma."
Hey Lord! As You know, for a while the Bookkeeper at Mr. Steve's job was named "Eber." He's from a South American country called "Brazil." It's a poor country with these "Ghettos" or "Slums" called "Favela's" he says. A Lizard ran under Manny the far right Shed.
Eber jokes in Brazil life is often so difficult they have a saying; "Rir pra pão chorar." That means; "Laugh so you don't cry." Hey Lord! Eber told my boss about this other giant statue of You way up on a mountain above a city called "Rio de Janeiro;" where he grew up.
RIO DE JANEIRO
This Encyclopedia says Rio de Janeiro is "River of January" in Portuguese. Wow! There's a good picture here of that giant statue of You Lord. It's ninety eight feet tall! Wait until Dais sees this. She wishes she could fly like Underdog. But not me! That would be too scary.
It says here that the giant statue over in Brazil is made in a style called "Art Deco." I know my boss knows about Art Deco and also "Art Nouveau" style. Daisy told me in our house he has things in both styles. That statue in Rio de Janeiro is called "Christ the Redeemer."
Hey Lord! From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, in the Portuguese language Christ the Redeemer is "Cristo Redentor." And they call that big statue above Rio de Janeiro one of the "wonders of the world." Three Sparrows just landed on Jack the big Shed.
I guess the Portuguese founded Rio de Janeiro in 1565; seventy three years after Columbus' first voyage to the New World. Portugal is next to Spain on the European Iberian Pennisula but they speak two different languages; both based on the ancient Roman's Latin.
Tomorrow in book two I'll write about this other country called "Argentina." But Daisy has me scheduled to really write about Argentina on Saturday in book three. Argentina is Brazil's rival in Soccer and other things. My boss and Mr. Eber discussed that subject.
Oh well! I didn't intend to write so much about statues of You Lord. But looking all around me at the Joshua trees made me think of praying to You. Blessed Mother, thank You for having Your son. Oh! And thank Everyone else up there too! The Sparrows flew away.
Hey God! As You know of course, tomorrow I intended to write about that ancient Egyptian "Pharaoh" named "Akhenaten" in my second book. But I feel like doing it now. Dais says Mr. Steve knows a lot about Akhenaten. Akhenaten was the first known "Monotheist."
AKHENATEN WITH FAMILY
My Encyclopedia says that Pharaoh Akhenaten had a really pretty wife named "Nefretiti." There's a picture of them here sitting with their children under the Sun; which is shining down on them. Hey God! They thought You were the Sun. I can see the Sun right now.
Over the course of the next three days I'm going to write about what's called "Archeology." I know that Mr. Steve is interested in that subject. And one of the reasons is because his mother says she would've been an Archaeologist if she had not raised a family instead.
I guess a Pharaoh is sort of like a King or Emperor. God? It says here that Akhenaten and his wife believed You were the Sun. They even got rid of the old Egyptian religion and replaced it with their own. I guess before that the Egyptians worshiped many Gods.
Hey God! From what it says here that guy Akhenaten was one of the first known persons to say that You were the only God; or at least that's how I think I understand it. He even changed his name which used to be "Amenhotep IV" or "Amenophis IV" in Greek.
I guess Akhenaten means "effective for Aten" while Amenhotep is "God is satisfied." This is interesting. God, it says here that after seventeen years of rule the Egyptian Priests from the old religion got rid of Akhenaten and his new religion and took back their power.
Hey God! It says here in the "traditional" Egyptian religion that Akhenaten had replaced the "primary" or main God was named "Amun." Are You Amun? And are You the Greek God "Zeus;" who was called "Jupiter" by the Romans? What about the Viking God "Odin?"
ZEUS / JUPITER
Hey God! I guess Zeus, and later Jupiter, were the Gods of thunder and lightning. Thor was the Viking God of thunder and lightning. And as You know, I'm afraid of both. Oh! One of our local brownish-gray Mockingbirds just landed on a branch of the big tree.
My Encyclopedia says that, starting about 3500 B.C., the ancient Egyptians established three "Kingdoms" along the Nile River; the "Old," "Middle" and "New" Kingdoms. Akhenaten and his family were part of the New Kingdom; which lasted from 1500 B.C. through 1000 B.C.
Ancient Egypt existed during the "Bronze Age" when tools and weapons were made out of "Bronze." That metal replaced "Copper" and was followed by "Iron." Now they have this one really hard metal called "Steel." That chubby little Mockingbird is looking at me now.
That one lady named Miss Susan, who ran the local newspaper, told Mr. Steve one time that Mockingbirds "mimic" other Birds so they won't disturb its nest. The other Birds think there's already another Bird of its type in the area so go find another place to live.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia that guy Akhenaten and his wife Nefretiti had their own city called "Amarna" built for them. And in the late 19th century when it was examined it was known as "Tel-el-Amarna." That Mockingbird just flew away.
This is interesting. It says here that after that guy Akhenaten died the Priests from the older religion came in and tore down his city. They even broke his statues and scratched off his name from everything. Samson and Delilah the Crows are flying bye high up in the sky.
PAINTING BY BARRY KEMP
Wow! Akhenaten did have an impressive city. The painting of Amarna in this Encyclopedia shows boats approaching it from the northwest. Amarna was on the east bank of the Nile River so Akhenaten and his wife could be closer to the Sun when it rose in the morning.
Looking toward the east at the Sun hanging over the horizon behind our three Sheds and the back half acre is so amazing! The warm rays of the Sun make me feel good as they absorb into me sitting here on this old couch. Two of the Pigeons just zoomed past the Sheds.
Looking at this one map of ancient Egypt in my Encyclopedia it's interesting to see that the northern part is called ""Lower" Egypt while the southern area is "Upper" Egypt. The city of "Thebes" was the traditional Capitol of ancient Egypt. I smell an old Joshua tree.
Oh! Mr. Steve probably knows this. It says here that in the 19th century it was the famous British "Archaeologist" Sir Flinders Petrie, and his wife Hilda, who first went to down to Egypt and "excavated" Akhenaten's city Amarna. Mr. Steve's mom has a book about that.
"SIR" FLINDERS PETRIE (1853-1942) WITH WIFE HILDA (1872-1957)
My Dictionary says Archaeology is the "study of ancient peoples through excavation." And excavation means to dig down into the dirt to find things. Mr. Steve says we have people up here in the High Desert who also do things like that too. I see a lot of Birds flying about.
I know for sure that my boss knows all about that guy Sir Flinders Petrie because I remember when he told Daisy and I about how Sir Flinders Petrie worked with his wife as Archaeologists in Israel. A nice breeze just came in from the east and I can smell many types of plants.
It smells to me like there will be more of those Sage plants this year. Since early this morning I've been smelling them. Dais says that one time Mr. Steve told her and that Dog Millie about how many Native American Indians still burn Sage for its pleasant scent.
On one of the glass-topped "End Tables" in the Living Room our boss has a round "Abalone" shell sitting on it. Nearby is a "baggie" with Sage which is burned in that shell. The Sage was sent from New Mexico by a friend named Dave. I hear the Ducks quacking next door.
Dais says Mr. Steve told her and that other Dog Millie Dave used to work with him in selling apparel and Promotional Products. Mr. Dave and his girlfriend moved to a city in New Mexico called "Taos." Unlike himself, Mr. Dave is a good drummer. I'll talk about him later.
In 1985 Mr. Steve and his Tour Guide Haim discussed this place called "Tell-el-Hesi." It's to the southwest of the city of Jerusalem. And according to this Encyclopedia that guy Flinders Petrie and his wife worked there. I guess the word "Tell" or "Tel" means "Mound."
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia Flinders Petrie was always interested in the study of ancient history. Even as a young boy growing up over there in England he was "fascinated" by that subject. As a teenager he "surveyed" this one place called "Stonehenge."
Dais says Mr. Steve's mother has a book about the "Celtic" peoples who lived in Europe for thousands of years. I guess there were some Celts in Spain but other groups who lived up there in England might've built that building Stonehenge. I smell a new Spring Sage plant.
I'm still afraid to go inside the house most of the time. Daisy thinks this is ridiculous. But I do go into the living room on Saturday mornings to watch our cartoons. Siting on another End Table with a glass top are some "miniature" Pots and Vases. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Those little Pots and Vases represent what Mr. Steve calls the "Evolution" of those containers in ancient Greece. Some Scientists study pottery to "date" ancient cultures he says. Those little pots and vases were given to him as a gift a few years ago. I hear Birds singing.
It says here in this Encyclopedia that guy Flinders Petrie "developed" a "Method" for dating things in the Middle East based on the study of "Pottery." He could look at a small piece from an ancient Pot and tell you what era in Middle East history it was likely from.
According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, Flinders Petrie's "System" for dating a site like Akhenaten's Tel-el-Amarna is called "Sequence Dating." It involved studying ceramic pottery. A similar system was used by Archaeologists to date things in ancient Greece.
I guess that guy Akhenaten was what they call a "Dictator." In the 20th century there were three really famous dictators who I'll be writing about over the next three days; Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao tse-Tung. All three were what they call "Megalomaniacs."
I guess some people think Adolph Hitler might've believed he was the reincarnated Pharaoh Akhenaten. This one really famous statue of Akhenaten's wife Nefertiti was found and kept in a German Museum. A painting of it in my Encyclopedia shows how pretty she was.
Mr. Steve says in the 1930's the Germans were going to return Nefertiti's "Bust" to Egypt. But Hitler what they call "intervened" and said "no way." I guess that head and shoulder statue is considered one of the most famous things ever found from ancient Egypt.
I'm now using one of my Encyclopedias to look up this other man from England. His name was Howard Carter and he also worked as an Archaeologist over there in Egypt. It says here he was "trained" by Sir Flinders Petrie. A Bunny Rabbit just hopped bye the three Sheds.
It says here that in 1922, four years after World War I ended, Howard Carter made the most famous discovery ever from ancient Egypt. He found and dug up the "Tomb" of Pharaoh "Tut Ankh Amun;" or "King Tut" for short. He was Akhenaten and Nefertiti's son.
HOWARD CARTER (1874-1939)
PHOTO BY HARRY BURTON
I can tell that the picture of that man Howard Carter in this Encyclopedia has been painted in the way Mr. Steve used to do years ago when he had a Dark Room at his house down there in Sylmar. I kind of like the way photographs look when they've been painted.
Daisy told me on the front of the refrigerator in the Kitchen is a big "glossy" color picture of King Tut. It's a photograph of King Tut's solid gold coffin lid. Someday I really want to see that picture. Dais says it's so great. Three Finches landed on Jack the biggest Shed.
TUTANKHAMUN (1341 B.C-?)
As I've mentioned before, Mr. Steve and his mother are interested in Archaeology. So, over the next three days Dais has me scheduled to write about things having to do with that subject. I can't wait! I'm going to learn so many new things and that will impress Mr. Steve.
It's only the first day of Spring and yet I can already see a few of those pesky Flies around here. I sure hope we don't have too many Flies and other Bugs this year. Thank You Stanley for being a good Guardian Angel when you protect me from Insects and things like that.
I wonder what Daisy is doing? Some people have told our boss that, based on her eyes and teeth, Daisy might be as old as fourteen. Daisy doesn't even know how old she is. The truth be told, we both only learned about the concept of "time" when we came here.
But I know one thing; because she saves time and energy, Daisy really likes our little dirt “roads." And, because she's near-sighted like our boss, it's at night that she needs our roads the most. I'm so lucky! I was born with really good eyesight. I smell a Ground Squirrel.
When young Daisy had the ability to get what's called a “Second Wind.” I still can. But now Daisy has only one “Tank of Gas.” I'll make up for her if we ever get into a long fight. That's no problem! In fact, we have it all planned out. After round one we'll fight in shifts!
Oh! I just noticed that Bonnie the mommy Bird is back and is starting to feed her babies up in the nest above me. It's amazing how she what they call "regurgitates" or "throws up" the food in her stomach so her kids can then eat it right out of her mouth! I see the Squirrel.
Mr. Steve told me once that in some cultures, like the Eskimos way up north in Alaska, when a person gets old and loses their teeth their kids chew their food for them too. This softens it up so they don't need teeth to eat it. Yuk! I sure am glad I have good teeth! Thank you God!
Food thrown up from Bonnie's stomach doesn't seem to be what they call "appetizing." But seeing her feeding her babies makes me wonder about our first snack of the day. I sure hope it's Hot Dogs but I also like that flat meat called baloney. Dog Biscuits aren't bad either!
Usually by this time we've already had a snack. I love snacks! And Dais does too. But I'll just keep working. I've already learned a lot today. Looking to the east beyond the three Sheds I see Birds darting all over the place in the bright sunlight. The Squirrel just ran away.
Daisy told me something the other day which I've been thinking about lately. She thinks the reason we have an irresistible urge to lick Mr. Steve's mouth is because deep down we're hoping he'll spit up some food just like Bonnie the Bird does. I wonder if that's true?
Beggars can't be choosers" when it comes to food Daisy says. And remembering how hungry I used to be out in that field makes me like any type of food. If my boss puts it in my food bowl I just eat it and don't ask any questions. I still have bad dreams about being homeless.
Although Mr. Steve clears away the thorny weeds, our dirt paths also keep us from getting stickers in our paws. Stickers really hurt! I don't like stickers at all! And those things called "thorns" can stab you too if you get too close to them. I hear Birds chirping.
The first time I heard Mr. Steve start his amazing thing called a "Weed Whacker" I ran away as fast as my four legs would carry me. I'd never heard such a scary sound! To this day I don't trust people who have something in their hands; except my boss of course.
Daisy thinks it's "ironic" or funny that I'm learning to use a pen seeing as I'm so cautious of anyone holding something. But now, I don't even mind the Weed Whacker. I prefer it to getting stickers in my paws. But; I still keep at a safe distance! I smell a Cholla cactus.
The sign up on the main Highway to our south says that our town of Piñon Hills has almost seven thousand people living here. This same green sign also says that we sit at what's called an "Elevation" of about four thousand feet above "Sea Level" as they call it.
It sometimes snows here! But, in summertime it's hot. Mr. Steve says at one time there were probably a lot more Pine trees here in Piñon Hills. But now they're only left closer to the local mountains to our south; the "San Gabriel" Mountains. I smell one of the Joshua trees.
We have ancient "Rock Formations" near us. To the east are "Mormon Rocks" and in this other place called "Lake Los Angeles" there are also old hills and mountains made totally out of rock; no dirt. I've never seen them but my boss has. He's taken pictures of them.
Our family is what they call "Roman Catholic." But another group of Christians are called "Mormons." Some of the Mormons who live near us have been here for many years. Their logo is a boy blowing into a Bugle. I'll bet Mr. Steve could draw that emblem.
According to what my boss told me the Mormons first came all the way out here to California after they had established themselves in Utah in the late 1840's. And they were some of the first of what they call "Anglo" people to settle in this area of the High Desert.
Like a miracle we get our water right out of pipes that come to our house but Mr. Steve says some people who live around here dig down into the ground and make what they call "Wells." I can see a gray bucket filled with water sitting next to the back sliding glass door.
My boss thinks there were, and probably still are, some water "Springs"near our mountains. After all he says, Piñon Hills used to be called "Smithson Springs." Right now we're in what's called a "drought." that means it hasn't rained very much lately. I hear a Bird chirping.
Sometimes it's hard to tell what kind of Bird is singing because we have those Mockingbirds around here and they always imitate other Birds. It's so amazing how they do that. Last night a Mockingbird kept singing well into the night. I've noticed that sometimes they do that.
Mr. Steve says even though we live in an area that's called a desert the definition of a desert is "dry barren region that can support little or no vegetation." Vegetation means plants so that's definitely not us! We have many types of plants around here. We have "scrub brush."
We live near the northern "Foothills" of the San Bernardino mountains. I know one thing; Dais and I like looking at our mountains! Depending on the light and the shadows, sometimes they look greenish blue and at other times bluish green. A Finch just flew past.
A while back Mr. Steve's brother Rock gave him what they call a "Digital" camera. And the other day a friend gave him a "Blue Filter" that goes on the "Lens." Mr. Steve used that camera with the blue filter on it to to take some pictures of our mountains to the south.
During the 1980's and 1990's one of Mr. Steve's jobs was working as a photographer. This was when they used "Film." But he really doesn't take many pictures for money any more. He does at times take pictures of Daisy and me and all of the things around us.
Mr. Steve's brother Rock now lives over in Texas, where ZZ TOP are from. He lives with his two sons Rocky Jr. and Jacob. With the digital camera he gave to Mr. Steve my boss is starting to "get back into" photography. Mr. Steve's brother Rock is a good photographer.
That lady Miss Susan, who ran the local Newspaper for so many years, told Mr. Steve about these Birds called "Wrens." One just landed on top of Moe the middle Shed. They build their nests inside Cholla cactus so Snakes can't eat their eggs. That's so amazing!
I wonder when we'll get our first snack of the day? It's only about eleven judging by where the Sun is now. I've got it all planned out to quickly hide all my materials if Mr. Steve calls us to come and get a snack. I'll bet Mr. Steve is in his Office right now working.
Dais told me our boss uses that Computer in his Office for a lot of good things. But, because most things in life are dual in nature; there are are some bad things about Computers too. Mr. Steve says every "Crook" in the world is also on that thing they call the "Internet."
Hey God! As You know, Mr. Steve has spent many hours in Libraries over the years. But now he has a Library right in his Office because of Internet. Dais thinks You caused him to move all these now unnecessary Encyclopedias out here to the Patio so I could use them.
Even though I'm not scheduled to write about computers until day after tomorrow in book three; I kind of feel like doing it right now. Mr. Steve mentioned this thing called "Artificial Intelligence." Oh! I can smell one of the new Lizards somewhere around here.
Mr. Steve told me Artificial Intelligence is what Computers use in order to do the things they do. Right now they're "Programmed" to do whatever people want them to do but they keep on getting smarter and smarter with each new generation. I hear A Finch singing.
Recently my boss read an interview in the Newspaper of that British guy Stephen Hawking; who has Lou Gehrig's disease so has to talk through a computer. He thinks that if Computers get too intelligent someday they'll be smarter than people. I can see the Lizard.
What will happen if computers ever become more intelligent than the people who created them? Will they someday be able to "take over" the world? Even though it sounds ridiculous to some people; that guy Stephen Hawking doesn't seem to think it's so impossible.
Sometimes I wish I had the courage to go all the way inside our house the way Daisy does. I could then watch more tv and hear more music. But from living homeless out in that field I find it hard to go into an area where I feel "Boxed In" as they say. The Lizard is gone.
Dais says one time her and that other Dog Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom and watched this really good movie called "2001 A Space Odyssey." It was about Outer Space and was made in 1968; when our boss was thirteen. A computer named "Hal" is one of the stars.
From what Daisy says I know why Mr. Steve would like that movie 2001 A Space Odyssey. It has a lot of "futuristic" Spacecraft in it and we know how much he's interested in that subject. That's the main reason why I'm going to deal with Aviation a lot in my three books.
Another reason why Mr. Steve would like 2001 A Space Odyssey is because one of the things it deals with, even though it was only 1968, is the subject of Artificial Intelligence. Daisy told me that computer Hal ended up being even smarter than even the people. I smell Sage.
The main reason why Daisy suggested I call my three book trilogy as "Cognito, ergo sum" is that phrase is Latin for; "I think, therefore I am." According to our boss it was said by this one French philosopher named Rene Descartes way back then in the 17th century.
RENE DESCARTES (1596-1650)
According to my outlines Dais had me scheduled to write about Rene Descartes more in book three. But it just came into my mind now because of me thinking about Hal the computer. The title of my three books refers to what they call "Consciousness." I'm very conscious!
I'll still learn more about that guy Rene Descartes on Saturday when I write my third book. Oh! I looked up just in time to see that Lucy and Ricky and Ethel and Fred the Pigeons are now flying bye; moving in the direction of the eastern desert beyond the three Sheds.
According to Daisy that Computer Hal is so smart it even has emotions like fear. So when the Astronaut tries to turn Hal off Hal won't let him. And in order to protect himself Hal even kills another Astronaut. But eventually Hal gets turned off. I smell a Joshua tree.
From what Dais tells me another main reason why our boss really likes that one movie 2001 A Space Odyssey is the "Classical" music they play in it. Dais and I both now like Classical music because our boss does. A gray Jackrabbit just ran by in front of the three Sheds.
Daisy says in 2001 A Space Odyssey there's a "Waltz" called "The Blue Danube" by a man named Johann Strauss. My Encyclopedia says he was Austrian. The people from Austria speak German so "An der schönen blauen Donau" means "By the beautiful blue Danube."
JOHANN STRAUSS (1825-1899) WITH WIFE
I guess the Danube is a river over there in Europe. It "flows into the Black Sea." That' what it says here in this Dictionary. Someday I'd sure like to see a real river. Mr. Steve has seen a lot of rivers. Daisy told me we have this thing called the "California Aqueduct" nearby.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia there was another "Composer" named "Strauss" who had music in that movie 2001 A Space Odyssey. But his first name was Richard and he wasn't related to that guy Johann Strauss. Richard Strauss was a German.
RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949) WITH FAMILY
I notice that in my Encyclopedia the photograph of Richard Strauss and his family has been painted the way Mr. Steve used to color some of the pictures he took. In 2001 A Space Odyssey there's a song by Richard Strauss called "Thus Spoke Zarathustra."
From what it says here in my Encyclopedia Thus Spoke Zarathustra would be "Also sprach Zarathustra" in German. Dais told me after she and Millie watched 2001 A Space Odyssey Mr. Steve then played Thus Spoke Zarathustra really loud on his Stereo.
Dais says she thinks one reason why our boss likes Thus Spoke Zarathustra is because it has a guy playing these things called "Kettle" drums. Mr. Steve told her and Millie that Kettle drums are really big so are played with these things called "Mallets." I smell a Squirrel.
From what Daisy told me our boss has a few different types of Mallets. Sometimes when he's playing along to a song he uses heavier Mallets so when he switches to regular sticks they seem lighter. That's what Baseball players do with "weighted" bats before they go hit.
Someday I really want to see that movie 2001 A Space Odyssey. When Daisy and Millie were in Mr. Steve's bedroom listening to that song Thus Spoke Zarathustra the part they heard was called "Sunrise." It's so powerful she says. I'm looking at the sunshine right now.
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE (1844-1900)
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says Richard Strauss got the name for his composition from a Friedrich Nietzsche book with the same "Title." Friedrich Nietzsche was a 19th century German philosopher. Mr. Steve has read and studied some of his ideas I guess.
Hey God! Daisy has me scheduled to write about this one religion called "Zoroastrianism" tomorrow in book two. I can't wait! It's so fun looking things up and learning new things. This is the funnest thing I've done. Thank Everyone up there for giving me this!
Hey God! I guess Friedrich Nietzsche was an "Atheist" so didn't believe in You. In fact, it says here he even used the phrase "God is Dead" a few times in his writing. Fannie and Freddie the Crows are flying bye way up there high in the air; in almost perfect unison.
This Encyclopedia says that guy Friedrich Nietzsche was what they call a "Critic" of "Pure Reason." And I guess he believed there's no such thing as "Objective Truth." Oh! That brown Bunny Rabbit from last year is back! I can see it near Manny the far right Shed.
I guess Friedrich Nietzsche believed in an idea called "Eternal Recurrence." That means he thought the Universe we live in has been recurring over and over again and will go on recurring for eternity. It sort of sounds sort of like Reincarnation; except for the Universe.
Reading about that guy Friedrich Nietzsche makes me remember the time Mr. Steve first told me Nietzsche's old saying; "That which does not destroy me only makes me stronger." That has now become my what they call "Motto" in life. I say it kind of like a prayer now.
Tomorrow in my second book I'm scheduled to write about two British musicians who had to overcome some huge "Setbacks;" Tony Iommi of BLACK SABBATH and the drummer for this other band called DEF LEPPARD. Mr. Steve admires both of them.
Hey God! As You know, on my outlines Dais had me scheduled to write about Nietzsche near the end of this first book; and also on Saturday when I write about the Nazi's. They used some of Nietzsche's ideas for their own purposes. But he sort of fits in here too I think.
Daisy says one of the best parts of that movie 2001 A Space Odyssey is the beginning. A big black square rock shows up down here on Earth but it's the time of these primitive people who are kind of like Apes she told me. I can smell one of the new Spring Sage plants.
I guess, from what Dais says, that black square rock shows up often in the movie; sometimes even in Outer Space. But at first the Ape men are so amazed by it being there. They don't know what to think. Boy! I'd sure like to see a big black rock like that. The Wren flew away.
According to Daisy in 2001 A Space Odyssey those Ape men are chased away from a Water Hole by this other group of Ape men. But somehow that black rock teaches the first group that you can use a bone as a weapon. I can hear Crows cawing faintly to the east.
In 2001 A Space Odyssey I guess the first group of Ape men use bones as clubs to kill all the other Ape men and just take back the Water Hole. Mr. Steve read one time how some Scientists think the human hand has partially evolved for fighting by being able to make a fist.
Oh darn! I just noticed that I forgot to write a little bit more about Artificial Intelligence. I guess I'll just stick it in right here. Mr. Steve thinks someday computers and those things called "Robots" will drive Cars and even fly the Planes; and do a lot more things too.
Mr. Steve has a friend named "Cliff." He was in the Vietnam War and fought in the 1968 "Tet Offensive." Mr. Cliff thinks someday "Robots" may take the place of soldiers. Right now remote controlled Planes called "Drones" are being used all over the world he says.
A while back Mr. Cliff told my boss about a weapon called "Phalanx" that has been around since the mid-1980's It's a giant Machine Gun on Ships and has an "Automatic" setting where it will shoot down multiple "Missiles" at once; almost like it has it's own brain.
"Can computers ever be fully human?" Will they someday go way beyond the intelligence of any person. Will they ever be like Hal in 2001 A Space Odyssey? I know my boss has thought about that question. Will a computer ever say to itself "I think, therefore I am?"
I just used this one Encyclopedia to look up that guy Rene Descartes. I guess he was mainly a "Mathematician" but thought about other things too. In book three I'll go into detail about him. I wonder what he would think about the subject of Artificial Intelligence?
In that movie 2001 A Space Odyssey Hal the Computer feared he'd be permanently turned off so killed someone. That Computer Hal "felt emotion." Mr. Steve has a friend, Mr. Grant, who knows a lot about Computers. He wonders if Computers can be funny?
ROBIN WILLIAMS AND FAMILY
Back in the mid-1990's Harriet, Mr. Steve's girlfriend, broke up with him. So, for the next year Mr. Steve "went out" with this other girl named "Debra." Mr. Steve jokes that Debra was what they call a "Spitfire;" just like the famous British Plane from World War II.
I guess Debra was about five feet four inches tall and weighed about one hundred and twenty pounds. Her pretty little five year old daughter was named "Talia." Mr. Steve told Daisy and that other Dog Millie that Debra definitely had "a mind of her own" as they say.
Mr. Steve and Debra saw a film of comedian Robin Williams' "Stand Up Act." Mr. Steve and Debra had been to places like "The Comedy Store." Debra sometimes has a "Quick Wit" like Robin William's. I'm going to write more about Debra in books two and three.
Over the years my boss has known people who's sense of humor was different. His one good friend Mark Ritter, who died, was one of those. Over the next three days I'll write about some of the people Mr. Steve still thinks about. I think I have a good sense of humor.
Mr. Steve thinks he has a sense of humor but there have been times when some people joked that he doesn't. Daisy thinks one reason is because our boss doesn't often laugh "out loud" as they say. He'll just chuckle slightly sometimes. Dais has a good sense of humor.
Can a computer ever be "spontaneous" doing jokes like that guy Robin Williams does? Mr. Steve doesn't think so but admits he could be wrong. And as advanced as computer technology is getting it wouldn't be that much of a surprise if it did he says. I hear a Wren singing.
Back in the 1980's, working at the Forum, Mr. Steve's friend Mark sold some advertising to a restaurant in West Los Angeles called the "Chicago Pizza Works." They had very good food he says. There was this thing called "Sawdust" spread on the floors. I smell a Mouse.
From what my boss says, working for "California Sports Incorporated," if you made a sale you could either take your pay or trade it in for "Script" or "Funny Money." This Script acted just like money and could be used for restaurants like Chicago Pizza Works.
This Funny Money looked like currency except that Doctor Jerry Buss's face was on the front instead of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Doctor Buss was Mr. Steve's boss at that time. A Mouse is standing on one of the rocks around the bottom of the big tree.
In the mid-1980's Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Emily, who lived in "West Los Angeles," ate at Chicago Pizza Works. The pizzas were "Deep Dish." They had good stuffed Mushrooms too Mr. Steve told me. Boy! That sounds so great. I'd like to try Deep Dish pizza.
Boy! Thinking about food makes me sort of hungry. We haven't had any snacks today and it's already mid-day. I'll bet Dais is getting hungry too. But, we did have an extra big breakfast this morning. That Mouse just went under one of the rocks around the tree.
I'll still write about that girl Debra tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. But I'll talk about her now too. What made me think about Chicago Pizza Works is that my boss told me next door was this one Comedy Club called "Igby's." Debra also lived in West Los Angeles.
Debra was a very "spunky" person my boss says. One time "on a dare" she went up on stage at Igby's on Amateur Night to do a five minute "Stand up" routine. She memorized everything and even practiced it a few times in front of Mr. Steve. It was pretty good he says.
I guess my boss used one of his "Stop Watch's" to time Debra and she delivered her routine well and on time. But in the actual performance in front of an audience she went a little too fast and was finished with about a minute to go. A Bunny Rabbit just hopped bye.
Because Debra had gone a little bit too fast and didn't have any other "material" she kind of got nervous. But overall my boss says, she did a lot better than he could've ever done. In fact, he would never have done it. Dais thinks that girl Debra sounds like she was brave.
Debra found out just how hard it is to be funny in front of other people. It's like catching a "routine" fly ball as an Outfielder in Baseball. It looks easy until you have to do it and do it with an audience; especially a big audience. I just picked up the scent of Sage.
One time when Mr. Steve was still living down in Sylmar on Hagar Street this one kid named Michael was all mad because his favorite team the Raiders had lost a game by one point. It was a game against the San Diego Chargers who are one of their biggest rivals.
Contributing to the Raiders loss was the fact that their "Field Goal" kicker missed a Field Goal from thirty five yards away as the clock ran out at the very end of the game. It was close but "went wide" as they say. I can hear some of our neighbors Ducks quacking.
Mr. Steve and Michael, plus some other kids, drove in my boss's Car up to Sylmar High and then "jumped the fence" of the Football Field. They went there to kick Field Goals so my boss could teach Michael a lesson. Kicking Field Goals isn't as easy as it looks.
I guess that boy Michael, who was about twelve, found out that kicking Field Goals was kind of hard. He couldn't even make one from fifteen yards away and was so embarrassed. Mr. Steve told me one time that for a long time the record Field Goal was from sixty three yards.
According to this Encyclopedia, in 1970 when my boss was fifteen, this one guy named Tom Dempsey made a Field Goal from sixty three yards away. I guess he played for the New Orleans Saints. Oh wow! It says here that Tom Dempsey had only half a foot!
Boy! From this picture of Tom Dempsey in my Encyclopedia I can see why Mr. Steve likes the uniforms of the New Orleans Saints. I notice that their logo is the French "Fleur de lis;" which he's drawn in a few different forms. "Louisiana" used to be controlled by France.
Mr. Steve says there are two "Styles" of kicking Field Goals. The more traditional way for a long time was "Straight On" where you approach the ball from right behind it. That's the way Tom Dempsey did it. I like this picture of Tom Dempsey in my Encyclopedia.
The second way to kick Field Goals, according to what Mr. Steve told Daisy and that other Dog Millie, is to use a "sweeping" Soccer style technique. Instead of hitting the Football with your toe the object is to kick the ball with the top of the foot. I hear a Wren singing.
Tom Dempsey used his half foot like a club. Dais says Mr. Steve, who played Soccer in High School, can kick Field Goals Straight On or Soccer style. And he can do it with either foot but has more power in his right leg. I just picked up the scent of one of the Creosote plants.
Daisy told me when he was young he could make Field Goals right-footed from about twenty five yards away. Soccer Style" his "record" longest was thirty one yards. With a perfect right handed swing Mr. Steve has at times "Driven" a Golf ball about two hundred yards.
As I understand it, using Soccer Style, you approach the ball from the side to kick it with the top of your foot. And as I said, you do it with more of a "sweeping" motion. There's a picture of an N.F.L. kicker here in this one Encyclopedia. He's on the San Diego "Chargers."
A picture of the Chargers' Kicker shows the proper Soccer kick. Mr. Steve's Nephew Sammy Junior lives in a town called "Littlerock." It's about twenty five to the west of us. His dad is Mr. Steve's brother. I'll write about their family more tomorrow in book two.
This picture of the Chargers' Kicker using the proper "Technique" makes the think about how Sammy Junior's favorite Football team is the Chargers. Mr. Steve really likes their sky blue uniforms. He's drawn a number of different Chargers' logos Daisy told me.
I kind of got a little bit "Off Topic" as they say. And looking at my outline I can see that I still have a little bit more to write about computers. I know for sure that my boss and his friend Mr. Grant think computers and Robots will be so important in the future.
Mr. Steve and Mr. Grant have wondered what the second half of the 21st century might look like? Will computers be doing almost everything; from "playing" the Stock Market to doing all of the Air Traffic Control at Airports? A lot of people will have to lose their jobs.
Up to our north is the State of "Washington." It's named after the first President. My boss has a customer in the city of Spokane. He and the Parts Manager discussed how Seattle made the "Minimum Wage" fifteen dollars an hour for the workers. I smell a Squirrel.
To Mr. Steve paying workers a minimum of fifteen dollars for each hour they work sounds completely reasonable. Everything costs more now. But the problem is that some of the people who hire you can't afford it. So sometimes they "Lay Off" employees.
Mr. Steve sometime buys food at a place called "Jack In The Box." He noticed that at the one down in Sylmar there's now a machine next to the counter. It turns out it's a computer where you can order your food without going up to the counter. Aha! I see the Squirrel.
When my boss told his customer in Spokane about the computer at Jack In The Box that one Parts Manager told him in Seattle things like that were happening more and more. So Mr. Steve says, it's good that Computers make things easier but people will lose jobs.
The other day Daisy joked that what if some day there are Robot Dogs? Maybe we'll also be replaced by robot guard Dogs. At first it was funny until I thought about it. After all, a Robot doesn't need food so "in the long run" would save our boss money.
Boy, I kind of wrote a lot that wasn't on my outline. But like Mr. Steve says, once you start to learn about a subject the more that leads to other subjects. Someday I'd like to have one of those computers. But first I'll have to learn how to read and write a lot better.
Well, it's back to my outline for me. Mr. Steve has studied about what they call "Indigenous Americans." Daisy says a whole section of one of the bookshelves in his office has nothing but books on that subject. A little Wren just landed on Moe the middle Shed.
That lady Miss Susan, who ran the local Newspaper, told my boss once that Anthropologists think the original "inhabitants" of our area of the High Desert first arrived here in about 1,500 B.C. They were what's called "Takic" speaking people she said. I smell a Sage.
According to what it says here in this Dictionary the word "indigenous" means; "to be born, existing or growing naturally in a region." And it's also what's called "defined" as simply being "native to an area." That Wren just flew away toward the eastern desert.
That one man who Mr. Steve met at our small local Library told him that the "Indians" in our area were originally mainly what they call "Uto-Aztecan. And one of those Bands who came here all those years ago was the Serranos. A Bunny Rabbit is looking at me.
Over in Phelan the High School is called Serrano. Dais told me that their sports teams are called the "Diamondbacks" and their "Primary" color is "royal" blue with "Secondary" colors of yellow and white. That is one of my boss's favorite what they call "Color Schemes."
A Diamondback is a Rattlesnake. We do have Rattlesnakes around here. I haven't smelled, heard or seen one yet this new year. But this is just the first day of Spring and we'll probably be seeing them soon. That Rabbit is sniffing the air from under Manny the far right Shed.
I know to stay away from Rattlesnakes! They'll poison you if they bite you. And that Bunny Rabbit under Manny better be alert because we have other things around here who would want eat it. Very soon we'll start smelling a few Mountain Lions, Coyotes and Bobcats too.
That one Bunny Rabbit just hopped off; out into the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. Seeing it now using a small Sage bush for what they call "cover" reminds me of that exact same scene I remember seeing from last year on this day. I hear Birds chirping nearby.
Looking to the east I suddenly have memories of this day last year. The things I'm smelling, hearing and seeing right now are the same things I smelled, heard and saw a year ago. Oh my God! I'm pretty sure I just picked up the scent of a Rattlesnake somewhere around here.
We have a few different types of Snakes who live around here. Most look scary but are what they call "harmless." I've never seen one of those "Mojave Green" Rattlesnakes. Mr. Steve thinks he might've seen one ot them on one of his walks out in the eastern desert.
On some mornings or evenings my boss likes to go for a walk in the eastern desert behind our house. He carries that one long what they call "walking stick" but jokes it's really just a "pole" for "whacking things if necessary." Dais thinks Mr. Steve can probably hit hard!
Mr. Steve told Daisy about another group of Uto-Aztecan Indians called "Shoshone." They spoke in the "Numic"dialect. That one man at the Phelan Library was Shoshone. He said some of the Shoshone groups shared this part of the desert with the Serrano Indians.
My Encyclopedia says that when the Spanish first came to live in Upper California in the 18th century there were many different native peoples here. They spoke many languages and some of them lived in the deserts and others near the coast where they were fisherman.
We live in Piñon Hills but the town where my boss goes to for groceries and other things is called "Phelan." Phelan is about seven miles away and is where people around here go to buy the things they need. Mr. Steve buys all of our food over there in Phelan.
One time this little girl was trying to prove to these other girls that we aren't as "backward" as those who live in big cities. She said to them; "And we even have a McDonalds!" So my boss jokes that for her it just proved "once and for all" that we're "kind of modern."
That man who Mr. Steve met at the Phelan Library is over eighty years old like his parents. Because his "ancestors" were Shoshone Indians my boss told him about how, back in the 1980's, he took pictures of these "Heavy Metal" bands "Caldron" and "Achilles Heel."
Dave, Caldron's singer, was part Shoshone. That man at the Phelan Library asked Mr. Steve what Heavy Metal meant. Later, Caldron changed their name over to "Achilles Heel;" after the character from that famous book called the "Iliad." I smell a Snake again.
CALDRON / DAVE THE SINGER
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In the 1980's Mr. Steve's girlfriend "Harriet" worked as a writer for a Los Angeles magazine called "Music Connection." She got him a job working with her as her photographer. And they "covered" part of what's called the southern California "Club" scene.
Aha! I see the Snake over there next to that dead Joshua tree. It's not a Rattlesnake but one of those Gopher Snakes. Right now it looks like it's going to crawl under the Joshua tree which is laying on the ground. Yup! There it goes all right. I hear Ducks quacking.
One time Harriet and Mr. Steve were "assigned" to go see Caldron at a "Night Club" down in Hollywood called the "Whisky A Go-Go;" on the "Sunset Strip." Then Harriet had to write a "review" that would go along with the pictures my boss took of Caldron.
PAINTING BY TRAVIS MOORE
Harriet and Mr. Steve met the members of Caldron and it turned out they were from San Fernando; where Saint Ferdinands is located next to Sylmar. Then, over the next few years they became friends. Someday I'd really like to go see Sylmar and San Fernando.
I just used my Dictionary to look up "Caldron." It means "a large kettle" but also "a state of violent agitation." I wonder which one that band from San Fernando meant? Oh! A little gray Jackrabbit is cautiously poking its head around the corner of Moe the middle Shed.
Caldron's singer and drummer were both named Dave my boss says. One time he told me that girl Harriet is a good writer. She still lives in the city of North Hollywood. Some time back Mr. Steve had a dream about her "late" mother. That Jackrabbit just ran away.
CALDRON / DAVE THE DRUMMER
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Caldron were a good band Mr. Steve says. Both "big" Dave the singer and "little" Dave the drummer were talented. As "Achilles Heel" in the "pay to play" era they did a show at a club called "Gazarri's." Like the Whisky, it was also down on the "Sunset Strip."
That Shoshone man at the Phelan Library told Mr. Steve most of the indigenous people in the New World when Columbus arrived were "Clovis" Indians. They're called that because near the town of Clovis, New Mexico certain types of arrow and spear heads were found.
Mr. Steve learned from that friendly Shoshone man that those Indians who lived right here in our area of the Mohave Desert originally may have migrated northward about 2,000 B.C. They came he said from the area of Mexico now called "Sonora." I smell a Joshua tree.
The man at the Library and Mr. Steve discussed how this northward migration of the native peoples in our area happened about eight thousand years after the big southward migration from a place called "Siberia;" when Clovis people arrived here in North America.
Tomorrow in book two I'm scheduled to write about "Ice Ages." That's when giant frozen "Glaciers" covered a lot of North America. I guess, when it really gets extremely cold, like in an Ice Age, those huge glaciers form. This one Encyclopedia has a good map of it.
This map shows how far south the glaciers came down. Tomorrow I'll write about how the end of that last Ice Age by global warming formed the geography of New York City and all the "Great Lakes too." Mr. Steve's mom swam in Lake "Ontario" as a teenager one time.
When the last Ice Age ended the Clovis people, stuck up in Alaska, were able to come down here. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie one time that some people think the Clovis people from Siberia were following the "Game." That means the animals they ate.
Siberia is part of a big country called Russia. My Encyclopedia says Siberia is really cold and is where for years Russian prisoners were sent as "exiles" to die. Oh! In 1908, either a "Comet" or an "Asteroid" flew in from outer space and hit the ground in lower Siberia.
It says here the area where that Asteroid hit in Siberia was called "Tunguska." Luckily few people or animals lived there in 1908 because the explosion was so huge it "leveled" or knocked over eighty million trees like "matchsticks." A Finch just landed on Moe the middle Shed.
This is interesting. I guess sixty five million years ago the Dinosaurs were "killed off" when a six mile wide "Meteor" hit the Earth in Yucatan, Mexico. But I guess Tunguska was the biggest "impact event" in "recorded" history. Sometimes I feel small earthquakes.
Wow! The "shock wave" from the Tunguska blast was one thousand times more powerful than the Atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II! Mr. Steve has studied about "nuclear" weapons and things like that.
Mr. Steve told me that Clovis type Indians crossed to the south across what they call a "land bridge" into what is now Alaska. He says this was a period between "Ice Ages" and they were most likely following after animals they hunted like Mammoths and Caribou.
According to my Encyclopedia the Shoshone are now not primarily from California. Most Shoshone "bands" migrated toward the northeast. Many became like other "Plains" Indians such as the "Sioux," "Crow" or "Comanche" who hunted this thing called a Buffalo.
I know about the Sioux or "Lakota" because Mr. Steve sends money to an orphanage called "Saint Josephs" in "South Dakota." An orphanage is where kids who have no parents go to live. My boss says South Dakota is near Canada and can be freezing cold.
Saint Josephs is operated by a Catholic Priest named Father Stephen. " The children send "Thank You" notes to Mr. Steve. In their native language "pilamaya" means "thank you." My boss sends them money because he's grateful he's never had to live without parents.
Dais and I feel sorry for those kids at Saint Joseph's. We're glad when our Chief sends them some money. After all, we're both kind of like orphans too. But at least we now have better lives Daisy says. She tells me all the time to be grateful for what we have. I am thankful!
If we had a time machine like Mr. Peabody and Sherman I know for sure that Daisy would want to go back and meet the real Saint Joseph; or maybe her own parents. I'd like to meet my parents too! In a way, you could say Mr. Steve is kind of like our parent.
My Encyclopedia says, like other indigenous people, some Shoshone adapted to the coming of the Horse in the late 17th century. Before that they were "nomadic hunter and gatherers" who moved from one area to another depending on the seasons or where the food was.
My boss jokes that the people in those days used to live what he calls a "catch-as-catch-can" lifestyle. But once they were able to use Horses those same groups of people were able to roam a lot further and wider than ever before so had "access" to a lot more food.
Indians didn't have the wheel so, when "on the move," they used us Dogs, and later Horses, to pull or drag their supplies and even babies in a wooden frame called a "Travois." This is what 18th century French Canadian fur trappers called the Indian's "wagon."
Mr. Steve thinks that back in the pre-historic days the only way people could survive was with cooperation between males and females. Life was a big struggle then and what they call the "life expectancy" was short he says. And life was hard for Dogs too!
My boss believes the best relationships males and females can have is when they what's called "complement" one another. For millions of years males hunted and protected the group while the females gathered up the plants to go along with the meat the men brought back.
It was most likely a female who discovered "farming;" which is one of the things that allowed people to "settle" in one place and develop "civilization" in towns and big cities. At least that 's what my boss thinks. Farming gave people a more reliable and consistent source of food.
Then, having the "luxury" of time Mr. Steve says, human beings were able to develop more art like music and "metal working;" which allowed them to then produce helpful tools but also deadlier weapons. With good comes bad and with bad comes good he says.
When people were roaming around hunting and gathering the males did the hunting while it was females who gathered plants and did what's called "foraging." And one role was not more important than the other my boss says. Both sexes did important jobs.
We have a lot of Ants who live around us. And I just smelled some of them. I'll bet their scent is coming from that big giant Anthill near the back fence. The breezes are coming from that direction. I just love soft breezes! They make me feel so alive and full of energy.
Mr. Steve says female Ants do almost everything; from foraging for food to defending the nest. All males do is mate with the big Queen Ant so she can have babies and then they die. And those flying Bugs called Wasps are the same way my boss says. I smell a Sage plant.
Ants seem like creatures of habit the same way me, Daisy and Mr. Steve are. We all have the same patterns on most days. Ants are always up early like us. I suppose you could say that we all live kind of what many would probably call "mundane" lives. But we like it.
We have two types of Ants on our land; small "Grease" Ants which show up by the thousands if you leave any food out in Summer, and larger brown Ants which make these big Ant hills like the one I'm smelling. Daisy and I have learned to avoid Ants. Their stings hurt!
In smelling those Ants right now I remember that one time when I was living homeless out in the field. I was sleeping under that one big bush when I woke up with Ants sting me. It turns out I was in their path. I had to roll all around in the dirt and bite them to get them off.
Living out in that awful field was terrible. But, as Daisy says, learning which Bugs and other things to avoid was one of the "silver linings" as they say. And she's right. That field taught me to leave Ants alone. And at least now I know you can eat Ants if necessary.
The day after tomorrow, on Saturday, "God-willing" as Mr. Steve's Grandma Trujillo used top say, one of the things I have on my outline to learn about is this thing called an "Anteater." It actually mainly eats Ants. But there are no Anteaters who live around here.
I'm a good forager because I lived homeless in that field. I can smell things from far away. My boss has done tests on Daisy and I to see if we can smell food from here in the back yard when we're in front. Right now I smell a Lizard around here somewhere.
Mr. Steve jokes that my "theme" song should be "I Will Survive" which was a 1970's song by a lady named Gloria Gaynor. He says a girl he dated in High School liked to dance to that song. When he was younger Mr. Steve danced but now feels ridiculous dancing.
Mr. Steve told me about the German word "vergangenheitsbewaltigung." It means "coming to grips with the past." I looked it up. I used be mad about some things but Dais taught me not to feel sorry for myself. You just "Carry On" she says. Germans have long words!
Mr. Steve told me that girl Gloria Gaynor's song I Will Survive was an "accidental hit." It was what's called the "B-side" of a record she put out but this Disc Jockey turned it over out of curiosity and really liked the song. So he played it "on the air" and people liked it too.
In life luck is often very important my boss says. Daisy thinks that maybe You were looking down on Gloria Gaynor Lord! She sure was lucky our boss says. I've heard him sometimes joke that at times it's "better to be lucky than good." Dais thinks that's sort of funny.
My Enyclopedia says a number of things "came together" which allowed people to settle in one place and then develop civilization in towns and cities. But before that happened there was this really long period called the "Neolithic" era. I hear Ducks quaking next door.
I guess the Neolithic period was the last "Phase" of the "Stone Age." During this time, from about 9,000 B.C. to about 4,000 B.C., people may have first "Domesticated" us animals, started "Farming" and began to make pottery or "Textile" products like clothes.
Mr. Steve once met a lady who knew a lot about the "Taming" of animals. For years there's been disagreement over where the descendants of Dogs like Daisy and myself first started living with people. Some said it was in Asia and others believed it was in Europe.
That lady told my boss that she thinks it's entirely possible that Dogs were first domesticated in both places. It may be she said, that in Europe and Asia people came to realize that the Wolf could be, and should be, domesticated. Mr. Steve thinks that lady might be right.
In my Dictionary it says that textiles are things made from "Weaving." Baskets for carrying things are one example. Mr. Steve told me that for thousands of years the Indians who lived up here in the High Desert made "sophisticated" baskets. I still hear the Ducks.
That lady thought the taming of Chickens, Cows, Goats, Sheep and Pigs probably came after the "controlling" of Dogs like Dais and myself. Our boss says we're "part" Wolf; even though I really don't look anything like a Wolf. But at times Daisy looks kind of like a Wolf.
I do at times "howl" like a Wolf. Mr. Steve jokingly calls me "Ozzy" because of this guy named Ozzy Osborne. He was the original singer for the "Heavy Metal" band from England called BLACK SABBATH. I just picked up the scent of one of the Joshua trees.
In the early 1980's Ozzy Osbourne, after he was kicked out of BLACK SABBATH, made a "Solo" album called "Bark at the Moon." I haven't heard it but Dais was in our boss's Bedroom one time and heard it. Mr. Steve's brother Sam's family have a Dog named "Ozzy."
After graduating from Sylmar High School Mr. Steve went to "Valley Junior College" in Van Nuys. Later his girlfriend Sandy went there too. There they met this one band called QUIET RIOT; who's guitar player was named Randy Rhodes. He later died in a Plane crash.
Dais told me one time how Randy Rhodes left QUIET RIOT to join Ozzy Osbourne's band. He played great on Bark at the Moon; which she says has good songs on it. I can smell a Lizard. Aha! I see it standing on one of the rocks around the bottom of the big tree.
Hey God! As You know, Daisy jokes I might be praying when I howl and bark at the Moon. And the more I think about it I kind of agree with her; especially after our boss said the same thing. I do feel so much better after I "get it out of my system" as they say.
I'm tempted to write about that guy Randy Rhodes right now even though I'm scheduled to do it tomorrow in book three. But I'll just wait. That one Lizard is over there standing on the rock and doing Lizard pushups. I just picked up the scent of a Creosote bush.
I will mention how Randy Rhodes' mother is a music teacher who "established" in her son's his name what they call a "Scholarship" at C.S.U.N.; where Mr. Steve graduated from. Daisy says that means giving money to a poor student. I can hear the Ducks quacking.
Throughout my three books I'll write about Mr. Steve's parents. For years they've helped so many people in the northeast corner of the Valley. Mr. Steve's parents set up a scholarship they gave each year to a Latino student at "Mission College." The Lizard is now gone.
Well, it's back to my book two outline and writing about human civilization. Mr. Steve says the development of reading and writing was an important "factor" in some of the people way back then starting to become more "modern." I hear some Pigeons cooing.
From what our boss told Daisy and Millie one time, civilization happened in "settled" towns and cities. Daisy and I really want to show Mr. Steve how we can be modern too. That's one of the reasons I'm doing my three books. I smell one of the old Creosote bushes.
Of all the animals which mankind came to control, Mr. Steve thinks the most important was the Horse. Until then people had to do most of the hard labor themselves. But a person is not nearly as strong a Horse. They could do a lot more work with Horses.
Our neighbors also have half an acre behind their fenced in front two acres. But they decided to "convert" theirs into what's called a "Corral." Sometimes they rescue Horses and Donkeys and that Corral is where they live. I like to look at Horses. Horses are so pretty.
Rats! A Fly just landed on me. I don't like Flies. I can see our neighbor's Horse Libby over in the Corral next door. Libby is light brown. And every once in a while her black tail moves back and forth acting like a Fly swatter so that Flies will not try to land on her.
Libby's seems like such a nice Horse. Mr. Steve says she's what they call "khaki" or "tan" in color. I really like Libby and so does Dais. She's old but still looks pretty good. Daisy says that she's lucky to have been rescued just like we were. Libby has a black mane and tail.
Libby is old like Daisy. My boss says she's what they call a "Mare." That means Libby's a girl Horse. Sometimes you can tell that Libby is "up in age" as they say. She moves very slowly. Dais moves carefully too but still seems young; at least to me. I like to run a lot!
To the southeast the Sun is behind Libby. I'll bet she finished eating this type of food called "Hay." Now she's just standing there with her Feed Troth behind her. Libby also sometimes eats these things called "oats." Horses can eat grass too Daisy one time told me.
I like looking at Horses. Mr. Steve thinks the history of people has been heavily affected by us Dogs and Horses. But he believes Horses have had even a bigger influence on human beings than Dogs. Without Dogs and Horses people's lives would've been way different.
Horses can sure run fast! But Libby next door never runs because she's old. She just walks around slowly taking her time. Libby's so lucky! She has a whole half acre to roam around in. Some Horses are "Couped Up" in small areas Daisy told me. I smell a Joshua tree.
Horses gave people a lot more "Range" when they were "Hunter-Gatherers." And when they stayed in one place they could "Cultivate" more land for food. Of course my boss says, bad coming with good, Horses also gave people the ability to more effectively "wage war."
Hey! I just smelled a Gopher. Aha! There it is just to the side of Manny the far right Shed. It's pushing up dirt and doesn't see or smell me over here on my couch. The Gopher is sticking it's head out of the hole and sniffing the air. Gophers have such big, sharp teeth!
Normally I might go over there and investigate that Gopher but I'm too busy right now. I don't want to mess up my "train of thought" as they say. I just want to keep working on our story! I wonder when my boss will give us our first snack of the day? Oh! The Gopher is gone.
Mr. Steve says Columbus "reintroduced" Horses to the New World on his second voyage in 1493. He also brought some Pigs, Cattle and Goats from Spain. And all three thrived over here I guess. I just love to eat Pig and Cow but I've never even tasted Goat.
According to my Encyclopedia, in the year 1519, the same year Leonardo da Vinci died; that guy Hernando Cortéz brought sixteen Horses from Cuba to Mexico. Daisy says our boss has this book called "The History of the Horse in War." I can hear some Crows cawing.
I guess that book on the Horse in war says that millions of years ago Horses were Deer. At least that's what Mr. Steve told me. I see Birds zipping about over the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. I can smell that one big clump of Joshua trees out there in the desert.
1519 was twenty seven years after Columbus' first voyage. Cortéz used his Horses to help conquer the Aztecs. The Aztec "Emperor" was "Montezuma," or "Moctezuma." He made bad mistakes of judgement Mr. Steve thinks. I'll write about it more in book three.
Mr. Steve thinks Hernando Cortez must have noticed right away that the Aztecs and other tribes had never seen a Horse. They were amazed and scared. Some thought it might be new type of Deer. Able Company of Quail, with their babies, is going out into the desert.
I guess when Indians saw a soldier riding a Horse they thought maybe it was one of those half man, half Horse "Centaurs" like the ones in the ancient Greek myths. They were at first really scared of Horses. I can see Libby walking around over there in her Corral.
From what it says here in my Encyclopedia thousands of years ago the Horse "branched off" from the Deer family. My boss jokes that I might be part Deer too because at times I'm kind of what others would describe as "skittish." But I'm a whole lot better now!
As Mr. Steve jokes; I've had "trust issues" in the past. But now I'm not as "jittery." Being around Dais and our boss has influenced me to be more calm and not so excitable. But it's kind of hard to be calm because of the months that I spent living alone out in that field.
My Encyclopedia says that the Shoshone, to the northeast of here, were already surviving by following and hunting the Buffalo herds before Cortez arrived back in 1519. But when they got Horse's about a century or two later this made life much easier for them.
The reason why they say Columbus "reintroduced" the Horse to North and South America is because thousands of years ago there were Horse's here. One was this really small Horse called "Eohippus" which was the size of a "Domestic" Cat my boss says. Boy! That's so tiny.
Oh wow! The pictures in this Encyclopedia show how small Eohippus was. But the caption says Eohippus went "extinct" thousands of years ago. Daisy says that means they all died. But after Cortez brought Horses to they "flourished" and "exploded" and "multiplied."
I guess another type of Horse that went instinct in North and South America was the one all current Horses are descended from. Before they all died out here some of them migrated way up there to the north and then went over to Asia where the country of Russia is now.
Mr. Steve says the Horses who went down into Asia were the descendants of the Horses that then spread westward all the way over to Europe. Later today I'll write about how "Mongols" under this one man named Genghis Khan almost conquered the world on Horses.
This Encyclopedia says in the "decades" after Horses escaped and went back to living "out in the wild" as they say. I just looked up the word "feral" and I guess it means to be "untamed" or "wild." Boy! It's so good having all of these really great Dictionaries.
It says here that by the mid-18th century Cortez's first Horses had turned into thousands of wild "Mustangs." Daisy says there's a fast Car called Mustang. She says before he had his two Chevelle's Mr. Steve's father was going to buy him a Mustang one time. I smell Sage. My boss says the New World was a perfect "environment" for Horses to "evolve" in. Some of the "offspring" of Cortez's original Horses migrated north and eventually arrived on the "Great Plains" of North America. Then the people living there could hunt Buffalo easier.
Mr. Steve and that one Shoshone man he met at the Phelan Library talked about the Horse and how it effected hunting Buffalo. When the Horses showed up in North America the Native People must've thought they were a gift from Heaven. Two Pigeons are flying bye.
The Plains Indians followed and hunted the gigantic Buffalo herds because they used the Buffalo for many things. They ate the meat and used the hides for warmth. Bones were used to make tools and weapons too. Right now I can smell Libby over there in her Corral.
Now, using a Horse; the Plains Indians could really hunt Buffaloes which they depended on. Before that they had to hunt the Buffalo on foot and that was a lot more dangerous. I guess some think there were fifty million Buffaloes in North America at the end of the 18th century.
According to my Encyclopedia, when Europeans, probably French fur trappers; first saw the Buffalo they thought they looked kind of like Buffaloes back in the "Old World." But these were more like "Oxen" and are actually what they call "Bison." I'd like to smell a Buffalo. Mr. Steve has a good customer named Paul who's a "Parts Manager" at this Auto Dealership called "Bison" Ford up north in the State of Montana. He's been selling Mr. Paul hats for over ten years. That's what they call a "Decade" which is a really really long time.
Mr. Steve and the man at the Library agreed the American Plains Indians used Buffalo for way too much. It came back to haunt them. It's kind of like how, in the 19th century; millions of Irish people starved because they relied on potatoes which failed a few years in a row.
After the American Civil War ended in 1865 the U.S. Army was used to force the Indians to go live on "Reservations." One thing the Army did to do this was kill almost all the Buffaloes. And once the Buffalo were all gone the Plains Indians were "finished" as they say.
This one Encyclopedia says the Spanish took corn and potatoes back to Europe in the 16th century. The Germans didn't like potatoes but the Irish sure did. They used it for everything but in the mid-1840's the potatoes didn't grow. So many people died from starvation.
A black and white drawing in my Encyclopedia shows a lady using a shovel to dig up some potatoes. That's what it says in the caption. Wow! From 1845 through 1852 the potatoes in Ireland "went bad." A million Irish, still British then; migrated over to America.
Most Irish are "Roman" Catholics like us. Mr. Steve went to school with Irish kids. Some of their families, like his friend Rick's family who came from Pittsburgh; moved to California from back east. Like my boss's parents they came hoping for a "better life."
Phil Sheridan was a Civil War Union "Cavalry" officer. In the years after the war he's famous for saying; "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead." He was one of the first to realize the best way to "pacify" Indians was to take away their "Commissary."
PHIL SHERIDAN (1831-1888)
I just looked up commissary and it means; "store where food and supplies are dispensed or sold." So what Phil Sheridan meant was killing off the Buffaloes. And by pacify he meant to kill the Indians. After the Civil War hunters killed Buffaloes almost to extinction. From what my boss tells me that man Phil Sheridan, who was only five foot five, was known during the Civil War for using what they call "Scorched Earth" to defeat the South. And after the war he used the same brutal "techniques" on Indians and all of the Buffaloes too. Mr. Steve told me the worst part about the slaughtering of the Buffaloes was that they just cut off or "skinned" the "hides" and then left the rest of the Buffalo to rot. The Plains Indians couldn't believe what they were seeing. Millions and millions of Buffaloes were killed!
Well You Guys! I'm finished with the first third of book one. It's almost noon judging by where the Sun is up in the sky. I think I'll take a break and go up front to visit Daisy. Wait until she hears how much I've gotten done today. She'll be so proud of me I'll bet.
SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
Well, I'm back here again on Elvira. I visited Daisy up in the front yard and she was in the Garagee licking her paws so they wouldn't hurt as much from her arthritis. I told her how much I've finished. Now I'm going to write about a one place that's called "Catalina" Island.
Dais and I both wondered when Mr. Steve would come out and give us our first snack of the day. Usually by this time we've had one. I'd say it's about eleven thirty judging by where the Sun is and how the shadows are are now almost standing straight up and down.
Boy! Dais and I can't believe I did so much in part one of the three parts of book one that I'll do today. I'm now "fired up" as they say. Daisy gives me encouragement and that's one of the reasons why I'm trying to read and write. This is so fun! I love learning new things!
I've made it through four chapters and according to my outline for this first book the next topic I want to learn about is this place called "Catalina." It's an "Island" about twenty six miles off of the coast of Los Angeles. I know what an island is! One time Mr. Steve told me about some boat trips he's made over the years to Catalina. It's actual name is "Santa Catalina" island. Mr. Steve went there with his girlfriend Harriet. He says that Catalina is very beautiful and is a nice place to walk around. My Encyclopedia says Santa Catalina island was named by that Spanish explorer Sebastián Viscaino. In 1602, about one hundred years after the time of Columbus, he sailed up here to Alta California in the early 17th century to see if the area was worth "settling."
SEBASTIAN VISCAINO (1548-1624)
I guess that guy Viscaino and his sailors arrived near Catalina Island on Saint Catherine's Day. Santa Catalina means "Saint Catherine" in English. So, just like he did when he named San Diego, he named Catalina Island after the Feast Day of a Saint.
Having all of these Dictionaries is so great! I just finished looking up the correct spelling of Catalina in my Spanish Dictionary. Oh! It looks like Able Company of Quails is going out into the desert. I can hear the babies chirping from over here on this couch.
I love looking words up in my new Dictionaries because every time I do it gives me even more practice in learning to read and write. Plus, I just love learning new things about history and other things like that. I just picked up the scent of a Lizard somewhere around here.
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says that guy Sebastian Viscaino was originally from "Extremadura" in central Spain. He fought in a war against Portugal and then, besides coming up here to California; also sailed to the Philippines and Japan.
Mr. Steve told me there are some Horses and even a few Buffalo out on Catalina island. And they also have this other thing called a "Fox" which sort of looks like a small version of one of our Coyotes. Catalina Foxes are gray he says. I see the Lizard near Moe the Shed.
My Encyclopedia says that some people think about four thousand years ago Foxes swam or floated all the way out to Catalina Island. Then they adapted well to the environment out there. Mr. Steve says Foxes are smart and they even hide extra food for later.
This last Winter there were a few times when some Coyotes were walking out on the dirt road behind Mr. Steve's half acre of desert. Daisy and I, along with our neighbor's Dogs, barked and warned them not to come over here. A girl Fox is called a "Vixen."
A while back my boss saw an ad in this thing called the "Penny Saver." It turned out that this girl from a place near us called "Llano" was trying to sell "hardware" for drums. And that girl used to play drums in an all girl band from the 1980's called Vixen. The Lizard is gone.
Even though he didn't end up buying anything from that girl from Vixen, they had a few nice conversations over the phone. Mr. Steve told her about how he and Harriet used to cover some of the bands in Los Angeles during the 1980's. It looks like that Wren is back.
I'm still thinking about Catalina island. his one Encyclopedia says it was first visited by Europeans in 1542; sixty years before even Vizcaino. This was by a Portuguese man who was working for Spain named Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. He named the island "San Salvador."
Hey Lord! San Salvador is the same name given by Columbus to the place in the Caribbean where his three Ships first landed in 1492. And it means "Holy Savior" in English. That's You of course. Two of our Pigeons just flew bye; moving out toward the eastern desert.
Oh! This is interesting. According to my Encyclopedia Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was one of the Conquistadors who helped Hernando Cortez destroy the Aztec Empire back in the 1520's. He was probably a really good soldier and must've been really brave too.
It says here in this Encyclopedia that in 1542, when Cabrillo landed on Catalina Island, over there in New Mexico Coronado was still exploring. Mr. Steve says there are beaches and schools named after him now. And even some statues of him have been put up. This is interesting. It says here that Cabrillo broke his leg in 1542. And because he was so far away from civilization it ended up killing him. But I guess to this day no one knows where he's buried. It's what they call a "mystery." I just picked up the scent of a Joshua tree. JUAN RODRIGUEZ CABRILLO (1499-1543)
Mr. Steve says he's been to this place called "Cabrillo Beach" which was named in honor of that guy Cabrillo. A few years ago the United States Post Office put out a stamp with Cabrillo's image on it. My Encyclopedia even has a good picture of it right here.
I guess to this day no one knows where Cabrillo's body was buried when he died. It was on one of those Channel Islands but no one knows which exactly which one it is. I hear some of the Crows cawing faintly way out there in the eastern desert. Over the years my boss has visited Catalina on a number of occasions. He says there aren't many people living on that island. Why, our town has about two thousand more people than the whole island. The one town on the east side of Catalina island is called "Avalon."
My Encyclopedia says for thousands of years Catalina Island was home to "Takic" speaking Indians just like some of the ones who lived up here in the High Desert. And Takic speakers also ived on the "mainland" in many of the areas of what is now Los Angeles.
I'll bet Mr. Steve knows this. It says here that some of the "Mission" Indians from the San Fernando Valley were also Takic speaking back then in those days. I agree with Daisy. It's very amazing how people have developed all of the many languages they have. I guess the Spanish called the people on Catalina "Gabrielino" or "Tongva." But the tribe called themselves the "Pimuvit" and their island ""Pimugna." They traded with other people's who lived along the California coast. But sadly, many died from European diseases.
Besides Catalina Island there are other "Channel" islands off of the southern California coast. They're almost "uninhabited" it says here. My Dictionary says this means there are hardly any people living out there on those islands. I'd like to see an island someday.
Mr. Steve says some scientists think the people who live in the Channel Islands may not be the "Clovis" type Indians like those who live on the "mainland." He told me some people think they might be what's called "Polynesian" because of the type of "Canoe" they used.
I remember when Mr. Steve told me about Polynesians. He thinks they must have been just as good at navigating over big oceans as the Vikings or Christopher Columbus. They made it all the way to those islands called "Hawaii" so might've then come over to California.
Some people say because the Pacific Ocean "currents" flow mainly from east to west it would have been too difficult for the Polynesians to have sailed all the way to California using only sails or paddling. But my boss doesn't agree with that view at all.
When he was a kid Mr. Steve rode bicycles a lot. And when he had to go up steep hills he and his friends had to "tack" back and forth to get up the hill. He thinks that canoes could probably have done the same in water. Then they could ride the currents back home.
Mr. Steve says the town of Avalon on Catalina is located in an area called a "harbor" and has mountains behind it. My boss told me the scenery over there is so pretty. It's a nice place to just take your time walk around. I hear Birds singing out there in the eastern desert. AVALON HARBOR
In order to get over to Catalina Island Mr. Steve says you have to take a boat from this place called "Long Beach Harbor." And some of the bottoms of those boats are glass so you can see right into the ocean. Boy, I'd sure like to see that!
My boss told me he last visited Avalon in 2003 when he went over there with his Mom and two Nieces; Cristina and Samantha. On their "day trip" they ate hamburgers made out of Buffalo meat. I just picked up the scent of some of our Joshua trees.
After they ate in Avalon Mr. Steve and his Mom and Nieces took this bus tour all around Catalina Island. They even saw some Buffaloes roaming about. I'd like to smell a real Buffalo some day but I'd have to be really careful because they have sharp horns on their head.
I sure wish I could smell a Buffalo. There's a really good picture here in this Encyclopedia. It shows a mother Buffalo with her baby. They're huge Mr. Steve says. He's seen them in person many times and says they do have a strong smell. They have big sharp horns!
According to my Encyclopedia the Plains Indians called Buffaloes "Thunder Beasts" because of the sound big herds made as they ran past. In the 18th and early 19th centuries Mr. Steve told me that some of those herds were so huge it took two days for the entire herd to go by!
Dais says our boss told her and that other Dog named Millie he once met a man at a party in this one place called "Malibu." That man was from Montana and said he was a member of the "Blackfoot" tribe. They had a good discussion and Mr. Steve said he learned a lot.
At that party the man told our boss about how the Buffalo was hunted before the coming of the Horse to the Great Northern Plains. He said his ancestors used short cliffs where they could stampede the Buffalo herds right off of the edges. I smell a Joshua tree.
From what that man told Mr. Steve, before they had Horses of course the Blackfeet had to hunt Buffalo on foot and this was dangerous. Some were killed by Buffaloes and others were got really badly injured. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye.
That man at the party in Malibu said in running Buffaloes off of the cliffs some of the men p put on Wolf skins to scare the Buffalo and make them run toward cliffs. The Blackfeet believe it was Wolves who taught them how to hunt the Buffalo.
I guess that most people think the Blackfoot tribe was the typical nomadic hunter-gatherer society which followed the seasons looking for food; but developed into a more "organized" culture when the Horse got there in the 18th century.
But that man at the party in Malibu said he believes his Blackfoot ancestors actually became more "sophisticated" in the 9th century when the climate changed and there was way more rain which turned Montana into a "Grassland."
That one man told our boss that with more grass of course more Buffaloes went there so, "in turn," that attracted hunters and their families. For the next few centuries they had plenty of food so stayed in that area more. I smell a Joshua tree.
I guess from the 9th century on the Blackfoot tribe even had enough things from the Buffalo that they developed "trade" with other tribes. They traded Buffalo "hides" and this dried meat which was like Beef Jerky. Dais and I love to chew on Beef Jerky.
That man told Mr. Steve that by being able to kill so many Buffalo at once this allowed the Blackfeet to "accumulate" some wealth. In addition to the Horses arriving in the 18th century, European guns and metal tools showed up then too.
Without having to forage as much, the Blackfeet could devote thought to hunting the Buffalo and this is when they got the idea to run the Buffaloes off of cliffs instead of having to hunt them down. I just heard some of our neighbor's Ducks quacking next door.
That man told Mr. Steve the Blackfeet piled big rocks in rows so that when they scared the Buffalo into running fast the rock piles then acted as "funnels" which aimed them toward the "approaches" to the cliffs. They would fall off the edge and break their necks.
Mr. Steve says it must've taken what they call "organization" for the Blackfeet to pile up the rocks. And once the Buffalo were running in the right direction women and even children would stand behind the rock piles and wave blankets to scare them even more.
That Blackfoot man told my boss his ancestors had a guy dress up like a baby Buffalo and make "distress" calls from near the cliff. But, sadly there were times he said when the guy didn't jump out of the way in time and got "trampled" to death.
Mr. Steve says if he could go back in time he's like to see what they all a "Buffalo Jump." He says Buffalo are huge and weigh thousands of pounds. They can run as fast as forty miles peer hour! Boy, that would be something to see. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Hey God! As You know, that man told Mr. Steve that the Blackfoot call you "Kutoyis" which means the "Creator." I just looked up the proper spelling in my Encyclopedia; which also says that the last known Buffalo Jump happened way back there in 1886.
Over the years one thing Catalina Island has become known for is fishing. So my boss says, some famous people have gone over there to do that. One was an American writer named Ernest Hemingway. He went there to catch this big Fish called a "Marlin" Mr. Steve told me. ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961)
My Encyclopedia says Ernest Hemingway led an "eventful" life; fighting in World War I and later "covering" the Spanish Civil War as what they call a "journalist." He wrote a book about a fisherman who caught too big of a Fish. Daisy told me Mr. Steve has a copy of it.
From what it says here that man Ernest Hemingway really loved Spain and wrote about it a lot. Mr. Steve's parents had always wanted to visit Spain but now they realize they're too old to n do that now. I know I'd sure like to see what Spain is like. Daisy too!
I guess Ernest Hemingway liked Spain's Bullfights and the "Running of the Bulls" in a city called "Pamplona." This is when people run in the streets alongside Bulls who are on their way to the Bull Ring. Daisy thinks this would be way too dangerous. Me too!
I've never seen a real Bull but Daisy has and she says they have really sharp horns. And they have unbelievable strength in their necks she says. My boss thinks it's dumb to run with Bulls. He says he would never do it no matter how exciting it is. I smell a Joshua tree. "RUNNING OF THE BULLS" IN PAMPLONA
Some people go from happy to sad and sad to happy quickly my boss says. Dogs do that too. I used to do that but not so much anymore. And at times Mr. Steve says, people get so what they call "depressed;" they kill themselves, or commit what's called "Suicide."
Enest Hemingway killed himself! He was sick and in pain so shot himself with this thing called a "Shotgun." This is a "messy" way to go my boss says. And it's "selfish" because someone has to "clean up." Dais says our boss has a Shotgun in the house.
In books two and three Daisy has me scheduled to write about NIRVANA; a band from up in the State of Washington. Their singer also used a shotgun to kill himself. I'll learn about the Buddhist "Concept" of Nirvana tomorrow when I write about the Dali Lama.
Mr. Steve knows about this Baseball team called the Chicago "Cubs." He says its surprising that from 1921 through 1951 they held what's called "Spring Training" over on Catalina Island. Now all "Major League" teams conduct Spring Training in either Arizona or Florida.
Spring Training is an "Annual" preparation for the season. That means once a year. Mr. Steve told me the Cubs used to hold their Spring Training out on Catalina because this one rich man named William Wrigley Jr. owned the island; and the team too back then.
According to this Encyclopedia that man William Wrigley's family sold chewing gum. It was William Wrigley who built that rounded Casino over in Avalon my boss says. Back in those days a piece of gum cost only one cent. I sure wish I could think of something to sell. One time Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Harriet, on a trip to Catalina, saw where the Cubs "Practice Fields" used to be. It's a Golf Coarse now and the only thing remaining from when the Cubs took Spring Training is part of an old "Clubhouse" which is now a Gift Shop. CHICAGO CUBS (CATALINA) WILLIAM WRIGLEY JR. ON RIGHT
William Wrigley Jr. was so rich Mr. Steve says. But now the Cubs have new owners and go to Spring Training over in Arizona. But, sadly, the Cubs have the longest losing streak in all of Major League Baseball. My boss jokes that they might be what they call "Jinxed."
Over the years Mr. Steve has known or met people from Chicago or the State of "Illinois." He has a few customers from that area. At times they've talked about the famous jinxes in the history of Major League Baseball; like the "Red Sox," "Indians" and "Angels."
The Cubs seem to be the most jinxed. They haven't won the World Series since 1908 it says in my Encyclopedia. They're like that one joke rule called "Murphy's Law;" Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" Mr. Steve told me. I can hear some Crows cawing.
Mr Steve laughed when a guy from a town called "Cicero" said the Cubs haven't won "since Moby Dick was a Minnow." Moby Dick was a huge white Whale Dais says. I'll write about that and a 1920's "Gangster" named Al Capone tomorrow. Al Capone was from Cicero.
The last time the Cubs were in the "World Series" Championship was 1945; the year World War II ended. Sadly, I guess the Cubs are known for "choking." In 1945 a fan brought his Goat to a game but was kicked out. So he then put what's called a "Curse" on the Cubs.
Hey God! As You know, sometimes I wonder if there's any truth to curses. Mr. Steve doesn't believe in them and Dais is not sure. I kind of think a curse just might be real. But, maybe not! I just hope no one ever puts a curse on me. A Crow just squawked out in the desert.
Mr. Steve took some "Logic" classes back in College. I guess "Inductive" logic deals with "Probabilities" of something happening; like getting a "Hand" in Poker. Mr. Steve doesn't like playing "Card Games" or things like that. His father is a good Poker player.
Mr. Steve sometimes jokes with Cubs fans; saying what that Hindu man told him about the idea of Reincarnation. Given the "Law of Averages" it makes sense that the longer the losing streak goes on the higher the possibility of winning goes up; even 100 to 1.
I do kind of believe in curses. I just used my Dictionary and according to what it says a "Hex" is defined as; "To cause to have bad luck." And I guess that's just what that one man who owned the Goat did to the Chicago Cubs back then in 1945. A Crow cawed.
In 1969, when my boss was fourteen, the Cubs had a good team. With only one month to go in the season they led their division. But then a black Cat got onto the field and from that point on they "went down hill." Mr. Steve says the Cubs always "come up short" as they say.
I wonder why black Cats are considered to be bad luck? Mr. Steve thinks it might be because they are hard to see at night so can sneak up on you. And he read somewhere that over in Japan seeing a black Cat is a sign of good luck. Two little Mockingbirds just landed on Moe.
2003 was the closest the Chicago Cubs have come to breaking the curse. At least that's what my boss told me. They came so close in 2003. But, they didn't make it and so the curse goes on. Mr. Steve says he'd really like to see the Cubs finally break that bad curse.
I guess the Chicago Cubs are known for making bad trades too. That's what Mr. Steve says. One time in the 1960's they traded away this guy named Lou Brock who turned out to be a great player. The two Mockingbirds flew away. They're going out into the eastern desert.
According to what my boss told me that guy Lou Brock went from the Cubs over to the Saint Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were big rivals. Usually Mr. Steve says, you don't really want to make a trade with a rival. It could "come back to haunt you" as they say.
I guess the Lou Brock trade did come back to haunt the Cubs. He led the Cardinals to win the World Series. Chicago had wanted him to be a power hitter while the Cardinals told him to use his speed more. A good picture in this one Encyclopedia shows him running.
Mr. Steve saw Lou Brock play for the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. After he was traded he often led the National League in what are called "Stolen Bases." And by the time he retired he had earned his way into the Baseball "Hall of Fame" in a town called "Cooperstown."
One time the Cubs tried using a "Rotation" of eight coaches instead of only one manager my boss says. It didn't work out too good he told me. Wow! It says in my Encyclopedia that one time the Cubs scored twenty two runs in one game and still lost that game!
This is interesting. In 1926 this famous Cub pitcher named Grover Cleveland Alexander got "kicked off" of the team for showing up drunk six days in a row. And another time, in 1908, this infielder threw ammonia in a teammate's face so the manager beat him up.
My boss think 2003 was the closest the Cubs ever came to breaking the curse. They had made it into the Playoffs and were five outs from going to the World Series. But a fan leaned over the rail and prevented a Cubs player from catching what would have been an out.
After that the Cubs "folded" in that game and went on to lose the series Mr. Steve told me. That was the last time the Cubs had a chance to go to the World Series. I guess from then on the Cubs haven't been very good. Three Sparrows just landed on Jack the far left Shed.
Dais says one time her and that other Dog Millie were in the Living Room watching tv. They saw a movie about time traveling called "Back to the Future." It was actually a "trilogy" of movies. One predicts the Cubs will break their jinx next year in 2015. I hope so!
The Cubs play "Home" games in Chicago at a a stadium called "Wrigley Field;" which was named after the Wrigley family. Mr. Steve says if there's one stadium he'd like to see a game in it's Wrigly Field. He jokes the hot dogs would probably taste better there.
Mr. Steve told me that Wrigley Field is unique because there's ivy growing on the outfield walls. Sometimes the ball even gets lost in the ivy. My boss likes that because it gives Wrigley Field personality. I hear a Motorcycle going bye out in the eastern desert.
From what my boss told me Wrigley Field was the last Major League stadium to put in lights so the Cubs could play night games. Years ago when Mr. Steve worked at home down in Sylmar he watched Cub games on this tv station called "WGN." I smell a new Sage plant.
According to what my boss says he liked it when the "Cubbies" day games were on tv; even though he often just had it on in the background as he worked. I hear a lot of Birds chirping out in the eastern desert. Those familiar sounds are relaxing to me.
The Cubs now going to Spring Training in Arizona must be better for the other teams who play "exhibition" games against them Mr. Steve says. It was probably inconvenient to have to travel all the way out to Catalina Island just to play a few games.
One good thing about watching or listening to a Chicago Cubs game on radio or tv was hearing this man named Harry Caray "call" the game Mr. Steve told me. He was a really good "announcer" even if he was what they call a "homer" who openly rooted for the Cubs.
HARRY CARAY ERNIE BANKS
In 1985, when my boss was working for the Lakers, Kings and Lazers, he met this guy named Ernie Banks at a Basketball game. Ernie Banks is "Mr. Cub" and was one of their best players. But he was usually on bad teams. He was very friendly when Mr. Steve shook his hand.
Tomorrow in book two Dais has me scheduled to write about other famous jinxes in Baseball history. The Boston Red Sox, Mr. Steve's Nephews Dalton and Austin's favorite team; finally broke the "Curse of the Bambino." And the California Angels broke their curse too.
Mr. Steve's favorite Baseball team is called the Oakland "Athletics;" or "A's" for short. Since the turn of the century they represented a city back east called "Philadelphia." After World War II they moved to "Kansas City." I can smell one of the old Sage bushes.
Finally, back in 1968 the A's moved out here to Northern California and that's where they've been to this day. Dais has me scheduled to write a lot about the history of the A's in books two and three. Mr. Steve began liking the Kansas City A's in the mid-1960's.
From early in the 20th century the A's "Mascot" was an Elephant. In 1960 their new mascot became a Mule. And I guess in the 1980's they went back to the Elephant. In American politics Daisy says an Elephant represents "Republicans" while a Donkey symbolizes "Democrats."
Mr. Steve told Daisy that when he was ten years old his "Little League" team wore green. When he saw a color picture of player on the Kansas City A's he immediately liked the A's. This was in 1965 when was ten years old. And he still likes the A's to this very day.
From what my boss says green was kind of a dumb reason to like a team but at the time he really liked the way the A's uniforms looked. When they moved from Kansas City to Oakland in 1968 Mr. Steve liked them even more. A Lizard just ran past out in the dirt.
I guess the A's also have Spring Training "facilities" over in Arizona. And they often play the Cubs during Spring Training too. Mr. Steve says he's thought about one day taking a trip over to Arizona to see the A's play in Spring Training; but he never has.
Daisy and myself also now like the Oakland A's. But our other favorite team is the Angels; even though they're the A's rivals. We both like their name. Dais and I have me writing more about the history of the Angels tomorrow in book two and Saturday in my third book.
They mainly wear red and their secondary colors are are white and what they call "navy" blue. I just smelled that one old Joshua trees.
I guess the Angels play their home games in this one Stadium to our south in a place called the city of "Anaheim;" in "Orange County." That's near that place called "Disneyland." Dais told me Disneyland opened in 1955, the exact same year that our boss Mr. Steve was born.
The Chicago Cubs are in what's called the "National " League; the A's and Angels are in the "American" League. The A's and Angels are also in the same "Division" too. I've only seen one A's, Angels game on tv. That's because it was on a Saturday afternoon.
Dais is so lucky! She's seen the A's play the Angels on tv a few times. That's because she's not afraid to go inside the house at night like I still am. That other Dog Millie liked the Angels uniforms because her favorite color was red. Two of the Pigeons just flew past.
Hey Stanley? Are you here? I think I suddenly feel your presence. Because both Daisy and I like Angels so much sometimes we wish that the Anaheim Angels were our boss's favorite team. But they're not. In fact, the Angels are what's called "rivals" of the A's.
The Angels also go to Spring Training in Arizona. And, like the A's, they also play the Cubs even though they're in different Leagues. For many years the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are in the National League, went to Spring Training in Florida but now they go to Arizona.
It's a lot easier taking Bus rides in Arizona, rather than going to Catalina to play Mr. Steve says. Dais says our boss has a big hat collection. And many of them are Baseball caps she told me. One is an old Angels' hat with an actual silver "halo" embroidered on top of it.
Dais says our boss told her how the A's were the first team in history to wear anything other than black "cleats." Those are special shoes with "spikes" on the bottom to grip the ground as you run. To this very day I guess the A's still wear white Baseball shoes. I smell Sage.
In 1969 Mr. Steve wanted to wear white shoes like the A's. His mom looked "High and Low" as they say; to find some but only found white Soccer shoes. The next season Mr. Steve wore the white Soccer shoes on his Little League team; the only player not wearing black.
Day after tomorrow on Saturday, in book three, I'll write more about my boss wearing white shoes. He was picked on and got in fights over it. One time he told this guy named Joe Namath about that season. I guess Joe Namath was the first Football player to wear white shoes.
Wow! I didn't intend to write so much about Baseball but just felt like it. That's okay because there are no rules about what I have to write about. Besides, writing it down will help me learn new things and that's one of the main reasons I'm even doing this. I hear Wrens singing.
I feel great! This has been such a good day. Scanning the view to the east beyond our three Sheds the light blue sky is now streaked with white clouds. And there are a few long white "vapor trails" from planes up there now too. I just picked up the scent of a Gopher.
Ahh! A Fly just landed on me. But I just snapped at it with my mouth. Of course I missed. Flies are very fast. I sure do hope that when the hot weather comes there aren't too many Flies this year. Sometimes we have way too many Flies around here.
Oh! I see that Libby is now standing in her Corral and looking over at me. She's probably wondering what I'm doing. Some day maybe I'll tell her but for now I've got to keep my writing of these three books a "top secret" or "classified" as they say. I see the Gopher.
A Fly just tried to land on my notebook but I scared it away. But I can see a few Flies just to my front near that big tree about twenty feet from me. I can also see that Libby's tail is swatting away Flies over there in her corral. I don't really like Flies.
When I see how big Libby is it makes me wonder what a little Eohippus would look like. It's hard to believe there could be a Horse smaller than me. A newborn Horse now would be bigger than a full grown Eohippus. The Gopher's gone.
Eohippus was so small! And to think that Eohippus lived in such a dangerous world where Giant Sloths, big Rhinoceros's and the largest Elephants that have ever lived were around. I'm sort of glad I didn't live back then. I wonder what a Sloth is? It sounds kind of scary! GIANT SLOTH EOHIPPUS / RHINO WOOLY MAMMOTH
Eohippus were too small to ride. In those days Camels lived up here in North America. And Rhinos and Elephants had thick fur like Dais. Elephants were "Mammoths" or "Mastadons." Daisy says there's band called MASTADON. Eohippus must've been a fast runner!
There are some Cats who live around us up here in the High Desert. Our neighbor's have this black and white girl Cat named "Cher." She's not very friendly. Daisy told me that we're not supposed to like Cats anyway but I kind of like Cher even if she's not all that nice.
There are also Bobcats and Mountain Lions who live in the deserts and mountains near us. And sometimes Coyotes even come out at night. Mr. Steve says thousands of years ago there may even have been Wolves like the ones Dais and I supposedly came from.
"SABER TOOTH" LION "DIRE" WOLF
Mr. Steve told me when Eohippus lived there were these really scary "saber-toothed" Lions with long teeth sticking out of their mouths. There were also big "Dire" Wolves who hunted in packs at night he says. I'll bet they were very mean those Dire Wolves!
Wow! In this Encyclopedia there are some pictures of a saber-toothed Lion and a Dire Wolf. They do look really mean! I' sure glad there are no more of those saber-toothed Lions or Dire Wolves left anymore. A group of Sparrows just flew bye up in the sky.
Over the years my boss has visited the city of San Diego to our south. He even worked near San Diego for a year in 1993. When his Uncle Marty's family lived there in the 1970's Mr. Steve and his brother Rock visited them. Mr. Steve's Uncle was a"Medic" in Vietnam. SAN DIEGO
Whenever Mr. Steve has gone to San Diego he enjoys going to that place called "Sea World." They have Whales and many types of Fish there. And San Diego also has a really good Zoo with a lot of Animals to see. I just picked up the scent of one of our Joshua trees.
Mr Steve has been a "couple" with three girls in his life; Sandy, Emily and then Harriet. With Emily and Harriet he visited San Diego and they went to Sea World and also the San Diego Zoo. That's why he has so many pictures of Zoo Animals Dais says.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
One of my boss's long-time customers is a "Mazda" Auto Dealership down in the town of "Escondito." The Parts Manager is named Mark and over the years he and Mr. Steve have discussed San Diego and the history of that area to the northeast of San Diego.
Mr. Steve used to have five Car Dealerships he sold things to in the general area of San Diego. But now, unfortunately, he has only Mark in Escondito. My Encyclopedia says Escondito means "hidden" in Spanish. The Luiseño Indians called that area "Mehel-o-pom-pavo."
I guess Mr. Steve thinks the Spanish in the 18th century named that area "hidden treasure" or "hidden water" because it's in a little valley and has a small what they all "Creek." And in Spanish it would be called "Aqua Escondita." A Finch is chirping.
According to this Encyclopedia Escondito in the years after the Mexicans broke away from Spain in 1821 was called "Rancho Rincon del Diablo." That means "Devil's Corner Ranch." Mr. Steve says there's a Park in Escondito named after this guy named "Kit" Carson.
I'm going to write about 19th century "Alta" California and what they call the "Mexican War" in book two. But I feel like doing part of it now. My Spanish Dictionary says Alta means "Upper" in Spanish while "Baja" means "Lower."
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says during the Mexican War of the late 1840's there was a battle near where Escondito is now. I guess it took place in the year 1846 and was called the "Battle of San Pasqual." I smell a Rabbit around here.
I guess because America beat Mexico in the Mexican War it "acquired" the "Southwest" which included New Mexico and California too. Wow! According to what it shows on this map in my Encyclopedia the United States got a lot of new land after winning that war.
Because the United States won the Mexican War it not only got California but also the areas which would become the States of Nevada and Utah. And with that came parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado too. I see a Bunny Rabbit standing in the dirt.
In that Battle of San Pasqual this one man named Andrés Pico met the Americans under "General" Stephen Watts Kearny. I guess Andres Pico was a "Major" who led "Lancer" units who also used guns and "reatas" or "lariats" in English. A Lance is a spear. ANDRÉS PICO (1810-1876) STEPHEN W. KEARNY (1794-1848) A lariat is a rope. I guess General Kearny had marched from New Mexico with his army and was met at San Pasqual by Andres Pico's "Californios." Andres Pico's brother "Pio" was also famous in California history. That Rabbit's gone now.
For many years Mr. Steve and his parents were "Tour Guides" at this place called the "San Fernando Mission." According to my Encyclopedia it's full name in Spanish is "San Fernando, Rey de España" or "Saint Ferdinand, King of Spain."
Mr. Steve says near the San Fernando Mission is a house called the "Pico Adobe." It's one of the oldest houses in all of the San Fernando Valley; a "historical site" that's now "preserved" as a "Museum." Three Finches just flew bye.
I guess the Pico Adobe was originally built way back in 1834. That's what it says here in this Encyclopedia. And now it's named after that one man Andrés Pico who owned it for a time. My boss told me that they now hold some big holiday celebrations there.
PICO ADOBE (MISSION HILLS)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
My Encyclopedia says the Pico Adobe was built by "Tongva," "Tatavian" and "Chumash" Indians. I guess the Spanish called Tongvans and Tatavians "Fernandeños" and the Chumash "Ventuaños." My Spanish Dictionary says that "adobe" means "mud dried brick."
Mr. Steve and his mother have visited the Pio Adobe on a number of occasions. Every third Sunday in September there's a nice celebration called "Las Posadas" there he says. And on the Saturday before Christmas they also have some special events. I just love to celebrate!
"KIT" CARSON (0000-0000)
Even though he's not really on my outline until book two, I feel like writing about that guy "Kit" Carson a little bit right now. My boss told me, among other things, he's "associated" with New Mexico. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny the Crows are flying bye.
before General Kearny arrived out here in California after marching from New Mexico; other Americans under this man named "Admiral" thisAfter the United
From what it says here in my Encyclopedia "Alta" California was
Mr. Steve told me he hasn't been to San Diego for a long time. He now more fully appreciates the trips he took with Emily and Harriet and told his customer Mark at the Mazda dealership out some of the things he and his girlfriends did on those visits to San Diego.
Libby is nibbling the ground over there in her Corral. The next thing on my outline to write about are what they call "Nomadic Warriors." Daisy says Mr. Steve has read about them. They rode Horses to be travel around. Mr. Steve told Dais they used terror as "a tool."
Mr. Steve thinks that cultures which some think of as "primitive" have heavily influenced today's world. This one Encyclopedia says that "from ancient times through the Middle Ages" Horse-riding warriors had "stormed out of" the "Steppes" to terrorize other cultures.
This Dictionary says steppe means "the great plains of southeast Europe and Asia;" or what they call "Eurasia." There are few trees in a Plain. We have Plains here in America too. Daisy has me scheduled to write about them later; and also in books two and three.
Mr. Steve says some people still remember who "Attila the Hun" and "Genghis Khan" were. But they were just two of a number of "Horse-riding war leaders" from the Steppes." They are just the most famous. My Encyclopedia calls them "fearsome." I hear Crows cawing. photos
Attila the Hun lived in the 6th century A.D. That guy Genghis Khan was from the 1200's. This one Encyclopedia says that Attila was probably from the areas now called "Hungary" and "Romania." Genghis Khan's "Hordes" stormed out of "Mongolia." I smell new Juniper.
It says here that when the Attila's Huns and later Genghis Khan's Mongols "emerged" from the Steppes they would put pressure on other what are called "Sedentary" groups. That means populations that are "settled" and living in one spot; like China or Europe in those days.
ATTILA (406-453 A.D.) GENGHIS KHAN (0000-0000)
When the Huns or Mongolians "swept in" on an area this caused what's called a "Domino" effect of "displacement" but also "cultural exchange." That's what this one Encyclopedia says. "Uprooted refugee groups" pushed against other groups. I smell a Lizard around here.
Daisy told me our boss took pictures at the San Diego Zoo of a "Mongolian Pony" like the ones that carried Attila's Huns Genghis Khan's Mongols. She says they're kind stocky and have short legs but you can tell by the picture that those kind of Horses are really strong.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Daisy says our boss jokes that a Mongolian Pony is not exactly the best looking Horse in the world. They have big heads, thick necks and short legs. But they have what's called "Stamina." That means they don't get tired Daisy told me that one time. I just noticed the Lizard.
According to what Dais says, those Mongolian Pony's are not just strong but are also what they call "Agile." I felt good when our boss's friend Mr. Cliff said that I had "good wind." Dais thinks that means I don't get tired so easily the way she does. Daisy is still strong!
This one Encyclopedia says whenever Attila's Huns and Genghis Khan's Mongols attacked they were "merciless." They "terrorized" on the backs of their "short Ponies." I just noticed how the Lizard is now gone. I smell that one really old Joshua tree out in the desert.
I just glanced over to my right and see that Libby the Horse is walking around slowly. It's a beautiful day. Daisy is right! In a few months when it's really hot around here we'll think back fondly to days like today. Hey God! We sure wish every day could be like today.
There's a picture of that guy Attila on a coin here in my Encyclopedia. Dais would probably joke that Attila looks like the type of person you wouldn't want to get mad. I just noticed that from her Corral Libby the Horse is right now looking over here in this general direction.
Attila and the Huns lived in the 5th century A.D. when there were two Roman Empires; the original Latin Western Empire based in Italy and the newer Greek Eastern Empire whose main city was called "Constantinople." I'll write more about both of them for three days.
It says here in my Encyclopedia that Attila and his horsemen were a threat to "both" of the Roman Empires. He tried to "take" Constantinople but failed; probably because the walls were too thick. And Attila invaded Italy in 452 A.D. I can hear some Crows cawing faintly.
This is interesting. I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? The main reason why the Italian city of "Venice" was created is because Attila attacked. To escape him people "fled" into a "Lagoon." So I'll bet they just decided to build a town on the water; kind of like the Aztecs.
Well! I guess Mr. Steve was right. He said Attila's death, like Alexander the Great's death; was mysterious. He might've been poisoned; or just drank himself to death on alcohol Mr. Steve says. Fanny and Freddie the Crows are flying by right now. Freddy's cawing.
In 1985 Mr. Steve's father was what they call the "Grand Jury Foreman" for the city of Los Angeles. He was involved in the "Marilyn Monroe Case." Daisy has me scheduled to write a lot more about that girl Marilyn later. She married that Baseball player Joe Dimaggio.
Just like with that guy Attila, there's mystery surrounding Marilyn Monroe's death too. If I weren't so afraid of going all the way down the Hallway and into Mr. Steve's Bedroom; I could see this big picture of Marilyn Monroe on one of the walls. Dais has told me about it.
From what Daisy told me, that big picture of Marilyn Monroe shows her leaning out of a window. It's in a big frame and has glass covering it. Someday I really want to see that picture of Marilyn Monroe. But I'm still kind of scared to go in there. Dais says I'm silly.
I see the next thing to write about is that guy Genghis Khan. He lived in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. He and his Mongols conquered way more area than Attila. The map here in this Encyclopedia shows just how huge Genghis Khan's empire eventually got.
GENGHIS KHAN'S MONGOL EMPIRE
This map shows how huge Genghis Khan's eventually got. He even made it to India and the Middle East. Genghis Khan lived right after the age of the Vikings. His men brutally "raided" and killed too but on their Horses instead of the Viking's Long Ships. A Crow cawed.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve thinks it was sad that so many people had to die because of nomadic raiders like the Huns or Mongols. But in the "Long Run" as they say, those terrible times did produce some good cultural exchange. I hear Dawn barking over there next door.
GENGHIS KHAN (1162-1227)
My Encyclopedia says Genghis Khan's Mongols conquered one of the biggest empires ever; even bigger than Alexander the Great's. The only one bigger was Queen Victoria's 19th century British "Colonial" Empire. I'll write more about Queen Victoria in the next three days.
I guess that guy Genghis Khan even beat China at a time when China was one of the most "advanced" and powerful civilizations in the world. Then he "installed" his relatives in power and they ruled China for many years. A Finch landed on Manny the far right Shed.
Well! Daisy was right. She told me Mr. Steve said people can fire backwards while on the back of a running Horse. There's a good picture of some Mongols doing that exact thing here in this one Encyclopedia. Oh! Rudy the Roadrunner is jogging bye right now.
My Encyclopedia says modern civilization "adopted" some of the war-making technologies the 13th century Mongols used to kill them. The main three were the; "Saddle," "Stirrups" and "Gunpowder." I just picked up the faint scent of Libby over there in her Corral.
This Encyclopedia says a Mongolian Pony with a saddle was a good "Platform" for Mongol warriors to fire arrows. The stirrups made it possible to fire looking backwards. And this was while they were riding at full speed! Daisy and I would sure like to see that!
Back east in Connecticut my boss's sister Susan rides Horses. She's ridden Horses since she was a young girl and is a good rider. When she was a kid Susan had a boy Pony named"Dinky." Dinky was smart and would even jump over things when Susan wanted him to.
In the late 1970's Susan often rode Horses with their father. This was of course when they all lived down there in Sylmar. Their father's male Horse was named "Poco" and for a long time Susan had a female that everyone called "Shanique." I smell a Squirrel around here.
Some of the people who live up here still ride Horses. They go up and down the road in front of our house sometimes. And at other times Horse riders ride out there on Primavera; the dirt road beyond the back half acre. A little Bird just whizzed bye. I think it was a Wren.
GENGHIS KHAN KUBLAI KHAN (1215-1294)
After conquering China Genghis Khan's Grandson "Kublai Khan" later became the ruler of China. It was Kublai Khan who was in power as Emperor when Marco Polo and his uncles first arrived in China after traveling all the way from Italy; thousands of miles away.
Dais told me our boss has a book about Marco Polo in his office. One of these days I'll work up the courage to go all the way down the hallway to see his bedroom and office. Now the only thing I know about his office is what I see from beneath his window.
I wish we had a Time Machine like Mr. Peabody and Sherman! Then we could go back and see the Mongols. Or maybe go back even further and capture a real Eohippus. Then we could make money showing it to others. Everyone would pay to see it!
Some day I'd like to go to a Zoo or a place like Sea World down in San Diego. Mr. Steve told me Los Angeles also has a good Zoo. One time, through a friend of his brother Rock's, he was allowed to go "behind the scenes" to take pictures of what are called their "Birds of Prey."
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
When my boss photographed the Birds of Prey down at the L.A. Zoo the trainer held them on a glove on her hand. He took pictures of some Owls. We have a few Owls who live around here but they usually only come out at night. A baby Owl got stuck in the garage one time.
Looking to the east makes me think about California. Now millions of people live here but in the 18th century only the Indians were here. Crows are flying around and I can tell that two of them are Samson and Delilah. Boy! That Crow Samson is so huge!
Mr. Steve says one reason why Spain finally decided to colonize Upper California beginning in 1769 was because the British and Russians were beginning to show an interest in the area. The Russians were moving down from the area now called "Alaska."
According to Mr. Steve the way Spain planned on claiming California was by sending soldiers and Catholic Priests to establish towns called "Pueblos," military forts called "Presidios," and "Missions" for farming and converting the native populations.
The very first place the Spanish decided to settle in Upper California was in the area now called San Diego my boss told me. And, in 1769, the first of what would eventually be twenty one Missions in California was then set up in San Diego area.
SAN DIEGO MISSION
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
When my boss was at Saint Ferdinand's a "rival" in sports was "Saint Didacus," which is another way of saying San Diego Mr. Steve told me. He's attended "Mass" and photographed weddings " at Saint Didacus. Two of his nephews went to school there for a time.
My Encyclopedia says in 1769 Father Junipero Serra set up the first Mission in San Diego. He was this Franciscan "Friar" who had walked all the way from down in Baja California. He met some ships carrying supplies where the San Diego harbor now is.
I guess when "Padre" Serra arrived in1769 the Indians who lived in the San Diego area were and are still called "Kumayaay." There are two groups; the "Tipal" and "Lpai," both meaning "The People." Kumayaay means "Those who face the water from a cliff." Mr. Steve told me the Spanish called the native people near San Diego "Diegueño." And because of the dual nature of things the same Spaniards who brought them reading and writing, farming, and sanitation; also brought destruction and disease. Some of the Indians willingly accepted Catholicism and civilization. They were "converts" who the Spanish called "Neophytes." But others never accepted the Spanish and didn't like it that their cultures were considered "inferior" and "primitive."
It says here during the "Mission period" of the second half of the 18th century sometimes Indians in California revolted against the Spanish. I guess that in 1775 those around San Diego Mission killed some of the Spanish there. It was what they call an "uprising." Ten years later some "Tongva" Indians, led by a "Medicine Woman" named "Toypurina, rebelled against the San Gabriel Mission to our south. I guess a medicine woman is a "spiritual leader" who's kind of like a female Priest. I smell one of the Joshua trees.
That girl Toypurina must've been brave; and smart too because she spoke many Indian languages. She later became a Catholic. The Spanish called Toypurina's tribe "Gabrieliños." My boss says they're going to make a mural of her down in Pacoima. I feel so good! This old couch is so comfortable. I've already been here for a almost half a day and I'm not even tired. I'll bet pretty soon Mr. Steve will call us for a snack. Usually we've had one by this time but I guess my boss is busy trying to make us some money.
The desert is so beautiful! I smell so many things right now. I smell a lot of those wild flowers which always grow up out of the ground at this time of year. And I smell the Joshua trees out in the desert. Ah! I just smelled Libby the Horse.
Here in Piñon Hills there's a nice older lady named Phyllis who has a lot of Chickens, Goats and Horses. Mr. Steve told me that one of her Horses is a miniature Horse named "Minerva." Minerva has a little wagon and another small carriage that she pulls people in.
"MINERVA" THE MINIATURE HORSE
My boss says Minerva sometimes pulls her cart with people in it for parades. But Minerva isn't a Eohippus. All real Eohippus's are what they call "Extinct." Dais said that means they're all dead but I looked it up anyway. Ah! My nose, so far, is working perfect today.
I wonder if any Eohippus survive somewhere? Tomorrow at the end of book two I'll write about a Fish called a "Ceolocathe." It was thought to be extinct but they found one and since then have even caught a few more.
I we could somehow find just one Eohippus we could "make a fortune" as they say. Everyone would pay good money to come and see it. We'd have to guard it so no one would come and try to steal it from us. I can see that Libby is over there in her corral.
Mr. Steve thinks Eohippus probably "died out" because they couldn't adjust fast enough to a changing environment. According to that man Charles Darwin and his theory about Evolution or Natural Selection this very often happens in history. I smell a Joshua tree.
Even though it's not on my outline I suddenly feel like writing about a band my boss likes called DEVO. Their name stands for "De-Evolution." Mr. Steve thinks DEVO were really creative and clever but surprisingly never made it beyond "Cult" status.
Dais says De-Evolution" stands for Charles Darwin's idea of evolution going in reverse. She and that other Dog Millie one time watched as Mr. Steve played drums to some of DEVO'S songs. DEVO are from a State called "Ohio" but live in Los Angeles now.
One of my boss's favorite drummers was in DEVO; Daisy thinks mainly because he's "steady" and "consistent" rather than "flashy." Mr. Steve admits he's not that good of a drummer but he still likes to play the drums "just for the fun of it" as they say.
A Devo song Mr. Steve likes to play drums to is about a big giant snowball that keeps on rolling back down a big hill Dais told me. She says that our boss, who plays right-handed, likes songs where he can use this thing called a "Hi-Hat." I hear Birds singing. SISYPHUS
Daisy says when our boss hears that DEVO song Snowball he thinks about the ancient Greek myth of the bad King "Sisyphus" who was punished for eternity by having to roll a big boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down. Eternity is "forever."
According to Dais DEVO, who Mr. Steve and his friend Mark Ritter saw play at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in the late 1970's, are known for "music videos." Their songs sometimes use "surrealist" humor she says. I just smelled Sagebrush.
My Encyclopedia says DEVO's music involves "Kitsch" Science Fiction themes and "satirical social commentary." Daisy told me that DEVO wore yellow "Haz-Mat" type suits and moved like robots up on stage. I guess haz mat stands for "hazardous materials."
From what my boss told me, in many if not most bands except a few like KANSAS or that band from Canada called RUSH, the drums are not what they call a "lead" instrument. Along with the "bass" player and sometimes a guitarist; they form the "Rhythm Section."
As I understand it, in most bands the Rhythm Section provides what's called the "bottom" or "foundation" of a song. A while back Mr. Steve, even though he doesn't really dance anymore, showed some kids how to follow the Rhythm Section in dancing to most songs.
Mr. Steve says usually the singer and other musicians in a band follow what the drummer does so he has to be consistent and not go off on tangents like I do sometimes in my writing. One time he heard this guy named Ronnie James Dio explain the role of the Rhythm Section.
My boss took pictures of that guy Ronnie James Dio; who said his Rhythm Section was like the "Engine Room" of a big Ship; or "Linemen" in Football. If they do their job right usually they are not really noticed all that much. Their job is to be consistent.
Mr. Steve says his his drumming is very what they call "basic." One time on his Boombox he played this really good song called "Never Say Never" by a 1980's band from up there in San Francisco called ROMEO VOID. I can now smell a Mouse somewhere nearby.
Daisy told me our boss likes to play along to songs like Never Say Never where the drummer is not "flashy" but consistent. That means he likes songs by the KINKS or AC/DC. Someday if I ever get over my fear of going all the way down the Hallway I can hear him play drums.
Daisy told me about this little machine called a "Metronome." Mr. Steve used to have one in his bedroom but gave it away as a birthday gift she says. A Metronome is; "A device that beats time at a desired rate" according to my Dictionary. I now see the Mouse.
I'll bet a Metronome helps a musician to be consistent. I guess that's the way our boss plays drums and why he likes Devo and the way Romeo Void's drummer plays on Never Say Never. I kind of like the way Romeo Void's girl singer sounds. She has a really nice voice.
I'm still thinking about little Eohippus. I just felt like writing about that band Devo even though they weren't on my outline. But as Dais says, I can learn and write about things that just pop into my mind. Oh! That one Mouse that I saw is gone now.
Even if we couldn't make money off of a Eohippus I'd sure love to have one just as a pet. It would have two acres to run around and Daisy and I would take such good care of it. Eohippus babies must be really small. I'll bet a little baby Eohippus would be so cute!
Well, according to my book one outline the next thing I want to write about is a story that my boss was told about. A while back, at the Phelan Library, an older Mormon man told Mr. Steve about a local legend about a hidden gold mine. I sure wish I had a lot of gold!
That man at the Library said it's "rumored" in the early 1900's some Spanish "Franciscan" Priests living in this area discovered gold in the mountain just to the south of us. Later, my boss found out it was "Jesuit" Priests. But both are what they call "Clerics."
According to that old legend no one knows where the gold mine is. When those Priests were "recalled" back to Spain they buried it to hide it. They did this by causing a landslide. But since that time nobody knows exactly where that gold mine is. I smell a Sage bush.
Mr. Steve told me many people don't realize that the first gold found here in California was not at "Sutter's Mill" up in northern California in 1848. A small amount of gold was actually discovered in 1842 right here in southern California just north of Sylmar.
There's a town called "Santa Clarita." And one of the roads goes through this place called "Placerita Canyon." "Placer" is Spanish for describing an area "near the surface" where sand or gravel has some gold in it. That's what it says here in my Spanish Dictionary.
According to my boss the first gold discovered in California was by a "Rancher" in 1842. He was resting near a big Oak tree and dug up some wild onions with his knife. He found "flecks" of gold hanging on the roots. Mr. Steve says that Oak tree is still there.
For years Mr. Steve and his parents were "Tour Guides" at the San Fernando Mission. So they knew about that first gold discovery. Maybe the legend just might be true! I'd sure like to find out if it is. Whoever finds it will be "set for life" as they say. A Sparrow is singing.
My boss knows about Franciscan Priests because of the many years he and his parents were "Docents" at the San Fernando Mission. Over the years they've conducted many tours of the Mission grounds. A big flock of Birds just flew bye way up high in the air.
According to his Encyclopedia after that guy Father Serra founded the San Diego Mission in 1769 he then went on to set up the first nine Alta California Missions. And even though some of the Indians now don't like him he was not as bad to them as the other Spaniards.
"FRAY" JUNIPERO SERRA (1713-1784)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
When Father Serra arrived in the San Diego area in 1769 he and those with him had made a very difficult trip all the way from Baja California. And Mr. Steve says, for the rest of his life he was known for walking all over southern California setting up other Missions.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia there were eventually twenty one Missions here in California. Besides the San Fernando Mission Mr. Steve has visited the ones in San Gabriel, San Diego, Capistrano and Santa Barbara. A Squirrel just ran past the three Sheds.
"ALTA" CALIFORNIA MISSIONS
As a Tour Guide at the San Fernando Mission Mr. Steve and his parents also learned about the other twenty Spanish Missions up and down Alta California. They also knew about the "post" Mission era after 1821 when Mexico broke from Spain and "secularized" the Missions.
In 1987, two years after taking pictures of him in Rome, my boss took pictures of Pope John Paul II at the San Fernando Mission. This was on a visit to Los Angeles by the Pope who knew a lot about the San Fernando Mission so wanted to see it himself.
POPE JOHN PAUL II AT SAN FERNANDO MISSION (1987)
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÒRDOVA
Usually Mr. Steve is a very calm person but in 1987 when he was assigned to take pictures of the Pope he was nervous. He was representing as a photographer four small local San Fernando Valley newspapers; three in English and one written in Spanish. I smell a Mouse.
It took six months for my boss to be "cleared" by the "Secret Service" before giving him the okay to photograph the Pope. In 1996, before working up at Edwards Air Force Base for his friend Rick, he went through another background check. But he passed both times.
During the entire day when Mr. Steve went to take pictures of the Pope in 1987 there was what they call a Secret Service Agent with him. That was a very "nerve-wracking" day for Mr. Steve. He still cringes at times when he thinks about it he says. I see the Mouse.
PAINTING ON MARBLE BY STELLA CÓRDOVA PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
My boss says, in part, photography is the "adapting to or the manipulation of light." There are times when you manipulate light by using this thing called a "Flash." At other times you adjust the camera settings to the particular light in that room. The Mouse ran away.
In photography Mr. Steve told me the worst situation is when the light comes from behind a subject. This is what's called being "back lit." In 1987 when taking pictures of the Pope this was the situation Mr. Steve and the many other photographers were faced with.
As they were escorted into the Hall at the Seminary where the Pope met with the Cardinals and Bishops there was a noticable amount of grumbling from photographers who realized all the light in this big giant room was coming from long "Bay" windows that faced them.
With all of the light in this big Hall coming from behind the "subject" or "object" of the these pictures, the Pope, Mr. Steve knew immediately that this job was not going to be simple matter of just "framing" the Pope in pictures where there was enough light. I smell a Joshua tree.
My boss and the other photographers had to adapt fast! Photographers from "Time" and "Life" magazines, as well as one from England, were complaining loudly as everyone used light meters to check the light. It was dim in the Hall. That Dragonfly just zoomed past.
All at once it seemed, everyone knew they could gamble and hope the Pope got within range to use a Flash; or they could do what's called "Pushing" the film to fit the light in that particular situation. Mr. Steve decided it would be safer for him to just Push the film.
That Hall was so huge and there were so many Cardinals and Bishops greeting the Pope that the photographers used what are called "long" lenses. Unlike many of the other photographers who had really long lenses, the longest lens my boss had was 70-210 in length.
Mr. Steve said not only was the room poorly lit but, the film would have to be pushed three "stops" to have enough light. It was awful he says. There was much complaining to the Secret Service Agents and later almost fist fights. This made my boss very nervous.
If these great photographers from all over the world, with the best of equipment, were not confident they had gotten good shots in the eight minutes they had to do their job, Mr. Steve thought to himself; "what makes me think I got anything!" A Crow just cawed.
On the bus ride back downtown to pick up his car my boss said he was "sweating bullets" like in that song by a band called Megadeth. He was already thinking of plan B just in case it turned out he hadn't gotten anything. He would use his pictures from 1985. There's the Crow.
Photography my boss says, can be dual in nature; good with bad and bad with good. Pushing film allows you to take pictures in a low light situations when you can't be sure the subject will come within range of a Flash, but also makes the pictures more "grainy" when developed.
And with each stop the film needs to be pushed Mr. Steve says, the possibility of more grain gets bigger. Later, as he developed the film, my boss's heart was "racing." As you know, he kept saying Hail Mary's asking You for mercy Blessed Virgin. The Crow just flew away.
But, it turned out okay he told me. The prints were far from perfect but no one was "ever the wiser" as they say. He had "dodged a bullet" as they say. In fact, all of his bosses or "Editors," were really happy with the prints he made in the "Dark Room" he had at home.
SAN FERNANDO MISSION
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
The San Fernando Mission has been a big part of Mr. Steve's family. But, after moving up here my boss quit giving tours. But, "on his own," at times he shows people around. The last time he did some Girl Scouts asked good questions. I'd like to tour the Mission!
Mr. Steve's mother is a really good artist! He and his mother's artwork; her paintings and drawings and his photos, were what they call "exhibited" at the San Fernando Mission in 1992 on the 500th Anniversary of Columbus's first voyage. Some Sparrows just flew bye.
That Art Exhibit at the Mission in 1992 is the one and only time that the Priest who runs the Mission ever allowed such a thing to happen my boss says. And it will most likely be the last he told me. That Priest is very strict about such thing Mr. Steve said. I hear Ducks quacking.
The same paintings, drawings and photographs on display at the San Fernando Mission back in 1992 were later shown at this other Mission to the south called "San Juan Capistrano." And after that they were set up at the Natural History Museum downtown.
PAINTING BY STELLA CÓRDOVA MR. STEVE'S MOTHER, MR. STEVE IN FRONT OF PHOTO BY STEVE CÒRDOVA
THE L.A. COUNTY NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
Mr. Steve and his mom's artwork was on display down at the Natural History Museum for a year. They wanted to make it what's called "permanent" but then my boss and his mother would have had to give the County all of the artwork. They didn't really want to do that.
The Natural History Museum is right across the street from the "U.S.C" campus; next to this big stadium called the "Coliseum." U.S.C stands for University of Southern California and in book two tomorrow I'll write more about the campus and the Coliseum too.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve told me about a statue at U.S.C. called "Tommy Trojan." It was put up in 1930 and was going to be called the "Spirit of Troy." But then the school marching band took that name. It cost ten thousand dollars which was a lot of money during the Great Depression.
Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money now too! My boss says the rumor that Tommy Trojan was named after "Tommy's Hamburgers" isn't true. Mr. Steve thinks Daisy and I would really like the food at "Tommy's." Boy, that makes me feel kind of hungry right now.
Whenever I go in the Living Room on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons I always like to look at Mr. Steve's mother's paintings. The big painting above the couch is of the bells at the San Fernando Mission Chapel. It's so amazing what a good artist my boss's mother is!
I remember when Mr. Steve told me about 1997. That was when many of his mom's art pieces which were at the Natural History Museum were "shown" in "Wrightwood" which is about ten miles to the southeast from where we live. People ski in Wrightwood.
This German lady named Helga had a small what they call "Gallery" in Wrightwood back in 1997. Mr. Steve and his mother had an Art Exhibit there. There are still Germans who live up here in the High Desert. In fact, the lady built our house in 1989 was German.
The United States under President Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin's Soviet Russia were allies in the Second World War. But as soon Nazi Germany was defeated and the war in Europe ended in 1945 America and Russia became enemies during the "Cold War."
I'm going to write more about the Cold War in books two and three. But right now I'll just say how, when World War II was over; we competed with Russia for the "Brain Power" of the defeated Germans. I can hear two Crows yelling at each other out there in the desert.
Mr. Steve told me that a lot of people don't know it but at the end of the Second World War American officials made the decision to bring many Nazi Scientists here to America. They were given false papers and their history was "Whitewashed" in "Operation Paperclip."
German Pilots from World War II settled with their families near us because of Edwards Air Force Base. Mr. Steve jokes how this one Rocket Scientist named Werner von Braun's "brain" got the United States to the Moon in 1969. I'll write about him tomorrow.
A German lady whose last name was "Gunther" had our house built in 1989. She was what they call the "Widow" of a man who had been a Pilot in the "Luftwaffe;" the German Air Force in World War II. He was related to Herman Göring who commanded the Luftwaffe.
HERMAN GÖRING (1893-1946)
According to this Encyclopedia, as a young man Herman Göring, like J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis and also Ernest Hemingway, fought in World War I; but for the Germans. As what they call a "Fighter Pilot" he was "highly decorated." A Bunny Rabbit just hopped bye.
I guess Herman Göring was the last Commander of a famous "Squadron" which was named after Manfred von Richtofen; the "Red Baron." For years Mr. Steve has studied about the pilots who fought in the First World War. Dais has me writing more about that tomorrow.
HERMAN GÖRING IN WORLD WAR I
Since he was kid Mr. Steve has built models of Planes, Cars and other things. He still has a model he built of a World War I era "Biplane." A Biplane has two sets of wings rather than just one like all modern Planes have now. I just picked up the scent of Sagebrush.
I'm scheduled to write in more detail about Aviation history in my second and third books. Tomorrow I'll write about The Red Baron and also Herman Göring. And day after tomorrow I'll learn about the advanced German aviation technology of the Second World War.
Another thing Dais and I have planned for books two and three is learning and writing more about Operation Paperclip. I'm not only going to find out about that one guy Werner von Braun but other German Nazis like this guy named Reinhard Gehlen. I hear Crows cawing.
REINHARD GEHLEN (1902-1979)
I'm so tempted to write about that man Reinhard Gehlen right now. But, I better just wait to do it in the order Daisy and I have planned on my book two and three outlines. Mr. Steve thinks in some ways Reinhard Gehlen was even more important than Werner von Braun.
Over the years my boss has gone with his friends to see what are called "Air Shows." And he took pictures of "restored" World War II Airplanes. Mr. Steve also took photos of this thing called the "Space Shuttle" when it landed back on Earth at Edwards Air Force Base.
FOCKE-WULF 190 "WÜRGER"
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
A German "Fighter" Planes Mr. Steve took pictures of is a "Focke-Wulf 190." Here in my Encyclopedia it says it was known as a "Wurger." And my German Dictionary says that means "Striker." When he was a kid Mr. Steve once built a model of the Focke-Wulf 190.
Daisy told me that on this thing called a "divider" between the Kitchen and Dining Room in our house our boss has some "miniature" soldiers. But he also has some of the model Airplanes and Tanks he's built over the years. A Jackrabbit just sprinted bye in front of me.
That German lady from Wrightwood Miss Helga, who died a few years ago, did "matting" and "framing" of artwork. She was talented my boss says. Mr. Steve's mother hired her to do a long "two-sided" scroll or poster of the "Temple Mount" in Jerusalem.
Daisy says that poster of the Temple Mount, which was bought in Israel, hangs on the west wall in the Hallway of our house Daisy says. On the front is a picture of the Temple Mount as seen from the east. Mr. Steve also took a picture of the Temple Mount from that angle.
Daisy told me if you turn that long poster over, on the back is what's called "text" which tells you all about the long history of the Temple Mount and this other thing called the "Dome of the Rock." Miss Helga did an amazing job Dais says. I can smell one of our Joshua trees.
Someday I'll what they call "get over" my "irrational" fear of going down the skinny hallway in our house. Right now I can go into the living room on most Saturdays to watch our cartoons. But, as Daisy says, I could open up a world if I could just overcome my fear.
That lady Miss Helga lived in Wrightwood. Mr. Steve says there's an area above Wrightwood called "Mountain High" where people from all over come every Winter to "ski." From what Dais told me that means they go fast down the snow-covered hills or "slopes."
Mr. Steve's sister Susan, and her two sons, are good skiers. Mr. Steve used to water ski when their family had a Speedboat back in the 1980's but says he's now too old to take such risks like skiing. A flock of Birds is going bye right now way up high in the light blue sky.
My boss broke bones and had some bad cuts when he was young. He says he still heals well but it would be much worse to get injured at his age. He's noticed that since he moved up here from Sylmar, during the cold Winters his repaired bones sometimes hurt a little bit.
I've at times wondered if I could learn to ski. Mr. Steve told me he's seen some Dogs on surf boards and skis. But Daisy thinks we'd look too ridiculous on skis. Besides that she tells me, it costs a lot of money to surf or ski! Dais is probably right. She usually is.
The Franciscan Priests who came to California in the late 18th century are named after this "Monk" called "Saint Francis." He was from an Italian town called "Assisi." Daisy told me that a Monk is sort of like a Priest. So they definitely pray even more than we do.
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI (1182-1226)
According to this Encyclopedia the Franciscan "Order" was established by Saint Francis in the 13th century. Daisy and I admire Saint Francis because he's the "Patron" Saint of animals; and we're animals. A friend of Mr. Steve's once visited Assisi over in Italy.
A quote from Saint Francis that our boss read is; "If you have men who exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will find men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." Daisy says hopefully we'll meet St. Francis up in Heaven.
IMMANUEL KANT (1724-1804
PAINTING BY ARILDO LUIZ MARCONATTO
On Saturday, the day after tomorrow in book three; Daisy has me scheduled to write about this one famous German "Enlightenment" Philosopher named Immanuel Kant. I wrote down a quote of his. He said; "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
SOCRATES (469 -399 B.C.) ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.)
One of the things Mr. Steve studied in College was "Philosophy." So he started with ancient Greece. One of the people he learned about was named "Aristotle" who made a list to twelve "moral" virtues. Before Aristotle lived another man named "Socrates."
Mr. Steve knew this girl named Anita in College. She rescued Animals in the 1980's and said that following "Aristotilian Ethics" one would have to be sympathetic to Animals because then one would be more likely to be nice to people too. Socrates also taught Ethics.
I'm kind of thirsty. I thinks I'll hide everything and take a break. I think I'll go around to the front of the house and see what Dais is doing. I'd say it's about twelve thirty based on where the Sun is up there in the sky. I still have seven more chapters to go today.
Well, I'm back. Is saw Dais in the Garage and told her I just finished writing about that guy Saint Francis. She said it's times like this that we could sure use a Way Back machine just like the one Sherman and Mr. Peabody have. It would be so great to meet Saint Francis.
If we had a time Machine we could travel back in time to meet anyone we wanted like Saint Francis. We could even ask him questions and learn from Saint Francis. I would want to ask him why he made it a rule that all the Franciscans have to cut their hair like that!
Daisy and I learned a new word the other day. It's "Teleportation." This means "transfer of matter from one point to another." This must be what Sherman and Mr. Peabody do with their Way Back Machine. Boy, I sure do wish we had our own Way Back Machine.
When my boss was a kid in the 1960's his father didn't think it was such a good idea to watch to much tv. That's why their family was one of the last families in the neighborhood to go out and get a "color" tv. Until then they only had a "black and white" television.
Mr. Steve thinks the thing that convinced his father to "give in" and buy the family a color tv was a time in New Mexico when he came into the room and saw everyone watching a show about this crime fighter named "Batman." He was impressed by how it looked.
Someday I really want to see that show Batman. Dais and that other Dog Millie saw it a few times and Daisy says it's incredible. The acting is so great and they even tell you when there's action going on by writing it out. Boy! That would be pretty amazing all right.
According to what Daisy told me that guy Batman fights against crime in "Gothum City" and his assistant is named "Robin." They have to be so clever to defeat all of the colorful criminals like The Penguin or Cat Woman. I just picked up the slight scent of a Sage plant.
For most of his life our boss has liked to draw. And one of the things that he's drawn over the years are called "logos." One of the logos he drew was the Batman "emblem." He's also drawn the logos for Superman, Spiderman and many other what they call "Super Heroes."
Another tv show Mr. Steve used to watch in color was called "Star Trek." Dais told me that it's about the future where a crew of men, women and aliens traveled all around the Universe in this big Spaceship called the "Enterprise." Someday I really want to see that show too.
Daisy says she's sure I'd really like that show Star Trek because some "episodes" deal with time travel and she knows how much I'm interested in that subject. Daisy told me that one of the main "characters" in Star Trek even has these pointed ears like we do.
According to Dais the "Starship" Enterprise is equipped with this amazing machine called a "Transporter" which allowed the crew to disappear and then reappear wherever they wanted. They called it "beaming" up or down. Boy! I would like to see that with my own eyes.
It's too bad we don't have a Transporter! If only there was a way to invent one. I know one thing for sure; whoever does make one will get so rich. There would be a never ending supply of customers. I'm sure Mr. Steve could sell a lot of them. I hear Birds singing.
I wonder if anyone has ever made a tv show about Saint Francis? If not then we should do it because that would be another way to make money. Every animal would want to go see it. Mr. Steve jokes that if his hair keeps "thinning out" he'll soon look like Saint Francis.
SNOW ON LANDSLIDE AREA OF MOUNTAIN
Daisy has noticed this big landslide area up on the mountain behind our Post Office; to the southeast. When it snows you can really see it. That just might be the landslide from the old story! We should go look for that gold mine. Daisy does like to dig!
We could get rich if we found that gold mine! It would be our "El Dorado!" Sometimes I've wondered what Mr. Peabody would do in our situation. I think he'd try to find the gold. Too bad we don't have a Way Back machine. Then we'd know for sure where that mine is!
According to my outline the next thing I want to write about are three famous men who are now "associated" with our area; a British writer named Aldous Huxley, a movie star named Roy Rogers and this one musician named Frank Zappa. I hear Ducks quacking.
Aldous Huxley was one of the most famous writers of the 20th century. In the last years of his life he and his wife lived kind of near us in this one place called "Llano;" which means "Plain" in Spanish. That's where that girl drummer from the band Vixen now lives.
I just looked up Llano in my Spanish Dictionary. From what Mr. Steve says Llano is about sixteen miles to the east of our two and a half acres. A large part of it is near the Mountains and that's where that guy Aldous Huxley had a ranch. I smell some Sagebrush.
Tomorrow in book two I'll write about what they call "Utopian Communities." One of them was "Llano del Rio;" which is what Llano was originally called in the early 20th century. Mr. Steve and his Tour Group visited two "Kibbutz" when they were in Israel in 1985.
According to this Encyclopedia Aldous Huxley wrote what they call "Utopian fiction." And in 1932 he published his most famous book called "Brave New World." Daisy told me Mr. Steve bought a a "paperback" copy of Brave New World at a local Garage Sale recently.
Aldous Huxley wrote about a bad or Dystopian world of the future. My boss thinks he was a good what they call "Satirist." According to my Dictionary a Satirist criticizes or makes fun of people or cultures. Sometime those people don't know they're being "ridiculed."
ALDOUS HUXLEY (1899-1963) WITH WIFE MARIA
I guess Aldous Huxley and his first wife Maria came from England and for a time lived in this place called "Taos;" which is a town in New Mexico. A friend of Mr. Steve's named Dave just moved to Taos from Los Angeles. My boss has been to Taos. He says it's pretty there.
Maria Huxley died in 1955, the year my boss was born. She and her famous husband were living in Llano at the time. It says here that about a year later Aldous Huxley re-married. His second wife was named Laura and she was with him until he died in 1963.
That lady named Miss Susan, who ran the local newspaper for many years, told Mr. Steve that Aldous Huxley once described our very cold Winter winds as "biting" or "bone chilling." I think that's a very excellent description and so does Daisy. They hurt!
On those really cold windy days we both Daisy and I go and hide in our Garage. But Daisy is lucky to have thick fur. And she'll go in the house but I'm still kind of afraid to do that. But I think I'll force myself to go in there even though it will take a lot of courage.
This is interesting. It says here that Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis too, died on November 22, 1963. And this is a very famous day in American history because it's the exact same day that a President named John F. Kennedy was killed; or what they called "assassinated."
JOHN F. KENNEDY / JACQUELINE KENNEDY
President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Steve had told me that. Dallas is close to a city called "Arlington" where my boss's brother Rock lives with his two sons Rocky Junior and Jacob. Fannie and Freddie are flying bye; way up there high in the light blue sky.
Because Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis died on the same day President Kennedy was killed, Mr. Steve says their deaths got "buried" in the news. For a time my boss told me, many people didn't even know that Aldous Huxley or C.S. Lewis had "expired" as they say.
I just looked that up and Daisy's right. Expired does mean to die. It's so great to have all of these Encyclopedias and Dictionaries to help me write my three books. Boy, I really do hope that no one expires around here any time soon! That would be so bad!
LEWIS HUXLEY JFK
A while back Mr. Steve did some artwork for this nice lady from Llano who says she grew up as a neighbor of Mr. Huxley and his second wife. She says they were nice to her and her sister; even though at times Aldous Huxley was kind of what they call "standoffish."
When my boss heard the lady say that he told me he kind of "cringed" inside because one time this other lady used those exact same words to describe him. Daisy and I don't think he's standoffish at all but he does admit he's not exactly the friendliest person in the world.
Another famous person from our area was Roy Rogers. Mr. Steve told me he was married to a nice lady named Dale Evans and they had a lot of kids. They also had this really smart Horse named "Trigger." My boss says Trigger could do tricks and even count!
Hey God! As You know of course, I want to be as smart as Trigger someday. And I want to be just like Mr. Peabody too. He had to have been one of the smartest boy Dogs in all of history. I want to known as the smartest girl Dogs. Boy, that would be so great!
ROY ROGERS (1911-1998) / TRIGGER / DALE EVANS (1912-2001)
Mr. Steve told me about a city to our east called "Apple Valley;" where that guy Roy Rogers and his family lived for many years. Apple Valley is just to the east of "Victorville" which is the biggest "city" up here in our area of the High Desert. It's thirty miles away.
A few months ago Mr. Steve attended a funeral at the cemetery in Apple Valley where Roy Rogers and his wife were buried. That cemetery is located on a beautiful site right next to some mountains. Blackbeard and Anne Bonney the Crows are flying bye up high in the sky.
GRAVES OF ROY ROGERS AND DALE EVANS
According to what my boss told me Roy Rogers and his wife are buried alongside each other as his parents will be when they die. Mr. Steve thinks it's kind of sad that both of his Grandma's are buried here in California but their husbands are buried back in New Mexico.
Grandma Córdova and Grandma Trujillo are buried at the "Mission" Cemetery right near the San Fernando Mission where Mr. Steve and his parents were Tour Guides. And his younger sister Celina is there too. His parents already have "Crypts" at that cemetery.
Even though he was there for a funeral in Apple Valley, Mr. Steve enjoyed walking around the grounds of that cemetery and taking pictures. He told me there's even a big thirty foot tall statue of Roy Rogers' Horse Trigger near his owner's grave sites. I smell a Mouse.
I know that my boss has been to many cemeteries over the years. And that's why I plan on writing about some of them in my three books. But mainly I plan on writing about them toward the end of my third book. I just picked up the faint scent of a Cholla cactus.
ROY ROGERS MUSEUM (APPLE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA)
According to Mr. Steve, for many years there was a Roy Rogers Museum in Apple Valley. He and his father stopped bye there a few times to eat and see the exhibits. This was when they were either going to or coming from business trips to Las Vegas. I see the Mouse over there.
One time my boss bought a Cleveland Indians Baseball cap for his girlfriend Emily at the Gift Shop of the Roy Rogers Museum. And another time he got Harriet a funny bumper sticker. Mr. Steve likes going to Museums. I really want to go to a Museum someday.
Mr. Steve was told the Roy Rogers Museum moved to this place called "Branson." It's a city in the State of Missouri. I know that my boss has customers in Missouri. I just noticed that the Mouse is scurrying away and is now running under Manny the far right Shed. ROY ROGERS MUSEUM (BRANSON, MISSOURI)
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says Dale Evens' birthday was the October 31st. That's "Halloween" night and was also Mr. Steve's Grandma Trujillo. Oh my God! They both died in 2001! Boy, what a coincidence! Mr. Steve will be interested in that.
I just thought of something I kind of feel like writing about right now even though on my outline I was going to do it later. That's what they call the "topic" of this famous road called "Route 66." Aha! I can see the Mouse standing next to the big tree.
Mr. Steve has discussed Route 66, which is called a "Highway," with some of his customers in other States where it went through. He tells them the city of Victorville was one of the places it came through here in California. It also went through the State of Missouri too.
According to this Encyclopedia Route 66 was created in 1926 and I can see from this map here in the Encyclopedia that it came all way out here to California. I remember my boss saying that Route 66 ended on the coast in this one city called "Santa Monica."
In 1979 Mr. Steve and his friend Mark Ritter took this trip through Arizona and then New Mexico. They were in Mark Ritter's Truck and at times drove on what's left of Route 66. Most of Route 66 is gone now. Blackbeard and Anne Bonney the Crows just flew bye.
On that "Road" trip back in 1979 Mr. Steve and his friend Mark at times talked about the history of Route 66. Mr. Steve learned a lot about Route 66 on that trip. Mark Ritter died a few years ago. Whenever he hears about Route 66 my boss thinks of his friend.
Mr. Steve has pleasant memories of the 1979 trip. They listened to music and one of the bands they listened to were The Eagles; who were from Los Angeles. They have this song called "Hotel California" and Mark Ritter thought the words might be about Route 66. THE EAGLES
That guy Mark Ritter told my boss when he heard that song Hotel California he could almost "visualize" driving toward Los Angeles at night and coming in from the east. Mr. Steve says he's driven toward Los Angeles at night and says the horizon kind of glows.
Mr. Steve's family drove back and forth to New Mexico a few times during the 1960's. And he thinks it was probably sort of like driving on old Route 66. To get some attention a few of the Motels had these gimmicky things like giant arrows sticking out of the ground.
Mr. Steve says he had a dream a while back about one of his families drives to and from New Mexico. He remembers the Signs all along the Highways which advertised for things that were ahead. One thing he recalls are the many Signs with Rabbits on them.
Another thing my boss remembers about those trips in the Car was how good the food seemed to taste at the "Cafes" they stopped to eat at. In that one dream he and his brothers and sisters were eating some Pancakes and he had some Blueberry syrup on his.
On their trip through California, Arizona and New Mexico in 1979 Mr. Steve's friend Mark Ritter told him about this place near Amarillo, Texas called "Cadillac Ranch." It's near the old Route 66 and someone buried some Cars half in the dirt as a sort of Art Project.
Mr. Steve occasionally has to go to the city of Victorville which is about thirty miles to the east of Piñon Hills. At times it's because the Hardware Store in Phelan doesn't have something that we need. I can smell some of the Joshua trees that live here on our two acres.
Whenever my boos goes to Victorville he sees this big Route 66 sign which goes over the road. That sign in Victorville is above what used to part of old Route 66. Mr. Steve has taken pictures of that sign and has even done some artwork using those pictures too.
ROUTE 66 (VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA)
The city of Victorville still "commemorates" Route 66 even though most of it is gone now. They even have a Museum there dedicated to the subject of Route 66. And there's a city to the north of us called "Barstow" where they also celebrate Route 66. I smell a Lizard.
Well, that was kind of fun writing about Route 66. But now it's back to my outline and I can see that I still have to write about this third famous person who "came out of" the High Desert. His name was Frank Zappa and he was a really good musician my boss told me.
I guess that guy Frank Zappa went to Antelope Valley High School. Mr. Steve says he was one of the most "unconventional" of musicians. He was really different he told me. I guess I'm sort of unconventional too because I'm different. I see the Lizard over there. FRANK ZAPPA (1940-1993)
Mr. Steve has a customer named Bob who is the Parts Manager at an Auto Dealership in Bolivar, Missouri. But he grew up here in California and went to Antelope Valley High School just like Frank Zappa did. They've discussed Frank Zappa over the last ten years.
It's okay to be different sometimes my boss says. He know because he's fifty eight years old and never got married. But he doesn't mind being different. In fact, he kind of likes it now. He likes a song by The Kinks called "I'm Not Like Everybody Else." The Lizard is still there.
That Lizard is standing in the dirt next to the bottom of the big tree. It's arching its back the way Lizards do. Sometime Lizards climb up onto the ledge outside of Mr. Steve's office window. They look in and arch their back but run away when they see Mr. Steve looking at them.
I just noticed that up in the sky there's one of those white vapor trails which comes out of the back of a Jet. Usually a vapor trail is a single solid line but sometimes, like right now, it's in two lines. Mr. Steve told me Frank Zappa grew up near Edwards Air Force Base.
My boss says Frank Zappa, who was satirical, played "Rock" music but also had Jazz, Classical and many other influences in his songs. Frank Zappa can't easily be what they call "pigeonholed" Mr. Steve told me. That one Lizard ran away.
Mr. Steve has sold apparel for many years. The last few years have been hard because of the bad economy and people not having "pocket money" to buy apparel or promotional products. He thinks one of the main reasons is because of the high cost of gas now.
I just looked up how to spell "apparel." I already knew that it means clothes like hats and shirts; or things that you wear. I'm so lucky that Daisy found all of these Dictionaries out in that open file cabinet in the garage. I've already used them a lot today.
My boss has been selling to that guy Bob in Missouri even before he moved up here. But after Mr. Steve moved up here they discussed the High Desert. Mr. Bob probably knows more about the this area than Mr. Steve because he grew up in Lancaster. I'm being watched.
Aha! I see a single Quail over there. I sensed that Quail looking at me. It's kind of blending in with backround. I wonder why that one Quail is alone? You hardly ever see just one Quail by itself. Well, that Quail just ran and went underneath Manny the far right Shed.
Mr. Bob and my boss have discussed the High Desert over the years; especially after Mr. Steve moved up here. So of course they've also talked about Frank Zappa. They both know he was a very creative musician. And they've discussed Aldous Huxley too. One time Mr. Steve told me he and that man Bob talked about how Aldous Huxley died on the same day President Kennedy was killed in Texas. And my boss told him about the trip he took to Texas in 1996. Mr. Steve's brother Rock lives near Dallas.
Mr. Steve says for many years his brother Rock worked for a big company called "General Motors." But he moved to Texas in 1993. In 1996 he took my boss to "Dealey Plaza" where, in 1963, President Kennedy was most likely shot by this man named Lee Harvey Oswald.
Four U.S. Presidents have been "assassinated" my boss says. I just looked that word up and as usual Daisy was so right. It's a fancy way of saying they were "murdered" or "killed." Mr. Steve has a lot of books on most of the American Presidents Daisy told me.
In Dealey Plaza my boss went and stood up on the short wall where the famous "Zapruder" film was made. Then they went and looked at the "X" on the road which marks the spot where President Kennedy was hit in the head by the third bullet. I smell a Joshua tree.
In 1996 it was very hot and humid in July so Mr. Steve just wanted to hurry up and go inside of the "Texas School Book Depository" building. That's where Lee Harvey Oswald worked in 1963 and from where he probably shot the President. This building is now a Museum.
LEE HARVEY OSWALD (1939-1963)
On that visit to Dallas in 1996 Mr. Steve stood in the Sixth Floor window of the School Book Depository. This is the window from which Oswald most likely fired the three shots that killed President Kennedy in 1963; when my boss was eight years old. I smell a Lizard.
Oh! This is interesting. According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, that one guy Lee Harvey Oswald was born on October the 18th. Mr. Steve's brother Rock was born on the 17th of October. I just picked up the strong scent of one of the Creosote bushes.
Mr. Steve told me that window in the School Book Depository gave Oswald what's called a clear "field of fire." And, like my boss's father, Oswald had been a Marine and was a pretty good "Sharpshooter" on the rifle range. Mr. Steve's father fought in the "Korean War."
Mr. Steve thinks it would have been "relatively" easy to have hit the President back in 1963; especially because Oswald's rifle had this thing called a "Scope" on it. When you look through a Sscope you can "line up" your target easier Daisy told me. I see the Lizard.
Daisy says our boss also has these special glasses called "Binoculars" in his office. Binoculars make things look a lot closer she told me. She says Mr. Steve sometimes uses them to study Birds and Lizards and Snakes without them knowing it. I'm sure he looks at us too.
I still smell that Lizard. Some Lizards are gray but that one in brown. It seems like there are more of brown Lizards this Spring. And pretty soon there will be plenty of Bugs for them to eat. I wish they would eat all the Flies. We really don't like Flies that much.
There goes that brown Lizard running toward the field to our east; behind the three Sheds. I see Crows circling up there so that Lizard better be careful. Crows have really good eyesight even from up high. But Lizards can switch directions fast when they run.
I'm still thinking about how that man Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy from up in that window. Mr. Steve told me it was not an easy shot but not the most difficult shot either. And he did miss on his first two shots. But his third shot was what they call a "Bull's Eye."
Even though he's what they call "near-sighted" Mr. Steve has always been good at "target practice." At Disneyland and Carnivals he often wins prizes. But he doesn't like to kill animals ever since as a kid he shot this little Bird with what they call a "pump" b.b. gun.
I guess b.b.'s are like little round bullets. That's what Dais told me. And with a pump gun the more you pump it the more power you get when you shoot it. So my boss pumped it a lot even though, in his "heart of hearts" as they say, he really didn't want to shoot that Bird.
When my boss shot that little Bird in New Mexico he was visiting his Cousins and was trying to "show off" in front of everyone. The Bird was so high up in the tree that Mr. Steve really didn't think he would hit it anyway but; he did. He says it was a "one in a million" shot.
That little Bird fell all the way down to the ground and landed at my boss's feet. It was not dead and jumped around. My boss kept trying to "put it out of its misery" but it kept jumping around. He finally hit and killed it. To this very day he feels guilty he told me.
At times my boss has dreams about killing that innocent little Bird. But he says, if we ever go into an economic Depression he might have to shoot some of the Jackrabbits or Quail who live all around us so we'd have some extra food. That would be sad!
My boss has often wondered why Lee Harvey Oswald, before making those three famous shots, didn't shoot the President when the car was directly below that window in a "direct line of fire?" The President would've been a "Sitting Duck" or "Fish in a Barrel."
What makes our boss think Oswald did it is because he waited to shoot President Kennedy at a more difficult "diagonal" angle. This could have been so he would have time to get away. And at first he did get away until they caught him later hiding in this one Movie Theater.
JACK RUBY KILLS LEE HARVEY OSWALD
Before he was captured in that Movie Theater Mr. Steve told me Lee Harvey Oswald killed a Police Officer who had stopped him and tried to question him. It's too bad that guy named Jack Ruby shot Oswald before he could talk and tell what he knew my boss thinks.
I' scheduled to write about that man Jack Ruby tomorrow in book two. But right now I have to mention him. According to this Encyclopedia his real name was Jacob Rubenstein and he was Jewish. People have always wondered why he killed that guy Lee Harvey Oswald.
I guess Jack Ruby was kind of like a gangster and may have been associated with the "Mob;" even though he wasn't Italian. Some people think he was ordered to kill Oswald by the "Mafia" who were really behind the President's assassination. I hear Ducks quacking.
I just looked up Texas in one of my Encyclopedias. Wow! If California were its own Country it would be the 8th biggest economy in the world. But Texas would be the 12th biggest; even bigger than Australia and South Korea and almost as big as Canada's economy.
This is interesting. I guess Texas was an independent Country for about tens years back in the 19th century. I guess that was after the people of Texas, the "Texicans" and "Tejanos, broke away from Mexico in 1836. 1836 was the year of that famous "Battle of the Alamo."
Tomorrow in book two I'm scheduled to write in more detail about the relationship between the United States and Mexico in the 19th century. So of course I'll write about the Battle of the Alamo. Tomorrow I'll also write about the three hundred Spartans at Thermopylae.
Wow! Texas is a really big State all right! It says here in this Encyclopedia that in size Texas is twice as big as the whole Country of Germany. Mr. Steve told me that Texas is one of the few States whose economy is doing well. I can smell some of the new Sagebrush.
OUR "JOSHUA" TREES
We live among so many Joshua trees! I'm looking at a group of them in the southeast corner of our two acres right now. They're the ones to my right; in front of the fence to Libby's corral. I just noticed how thick the gray and white clouds up in the sky are behind them.
Mr. Steve was right. He told me the name “Joshua” came from 19th century Mormon settlers or "Pioneers" who thought these “Yucca” trees reminded them of the "Old Testament" Prophet Joshua praying; stretching his arms up towards the Heavens.
Daisy thinks Joshua trees might be reaching out to the Sun or Moon; or maybe even to the Stars. This is why our boss jokes that Daisy just might be part "Druid." She does love to look up at the Moon and the Stars; especially the Constellation Orion!
Mr. Steve says Druids were "Celtic" Priests. Celts lived in Europe for hundreds of years in the ancient world. In the first century B.C. they were brutally conquered in the area we now call France by Julius Caesar's Romans. The Romans called them"Gauls."
Celts believed in Reincarnation; which means that one's "Soul" or "spirit" goes from one body to another in many lives; over and over again. My boss told me Buddhists and Hindus also believe in Reincarnation. One of those Thrasher Birds just went running bye.
When I took my break after chapter five I also went to the bathroom. Lately me and Daisy have been "doing our business" as they say in the northeast corner of our fenced in two acres. A nice cool breeze just came in from the eastern desert. I took in a big breath of air.
Daisy says she would prefer to go to Heaven after she dies but if reincarnation is true then she'll try to come back here as a puppy. She says she would try to give me a signal and tell me who she was. But she worries, what if she comes back as an Ant or some other Bug?
Our boss says Druid Priests could be male or female. He thinks this is because they knew that females are just as capable or intelligent as males. Most cultures have thought that females were inferior. Mr. Steve thinks Catholics should allow females to be Priests.
The Romans thought Celts were "backward" and "primitive" Mr. Steve told me. To them they were barbarians. But the Celts actually had a more accurate calendar than the one the supposedly "superior" Romans developed. Celts really studied the skies.
I just noticed some white vapor trails high up in the sky. They're probably from planes who are stationed at Edwards Air Force Base to our northwest. The sky seems so blue right now. I think blue really is my favorite color; even though I still like green a lot too.
Mr. Steve told me about this one Celtic warrior Queen named "Boudica." My Encyclopedia says that in 61 A.D. she led a "bloody revolt" in Britain against the Romans. This was about one hundred years after Julius Caesar "brutally" defeated the Celtic "Gauls" in France.
I think that Queen Boudica must've been really brave! It says here that she led a huge army of men to a number of victories before finally being defeated by the Romans. Her big army even took the Roman town of "Londinium" which is what London used to be called.
QUEEN BOUDICA (?-61 A.D.)
Mr. Steve says Queen Boudica was a fierce warrior who was just like that Civil War General Robert E. Lee. She was respected by the men she led. They killed many Romans but eventually the Romans beat her Celts and it's said she had to kill herself.
From what my boss has told me sometimes warriors have to kill themselves if they lose. The Japanese soldiers in World War II often preferred to commit suicide rather than surrender to the Americans. Queen Boudica had to "fall on her sword" as they say.
Looking from this old couch to the east beyond our three Sheds, I see a lot of Birds flying all about. Right now there are three little Mockingbirds standing on top of Jack the big Shed on the far left. And now I just noticed that there's a Bunny Rabbit standing next to Moe.
GAIUS SUETONIUS PAULINUS (Dates unknown)
My Encyclopedia says the Roman General who finally came in and defeated Queen Boudica in 61 A.D. was named Gaius Suetonius Paulinus. Even though his Legion of ten thousand men was outnumbered seven to one he beat the Celts using his experience and technology.
This is interesting. Positioning his Legion uphill on "High Ground" between two forests and a tall cliff at his back; General Suetonius' troops could not be "flanked." The Celts had to attack "head on" against "Massed Formations." The Romans wore armor. The Celts didn't!
It says here that in 61 A.D. the seventy thousand Celts were a "screaming mob" or what they call a "horde." The problem was I guess that they had only wooden shields while the Romans were way more disciplined and held modern metal shields. A Crow just cawed.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, Queen Boudica's Celts used "primitive" spears and blades but, unfortunately for them, faced Roman "Peelum" javelins and those short "Gladius" swords made out of steel. Dais says our boss has a Gladius sword.
Mr. Steve thinks that one thing that made the Romans great was their willingness to "adopt" ideas or things from the people they conquered if they thought their ideas superior. It says here they didn't "develop" the Gladius sword but got it from those they fought in Spain.
In 61 A.D. when Queen Boudica's first wave of fanatical Celts got "within range" the Romans "unleashed" from behind a wall of shields a "barrage" of spears. And because those Celts had wooden shields the Roman Peelum spears went right through them.
Oh wow! When those Peelum spears went through the Celts' wooden shields even if the man carrying it wasn't killed or wounded he had to throw away his useless shield because the Romans made their spear ends thin; to bend so it was hard to pull them back out.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, once the Celts dropped their shields they were what they call "defenseless" or "sitting Ducks" as they say. So then the next wave of spears that the Romans threw killed and wounded them "in droves." I hear Crows cawing.
I guess for a few hours the "wild" Celts, many with faces painted blue, threw themselves at the Roman ranks but were slaughtered. They were brave but as Mr. Steve has said; "Sometimes courage is not enough." They didn't even have helmets like the Romans did.
After much vicious "hand-to-hand" fighting, at a certain point in time when he judged the time right, that guy General Suetonius ordered his Roman soldiers to begin to move their wall of shields forward. I hear two Crows fighting out there somewhere behind the Sheds.
It says here that the Romans, like some "relentless" and "methodical" machine, pushed the Celts backward and then chased down and killed thousands. Mr. Steve was right. It says here that Queen Boudica probably committed suicide after her army lost that battle.
Mr. Steve thinks that battle back in 61 A.D. shows how organized and well disciplined troops could beat a much larger army by "grinding it down." And the Celts never revolted again over in England. Daisy says our boss has some miniature statues of Roman soldiers.
Mr. Steve admits in some ways he's kind of weird. For instance he says, he's interested in the last words people say before dying. He wonders what Queen Boudica might've said. I guess he's reading a book about an English Queen from the 16th century named Elizabeth I.
QUEEN ELIZABETH I (1533-1603) WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616 )
It says here in this Encyclopedia that Queen Elizabeth I was ruling England when that one famous writer named William Shakespeare wrote what's called a "Play" called "Boudica." It was in part "inspired" by a revolution in Spain in 1598. I smell Sage.
Oh wow! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows about this? According to my Encyclopedia the very last thing that Queen Elizabeth said before she died was; "All my possessions for a moment of time." Boy, I sure can't wait for my boss to some day read my three books.
Mr. Steve thinks females can be just as good or as bad as males. He says Queen Elizabeth was smarter than a lot of men. I know that during her time the British and Spanish were enemies; both politically and also religiously. And I know the 1500's were very violent.
Queen Elizabeth is a good example of a good female leader. And her half sister, Queen Mary I, was really smart too. My Encyclopedia says Queen Elizabeth was Henry VIII's daughter by his second wife while Queen Mary was the only child from his first marriage.
QUEEN MARY I (1516-1556)
It says here that Queen Mary ruled England in the five years before Elizabeth. Mr. Steve told me she must have been pretty smart because by nine years old she knew how to speak not only English but also Spanish, Latin and Greek too. Her nickname was "Bloody" Mary.
Queen Mary, who was Catholic, just like her father and half sister, had many of her enemies killed. Queen Elizabeth, like her father, was what they call "Protestant" and also had enemies "done away with" as they say. Daisy says that's a nice way of saying "killed."
All 16th century leaders killed their enemies Mr. Steve says. In fact, to this day many leaders around the world still do. In man's history killing is not abnormal at all he thinks. And back in the 1500's this was especially true; and not just over there in Europe.
My boss one time told me about this man named Ivan "Grozny." Grozny means "Terrible" in Russian. He was what they call the "Tsar" of Russia in the 1500's and was Catholic but could be really mean to those he didn't like. He even personally killed one of his sons.
IVAN THE TERRIBLE (1530-1584)
I just looked up "Grozny" and now I'm going to look up the name "Tsar." Boy, this is so fun looking up new words. This is the first time I've had to use my Russian Dictionary. I guess that Tsar can also be spelled "Czar" and is "derived" from the name "Caesar."
Tsar means "Emperor;" which is sort of like a King. This is kind of interesting. The German title "Kaiser" also comes from Caesar. Daisy told me that Mr. Steve has a book about this man named Kaiser Wilhelm who was the leader of Germany during World War I.
Now I just used my Russian Dictionary to look up "Oprichniki." That was the name of some of the soldiers loyal to Ivan the Terrible. They rode black Horses and wore black robes that made them look like Monks. But they were definitely not nice like Monks my boss says.
My Encyclopedia says the Oprichniki tortured and killed people. Their logo was a "severed" Dog's head and a broom. I guess this was to represent "sniffing out or nipping at the heels" of the Tsar's enemies; or "sweeping away" anyone who opposed Ivan the Terrible.
My boss says there have been times when he's wondered if Tolkein was at all thinking about or influenced by the Oprichniki in describing evil King "Sauron's" Horse-riding "Nazgûl" in Lord of the Rings. They also wore black and rode black Horses he says.
Another thing Mr. Steve told me he's wondered about is if the Russian word "Aparatchik" has anything to do with Oprichniki? He says for much of the 20th century, when Russia was called the "Soviet Union," an Aparatchik was a devoted "agent" of the "party apparatus."
A few years ago Mr. Steve met this guy who said he thought that man's hand was evolved to make a "fist" so they could be more effectively used for fighting. He told my boss that Monkees and Chimpanzees can't make a fist. Blackbeard and Anne the Crows just flew bye.
Someday I want to be a good leader like Mr. Steve and Daisy. But for now I'm perfectly okay with following them. When I do become a leader I'm not going to be mean like that man Ivan the Terrible. I'll be more like the way Daisy is; kind of strict but firm.
Mr. Steve has this big thick book called "The Complete Works of Shakespeare" in his office. That's what Dais says. He also has other books about England in the 1500's. I don't think I can ever be as good a writer as Shakespeare; but I still sort of like writing anyway.
Daisy likes hearing about that one girl from France named Saint Joan of Arc. Like Queen Boudica she seems to have been so brave. Daisy and I want to have courage. If our two acres is ever invaded we'll have to be what's called the "first line of defense" she says.
SAINT JOAN OF ARC (1412-1431)
Sometimes I've wondered if I would be as brave as Joan of Arc was when she died. It would be so painful to be tied to a stake and then burned alive. Daisy told me you'd just have to keep praying for strength. I'd say some Hail Marys! I'm kind of afraid of fire.
About two hundred years after the time of Joan of Arc Queen Elizabeth I seems to have been a really brave person. She had to be "tough" to have been a leader in the 16th century Mr. Steve thinks. Why, she even beat Spain's big naval "Armada" in 1588! I smell a Mouse.
According to this Encyclopedia, in 1588 Spain, a Catholic nation, attacked England, one of the Protestant countries. They sent a "Fleet" of one hundred and thirty Ships north from Spain to try to conquer Queen Elizabeth's England. But they couldn't do it.
This is interesting. It says here in 1588 the main job of the Spanish Armada was to sail up to England and then land across the English Channel on the French coast. Then they were going to pick up a lot of soldiers and take them over to invade England. I see the Mouse.
From what it says here the Spanish warships never were able to "fulfill their mission." Mr. Steve says it that Fleet was "jinxed" like the Chicago Cubs seem to be. That's because so many things went wrong and most of the Spanish never made it back alive to Spain.
BURNING OF THE SPANISH "ARMADA"
I guess one of the "effective" things the English did when the Spanish Ships arrived in the English Channel is to set fire to some empty Ships and then float them into the middle of what the Spanish called "El Armada Invenvible" or the "Invincible Armada" in English.
Floating those burning ships into the Spanish vessels turned out to be a good idea Mr. Steve told me. It caught the Spanish by complete surprise and "scattered" the Armada. Many of the Spanish Boats ended up catching on fire and then burned up. That Mouse is gone.
Because in the 16th century Boats and Ships mainly moved by wind power, you were often "at the mercy of the winds." And it says here, unfortunately for the Spanish, right after their Ships caught on fire the winds came up and "fanned the flames" as they say.
This is interesting. According to this Encyclopedia the worst thing to happen to the Spanish Fleet in 1588 was the change of the wind. Because it was blowing to the north they couldn't go south and sail back to Spain my boss says. I hear some Crows cawing faintly.
In 1588 a big storm followed the change of wind. The British then blocked off the English Channel. So the Spanish had no choice but to sail north and go all the way around Scotland and Ireland to get back home to Spain. It was a real "nightmare" it says here.
Most of the men who started out in the Armada died in 1588 I guess. Some burned and many died in what they call "shipwrecks." I'm sure a lot of them drowned too. To me, I don't know what would be worse; drowning or burning. Sometimes I'm afraid of both.
I didn't plan on writing so much about the Spanish Armada. But at least I learned some new things. In part I wanted to show that females like Queen Elizabeth can be good leaders. Daisy really admires that French girl Joan of Arc. I hear Ducks quacking next door.
My Encyclopedia says that over one hundred years before the time of the Spanish Armada Joan of Arc French armies against the British in what's called the "Hundred Years War." It's too bad that she ended up being killed. I guess she was burned "at the stake."
Not wanting to brag but, I really do believe Dais and I will be courageous like Queen Boudica or Joan of Arc if we ever have to defend our land; I hope! I know I'll fight my hardest. And I know for sure Daisy will be as brave as those Celts in England were back in 61 A.D.
Mr. Steve says Druids have now come to be what they call "associated" with this thing over in England called "Stonehenge." In the picture in my Encyclopedia it looks like a circle of giant stones. A Squirrel is poking its head around the corner of Manny the far right Shed.
Well, my boss was right. He said Stonehenge was probably not built by Celts or their Druid Priests and that's what it says in this Encyclopedia. It may have been built between 3000 B.C. and 2000 B.C. And it was most likely used as a "burial ground" from that time.
Stonehenge may have been used kind of like a big outdoor Church Mr. Steve thinks. It says here in this Encyclopedia that the "prehistoric" people who built Stonehenge may have used the giant ring of stones to "track" the movements of the Sun, Moon and Stars.
This is interesting. The big stones at Stonehenge are called "Trilithons" because they're set up in threes; two vertical stones with a horizontal stone laid on top. The stones on top are called "lintels." And the ancient people may have thought Stonehenge healed sickness. Dais says Mr. Steve has a miniature model of Stonehenge in the guest bedroom. Sometimes he's wondered just how the people who built Stonehenge could have moved those really heavy stones into position. That Squirrel just ran fast out into the eastern desert.
My boss has wondered how the ancient Egyptians could have built the three big Pyramids at Giza. And how did people like the Mayans, Incans or Aztecs build their gigantic structures? A nice breeze just came in off of the desert from behind our three Sheds.
Some time back Mr. Steve did some artwork for this nice older lady from an area that is now the Country of "El Salvador." That's "The Savior" in English. That lady knew a lot about the Mayan culture and Mr. Steve learned from her. I hear Pigeons cooing.
That lady told my boss this Mexican artist named Diego Rivera, who's known more for his big "Murals" on the sides of walls, was also a really good painter in what they call "Watercolors." Mr. Steve's mom is also good with Watercolors too. Someday I might learn to paint. "POPOL VUH"
PAINTING BY DIEGO RIVERA
From what that lady from El Salvador said Diego Rivera made some Watercolors of the Mayan ""Popol Vuh." This Encyclopedia says that the Popol Vuh is a "sacred text" telling the stories and legends of the "Quiché Maya" people until the arrival of the Spanish.
Mr. Steve says that lady told him she's been to the Mexican town of Guanajuato which is the "hometown" of that guy Diego Rivera. She went to a Museum there devoted to the artwork of Diego Rivera. Three Finches just landed on top of Jack the biggest of the Sheds.
DIEGO RIVERA (1886-1957) WITH WIFE FRIDA KAHLO (1907-1954)
Another thing Mr. Steve discussed with that lady who hired him was Diego Rivera's wife. She was also a talented and skilled painter too. Mr. Steve's mother has studied the art of Diego Rivera and his wife. Those three Finches just flew off towards the east.
Mr. Steve says that lady from El Salvador liked our last name. She said it was "un gran nombre." That means "a great name." She's been to this one Mexican city of Córdova; near to the coastal city of "Veracruz;" which was established by Hernan Cortez in 1519.
Whenever he meets someone who knows more about a subject than he does my boss is happy. He likes that old saying by Socrates; "The more you know, the more you know that you don't know." That lady knew a lot about the other "Pre-Columbian" tribes of Indians too.
Down in Mexico, to the north of Mexico City, is this old city called "Teotihuacan." That lady's been to it. Mr. Steve's parents have been there too. It has giant buildings and for hundreds of years, since even before the Aztecs, it's been what they call "abandoned." TEOTIHUACAN
In my Encyclopedia there's a picture of that place Teotihuacan. It does have some really big buildings. I'll bet I could climb all the way up those stairways. It would be hard but I'd "give it a go" as Mr. Steve's British customer Phillip would say. I smell a Jackrabbit.
Now I know why Mr. Steve likes to learn. I'm having fun looking things up. The next three days are going to be so great! Judging by the sunlight I'd say it's about one in the afternoon so almost halfway done with this first book. I wonder if we'll get a snack soon?
In the area in front of our house we have a few statues. One is a Chinese warrior Monk on a little hill. It weighs about three hundred pounds my boss says. It took a lot of work for he and and his friend Mark to get it set up on that mound; which is only about five feet high.
In order to get that statue of the Monk up on the hill my boss built a dirt ramp and then put a piece of what they call "plywood" on top of it. They then rolled it up there using this thing with wheels called a "dolly. Then they took away the dirt ramp.
Daisy and I sit next to that Monk sometimes; especially when there's a cool breeze and it's a really hot day. We also have another smaller statue of a seated Buddha up near the front fence. I like being near that statue too because it makes me feel kind of calm.
I know where Britain, or England, is! And I know where France is too. Mr. Steve taught us that England was a powerful nation for hundreds of years but sadly, is now kind of a "shell of its former self" as they say. France is now pretty much really weak too he says.
My boss thinks that even though England and France were on the winning side in the Second World War, in some ways they were the biggest losers. In part he says, this is due to the fact that they were forced to give up most of their "Colonies" or what's called their "Empire."
I agree with my boss that Catholics should allow females to be Priests. Mr. Steve says he's known a number of women who could've been good Priests. He thinks both of his Grandma's would've made pretty good what they call "spiritual advisers."
My boss told me his mother has always "set a good example." His father says he could never have accomplished what he did without her at home doing one of the hardest of all in raising five kids. Mr. Steve says he's known males who should never have been Priests.
Mr. Steve thinks females can be just as good or bad as males. I want to prove females can also be smart. My boss says Mares decide what wild Horse herds do. Stallions just follow. Lions are the same. In both cases all males do is protect the group and fight over females.
Sitting here on this couch and looking toward the east I see our three Sheds in front of the back fence. A Jackrabbit just ran out from the biggest Shed. Beyond the Sheds is our back half acre and I can see Birds all over the place. I can hear the Birds too.
I also see Joshua trees out in the desert behind our house. It was this Mormon man named Mr. Jeremy Sr. who built three Sheds. I like the way our Sheds look in moonlight; especially when there's what they call a "full" moon. Daisy and I just love the Moon!
This view makes me feel good. Daisy thinks I have a tendency to be a bit too "excitable." But, when I'm here I don't seem to dwell on things as much. The desert is so calm and peaceful; even though right now I can sure hear a lot of birds chirping out there.
I just noticed the two Crows I heard when I first came here, Fannie and Freddie, sitting on a Joshua tree behind one of our small Sheds; beyond the back fence. Freddie, with his sharp beak, is stripping flesh from what looks like a big Lizard or Snake.
And, as usual, Fannie sits patiently on a lower branch and waits for her turn to eat. She doesn't mind one bit because she knows she'll always get her share. I'm the same way when Mr. Steve gives us our snacks. I know Daisy goes first.
Our boss says he's read that Crows mate for life. I know one thing, Freddie sure does protect Fannie; just like that darker male Bluebird protects the smaller lighter girl Bluebird. And I've noticed how the bigger boy Pigeons seems to look out for the smaller girl Pigeons.
Daisy has taught me to watch Crows. My boss says Crow's are smart and their actions can tell you a lot about the "rythyms, cycles and patterns" of the desert. Crows "adapt well" and learn quickly he says. Daisy sure wishes that she could fly like Underdog!
Mr. Steve says Crows are "omnivores" which means they eat almost anything. He jokes I'm our omnivore. And up here, in a place where one mistake of judgement or timing can be fatal, Crows adjust quickly to changing situations. Crows are called "Ravens" too!
Most Crows have short lives my boss told me and Daisy. But I know one thing for sure. Both Fannie and Freddie are what they call "fixtures" around here. And so are Blackbeard and Anne and Samson and Delilah. It just wouldn't be the same without them.
Mr. Steve was told that Crows have been known to drop bones from way up high in the air onto concrete or pavement. It's thought they're trying to crack the bone open in order to get at what's called the the "marrow" inside. Freddie does seem smart like that.
According to what my boss told me Crows in certain parts of the world have been seen using sticks as tools in order "fish" or "flush"out Worms and Bugs to eat. It's only been half a day of me using this one pencil as a tool and I'm already getting pretty good at writing.
Hey God! Right now as I look up and scan the horizon to the east I can see a few of our local Crows flying all around. As I take in deep breaths of fresh air I feel so great. The eastern desert beyond our three Sheds is now fully lit in bright sunlight. Thank You God.
Fanny and Freddie sure seem to play a lot. They fly around and because we sometimes have strong winds they just spread their wings and drift up. Daisy and I used to play a lot but; not as much lately. Fanny and Freddie are best friends. My boss and Daisy are my friends.
Like all of the other Crows in our area, Fannie and Freddie often seem to be watching us. They even recognize our faces. Crows have "spooky" eyes! I agree with Daisy. Crows seem to know what you're thinking. Maybe they can even read our minds!
Hey God! Mr. Steve told us that the Viking "Father" God is "Odin," or "Ódinn" in Norse mythology, gave human beings writing. He lived up there in "Asgard," which sort of sounds like our Heaven or the ancient Greek's "Mount Olympus" my boss thinks. ODIN
I guess Odin had two big Ravens and two Dogs around him. The legend says that those Dogs hunted while the Ravens went out every day to be scouts or spies. Every night the Crows would come back and then tell Odin everything that they had seen.
Oh wow! Just when I was thinking about Crows who should land on Moe the middle Shed? It's Fanny and Freddie. And now Freddie just jumped down onto the ground and is looking under Moe. He's probably looking for Lizards, Mice or maybe even a Snake.
My Encyclopedia says Odin's Ravens flew around and when they returned they reported to Odin on what they saw. Mr. Steve jokes that Odin's Ravens were sort of like the Drones that are used to spy on people. Oh! Fannie and Freddie the Crows are flying bye right now.
A friend of Mr. Steve's is named "Vic." Until he got sick Mr. Vic made money filming things like Weddings. He had good equipment Mr. Steve says. At times they worked together with my boss doing the "Still" photography. Mr. Vic even had good "Post Production" equipment.
NIKOLA TESLA (1856-1943)
Tomorrow in book two I'll write about a guy named Nikola Tesla. He was from "Serbia" and one of the things he invented was "Wireless" technology like what's used to fly Drones. I can see that Nikola Tesla was born on July the 10th. Mr. Steve's birthday is the 9th.
The other night Mr. Steve had a dream about one of the times when he and his friend Mr. Vic went to places like Griffith Park to film these small "remote control" Planes and Boats. like the ones Nikola Tesla used to have.
Mr. Steve thinks the Wizard "Gandolf," Tolkien's character in The Hobbit and later Lord of the Rings, was probably based partially on Odin. In the 1980's at Gazarri's Nightclub my boss and a friend once saw a Heavy Metal band called Odin. Fannie and Freddie flew away.
One thing Daisy noticed is that when Fannie and Freddie are "stashing" or, hiding food for a "rainy day," they make sure no other Crows are looking. But I see them because I have very good eyes. I'm beginning to look more closely at things now.
When a Crow is mad I've noticed how they lower their heads and then what they call "glare" at you. Daisy sometimes does that too. That's when I just leave them alone and go somewhere else. I hardly ever get mad at anyone; unless they're trying to steal my food.
Dais says that when a Crow dies, the other Crows gather and mill about around the corpse and then come back to visit the spot even after the bones are gone. This might be their "Crow Funeral" she says. Elephants do the same thing Mr. Steve told me.
I learn a lot of things from Daisy and our boss. Sometimes Mr. Steve jokingly calls Daisy my "Guidance Counselor." I'm so lucky to have Daisy around. Thank You Blessed Mother because I want to believe You put us together so we could guard our land.
Daisy never totally trusts a Crow because they're so clever. She says they could steal some of our food if we're not really careful! She says she respects Crows but can never really totally trust them. Deep down, I don't blame Crows for trying to steal food.
At times I've wondered how Birds can stand up on such sharp, pointed Joshua tree leaves! Right after I came to live here I was stabbed in the leg by that jagged little Joshua up there near the front gate. But, I learned my lesson! Now I "steer clear" of Joshua's.
There's a famous 19th century American writer named Mark Twain who my boss says. Mr. Steve told me that his real name was Samuel Clemens but he got his "pen" name from the time he worked as what's called a "Pilot" of a big Riverboat on the Mississippi River.
MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)
Mark Twain joked; "After much deep and abiding thought, reflection and contemplation on the matter, I have come to the unequivocal and unalterable opinion that there is very little, if any, knowledge, wisdom, or educational value to be gained from the second kick of a Mule."
In 2001 Mr. Steve visited this city called "Saint Louis." It's in the State of "Missouri" where Mark Twain was born. He went to the top of this thing called the "Gateway Arch" which is on the western side of the Mississippi River; where Mark Twain was a Steamboat pilot.
My boss says the Saint Louis arch is over six hundred feet high! The outside is made of steel. It's what they call a "monument" to "western expansion. Later I'll write more about the almost religious 19th century American belief in what they call "Manifest Destiny."
Little "Egg-Shaped" trams take you to the top of the Gateway Arch. Mr. Steve said they kind of reminded him of a Ferris-Wheel. When up high on a platform they have on top my boss told me he looked to the east toward the state of Illinois. I smell a Sage bush.
Looking to the east Mr. Steve says he thought about the "mound building" Indian culture which used to live over there from about the 9th to 17th centuries. And while up high he also thought about this Spanish explorer named Hernando de Soto.
HERNANDO DE SOTO (1496-1542)
From what my boss told me that man de Soto explored what is now the southeastern United States in the 16th century. He and his men were looking for precious metals and a possible sea route to the riches of the east; which Columbus never found. A Crow just squawked.
The place where de Soto's army landed in what is now Florida they named "Espiritu Santo" which, according to my Dictionary, means "Holy Spirit." De Soto had soldiers from Spain and Portugal but also blacks from Africa. And he had Horses, Cattle and Pigs too.
One of the cultures of Native Amnericans de Soto and his men ran into was one of the last of the mound building groups called the "Mississippians." They used to build big dirt mounds and then put temples on them or sometimes even live up on top of them.
By the 19th century when Americans were migrating westward even the other Indians didn't know who had built the abandoned flat-topped platform mounds Mr. Steve told me. Over the years many have come up with theories about who the Mound Builders were.
My boss thinks that because a lot of people didn't really believe the Indians were capable of building such elaborate mounds, some thought the Mound Builders might have actually been descended from Vikings. And others said their villages were Aztec colonies.
There was even one group who thought the Mound Builders could have been from the the lost continent of "Atlantis." And some people, like many Mormons, have the idea they were the ten "lost tribes" of Israel. But Mr. Steve he thinks they were probably just Indians.
Mr. Steve says de Soto explored what would later be called Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. In Georgia he encountered a mound building tribe ruled by a Queen. And they had a few big bloody battles with some of the tribes his army met.
Hernando de Soto was from the Spanish province of "Extremadura." Even though both his parents were what they call "Hidalgos," which meant they were "nobility," they were not rich. So de Soto was kind of greedy Mr. Steve thinks. This made him do bad things.
By 1539 de Soto had already fought in South America against Indians called "Incans." As a part of that "campaign" he killed many Inca's. As Governor in Central America he was usually really mean to Indians and killed a lot of indigenous people; sometimes with Dogs.
According to what Mr. Steve says Hernando de Soto was famous for his vicious Dogs. Many people were afraid of them; and not just the Indians. Sometimes the Spanish would let their Dogs tear apart Indians just for fun and entertainment.
De Soto and his surviving men were the first non-Indians to actually see the west side of the Mississippi River. But then in 1542, the same year Coronado was exploring in New Mexico and Cabrillo going up the coast of California, de Soto died of fever next to that river.
After he died de Soto's men then had to bury him. And just like with Cabrillo, who died a few months later in 1543, people have "speculated" about where his grave is ever since. Mr. Steve read that his body may have just been sunk in the Mississippi River.
I just thought about that writer Mark Twain's old quote about the second kick of a Mule. There's another old saying our boss likes; “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!” I'm so fortunate that neither Daisy or Mr. Steve ever try to trick me.
My boss told me about this 1950's musician named Chuck Berry. He sometimes joked that a big part of life was never "letting the same Dog bite you twice." Chuck Berry was one of the first people to turn what they call "Rhythm and Blues" into "Rock and Roll."
My boss was born in 1955. He told me that 1955 was important in the history of Rock and Roll. This man named Bill Haley, with his band The Comets, did a song called "Rock Around the Clock" and Chuck Berry had his first "hit" song "Maybeline."
On our south side, our neighbor's have two acres "parallel" to ours. And right now they have three Dogs; "Blinky," "Dawn" and "Rosie." The leader of their pack is this four year old male whose name is "Blinky." Blinky weighs about thirty pounds.
Blinky's “Second in Command” is a big female called "Dawn." Dawn is about eighty pounds and was leader for over five years. One of her eyes doesn't work because this mean man hit her with the buckle on his belt. Our neighbors rescued Dawn.
About a year ago, almost "overnight" as they say, Dawn just gave up her power and let little Blinky take over. Blinky now tells Dawn what to do and Dawn seems perfectly happy. Dawn can seem really mean. I think she would bite an intruder.
I kind of like Blinky! He seems really smart. Two of the joke nicknames Mr. Steve has for Blinky are “Short Biggy” and "Capo di Capo;" Italian for "Boss of bosses." I so admire Blinky because he's small but very brave. I want to be like him.
My boss calls Dawn “Big Shorty.” Daisy thinks this is funny. Dawn, just like myself, at times howls like a "Hound" Dog. Mr. Steve told me that you can "empathize" or "sympathize" with others. To sympathize means you can "feel sorry" for them he says.
But to empathize means you know how they feel because you've experienced what they're going through; or "walked in their shoes" so to speak. Mr. Steve thinks Dawn and I empathize with each other. When I first got here I howled more than I do now.
Now I howl when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Dawn seems to only howl when she's sad. In order to see things, just like Blackbeard the Crow who also has only one eye, Dawn has to turn her head to the side. I wouldn't ever have to fight Dawn!
Mr. Steve jokes that Dawn and I could start a Dog "Blues" band. And he says we could call ourselves "Howlin Dogs." Sometimes I howl just for fun! My boss told me a while back about this "Blues" musician who used the name "Howlin Wolf."
I like Dawn and Blinky, though they still bark at us an awful lot. Because we're all "in the same boat” so to speak, Daisy thinks we should be nice to our neighbor's Dogs. After all she says, they're our “natural allies” what with them living right next door.
Mr. Steve once joked that we should play the song "Why Can't We Be Friends" by the 1970's band WAR for our neighbor's Dogs. I've never heard that song. Daisy says she prefers that one song by the English band LED ZEPPELIN called "Friends."
Mr. Steve likes that band WAR. I guess he heard about them because their first singer came from an English band called the ANIMALS. And the ANIMALS were one of our boss's favorite bands when he was a kid. Daisy says he still has some of their vinyl records.
War seems like an odd name for a band with a song about friendship. But Mr. Steve told me there have been two bands with the name DEATH. One was a Punk band of three brothers from Detroit and the other was a 1980's Heavy Metal band from Florida.
My boss says what made the Detroit band called DEATH different was that not only were they playing Punk type songs before there was such a category; but they were black! I guess the other band called DEATH, from Florida, were one of the first "Death Metal" bands.
From what Mr. Steve says that band War were known for using a harmonica and saxophone together. His Grandpa Córdova used to play the harmonica. I really like the was a harmonica sounds. Someday I want to hear some War songs. I smell some Sage.
There's this other band from Ireland called U2. My boss told me he thinks that U2's guitar player is kind of unique. He gets unusual tones out of his guitar. And I guess U2 sometimes play songs that are called "anthems." I just picked up the scent of a Joshua tree.
My boss says that band U2 at times do songs about "Brotherhood." And in their later phase before they broke up so did the Beatles he told me. Someday I want to hear more of the Beatles songs. Daisy says they were so talented. I can still smell that Joshua tree.
Daisy says our Mr. Steve likes many types of music and one is called "Reggae." Dais told me Reggae started out in this country called "Jamaica;" which is on one of the islands down in the Caribbean Ocean. Jamaica has beautiful scenery but the people are poor I guess.
According to this Encyclopedia the most famous Reggae musician was this guy named Bob Marley. He was mainly a singer and I guess wrote some songs about what's called "fellowship." I wonder if there's such a thing as "Doghood" or "Dogship?" I smell a Gopher.
Wow! In this picture of that guy Bob Marley in my Encyclopedia he has really long hair. I've never seen anything like that on a human. I'll bet he didn't cut his hair since he was a little baby. Oh! Too bad he died young of cancer. I see the Gopher over there.
I hear Dawn and Blinky barking faintly next door. And I can also hear our neighbor's Ducks quacking away. Looking out into the eastern desert behind our three Sheds there are still a lot of Birds flying around. And I can still smell clearly some of our Joshua trees.
Daisy's right of course. Even though Dawn and I bark at each other we should be "allies" in defending our land. After all she says, extra eyes, ears and noses are never bad; though Dawn is blind in one eye because a man hit her eye with a belt buckle. The Gopher is gone.
Mr. Steve sometimes jokes that Dawn is kind of like that one "Cyclops" named "Polythemus" from the ancient Greek story "The Odyssey." Oh! Just when I'm thinking about Dawn having only one eye who should should fly bye; Blackbeard and Anne Bonney the Crows.
My neighbor Dawn is a really good guard Dog while the Cyclops from that old Greek story was sort of a mean, giant monster. And another thing! Polythemus had only one eye right in the middle of his forehead. Dawn has two eyes but it's just her left eye that doesn't work.
Some of Mr. Steve's favorite movies were made by this one man named Ray Harryhausen. It says here in my Encyclopedia that he was what they call a "visual effects creator" who used this "technique" called "Stop Motion Model Animation" to make scary monsters.
RAY HARRYHAUSEN (1920-2013)
My Encyclopedia says that guy Ray Harryhausen was born here in Los Angeles but for much of his life lived with his wife and daughter over there in England. Some of his movies were about ancient Greece so that's probably why my boss likes his movies. I smell a Lizard.
I guess "Stop Motion," or "Dynamation,"means Ray Harryhousen made small clay models whose limbs could be moved and then filmed "one frame at a time." My boss says this is kind of like how cartoons are made. Boy, I'd really like to see something like that someday.
RAY HARRYHAUSEN'S CYCLOPS
It says here in this Encyclopedia that in the 1940's, during World War II, Ray Harryhausen worked for the Army. But it was in the years after the war that he became famous. Daisy told me our boss has some of his movies on this thing called "videotape." I see the Lizard.
This is interesting. It says here that starting in the late 1950's Ray Harryhausen made three movies about a guy named "Sinbad." Daisy says she thinks our boss has a copy of one of them; a movie called "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad." I'm also trying to do a trilogy too.
According to my Encyclopedia that man Ray Harryhousen was first inspired as a boy when he saw this one "Depression era" movie called "King Kong." The Stop Motion technique was how they made that movie. Both Dais and I would sure like to someday see King Kong.
"KING KONG" (1933)
Daisy told me that she heard that King Kong is about a giant Gorilla who is captured on an island and then sent back to NewYork City. But then he escapes and they have to kill him. And he falls in love with a pretty girl and protects her she says. That Lizard just ran away.
Mr. Steve used to "go out to the movies" when he had girlfriends. But now he never does. In fact, the last movie he actually went to a Theater to see was back in 2006 when he and his Nieces Samantha and Cristina saw what they call a "re-make" of King Kong.
It says here in this Encyclopedia that Ray Harryhausen's father helped him build his models and his mother made miniature outfits if his models needed them. A flock of Birds just streamed bye above me. The sky is so blue and there are some wispy clouds up there.
Two of my boss's favorite Ray Harryhausen movies are called "Jason and the Argonauts" and "Clash of the Titans." Both stories take place back in ancient Greece. It says here Jason and the Argonauts is about a difficult search for this thing called a "Golden Fleece."
"JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS" (1963)
Wow! There's an amazing picture here in this Encyclopedia that shows that guy Jason sword fighting with some skeletons! And it looks like he's using a sword just like the one Mr. Steve has near the fireplace in the living room. A gray Jackrabbit just ran bye.
I'd like to go back in time to see a real Cyclops! My boss told me Ray Harryhausen made a good Cyclops for his movies. But I'd have to be really careful if I did go back because a Cyclops can eat you just like the way Polythemus ate some of Odysseus's Greeks in that one cave.
Daisy says one time our boss told her about that movie called Clash of the Titans. She said it's about this one "Demigod" named "Perseus" whose father is "Zeus." He rides a white flying Horse called"Pegasus" and fights some scary giants called "Titans." I smell a Lizard.
"CLASH OF THE TITANS" (1981)
This is interesting. According to my Encyclopedia Clash of the Titans was the last movie Ray Harryhausen ever worked on. In it that guy Perseus fights a big sea monster called a "Kraken" and later kills this girl named "Medusa;" who has Snakes for hair. I see the Lizard.
Wow! It says here that Medusa's "guardian" is a two-headed Dog. And I guess she's what they call a "Gorgon." From what it says in this Encyclopedia if you look into Medusa's eyes you turn to stone. But Perseus is brave and ends up killing her and cutting her head off.
RAY HARRYHAUSEN WITH MEDUSA'S HEAD
In this Encyclopedia there's a picture of that man Ray Harryhausen. And in it he's smiling and looks like a nice person. But next to him is the head of the Medusa he created for Clash of the Titans. Medusa looks like she would be so scary. I wouldn't want to fight her.
I just heard Dawn next door barking. Mr. Steve said the Viking God Odin had only one eye so he jokingly calls Dawn a "girl Odin." Like Blackbeard the Crow, Dawn turns her head to the side to see. Dawn sometimes barks at Crows I've noticed. The Lizard ran away.
I'm sure glad our boss never hits us! Daisy says we're lucky. In fact, even though there are these things called "germs," he at times kisses us on top of the head. I like when he does it but he won't let us lick his face even though Dais and I really want to do it.
My boss has been listening to what's called "Surf" music lately. This was a style of music from the early 1960's Daisy says. One of his favorite Surf bands is called the BEACH BOYS; but Daisy told me he also likes this one other band called The VENTURES too.
The Beach Boys sing in their songs but Daisy told me the VENTURES songs are what they call "Instrumentals" with no singing. Daisy likes this left-handed guitar player named Dick Dale who influenced later guitarists like this girl in an all girl band called The GO-GO'S.
A friend of my boss, Mr. Doug, still surfs, even though he's about Mr. Steve's age. My boss once tried to surf but says it was too hard. He plays on a "slow pitch" softball team and jokes that playing Baseball is "less risky" than surfing. I'm afraid of deep water.
Part of why Mr. Steve still likes Surf music like the BEACH BOYS is emotional. It reminds him of the early and late 1960's when he was growing up. He was born in 1955 and was starting to notice and look at things closer. He associates moments in his life with Surf music.
1955, the year my boss was born, was a very "eventful" year. Rock and Roll music was just starting and the first "McDonalds" restaurant opened up back in 1955. The boundary between Aviation and Space Flight was broken. A Bunny Rabbit just hopped bye.
Going up in outer space is now called "Aerospace" my boss told me. We live near Edwards Air Force Base so we sometimes see Jets and Helicopters fly past us. In fact, I just looked up and I can see this really long white vapor trail high up in the light blue sky.
Way before they were the "Los Angeles" Dodgers Baseball team they were the "Brooklyn" Dodgers. In 1959 the Dodgers, mainly for "financial" reasons, moved from the east coast all the way out here to the west coast. I hear Blinky and Dawn barking next door.
The Dodgers have always been in what's called the "National" League. Brooklyn is an area or "Burrough" of New York City. This other team from New York called the "Yankees" were in the "American" League. They always beat everyone in the "World Series."
1955 WORLD CHAMPIONS
From the time World War II ended in 1945 until 1955 the Yankees always beat the Dodgers in the "World Series." That's the biggest "Championship." But finally, in 1955, the Dodgers beat the "Rival" and "Nemesis" Yankees. Mr. Steve was three months old when they did it.
In my third and final book on Saturday, according to my outline, if You will it God, I plan on writing more about the year 1955. That was the year my boss was born. That was also the year when that place called "Disneyland" opened. Dais and I would like to visit Disneyland!
"God-willing" as Grandma Trujillo used to say, someday I'd go to "Frontierland" first if I ever get "blessed" and went to Disneyland. Daisy says she'd probably to go on that Jungle Ride before anything else. We'd both probably like "A Small World" my boss says.
Mr. Steve likes listening and also playing drums to all types of music. In the 1960's he really started listening more closely to music. During that time the BEACH BOYS, BEATLES and ROLLING STONES impressed him but were not his favorite bands. I can smell some Sage.
To this day one of Mr. Steve's favorite band is the KINKS. They're from England and I'll be mentioning them a few times over the course of the next three days. The KINKS were one of my boss's first "favorite" bands. The four Pigeons are flying by right now.
Back in the 1960's two of Mr. Steve's other favorite bands were from here in Los Angeles; the DOORS and the TURTLES. To this day he also likes the songs of this one other band from way up in northern California called CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL.
THE DOORS THE TURTLES CREDENCE
In 1968 Mr. Steve's parents gave him the TURTLES first album as a Christmas gift. He says he played it so much he literally "wore it out." Daisy says he still has a Turntable in his Bedroom even though "Records" are "obsolete" for most people. I smell a Sage plant.
Daisy says most records turn round and round at what they call thirty three "revolutions" or "rounds" per minute; or R.P.M.'s. She told me this lady named Miss. Doris, who died, left Mr. Steve some antique "Classical" records that turn Seventy eight rounds per minute.
Miss Doris, who gave our boss those Classical albums, also lived in the same neighborhood in Sylmar that he did. She knew Mr. Steve would take good care of them but mainly gave them to him because he wrote for free some legal documents toward the end of her life.
Just to my left, on the other side of this old couch, are the Encyclopedia's I'm using to write my books. But there are also some "legal research" over there too. Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that they're kind of what they call "obsolete" now with this new thing called the "Internet."
My boss has been drawing since he was a kid. He told me that one of the first "Logos" he ever drew was "TURTLES" which was on the front of their first album. Since then he's drawn many logos; from bands and sports teams to what they call "Car lines" like Chevrolet.
Mr. Steve sometimes still plays drums to KINKS songs like their 1960's "Hard Rock" song called "You Really Got Me" and "All the Day and All of the Night." Day after tomorrow in my third book I'll write about the first time he ever heard You Really Got Me.
The KINKS have had a few different logos from what Dais says. And our boss has drawn a lot of them. I'll talk more about the KINKS in books two and three because they've influenced my boss, and his brother Rock too. Someday I want to hear more KINKS songs.
BLUE CHEER'S "Summertime Blues," and STEPPENWOLF'S "Born to be Wild" are some of the beginnings of Hard Rock; and maybe even "Heavy Metal." At least that's what Mr. Steve thinks. He says BLUE CHEER was the first "Power Trio" in he knows of.
THE KINKS BLUE CHEER STEPPENWOLF
Mr. Steve used to try and play drums to Summertime Blues and still at times listens to this other British band called the WHO'S version of that song on an album called "Live at Leeds." He likes STEPPENWOLF'S songs "Born to be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride."
In the late 1960's when the WHO, BLUE CHEER amd STEPPENWOLF were around Mr. Steve also liked the "Punkish" Hard Rock from Detroit. He has old albums by the MC-5, IGGY AND THE STOOGES and Ted Nugent's band the AMBOY DUKES.
I just picked up the scent of our neighbor's Dog Blinky. She must be near the fence that's between our two acres and their two acres. Oh! I just smelled a Gopher somewhere. But I don't see any Gophers anywhere. But I know it's out there. My nose never lies.
For now the “Apex” leader of our “Pack” of two girls is Daisy! Blinky is the Apex leader of our neighbor's pack. There's another girl Dog next door who's name is "Rosie." Rosie's about fourteen years old just like Daisy. But she seems older than Daisy.
Mr. Steve jokes that our Rosie who lives next door always reminds him of a song by this one band from Australia called AC/DC. It's called "A Whole Lotta Rosie." Dais has seen him play drums to that song. She says the singing on that song is really good.
Daisy told me that AC/DC song is about an overweight girl. But our Rosie seems to be getting skinnier and skinnier with each passing day. Mr. Steve says at one time Rosie was probably very strong but now seems weaker. I know one thing, Daisy is still pretty strong.
Wow! Just when I was thinking about her I smell Rosie! She must be with Blinky. I know one thing for sure, Rosie's eyesight is a lot worse that Daisy's; even though Daisy's is also pretty bad too. I really like old Rosie. I'll bet she was strong when she was young!
My boss thinks that Rosie might be part Mastiff like those Roman and Spanish Dogs of War. She walks so slowly and carefully. At one time Rosie must have been blacker but now has a lot of gray. I've noticed that Daisy and Mr. Steve are also getting grayer too.
I can tell that Rosie was bigger at one time. I'll bet when she was young she weighed over ninety pounds; but now it's obvious she's losing weight. Mr. Steve told me that often happens when you get old. You shrink. I hear a Crow cawing faintly out in the desert.
Mr. Steve jokes that if Rosie were a human she'd need one of those things called "Canes." He has a few canes in the house Daisy told me. And he has this one which is secretly a sword inside she says. I just picked up the faint scent of one of the Joshua trees around here.
When he walks out in the desert my boss carries a long pole. Dais calls it a "Staff." This is in case he needs to have a weapon to hit things with. Not only do we occasionally have Bobcats and Mountain Lions but sometimes Coyotes come down from the Mountain.
According to what Mr. Steve told Daisy he carries that staff because there might someday be a pack of wild Dogs living out in the desert. But so far he's never had to use the staff. One time when he was walking on the back dirt road he saw a Rattlesnake but just left it alone.
Mr. Steve likes AC/DC. They have a lot of good songs Daisy told me. Down there in Sylmar Mr. Steve's parents also have a Dog named Rosie. But she's a German Shepard. They also have a Pit Bull named "Bella." They're good guards like Dais and myself my boss says.
Someday I want to hear that AC/DC song. Daisy says it's really good and I would probably like it. In fact she told me, she thinks I would like some other AC/DC songs too. But because I'm too afraid to go into our boss's bedroom where his stereo is I can't hear them.
Rosie next door seldom barks and has kind of a deep voice. It's kind of hard to believe she's Daisy's age! Even though, if you look closely at Daisy's face, she has a lot of gray too; a lot more gray than when I first got here. Mr. Steve's beard is getting grayer too.
Sadly, Mr. Steve says Rosie will probably die soon. Our boss believes that that because life is so short we shouldn't waste too much time. Time is the most valuable thing in life but, like most things, can be dual in nature; an "ally" or an "enemy." A Crow just cawed.
My boss told me that, if we work hard, there are times when it's okay to waste time and just "goof off." But I'm not going to waste the next three days! Boy! It's already almost mid-day and we still haven't had a snack yet. I'd like to take a break soon.
I wonder what I'll be like when I'm fourteen? I think I'll be like Daisy; not so impulsive or quick to react. Mr. Steve says I tend to be what he calls "trigger happy" and can at times "jump the gun." But, I'm working on that and feel like I'm making real progress.
"MAKING THE ROUNDS"
Along the south fence our neighbors grow green cactus on their side. They say the "leaves" are good for you to eat. When put in eggs or salads they call it "Nopales." Desert Tortoises eat green cactus for water. Mr. Steve says in an emergency we could squeeze out water.
But just as Joshua trees have spines, green cactus have very sharp needles! Daisy and I try to avoid them. We give them a “Wide Berth.” Our boss was told by people who've lived here all of their lives; in a desert you learn quickly that there a lot of "sharp edges."
Watching Mr. Steve use tweezers to pull a Cactus needle from Daisy's nose one time made me realize I prefer to learn what not to do by observing other's mistakes. I just know that needle really hurt Daisy but she was so brave as it was being removed.
I know one thing for sure; Daisy won't make that mistake again. I've noticed after that time she now stays far away from Cactus. Daisy's just like me in learning and remembering things quickly. We both realize that we live in a desert with a lot of sharp edges.
Daisy is mostly “Australian Shepard." Mr. Steve says she resembles a small Bear; and is built like a little "barrel." My boss jokes Daisy's our Yogi Bear. She has so much experience! Mr. Steve says that one Dog year is equal to seven human years.
So,if you times seven by fourteen that means Daisy must be over seventy in human years. But she's still "Young at Heart” as they say. And she knows how to what they call "conserve" her energy. I'm sure she's in the garage resting right now as a matter of fact.
At her age Daisy's very good at “working smart" rather than hard. But she also believes in working smart and hard. Daisy's always looking for a "backup plan" or “Plan B” and tells me to get in the habit of watching for “fallback” positions in case of emergency.
Daisy's a good teacher! She says because I'm still young I feel "Bullet Proof" and almost invincible. She calls it the "false security of youth" and tells me she was the same at my age. She says it's a normal thing and wishes she still had it.
On thing that Daisy has taught me is to respect nature. She says it doesn't matter if you're as strong as that guy Hercules you can never hope to beat "Mr. Ground." And if we ever had a big fire or a giant flood we would be "no match" for their power.
Because she has arthritis Daisy thought is was funny when our boss told us about this song by a musician named Neil Young called "Rust Never Sleeps." She thinks gravity, like rust, also never rests. Ultimately, "Mother Nature" always wins no matter what you do.
My boss says Neil Young was originally from Canada. But now he lives here in California with his family. And since coming to California he's been in some very famous bands. One of them was called Crazy Horse which was also the name of a famous Sioux Indian.
Some time back Mr. Steve read that Neil Young collects miniature trains as what they call a "hobby." He immediately thought of a friend of his named Tim. When they were growing up in Sylmar Tim's mother let him turn a whole room into a miniature town.
What Tim did with that room was amazing my boss told me. He had not only trains but also mountains and tunnels and many other things. Mr. Steve says, after reading that one magazine article he thinks Neil Young would probably have been really impressed.
I'm still thinking about Daisy. She's my best friend and like an older sister to me now. She's the one who encourages me to never stop learning new things. And it was Daisy who gave me the idea to write my three books. I'll bet she's also starting to get hungry too.
Hey, I just heard Heathcliff the Rooster crow next door! And it's not even morning yet! There he goes again. Maybe, just like the three of us do over here, Heathcliff's celebrating his new year too. Maybe he's happy it's Spring. I know I sure am happy today!
I'll bet Daisy's in the garage or laying on our cement driveway. I wonder if she just heard what I did. Mr. Steve is probably working in his office. Heathcliff usually doesn't crow during the day. I wonder when our boss will give us our first snack of the day?
To impress our boss, Daisy's thinking about learning to play the game of "Chess." I think one reason is because she found out that this man from France named Napoleon Bonaparte played Chess and knows our boss admires that guy "Napoleon." I smell a Joshua tree.
Daisy knows that once our boss reads this first book he'll know she wants to learn how to play chess. But she doesn't yet want me to let our boss know that she's thinking about learning Chess and "swore me to silence" for "the time being" as they say.
I know Mr. Steve could teach Daisy how to play Chess. His told me that his father is a good Chess player. And so are are some of his Nephews too. My boss has a really nice Chess set on the table which is in the den area of the house. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Mr. Steve jokes that if Daisy were in the military she'd probably be a good what they call "Field Commander;" both "strategically" and "tactically." That's because Daisy is really good at seeing the overall "forest" and the particular "trees" too my boss says.
There's no doubt about it. Daisy, because she's got so many years of experience behind her, is very good at "situational awareness" and "adjusting on the fly" as they say. She' been teaching me to do that too but sometimes I still feel a bit panicky in new situations.
I'm working on staying calm and being around my boss and Daisy is "rubbing off" on me as they say. Sometimes I bark and carry on; acting like I'm so brave. But I'm just masking my fear by "putting on a false front." But, I really would fight hard if I had to.
Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and that other Dog Millie that, just as that guy Adolph Hitler was Austrian not German, Napoleon was Italian not French. But both ended up trying to conquer the whole. Fannie and Freddie the Crows are flying bye right now.
I guess my boss thinks that Napoleon "exploited" the "chaos" and "upheaval" caused by the French Revolution to crown himself "Emperor" of France. He did well in the military so then was in position to "take advantage" of the situation for his own political purposes.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE (1769-1821)
According to this Encyclopedia Napoleon was born on an island in the Mediterranean Sea called "Corsica." I guess for a long time Corsica belonged to the "City-State" of Genoa, where Christopher Columbus was said to have been originally from. I smell a Gopher.
From what it says here in my Encyclopedia the island of Corsica had belonged to Genoa from the 13th century. But then in the mid-18th century France conquered it. So Napoleon probably spoke Italian and French. The Gopher is sticking his head out of his hole near the tree.
Mr. Steve admires Napoleon even though he knows, like most people, at times he was good and bad. Napoleon tried to conquer Spain early in the 19th century. He put his own brother in charge there and the French killed many Spanish people. The Gopher's gone.
Oh! This is interesting. It says here in this Encyclopedia that the term "Guerrilla War" was first "coined" in Spain during the time when Napoleon's French soldiers were fighting against the Spanish;" who used "hit and run" tactics. In Spanish "guerra" means "war."
Yup! Mr. Steve was right. Since the time of the French Revolution which brought Napoleon into power, France's "motto" has been "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité." And this means "Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood" in English. A cool breeze just came in from the eastern desert.
Even though It's not on my outline I feel like learning about the French Revolution. I know Mr. Steve thinks it was an important event. So if I do a good job writing about it then he'll be impressed. A flock of Birds is now flying bye way up there in the sky.
My Encyclopedia says that the French Revolution started in 1789 and lasted for ten years. It was a time of tremendous "societal upheaval" it says here. Thousands of people died during the ten years. The King was kicked out of power and his head was even cut off.
From what it says here one of the the main reasons why the French people rose up against their King Louis XVI was because they were starving. I guess the government was almost out of money because they helped us win the American Revolution. So they raised taxes.
LOUIS XVI (1754-1793)
PAINTING BY JOSEPH SIFFRED DUPLESSIS
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia the French people "overthrew" their "Bourbon" King. Mr. Steve life told Dais that "they had nothing to lose." And a few months later they killed his wife too. I hear Crows cawing faintly.
I guess one of the main leaders of the revolutionaries was this one man named Maximilien Robespierre. His group were called "Jacobins" and they wore some red hats. Robespierre was a Lawyer and is "associated" with a period now called the "Reign of Terror." MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE (1758-1794)
From what it says here during the Reign of Terror that guy Robespierre used the anger of the poor against the "upper class." Wow! In just two years, 1793 and 1794, ten thousand people were "executed" or "put to death" as they say. I still hear the Crows.
During the French Revolution the way people were killed was by using one of those machines called a "Guillotine." Up until then they used to hang people. A Guillotine is made out of wood and has a sharp blade which falls and cuts off the head of the person being killed.
PAINTING BY GEORG HEINRICH SIEVEKING
A picture in this Encyclopedia shows a man "displaying" the "decapitated" head of that King Louis XVI to a cheering crowd. Oh! This is interesting. Ironically, it was King Louis who first gave permission to make the Guillotine the "official execution device" in France.
I just thought of something I feel like writing about now even though it wasn't on my outline until later. One time in 1973, when he was in 12th Grade in High School, his friend Alex played an album for him on Alex's really good Stereo. It was by a band called ALICE COOPER.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy, ALICE COOPER were a "Shock Rock" band who came to Los Angeles in the 1960's from Arizona. Actually, only the singer's name was Alice but that wasn't his real name. He got the name ALICE COOPER from one of those Wee Gee Boards.
I guess the ALICE COOPER album that guy Alex played for Mr. Steve was called "Killer" and it had this song called "Halo of Flies" which Mr. Steve tried to play on drums. That's what Daisy told me. Our boss told her ALICE COOPER'S drummer is really good..
My boss told Dais that during a part of their concert ALICE COOPER used a Guillotine to cut off the head of a doll. I guess he then held up the "cut-off" head so the audience could see it; exactly like the French executioner used to do during the French Revolution.
Well, back to the French Revolution. I just kind of felt like writing about that band ALICE COOPER. Tomorrow in my second book I'm scheduled to write about them again in the area where I talk about the history of Shock Rock. Mr. Steve knows about that subject.
The French Revolution was an extremely "bloody affair" it says here in this Encyclopedia. Mr. Steve would probably say that many people simply like violence but need to "justify" it. My Dictionary says to "rationalize" means to "make an excuse" for something.
In my three books I plan on writing about how in human history this pattern of people liking violence has been used. My boss says revenge and what they call "Retribution" have often been used as reasons to kill others. "Get even" is huge in human history he thinks.
That guy Napoleon, later even tried to conquer Europe and Russia under the ideas of liberty, equality and brotherhood. Mr. Steve says many times one group tries to "impose" what it thinks is it's "obviously" superior culture on other groups and their obviously inferior culture.
This is interesting. King Louis XVI's wife was not French but "Austrian" just like that guy Adolph Hitler many years later. She was from a family called "Hapsburgs." This picture of her in my Encyclopedia shows how pretty she was. I like looking at old paintings.
MARIE ANTOINETTE (0000-0000)
Daisy and I both have secrets, like me writing my three books. I would never "spill the beans" or "let the Cat out of the bag" to our boss about Daisy thinking about learning to play Chess. I wonder where those two old sayings came from? I smell a Mouse.
But, someday Mr. Steve will read my three books and then Daisy's secret will be out so she'll have to decide before then about learning to play Chess. Knowing my boss I'm sure he would be happy to teach her. He's sure taught us a lot of things we never knew.
I 'm what Mr. Steve would probably call "trustworthy." So is Dais. Neither of us would ever betray a trust. I sure hope Daisy doesn't "Chicken out" about learning Chess. Our boss will be so proud of her if she does. I'd be proud of her too! I see the Field Mouse over there.
Mr. Steve read that Napoleon being such a great Chess player likely helped him in war; both strategically and tactically. He was a great "Military Commander" like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. Some think he may have had a photographic memory just like I do.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE (1769-1821)
PAINTING BY JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID
I know one thing, Daisy's never "hasty" that's for sure so would probably be a good Chess player like Napoleon. She thinks "in advance" as they say. I'm really trying to learn from Daisy how to think more about things before I do them. That Mouse just ran away.
Mr. Steve has a really nice Chess set on the table in our den near the living room. But, the game of "Checkers" seems a lot more interesting to me somehow. I just might learn to play it. But that's not for sure yet. I'm kind of a big Chicken myself sometimes.
In the same book that he read about Queen Elizabeth's dying words, My boss read that the very last words Napoleon Bonaparte said before he what they call "expired" was the name of his wife Josephine. Daisy told me that expired just means that he died.
According to this Encyclopedia in 1799 Napoleon conquered Egypt. And he brought along Scientists with his army and some of them discovered this rock with writing on it. Because they found it in a place called "Rosetta" it became known as the "Rosetta Stone."
It says here that the Rosetta Stone had three sections with writing on it. My three books are also each going to have three parts too. It turned the Rosetta Stone was probably written in 196 B.C. My nose just picked up the slight scent of one of he new Sage plants.
The areas with what are called "inscriptions" on it were chiseled into the surface. Mr. Steve has some tools called "chisels." I smell a Joshua tree.
I guess the first section of the Rosetta Stone was written in Greek, the second in "Demotic" and the third in ancient Egyptian "hieroglyphs." At that time there were scholars who knew Greek and Demotic but no one knew how to "decypher" ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
BATTLE OF THE NILE (1801) LORD NELSON (1758-1805)
In 1801, after Napoleon's French troops had beaten the Egyptians, the British under this man named Admiral Lord Nelson, defeated them by destroying the French Ships in the harbor of an old city called "Alexandria;" which was named after Alexander the Great.
It says here that by catching him by surprise and then sinking most of his Ships Napoleon was "stranded" in Egypt with no way back to France. That Naval "engagement" is now called the "Battle of the Nile" even though it actually took place on the Mediterranean coast.
As the "spoils of war" as they say, Lord Nelson "took possession" of the Rosetta Stone and shipped it back to England. There it sat for a few years because no one could read the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. It was what's called an "enigma," or a mystery.
JEAN FRANCOIS CHAMPOLLION (1790-1832)
My Encyclopedia says it wasn't until 1822 that the Rosetta Stone was finally "translated." And "ironically" it was this man from France named Jean Francois Champollion who did it. He became the first modern person ever able to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
I remember My boss saying when Champollion "decyphered" the Rosetta Stone it was what they call an "aha" or "Eureka" moment in the world of "Egyptology." Boy, I'm so lucky Daisy found these Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Thank you God for Daisy!
I just used my Greek Dictionary to look up Eureka and it means "I've found it." Mr. Steve was right. He said Eureka is what this ancient Greek inventor named Archimedes yelled out when he figured something out one time. A big gray Jackrabbit just ran bye.
Because Champollion could read ancient Greek and Demotic and each of the three sections said the same thing; he could compare them. Oh! I just thought of something. Champollion was the first one since ancient times who knew what the Ankh represented.
Mr. Steve says, when he was about fourteen, he saw in a cloud formation what looked to him like an Ankh. It reminded him of the story about the Roman Emperor Constantine who, in 312 A.D., said he dreamed about seeing a Christian symbol way up high in the clouds.
Wow! This is amazing! I only have one more thing to write about in this sixth chapter and that's about the 4th century A.D. when the famous "Battle of the Milvian Bridge" took place in Italy outside the city of Rome. I hear some Crows cawing out in the eastern desert.
According to this Encyclopedia the Roman Empire had four sections by the 4th century A.D. One was still in the area now called Italy and the other was to the east. The eastern part's main city was called "Byzantium" and was located at the entrance to the "Black Sea."
I guess the four parts of the Roman Empire were fighting to see who would dominate and in the 312 their armies met in battle outside the city of Rome. And the night before that big battle the Emperor Constantine, who was called "The Great," had a now famous dream.
CONSTANTINE (272-337 A.D.)
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia the Emperor Constantine dreamed that he saw a Christian symbol up high in the clouds. Some say it was a cross while others think it was the letter "P" with and "X" through it.