(Book 2 / Chapter 1 / Part 1)
7:30 A.M. / DAY TWO / FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
I'm back You Guys! I feel so great! It's the second day of our new year and Spring patterns have started. We had a good breakfast of Dog food mixed with some leftovers. There's nothing as good as leftovers! Heathcliff next door was again crowing earlier than usual this morning. Thank Everyone up there for bringing us through the night again.
As Daisy so correctly predicted, the Sun came up or "Rose" at 6:56; one minute earlier than yesterday; and will And it will "Set" at 7:06; one minute later than yesterday. And tomorrow this pattern will continue; rising earlier and setting later. I can smell some new Sage.
And, as Daisy also says; the "Waning" Moon will get smaller in the next few nights. Hey God! Thank You so much for Dais. This second book will be "In Large Part" a lot of the things she remembers Mr. Steve telling her and Millie before I came into replace Millie.
I know Daisy is a little nervous about how today will go; even she doesn't show it. She knows about my outlines as she was the one who really helped me get them ready. Today in book two I'm going to write about a lot of the things Dais remembers from before I arrived.
Boy, my three are really pretty long; mainly because I kept stalling and wanting to add more. I'm kind of afraid of the unknown You Guys. But of course You already know that. It felt good when Daisy was so impressed when she saw what I did yesterday. Ah! I smell Sage.
But You Guys, day one and book one went pretty good; even though I know You Guys really helped me a lot. As you know of course, Daisy and I went over it last night in our prayers before we went to sleep. Thank You for that good dream. Heathcliff just crowed over there!
Thank Everyone for how good I feel right now! I could hardly wait to start work today. I was waiting for Heathcliff to give me the signal to start the day. Mr. Steve came outside even before the Sun was up so I didn't have to do my ritual food jig. Today smells so good!
This morning when Mr. Steve was cleaning weeds near the long fence along the north side of our two acres his mom called him on his "Cell" phone. Dais told me about a cell Phone versus a Phone that goes through wires. Boy! Heathcliff sounds kind of happy this morning.
NIKOLA TESLA (1856-1943)
Some people must be so smart to think of how to make Phones and Radios and things like that. Later today Dais has me scheduled to write about this man named Nikola Tesla. He was a Scientist from the area now called "Yugoslavia" but came to the United States.
In my Encyclopedia there's a picture of Nikola Tesla. It show him holding a Pigeon. He was an "Inventor" and one thing he created is the "A.C." electrical system people use for power in their houses. That's was Daisy told me. I guess A.C. stands for "Alternating Current."
Dais says you can tell our boss likes talking to his mom. He trusts and respects his parents and jokes, even though they don't always agree; their relationship could be used as an example of how be a couple. I can hear Pigeons cooing on the Patio roof right above me.
As I mentioned yesterday in book one, Mr. Steve's mom was a Girl Scout leader whose girls liked to sing. But, even though she like listening to music; she was such a "devoted" mother she did not have the Radio on as she worked. Oh! Those two Pigeons just flew away.
Mr. Steve and his parents like a lot of different kinds of music. The reason why Mr. Steve's mom didn't have the Radio on was because, as much as she would've enjoyed it; her "Maternal" sense of duty was stronger. Jack the Jackrabbit just bounded bye out in the desert.
Daisy says our boss Mr. Steve thinks his mom wanted to hear quickly if any of her kids got into trouble. Daisy, who had some babies; totally agrees with him on that. And so do I too. Boy You Guys! I'd sure like to have some babies some day! That would be so great!
I guess our boss's mother likes to what's called "Hum." Over the years Mr. Steve has had dreams where he's sitting at the Kitchen table doing something while his mom is standing up cooking some food. And very often she was humming quietly while she worked.
Yesterday I mentioned about how Mr. Steve thinks his mom as a Girl Scout leader was kind of like the character Mary Tyler Moore played on her tv shows; especially the second show in the 1970's. Daisy and Millie watched that show a few times in Mr. Steve's Bedroom.
From what Dais told me, in her second show Mary Tyler Moore was a "Secretary" for this kind of mean man. She was organized and happy. Mr. Steve one time told his friend Cliff how his mom was sort of a Housewife version of that tv character. I smell that old Sage bush.
Dais says our boss understood when Mr. Cliff joked about how his mom often seemed to have "eyes in the back of her head." And it was a good thing she did he said because she saved him from making a few mistakes. Mr. Steve says his mom was kind of the same way.
Wow! What a coincidence! Just when I was thinking about that one guy Nikola Tesla, who liked Pigeons; I see two of the Pigeons flying bye. Daisy and I think Pigeon voices are comforting somehow. Oh my God! The other two Pigeons are landing on the Patio roof above me!
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Later today Daisy has me scheduled to write about this Boxer named Mike Tyson. Mr. Steve met him in the late 1980's. A few years ago Mr. Steve was told about how he "raised" Pigeons as a kid back there in New York City. But I'll write more about Mike Tyson later.
Mr. Steve's parents have been married for about fifty eight years. But I guess, from what Mr. Steve told Daisy and that other Dog Millie; they've actually been "together" for even longer than that. The Pigeons just flew out into the eastern desert behind the three Sheds.
Dais is right. It seems obvious when they visit us how much our boss's parents have what they call "Unconditional" love for each other. Even when she was fifteen Daisy says, Mr. Steve's mom knew she was going to be with Mr. Steve's father; who was eighteen.
Mr. Steve's mom waited for Mr. Steve's father to get out of the Marines once the Korean War was over. They got married when she was nineteen. Other people thought she was being foolish for having waited for him but she didn't care. I smell a Lizard nearby.
MR. STEVE'S MOTHER
Someday I really want to see pictures of Mr. Steve's mom when she was young. Daisy says she was pretty and had to turn down a few guys when they asked her out on dates. But she was nice in turning them down and just told them the truth. She's still pretty.
Mr. Steve says his parents go "Above and Beyond" as they say, in looking out for each other. They support one another "Right or Wrong." But that doesn't mean Mr. Steve's parents agree on everything. Sometimes they don't but respect the other persons opinion.
NICCOLÓ MACHIAVELLI (1469-1527)
Tomorrow in book three Dais has me scheduled to write about this one man named Niccoló Machiavelli; or just "Machiavelli" for short. I'm so tempted to write about him now but I better just wait until tomorrow. In the 16th century he wrote a "Handbook" on "Power."
Machiavelli, who lived in the area now called Italy; said a "good leader" had to know when to be "a Lion or a Fox." A good leader knows when to use a "Velvet Glove" or an "Iron Fist" he said. Mr. Steve and his father thinks his book is one of the most "influential" books ever.
Another question Machiavelli asked; "Is it better for a leader to be loved or feared?" He said fear but Mr. Steve's mom would be an example of love. As a leader for her five kids or the leader of a Girl Scout troop she very effectively used a "Soft Touch" he jokes.
Daisy says our boss told Mr. Cliff that one reason why in his mom's case love was far more effective as a leader was because few people want to disappoint her. Robert E. Lee was the same way as a war leader. To this day Mr. Steve says it would kill him to disappoint his mother.
During the time when Mr. Steve's mom was a Girl Scout leader one of her friends was this another Girl Scout leader named Mrs. Lindsey. She was married to George Lindsey who played the character "Goober" on the "Andy Griffith Show. I can smell a Lizard around here.
Boy! Someday I really want to see the Andy Griffith Show. Daisy and Millie saw it and said it was so funny. It's about a small town back in North Carolina and that guy Goober works at a Gas Station. The boy in that tv show was named "Opie." He's so nice Dais tole me.
Mr. Steve's Niece Stephanie now has the family saying "I love you" a lot. He's not sure but at times our boss has wondered if Steph partially picked that up from her Grandmother; who usually didn't say it out loud but just showed it in the way she did things.
Last night Daisy and I went over book one sitting below a ceiling of Stars in a beautiful, clear sky. Hey God! On nights like last night we better understand why the Native People up here in the desert sense You in the Universe You've created. Thank You for creating us!
Hey God! Daisy and I felt so good this morning as Mr. Steve cleaned our eyes and then did his daily checking of our stomachs. As usual, then we ate breakfast. For the second day in a row there was Spam mixed in with our regular food. Thank Everyone so much!
Well Lord! Today's Friday! As You know of course I've been thinking about this day for a few months now. You died on a Friday. Hey Lord? Was it You who caused Daisy to have that dream last night about when You died? She wants to think it was You alright.
Hey Lord! Now I'm supposed to write about why Mr. Steve thinks You were probably born on April 17, 6 B.C. But I just thought of something I feel like adding in right here when I write about why people get the "Weekends" off. But I'll come back to You afterwards.
Dais jokes that our boss likes Fridays mainly because of the two day weekends which follow. For Daisy and I week days are the same as any other day. Even on holidays we have a job to do. We have to protect our two acres. Heathcliff just crowed again over there next door.
Mr. Steve told Daisy he likes Saturday and Sunday because if he wants to he can sleep a little later than usual; especially on cold Winter mornings. But, as Daisy and I both know; he rarely ever does that. That one time when he had the "Flu" was one exception to the rule.
Daisy remembers when she and Millie overheard our boss talking with Mr. Cliff about how that "workers" holiday called "Labor Day" came about. Daisy heard Mr. Cliff tell our boss that Labor Day was created in 1894 after thirty workers were killed by the Army.
From what Dais says she heard Mr. Cliff tell our boss that one time, most Americans don't know that the idea of celebrating Labor Day was the result of violent and brutal clashes between workers and Police authorities. Some of the Police also died in those riots.
In 1894 the workers were really poor and wanted better pay and working conditions; which I guess were terrible according to Mr. Cliff. So the workers decided to what they call; "Go on Strike." Exhausted workers got killed being around big machines Mr. Cliff said.
Mr. Cliff is a Machinist so knows just how dangerous some machines can be if you're not so careful. Mr. Steve has had jobs around machines too so is also cautious around them. And back in the late 19th century there was no concern at all for the safety of the workers.
Fannie and Freddie are flying bye. As usual they're talking to each other. Sometimes Daisy and I wonder what they're saying. And right now I can hear Birds chirping way out there in the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. I just smelled Libby the Horse over there.
CORNELIUS VANDERBILT (1794-1877)
Later today Daisy has me scheduled to write about these 19th century rich guys that were called "Robber Barons." One was Cornelius Vanderbilt. He owned Railroads. Many years ago Daisy says, our boss met a nice lady who went to Vanderbilt University.
It says here in this one Encyclopedia that Cornelius Vanderbilt's Great-Great ancestor came to New York City in 1650 as an "Indentured Servant." Daisy told me that means you're a Slave but only for a few years. And then you're free I guess. I can still smell Juniper.
In 1862 during the Civil War Robert E. Lee beat the Union General Ambrose Burnside at the Battle of Fredericksburg." The term "Sideburns" was named after the way he wore his beard. That guy Cornelius Vanderbilt wore "Mutton Chop" sideburns too I notice.
This is interesting. It says in this Encyclopedia that Vanderbilt is a Dutch name from the country of Holland. That painter Vincent van Gogh was from Holland. I'll write about him in book three tomorrow. Jack the Jackrabbit just whizzed bye right now.
Just like yesterday, when I look a person up in these Encyclopedias I see what their birthday is and compare it to the list of birthdays Daisy helped me put together. In our family there's a lot of things that happened in May. Mr. Steve's parents Anniversary is on the 24th.
When Daisy and I were putting together my three outlines we were always impressed at how much Mr. Steve's parents care for each other. Dais told me about how one time Mr. Steve used the phrase "Alter Ego" to describe their relationship. I can smell a Cholla cactus.
According to what is says here in this Latin Dictionary; "Dimidium animae Meae" means "Half of my Soul" in English. That's also how someone once described Mr. Steve's parents Dais says. They've been together for almost sixty years. I smell a new Spring Sage plant.
Jacob, Mr. Steve's brother Rock's son; was born on May the 26th. And his Niece Raqquel in Littlerock celebrates the 30th as her birthday. That guy Cornelius Vanderbilt was born on the 27th of May. Andy and Helen the Squirrels just ducked under Moe the middle Shed.
I hadn't planned on writing about Cornelius Vanderbilt right now but it's okay. I'm writing about the "Railroad Strike." Cornelius Vanderbilt is described here as a "Business Magnate" nicknamed the "Commodore." I smell Andy and Helen over there under Moe.
I guess Cornelius Vanderbilt had already died by the time of that strike where the workers were killed in 1894. There was a Depression going on in the United States then so a lot of people were poor. I can hear Dawn and Blinky barking but it's not their guard barks.
DOUGLAS MACARTHUR (0000-0000)
Later today Daisy has me scheduled to write about Douglas MacArthur and one thing I'll read about is how, during the 1930's Great Depression; he brutally "cleaned out" a camp of World War I veterans who marched to Washington D.C. to get money due to them.
Boy! It would be so great to have a school named after you? Daisy says that lady who went to Vanderbilt University told our boss she didn't appreciate those days until later. At the time she just "took things for granted." I'll write more about Cornelius Vanderbilt later.
GROVER CLEVELAND (1837-1908)
This is interesting. I guess, in order to make it up to all of the workers, the President Grover Cleveland "declared" a "national holiday" in honor of those killed. I kind of like how the black and white picture of him in my Encyclopedia is painted the way Mr. Steve used to do.
According to this Encyclopedia, from 1861 all the way through 1933; there were only two of the Presidents who were from the Democrat Party. One was that guy Woodrow Wilson who was in office during World War I. And the only other Democrat was Grover Clevelend.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN WOODROW WILSON FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT
It was Abraham Lincoln who started the many years of Republican domination when he was elected in 1861. As I've mentioned, that "triggered" the outbreak of the Civil War. As I wrote yesterday, before they were called Republicans they were the "Whig" Party.
Democrat Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1933 during the Great Depression. Mr. Cliff thinks it's ironic how Democrats have been in office during the Civil War, both World Wars and Vietnam too. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny the Crows are flying bye right now.
I'll bet Mr. Steve know this. According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, that guy Grover Cleveland is the only President in United States history to serve two what they call "non-consecutive" terms as President. Boy! That is kind of unique alright.
JOHN ADAMS / JOHN QUINCY ADAMS GEORGE BUSH JR. / GEORGE BUSH SR.
Later today Daisy has me scheduled to write about how twice in American history there has been a father and a son as President. One was John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams and the other time was the two George Bush's. I smell Libby over there in her Corral.
When I write about George Bush Sr. and Jr. of course I'll have to write about the wars that are going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Steve knows this guy named Dave who was a soldier in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war to kick Saddam Husein back out of Kuwait.
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says President Cleveland tried to "appease" the angry workers by establishing Labor Day as a workers holiday. But he didn't want to it be on May 1st because that date in 1894 was then associated" with Karl Marx-type Communism.
From what it says here, President Cleveland decided to make Labor Day the first Monday in September. The main reason why he didn't want to pick May 1 is because it would have been a reminder of another famous brutal "crackdown" on what were called "Labor Agitators."
"HAY MARKET AFFAIR" (MAY 3, 1886)
By 1894 May 1 had been "adopted" as "International Workers Day" around the world. That date "commemorated" another violent event that happened in 1886 when some workers and Police died in riots that broke out in a Hay Market in the city of Chicago.
I guess in May of 1886 these workers also gathered and what they call "Anarchist" speakers gave speeches and "worked up" the crowd. Someone threw a bomb and a huge "melee" broke out. Samson and Delilah the Crows are floating bye; moving to the northeast.
After the "Hay Market Affair" some of the main "Anarchist" speakers were arrested and eventually tried and convicted. A few of them were even executed or "Put to Death" as they say. Workers all around the world then made May 1 International Workers Day.
Dais heard Mr. Cliff say how the workers killed in 1886 at that one Hay Market became the "Martyrs of Chicago." And the main reason why workers now have "Eight hour Days" and are able to take off on Weekends is because of what happened in the late 1800's.
Well Lord! It's back to writing about You again. I just felt like adding the part about how weekends were created. I can't wait to tell Daisy how I did that later. But now I want to write about why some people think You were born on April the 17th of the year 6 B.C.
As I've mentioned a few times, Mr. Steve likes to go to Library's. Yesterday I wrote about that one Shoshone Indian man he met at the small local Library in Phelan. Daisy says one time our boss met a really smart older Jewish man down at the Sylmar Library.
Hey Lord! As You know, that Jewish man "made a good case" for You being born on April the 17th and not December 25th. Oh! Two of the Pigeons just flew in from being out there in the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. They landed on the Patio roof above me.
Lord, that man told Mr. Steve, for one thing; back in Your time a Shepherd would only be "out in the fields keeping watch over their flocks at night" in the Spring. That's when the baby Sheep called "Lambs" are born and need protection against Wolves and things like that.
They do call You the "Lamb of God" Lord! Daisy says that man told our boss most Jews don't believe in Astrology but some do. Ancient Israel was conquered by the Babylonians and the the survivors were taken as prisoners to Babylon. I hear the Pigeons cooing.
The Babylonians in ancient Mesopotamia were like the pre-Columbian Mayan and Aztec cultures in really studying closely the night sky. That Jewish man down at the Sylmar Library thought some of the captive Jews in Babylon started to believe in Astrology.
Dais says our boss and that man at the Library talked about the "Dead Sea" Scrolls; which both have seen at a Museum in Israel. The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the "Assene" Jews did believe in Astrology. Mr. Steve has a good book on the Dead Sea Scrolls Daisy told me.
Eventually the ancient Jews were allowed to go back over to Israel. That man at the Library said he thinks Astrology returned with them. Hey Lord! As that man told Mr. Steve; if You really were born on April the 17th then You would be what they call an "Aries."
Daisy says that Jewish man reminded our boss how in Astrology the symbol for Aries is a Ram; or a boy Sheep. My Encyclopedia says Aries are born between today March the 21st and April the 20th. I see the shadows of the Pigeons moving around up there on the roof.
As I mentioned yesterday in book one, there are twelve "Signs" of the "Zodiac;" depending on what day you were born. Again, the Zodiac is an area up in the night sky. There are some people who study the Stars and where the Moon goes and other things like that.
Dais told me about how the Jewish man at the Library pointed out to our boss how a Lamb, which of course he already knew; is what they call a baby Sheep. As I mentioned yesterday in my first book, Sheep are very important in the history of New Mexico and our family.
There's a picture in this one Encyclopedia that shows a scene from a movie about the ancient Greek story called "Jason and the Argonauts." Dais and Millie got to see it one night when they were all in the Living Room. Oh! I can smell a Lizard somewhere around here.
It says here the main reason a Ram is the Aries symbol is because it represents the "flying Ram" in Jason and the Argonauts search for the "Golden Fleece." Daisy has me scheduled to write about that story later when I talk about this one man named Ray Harryhousen.
Hey Lord! As you know, every few months a new group of young Mormon Missionaries comes to live for a while in Piñon Hills. Mr. Steve has met some of them. Some have even come over to our house to talk. I just noticed the Lizard over there standing on the wall.
The Mormons have a Church over there in Phelan Dais told me. Mr. Steve was invited to see teenage brother and sister get Baptized one time. He says they had to wear all white robes and got dunked in the water. I hear our neighbors Ducks over there quacking faintly.
I guess Lord, in a Catholic Baptism; they just pour a little water on your forehead. But the Mormons get your whole body wet just like how John the Baptist did when he Baptized You. Dais and I would love to go back in time to see that. Mr. Steve saw the Jordon River.
BAPTISM OF JACOB / STEPHANIE CÓRDOVA
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Daisy told me that our boss and his brothers and sisters were Baptized as babies. Boy! It would be so great Lord to be baptized. As You know, Daisy and I would like to be baptized. But I wouldn't want to go under water. That would be too scary. That Lizard is gone.
One of the Mormon Missionary kids who came over to our house told our boss that Mormons think You were born in the Spring Lord.
Oh wow! Hey Lord! When I looked up that guy Joseph of Arimathea in this Encyclopedia I see that there's a painting of You being buried. Everyone looks so sad. Was that guy Joseph of Arimathea rich? Dais would like to time travel back to smell him. Me too!
Boy Lord! If we could go back in time Dais and I would meet You too. Oh! And we'd also want to meet You too Blessed Mother. We'd lick Your faces and get to know You and then have You inside us. It would be so great! Daisy wonders if You ever had a Dog. Me too!
Tomorrow in book three Daisy has me scheduled to write about that girl Mary Magdalene. I feel like doing it now Lord but I'd better just do it according to Daisy's plan. But I think I will write now about that other man named Joseph of Arimathea. I smell a Juniper plant.
JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA (DATES UNKNOWN)
Hey Lord! According to what it says in this one Encyclopedia, that guy Joseph of Arimathea let You be buried in his expensive Tomb. Daisy thinks Joseph of Arimathea was one of luckiest persons in history. You were buried in the tomb that was planned for himself.
From what Daisy told me, our boss thinks that guy Joseph of Arimathea must've been a rich person who believed in You Lord. Mr. Steve and Grandma Córdova talked about him in 1985 when they visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. I smell old Sage.
Wow! My Encyclopedia says Joseph of Arimathea is "mentioned" in the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Hey Lord! Daisy says our boss thinks if You hadn't been buried on that Friday the Romans would've probably just thrown You on a Garbage Dump to burn.
Hey Lord! As you know, Dais and I would sure like to know if there really is such a thing as the "Holy Grail;" the cup You and Your Disciples drank wine from at the "Last Supper." If we had a Time Machine like Mr. Peabody's we'd want to be there for that meal too.
If we had the Holy Grail Lord, as You know; we'd never sell it Dais says. That's even though we'd be what they call "Set for Life" if we sold it. We'd drink out of it every day. Daisy says we could share it's power with others who we trust live around here. A Wren is singing.
I can hear our neighbors Ducks quacking over there. Hey Lord! If we had Your cup we'd do good with it. We could help Libby Horse and Shadow the Dog gain more life and energy to live longer if we had the Holy Grail. The sky is really starting to get light blue right now.
JUAN PONCE DE LEÓN (1474-1521) DE SOTO (0000-0000)
ARTWORK BY BLAKE Z
Hey God! As You know, Daisy and I have at times wondered if there really is such a thing as the "Fountain of Youth." In the 16th century that Spanish Conquistador Ponce de León looked for it in what's now "Florida." Oh! I just smelled Jack the Jackrabbit nearby.
That other Conquistador De Soto explored what would eventually be the Southeast part of the United States. Daisy says our boss thinks he most likely was hoping to find the Fountain of Youth or the Seven Cities of Gold that Coronado looked for over in New Mexico.
I was supposed to write about Ponce de León yesterday; before the section on Hernando Cortéz. But somehow I didn't notice it on my outline. Last night Daisy told me not to panic but just look for a place to insert it today instead. And I think this would be a good time.
My Encyclopedia says how in 1513, about twenty years after Christopher Columbus' first voyage; Juan Ponce de León sailed up from the Caribbean Ocean. He explored what he called "La Florida" which is the State of "Florida" now. Jack is under Moe the middle Shed.
Hey Lord! Using my Spanish Dictionary I think La Florida might be translated as either "Land of Flowers" or maybe "Full of Flowers." And in this Encyclopedia it says Ponce de León and his three Ships arrived in Florida during Your Easter season or "Pascua Florida."
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie one time how he thinks Ponce de León was probably not the first Spaniard to land in Florida when he did it in 1513. There were most likely Spanish Slave traders who went up there. Jack the Jackrabbit is sniffing the air over there.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve said some people think Ponce de León went up to Florida to find the Fountain of Youth. But one time he met this guy at the San Fernando Library who doubted that story. I hear a Motorcycle going by on Primavera Road out in the eastern desert.
I guess that guy at the Library said a lot of people think Ponce de León went up to Florida mainly because the Native Caribbean Indians had told him stories about a Fountain of Youth. But the problem is they told him it was located in that other place called "Bimini."
There's a good map in this one Encyclopedia that shows Bimini. The caption below it says Bimini is the area where the "Bahama" Islands are closest to Florida's "mainland." Daisy told me that our boss has a Truck dealership customer near the city of "Miami."
I knew I was being looked at. Jack the Jackrabbit is over there under Moe and is resting in the shade. I can smell him pretty good right now. Behind the three Sheds out in the eastern desert I see a few Birds zipping about. And I hear some Finches singing happily.
From what Dais says our boss used to have more customers over there in Florida but some of them went out of business and others decided to use only "local" vendors; often a person who buys Cars or Trucks from them. Auto Racing is really popular in Florida I guess.
Daisy told me how Mr. Steve sells things related to N.A.S.C.A.R. That stands for "National Association of Stock Car Racing." Florida has a race at this city called "Daytona" and one of Mr. Steve's customers near there likes this one Race Car Driver Jeff Gordon Dais says.
When Mr. Steve was younger he one time was in a Car that went one hundred and twenty miles per hour. He told Dais and Millie he can't imagine being in a Car going two hundred miles per hour. Jack is sprinting toward the northeast corner of the house; to my left.
Yesterday in book one I wrote about that guy named Edgar Cayce. He was sort of like the modern Nostradamus. He predicted the future just like those girls in ancient Greece called the Sybils or Pythias did at Delphi. I can smell a Lizard that's somewhere around here.
Later this afternoon Daisy has me scheduled to write about this place called "Atlantis." It was supposedly a big giant Island that no longer exists. Atlantis was destroyed in a huge disaster and now no one even knows where it use to be. Aha! I can see the Lizard over there.
Some said Atlantis was right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Edgar Cayce predicted it would be found in Bimini to the west of Florida. And a picture in my Encyclopedia shows some divers swimming in Bimini above what does look like big fallen blocks from a giant wall.
EDGAR CAYCE (1877-1945) WITH WIFE ATLANTIS (PLATO)
The caption below the picture of the divers at Bimini says Edgar Cayce predicted how the remains of Atlantis would be discovered in the late 20th century. And in 1968 this is what ended up happening I think. It does look like blocks from a big wall. It probably was Atlantis!
That guy Plato wrote about Atlantis and I'm so tempted to write about it right now but I'd better just wait and do it later today when Dais has me scheduled. I don't want to what they call "stray" too far off of my outlines. That Lizard just ran under a rock near the big tree.
HERODOTUS (484-425 B.C.)
From what is says here in this one Encyclopedia, as far back as the 5th century B.C. that one Greek Historian Herodotus wrote about the idea of a Fountain of Youth. So that guy Ponce de Léon might've known about that. Dais and I want to believe in a Fountain of Youth.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie he once met this older man who was from the country of "Scotland." He knew a lot about Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail Daisy told me. I'll write more about him tomorrow when I look up Mary Magdalene.
I can tell Dais was in a good mood this morning. We both slept "Soundly" so to speak. But that doesn't mean we weren't alert for any possible intruders. Dais and I at times have some bad dreams so we sleep soundly and also "Lightly" at the same time too. I like resting.
Daisy often sleeps next to me right here on Elvira but last night she slept in her area near the Garage Refrigerator; in order to keep and eye on the front. I think she also wanted me to be by myself to think about book two today. Dais is kind of smart in things like that.
This morning Mr. Steve played his Boombox loud. He played that one song called "Sunrise" by the British band URIAH HEEP. I want to hear more URIAH HEEP songs. Dais says they have a good song called "Easy Living." We kind of like the way an organ sounds.
I just picked up the scent of Libby over there in her Corral. I see her over there starting her day like she starts everyday when Heathcliff signals us to begin. She eating some hay and grain out of her food troth. Her tail is swatting away a few Flies. Dais and I don't like Flies.
ARTWORK BY ROGER DEAN
One time when Daisy and that other Dog Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom he played a few URIAH HEEP songs on his Stereo. Dais noticed the fantasy-themed artwork on the album cover. Mr. Steve told them that it was done by this one British guy named Roger Dean.
One time Mr. Steve's mother told him it was okay to draw this Roger Dean URIAH HEEP album cover on his Bedroom wall. It showed a guy holding sword to fight off a demon up above him. Mr. Steve also drew a picture which was on a LED ZEPPELIN cover.
I guess our boss Mr. Steve wishes he had taken some pictures of his Bedroom walls when the drawings were on them. But eventually they were just painted over and covered up. Now those walls are just white again. At first Mr. Steve's father didn't like drawing on the walls.
Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie Roger Dean not only did the URIAH HEEP album covers but also the album covers for other English bands like ASIA and YES. Dais says our boss can copy things but Roger Dean did art right out of his head. That's real skill Mr. Steve thinks.
Daisy says our boss has an old vinyl record of a British band called ATOMIC ROOSTER. Sometimes he shows people the album cover because the artwork was done by that guy Roger Dean. But it doesn't look anything like the fantasy images he is famous for now.
Blackbeard and Anne Bonny just flew in and landed on top of Manny the far right Shed. Blackbeard is holding a dead Lizard in his mouth. Daisy and I have seen this exact same scene many times. Daisy says Crows at times are sort of like us in being Creatures of Habit.
Looking out there into the eastern desert beyond the three Sheds I can see that the Sun is now fully above the horizon. Wrens, Finches and Sparrows are chirping away. The air is clear. I smell that one clump of Joshua trees to my right over near Libby's Corral.
JIMMY PAGE / ERIC CLAPTON / JEFF BECK
Tomorrow in book three Daisy has me scheduled to write about the question of whether or not white people can play "authentic" Blues music. I'll talk about a song by this comedy band called the BONZO DOG DOO DAH BAND; "Can Blue Men sing the Whites?"
Mr. Steve likes the music of Robert Johnson and Howlin Wolf. He even has some of their music on vinyl records Dais told me. But, as much as he likes "pure" Blues; he likes even better heavier Blues like what the early ROLLING STONES and FLEETWOOD MAC did.
ROBERT JOHNSON (1911-1938) "HOWLIN WOLF" (1910-1976) JOHN LEE HOOKER (1917-2001)
In book one I wrote how Mr. Steve prefers Texas' ZZ TOP's song La Grange to John Lee Hooker original. Mr. Steve and Harriet saw Stevie Ray Vaughn play. He was from Texas too. As I mentioned yesterday, John Lee Hooker died on the same day as Grandma Trujillo.
Yesterday I also wrote about that band from Los Angeles called CANNED HEAT. They also played heavier versions of the Blues. I'm going to write more about them tomorrow in book three when I discuss the history of Blues music. I can smell a Lizard around here.
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
Tomorrow in book three Dais has me scheduled to write about this band called EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER; or ELP for short. Their drummer came from ATOMIC ROOSTER. Their music is not Blues but "distinctly British" Progressive Rock. I see the Lizard now.
That Lizard is standing on the wall over there near the sliding glass door. I can tell by its smell that it's the same Lizard that was hanging around here yesterday. Oh! Now the Lizard ran down the wall and went behind our gray water bucket. I like watching Lizards.
When Mr. Steve drew the pictures from the URIAH HEEP and LED ZEPPELIN albums on his wall it was done as a "Collage." That means more than one image. Mr. Steve also drew the Armadillo "Tarkus" Tank from the ELP album in the Collage Daisy told me.
Wow! I didn't plan on writing so much about music. But I just felt like adding it into what Daisy and I had on this book two outline. That's okay. I can change things as I go just like I did yesterday. But I'll try to stick to the outlines as much as possible. I smell Juniper.
Jack the Jackrabbit was up early this morning. Daisy and I noticed him when we smelled him. But now I see him over there standing next to Jack the big Shed. He's sniffing the air and probably hasn't noticed me over here on Elvira. I hear some Wrens chirping nearby.
CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870)
I just have one more thing to write about "Uriah Heep." Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie the band took its name from a from a character in one of that guy Charles Dickens' novels. I'll be writing in more detail about Charles Dickens later. Jack is now running away.
Hey Everyone! Thank You Guys for that good dream last night where Mr. Steve and Daisy were "Showering" me with praise. Mr. Steve was hugging me tight and then wrestling with me on the ground. And Daisy was trying to lick my face. I like dreams like that.
Oh! Heathcliff just crowed! Like yesterday, the first day of Spring, he started announcing the day earlier than usual. He sure crowed more than usual yesterday. Dais and Mr. Steve both noticed how he was crowing so much right in the middle of the day. I smell Sage.
Daisy says she liked Heathcliff crowing in the middle of the day. And this morning Mr. Steve said he liked it. Me too! I want to like what Daisy and Mr. Steve like. I sort of want to be more like them. I just knew they would like hearing a Rooster during sunlight.
Dais says our boss told her and that other Dog named Millie that when you sleep the deepest and best is called the "R.E.M." period. I guess that means "Rapid Eye Movement" where your eyes actually move back and forth even though they're closed. I hear a boy Wren Bird.
Today Dais has me scheduled to write more about the American Civil War and Atlanta down there in the State of Georgia. Daisy likes a from Georgia called R.E.M. They have a song with mandolin in it and I know how much she likes the way mandolins sound. I smell Sage.
Later today I'm going to write about this one concert Mr. Steve went to back in either 1973 or 1974. He can't remember exactly what year it was Daisy says. That concert was at the Forum in Inglewood where Mr. Steve later worked in the mid-1980's. A Wren is singing.
STEELEYE SPAN JETHRO TULL
Dais says Mr. Steve and this girl named Angela went to see a British band named JETHRO TULL. STEELEYE SPAN, an English "Folk-Rock" band, played before them. They had songs with mandolin. Oh! I can hear Pigeons cooing up on top of the Patio roof above me.
Now STEELEYE SPAN is one of Daisy's favorite bands. I've never heard their music but hope to someday when I get over my fear of enclosed spaces. Daisy told me that our boss thinks the girl singer in STEELEYE SPAN has one of the prettiest voices he's ever heard.
In our boss's Bedroom Daisy saw a tv show about that band R.E.M. Mr. Steve said they're smart to share equally in what they call "Royalties." So he told Dais, they must trust and respect each other so most likely bicker less. Dais says royalties is just a fancy way of saying money.
I was going to mention another band from Georgia later when I write about the old ancient Greek city of "Athens." But I feel like doing it now instead. That's because, like R.E.M, they're from a city in Georgia also called Athens. That other band is called the B-52'S.
One time, like this morning, Mr. Steve did yard work and listened to an old Cassette tape of the B-52'S. It had a good song about a Lobster and another one about a Planet called "Claire." Daisy and Millie one time watched as Mr. Steve played drums to the Lobster song.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie that the B-52's are not named after the famous Bomber Plane. Mr. Steve was told by one of his customers down in Georgia that their name comes from the 1950's "Hairstyle" the two girls in the band wear. I want to hear more B-52 songs.
According to Daisy, one of the B-52's girl singers seems to have been influenced by the singing of that girl Yoko Ono; John Lennon's wife. Our boss says this should make Yoko Ono feel good because back then in the late 1970's some people didn't like her "Warbling." I like it!
Daisy says, just like that one band the DOORS, the B-52's don't use a bass player. I guess Mr. Steve has Vinyl Records of the first two B-52'S albums. Tomorrow in book three I'll write about the time when Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy met Ray Manzarek of the DOORS.
Just because we sleep at night that doesn't mean we're not guarding our two acres. Both Dais and I get up a few times a night to go to the bathroom and make a quick jog around the property on our dirt roads that we've carved out. I just picked up the scent of Joshua tree.
Daisy and me, we have sensitive noses. So if something gets near our property, or even comes onto our land, we know. Also, we have Blinky and Dawn next door. Sometimes when they bark we take notice too. Last night a few Rats were running around near the three Sheds.
Right now I can see a small Lizard standing on one of the rocks around the bottom of the big tree. Because Mr. Steve has filled up the basin around the big tree it looks like a little lake again. That Lizard is now taking a drink of water. Heathcliff just crowed next door.
While eating breakfast this morning Daisy and I felt inspired hearing Vivaldi's La Primavera on Mr. Steve's Boombox. He did yard work this morning. Last night I showed Dais what I did yesterday and she couldn't get over it. It made me feel so good how she reacted.
I'm really motivated to start my second book! Mr. Steve's Chinese fortune cookie said last night; "Now is the time to enjoy trying something new." Hey God! Are You sending me some messages through fortune cookies? As you know, Daisy thinks You probably are.
Well, there goes Heathcliff again. Dais of course noticed how he crowed a lot more than usual yesterday afternoon. And he sure did start early this morning too. But I'm glad he did because I was kind of excited to start my second book. Mr. Steve went back in the house.
Yesterday evening it turned out that the reason why Daisy and our neighbor's Dogs were all barking is because this one skinny man who pushes this thing called a"Wheelbarrow" was going past our house out on the road. I joined in and did my duty to bark at him.
Hey! I sense that someone is looking at me. Aha! Right down there in the dirt near the Patio floor I see a little gray Lizard. It's sort of hard to see but nothing gets by my eyes. I think that small Lizard is looking at me by bending his head to the left and then the right.
Even though we were all barking at that skinny man we know he's not bad person. We know his scent well. One good thing about running back and forth in front of the front fence as we barked is that it got Mr. Steve's attention. We had a huge dinner last night!
Daisy thinks I eat too fast. She's a slow eater. From living out in that field I'm in the habit of eating quickly. This is mainly because I didn't want anyone else smelling my food and coming over to try to steal it. That little gray Lizard just ran under a rock over there.
When I first came to live over here I would look at Daisy's food bowl so she would growl at me for even thinking about her food. When Dais snarls like that she seems sort of mean but I know she's not. I'm trying to learn to enjoy my food the way Daisy does.
I'm still at times a little bit nervous when I think about food and water. Looking over to my right at the gray water bucket near the sliding glass door makes me appreciate having food and water. Thank You God for food and water. I'll never "take it for granted" as they say.
Heathcliff crowed. Dais thinks he might be crowing so much because it's Spring; or maybe one of the Hens had babies. That would so great! Oh! The baby Birds above me in their nest are starting to chirp. Their parents Bonnie and Clyde are out looking for some food.
Ah! I just noticed one of those "Thrasher" Birds sitting on a "Creosote" bush out there in the eastern desert; just behind the back fence. I can tell it's a Thrasher Bird because of the long curved beak. I can hear our neighbors Ducks starting to quack over there.
Seeing that Thrasher Bird reminds me of the time when I was living homeless in that awful field and a Thrasher Bird startled me awake. Sometimes Thrasher Birds run along the ground like Roadrunners. But, unlike Roadrunners, they can fly. I smell the Creosote bush.
That lady Miss Susan, who for years ran the local Newspaper called "News Plus," told Mr. Steve one time that Creosote bushes can live for one hundred years; or even longer sometimes. They have small yellow flowers and what looks like little cotton balls on them.
Dais is proud of me for writing my first book. She said it took discipline not to chase things when I felt the impulse. And looking over there at that new green rubber ball makes me kind of proud that I'm saving it for later. Mr. Steve doesn't like "instant gratification."
The outline for this second book has a lot of things on it that Mr. Steve told Daisy. So he does not know that I even know about them. He's going to be so surprised someday when someday he reads my three books. Daisy thinks he'll be so proud of me for doing them.
I had some good dreams last night. In one of them Daisy was licking my face because I was the leader now and she was proud of me. But then I woke up and realized it was only a dream. But it sure was a nice dream. In that dream Mr. Steve hugged and petted us.
Usually I lick Daisy's face because she's still my leader. But I don't mind. That's just the way life is sometimes. Dais hopefully will be number one in what they call the "pecking order" for a long time. Boy You Guys! Thank you so much. This is going to be another great day!
Last night I also had another weird dream I wanted Dais to interpret for me. She's good at doing that. My dream involved me becoming a three-legged Dog just like the Dog Mr. Steve told us about the other day. I just picked up the strong scent of some of the Joshua trees.
When he was young our boss and his brother Rock often took Train trips back there to New Mexico. They usually stayed with both sets of Grandparents but sometimes with their Aunts and Uncles. Many of their Cousins still live in New Mexico. I hear Pigeons cooing.
Grandma and Grandpa Trujillo had an "Adobe" house. Adobe means that the house was built out of "mud-dried" bricks. So the rain or wind wouldn't "erode" the bricks over time the outside of the house was then covered with plaster and then painted pure white.
The reason why Mr. Steve and his family traveled on the Train was because their Grandpa worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. Mr. Steve has so many fond memories of those New Mexico trips to visit all of his relatives. I can smell one of the new Spring Creosote bushes.
Grandpa Trujillo had a Garden. And across from that Garden lived our boss's mom's Uncle James and Aunt Martina. In Spanish "Tio" means Uncle and "Tia" means Aunt. They really weren't Mr. Steve's Aunt and Uncle but they just called them that anyway.
Actually, Uncle James and Aunt Martina were Grandma and Grandpa Trujillo's brother and sister. Uncle James was Grandma Trujillo's brother and Aunt Martina was Grandpa Trujillo's sister. Uncle James and Aunt Martina for a long time had a black three-legged Dog.
Mr. Steve was always amazed at how fast that three-legged Dog, who was missing his left rear leg, could run and keep us with all of the other Dogs. In my dream I was so determined to learn to live with three legs. Daisy thinks my dream means I want to impress our boss.
I liked it last night when Dais told me she thinks someday I might inspire others to do things that may seem way too hard to do; or recover from life's unfairness. Heathcliff just crowed next door. Boy! There's nothing like Heathcliff's voice to get me motivated for the day.
Hey You Guys! As You all know, in this second of my three books I intend to focus on the many things Daisy has taught me. I'm also going to write about some of the things she's told me our boss has said in the past. But mainly Dais has taught me to be grateful.
The first word I'm going to look up today in my English Dictionary is "Portend;" which is defined as "an omen." Sitting here on this couch and looking at the desert behind our three Sheds I just heard Heathcliff crow again and I want to think of that as a good sign.
Even though we all hear Heathcliff crow every morning for some reason today I just kind of feel even more than usual his voice is a really good sign for writing my second book. and Dais is right! We're two of the most fortunate Dogs in the world! I smell Creosote.
Another reason I can't wait to get started today is because Mr. Steve petted us even more than usual this morning when he cleaned our eyes and checked our stomachs. Wait until he finds out what I'm doing. Dais thinks he'll be so amazed that he'll really pet us a lot!
Well Stanley, Thank you too for watching me yesterday and guarding me. Lilith didn't even try to distract me away from writing my first book and I'll bet it's partly because you were right here blocking her out like a wall. Please do the same thing today if you don't mind.
Hey Holy Spirit! As You know I was going to name this second book "Laudato Si" or "Praise Be To You" in Latin. That's how Daisy always thinks about our lives. But I decided to call it "Be Grateful" instead because You came to me in that dream and told me to do it.
Knowing that there's no such thing as a perfect life and appreciating all of the good things in our lives is something Daisy often tells me to do. And because I want to write about her a lot in this second book I'll call it "Be Grateful." What a beautiful day this going to be!
Last night I had a dream where Mr. Steve proudly hugged me for being a smart Dog. I kind of "half expected" for Lilith to show up in my dreams last night but she didn't. Oh! Heathcliff just crowed next door. This is going to be a glorious day. I feel like celebrating life!
Hey God! As You know of course, because Mr. Steve's favorite time of day are the first hours after the Sun comes up now Daisy and myself love it too. Dais is so right. It just seems like our minds are clearer and life coming back after the darkness almost seems like a miracle.
Thank You Guys for having our boss put in some of that new Spam meat in our food bowls this morning. Now I'm "raring to go" as they say. Because our boss likes the sunlight at this time of the year; Dais and I now like it too! I just smelled one of our Joshua trees.
I want to write about what happened around here last night. "In the dead of night" as they say, a Bobcat was out in the back half acre behind the Sheds. Of course we barked at him and so did Blinky and Dawn. Even Rosie barked. Molly would've kicked the back Corral fence.
Blinky and Dawn smelled that Bobcat first and alerted Daisy and myself. Based on how he ran away, I think we surprised it. Dais thinks the Bobcat was walking out on Primavera Road. Daisy's noticed that there haven't been any Owls around here lately. Me too.
Smelling that Bobcat last night made me and Daisy remember the time when we chased this other Bobcat up into the clump of Joshua trees over there near Libby's Corral. It was such an exciting event! I'm planning on writing more about it later this afternoon.
That night when that Bobcat retreated up into the Joshua trees Dawn and Blinky helped us bark at it. Then Mr. Steve came outside and shined that incredible thing called a "flashlight" up at the Bobcat. That Bobcat kept hissing at us and sounded really mean too.
Finally our boss took us to the front yard and gave us a snack of Dog biscuits and hotdogs. It was the only time we were given a snack at night. That gave the Bobcat a chance to escape out into the desert. Oh! I just picked up the scent of one of the new Sage bushes.
Hey You Guys! Was it You who caused that Bobcat to show up last night? Dais thinks it was a coincidence but on ninety nine nights out of a hundred nothing exciting happens. Then, just I'm writing my three books that Bobcat is snooping around behind the three Sheds.
Well, looking around from this couch, the view to the east beyond our Sheds is colorful. I hear and smell many things. Because Mr. Steve likes the beginning and end of each day when he says the shadows are longer, both Daisy and I now like those times too. I feel great!
As usual last night we "turned in" early as they say. That means we went to bed early so we could get up early. But at first it was kind of hard to go to sleep because that Mockingbird kept chirping. Dais thinks boy Mockingbirds chirp at night to impress girl Mockingbirds.
Even though we were asleep both Dais and I were still alert when that one Bobcat showed up. Actually, Daisy and I stayed up a little later than usual because the night sky was so beautiful and clear. I just took in a big breath of fresh morning air. Thank you Guys for that!
Yesterday afternoon when Daisy, Blinky and Dawn were barking up front at that skinny man pushing his Wheelbarrow it was perfect timing. I had finished book one and really was hungry because we hadn't had any snacks all day long. I can smell a Joshua tree.
I'll bet Dais is laying near the front of the Garage and licking her paws. This always gets her ready for the day. She does this every day. I'll bet our boss went back in the house and is now making phone calls to back east from his office. I hear Birds singing.
Oh! Before I start my work I feel like praying; "Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the the wisdom to know the difference." That's Daisy's favorite prayer now.
Even though it's Spring it's still cold at night. Dais looks forward to April because as that old saying goes; "April showers bring May flowers." But we're in a drought. I've noticed how Dais likes poems that rhyme. Ah! I just smelled the first Gopher of the new day.
I just spotted that Gopher. It's now sticking it's head out of the hole and is sniffing the air. That Gopher better be careful because there are Snakes and other things which would like to use it for a meal. Dais and I have at times wondered what Gopher would taste like.
Well Everyone, here goes! I just made my quick sign of the cross and now I'm ready to start writing again today. I'll get a lot done again today. Looking to the east toward the desert I see Crows like Fanny and Freddie wheeling around overhead high up in the sky.
This is Friday, the second day of Spring! I feel good! The Sun went down yesterday at about seven in the evening and this morning came up at at about five minutes until seven. Today will be a "regular work day" calling Auto Dealerships for Mr. Steve. I hear Sparrows.
"From here on in" as they say, the snow up on the southern mountains will start to melt and fill up the local creeks. That's what Dais says. Sometimes at this time of year we have strong winds which cause damage. Ah! A Snake just crawled under Moe the Shed.
Dais is so right. I'm really lucky to have this writing project. I can learn to read and write and also learn new information. And it gives me a way to eventually impress our boss. When she says things like that I feel so uplifted and happy. Thank You for Daisy You Guys.
Well before the Sun came up Mr. Steve put out food and water for our Birds. And he did a lot of yard work in the dark before the sunup. He's back in the house so now I can start writing my second book. We listened to some good music on his Boombox this morning.
Dais says the reason why our boss puts out even more food during the Winter is because that is when the Birds have a much harder time finding enough food. At times Mr. Steve clears snow to make an area of dirt big enough to spread out Bird seeds on. I smell Creosote.
This is the time of year Daisy looks forward to. One reason is because as he works cutting the weeds our boss plays music on his Boombox. Even though it was still what they call "chilly" last night and this morning we love it. Oh! I just saw a Jackrabbit run past Moe the Shed.
My first impulse is to chase that Jackrabbit but I won't. Dais was so proud of me for being so disciplined yesterday in writing my first book. And today I fully intend to do the same. I have so much work to do today. One of those Thrasher Birds just ran bye.
Sometimes Mr. Steve goes out into our back half acre and just walks around; especially in the mornings or evenings. There have been times when he's heard Rattlesnakes in the bushes along Primavera Road. I just noticed a long line of Ants marching along below me.
I really like when Mr. Steve does yard work. Not only do we get to hang around him but we hear new songs on his Boombox. We like when our boss teaches us about new things. Dais likes to learn as much as I do. A small flock of Birds just flew past the three Sheds.
Daisy says, through our boss, she's learned a lot about the history of music over the six years she's been living here. And now I want to learn more about music too. Daisy likes what that one named Nun Sister Rita Joseph said; "If you're not learning you're not fully living."
Heathcliff the Rooster was up early this morning and he sure did crow a lot more than usual yesterday afternoon too. Daisy thinks he's just happy the Winter is over and now the weather will start getting warmer with each passing day. I smell some Cholla cactus.
Wow! Looking at our back half acre of desert to the east the Cholla cactus seem to be shining in the morning sunlight. Everything is waking up. I can smell so many things right now. And I can hear a lot of Birds singing and chirping. Everyone sounds so happy!
I think part of the reason I feel so good this morning is because Mr. Steve again put some of that Spam meat in our food for breakfast. It tastes so good mixed in with cold leftovers and dry Dog food. Daisy is so right! The three of us have a lot to be thankful for.
Daisy told me about this one Dog named "Snoopy" who does a "happy dance" just like the dance I do below our boss's office window in the mornings. Today my dance worked perfectly because Mr. Steve came right out and fed us. Then he did some yard work.
Someday I really want to see that carton called "Peanuts." Dais told me it's so good and says it's about this bald-headed kid named Charlie Brown. Snoopy is what they call a "Beagle" and i so smart Daisy says. Snoopy can read and write and even plays musical instruments.
Well You Guys! The Birds seem to be singing even more this morning than yesterday; and they sang a lot yesterday. Because this is the second day of Spring I'll again have about twelve hours to work. Twelve chapters in twelve hours. This is going to be so great!
Oh! A Lizard is sitting motionless in the dirt near the big tree. Daisy told me that Lizard's bodies can't store heat so they have to absorb energy from the Sun before they're limber enough be search for food. Three little Finch's just landed on Manny the far right Shed.
Dais is right. Lizards have to remain still because even the slightest movement might attract the attention of Birds or Snakes or other things which would want to eat it. It's so unbelievable how fast a Roadrunner can sneak right up on a Lizard and bite it hard.
Daisy and I love Spring! Daisy encouraged me this morning. She thinks our boss will sure be proud of me when he finds out what I'm doing. She says I showed discipline in my writing book one yesterday. One of my joke nicknames is "Scatter Shot." The Finches flew away.
The chirping of Sparrows and the cawing of Crows makes me feel so good. I'm determined to make this another productive day! Last night Dais made suggestions for my book two outline. I'm looking at it right now. Well, there goes that Lizard running off to start it's day.
Well, looking down from this couch I see the Ants still marching along. I'm sure they're out looking for food. it's so amazing how they stay in such straight lines when the walk. Ant's at times look like little "column's" of soldiers moving along Dais says.
Daisy has a lot of wisdom and understanding because of her many years of life experience. I've come to rely on her advice and always think try to think of what she would do when I face a new situation that I've never faced before. I want to make Dais proud of me.
Earlier this morning Daisy told me something sensible that made me think more about our sometimes boring or "non-eventful" lives. She said she's heard that every day a lot of Dogs and Cats die all alone in these really awful places called "Shelters." I smell a Juniper plant.
How terrible it must be Daisy says to die in a cold impersonal place like a shelter; especially if you've had a life where you've been loved like the way we're now loved she told me. Mr. Steve joked this morning that Daisy is sort of like my "Mother Hen." I hear a Finch chirping.
As usual we got up early to the sound of Heathcliff's voice; even though he started crowing a lot earlier this morning. It's a good thing we live out here our boss says. If we lived in city with a lot of neighbors some of them might complain. But not us! We love Heathcliff!
Last night as we discussed today Dais also wondered why Heathcliff was crowing so much in the afternoon yesterday. And like myself, she also thought his voice at times sounded different than usual. I can now hear our neighbor's Ducks quacking over there next door.
This morning Mr. Steve saw us under his office window so came out. As usual he cleaned our eyes, checked our stomachs, petted us and then give us breakfast. It was perfect! Of course Dais had her aspirin pill in her food; for her arthritis. She's what's called a "Team Leader."
The other day our boss said something which I sort of agree with. From the time I came to live over here until now Daisy has become what Mr. Steve called a "Guidance Counselor." She gives me good advice. Dais has so much experience; both good and bad.
Daisy thought it was funny when our boss joked; "Every new day is a gift from God and that's why they call it a present." At first I didn't get that joke but then Dais explained it to me so now I think it's kind of funny too. A cool breeze just floated in from the northeast.
Hey Holy Spirit! As You know, this time of the morning seems magical to Mr. Steve. So now Daisy and I feel the same way. The sunlight is like life emerging after the dead darkness of the night. It's kind of like the natural cycle of life, death and then a new rebirth.
I couldn't wait to get started today. Hey God! Dais is right. We're so lucky to be alive. Ah! The Chimes are ringing. I sure hope that means You Guys are nearby. I think You are! Taking in a full breath of air through my nose I can smell the clump of Joshua trees over there.
It's at times just like this Holy Spirit, in hearing, seeing and smelling all of the things around me; that I better understand the Chinese concept of "Chi." Daisy thinks Chi might just be one other way of describing You. And I really do want to believe that idea too.
Hey Holy Spirit! My Encyclopedia says Chi means "life force" in Chinese. That does kind of sound like You. Dais says our boss said one time that over there in China Chi was "central" to many things like medicine. Two of our Pigeons just flew bye really fast.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that the Chinese even use Chi in deciding where to build their houses and other buildings. Us Catholics sometimes get a Priest to come in and "bless" a house after it's already been built. I guess that man Confucius talked about Chi in his teachings.
CONFUCIUS (551-480 B.C.)
According to my outlines I'm scheduled to write about that man Confucius tomorrow but I sort of feel like doing it now. It will fit in here too I think. Confucius was an ancient Chinese teacher and philosopher. Our boss told Daisy he valued knowledge and learning.
According to this one Encyclopedia that man Confucius' teachings have been described as "Secular Morality." Secular means "not connected to religion." But Daisy says that Mr. Steve thinks Confucius' "World View" seems to be based on religious foundations.
Hey Lord! When he was in the 7th Grade Sister Clara Joseph spoke to her class about what she called "Reciprocity" in Your Golden Rule. And she said that Confucius valued that same idea. Our four Pigeons are flying bye right now. They're moving to the east.
Whereas You said Liord; "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," Confucius taught that; "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others." And it says here that he also said; "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
Dais told me that many years ago in the late 1980's Mr. Steve was given the assignment to go take pictures of some older Chinese people doing what they call "T'ai Chi." That means they do exercises. I just noticed a little brown Bunny Rabbit near Manny the far right Shed.
According to my Encyclopedia the full Chinese name for T'ai Chi is "T'ai Chi ch'uan." And another "form" of T'ai Chi is "Qi gong." This is interesting. It says here T'ai Chi "dates back to" the 15th century A.D. in China. I think that Rabbit just picked up my scent.
In this Encyclopedia it says a "Taoist" Monk back in the 1400's created a series of "poses" which were meant to imitate the movements of certain Animals like Cats or Insects like Praying Mantis's. That Rabbit is now hopping away and is going out into the eastern desert. .
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
This is interesting. Tai chi is based on the idea that balancing the opposite forces of the body, or Yin and Yang, makes it easier for "Chi" to flow through the body. I guess Chi can also mean "energy in Chinese. That Rabbit is hopping out into the desert behind our Sheds.
Mr. Steve was told by this older Chinese lady that the slow breathing that goes along to the "fluid" movements in tai chi makes it sort of like a "moving meditation." If you do it correctly it's a way to relax along with getting some exercise too. I smell the first Sage of the day.
I want to do like Dais does. Yesterday was the first day of Spring yet we already are starting to smell Sage. At this exact time last year it was still kind of cold. Smelling that Sage right now makes me think about smelling Sage in other years. I can really smell it now!
That one Chinese lady told our boss tai chi combines Chinese religion, culture and medicine into one activity. In other words, tai chi is good for the mind, body and spirit. I wonder if Dogs could do T'ai Chi? Maybe we could start a Dog T'ai Chi school and make money.
It says here that other cultures have similar ideas to Chi. In Hinduism it's "Prana" while the Buddhists in Tibet call it "Lung." Hey Holy Spirit? Are You our Chi? Daisy says she wants to believe that You are. Ah! A Ground Squirrel just ran past in front of the Sheds.
A while back Daisy and Millie were in our boss's Bedroom ad saw this man called the "Dalai Lama" on tv. She thinks he's kind of like a Buddhist Pope and seems very friendly. Like Chief Tecumseh, he thinks you should be grateful for each morning that you wake up.
I know one thing. Dais and I would like to sniff Pope John Paul II or the Dalai Lama. But that Pope died. Daisy says, like Mr. Steve, the Dalai Lama believes you should make every day productive. On his desk Dais says our boss has a picture he took of Pope John Paul II.
In my Encyclopedia it says that man the Dalai Lama has a really long name. And Dais was right! She thought the name Dalai Lama was just a title like Pope. This is interesting. He was born on July the 6th, three days before our boss's birthday. So he's a Cancer too.
Wow! Even though the Dalai Lama was born in 1935 like Mr. Steve's mother, he's been the leader of the Tibetan Buddhists since 1950; when he was fifteen! A "Monk" is like a Priest for us Catholics; even though we have Monks too. I just looked up the word "Exile."
I guess China doesn't want Tibet to be it's own country so have killed even Tibetans like the Dalai Lama who want only "greater autonomy" for the "Himalayan" region. Mr. Steve thinks one reason China doesn't want Tibet to be free is because they don't believe in religion.
Oh my God! This picture in my Encyclopedia shows a Tibetan Monk burning himself up to protest what the Chinese are doing! Boy! Dais is right. We're lucky to live in a time of peace. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye. They're way up high and are going out to the desert.
I guess, from what Dais told me, our boss says many cultures have ideas that are like Chi. My Encyclopedia says in ancient Greece it was "Pneuma." Jew's call it "Ruah" while over there in Hawaii they use the word "Mana." A nice breeze just came in from out in the desert.
Hey Holy Spirit! I think I feel the spirit of Chi as I take in full deep breaths of fresh air. This will be such a good day just like yesterday was. I'm lucky I have the opportunity to learn many new things. Dais says our boss will be proud of me. Thank You again Everyone!
Another spiritual person like the Dalia Lama was this other man named Thomas Merton. He was a Catholic Monk who was born in France according to this Encyclopedia. But his mother brought he and his brother here to live America. I can now smell a Lizard nearby.
Hey God! As you know, Mr. Steve has this book about Thomas Merton which says that until he was eighteen he was an "Agnostic" so didn't really believe in You. I guess Thomas Merton's mother died when he was six years old. That's what it says here in this one Encyclopedia.
THOMAS MERTON (1915-1968)
Daisy thinks one reason our boss is interested in Thomas Merton is because his father is. The same is true with Dorothy Day; who helped start "The Catholic Worker" organization which helps the poor. Aha! I see the Lizard over there standing to the right of the big tree.
Hey God! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? It says here in this Encyclopedia that Thomas Merton was turned down when he applied to be a Franciscan Priest. So I guess he did end up becoming a "Trappist" Monk. Later he began writing about "Spirituality."
This is interesting. Thomas Merton wrote mainly about religious ideas and things like that; but admired Aldous Huxley's writing. Later today I'm going to write about a community called "Llano del Rio" which is near to where Aldous Huxley lived with his wives.
No wonder Mr. Steve likes some of the ideas of Thomas Merton. There's a quote here in this Encyclopedia that he would probably agree with. Thomas Merton wrote that; "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." That Lizard just ran away.
Another reason why our boss most likely admires that guy Thomas Merton is because of what it says here. Thomas Merton was what they call a "proponent" of "interfaith" understanding. He even met with the Dalai Lama a few times. I smell one of the Joshua trees.
Thomas Merton was a "Trappist" Monk so had to take a "Vow" of silence. Daisy thinks that probably means they would rather pray without any noise. She says our boss told her and Millie that they could talk but only when necessary. They at times used "Sign" language.
Oh wow! According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, Thomas Merton was over in the country of "Thailand" when he died. He was sitting in the Bathtub and accidentally got electrocuted when a Fan fell in. Daisy says Mr. Steve likes to sit in the Bathtub too.
Blackbeard and Anne Bonney the Crows just landed on Jack the big Shed. That makes me want to write about Crows. Mr. Steve told Daisy he read that some Crows on this island down in the South Pacific Ocean called "New Caledonia" use sticks as tools. I smell Sage.
Daisy is a lot older than me so has been watching Crows for a lot more years than I have. She says Crows are so smart. Our boss told us that down there in New Caledonia Crows have been seen "fashioning" sticks into little hooks to "fish" Bugs out of holes in tree trunks.
Blackbeard and Anne are looking at me over here on this couch. Crows are kind of like Dais and me in being curious about things. The white around Blackbeard's dead eye seems bigger for some reason. He's tilting his head to the side so he can see me better. I smell Creosote.
From what I remember Mr. Steve saying he read that in Egypt Vultures break eggshells with a rock. And on one of the Galapagos Islands where that man Charles Darwin visited he noticed a Finch using cactus spines and twigs to pull out Insects to eat from dead trees.
Blackbeard and Anne are still standing on Jack. Dais noticed how Blackbeard seems calmer around Anne Bonny. He has a temper and likes to fight but not with Anne. Oh! They just took off and are now flying over the house moving to the west. Oh! I smell Rosemary.
Hey Blessed Mother! As You know, I told Dais about how someday I wouldn't mind having a boyfriend. Then maybe I could even have some kids. Daisy and I could teach them things. That would be so great! Daisy thinks I would be a good mom and I agree with her too.
Well, now, according to my outline, the next thing I want to write about are these little Birds who live over there in Africa. Daisy told me about them. She says, believe it or not, our boss told her those Birds find Beehives for people in exchange for getting to eat the wax.
Everyone knows how people "Domesticated" animals like us Dogs to help look for food. But those African Birds, called "Honey Guides," are the only known case where people use "Wild" animals to do that. I can see Libby the Horse eating hay over there in her Corral.
I guess the way Mr. Steve heard about those Honey Birds is because he once met a man who was from the African country of "Mozambique." That guy told him about the Honey Birds in his country and also this other country called "Tanzania." I hear a Finch singing.
From what Daisy says, those Honey Guides come when the man whistles. Then it goes out to find a Beehive. When it does the men use smoke to chase away the Bees. Then they use tools to chop the Beehive out of the tree. They get the honey; the Birds get to eat the wax.
Thinking of Blackbeard reminds me of how males like to fight. And pretty soon, because its Spring, there will be a lot of more fighting for attention around here. Crows fight hard because they have such sharp beaks; and claws on their feet too. I smell a Creosote bush.
Daisy had a boyfriend once. They even had some babies. But then her first owner had her "Fixed." Dais still thinks about that time in her life. Brutas was her boyfriend's name and he protected her she says. Hey God! I'd sure like to have a boyfriend to protect me.
As a kid Mr. Steve's parents paid so he and his brothers could take lessons in what they call the "Martial Arts." They went to Granada Hills and studied a Korean system called "Tang Soo Do." And very important in their lessons was their understanding of the spirit of Chi.
Well You Guys! As You all know, Daisy and I sure do like this time of the mornings when the weather starts to warm up. And last evening again the sunset was so pretty. It was orange and yellow. Mr. Steve wants to believe good sunsets are gifts from You God.
Looking east I can see that this is going to be another glorious morning. I hear a lot of Birds out there in the eastern desert beyond our three Sheds. Daisy noticed yesterday how there seems to be more Sage plants and Cholla cactus' this year. I smell Sagebrush right now.
It's so amazing how the morning Sun makes Cholla cactus seem to glow. Daisy thinks it's one of the prettiest things to look at and sitting here now so do I. But good coming with bad and bad coming with good Cholla will stab you if you get too close to them. I smell them now.
I just used my Spanish Dictionary to look up the word "Desayuno;" the first word I look up today. I used my Dictionaries a lot yesterday. Mr. Steve had told us how to correctly pronounce desayuno which is Spanish for "Breakfast." Dais an I love to learn new words.
This morning our boss played a song called "Morning Mood" by this one man named Edvard Grieg. Daisy likes it as much as Vivaldi's song Spring. Mr. Steve played both of those songs on his Boombox this morning. Daisy and I really like listening to songs about nature.
EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907) WITH WIFE
I just used my German Dictionary to look up how to spell Morning Mood. I think it would be "morgenstimmung." German is a very hard language. Sometimes it's sort of hard to figure out how to translate or even spell words. But that's okay! I don't mind.
Mr. Steve really likes Rock songs which are influenced by or use Classical music. And so this morning he played on the Boombox an album called "On The Third Day" by this one British band called the ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA; or "ELO" for short. I smell a Mouse.
Dais really likes an ELO song called "Daybreaker" which has this musical instrument on it called a "Moog Synthesizer." Our boss told us that it's a keyboard instrument that was used a lot in the early 1970's.. I kind of like the way it sounds too. I see the Mouse.
This morning Daisy noticed ELO's "cover" of another Edvard Grieg song called "Hall of the Mountain King." It started with Morning Mood and is ELO's "interpretation" of Grieg. Mr. Steve read Edward Grieg's last words were; "Well, if it must be so." The Mouse is gone.
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
Before they were called the Electric Light Orchestra their name was the MOVE. Dais says the MOVE are one of our boss's favorite bands. He told her and Millie about how, back in the 1960's; the MOVE started out as what they call a "Middle of the road Pop band."
In the late 1960's I guess that one band the MOVE had a number of "Hit" songs over there in England. That was not the period when Mr. Steve liked them. He prefers the MOVE'S second and last version; Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and drummer Bev Bevan. I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve says the MOVE were never popular in America. Over the years he's played their music for others and a common reaction is surprise that such a good band is unknown. There have been a few times when Mr. Steve has also wondered that himself Daisy told me.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, in actual fact there have been a number of bands from England who were never successful here in the United States. Tomorrow in book three I'll write about this one 1970's British band called SLADE. I can smell a Juniper plant.
Mr. Steve told Daisy, 1969 was a year of "Ups and Downs" for the MOVE. They had a #1 hit single in England but then their only American "Tour" of the United States went poorly. In fact our boss said; it was kind of a disaster. A Crow just cawed faintly out in the desert.
In 1969 the MOVE flew from England to Detroit. To their surprise they found out that their American record company had made almost no arrangements for their "accommodations." In Detroit they "opened up" for IGGY AND THE STOOGES. Oh! I smell a Snake.
Our boss told Dais that the MOVE then had to rent a Car and "U-Haul" trailer so they could then drive all the way to California. For much of the way they drove the old Route 66. This was not what they had expected at all. Later today I'll write more about Route 66.
In 1969 I guess the members of the MOVE started to bicker. Mr. Steve says having to drive all the way from the Midwest to California is a long way; especially when you're not Tourists so want to hurry up and get to Los Angeles. I can see the Snake over there now.
After playing in Hollywood at the Whisky A Go Go Mr. Steve says the MOVE drove up to San Francisco. They played there but then cancelled the rest of their Tour. Mr. Steve told Daisy one time that if he could go back in time he's want to see that concert at the Whisky.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that in even during their Pop phase the MOVE used Classical music. In their song "Night of Fear" they played Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." Tomorrow when I write about Christmas I'll write a lot more about Tchaikovsky. That Snake is gone.
The 1812 Overture was about Napoleon Bonaparte's disastrous 1812 attack on Russia where he lost over three hundred thousand French soldiers in that "Campaign." The MOVE'S Night of Fear hinted at what ELO did later our boss told Daisy. I smell that old Cholla cactus.
The original ELO, as well as the MOVE at the end, was three guys; Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and the drummer named Bev Bevan. In the early 1970's, when Mr. Steve was in High School; Daisy says they began to evolve into a harder Rock band with Classical influences.
Dais told me our boss has vinyl records of the last three MOVE albums; "Shazam," "Looking On," and "Message from the Country." All are really good she told me. On those three albums from the early 1970's they were beginning to do Classical Music Rock Dais says.
When the MOVE returned to England after their unsuccessful American tour in 1969 they recorded Shazam Daisy told me. Mr. Steve thinks it's a great album but "commercially" it was not a success. That means it didn't make money Dais says. A Sparrow is singing.
According to Daisy Mr. Steve thinks Bev Bevan's drumming on Shazam is some of the best he's ever heard. Someone once told him that Paul Stanley of KISS said Shazam was one of his favorite albums. I really want to hear that album someday. I smell a Creosote bush.
Dais told me that on Shazam there's this song called "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited." It's about a man locked up in this room called a "Dungeon." My Dictionary says that means; "the underground cell of a prison." A Crow just cawed faintly to the east, out in the desert.
Toward the end of Cherry Blossom Clinic" Daisy says, the MOVE do a section where they play music by Bach, Tchaikovsky and this one other man from France named Paul Dukas. Our boss thinks this is one of the best and most creative uses of Classical music he's ever heard.
PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935)
On Cherry Blossom Clinic the part where the MOVE play Paul Dukas is from his work called "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." From what I can figure out using my French Dictionary I think it would be "L' Apprenti Sorcier." Thank You Guys for these Dictionaries!
My Encyclopedia says when that man Paul Dukas wrote The Sorcerer's Apprentice in 1896 the "subtitle" was "Scherzo;" which was a "ballad" written in a really famous German writer named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Three little Birds just zoomed bye.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE (1749-1832)
I just looked up "Ballad" and it means a "sentimental" song or poem. Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that Goethe was a really good writer who even influenced musicians like Mozart and Beethoven. Someday I really want to read some of the things that guy Goethe wrote.
According to this one Encyclopedia Paul Dukas was Jewish and lost his mother when he was five years old. Not only did he compose music but, as a Professor in Paris taught other French composers. The French even put his picture on the front of one of their stamps.
From what Mr. Steve tells us The Sorcerer's Apprentice is known to most people from this 1940 Walt Disney movie called "Fantasia." I've never seen it but Daisy has and says it's so good. 1940 was the year France was conquered by the Germans in World War II.
Dais told me our boss says the melody most people know from Fantasia is the part where that mouse named Micky uses magic to make this broom come alive. Then he orders it to do all of his work for him. But the broom gets out of control Daisy says. I can smell a Lizard.
One MOVE song I really want to hear is about a dance called the "Brontosaurus." Dais says it's a good song. We both like things about Dinosaurs. Daisy told me the MOVE also had a song called "Do Ya" which ELO later "re-worked." The Lizard is standing on a rock.
Boy! I'm sure glad I have all of these Dictionaries to look things up. Other languages are kind of hard to understand. But Mr. Steve says English is actually harder to learn than many other languages because there are so many more words. That Lizard just ran away.
As I mentioned yesterday when I wrote about our last name, wherever the ancient Romans conquered their Latin language went with them; places like Spain, Portugal and France our boss says. To a certain extent Mr. Steve says; English has "incorporated" other languages.
Daisy thinks that is so amazing to think about. No wonder English is so hard to learn she says. We're so lucky she tells me to know at least part of English. But Daisy's right. No matter what language our human spoke we'd learn it or "die trying" as they say.
Oh! I just noticed two Crows playing high up in the sky. I think it's Samson and Delilah but it's hard to tell. If it is them this is the first time I've ever seen them playing the way Fannie and Freddie do. Playfulness is important Mr. Steve thinks. I can't wait to tell Dais.
Mr. Steve sells apparel that this man from Mexico named Julio "embroiders." Mr. Julio is a really talented person. He's from "Mexicali" in northern Baja and visited us one time. Mr. Julio and his wife, who's from "Nicaragua," have a pretty teenage daughter our boss says.
Daisy would like to visit Mexico. Me too but Mr. Steve says right now it's dangerous to go there because Mexico is poor so some people "Kidnap for Ransom" foreigners. Mr. Julio says "Drug Cartels" cut off people's heads. Dais jokes we'd look bad without heads.
To help learn English Mr. Julio told our boss he used to watch cartoons. Our boss helps him with English and Mr. Julio helps Mr. Steve with Spanish. I just used my Spanish Dictionary to look up the word "help;" which is "ayudar." Thank You for my Dictionaries God!
Daisy's like me. We both want to learn so Mr. Steve will be proud of us and want to keep us around. In some ways Daisy's smarter than me. She's my "Sounding Board." And, as Sister Rita Joseph said; "There are no dumb questions." Dais believes that!
Neither Dais or myself would now ever want to leave our two acres. This is kind of what they call our "sanctuary" now. We both now really need to stay here so will do whatever it takes to make our boss happy. Dais says he's what they call the "Final Arbiter."
Mr. Steve jokes that Heathcliff is sort of like our Bugler sounding what's called "Reveille." I agree with Daisy who says we now need Heathcliff to start every day. The sound of his voice is comforting somehow. I just picked up the faint scent of some Sagebrush.
Dais told me that our boss has a replica Bugle in his office. It's just like the ones they used during the American Civil War. But it doesn't really make any sounds. It's only for looking at Daisy says. Daisy jokes that we should buy Heathcliff a real Bugle.
Feeling the Sun's warmth makes me think about the four different seasons and how this is the second day of Spring. Again today I'll have about twelve hours to work. That's so great. I want to learn a lot today just like I did yesterday. A flock of Birds are flying bye.
I guess the four different seasons of the year are mainly the result of how the Earth is tilted as it "revolves" or goes around the Sun. I just looked up the word "orbit" and it means "path of a body in its revolution around another body." I hear Dawn and Blinky barking.
I really like it when my Encyclopedia's have maps and diagrams to show you things. There's a good picture here of of the two yearly "Equinox's" and "Solstice's" And from what it says in my Latin Dictionary "aequus" means "equal" while "nox" is "night."
My Dictionary says that "Solstice" is Latin for "Solstitium" and is translated as "The Sun stands still." Daisy says that's probably because for a few days the Sun seems to stop its seasonal change. A small Ground Squirrel just sprinted bye in front of the three Sheds.
After the Winter Solstice Dais told me, if you notice, the Sun comes up in the mornings a little to the left of where it came up the day before. And it sets further to the right with each passing. For a time the Sun rises a little higher in the sky too. I hear Birds chirping.
Daisy says our boss told her the June Solstice is the longest day of the year and the December Solstice is the shortest day with the longest night. Right now I can see that the Sun is sitting just above the eastern horizon slightly to the right of Moe the Shed. I smell a Creosote bush.
Because Daisy likes the two Equinox's better because our boss does, now they're my two most favorite days too. Like Daisy says, twelve hours of sunlight and twelve hours of darkness seem to be the perfect balance. Thank You for the twelve hours of Sun today God!
It says here in this Encyclopedia that some ancient people were really afraid of the coming of Winter. I guess they noticed that as Winter got closer the Sun rose later each day, didn't go as high up in the sky, and then went down earlier than it had the day before.
I guess people were afraid that if that trend in the life-giving Sun's movement continued then it would eventually never rise again. But they felt better when the December Solstice arrived because soon after that the Sun rose earlier, went higher and set later each day.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia many ancient people like the Romans thought the Winter Solstice represented hope for a better future. So they developed "ritual" holidays and festivals. And I guess the Vikings did the same thing later. I smell a Cholla cactus.
One time Mr. Steve was hired to photograph a "Guatemalan" wedding. Guatemala is south of Mexico. At the Reception this one man told him that in his country they celebrate the Winter Solstice and that even in a Muslim country like "Pakistan" they do the same.
Hey Lord! Were You really born on December the 25th? As You know of course, our boss doesn't think You were. He says it's more likely that You were born in the Spring or Summer because that's when Shepherds with their Sheep would be around.
As You know Lord Mr. Steve thinks that after Saint Paul convinced Your brother James to allow "Gentiles" like Romans to be Christians; they simply "adopted" December as the time to celebrate Your birth because that's when Gentiles already had their Solstice rituals.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time that some people think part of Stonehenge over there in England was made to mark the Winter Solstices which symbolized three things; light, re-birth and the new year. I just picked up the strong scent of one of the new Sage bushes.
Well, I didn't really intend to write so much about the Winter Solstice but I just sort of felt like it. But that's okay. It's my book so I can do whatever I want. As Dais says, there are no "hard and fast" rules that I have to follow. I can improvise as I go along.
And now I just thought of something else I was going to write about later but feel like doing now. That' the subject of a "Leap Year." Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that each year is the time it takes for the Earth to "orbit" the Sun. I can smell a Ground Squirrel nearby.
I guess it actually takes 365 1/4 days for the Earth to go all of the way around the Sun. So by adding an extra day every four years it "evens things out" so to speak. On those years February has twenty nine days instead of only twenty eight. I smell a Joshua tree.
Dais told me that Mr. Steve knows someone who was born on February the 29th. So he only has a birthday once every four years. Legally our boss told us that person is listed as having been born on March the 1st. I just notice the Squirrel near Moe the middle Shed.
1984 LOS ANGELES SUMMER OLYMPICS
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve noticed many years ago how Presidential elections and the Summer Olympics are held on Leap Years. And he says for a long time the Winter Olympics were held on Leap Years too. But now the Winter Olympics are held two years later he told us.
As we understand it Daisy and myself, in most years any date in the calendar moves to the next day of the week the following year. So, if you have a birthday on a Monday this year then it will be on a Tuesday the next year. But in a Leap Year it would be on Wednesday.
In other words, your birthday comes two days later than in a normal year. So it "leaps" to Wednesday. Sometimes Dais and I wonder what our birthdays are. Dais thinks I must've been born late in the year because I was dumped out in that field in February.
It might seem to others that Dais and my lives are what they call "hum-drum" and boring. We tend to do the same things in the same patterns every day. In this way we're kind of like our boss. But we like routines and predictability. We just feel better that way.
Well, as Dais says; "Another day begins anew!" She jokes our lives seem like this one movie "Groundhog Day." Daisy says I would like that movie because it's about "bending" time where a man is trapped in a "Time Warp" so keeps living the same day over and over.
"GROUND HOG DAY"
Our boss jokes that at times our lives seem like that one movie Groundhog Day. on most days This being the second day of Spring, until the weeding is done Mr. Steve will do yard work on most mornings. We like that because then we get to listen to music.
Dais says Groundhog Day is not just funny but is also "philosophical" too because that man does bad things knowing the next day it would be as if nothing happened. But by the end he does good and meets a nice girl who ends up being with him after the "time loop" is broken.
Looking at my outline for book two I can see that the next thing I want to write about is this French girl name Thérèse. She was a Nun in this one town called "Lisieux." Daisy now really admires her just like she looks up to Joan of Ark; who was also from France.
SAINT THÉRÈSE (1873-1897)
According to Daisy that girl Therese was made a Saint just like Joan of Ark. She was called "the Little Flower" and wrote about love. She died a painful death at age twenty four. When alive she was unknown but after she died it turned out she was a talented writer.
From what Dais told me Saint Therese saw what they call "sacredness" in even the simple things. Glancing up and looking to the east at the desert I think I better understand what she may have meant. Looking down I see some Ants marching past on the ground.
I guess that girl Saint Therese said just before dying; "I love only simplicity. I have a horror of pretense." I suppose Dais is right. Even if our lives at times seem ordinary and what they call "mundane," we should be grateful for what we have. I smell a Lizard.
Because I'm still afraid to go all the way down the hallway in the house I've never been in our boss's bedroom or office. Dais says; "You don't know what you're missing" and tells me that if I went into his bedroom I could hear more songs and see more movies.
Daisy told me about a good movie called "Driving Miss Daisy" where a rich older Jewish lady makes friends with a man who drives her around because she's too old to drive. They lived in a city called "Atlanta." Mr. Steve visited Atlanta with his father back in 1972.
"DRIVING MISS DAISY"
I think one reason why Dais likes that movie Driving Miss Daisy is because that old lady is named Daisy too. I guess Miss Daisy makes friends with that black man who becomes more than just a driver to her. So she tries to help him and he helps her a lot too.
The part of that one movie Dais thinks I'd like is about how Miss Daisy even teaches the man to read and write. Daisy says our boss has "tutored" kids to read and write and so has his mom. But his mom helped kids who were also learning how to speak English.
Dais says our boss told her that before the American Civil War it was illegal to teach a black Slave how to read or write. But now it's legal for everyone to become what they call "literate;" even Dogs like me. That man in Driving Miss Daisy was illiterate she said.
Oh! I just thought of something. Yesterday when I wrote about Mr. Steve's 2001 trip to Saint Louis I forgot to mention a few things. But, instead of going back and inserting it in book one I think I'll just write about it right now instead. Oh well, that's okay. It fits here too.
Besides going up to the top of that thing called the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis, in 2001 our boss also went to see this one old 19th century Courthouse. I guess it's what they call a"historic site" and is now kind of like a Museum. I just smelled one of our Joshua trees.
SAINT LOUIS COURTHOUSE
Dais says one time our boss told her about how that old Courthouse in Saint Louis has a Dome that reminded him of the one he saw on Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. He says some of the Court Rooms have been "restored" to look like the way they looked in the past.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, the area where that Courthouse is located is near where a famous 1804 "Expedition" of discovery was started. This expedition was led by two men named Merriwether Lewis and William Clark. I smell a Lizard around here.
I just noticed that in this Encyclopedia the map showing the route of the "Lewis and Clark Expedition" is labeled in French. But you still see where they went in carrying out the job that President Thomas Jefferson gave them to do. I can smell a Creosote plant.
According to my Encyclopedia, in 1803 President Jefferson bought a lot of land from France. At that time Napoleon was the French Emperor and he needed money for his wars. So he sold America a lot of land in the "Louisiana Purchase. I see the Lizard near the tree.
PRESIDENT JEFFERSON (1743-1826)
It looks like from what it shows on the map that the size of the United States doubled as the result of the Louisiana Purchase. So I guess President Jefferson wanted to find out what he had "acquired." Mr. Steve thinks he went against his own "principle" to buy that land.
Our boss told Daisy Thomas Jefferson actually believed in a smaller Federal Government. So he most likely thought he didn't have the authority to buy all of that land from Napoleon. But he knew it was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity. That Lizard just ran away.
It says here in my Encyclopedia that those guys Lewis and Clark met a Shoshone Indian girl named Sacagawea. I mentioned her yesterday when I was writing about how different cultures name people. The name Sacagawea most likely means "Bird Woman."
Sacagawea ended up being a "translator" for Lewis and Clark on their three year mission. Even though her name probably means Bird Woman, Sacagawea was only sixteen years old in 1804. And she had been married since she was twelve or thirteen.
I guess that girl Sacagawea married a French fur trapper and soon after she started to travel with Lewis and Clark "delivered" a baby boy. She might've died in 1812 at twenty four. Daisy says Mr. Steve has this Sacagawea Stamp and a Coin which were named after her.
Wow! This is interesting. According to this Encyclopedia that girl Sacagawea one time saved many of the "Logs" and "Journals" Lewis and Clark had kept from being lost when she stopped a canoe from being swept away by this river they were on. I hear a Pigeon cooing.
I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? It says here that when Lewis and Clark, after being gone for three years, got back to Washington D.C., their expedition was considered to have been only "marginally" successful. And in fact, it was quickly "largely forgotten."
From what it says here, the Lewis and Clark Expedition only became important about one hundred years later. In fact, that guy Merriwether Lewis ended getting into a lot of debt and he might've even killed himself over it. I can hear some Crows cawing faintly.
It was at that Courthouse in Saint Louis where, about forty years after the Lewis and Clark expedition, one of the most famous "cases" in the history of the United States began; the "Dred Scott" case. Two big Dragonflies just zoomed past right in front of me.
According to this Encyclopedia in 1846 a Slave named Dred Scott tried but failed to get he and his wife's freedom. They argued that because their owner had taken them with him into an area of the United States where Slavery had been "abolished." I hear Ducks quacking.
DRED SCOTT (1795-1858) AND WIFE
This is interesting. It says in this Encyclopedia that Dred Scott's wife was named Harriet just like Mr. Steve's ex-girlfriend. I guess back then in 1846 when Dred Scott and his wife sued to try to get their freedom the State of Missouri was what they call a "Slave State."
According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, in 1846 the Court ruled that as Slaves Dred Scot and his wife Harriet did not have what's called "Standing" to sue. Daisy told me that back in those days black people and Native Americans were barely considered human.
I guess in 1846 Dred Scott and his wife argued that they were entitled to be set free but they lost that argument. But they "appealed" and ten years later their case had gone all the way up to the United States Supreme Court; where they finally lost "once and for all."
ROGER B. TANEY (1777-1864)
It says here in one of Mr. Steve's legal research books that this man named Roger B. Taney was the "Chief Justice" of the United States Supreme Court back in 1857 when the Dred Scott case reached them. This was four years before the American Civil War.
From what it says here in the "transcript" of the Dred Scott case Chief Justice Taney and six other Justices "ruled" that Dred Scott and his wife Harriet were not entitled to be free and were not even "Citizens." I just picked up the faint scent of a Ground Squirrel.
I guess many white people in the 19th century believed that when Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence "All men are created equal" he was referring only to the white, Anglo Saxon Protestant men. For them, Slaves were not in any way citizens.
That Judge Roger Taney, along with Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, believed it was better for everyone if all the blacks were sent out of the country. But while they were here they were not to be considered equal to whites. A Crow just cawed out in the desert.
This is interesting. It says here in this legal book that when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution African Americans, in order to be counted for State representation in the House of Representatives, were "three fifths" of a human being. I see the Squirrel.
Oh! Even though that guy Dred Scott and his wife lost their case in 1859, they were given their freedom "shortly thereafter." But, Dred Scott soon died. And from what it says here his wife Harriet died in 1876 or eleven years after the Civil War had ended.
After Mr. Steve went to that Courthouse in Missouri he went to this other Museum. It had things in it from the time of the Civil War. Missouri was one of the four Slave States that did not "secede" or try to break away from the United States. That Squirrel is running away.
Seeing things in that Museum brought back memories of another trip our boss once took. In 1972 his father had a business trip to Atlanta; where that movie Driving Miss Daisy took place. So Mr. Steve went with him and saw the "Sites" in Atlanta while his father worked.
One of the places our boss saw in Atlanta was "Stone Mountain." there's a giant carving of Robert E. Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson and Jefferson Davis on its side. I can see in this one picture of it here in my Encyclopedia that all three are riding their Horses.
Wow! My Encyclopedia says the carving on the side of Stone Mountain is the largest what's called "Bas-Relief" in the world. Daisy says one time our boss told her and that other Dog Millie it was very impressive to see it "in person" as they say. I smell some Sagebrush.
My Dictionary says that "Bas" is Italian for "low." So bas-relief means; "projecting images with a shallow overall depth." I think that in ancient Egypt Pharoahs like Akhenaten and his son King Tut had carvings in bas-relief on the walls of their Temples and Tombs.
In 1972 Mr. Steve was seventeen and in 10th grade at Alemany High School. His family were living in a rented house in Van Nuys because their house in Sylmar had been destroyed in the big earthquake from the year before. I see Libby the Horse over there in her Corral.
I just picked up the faint scent of those baby Birds up above me in their nest near the patio roof. Right now they're quiet. Maybe they're still sleeping. Their parents Bonnie and Clyde are out in the eastern desert looking for food. This is going to be another good day.
Well, I can see from this outline that I'm going to now learn a lot about the American Civil War. I know that Mr. Steve is very interested in this subject. Dais thinks if he could travel back in time one of the times he'd go back is the 1860's. I can smell a Sage plant.
Hey You Guys! As You all know, I'm kind of nervous right now. This part of my book has to be good. Mr. Steve knows a lot about the Civil War, especially the year 1864, the second to last year of that war. I've sort of been worrying about this part of book two for weeks.
If I don't do a good describing what happened back then in 1864 Mr. Steve will notice it right away. He's studied the Civil War for years. Daisy told me that in his office is a whole section of one of his big bookshelves devoted only to things about the American Civil War.
Well all You Guys, here I go! I'll just make a quick sign of the cross and then begin. This is going to be so fun even if I am sort of nervous. I'll just do my best that's all. I just noticed Libby the Horse walking around over there in her corral. That makes me feel good.
My Encyclopedia says 1864 was the fourth year of the American Civil War. At that point General Ulysses S. Grant had been promoted by President Lincoln to lead all the Union forces. Then he was brought back to the east coast to fight against Robert E. Lee.
Before I write about the year 1864 I want to say what happened up to that point. First, at the end of 1860Abraham Lincoln was elected President. So the State of South Carolina decided it did not want to be part of the United States any more. So they "Seceded."
According to my Dictionary the word secede means "to withdraw." And I guess soon after South Carolina left a few more southern States also broke away from what was called at the time the "Union." I hear Twinky barking next door. Libby is looking at me again.
From what it says here in April of 1861 the "Rebels" bombed a place called "Fort Sumter" in South Carolina. That Fort was out in the middle of a big Harbor that was part of the coastal city of "Charleston." A Thrasher Bird just flew bye in front of the three Sheds.
FORT SUMTER (APRIL, 1861)
LITHOGRAPH BY CURRIER & IVES
Finally, all of the "Union Yankee" soldiers who were "Stationed" inside of Fort Sumter were forced to surrender to the "Confederates." But, amazingly, according to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, no one was even killed. Two of our Pigeons just flew bye right now.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie he thought bombing Fort Sumter turned out to have been a bad idea. By doing that it gave President Lincoln the "perfect excuse" to "call for" the raising of an army. The South "fired the first shot" so had started the war.
Because the South had "technically" started the Civil War President Lincoln was able to raise a big military force. But that then caused some other States like Virginia to Secede too. So now the "stage was set" for what everyone believed would be a short war.
There's a picture here in my Encyclopedia that shows the United States Army what they call "Drilling." The "Officers" are holding swords like the one Dais says our boss his in his office. And the regular soldiers have long blades on the ends of their guns.
I should work up the courage to go all the way down the hallway and into the far end of the house. Then I could see our boss's office and bedroom. I could also see with my own eyes what a bathroom looks like. And I could also see what I look like in a mirror too.
From what Dais tells me Mr. Steve has a what they call a "Saber" in one of the corners of his office. I'll bet it's like the ones shown in this photograph of the Civil War. And hanging on one of the office walls is this other blade called an "Enfield Bayonet."
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia that guy Robert E. Lee kept on beating the different Generals President Lincoln sent against him. So, by the beginning of 1864, which was the fourth year of the war, new Strategy and Tactics had to be used. I smell Sage.
In 1861 President Lincoln had offered leadership of the Union armies to Robert E. Lee. But Lee had to "turn him down" as they say. And once Virginia left the Union in Lee's mind that left him no choice. He could not fight against Virginia. So he fought for the South.
I guess, even though in 1861, 1862 and 1863 Robert E. Lee kept winning battles in the Eastern "Theater;" the Union North was in a far better position to win a longer what they call "War of Attrition." They had more men and supplies. I mentioned it yesterday in book one.
It makes it so much easier to understand something when my Encyclopedias have maps. This map shows exactly which States broke away from the United States and which ones stayed. And it shows the areas like New Mexico that were not "official" States yet.
The South was "Agrarian" while the North was much more "Industrial." Agrarian means farming and things like that. Industrial is what they call machines and big factories. Mr. Steve has worked in factories with machines. Oh! I smell a Squirrel around here.
Dais told me that one time in High School our boss worked for this one company down there in Sylmar that "Printed" restaurant "Menus." One of his jobs was to prepare and later clean the "Printers." This meant putting the paint in and later cleaning it back out.
According to Daisy Mr. Steve also had to "bundle" and then "stack" all of the newly printed Menus as they came "flying" out of the Printing machine. A few people got injured but not our boss. He was always really careful and cautious. I just noticed the Squirrel.
Well, back to writing about the American Civil War. 1863 was what they call the "Turning Point" in the war. After mid-1863 there was no chance that the countries of England or France would what they call "Recognize" the Southern Confederacy. A Crow just cawed.
In the Western Theater that guy General Grant had been doing better than what the Union armies in the east had been doing. And on July 3rd he captured this one very important city on the Mississippi River called "Vicksburg." That Squirrel is running away now.
It says here that President Lincoln called Vicksburg the "Lynch Pin" of the South because it controlled the Mississippi River. And looking at this map in this Encyclopedia I can see why he said that. Taking Vicksburg divides the Confederacy in half. The Squirrel is gone.
According to what it says here, it took a few months but after a long "Siege" General Grant finally forced Vicksburg to surrender. By then the people inside Vicksburg were starving so they had to give up. Fannie and Freddie the Crows are coasting past right now.
This is interesting. It says here that on on July 3rd of 1863 Vicksburg surrendered. An on that exact same day back east the Union "Army of the Potomac" beat Robert E. Lee's "Army of Northern Virginia" at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. I smell a Mouse around here.
According to my outline, later in this second book I'll learn and then write about the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. But right now I'm writing about the following year of 1864. That was the year President Lincoln put General Grant in "overall command" of the Union armies.
In 1864 when President Lincoln appointed General Grant to lead all the Northern forces a few other Generals complained. They were jealous Mr. Steve thinks. Some of them thought they should have been given that high job. I can see a little Mouse standing on a rock.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time that when the other Generals told President Lincoln that Grant was an alcoholic he told them to find out what brand he drank so could send all of his other Generals a barrel of it. He then said; "I can't spare this man, he fights."
WILLIAM T. SHERMAN ULYSSES S. GRANT
From what it says here, in 1864 President Lincoln brought General Grant back to the east coast. There he took overall command of all of the Union armies and he personally would lead those in the Eastern Theater. That one Mouse just ran under Manny.
I guess at the end of 1863 when Grant went back east to fight against Robert E. Lee his friend William Tecumseh Sherman took over command of the armies he had formerly led out there in the Western Theater. Ah! Libby the Horse is looking over in this direction.
My Encyclopedia says it's not certain if General Sherman was given the name "Tecumseh" when he was born. But Daisy told me our boss thinks it's such an unusual name for the era that his parents had to have wanted it. General Sherman's parents died young.
Strategically, at the beginning of 1864 Grant and Sherman intended to start "Coordinating" more on what happened in both Theaters of the war. That's what it says here. The full weight of the North's "industrial capacity" would be "brought to bear" as they say.
General Grant would fight Robert E. Lee in the east and try to capture the city of Richmond. Sherman would would try to capture the city of Atlanta down in the State of Georgia. I can hear some Crows cawing faintly way out there in the desert beyond the three Sheds.
This is interesting. By 1864 President Lincoln had freed all the Slaves in the seceded States. But four Slave States, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and also Missouri, got to keep their Slaves because they stayed in the Union. There were about four million Slaves in the South.
At the beginning of 1864 General Sherman and his troops were "Stationed" up in the State of Tennessee; to the north of Georgia. He planned on attacking and pushing southward towards the city of Atlanta. Libby the Horse is looking over here in this direction.
This Encyclopedia says in the Eastern Theater in 1864 General Grant planned on pushing Robert E. Lee back toward the Confederate capitol of Richmond. Whereas in 1862 and 1863 Lee had mostly been on the offensive; from mid-1863 he was on the defensive.
I guess in 1862 and 1863 Robert E. Lee had beaten a number of different Union Generals but then lost to this a General named George Meade at Gettysburg. His Army of Northern Virgina had invaded the North twice but in 1864 he was being attacked by Grant.
Starting up there in Tennessee, General Sherman's Army invaded southward into Georgia. Facing them was a Rebel force under the command of this General named Joseph E. Johnston. I can see that Libby's black tail is swatting away some hovering Flies.
Blackbeard and Anne Bonny just landed on top of Moe the middle Shed. And I can see that Blackbeard is holding a Lizard in his mouth. Oh! That Lizard is still alive because it's wiggling and squirming all around trying to escape. But I doubt if it will get away.
This good map in my Encyclopedia shows how during 1864 General Sherman's Union troops steadily pushed the Confederate Army to the south. And General Johnston tried to stop them even though it was a really difficult thing to do. Blackbeard and Anne just flew away.
Atlanta was important because it was a Railroad "Hub" or "Junction." So that guy General Sherman was determined to try to capture it. But General Johnston was a really great defensive commander. Oh! There goes Samson and Delilah gliding bye to the east.
This is interesting. Some people consider General Johnston to have been the best "Tactical Field Commander" to come out of the Civil War. His army was outnumbered back in 1864 so he had to carefully "Pick and Choose" when to "Engage" General Sherman's forces.
Dais says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie about what he learned about the Civil War on his 1972 trip with his dad to Atlanta. He said he had known about Joseph E. Johnston but had never realized how good a General he was until then. I hear Birds singing.
From what our boss told Daisy and Millie, General Johnston was like a good defensive Boxer who fights effectively while moving backward. He knew that it would be suicidal to fight against Sherman's Union Army "straight up" as they say. He needed to be a good Chess player.
General Johnston would position his men well and then make General Sherman attack him on what they call "High Ground." So a few times General Sherman tried to "flank" Johnston. That means he tried to go around and get behind his opponent. I smell a Joshua tree.
My Encyclopedia says General Johnson, who was an "Engineer," kept "foiling" Sherman's plans by moving his men just at the right time to block him. So he fought a "brilliant" series of what they call "hit and run" battles. This got General Sherman frustrated and angry.
WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN (1820-1891) JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON (1807-1891)
I wonder if General Sherman's middle name was given to him in honor of Chief Tecumseh? I notice that in this picture of him in my Encyclopedia he's sticking his right hand into his shirt just like the way that guy Napoleon used to do. And he looks sort of mean too.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, by early July of 1864 General Sherman had pushed General Johnston's troops all the way back down to Atlanta. This was after a lot of hard fighting. Fannie and Freddie the Crows are now flying bye up in the sky.
I guess even though General Johnston was really effective some politicians in the Confederate Capitol of Richmond weren't very happy with him; thinking he was way too timid. They could not understand why he couldn't stop General Sherman from moving southward.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie he has a biography of William Tecumseh Sherman. And it says in the years after the Civil War Sherman admitted that Joseph E. Johnson had been very smart to use his Confederate Army the way he did back in early 1864.
Oh wow! This is interesting. According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, General Johnston died of "Pneumonia" after being what they call a "Pallbearer" at General Sherman's funeral. That means he helped carry the Casket. I hear Crows cawing.
PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS (1808-1889)
During the Civil War the Confederate President was named Jefferson Davis. He was from the State of Mississippi and had been the American Secretary of War back in the 1850's. It says here that he really had not wanted to be President but did it out of a sense of "duty."
I just thought of something I feel like writing about even though it's not on my outline. Dais says Mr. Steve years ago had to write about a "Camel experiment" that was tried by the Army under Secretary of War Davis; when the President was a man named James Buchanan.
From what our boss told Daisy, in the 1850's Egyptian Camels were brought to America to possibly replace Mules as "Pack Animals." They were shipped to Texas and from there some of them were marched all the way out here to California. I smell a Creosote bush.
I guess when those Camels got here to California some were sent to downtown Los Angeles and others to a place called "Fort Tejon;" which is just south of Bakersfield. Mr. Steve has been to Bakersfield and Fort Tejon. A flock of Birds is going bye way up in the sky.
PAINTING BY BOB BOZE BELL
On their way to Los Angeles and Fort Tejon the Camel "Caravan" went bye kind of near to where we live; just to the north of us. Boy, I sure wish I could go back in time to see that. Mr. Steve rode a Camel in Israel back in 1985. I smell a Mouse around here.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy, in the 1850's it was proven that Camels can carry way more weight than a Horse or Mule. And they can go for "days on end" as they say without needing to drink water; which no Horse or Mule can do. I still see Libby over there in her corral.
According to what our boss told Dais that Camel experiment was eventually cancelled when the Civil War broke out. This was partly because few in the Army wanted to support any idea that was created under a Rebel like Jefferson Davis. I can see the Mouse.
Mr. Steve told Daisy those poor Camels were sold to Circus's or just abandoned like I was and "left to their own devices" as they say. But some of them, "Against all Odds," survived and for years there were reported "sightings" in the deserts. Libby's looking over at me.
When they were in Israel in 1985 Mr. Steve's Tour Group went to a place called "Jericho." I'm going to talk about that famous city later. Some of the group, like Mr. Steve, rode a Camel. It was kind of scary he told Daisy and Millie. It's way higher than a Horse.
Well, back to writing about 1864; when General Sherman's Union Army pushed southward from Tennessee toward Atlanta. When they were north of Atlanta President Davis decided to replace General Johnston in Georgia. That Mouse is running away right now.
This Encyclopedia says that President Davis took General Johnston out and replaced him with this other General named John Bell Hood. He was from Texas and had a "well-deserved" reputation as a really "aggressive" fighter. Samson and Delilah are flying bye.
JOHN BELL HOOD (1831-1879)
Boy, it sure does seem like a lot of the different Generals who fought in the Civil War looked mean. That General Hood looks like he'd be really mean judging by this one picture of him in my Encyclopedia. From what it says here his nickname was "Hound Dog."
Wow! According to this Encyclopedia, by July of 1864 General Hood had lost his right leg below the knee and had no use of his left arm. He even had to be "strapped" onto his Horse. But it says here he hadn't lost any of his courage or "fighting spirit" as they say.
In 1977 Mr. Steve and his brother Rock spent a few days in Gettysburg. So he knew that guy John Bell Hood had fought there in 1863. And that was where his arm had been hit and what they call "disabled." I'll write more about 1977 trip back east later today. I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve says in the 1850's before the Civil War, John Bell Hood fought Comanche Indians in Texas. It says here he was shot in the hand with an arrow which he pulled out himself. Boy, that must've been so painful! Mr. Steve discussed John Bell Hood with that girl Debra.
Another reason why Mr. Steve has always known about that guy John Bell Hood is that since he's been a kid he's drawn a lot. He and his neighborhood friend named Neil copied pictures out of books; and some of those were books on the Civil War. I can still smell Sage.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that it's much easier to draw a human face when the person has a beard. One of the earliest pictures he copied out of a book was an image of John Bell Hood. But he and Neil also drew many other things too; like sports team logos and cartoons.
Hanging in the hallway down at Mr. Steve's parents house in Sylmar is a black and white ink drawing he did a few years ago. It's "framed" and is about eleven by fourteen inches in size. He calls it a "Collage" because it's many "random" images all mixed together.
In the midst of all the various images Mr. Steve drew in that big collage is an image of John Bell Hood. There is also an image of that band the MOVE which was copied off of one of their album covers. To this day our boss makes collages and things like that Dais told me.
Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie one time that when General Sherman was told about that guy General Johnston being "removed" from command he "jumped for joy." He knew Hood would attack him because he knew Hood's personality. I smell one of the Joshua trees.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia General Sherman was right. At the first opportunity General Hood did attack. Unlike General Johnston, I guess he believed "the best defense is a good offense." But it turned out not to be true in 1864.
Mr Steve says John Bell Hood seems to have been a good example of not following the advice written up on the walls of Delphi in ancient Greece. Not only did he not do things in moderation but he didn't seem know himself very well either. I hear Crows cawing out in the desert.
SECTION FROM ATLANTA "CYCLORAMA"
My Encyclopedia says that all around Atlanta in July of 1864, in extreme heat and humidity, some "ferocious" battles were fought. When he visited Atlanta in 1972 Mr. Steve went to see a giant painting of the battle. It was "housed" in a building called the "Cyclorama."
From what our Chief says the Atlanta Cyclorama is a "Circular" painting that is so huge. He said he had the same feeling in 1985 as he looked up at Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel over there in Rome. He couldn't imagine how much work must've gone into making it.
In the vicious fighting which took place outside of Atlanta back then in 1864 General Hood's Confederate troops killed many of the Union soldiers. But Hood couldn't afford to lose as many men as Sherman because he was so outnumbered. I hear Dawn barking.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, as General Sherman expected, outside of Atlanta John Bell Hood made some assaults that "bordered on recklessness." So within a few weeks the city fell and later burned. I can still those Crows cawing out there in the desert.
Dais says that two of Mr. Steve's favorite movies "came out" in 1939, the year World War II started. One was that movie called "The Wizard of Oz" and the other one was "Gone With The Wind" which partly dealt with the Battle of Atlanta in 1864. I smell a Gopher.
GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) THE WIZARD OF OZ
Boy! Now I really want to see those movies Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Here in my Encyclopedia there are pictures of both. Daisy's seen them and says they're good. Both are American movies. Later today I'll write about The Wizard of Oz. I see the Gopher.
Back then in 1972, when Mr. Steve was in Atlanta, he read about this lady named Margaret Mitchell. She wrote the book gone With the Wind which the 1939 movie was "based on." That's what it says here in this Encyclopedia. That big Dragonfly just zoomed bye.
MARGARET MITCHELL (1900-1949)
There's a picture of that lady Margaret Mitchell here in my Encyclopedia. She looks like she would be a nice person. Wow! in the caption under the photograph it says that Margaret Mitchell died young at the age of forty nine. I hear some Crows cawing.
This is interesting. It says here in this Encyclopedia Gone With the Wind was the only book that lady Margaret Mitchell, who lived in Atlanta, ever wrote. I remember that time Dais told me about why some musical bands are called "One Hit Wonders." The Gopher's gone.
Oh! It says here that lady Margaret Mitchell's Grandfather fought Comanche Indians too as a member of in John Bell Hood's "Texas Brigade." No wonder she knew so much about things like the Civil War. Daisy thinks she must've been smart to write such a good book.
I guess, after evacuating Atlanta, John Bell Hood then led his Rebel army northward up into Tennessee. It would be the South's "Last Hoorah." In November of 1864 he fought a battle up there near this one city called "Franklin." I'll write about it in a few minutes.
From what it says here, General Hood wanted to lure General Sherman away from Atlanta by taking a Railroad between Atlanta and Tennessee to the north. This Railroad was important to Sherman's what they call "Supply Line." But Sherman did not "take the bait."
General Sherman instead decided to "cut off his supply lines" and "live off of the land" in marching his army to the east coast of Georgia. This was risky I guess. What Sherman and his soldiers did is now famously called his "March to the Sea." I hear Crows cawing.
This map in my Encyclopedia makes it so much easier to understand what I'm reading about Sherman's famous march. After burning part of Atlanta, General Sherman marched toward the coastal city of "Savannah." I just picked up the scent of a Rabbit nearby.
In this Encyclopedia it says that on his way to Atlanta General Sherman's army "practiced" what's called "Scorched Earth." And because they had cut off their supply lines they "lived off of the land." So this meant stealing people's Chickens, Pigs and things like that.
When General Sherman got to Savannah the Confederates gave up the city city without much of a fight. That's what our boss told Dais. So Sherman captured the city and made a gift of it to President Lincoln; who got re-elected soon afterward. I see the Bunny Rabbit.
Mr. Steve's mother was a "Girl Scout" growing up in New Mexico. And later, for most of her life, she led many "Troops" of her own. The "G.S.A." or "Girl Scouts of America" were started in Savannah and Mr. Steve's mom once visited there with other Troop leaders.
Mr. Steve's mom and her friends said Savannah was beautiful. They saw many "Squares" with Fountains or Civil War Memorials and noticed "Moss" hanging everywhere. But the main thing they all remember was the "Humidity." That Bunny Rabbit just ran away.
In Savannah Mr. Steve's mother, who has an "Eye for Detail," noticed the "Wrought Iron" fences and Greek Revival architecture. And she remembers all the "Southern Hospitality too. I smell some of the new Spring Sage plants whose scent is floating in to me.
Savannah's known for having Ghosts our boss says. His mom said they were told about the many "possessed" buildings and areas of the city. And she says the food they ate over there in Savannah was really good. I wonder if we'll get any snacks today?
When his mom was in Savannah she bought our boss a really good book on Naval warfare in the American Civil War. I'll write about it more tomorrow when I write about the evolution and history of what they call "Submarines." A Thrasher Bird is running bye right now.
There's a picture here in this Encyclopedia shows two Naval vessels firing at each other from "Point Blank" range. The caption says they're called "Iron-Clads." In the American Civil War wooden Ships were starting to be replaced by Boats covered up with metal.
Dais told me she thinks our boss considers the conversion from wood to metal Ships just as important a "development" as using Airplanes for warfare about fifty years later. Technology was advancing quickly towards the end of the 19th century. I smell a Joshua tree.
I'm so tempted to write about Submarines right now but I better not. I'll just have to wait for tomorrow as I had it planned. It's so amazing how people have evolved to be able to fight wars not just on the ground but also up in the air or below the water too.
I can't wait for tomorrow! In my opinion the best outline I did was for the third book. And one of the things I'll learn more about is how people have fought under the water. Mr. Steve's sister Susan has S.C.U.B.A dived in different parts of the world.
Oh my God! Just when I was thinking about being under water what do I see? A Squirrel is pushing up dirt out of the entrance to its hole. And now that Squirrel is popping its head out of that hole. I sort of like the smell of dirt when it's soft like from a that.
Boy! The idea of living in the ground or underwater is kind of scary to me. But Dais says if we ever had to do it to survive we'd just go ahead and learn how to do it; even though it would be really hard. That Squirrel just ducked back into the ground right now.
Well, back to the Civil War. I guess, in late 1864, General Sherman thought he'd "Cut a Swath of Destruction" on his march all the way from Atlanta to the Georgia coast. That would divide what was left of the Confederacy after the fall of Vicksburg in 1863.
From what Dais said our boss told her and Millie one time, terror and fear have always been the most effective way to do things in this temporal or physical world. And Sherman knew that instinctively he thinks. He'd take away the "Will to Fight" from the southern people.
SHERMAN'S "MARCH TO THE SEA"
Dais told me one time how Mr. Steve met a kid from Georgia a few years ago. They discussed Sherman's "infamous" march. That kid jokingly said "to this day" his family still hates William Tecumseh Sherman. Sherman said he wanted to make Georgia "howl."
Once John Bell Hood realized what Sherman was "up to" as they say, he decided not to chase him eastward. Instead he would move north into Tennessee. So, I guess while General Sherman "Laid Waste" to Georgia, General Hood retreated up into Tennessee.
According to my outline the next subject I want to write about is this man named George H. Thomas. From what Dais told me, our boss says some people say George Thomas was what they underrated" as a Commanding Officer. A Crow just cawed faintly.
Once it was obvious what General Sherman was doing John Bell Hood and George H. Thomas
"raced" northward toward the city of "Nashville." They knew Tennessee would be important to have control of. And boy were they right. That Dragonfly just zoomed bye.
GEORGE H. THOMAS (1816-1870)
Daisy says our boss knows about George H. Thomas. He looks kind of mean in this picture of him here in the Encyclopedia. This is interesting. I guess, like Robert E. Lee, Thomas was from Virginia. But he didn't go fight for the South like Robert E. Lee did.
According to my outline I'm supposed to write about the Battle of Chickamauga at the end of this second book. But I might as well do it now while I'm thinking about it. Besides, it would fit in here in this section too. I just picked up the scent of one of our Joshua trees.
I guess, because that man General Thomas didn't stay "loyal" to the South much of his family "disowned" him and hated him after that. His family owned Slaves. Dais says Mr. Steve thinks the fact that Thomas's wife was from the North may have been a "factor" in his decision.
From what our boss told Daisy, George H.Thomas was not totally accepted by some of the other northern people either. At first some even suspected him of really being "disloyal." But he proved himself "Once and for all" at the 1863 Battle of Chickamauga.
According to this Encyclopedia George Thomas, like John Bell Hood, had fought against the Comanche Indians in Texas before the Civil War. And also like Hood, he was shot with an arrow and pulled it out himself. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye.
I've noticed that back at the time of the Civil War people used to have nicknames. Maybe that's why our boss likes to give Daisy and me our nicknames too. George H. Thomas was called "The Rock of Chicamauga" for how brave he had been in that battle in 1863.
From what it say here in my Encyclopedia, the Battle of Chickamauga took place in September of 1863, about a year before the Battle of Atlanta. I guess Chickamauga is the name of what they call a "Creek" near the battlefield. A creek is sort of like a little river or stream.
WILLIAM ROSECRANS (1819-1898)
According to this Encyclopedia General Thomas' commanding officer at Chickamauga was named William Rosecrans. In book three tomorrow I'm scheduled to write about how down in Los Angeles Mr. Steve says there's a major road named after him. I smell a Sage plant.
Tomorrow I'll also write about this Cemetery to our south near San Diego. It's named after William Rosecrans. But I'll wait until then. Right now I have to keep on writing about the Civil War and what happened in September of 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga.
George Thomas' primary job at the battle of Chickamauga was to "cover" his boss William Rosecrans' "Retreat" into this one city called "Chattanooga." And he "distinguished himself" in giving Rosecrans time to get away. I can now see Libby over there in her corral. e
THE "ROCK" OF CHICKAMAUGA
PAINTING BY DALE GALLON
At Chickamauga General Thomas and his men "held off" some "ferocious" Rebel assaults. And just like that guy Thomas Jackson was given the nickname "Stonewall" for how he did at the Battle of First Manassas in1861; George Thomas was afterward called "The Rock."
According to this Encyclopedia even though General Thomas accomplished his part of the battle, overall it was defeat for the Northern forces. In fact, I guess it was the most "significant" loss by Union forces in the Western Theater. I smell a Squirrel around here.
BRAXTON BRAGG (1817-1876) JAMES LONGSTREET
My Encyclopedia says for most of the war General James Longstreet fought in the Eastern Theater under Robert E. Lee. But in late 1863 it was thought it would be better if he went west to fight in that Theater under a man named Braxton Bragg. I hear Crows cawing.
In July of 1863 the Union forces had achieved huge victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. So, in September of that year it didn't look too good for the South. President Jefferson Davis knew President Lincoln wanted to invade Georgia and take the city of Atlanta.
It was General Longstreet's "Corps" who made those assaults against George Thomas' lines. And even though he lost a lot of men, General Thomas and his troops were just too brave. I see a Squirrel I've been smelling going under Manny the Shed. Now I really smell him.
Oh! This is so interesting. It says here that George Thomas hired the first female Doctor to work with his male Physicians. I know that back in those days most girls were not thought to be capable of being Doctors or things like that. The Squirrel just ran into the desert.
MARY WALKER (1832-1919)
According to my outline I'm scheduled to write about that girl Mary Walker later in chapter two when I talk about this other lady named Clara Barton who started the "Red Cross." But I might as well introduce her right here while writing about that guy George Thomas.
I guess that girl Mary Walker was a Doctor during the Civil War. Just like it was rare for a female to be a writer like Jane Austen over there in England during the 19th century, it was also unusual for a girl to be a Doctor here. That's what our boss once told Daisy.
There's a picture of that girl Mary Walker in this Encyclopedia. Wow! She was what's called a "Surgeon" which I'm pretty sure is even higher than just a regular Doctor. In this picture she even has a Medal on her chest. That proves how valuable she was. I smell a Lizard.
According to what it says here in my Encyclopedia General Thomas took Mary Walker with his army when they met Braxton Bragg's forces at Chickamauga; in September of 1863. This was two months after the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. I hear Birds chirping.
This is kind of interesting. I guess George Thomas was a big man so needed a bigger Horse. And when his soldiers saw him riding his Horse he never rode at full speed; so they gave him the nickname "Slow Trot." Libby's walking slowly around over there in her corral.
In the notes for my book two outline I wrote down how Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that over the years there have been some what they call "speculations" or "what if's?" surrounding the battle at Chickamauga. That one Lizard just ran bye going really fast.
Some Historians say if George Thomas had not "held" at Chickamauga, even though the Union lost, the Atlanta campaign a year later might not have gone the way it ended up going. "In other words" as they say, the "Timetable" of the war was changed slightly.
1864 was an election year and for a while it really looked like President Lincoln might lose to George McClellan; who was one of his Generals who had lost some big battles to Robert E. Lee. But General Sherman's victories helped save Lincoln and his "Administration."
Later I'm scheduled to talk about the different political parties that existed at the outbreak of the American Civil War. One was called the "Whigs" but they became "Republicans." That was Abraham Lincoln's party. Our four Pigeons are flying bye high up in the sky.
But right now I just want to say that a lot of people in the North were so tired of war. Some didn't even care at if the South left and became their own country. They were just low "Rebels" anyway. But President Lincoln really wanted there to be only one country.
Dais told me that hanging on the west wall of the hallway, next to one of the closets, is a really good picture of Abraham Lincoln's big face. And right below it is a replica of his hand-written speech called the "Gettysburg Address." Both are what they call "Framed."
Daisy says one time our boss told her and Millie about how President Lincoln knew that in man's bloody history "We The People" had never been important. The United States was the first time when a King, Emperor or small group of people didn't have all the power.
I guess, from Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, Abraham Lincoln thought the "experiment" of the U.S. "Constitution" was mankind's last chance to have a democracy. And if it failed then no one would ever try it again. I can hear some of the Pigeons cooing softly.
Because in 1864 General Sherman took Atlanta and then Savannah, President Lincoln got re-elected and the war ended in April of 1865. So Mr. Steve thinks,"in effect," you could say George Thomas's courage at Chickamauga ended up winning the war for the North.
If the Union Armies under William Rosecrans had been slaughtered and destroyed at Chickamauga in late 1863; 1864 and 1865 would probably not have been as possible. So George Thomas was like those 300 Spartans at Thermopoly. I hear Ducks quacking next door.
According to my outline, later this afternoon I'm scheduled to write about how, in ancient Greece one time, three hundred Spartans "held off" Persians to give others extra time to prepare for war. But the Spartans died while that guy George Thomas survived.
Hey Stanley! I'll bet that guy George Thomas had a good Guardian Angel just like you. He must've in order to have survived at Chickamauga. Daisy and I wonder what it would be like to have bullets flying all around you? That would be so scary that's for sure.
From what Dais told me another "conjecture" about George Thomas is what if he had not decided to stay loyal to the Union? "Odds are" as they say, he might have been the Confederate commander at Chickamauga instead of that one other guy Braxton Bragg.
Our boss read that Braxton Bragg was not an easy person to work under. So it's possible at times his "People" under him weren't as "motivated" as the men who risked their lives under other Generals like those guys Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee.
Hey God! I just now thought of how Mr. Steve's Grandma Trujillo used to say that only You know if the Confederate soldiers at Chickamauga might've fought even better had they been led by a Southernor like George Thomas. His men liked and were very loyal to him.
According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, after John Bell Hood lost Atlanta to Sherman, he tried to cut off Sherman's supply line to the north of Atlanta. But Sherman didn't end up needing it because he intended to live off the land and go take Savannah.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE LEADS HIS ARMY
Daisy says that one time our boss told her and Millie Napoleon said an army "lived on its stomach." And what he meant Dais thinks was that the most important thing in war is to keep your army well fed so when the time to fight comes they'll be strong and ready.
I was going to write about Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia tomorrow in book three when I write about Adolph Hitler's invasion of Russia in 1941. But I can mention it now too. In both cases Russia's hugeness and severe Winters were big factors in what happened.
Wow! According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, when Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 he had a huge army of about six hundred and eighty thousand men with him. That would be a lot of "mouths to feed" as they say. A Crow just cawed out in the desert.
Napoleon's force was called the "Grand Armée." This is so amazing. It says here that at the end of the Russian campaign only about twenty thousand French soldiers made it alive back into France. I'll talk more about the year 1812 tomorrow in book three.
Well, it's back to the American Civil War for me.
When General Sherman made his march to the sea he told George Thomas to race to Tennessee and get to the city of Nashville "ahead of" or before Hood. And Thomas did it.
BATTLE OF FRANKLIN (NOVEMBER 30, 1864)
PAINTING BY DON TROIANI
And on November 30,1864 he met Union forces near the town of Franklin. Daisy told me that Mr. Steve has studied this battle. has st
survived the war and then went to live in the State of Louisiana. He and his wife had eleven children but, sadly, he died in 1879 of "Yellow Fever" just days after his wife and oldest child died; leaving ten of the kids orphans and "destitute." I hear Crows cawing.
Wow! I really wrote a lot about the Civil War. But now I have to finish writing about the city of Atlanta. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that Stone Mountain is actually a giant rock dedicated to the memory of the southern soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that to see that carving up close is very impressive. To carve such a big image seems unbelievable he says. He got the same feeling later in 1985 when he looked up at the Sistine Chapel up on the ceiling. A gray Ground Squirrel just ran bye.
Even though it's not on my outline I just thought of something I feel like writing about right now. It's another giant sculpture on the side of a mountain. It's called "Mount Rushmore" and shows four American Presidents. There's a picture of it in this Encyclopedia.
Mr. Steve has a few customers in South Dakota; the State where Mount Rushmore is located. A Sales Managers he sells to told him about visiting Mount Rushmore and says it is amazing all right. It's so big he says it's hard to believe someone could even have done it.
GUTZON BORGLUM (1867-1941)
The reason why I suddenly thought about Mount Rushmore is that it was done by this man named Gutzon Borglum. And before Mount Rushmore he had worked on Stone Mountain. He was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny just flew past.
Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie that he's not afraid of heights but doubts he could have worked on something like Stone Mountain or Mount Rushmore. He says someday it would be nice to go up to South Dakota and see Mount Rushmore for himself.
Oh my God! There's a picture in this Encyclopedia of a man working on Mount Rushmore. It shows him hanging on some ropes as he balances on President Lincoln's nose. Boy, I don't think I could ever do a job like that. No way! Too dangerous. What if you fell off?
While his dad did the work he was there in Atlanta to do our boss was able to go see some of the "Sites." He went to an Atlanta "Braves" Baseball game against the Montreal "Expos." And he was lucky enough to see this guy named Hank Aaron hit a Home Run too.
HANK AARON CHIEF NOK-A-HOMA RUSTY STAUB
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie a Montreal player named "Rusty" Staub also hit a Home Run at that game he attended in Atlanta back in 1972. And he spoke to this Native American named Chief Nok-A-Homa who had a Teepee in Left Field and was a Braves cheerleader.
I just thought of something I feel like writing about even though it's not on my outline. Mr. Steve told Dais one time that there have only been two Major League Baseball teams from up in Canada. One was the Montreal Expos and the other is called the Toronto "Blue Jays."
Daisy told me that our boss has drawn the logos of the Expos and Blue Jays. I can see in the picture in my Encyclopedia of that guy Rusty Staub that the Expos primary color is royal blue and their secondary colors are red and white. Mr. Steve liked the Expos uniforms.
The Expos and Blue Jays are what's called ""Expansion" teams. The Expos came into the National League in 1968 while the Blue Jays played their first American League game in 1977. Both of those years are important to our boss. A Thrasher Bird just flew bye.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie the Expos "Franchise" moved and are now called the Washington D.C. "Nationals." And now their new team colors are red, black and white Dais says. A nice cool breeze just came in off of the eastern desert behind the three Sheds.
This is interesting. In my Encyclopedia it says that the name "Expos" is short for the word "Exposition." In 1967 the "World's Fair" or "Expo 76" took place in Montreal; which is in the "Province" of Quebec. They mainly speak French up there in Quebec.
Tomorrow I'm going to write about some of the different types of artwork our boss does. He's also drawn the Washington Nationals logo. And I want to write about some artwork that he did for a lady who was originally from Quebec. She had a French accent Daisy told me.
Oh! That guy from Pasadena Jackie Robinson played Baseball for a Minor League team that was called the Montreal "Royals." This was right before he was "called up" as they say to the Major Leagues so he could play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. I smell a Rabbit.
From what Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie, for most of their history the Expos were not a very good team. In 1972 Rusty Staub was one of the few good players on the team; even though our boss says anyone who makes it to the Major Leagues must have some ability.
I just looked up Rusty Staub in my Encyclopedia. I was wondering about his first name. It says here that real first name is "Daniel" but people called him Rusty because he had orange hair. The fans in Montreal called him "Le Grande Orange." I see the Bunny Rabbit.
Daisy told me that a while back our boss did some artwork for a guy who used to be a "Chef" at a restaurant in New York City that Rusty Staub owned. They discussed Rusty Staub and how when they were kids the Expos were Mr. Steve's brother Rock's favorite team.
Our boss also saw Rusty Staub play a few times against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium near downtown; with the Expos and as a member of the New York "Mets." He was always a really good left-handed hitter Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie. He "choked up" on the bat.
When Mr. Steve was working for California Sports Inc. he sold Laker Season Tickets to this guy named Gary Carter. He was also a great Baseball player; first here at Fullerton College and then later in the Pro's. He played for a few years with the Montreal Expos.
Gary Carter played Catcher just like that other guy Yogi Berra. Mr. Steve says in order to be a good Catcher you have to be smart. Catchers are often good Chess players he told Dais. And Gary Carter seemed very intelligent. But he was a really good hitter too.
GARY CARTER (0000-0000)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Hey You Guys! Tomorrow I'm scheduled to write more about that guy Gary Carter. In 1985, he helped the New York Mets beat the Boston "Red Sox" in the World Series. Mr. Steve said he was a very religious person. Too bad Gary Carter died a few years ago.
Well, now I want to quickly write a few things about the Toronto "Blue Jays." They're the only other professional team based in Canada. Dais says our boss has liked some their uniforms from the past and drew one of their logos a few years ago. I hear Ducks quacking.
Another place our boss went to see in 1972 was "Underground Atlanta." At that time it was mainly Night Clubs but Mr. Steve was told by a customer in Morrow, Georgia for a long time there were also Stores and places like that. I smell a Lizard somewhere around here.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, the main reason he wanted to go see Underground Atlanta was because the Train Station and areas around it are some of the oldest things in the city. Part of Atlanta burned down back in 1864. I smell a Bunny Rabbit.
battle sites outside the city. In 1864 the Confederate soldiers defended
That group called the "Ku Klux Klan" used to hold meeting up on top of Stone Mountain in the 1920's. Mr. Steve took a Tram up there in 1972. He told Daisy and I that there are a lot of places in and around Atlanta which "commemorate" the Civil War era.
He told Daisy and me that the same man
It says in my Encyclopedia that Jefferson Davis was President of the "Confederacy."
Daisy told me that for much of his life our boss has read about the American Civil War of 1861 through 1865. And in 1864 this man named General Sherman was attacking Atlanta from the north. Some fierce fighting took place in the hot and humid Summer then.
When he was about ten Mr. Steve and his friend Neil started drawing. And, as I mentioned, they copied pictures from books. Daisy and I have noticed how in the 19th century almost all the men grew beards. Dais says our boss used to have a beard. Now he has a goatee.
Dais told me in his office our boss has a whole section of a bookshelf filled with books on just the American Civil War; the bloodiest war in United States history. Daisy says Mr. Steve told her almost seven hundred thousand men died. And even more than that were wounded.
In August of 1977 Mr. Steve and his brother Rock spent a few days driving and also walking around the battlefield in a town called "Gettysburg." This is a town in Pennsylvania where, in July of 1863, a huge three day battle was fought during the Civil War.
According to my outline for this second book I'll go into a lot more detail about the Battle of Gettysburg in chapter seven but I'll just mention it quickly right now. My Encyclopedia says the Battle of Gettysburg was Robert E. Lee's second try at invading the North.
I guess the year before the Battle of Gettysburg, in late 1862, General Lee had fought another big battle in Maryland at this one place called Antietem. Until Gettysburg it was the bloodiest battle of the war. I hear some Crow cawing faintly way out there in the eastern desert.
Daisy, Mr. Steve and myself are creatures of habit more than most. Our boss says this can be both good and bad at times. He thinks to others our "timetables" might be way too "mundane." But since Dais and I are "inclined" to like it that way too it's good for us.
Many of the people who work with or know Mr. Steve know his unofficial "rule of thumb" if they're trying to decide whether to call him in the morning. They, just like Daisy and I, know he says "if the sun is up" it's okay to call. We take advantage of this knowledge.
Dais says like "clockwork" Mr. Steve starts listening to a radio near his bed at fifteen to five. In 2009 on a cold morning in November our boss was laying in bed listening to the radio in the dark when the office phone rang. He "scrambled" out of bed and even hit his toe.
It turned out to be this girl named Babette who our boss works with. Babette is the top sales person in their company and has been for years. She asked Mr. Steve; "How do you spell the word condolences?" He spelled it for her and than asked why.
Miss Babette said; "Because our boss Steve Banks died last night and I'm going to send a note to Ronna." Ronna is Steve Banks wife. She and her daughter Lori were brave and now run the company. Mr. Steve says his toe didn't hurt so much after hearing Babette.
Mr. Steve was shocked. He told Daisy and this other Dog named Millie that, for a moment, there was a "pregnant pause" as what Miss Babette said "sank in." He was like that one AC/DC song "Thunderstruck." He remembers that "chilly" morning "as if it were yesterday."
Recently our boss says he had a dream in which he and Steve Banks sat in Steve Bank's office. Our Mr. Steve jokingly asked him how he liked it up there in Heaven. He replied that one good thing was that he got to meet this one man named Jim Valvano.
JIM VALVANO (1946-1993) WITH FAMILY
From what our boss has told us, that man named Jim Valvano was from an Italian family. He grew up in New York City and became known as a good "motivational" Basketball coach. Daisy says our boss likes that he put so much value in family. We value family too!
Steve Banks memorized some of Jim Valvano's quotes. In his dream our boss said that Steve Banks even quoted Jim Valvano; "God must love ordinary people because he made so many of us. And every day, in every walk of life, ordinary people do extraordinary things."
Besides Steve Banks, in that dream our boss told Dais and myself there was also present two other people who are now what they call "deceased." There was a girl named Tracy McKinley and this other guy named Dennis Aloisio. My Dictionary says deceased means "dead."
In 1999 it was Tracy McKinley who hired Mr. Steve to do his job. Dais told me our boss said Tracy was a pretty girl who it turned out, put on a "false front" of being confident but in reality was very insecure. She probably killed herself by taking too many pills on purpose.
Dais says Mr. Steve has had other dreams where he and Tracy hugged and she thanks him for the money he gave her. According to Daisy one big regret our boss has is that he didn't drive up to Lancaster to pick up or get that girl Tracy. Instead he just "wired" her money.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that Dennis was a really nice guy who had a unique sense of humor. He at times discussed the Bible with our boss. From what Dais told me Dennis had a beautiful little girl and an energetic boy. They used to visit their dad at the office our boss says.
But sadly Dais says, Dennis also died a few years ago and may well have purposely, like that girl Tracy, "overdosed." At least that's what Mr. Steve thinks. Our boss's younger sister Celina probably also used pills to kill herself a few years ago. I can smell a Gopher.
Daisy says one time our boss told her and that Dog Millie that he thinks "prescription" pain killers are too easy to get. People get what they call "addicted" to them just like people do with illegal drugs he says. I see Crows wheeling around in the blue sky above the desert.
In the last few years Mr. Steve has met men who fought in "Iraq" or "Afghanistan." Some are missing arms or legs. Mr. Steve at times gives money to help ex-soldiers who have bad injuries. Some are addicted to pain pills. I see the Gopher near Manny the Shed.
Mr. Steve knows a Nurse who thinks sometimes Doctors are way too quick to prescribe really strong pain killing pills. Mr Steve told Daisy he's never been constantly in extreme pain. All of his pain, even when it's a lot of pain, has been temporary. I hear Crows squawking.
I mentioned yesterday how that one time Mr. Steve really sprained his wrist. That was when Dais knocked him over in the Garage. During that time his friend who's a Nurse told him about an "Over the Counter" pain pill called "Ibuprofin." It worked good he told Daisy.
In the Korean War temperature sometimes dropped to thirty degrees below zero. Mr. Steve's father's legs froze. They wanted to cut off his feet but he wouldn't let them. He got addicted to "Morphine" but was strong-minded so was able to "withdraw" from pain killing drugs.
Mr. Steve sometimes still thinks about both Tracy and Dennis; and of course his sister too. He went to all of their funerals Daisy says. Our boss says he recently heard about someone he knew from Saint Ferdinand's who died in an Automobile accident. I smell a Gopher!
Daisy says Mr. Steve has been thinking more about what they call "Mortality" lately. And so has she Daisy told me. I don't want to think about things like that. It's too sad to imagine being without Daisy. She and I have at times wondered where we'd go if Mr. Steve died?
Hey Ramona, please keep protecting Dais the way Stanley protects me! You guys are so good at being Guardian Angels. Ramona, if you're hearing me think then thank you. And thank you too Stanley. I know I speak for Daisy in saying we appreciate what you guys do.
Sometimes life is a difficult struggle our boss says. But that's when it's even more important to just deal with things and keep busy. A lot of times life's difficulties come about because of a lack of money Dais says. Money is so important. Oh! I see the Gopher near Manny.
Daisy says she and Mr. Steve once saw a tv show on this famous Football coach named Vince Lombardi. He thought about Steve Banks when it said Jim Valvano admired Vince Lombardi. Both were from Italian-American families from New York City Daisy told me.
VINCE LOMBARDI (1919-1993) AND FAMILY
Daisy got to see that show on Vince Lombardi because she's not afraid to go into our boss's bedroom to watch tv like I am. She told me that Vince Lombardi was strict but fair to all of his players. But it seemed to her that he kind of yelled an awful lot sometimes.
Mr. Steve's friend Rick is Italian-American. His family lived in Pittsburgh before coming out here to California. Rick used to have a sign on his desk which had a quote by coach Lombardi on it. Dais and I at times think of Mr. Steve as our coach. The Gopher is gone now.
Yesterday and this morning Heathcliff started crowing at least two hours before sunup. Dais also noticed that he crowed in the middle of the day yesterday and thinks he sounded different. Maybe he's "under the weather" as they say. Heathcliff sounded kind of weak.
But no matter; every day Heathcliff introduces a new day is a good day for us! His crowing is kind of like our Ground Hog Day. We hear it every day! But for us that's good not bad like in that movie. Daisy is so right. Every day is a gift from You God! Thank you.
One thing good about the mornings is that our boss pets and examines us before feeding us. He cleans our eyes. And because someone told him Australian Sheperds like Daisy need more affection than most Dogs, he pets us both even more. But then we can eat!
Until I came to live here I had no idea that I needed affection. But now Daisy has explained to me about "peace of mind" and why we need to be petted. Boy, I can't wait for Mr. Steve to see how smart I am when he reads my three books. Then he'll really hug me a lot!
Last night I showed Dais my first book. She can't believe how much I wrote yesterday and says maybe someday I could even be a teacher. I know one thing, for me Daisy is kind of like my personal teacher. I'm lucky I have Daisy to teach me things. I smell a Creosote bush.
Daisy tells me things so that I won't make the same mistakes twice. Whenever I'm trying to decide what to do I think "what would Daisy do." Mr. Steve does this with his father. I "pick her brain" as they say. Dais, like Mr. Steve's father, has so much experience.
People tell our boss he should be a schoolteacher so Dais thinks my writing will make him so proud. Mr. Steve passed the CBEST test to become a teacher in California but decided he can't teach an "unreceptive" audience; which is more the "norm" today he thinks.
Oh wow, I just remembered that You too were also called "Teacher" Lord! I do want to teach others about things and if You will it then it will happen. Dais and I want to believe that You do everything for a reason and we both feel better just putting our fate in Your hands.
As You know of course God, Mr. Steve is more like some of the Founding Fathers who were Deists. He's inclined to think that You created the world but then what they call "disassociated" Yourself from it so people could have Free Will. Maybe it's a little of both?
Hey Lord! As You know, I want to be thankful that You Guys might've sent me over here to be with Daisy. She encourages me and tells me I'm special. And she's right! We can't waste any time and we've got to try our hardest to get the maximum from the gifts You've given us.
Thank You Lord for yesterday! And Thank You too Blessed Mother. I do need help. As You Guys know, I told Dais I plan on getting just as much work done today. And of course I'm very lucky to have you around protecting me too Stanley. I just smelled a Jackrabbit.
I wonder if Mr. Steve will give us snacks today? But right now I'm full. As Daisy jokes, we have a "full tank of gas." If we leave even a little bit of food in our food bowls the Ants will show up and finish it off. Ants are what they call "scavengers." That's what Dais calls them.
Heathcliff sure started crowing early this morning! And he crowed in the middle of the day yesterday. I hear those baby Birds up above me. Just like yesterday they started chirping early. Their parents Bonnie and Clyde are out looking for food. I see the Jackrabbit.
I hear a lot of Birds out in our back half. Wow! There are so many Crows circling above this morning. The sky is so blue today! And I just noticed that there are some Flies and Bees flying around. I'll just stay here quiet on this couch and not attract their attention.
It makes me feel good hearing those baby Birds up in their nest. I think there are four little baby Birds up there because I think I smell four different scents and hear four voices. But I'm not sure. Bonnie and Clyde had four babies last year and we think three survived.
How lucky I am to have all our Birds around. And I love all of the other sights, sounds and smells of morning! It makes me feel happy just to be alive. Boy, this is really going to be a good day. I can just feel it. Thank all You Guys! The Jackrabbit went under Moe the Shed.
I have a feeling there are going to be more Flies around today. Libby the Horse over in her corral has some around her. Her tail is keeping the Flies from landing on her. Last year it sure seemed like there were a lot more Flies than usual. I hope there's less this year.
Dais also noticed that the two Bluebirds with the orange chests weren't around yesterday. We hope we see them today. Mr. Steve hasn't named them yet. Usually it's in the morning when we see them. Daisy thinks they might have a nest of babies nearby. I like the color blue.
Yesterday in the late afternoon when Daisy and Blinky and Dawn were barking it turns out this skinny man. He pushes this thing called a wheelbarrow past our house out on the front road. Mr. Steve says he's looking for aluminum cans and plastic and glass containers to collect.
I guess you can collect aluminum, plastic and glass and then turn them in for money. Daisy thinks that skinny man must be kind of poor. Our boss gives our "Recyclables" to others who are low on money but might start giving some giving some to that one skinny man.
Last night for dinner we had some of that Spam. And, mixed in with our Dog Food were some of those little things Dais calls "Fish Sticks." I love them! There's nothing better in life than cold leftovers from what Mr. Steve eats. The Four Pigeons just flew bye high up in the air.
One time I asked Dais if our boss ate in the same way we do; out of a bowl. She said he does put his food in bowls or on these other flat things called "Plates." But then he uses little tools; the shovel a "Spoon," the pitch fork for stabbing food and a small saw for cutting.
Dais tells me if I weren't so afraid to go all the way into our house I could see for myself the amazing things inside. And she says, if I were around when Mr. Steve eats I'd get some extra food because he always gives her part of what he eats. Boy, that would be great.
After dinner, once our boss went back in the house, I showed Daisy what I wrote yesterday. She gave me ideas I added to today's outline. Mr. Steve is big on outlines. He even jokes that he makes "outlines of outlines." He keeps lists on these things called Post It Notes.
I can't wait for Mr. Steve to see my three books. He'll like it that I'm writing our story down but also trying to teach others. I still have so much work to do! Thank You Blessed Mother for helping me remember things yesterday. And I need your help again today Stanley.
Well Blessed Virgin, just like yesterday, just when I think about You I smell one of the new Spring Rosemary plants. And I can also smell a lot of other things right now. Well, there goes Jack the Jackrabbit running past in front of the Sheds. Jack was up early today.
Ugh! A Fly just landed on me and I had to try to bite him. Oh well. Daisy says that Flies only live for a few days but in that short time they can be very annoying. Even though it sounds mean to say sometimes I wish there was no such things as Flies. I smell a Mouse.
When our boss does see what I've written he can what they call "proof read" and "edit" it for me. He proof reads for others sometimes. Daisy told me that Mr. Steve writes letters and legal documents for people who don't know how to do those type of things.
Oh! I just noticed our four Pigeons up in the sky. They're probably going to the front yard so they can eat the seeds Mr. Steve puts out on the ground. They also like to drink water from the Bird Bath and sometimes playfully splash around taking baths. I see the Mouse.
From this far away it's always kind of hard to tell our four Pigeons apart. Fred and Ethel and Lucy and Rickie are all about the same light gray or almost white color. Daisy pointed out to me the other day that they made their nests in the big tree near our front doors.
Hey You Guys? Could You please make it so that our Pigeons will have some babies? Daisy and I would really appreciate it if You did. But it's okay if You don't. Lately I've been thinking about how Daisy often says; "Most things seem to happen for a reason."
According to my Spanish Dictionary "Paloma" means "Dove" or "Pigeon." Later I'll have to tell Daisy that because a while back she was wondering about that exact thing. Daisy knows a lot of words in Spanish; kind of like our boss. I'm starting to be more like that too.
Dais remembers this really rainy day when Mr. Steve told her how in times of war Homing Pigeons have been used to send messages. He also said the city of Córdoba over in Spain is one of the first places known where what they call "carrier" Pigeons were ever used.
This Encyclopedia says even as late as World War I Pigeons were used to put messages in little containers on their legs. Daisy would probably say that means both sides shot at Pigeons. She told me you can eat Pigeons but we'd never eat ours! We like them too much.
Dais says in the late 1980's, down in Sylmar, Mr. Steve's father rented a trailer space to this one man named Bill. He raised Homing Pigeons and was even a better artist than our boss. He drew the Parrot scenes in a Walt Disney movie called "Aladdin" Mr. Steve told Daisy.
I guess the Parrot in the movie Aladdin was named "Iago." Mr. Steve jokes that for some reason he thinks his bad Angel is also named Iago. That's also the name of character in one of William Shakespere's Plays. I just picked up the scent of a Creosote bush.
Dais says someday she wants to see that movie Aladdin. She told me our boss hasn't seen it either but knows how good an artist that guy Bill was because he saw a lot of his work on other things besides Aladdin. Maybe someday I might learn to draw! I smell a Mouse.
That guy Mr. Bill raised Homing Pigeons. Mr. Steve told Dais he still thinks about Bill when he sees our Pigeons. He said Bill used to drive up north in California and then let his Pigeons out so they could fly all the way back home to Sylmar. Ah! I see the Mouse near the tree.
One time this lady at the Phelan Library told our boss about a man named Andy Engman. He lived up here in Piñon Hills until he died and was also a Disney "Animator." Mr. Steve told that lady about Bill and his Homing Pigeons. I just picked up the scent of a Cholla cactus.
ANDREW "ANDY" ENGMAN (1911-2004)
Bill was an "Independent Contractor" at Disney. That lady at the Library said from 1937 until 1971 Andy Engman worked on movies like "Snow White" and "Jungle Book." Like Bill, he worked in a city called "Burbank." Piñon Hills named a road after Andy Engman.
Burbank is in the Valley. Dais and I would someday like to see the San Fernando Valley or even Los Angeles; especially Sylmar and San Fernando. It's too bad that I'm still afraid to ride in cars. Daisy says someday I'm going to have to get over that. That Mouse ran away.
Mr. Steve told us Morningside was renamed "Sylmar" in 1913 because by then there were so many olive trees there. He says there's an elementary school in the city of San Fernando named Morningside. He wonders how that school got its name? I hear Sparrows singing.
The city of San Fernando right next to Sylmar was what they call "founded" in 1874. It was named after the San Fernando Mission nearby. And to this day from what our boss says it's still called the "First City of the Valley." Mr. Steve still has friends there.
This Irish man named Charles Maclay first started the city of San Fernando in 1874. Our boss told us the main street running through the middle of San Fernando is named after him. As kids he and his friends used to ride bikes up and down Maclay Street. I smell a Joshua tree.
CHARLES MACLAY (1822-1890)
That man Charles Maclay sounds like he was an interesting person Dais says. Our boss told us he was a Protestant "Methodist" Minister but later became a California State Senator. He had a "Theology" school. My Dictionary says theology means "the study of religion."
According to what Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself Charles Maclay's nephew was the person who founded U.S.C. in downtown Los Angeles. And it was his two cousins, who's last name was "Porter," are the ones that this place called "Porter Ranch" is named after.
The other day our boss was joking that the older he gets the more he's starting to think like that man J.R.R. Tolkein who wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He longed for a simpler time when things weren't so complicated and fast-paced. A Black Cow Bird just ran bye.
Mr. Steve told us he was thinking about the KINKS album Village Green Preservation Society recently. When he drives down to the Valley he notices the difference between living there and here. There are more people and Cars in Sylmar and San Fernando now he says.
Dais says one time our boss told her a big difference driving around up here versus in Sylmar and San Fernando is that it doesn't take two or three light changes to make a simple left hand turn at intersections. On hot days this is more noticeable he says. I smell a Joshua tree.
In 1961 when Mr. Steve's parents moved to Sylmar with he and his brother Rock the area was a lot less "Developed." Some of the main roads were dirt. At the far end of Maclay Street there used to be a wild riverbed area where our boss and his friends hiked around.
Whenever our boss goes down to Sylmar he uses the "14" Freeway. Dais says one time on the way back north he noticed to the side of the Freeway an area that looked a lot like the riverbed area at the end of Maclay Street. So one day he stopped and took a picture of it.
Now that riverbed area is filled with small "Cookie Cutter" houses where you don't even buy the land Mr. Steve told us. That's also now the area where these people who do what they call "Hang Gliding" land after jumping off the mountain. I hear a Sparrow singing.
Our boss has pleasant memories of that riverbed and sometimes even has dreams about those "Good Old Days" he says. But he also remembers spraining his ankle down there and that time got stabbed by a Cholla cactus. This was before he knew Cholla cactus "jump."
I see Cholla cactus behind the fence out in our back half acre. When the Sun first comes up is when they look the best but now, about an hour into the day, they still shine. Daisy really likes to look at Cholla cactus in the mornings and now, mainly because she does, so do I.
Hey Stanley! Remember that one time when I was homeless and you protected me from flying cactus? The wind was blowing like crazy and a broken off cactus would have hit me except for that big bush you had blow in front of me just in the "Nick of Time" as they say.
Mr. Steve told us one time that, in his old age he thinks he's finally come to better understand something his Grandma Trujillo told him in a half joking way; "One of the only things that gets better with the passing of time are my memories." I smell a Creosote bush.
Some time back Mr. Steve met a nice older lady who told him it was one of her relatives who donated the land in that old riverbed to Los Angeles in the 1920's. Then he told her about the good times he and his friends had hiking all around it. I smell some Finches.
Our boss told that lady it was his father, and others, who got land in that riverbed donated to the Hang Gliders for their place to land. Hang Gliders from all over the world come to Sylmar to jump off the mountain and fly around. I see the Finches on top of Manny the Shed.
Daisy would like to Hang Glide. Then she could know how Underdog feels she says. But to me flying is not something I would ever want to do. That would just be way too scary! What if you fell and broke all your bones? The Pigeons just took off and flew out into the desert.
Another thing Mr. Steve told that older lady was his father also was able to get land down in that riverbed for S.I.B.L, where he and his brothers played Little League many years. They had to move so Mission College could use their former location for a campus.
Mr. Steve and the lady discussed how that riverbed area was actually a "Flood Channel" just in case the Pacoima Dam to the northeast ever breaks. From what our boss has told us another thing that area at the top of Maclay Street is called is a "Wash." I smell a Lizard.
That lady knew the Pacoima Dam had been built in 1928 and is about six miles northeast of Sylmar. She remembered how, as a girl, her father took her and her Fishing up at the Pacoima Dam. Oh! I see the Lizard I was smelling standing over there in the dirt.
Another thing our boss talked about with that nice lady was this place called "Hansen Dam" in the city of Lake View Terrace which right next to Pacoima. She knew it was built in 1940, the year before America entered World War II; after big floods in the late 1930's.
Mr. Steve discussed with that lady how the land for Hansen Dam was was "acquired" by Los Angeles. A "Ranching" family named Hansen were forced to sell the land to the city. There used to be Horse ranches in Sylmar too our boss says. That Lizard just ran under the tree.
According to Mr. Steve when the government wants your land they can get it by what's called "Eminent Domain." Whether you like it or not our boss says, you have to sell your land to them at "Fair Market Value." Dais says she hopes that never happens to us. Me too!
That lady had not been to the area in Pacoima where Hansen Dam is located that she didn't know there's a Golf Course there now. The last time Mr. Steve went to Hansen Dam he and his Niece Samantha swam in the lake and hit Golf balls at the "Driving Range."
Well, this is so great You Guys! I can tell I'm getting better at reading and writing. I wonder what Daisy's doing? I'm sure she's done licking her paws for the arthritis and is now probably laying down in the Garage. A Thrasher Bird just zoomed out into the desert.
I've got to hide my materials like I did yesterday when I take my breaks; just in case Mr. Steve comes back here to the Patio. But now I'll study my book two outline to see what I'll write about in the rest of chapter two. I can smell one of the Creosote bushes.
It looks like in this chapter I'll write more about the Civil War and also females that our boss admires. Many of them were Nurses. His first girlfriend Sandy's mother was a Nurse and made a big impression on him. A Thrasher Bird just ran bye near the back fence.
I'll bet Daisy's in the back of the Garage laying on her blanket in front of the Utility Room door. She likes to sleep on her side with her legs stretched straight out. Not me! I sleep curled up on this couch Elvira. Mr. Steve calls it a "Fetal" position. I smell new Sage.
Those baby Birds above me are chirping. Daisy's right. She says that Birds always seem to be hungry. But then again she jokes, we always seem to be hungry too. But right now I'm not that hungry. I do kind of wonder when our first snack will be. We love snacks.
I slept well last night and even dreamed about with things I want to write about today. Daisy has given me good ideas for my outlines. Today I want to focus on things Mr. Steve has told her. Ah! I smell that one old Joshua tree just to the right of Manny the far right Shed.
I writing kind of a three day diary but it makes me feel good to try to write about the many things Mr. Steve has taught us about history and life in general. I do like trying to remember or learning things about music and nature. I learned so much yesterday!
Dais says she's more interested in what I end up writing about our boss's family because to a certain extent they're kind of like our family now too. Daisy told me we're lucky to have a place where we belong. We should appreciate having two acres to guard she thinks.
My breakfast dance worked "Like a Charm" this morning. Mr. Steve came right out and put water in the Birdbath and spread seeds on the ground. Then he fed us here on the patio. I see our two blue food bowls near the sliding glass door; next to the water buckets.
After we ate breakfast this morning Daisy as usual went back into the Garage to rest and lick her paws. Because Mr. Steve always puts an aspirin in her food so the pain in her feet will be less she's probably feeling better now. But at least the cold weather is over.
Dais and I really look forward to breakfast and dinner. But we also like our snacks too and yesterday we didn't even get a single one. It's still way too early in the day for a snack but I'll be curious to see if our boss gives us snacks today. I hear a Duck quacking next door.
Sometimes on cold nights our boss brings Daisy in the house. But I'm still afraid to actually sleep in the house. Dais tells me I'm being silly just like when I was scared to get on this couch or be wet by the hose. She's probably right. She usually is. There goes that Duck again.
I do go in the living room to listen to music and watch our cartoons on Saturday mornings! But at this point that's as far inside the house as I'll go. Maybe someday I'll sleep in the house; and maybe even be brave enough to actually go all the way down the hallway!
Daisy loves to rest. When I was younger I just wanted to run all the time. Running is still one of my favorite things to do. But Dais has influenced me to slow down. Just like we like to learn things from our boss; I really like to learn new things from her. I smell a Gopher.
But now I'm here again sitting on our old couch on the back Patio. I love this couch! It's so comfortable! Even though this couch is getting old Daisy and I still like it. Before I lived here this other Dog named Lucy sort of chewed on it. But Lucy died. I see the Gopher.
Lucy was given to Mr. Steve by his Niece Stephanie and her boyfriend Rich. They still own Lucy's parents; "Angus" and "Betty." Dais told me our boss gets sad when he thinks or dreams about people who've died. And he's sad when he thinks about Millie and Lucy.
Dais says Millie told her that Lucy was a friendly light gray "Staffordshire" Pit Bull. She's buried, along with Millie and Blackie, on the south side of our house. Daisy replaced Lucy after she died; I replaced Millie when she got killed. A Crow just cawed faintly.
Millie was like me Daisy says. One of her favorite things to do was run fast too. I wish I could have met Millie. I think we would have gotten along "famously" as they say. But, if Millie were still alive then I probably wouldn't be here Dais says! That Gopher is sniffing the air.
Oh wow! Bravo Company of Quail just streamed past the big Shed and they have babies with them! I love the sound of baby Quail! I can tell that it's Bravo Company because of the two dark gray females who always work as a team. The Gopher ducked back down in his hole.
Well You Guys! Now only Charlie Company are without babies. And pretty soon they'll have babies too. The sound of Bravo Companies babies makes me think about last year at this time. I remember when that Hawk swooped in and took that baby Quail. A Crow just cawed.
Daisy thinks about half of the baby Quails survive each year. Mr. Steve told us some of the ones from last year established their own territory on the other side of Primavera Road; to the east. Oh! Jack the big Jackrabbit just ran bye. He's going really fast.
Mr. Steve named Bravo Company's girl leaders "Laverne" & "Shirley;" from this tv show about two friends in 1950's "Milwaukee." His friend Mark, who worked with him at the Forum, is originally from Milwaukee; which is located in the State of "Wisconsin."
LAVERNE & SHIRLEY
Someday I want to see that tv show Laverne & Shirley. Daisy says it's pretty funny and is mainly about these two girls who are best friends just like Daisy and myself. They even work at the same job together she says. I smell Andy and Helen the Ground Squirrels.
Dais told me about how on that show Laverne & Shirley they have accents like Mr. Steve's friend Eddie and his Niece Stephanie's boyfriend Rich. Mr. Eddie lives this other town called "Lake Los Angeles" but grew up in New York City in a place called "Staten Island."
1993 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
Mr. Eddie drives his Car like a Taxi to make money. And he uses Mr. Steve's old Car named "Theodora" to do it. Mertle is a 1993 "Lincoln Town Car that for years belonged to Mr. Steve's parents. Mr. Eddie recently bought her from us. Daisy and I sure do miss Theodora.
I just noticed Andy and Helen over there under Moe the middle Shed. Right now they're resting. As soon as they feel comfortable they'll run fast to the next place to "Take Cover" as they say. But as Dais and I have have seen, they're pretty under the Sheds.
Tomorrow in book three Dais has me scheduled to write about this one "Byzantine" Roman Queen named Theodora. Mr. Steve named our Lincoln that when he got her from his parents because he was reading about Queen Theodora at that time. I still smell Andy and Helen.
Daisy has ridden in all of our Cars; "Barney" the Ford Escort, "Rex" the half ton Chevrolet Truck and Theodora when she was here. But I'm still kind of afraid to ride in a Car. Daisy says I'm being ridiculous. Oh! Andy and Helen just ran out into the eastern desert.
According to what Dais told me, riding on Theodora's seats is even more comfortable than sitting on Elvira. Boy, I find that sort of hard to believe. Daisy says Millie loved going for rides in our Cars; and Rex the Truck too. Hey God! Some day I will ride in a Car.
Laverne always wears clothes with an "L" on the front Dais told me. She must be proud of her name we think. If we wore clothes I think I'd wear clothes with an "M" on the front but it's very doubtful if Daisy would wear a "D" on hers. Mr. Steve would never wear an "S."
Dais says Laverne and Shirley, who work putting caps on beer bottles, have these two friends named "Lenny" and "Squiggy." Squiggy's last name of "Squiggman" Daisy told me. And that guy Lenny's last name is "Kosnowski." Oh! I can smell some Quail nearby.
From what Dais told me, our boss thought it was funny when someone on that show Laverne and Shirley called Squiggy "Squigmeister." That sounds like one of the weird nicknames Mr. Steve gives to us sometimes Daisy says and she's totally right about that all right.
Aha! Bravo the Quail Company is right now streaming under Jack the big Shed. This is so great how babies are starting to show up around here. I wonder how Bonnie and Clyde's chicks are doing? They must be sleeping up there in their nest because it's quiet.
From what Daisy told me that guy Squiggy has a funny voice and a 1950's greasy haircut. He wears a leather jacket and tries to act tough but he's really not; kind of like us sometimes. But if we ever have to be tough Dais says, we'll be tough and give our boss warning.
Mr. Steve met a girl from Pittsburgh. She told him Squiggy was originally from Pittsburgh too. Mr. Steve told her about how his friend Rick's family is originally from Pittsburgh. And it turned out Dais says; she and her brothers also liked the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins.
That girl told our boss that Squiggy now has a disease called "Multiple Sclerosis." That's the same disease which killed Mr. Steve's friend Doug's wife Susan. I'll talk about that girl Miss Susan later. She made "Crafts" just like Mr. Steve's mom likes to do.
Daisy told me that when you get Multiple Sclerosis your muscles start to go out on you. It's kind of like that Lou Gehrig's disease she thinks. That's why the real Lou Gehrig died so young and that other guy Stephen Hawking has to always be in one of those wheelchairs.
Another thing that girl told our boss was how in the 1990's, after his acting career was over; Squiggy was a Baseball "Scout" for the Anaheim Angels. Mr. Steve knew his friend Rick would be interested in knowing that. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are flying bye right now.
Besides Laverne and Shirley, I really want to see this one movie called "This is Spinal Tap." One time Daisy and Millie heard our boss laugh out loud. He and his friend Mr. Randy were watching "Spinal Tap." It kind of surprised them but they liked when he was happy.
Dais says SPINAL TAP is the name of a 1980's Heavy Metal band from England. In a scene from the movie this Manager told the band, who were on an American tour; that their concert in Boston had been canceled. One of those black Cow Birds just flew bye right now.
According to what Dais told me that one time, our boss and his friend Mr. Randy thought it was funny how SPIANL TAP'S Manager said to the band that it was no big deal to cancel their concert in Boston because; "Boston is not much of a College town anyway."
Mr. Steve says Boston, which is near where his sister Susan lives in Connecticut; is a really famous College town. Doug Flutie, who I wrote about yesterday in chapter three of book one; went to Boston College before playing professionally up in Canada and then here.
One thing about Daisy and I definitely have in common. We both really want our boss to be happy. As Dais puts it; "As he goes so we go." And she's so right about that too. I agree totally on that. That's why I have to write three good books that he'll like. I smell Juniper.
Tomorrow Daisy has me scheduled to write about another funny movie which made our boss laugh out loud. It's by a group called "Monty Python"and is about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table looking for the Holy Grail You used at Your last supper Lord.
Daisy says a surprising thing in the movie Spinal Tap is how the blonde-haired guitarist is the same guy who played Lenny on Laverne & Shirley. She says he looks totally different. Mr. Steve was told that Actor's birthday is October the 17th just like his brother Rock.
Well, Bravo Company is now heading for the northeast corner of the house to my left. I know that Laverne and Shirley are teaching the baby Quail that Mr. Steve puts food out for them. So I'll bet that's exactly where they're headed right now. I love the sound of baby Quail!
Dais admires Laverne and Shirley the Quail. She says we should work together as a team the way they always do. I wonder if Daisy up there in the front yard has noticed Bravo Company's new She enjoys the sounds and smells of baby Quail just as much as I do; maybe more.
If she hasn't seen Bravo Company's baby's today Daisy will for sure see them tomorrow in the morning when they come to eat the Bird food our boss puts out for them. I've got such good concentration right now and I'm determined to have a second productive day.
Dais thinks she's noticed that in most groups of Quail three females lead while the males are kind of like the soldiers who protect the "Pack." Able and Charlie Company are like that. But Bravo Company has only Laverne and Shirley. Daisy thinks they might be sisters.
Mr. Steve told Dais and me that in ancient Rome sometimes they had two men lead at the same time. They were called "co-Consuls" and sometimes they even had three rule at once. Then it was called a "Triumvirate." Our boss jokes that Quail seem to do the same thing.
Well, according to my outline for this second book I see that in this second chapter I'm going to write about how in history females have been just as capable as males. Mr. Steve says some of the most intelligent people he's ever known were female. I want him to be proud of me.
Right now Daisy's the leader and I'm her follower. But that's perfectly okay. Someday I'll be the leader and someone will follow me. But that won't be for a long time. Of course Mr. Steve, because he owns us, is our leader so we have to do whatever he tells us to do.
Our boss told us for years females were kind of owned by males. They were considered what they call "chattel" or "personal property" of men. And for a long time people who were slaves were in the category of "livestock." Dais says she and I are livestock.
Daisy thinks females can do almost anything males can do. She says one time Mr. Steve told her about this really talented girl named Annie Oakley. She was a "sharpshooter" which means she was a really accurate shot with a gun. That's what it says in my Dictionary.
In this Encyclopedia it says that girl Annie Oakley was from a state called "Ohio." Our boss has two customers in "Cincinnati" near where she grew up. Well, Dais was right! It says in this Encyclopedia that Annie Oakley was not her real "given" name. I smell a Mouse.
- "BUFFALO" BILL (1846-1917) ANNIE OAKLEY (1860-1926)
I guess "Oakley" is the name of an area where Annie Oakley lived in Ohio. It says here that her father died so her mother had to raise nine kids alone. They were poor so Annie Oakley had to use a gun and hunt things for food; and to sell. I see the Mouse near the tree.
Dais says Mr. Steve told her he would hate to have to shoot some of our Quail or Rabbits for food. But if we ever we went into one of those economic depressions he might have to. Daisy has wondered at times if Annie Oakley liked killing Squirrels and things like that?
Later today, and also tomorrow in book three; Dais has me scheduled to write about this guy named George S. Patton. He grew up in Pasadena and was a General in World War II. He also fought in the First World War where learned about using Tanks. That Mouse is gone.
A picture in my Encyclopedia shows George S. Patton sitting on a white "Lippizan" Horse. Tomorrow I'll write about 1945 when he rescued the Lippizan Horses. Before the First World War "Patton" won a medal for target shooting in the "Olympic Games."
In the Second World War General Patton led American troops in North Africa, Sicily and then in Europe after the June 6, 1944 invasion of Europe. Tomorrow I'll write about how before World War I he fought under General Pershing in Mexico against "Pancho" Villa.
This Encyclopedia says Annie Oakley, whose real first name was "Phoebe, was eight when she first "picked up a rifle." I see that her last name might have been "Moses" like the man in the Old Testament; but others say it was "Mosey." That Mouse just ran away.
I guess Annie Oakley became such a good shot that eventually she got hired by "Buffalo" Bill Cody to work in his famous show that went all over the world. And she even got to meet Queen Victoria over in England; and another time "Kaiser" Wilhelm of Germany.
QUEEN VICTORIA (1819-1901) SITTING BULL (1831-1890) KAISER WILHELM (1859-1941))
Sitting Bull was a Lakota Indian Chief. He was Sioux leader when they beat George Custer at the "Battle of the Little Big Horn" in 1876. Dais has me scheduled to write about that famous battle later when I learn about this other Sioux named "Crazy Horse."
My Encyclopedia says Sitting Bull was also in Buffalo Bill's traveling show. He nicknamed Annie Oakley "Watanya Cicilla" in his Lakota language. That would translate as "Little Sure Shot." I just picked up the scent of that really old Joshua tree near Libby's Corral.
From what Dais says that girl Annie Oakley was such a good shot that, from ninety feet, she could use a .22 caliber bullet to cut a playing card in half with the edge facing her. And, even more amazing Daisy says; she then hit both halves again as they fell to the ground.
Daisy says Mr. Steve told her a ".22" is a small bullet. Our boss thinks it takes more skill to shoot them accurately. During the Depression of the 1930's his Grandpa Córdova used a .22 to shoot Jackrabbits around Belen. They actually lived in a "Village" called "Jarales."
Another thing Annie Oakley did was put her gun over her shoulder backward and then, using a mirror, aim and shoot the ash off a cigarette her husband held in his mouth. Daisy says there's another story about a man named William Tell who shot an apple off of his son's head.
My Encyclopedia says William Tell was from a country called "Switzerland." And Daisy was right. She said his story is about how a mean King forced him to use a "Crossbow" to shoot an apple off of his son's head. It was kind of like Annie Oakley. I just smelled a Joshua tree.
I'm kind of tempted to write about Crossbows right now. But I think I'll just wait until book three tomorrow when I talk about how that guy William the Conqueror used Crossbows and the "Stirrups" on Horse's saddles to beat the English at the "Battle of Hastings" in 1066.
Mr. Steve told Daisy William Tell now symbolizes Swiss patriotism. And it says here there are actually three famous William Tell stories. All are about some times when the Swiss fought wars against Austria and the Hapsburg Empire; from the 14th through 17th centuries.
In one story after William Tell shot the apple off of his son's head the King asked him why he had two arrows loaded on the Crossbow. He told that King if he had missed he was going to use the other arrow to kill him. Dais says our boss has a toy Crossbow in the house.
In book three day after tomorrow I'm scheduled to write about a really good song called the "William Tell Overture." It was the theme song for a Radio and later tv show about this man called the "Lone Ranger." Dais says his best friend was a smart Indian named "Tonto."
I guess, just like Mr. Steve, that girl Annie Oakley must have been ambidextrous. She could hit targets from far away either right or left-handed. At least that's what Daisy told me. I think I'm mainly right-pawed because that's how I seem to feel more comfortable.
Wow! It says here Annie Oakley used a bullet to put out the flame on a candle! And not only that, she could hit a Dime flipped in the air. That is a good shot! No wonder people were willing to pay to see her. I sure wish I had a skill like that to make some money.
Dais says our boss told her Annie Oakley joked; "When a man hits the target they call him a marksman. When I hit the target they call it a trick." Daisy thinks Annie Oakley was a really nice person and a good partner to her husband; who was also a "good shot."
I'll bet Daisy's resting in the garage. In the hot summertime Mr. Steve takes what's called a "Siesta" at two thirty in the afternoon. This means a nap. In Italy in 1985 he noticed that many businesses shut down so people could take naps. Someday I'd like to see Italy.
Mr. Steve told us about that lady "Mother" Teresa; the Catholic Nun who worked in India nursing the sick who were too poor to afford a doctor. Mother Teresa, who died an old lady, also took naps and did what they call "Meditating." Our boss now does that too.
MOTHER TERESA (1910-1997)
As You know Blessed Mother, Daisy likes how that lady Mother Teresa worked in Your name. I want to do that too now. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that Mother Teresa recited a few times every single day; "Mary, Mother of Jesus, be mother to me now."
This is interesting. According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, that lady Mother Teresa admired the writings of Reinhold Niebuhr who wrote the Serenity Prayer. And she also liked many of the things that other guy Thomas Merton wrote too. I smell Sage.
Daisy says if we lead good lives maybe some day we might meet Mother Teresa up in Heaven. Mr. Steve told us for years Mother Teresa worked in the "Slums" of India yet never caught any diseases. She was born in August like Mr. Steve's mother. I hearing Pigeons cooing.
Hey God? Daisy thinks either You were protecting Mother Teresa or sent a Guardian Angel like Stanley or Ramona to guard her. Or, maybe it was You Blessed Mother? But, in all of those years Mother Teresa was around sickness and disease; she never got sick.
Mr. Steve says in India all the people are born into what they call "Castes;" which are kind of like the "Classes" here Dais told me. And once you're born into a low Caste she says you can never get out and are stuck for life. A Finch just flew out into the desert to the east.
Daisy's right! It says here in this Encyclopedia that the lowest Caste over there in India are called "Untouchables." Daisy told me she heard that in parts of India Cows are more important than the Untouchables. The Cows even get to walk around wherever they want!
Just think Daisy says, to be called untouchable! Our boss has this one customer who's up in northern California name Harry. He's originally from India and once told Mr. Steve about how the Untouchables are called "Dalits." That means "oppressed" he said.
But our boss told Daisy and myself that India's not the only place where the lowest classes are treated badly as what they call "Outcasts." He says in Japan they even have these people who are called "Burakumin" and they sound just like India's Untouchables.
Hey God. As You know Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her he thinks of Mother Teresa as a normal person who, because of the suffering in India, at times had doubts about her faith in You. But, "at the end of the day" as Daisy says; she felt better believing in You. Us too!
Daisy says over in India it's very crowded. They have one billion people there. That means one thousand millions she told me! Millions of people don't have houses or even beds to sleep in so many have to be able adapt to sleep wherever they can; even on the ground.
That's why Daisy's so right. We should be thankful we have nice places to sleep every night. We have this old faded yellow couch which is like our friend now. I really believe this is the place I enjoy being at more than any other. Dais says she's thankful to have her blankets.
Mr. Steve says one of our neighbors, who used to be a Nurse, told him he should appreciate it that he can sleep on his stomach or back; or on either side. He'd never thought of that. He had just "taken in for granted" and never "gave it a second thought" he told us.
Dais sleeps on her sides with her legs stretched out. I'm like our boss. I can sleep in almost any position. I sometimes sleep curled up in a ball but at other times on my sides. Daisy sleeps a lot more than I do but that's because she's kind of old. I smell a Creosote bush.
Daisy says when Mr. Steve takes naps he makes his Bedroom dark and lays on his back doing like Mother Teresa; he "listens." Buddhists go really deep into this thing called "Nirvana;" just like the name of that one band. Our boss occasionally just falls asleep.
Because we're in an area which is called "Unincorporated," we have power outages at least once a month. One time the electricity went out on a really hot day so Mr. Steve couldn't use his fan. So he brought out this thing called an accordion-type "Hand Fan."
Laying on his bed in the dark our boss was fanning himself when he fell asleep. He woke up half an hour later and his hand was still going up and down fanning himself. He realized this was an example of what he'd read about; "Muscle Memory." I smell Sage.
In the mid-1980's Mr. Steve worked for the Lakers Basketball team, the Kings Hockey team and the Lazers indoor Soccer team. He once sold advertising to a Chinese man named William who had an "Import-Export" business in Vernon; south of downtown Los Angeles.
Well, it was that man William who sold our boss that hand fan way back then Mr. Steve says. In fact, he bought twenty four of them. They were were what's called "Blems" which means they had mistakes on them. It was in the Chinese lettering on them.
So our boss bought them from Mr. William for only one dollar each. They both figured that unless a person knew Chinese no one would care if they had a mistake. Dais says Mr. Steve kept two but gave all the rest away. She told me they're kind of pretty.
When it's really cold outside Mr. Steve wears a wool hat which is also a blem. Daisy told me that one of his Toyota dealerships had some "Beanies" made up but on a few the stitching was not right. So Mr. Steve's boss Steve Banks told him to just keep two of them.
On that hot day our boss was sure glad he had those hand fans. They "came in handy" as they say. While fanning himself in the darkness Mr. Steve thought about that man Mr. William just as he sometimes think of Steve Banks when he wears his Beanies.
According to my book two outline I want to write about some other Nurses besides Mother Teresa. And the main reason I'm writing about Nurses is because Mr. Steve admires Nurses. His girlfriend Sandy's mom was a Nurse and he "thought highly" of her as they say.
The first Nurse on my outline was from England and her name was Florence Nightingale. She was a very important person Mr. Steve told Dais. She says our boss mentioned to her and Millie one time that he was reading a book about 19th century medicine.
FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE (1820-1910)
My Encyclopedia says that girl Florence Nightingale is now called the "founder of modern nursing." And I see that she was born on May 12 just like Mr. Steve's sister-in-law Yolanda over in Littlerock. Hey God, Florence Nightingale said You told her to be a Nurse.
It says here that in the mid-1850's, a decade before the American Civil War, Russia fought a war in the area above the Black Sea called "Crimea." I guess Russia fought against England, France, Turkey and "Sardinia;" which was Italy before it was actually called Italy.
From what I read Florence Nightingale went to the Crimea and helped the wounded and sick soldiers; kind of like what Mother Teresa did for the poor over in India. Her quote was: "I think ones feelings waste themselves in words. They ought all to be distilled into actions."
Mr. Steve's first girlfriend Sandy's mother was also a Nurse. Daisy thinks, just like the Nuns at Saint Ferdinand's, Sandy's mom obviously made a big what they call "impression" on him. But Sandy's mom died a few years ago. Mr. Steve has had dreams about her too.
In this Encyclopedia it says the battle people remember from the"Crimean War" where that girl Florence Nightingale served was at "Balaklava." It was the charge our boss told us about made by British cavalry through a "storm of metal" to attack Russian canons.
Daisy told me that one of our boss's favorite movies is from 1936, the first year of the Spanish Civil War, and is about that famous Cavalry charge in the Crimean War. It's called the "Charge of the Light Brigade." There was also a famous 19th century poem with the same title.
From what Daisy says Mr. Steve told her that in the Charge of the Light Brigade a lot of men and Horses were killed and blown to pieces making that famous charge yet it was all based on a misunderstood order. I see Libby walking around over there in her Corral.
Daisy says that one band IRON MAIDEN have a song called "The Trooper" which is about the charge at Balaklava. And from what our boss told her the video the band made to go along with the song used a lot of the realistic "action" scenes from the 1936 movie.
The other day Daisy told me I'm lucky my bad Angel Lilith isn't as scary to look at as her bad Angel Eddie; who looks like IRON MAAIDEN'S mascot Eddie. Eddie looks like a real monster and has a mean face. Lilith sometimes looks kind of pretty. Oh! I just heard a Crow.
PAINTING BY EDDIE RIGGS
Daisy's right! When Lilith shows up in my dreams I'm not scared all that much. In fact, she sometimes seems friendly and nice in trying to get me to do bad things. But Daisy dreads seeing Eddie in her dreams. Sometimes he even carries an axe. I smell a Jackrabbit!
I'm now going to use an Encyclopedia to look up the American Civil War. The Crimean War had been about ten years before. I guess the American Civil War started in 1861. And, just like Mr. Steve told Daisy; both sides thought it would be a short easy war.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie one time that at the beginning of the Civil War there wasn't much thought put into the "Medical" part of war; like collecting or getting the wounded off of the battlefield. And Doctors didn't know about those things called "Germs."
Because good comes with bad and bad comes with good, modern medicine means many who would have died in earlier wars are now saved. At least that's what Dais says Mr. Steve thinks. He knows of soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan who were badly injured.
Our boss thinks that in some cases, as terrible as it sounds, it would have been far better for these ex-soldiers and their families if they had died over there in Iraq or Afghanistan. Some have such bad injuries that they're what's called "Invalids." Dais and I pray for them.
In my Encyclopedia it says that in late July of 1861 the first "major" battle of the American Civil War was fought. This was the year after Abraham Lincoln had been elected as President. A Thrasher Bird just came in and landed on top of one of the Creosote bushes.
That first big battle in July of 1861 is called the first "Battle of Bull Run" in the North while to Southerners it's the "Battle of Manassas." The Confederate Rebels won that battle and then about a year later won a second Battle of Manassas in the exact same area.
I guess during the American Civil War the North tended to name battles after rivers nearby while the South would name things after the closest town. Bull Run was a river and Manassas is a town close to the battlefield. Mr. Steve told Dais about a band named MANASSAS.
Dais was right! She told me our boss said that after "First Bull Run" some of the wounded soldiers were not even "collected" right away. And it says here in this Encyclopedia that after the fighting was over some of them were yelling for help a few days later.
I wonder if it's true that after some of the Civil War battles wild Pigs, or "Boars," came and ate the wounded soldiers. And Daisy says our boss once told her and that other Dog Millie that some wounded soldiers got burned up in a Forest Fire after the battle of Shiloh.
From what it says here it was after that first Civil War battle, which took place southwest of Washington D.C., when people realized how primitive medical services were in America in 1861. During the Civil War they used "Contaminated" instruments to cut off arms and legs.
Dais says one time our boss told her that the Doctor's during the Civil War didn't even know about things like Germs and "Bacteria" so ended up "infecting" many of those whose "limbs" they "Amputated." So a lot of them died. Amputated means "to cut off."
From what Mr. Steve has told us, during much of the Civil War the weaponry was far better than the medical services could handle. He thinks much of human history is the evolution of the ability to kill higher number of people faster and more accurately at a greater distance.
It says here in this Encyclopedia that it was at First Manassas where Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson got his famous nickname. I guess another Confederate officer named Bernard Bee was trying to give his men courage so pointed at Jackson fearlessly leading his men.
THOMAS "STONEWALL" JACKSON (1824-1863)
Mr. Steve thinks Stonewall Jackson had both the trust and respect of the men he led. In the middle of fierce combat, with bullets flying all around him, he was calm; like a stone wall. So of course this made his men feel much braver and not be as scared Dais says.
Our boss says the relationship between Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson was described as the perfect military team in time of war; "Thunder and Lightning" or "Fire and Ice." Lee was the thunder and ice to Jackson's lightning and and fire. I smell a Creosote bush.
Mr. Steve told Daisy in that first battle there was little "uniform" about what the soldiers on both sides wore. Stonewall Jackson may have worn blue. There were Union and Confederate units in blue and gray and even "flamboyant" uniforms called "Zouave" style.
In 1861 many still thought warfare "Glorious" Mr. Steve said. I just looked up the word "delusional." French-style "Zouave" units wore "impractical" uniforms. As Daisy says, red is not a good color to wear when guns are more accurate from longer range.
My Encyclopedia says that in 1914, when World War II erupted over there in Europe, some French troops were still wearing "colorful" uniforms. But when they "suffered" thousands of casualties in just one day it was decided that "flamboyant" was "not practical."
If Daisy could use Mr. Peabody's Time Machine I'll bet she'd go back so she could witness the "aftermath" of the First Battle of Bull Run. And the more I read about it the more I think I'd go back there with her too. Hey God! What an amazing scene that must have been.
Daisy says our boss had told her and Millie about how on that Spring day in 1861 people were so unrealistic they got all dressed up and took picnic baskets in carriages out to watch the battle. It was as if they were going to see a show. But they were "in for a big surprise" she says.
According to this Encyclopedia there were even some politicians who followed the northern Army of the Potomac out to the battlefield. But instead of entertainment the "Onlookers" saw a "shattering defeat" as many soldiers were killed and wounded in front of them.
There must have been a lot of confusion on that day Daisy says. And she's right. In this one Encyclopedia it says that in the chaos of battle on that day in July of 1861 both sides carried flags that kind of looked like each other; especially from far away. I smell Creosote.
I know that in the mid-19th century a lot of smoke came out of cannons and small arms when you shot them. So after that first battle the South changed their battle flag and started using the now famous red flag with the Saint Andrews cross on it.
From what I read, the civilians or "spectators," watched in horror as Union troops eventually were "routed." They saw many of the Union troops panic and retreat from the battlefield. Then they began to panic too. Things didn't go exactly as they had expected.
I guess some of the defeated Union soldiers even threw away their weapons and then ran all the way back to Washington D.C. in "calamitous confusion." Dais thinks they must have really been scared if they threw away the guns. Ah! A Wasp just flew past.
According to my Encyclopedia those northern soldiers saw many of the roads blocked by the "hordes" of scared people "fleeing" in their Carriages. So everything got "Clogged Up" as they say. Daisy thinks some people were probably even "trampled" to death.
Oh! Is that the sound of Daisy barking up front? No, now that I hear it better I can tell it's our neighbor's Dog's Blinky and Dawn. They're barking at something over there. I have to stay alert even though I'm working. I still have responsibilities. I smell a Creosote.
Dais knows I'm working on this second book so I'm sure will only bark and call for me if it's really important. Just like she did yesterday she'll leave me to my work and not want to disturb me. Oh! There goes a Ground Squirrel sprinting across the back yard.
On extremely hot days Daisy conserves her energy. But if someone comes to the front gate we have a duty to run out there and meet them. Of course we both bark to let Mr. Steve know that someone is here. Daisy and myself like guarding. And we're really good at it.
I love to run a lot more than Daisy does. As a matter of fact, I sort of feel like running right now but I have too much work to do. I'm in such a good mood. Daisy's right! We have so much to be grateful for. One of those Thrasher Birds ran bye; just to my right.
I crossed Florence Nightingale off of my outline so now I'll write what I remember about this other girl named Clara Barton. She was also a Nurse and was important in starting this thing called the "Red Cross" in the United States. She began during the Civil War.
CLARA BARTON (1821-1912)
I'm so glad to have all of my Encyclopedias! Thank You Guys for them. Mr. Steve told Daisy he thinks that one of the reasons why Clara Barton was such a good Nurse might be because she had been raised with many brothers. She knew how males thought about things.
The next thing I want to write about is that lady Mary Walker; who General Thomas used as a Doctor for the Union army. Daisy says our boss thinks because Mary Walker was a Surgeon she probably had to cut off a lot of arms and legs. Two Pigeon just flew bye.
My Encyclopedia says Mary Walker was married to another Doctor. In the 19th century only males could be Doctors and a Surgeon is even higher than that. Wow! Mary Walker is the only girl ever to win this thing called the "Medal of Honor." So she must've been brave!
This is interesting. That girl Mary Walker had a postal stamp made in her honor. It says here that she didn't like slavery and believed females should be allowed to vote. She sometimes wore men's clothes because they were more "practical" in an Operating Room.
From what my Encyclopedia says, in 1870, five years after the American Civil War ended; Clara Barton went to Europe and helped during the "Franco Prussian War." That was a war in which Prussia beat France. That was when Germany became a country.
I guess in the Franco Prussian War Napoleon III, the first Napoleon's Nephew, proved to be a very bad "Field Commander." Dais was right! She said our boss had told her Napoleon III was even captured by the Germans who were under this man named Otto von Bismarck!
NAPOLEON III (1808-1873) OTTO VON BISMARCK (1815-1898)
I see that before the Franco Prussian War there was no such thing as the country of Germany; only a "Confederation" of "States" like the way the United States was at first. But that one man named Bismarck used a war against France as a way to unify them.
It says here that "Prussia" was the strongest German State and Bismarck was Prussian. He tricked Napoleon III into a war he knew he could win easily. And I guess he turned out to be right. Nazi Germany also beat France in 1940. Fannie and Freddie are flying past.
GERMAN "MOBILIZATION" (1870)
According to this Encyclopedia one of main the reasons the Germans beat France in 1870 was that they what's called "Mobilized" their armies faster. And they used Trains to move men and equipment "more efficiently." The Germans also used modern artillery a lot better too.
Boy! How embarrassing would that be for a King or Emperor be have to surrender! That's what Daisy thinks and I think she must be right on that. And to think that Napoleon III also had to surrender with a whole French army; over one hundred thousand soldiers!
Tomorrow in book three I'm scheduled to write about this gigantic German World War II "Battleship" called the "Bismarck." But I think I'll do it now instead. It was named after that Prussian man Otto von Bismarck and was over eight hundred feet long.
Wow! The Bismarck's three giant "Turbine" motors gave her one hundred and thirty four thousand "Horse Power." Mr. Steve's 1968 S.S. Chevelle with a "Big Block" motor had only four hundred and twenty Horse Power. That's way more than most Cars.
In my third book I'm planning on writing a lot about the two world wars. And in both wars the Germans built the biggest Cannons in history. Daisy and I noticed how for some the reason Germans like to build things on what they call a huge or "colossal scale."
Wow! In this Encyclopedia it shows one of the giant German cannons. It was made in World War II for the siege of this Black Sea city called "Sebastopol." In the First World War they had a cannon which "Shelled" Paris from seventy five miles away. A Crow just cawed.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, by 1941, the third year of World War II, the Nazis had two giant Battleships; the "Bismarck" and her "Sister Ship" the "Tirpitz." They were intended to "intercept" and "destroy" Allied Ships in the North Atlantic.
There's a good map in this Encyclopedia that shows how that Ship the Bismarck "broke out of" Scandinavia and then sailed out into the North Atlantic Ocean. This map is so good. You can see the exact route the Bismarck took and how the British tried to destroy it.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia that the Germans called what happened in May of 1941 "Operation Rheinübung." "Accompanying " the Bismarck was what they call a "Heavy Cruiser" named the "Prinz Eugen." Winston Churchill was scared.
The British Royal Navy "scrambled desperately" to catch up to and sink the Bismarck before it could destroy any Allied Supply Ships. That's what it says here. On the map I can see that one Ship was even sent up from the Mediterranean Sea. I hear Crows cawing faintly.
That guy Winston Churchill was afraid of what the Bismarck might do. He told the Captains of the British Ships sent to chase down and fight the Bismarck that it was "imperative" that they sink the Bismarck as soon as possible. I can now hear two Crows fighting.
PAINTING BY JAMES BRAUN
There's a really good painting in my Encyclopedia that shows the Battleship Bismarck firing its giant cannons. I'll bet it was so loud! I'm still really afraid of all thunder and lightning so it would probably be way too loud for me. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.
The map in this Encyclopedia shows how the British tried to intercept the Bismarck. And it looks like they finally caught up with it between Greenland and Iceland. Our boss met people from both Greenland and Iceland. The weather is usually really cold there.
H.M.S. HOOD SUNK (MAY, 24,1941)
PAINTING BY J.C SCHMITZ WESTERHOLT
Wow! A painting in this Encyclopedia shows what happened when the British Ships caught up with the Bismarck. It says here from about thirteen miles away the Bismarck's giant cannons blew up the a Ship called the "H.M.S. Hood." Almost fifteen hundred sailors were killed.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time, the "Shells" or giant bullets that a Ship like the Bismarck fired out of its huge cannons were the size of a Car and weighed about one ton each! I guess H.M.S. stands for "Her Majesties Ships." That means Queen Elizabeth II.
According to what it says here, in the same battle in which the Hood was sunk H.M.S. Prince of Wales was also hit by a Bismarck shell. So it and the other British Ships "pulled off" of the attack, "out of range," and let the Bismarck leave the area. I hear Dawn barking.
The Hood was destroyed so quickly that almost all of its sailors sank with it. They didn't even have time to "Abandon Ship" as they say. Most of them probably drowned Mr. Steve thinks. A Crow just cawed way out there in the eastern desert beyond the three Sheds.
The Hood was not just a modern "Battle Cruiser" but was what they call the "Flagship" of the Royal Navy Fleet. So it's destruction was kind of a shocking thing to have happen. Winston Churchill immediately sent out the order to; "Sink the Bismarck at all costs!"
PAINTING BY STAN STOKES
There's a really good painting here in this one Encyclopedia that shows a British Plane flying above the battleship Bismarck. The Plane looks like it was from World War I because it has two wings instead of just one. I just noticed a Thrasher Bird under Moe the Shed.
That Thrasher Bird is now running towards the northeast corner of the house. Roadrunners hold their tail down when they run. Thrasher's arch their tail up when scampering along the ground. And I've noticed that Thrasher's have longer, skinnier pointed beaks too.
One good thing for the British that happened on May the 24th was that even though the Hood was sunk and Prince of Wales was damaged; the Bismarck also "sustained" some damage too. So you could say the Bismarck "limped" off to the western part of the Atlantic Ocean.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, eventually all of the British warships caught up with the Bismarck. And one of the Ships was the world's first modern "Aircraft Carrier;" the H.M.S. Ark Royal." That means it was a portable Airport "Runway" on water.
H.M.S. ARK ROYAL
This is kind of interesting. The Bismarck could carry four Airplane but Aircraft Carriers are "specifically designed" to carry Planes. H.M.S. Ark Royal was set up to carry seventy two Planes. And her Planes were right away sent to go out and attack the Bismarck.
In one of the attacks three "Torpedoes" from British Plane's hit the Bismarck in the rear and damaged her propellers, rudder and steering. So after that the Bismarck's Captain could make the Bismarck go where he wanted. A Crow just cawed faintly to the east.
With the Bismarck "disabled" and being a "Sitting Duck" the British Vessels swooped in like Vultures and proceeded to "pound her to pieces." The Bismarck was sunk. Two thousand men went down with her. Only one hundred and fifteen German sailors survived.
In 1941, two years after the Second World War started, England was fighting Nazi Germany almost completely alone. Almost all of the other European countries by that point had been conquered by Germany and its new form of warfare called "Blitzkrieg."
I'm going to write more about "Lightning War" later today. Blitzkrieg "revolutionized" the way wars would be fought from that time forward. American military leaders have to study how the Germans used it in World War II. I'll also write about that later today.
The United States was officially "Neutral" in 1941 and most Americans did not want to enter into World War II. It says here in this Encyclopedia that's called "Isolationism." Some famous people like the Pilot Charles Lindbergh and Joseph Kennedy were Isolationists.
Even though America was not on anyone's side in May of 1941, secretly, "Behind the Scenes as they say, President Franklin Roosevelt was secretly helping England. This was even though it was about seven months before the Japanese attacked the U.S. at "Pearl Harbor."
England was dependent on the food and supplies being sent by the United States across the Atlantic Ocean. The Germans had Submarines which could go underwater. Those "U-Boats" were already sinking many of the American Supply Ships. I smell a Creosote bush.
I guess "Kriegsmarine" is what the German Navy was called at the time of the Second World War. And from what it says here in this German Dictionary the "U" in U-Boat is short for the phrase "Unterseeboot" or "Under Sea Boats." I hear some Crows squawking.
From what Mr. steve told Dais, one of the things which ended up beating the German U-Boats in the Second World War was the ability to "detect" them more efficiently. And one of the ways was through the sound their motors made. The Allies could hear them underwater.
The Germans developed an electric Submarine.
In book three tomorrow I'll write more about Submarines when I talk about both world wars and how there were Submarines as far back as the Revolutionary War. I'm tempted to do it now but I think I'll just wait until tomorrow. I can smell some of the Sparrows.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie Winston Churchill biggest worry was the German U-Boats. He even told people like President Roosevelt that it was causing him "many sleepless nights." So the Bismarck being "On the Loose" just added to his stressful situation.
The baby Birds in the nest above me sound like they're hungry. Daisy jokes that baby Birds are kind of like us in that they're always hungry. Oh! I guess the Flies are going to bother me today more than they did yesterday. I just had to snap at one.
I just smelled the scent of our neighbors Horse Libby! I'd know her scent anywhere! Oh yeh, I see her over in the Corral looking in my direction. Sometimes Daisy and I wonder if Libby gets lonely being all by herself after Molly the Mule died. I like Libby. She seems so nice.
Libby's probably taking a break from eating her breakfast of hay and oats. Daisy thinks that because all three of us were rescued we should all be grateful. Even though living up here in the High Desert is sometimes hard there's no place in the world we'd rather be.
Well, I guess today there will be more Flies around. I see a lot more of them hovering around Libby over in her corral. And now I see that there are a few Flies above me too. Daisy thinks it's so amazing how a Horse's tail automatically swats away Flies.
I'll bet Libby's wondering what I'm doing. She's never seen me spend so much time here. My writing is getting a lot better after all the practice I got yesterday! Later today I think I might practice writing left-handed; even though I go faster with my right paw.
There goes Fannie and Freddie! They're flying about; floating on the breezes. And as usual it's Freddie in the lead with Fannie always nearby. Mr. Steve told Daisy and me Fannie and Freddie are kind of like his his own parents; they're what's called "inseparable."
Fanny and Freddie just landed on the same branch they usually sit on out in the desert in back of the fence. They're looking at me now and are probably why I'm spending so much time out here on the patio for the last two days. I like Fannie and Freddie.
Wow! There seems to be a lot more Crows flying about up in the air to the east. It's always so amazing how Crows spread their wings and then float high up into the air in one of those air currents Mr. Steve calls "thermals." Daisy would like to be able to fly.
Just like you'll hardly ever see Fanny without Freddie or Bonnie without Clyde, it's unusual to see Max or 99 the Hummingbirds alone like yesterday. Normally, if you see one you'll usually see the other. Daisy also noticed that 99 was not around yesterday.
Oh! I just heard a faint train whistle to the north! I love the sound of train whistles! They're kind of like music Daisy thinks. I'm so comfortable on our couch. As Daisy says, our lives aren't perfect but we're lucky compared to most other Dogs. I agree with Daisy!
I'm sure, up front in the garage, Daisy just heard that whistle too. I hope the train whistle is a good omen for the day! I want to believe that it is. I'm going to try to finish my second book and I have a lot to say. Today will be such a great day! Thank You Everyone!
I remember when Mr. Steve told us how he thinks Trains shaped people's ideas of space and time more than any technology in history. But, with good comes bad and with bad comes good he says. Trains made life easier and better in both peacetime and wartime.
Our boss told us that the railroad industry is the first place where clocks were what they call "Standardized." I'm going to use my Encyclopedia to look up this one man from England named Richard Trevithick. He was the first person to use a steam engine on tracks.
RICHARD TREVITHICK (1771-1833)
It says here that guy Richard Trevithick's father worked in the "Mining" industry. Richard Trevithick saw "Steam" engines being used to pump water out of the Coal Mines; so in 1804 he decided to build a rolling machine on tracks; to pull loads of "Iron Ore" out of the mines.
Using steam engines to pull loads of iron ore up from the mines replaced Horses who were worked to death. So Richard Trevithick's invention saved the lives of a lot of Horses. Daisy will be interested in that. Oh! I see Libby the Horse looking over in this direction.
This is so sad! It says here that guy Richard Trevithick, just like the composers Mozart and Vivaldi, died in poverty. His idea of using steam engines on tracks turned out to be a blessing and a curse. And he never came up with any other ideas that were as good.
I guess Richard Trevithick made a lot of money off of his idea to use steam engines but then he lost it all. In fact, it says here that when he died he had to be buried in an unmarked grave; the same exact way that both Mozart and Vivaldi were buried.
Daisy says she feels better knowing when she dies she'll be buried right here in our little grave yard next to Blackie, Lucy and Millie. Me too! But before that happens I've got a lot to do. In fact, I've still got so much to do just today and tomorrow. Thank You Guys!
Just like the sound of Train whistles, the sounds of Birds makes me feel good. Daisy taught me to appreciate all the many types of Birds who live around us. I love Quail! Right now the sight of so many Birds flying about to the east also makes me feel like I'm very fortunate.
Oh! There goes that Dragonfly I saw yesterday. I heard him coming even before seeing him. He's in a hurry. My Encyclopedia says, like Hummingbirds, Dragonflies are "iridescent." Daisy wonders when we'll start to see Wasps and Bees. Last year we had a lot more Bugs.
I wonder if that Dragonfly is a boy or a girl? I'm afraid of Bugs that sting. I have short hair. Daisy's thick fur is good protection if ever a Dragonfly, Wasp or Bee tried to sting her. Soon it will be hot weather and there will be a lot more more Bugs around here.
Mr. Steve told Dais that usually Dragonflies live near rivers or places where there's water so they can lay their eggs. When he asked someone who's family has lived around here for a long time about that the guy said maybe Dragonflies use the California Aqueduct near us.
Aha! I just noticed, "out of the corner of my eye" as they say, one of those little black Bronze Cow Birds running under the big Shed Jack. It's so amazing how bright their eyes are. Daisy thinks that the way they fly and run about is very interesting to watch.
Daisy says the funny thing about Cow Birds is that, even though they fly good they run along the ground. She told me one time, when Millie was still alive, a Cow Bird got trapped inside the house. She said it was panicking trying to get out; the way I did when I first got here.
To let that Cow Bird out Dais told me Mr. Steve just left the sliding glass door to the dining room open. One time a Hummingbird also got in the house she said. Daisy wonders if any of our neighbors have any Cows. Boy, I'd really like to have a Cow! But not a Bull.
If we had a Cow then we could get free milk. Mr. Steve drinks milk. We might even be able to sell the milk! But, as Daisy pointed out, we'd have to pay to feed that Cow and, knowing us, we'd never want to kill that Cow if we needed her meat for food.
The Sun's warmth on my body makes me feel so good! What a perfect day to work. But I do still have to be alert because Daisy and I are responsible for guarding our land. We have to make sure no one tries to rob us. Thank You Guys for the day!
Lord, Mr. Steve told Dais and I that all three monotheistic religions say it's important to help the poorest. You commanded we help the "Least of These." Our boss gives to some "Charities" every Christmas instead of giving out gifts to his family. They understand. As You know Lord, there are times when Daisy and I have wondered if we'd be considered the least of these? After all, we were both poor and no one wanted to take care of us except our boss. Thank You Holy Spirit for taking care of us and bringing us over here.
Thank You Holy Spirit! Who knows where Daisy and I would be if our Chief hadn't rescued us. This morning Daisy said I have the opportunity to be an example of how you can overcome bad things. When she said that I got "fired up." I never thought of that!
But maybe Daisy's also right when she said I could "kill two Birds with one stone" as they say. She meant I could also help myself and help others to learn. Boy, I don't think I like that old saying. I really wouldn't want to kill any Birds unless we were starving.
When Dais and our neighbors Dogs were barking yesterday afternoon at that skinny man with his wheelbarrow I ran around to the front and helped them bark. While I was barking at that skinny man it dawned on me how absolutely ingenious and amazing wheelbarrows are.
It was so nice running around in our front yard yesterday evening after being here all day. Daisy loves our front area because of the view toward the western horizon. I love our front yard too because there's so much room to run around and just have fun. I smell Sage.
On my outline I have listed the topic of the wheel. I was going to write about it later but I've decided to use my Encyclopedia to write about it now. Thinking about that skinny man pushing his wheelbarrow out on the front road makes me also think about the wheel.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that whoever first thought of the wheel must've been really smart. Many things in today's society would not be possible without a turning wheel. I guess the cave men didn't have the wheel. A Snake just crawled under Moe the Shed.
According to this Encyclopedia the first wheels were probably used to make clay pottery in Mesopotamia in about 3,500 B.C. This is interesting. There are six "Simple Machines" that allow people to do what they call "Mechanical" work. A Sparrow just flew bye.
Those six simple machines are; the Lever, the Wheel and Axle combination, the Pulley, the Inclined Plane, the Wedge and the Screw. Oh! Dais will be interested in this. The first wheels used on Wagons had to be small because they were made from a single piece of wood.
I guess bigger wheels became possible when someone invented what they call the "Tipartite" wheel; which was made using three pieces of wood that were "fastened" together. But those wheels were kind of heavy so powerful Ox's were needed to pull the Wagons.
Oh my God! Daisy once told me that "Oxen" are sort of like big Cows with big giant horns. And she was so right. There's a picture here in this Encyclopedia that shows two of them pulling a man in a Wagon and their horns are huge. I wonder what an Ox smells like?
I guess Horse's were used to pull Wagons once a lighter "spoked" wheel arrived. The "Hub" of a wheel is it's center area. Ah! No wonder they call those things on Cars "Hub Caps! The town of Belen in New Mexico is called a "Hub" Railroad junction. I smell Creosote.
According to this Encyclopedia, the wheel has been used for more than just the transporting of people and their things. You can use a heavy stone wheel to grind things up like wheat for making bread. And you can even raise up water. Some saws use wheels to cut things.
This is so amazing! When "teeth" or "Cogs" are cut into the edge of a wheel it can be used for one of those things called "Gears." Dais says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie about how that man named Leonardo da Vinci used gears on some of his inventions.
Dais is right. Because most things are dual in nature, the wheel allowed people to acquire more things from farther away in what they call "trade." But on the other hand, wheels made it possible to kill more people in war through the use of Chariots. I smell a Lizard.
I wonder why we haven't seen the two Bluebirds lately? A lot of times we see them hanging around that tree next to our gravel driveway. I'll bet right now there are a lot of Birds in front of our house eating seeds or splashing around in the Bird bath. I like Birds.
Oh! There goes Charlie Company. I know it's them because of the big male with the broken wing sticking out at an unusual angle. Daisy thinks it's funny that our boss calls him Charlie Company's "Enforcer" or protector; just like in Ice Hockey. I see the Lizard.
Charlie Company and it's three female leaders all just went under the gate between the two smaller Sheds. That big male "brings up the rear" as they say. He's big! Daisy says he'd make a good meal for a Bobcat or Coyote; or a Hawk if he's not watching the sky.
Looks like Charlie Company, just like Bravo Company a few minutes ago, is heading for the front yard. They know Mr. Steve put out Bird seeds and Chicken Scratch for them to share with all of the other Birds who live in our area. That Lizard is running away right now.
Well, Charlie Company is the only group of Quail that doesn't have any babies yet. Daisy thinks Quail look like small Chickens. And Daisy and Mr. Steve think they and Chickens look like little Dinosaurs in the way they walk and scratch the ground.
Our boss thinks Birds might be the "descendants" of the Dinosaurs; even though they're not "Reptiles" any more. Daisy thinks it's so amazing that Crocodiles are the closest living relative to Birds when they were more what they call "Reptilian." I smell a Cholla cactus.
I have listed on my book two outline to talk about this gigantic "Meteorite" that flew down from outer space and crashed into the Earth about 65 million years ago. This Dictionary says a "Meteor" is usually made out of stone; but sometimes it can be made out of metal.
My Encyclopedia says when that meteorite flew down from space it landed in the country of Mexico; in a place on the "Yucatán" Peninsula called "Chicxulub." The explosion it made was like the power of a thousand nuclear bombs combined! I smell a Juniper bush.
That meteorite hitting the Earth ended up "killing off" most life on Earth. Daisy was right. She says our boss told her that meteor was about six miles long. That's about the same distance as from our house all the way to Phelan. That big Dragonfly just flew bye.
Hey God, You know how Daisy told me about when our boss said he sometimes wonders if You sent the materials to create the "germ" of life on Earth in a meteorite? Now I'm wondering how water and single cell organisms first came about. Daisy says it was You.
It says here that "dying off" 65 million years ago was not the first time life almost ended on Earth. There have been a few more times when most of the life on the planet came close to going extinct. Boy, I hope that never happens again! That would be so bad!
Because of the"impact" 65 million years ago, dust or what he called "debris" went up in the sky or "atmosphere" and blocked out the Sun. So the plants died and then the Dinosaurs who ate plants also died. So then the meat-eating Dinosaurs had no food and died too.
Dogs and people are what they call "Mammals." For millions of years our ancient relatives lived under the ground sort of like Gophers or Ground Squirrels. I just saw a Ground Squirrel stick his nose out of a hole to smell the air. But he's gone now.
Mr. Steve told us that in 1979 when he and his friend Mark Ritter visited Arizona and then New Mexico one of the places they went to see was a really big "impact crater" near this town called "Winslow." Winslow is located in northern Arizona.
Dais says she'd sure like to see that giant crater over in Arizona someday. It was made by a big "Asteroid" from outer space came down and hit the desert. Mr. Steve told us the hole it left is not only really wide, about a mile across; it's also five hundred feet deep too.
From what our boss told us the crater that Asteroid made is five hundred feet deep. Daisy thinks it would be really hard to climb out of a crater. Mr. Steve says sometimes craters are left when volcanoes blow up. We have some little volcanoes to our northwest.
A while back our boss showed us some pictures he took of that big crater in Arizona; when he went there with his friend Mark Ritter. The volcanoes near us are "dormant." Daisy was right. My Dictionary says that means they haven't "erupted" in many years.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In my Encyclopedia it says it was about fifty thousand years when that Asteroid, going about twenty six thousand miles per hour, hit the Earth over in Arizona. And it left behind one of the best "preserved" impact craters in the world Mr. Steve told us.
Daisy's eyes are bad but she still likes looking at a full Moon on a clear night. She jokes she's looked at the Moon so many times she can still imagine all of the dark areas where craters hit the it millions of years ago. The Moon has no what they call "atmosphere."
As I understand it, because here on Earth we have air, wind and water the surface is always changing. Daisy says Mr. Steve he thinks our planet probably has craters like the Moon but you can't see them because of something called "erosion."
I just thought of something Blessed Virgin! The surface of the Earth also has plants growing so that covers up all of the craters too! Because of Daisy I'm starting to think of You as kind of like our Mother Earth. We do sense and feel You in our atmosphere.
From what our boss told us the Asteroid that flew down and crashed over in Arizona was tiny compared to the one 65 million years ago. Yet it "gouged out" that giant crater. Daisy and I at times have seen lights streaking across the night sky. We wonder where they land.
As Mr. Steve and Mark Ritter stood on the rim of what Mark Ritter joked was a "big hole" they were so amazed. One could only imagine they thought how gigantic the one in Mexico must be they. Oh! That big Dragonfly just flew past and he he's going really fast.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that when he was looking down into the Winslow crater he told Mark Ritter that the dimensions of the biggest or "Great" pyramid of the three pyramids on the Giza plateau in Egypt are about the same as that crater.
That meteor that hit Yucatan was bad for Dinosaurs but good for us Mammals. With so many Dinosaurs dead our ancestors, little Mammals, could come out of the ground without worrying as much about being eaten. And 65 million years later here we are Daisy says!
From what our boss told us, after the Mammals came out of their burrows and tunnels they began to evolve. And over in Africa what would become people "stood upright" about 3 million years ago. Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her about this skeleton called "Lucy."
In my Encyclopedia I'm going to read about what Daisy said. She says our boss told her and Millie one time about how this girl skeleton was discovered over in east Africa in 1974. It says here the Archaeologist who found her named her "Lucy."
It says here that because the Archaeologist who dug Lucy the skeleton up was a Beatles fan and just happened to be listening to the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" he named her "Lucy." Lucy, that Dog who Daisy replaced, is buried in our grave yard.
In this Encyclopedia it says that Lucy was what is now called "Australopithecus Africanus." That's her "species." I looked it up in my science Dictionary to spell it right. Daisy says that it's easier to just shorten her name down to Lucy. Lucy was really small our boss says.
Well, Daisy was right again. She said the reason why Lucy is so important is because her skeleton proves that what would later be people walked on two legs at least 3 million years ago. Other types of Australopithecus have been found in Africa before and after Lucy.
Being able to stand up and walk on two legs allowed people to use their arms for other things besides walking or running. Dais says then they could carry things back to the other members of the group. And eventually they could use their hands to make tools for hunting.
I just saw a big Jackrabbit run past the gate out in our back half acre. Being able to use their hands made it easier for human beings to kill other animals for food. Lucy's species didn't have spears but they could throw big rocks to hunt and kill things to eat.
Having the use of their hands also later made it possible for people to make practical things like pottery. Mr. Steve has told Daisy and me that what came to "distinguish" people from all other animals is the ability to use what's called "symbolic language."
Language, whether speaking or reading or writing allowed one individual to work together with other individuals in order to develop or progress as a group. But Lucy's species died out before things like that happened to them a few million years later.
It says here scientist think that Lucy's species went extinct about 3 million years ago. And then what are called "Homo Sapiens" like Mr. Steve evolved to where they are now. Daisy thinks it's amazing how far they've come. People invented this pencil and paper!
Knowing how many tools our boss has around here I'm sure glad human beings have evolved so far. In our garage and in one of the smaller Sheds we have everything from ropes and chains to shovels and these things called "rakes." Mr. Steve has saws and hammers.
Looking to the east at the desert the view is so beautiful. It makes me think of what Daisy told me that one time. She said because nature has two sides it can be so good to us but, "on the other hand" as they say, it can also be very bad to us. Ah! There goes that Centipede.
On thing Daisy has taught me is that, "in the final analysis" as they say, no one beats nature. She talks about Mother Earth and also what they call "Father Time." Daisy thinks we should all respect nature; mainly God, because she says You created this world.
I remember when Mr. Steve told us about the story of the Viking God Thor's "Three Tasks." Daisy told me it's a story meant to teach you that even if you're a powerful God like Thor you can't beat the forces of nature. Someday I want to read that old Viking story.
There's probably a lot of Quail eating below Mr. Steve's window right now. Bravo Company and their babies went around the northeast corner of the house and I know for sure that they're headed right for the front yard. Thank You Guys for all of the new baby Quail.
Daisy says a lot of baby Quail are learning that they can find food on most mornings below our boss's office window. Now the only ones who haven't had new babies yet is Charlie Company. It sure is great to finally be in Spring. That's was Daisy says and I agree with her on that.
I wonder if the two Bluebirds are up front eating Bird seed too? Daisy also noticed that we didn't see them at all yesterday. Mr. Steve's brother Sam told him to start putting peanuts mixed in with the Bird seed because Blue Birds really like to eat peanuts.
Quail seem smart! When "on the march" they have this smaller group moving ahead of the "Main Body." Dais uses the term "Scouts" like our boss. Mr. Steve also uses a another long word to describe the lead Quail; "Reconnaissance." I just looked that word up.
When the "coast is clear" the rest of the Quail will follow their Scouts "in their wake" into the front yard. Yup! There they go. They didn't even wait that long. Daisy says Birds, like I did when I was homeless, "take chances" only when they're really hungry.
What was that! I smell a Lizard! Aha! I see it but; too bad for that Lizard. He's struggling to get away from Rudy the Roadrunner. As Dais says; "he's a goner." As that old saying goes; "he's not long for this world." It's almost impossible to escape from a Roadrunner.
Rudy just grabbed that poor little Lizard with his sharp beak. Oh! And there he goes "body slamming" the Lizard on the ground to knock it out. Once that Lizard is limp he'll maneuver it into the right position and then swallow it down head first. Poor Lizard!
Sometimes I feel so sorry for Lizards but as Dais says, someone has to be the food for all the Crows and Roadrunners. It's what our boss has described as the "Food Chain" she reminds me. We just have to avoid being "caught up" in that food chain Daisy says.
Dais says she's heard that because we live in a dry area and we're in a drought, Crows and Roadrunners get water from the bodies of Snakes, Lizards and maybe Insects too. Yuk! I hope we never have to do eat Bugs. Fortunately, our boss puts out water for us.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In the 1980's Mr. Steve worked at the Forum in the city of Inglewood. Unlike the Forum over there in Rome it's just one one building instead of an area. It was built in the late 1960's by this one man named Jack Kent Cooke. I'm going to write about him later this afternoon.
Whenever Mr. Steve sees a Roadrunner body slamming a Lizard or Snake on the ground he jokes that it reminds him of a sport called "Wrestling." They often body slam each other on the mat. Dais and I at times like to wrestle but we would never bod slam each other.
Mr. Steve thinks it was about 1988 when he went over to the Forum to take pictures of this big Wrestling show. And on that night he got this really big man named "Hulk" Hogan to pose for a photo. This famous singer named Cyndi Lauper also let him take her picture.
HULK HOGAN CYNDI LAUPER
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
At the Forum that night Mr. Steve's "Flash" didn't work so he had to adapt to the existing light in the tunnel to take pictures; like he did taking pictures of the Pope in 1987. This is not the best way to get good photos. Our Chief also took pictures of Mr. T that night.
Later this afternoon I'm scheduled to write more about that night down at the Forum when they had the Wrestling match. In particular I'll write about how nice that singer Cyndy Lauper was to Mr. Steve when he asked her if it was okay to take her picture. I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve sometimes jokes that Dais and I would make a good Wrestling "Tag Team" and I do agree with him. Sometimes I wonder if we could make some extra money in wrestling. Maybe we could even start our own Dog wrestling organization! I just smelled a Lizard.
Yesterday afternoon when everyone was barking near the front gate at the skinny man with his Wheelbarrow I knew it was him right away. As I ran up and started barking at him too I could smell him. We're all familiar with the skinny man's scent.
That man pushing his wheelbarrow is harmless but we have to give what Mr. Steve calls our "obligatory" bark just to let him know we see him. It's our duty! We also have to bark at any joggers or people walking or riding Horses past our property. I see that Lizard.
Daisy and I have a different bark for strangers whose scent we don't recognize. It's more of an urgent bark. You might say it's sort of like our "Code." Daisy's taught me all the different barks. In a sense we're kind of like Bugler's in the Military she jokes.
One of these days I'll probably get up the courage to go all the way in the house and see our boss's office. Daisy says Mr. Steve has a lot of books and other things in it. He even has a replica Bugle that looks like the one used during the American Civil War. The Lizard ran away.
Wow! I've already finished two chapters and it's still pretty early in the day. That second chapter went fast and according to my outline I wrote about everything on the list. I'm sure glad I took Daisy's advice and made outlines before I started writing my three books.
At times I worry and feel anxious about protecting our land. Daisy says that we can't be too careful about our security! Someday we might need to get what Mr. Steve calls the “jump” or “drop” on bad people. And we'll hold them off until our boss takes over.
Mr. Steve says the “element of surprise” is always a good thing. Someday it may be our “Ace in the hole.” But he didn't have to tell Dais that. I've learned from her how to watch things from a distance. One thing about Daisy; she always "thinks ahead."
Daisy is now good at following the advice up on the wall of Delphi. She knows herself well and, except for being petted and groomed, tries to do things in moderation. I'm not as good as that in both things but I'm getting a lot better at it with each passing day.
I want to believe I can do anything I set my mind to. Even when I had a sore leg I wanted to believe in "mind over matter." Dais thought the same way when young and at times thinks this is a good way to think now but at the end of the day you can't ignore "Father Time."
Daisy says one time our boss told her and Millie about that Roman God called "Chronos;" or "Khronos" to the Greeks before that. He was known as Father Time and carried this tool called a Scythe which he used to cut down time. Chronos had a long beard Daisy says.
According to what Daisy's told me that God Chronos represents the idea that time destroys all eventually; even if you're the strongest person in the world. I just looked up the three words; "chronology," chronicler" and "chronicle." I wonder what Dais is doing?
You know God, I'm beginning to think maybe Dais is right! Maybe Gods like tthe Greek Gods Chronos and Zeus, as well as the Roman God Jupiter, are all just You! And I'll bet You're the Viking God Odin too! You're all called "Father" Daisy told me.
Hey God? Mr. Steve says, as best as he he can understand it, in Islam they call You "Allah." And, even though we believe in all three of You Guys being three Gods in one, Allah sounds an awful lot like You but with a different name. Maybe someday we'll know Daisy says.
Mr. Steve thinks that it's okay to relax and just watch tv or listen to music. He says it's not wasting time if you're learning something new. From what Daisy says Mr. Steve's goal every day is to get up early and get a lot done so he won't feel guilty about "taking it easy."
Sometimes I wonder if I'm weird. I do "daydream." But Mr. Steve said three smart people, Socrates, Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, often got "lost in thought" as they say. And Einstein and Tesla even did "thought experiments." Daisy doesn't think I'm weird!
At times Dais thinks about being able to fly like Underdog so I guess some might think she's weird too! Mr. Steve jokes that all three of us are a little "unusual" just in the fact that we're so interested in history. I'll bet others think Mr. Peabody weird in the way he talks.
Mr. Steve has a book about that man Albert Einstein Daisy says. Albert Einstein was from Germany but ended up living here in America. From the time of Isaac Newton Mr. Steve says, the laws that governed the Universe were said to be "immutable" or "fixed."
ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955) AND FAMILY
From what our boss told us a while back Albert Einstein proved that the physical laws which govern "space" and "time" are not fixed or never changing. His first wife was a really smart girl named Mileva Maric he says. She was very good in math too.
Daisy thinks that, based on what Mr. Steve told her, Albert Einstein must've thought females were capable. He really admired this one girl from Poland named Marie Curie. She moved to France and then became one the world's smartest scientists Daisy told me.
MARIE CURIE (1867-1934) WITH HUSBAND AND FIRST DAUGHTER
Mr. Steve noticed in his book on Albert Einstein that Albert Einstein often mentions that girl Marie Curie. She and her husband worked on "radiation" or this things called "X-Rays." Daisy told me that this allows you to see bones right through the skin and muscle!
From what my Encyclopedia says Marie Curie, whose real Polish name was very long, was the first female ever to win this thing called a "Nobel Prize." And then a few years later she won another one. I guess her husband must've also been really smart too.
It says in the Encyclopedia that both Marie Curie and her husband were both what they call "chemists" and "physicists." I see that it was they who first "coined" the term "radioactive." It sounds like Marie Curie and her husband were a good team.
Marie Curie and her husband had two daughters. One died young but the second daughter, in 1935, also won a Nobel Prize with her husband. Wow! It's amazing for two generations in a row to be able to accomplish something like that! I'd like to win some prizes.
Looking to the east at our back half acre makes me think of that quote by Marie Curie; "All my life the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child." Oh wow! I see our four Pigeons high up in the sky flying to the southeast. I wonder where they're going?
It looks like Marie Curie at times led a sad life. In Poland first her sister and father died. And after she went to France her husband was killed in an accident. I guess growing up in Poland the Russians were "occupiers" so were really mean to the people who lived there.
It sounds like later in life that Marie Curie didn't really like being around other people all that much. It says in the Encyclopedia that she once said in giving advice to some young people; "Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas."
Some might think I'm odd. But Socrates, Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein were said to be kind of odd too. Albert Einstein didn't talk until he was three years old but turned out to be a smart person. And he might have had this thing called Dyslexia" in reading.
I remember when Daisy said how Mr. Steve told her and Millie that Albert Einstein died in 1955; four months before our boss was born. And in September of 1955 this one famous actor named James Dean died in a bad Car crash. I hear a Crow cawing faintly.
LAST PHOTOGRAPH OF JAMES DEAN (1931-1955)
According to my outline for my third book I was going to write about James Dean tomorrow but I sort of feel like doing it now. The picture in this Encyclopedia shows him in a town called "Sherman Oaks" getting gas in the Car he died in just a few hours later.
This in interesting. It says here that James Dean was "Nominated" for one of those Academy Awards "Posthumously." That means after he died. I guess he was like our boss in being what they call "Nearsighted." I wonder if he was wearing his glasses when he crashed?
Oh! Mr. Steve will be interested in this. When he died James Dean was with this other guy who said his last words were; "That guy's got to stop. He'll see us." But I guess the drive in that other Car didn't see him and collided with him "Head On" as they say.
Well, I can still write more about James Dean tomorrow. But now I still have more to write about that guy Albert Einstein. My Encyclopedia says he was working as a "Patent Clerk" in 1905 when he wrote four papers which "changed physics." I smell a Sage plant.
From what it says here, until 1905 everyone followed what Isaac Newton had said way back in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. And for all of those years no one ever thought his ideas on physics would be replaced. But they were. I smell a Mouse somewhere around here.
This girl named Mileva Maric was Einstein's first wife it says here. She was the only female in his College physics and chemistry classes. In 1905 she was the one who checked her husband's math on his four famous papers. Together they had three children.
I guess 1905 is called Albert Einstein's "Annus Mirabilis;" which is Latin for "miracle year." Boy, this is so great being able to look things up in my Dictionaries. Daisy at times jokes that once I learn something I'm like and Elephant; I never forget. Ah! I see the Mouse.
Daisy says at times she's wondered if it was true that Elephants never forget anything? She thinks it's probably true because usually there's a "grain of truth" in most things like that. I do know one thing, we'd like to smell a real Elephant. Mr. Steve has. The Mouse ran away.
For a long time many believed that Albert Einstein failed at math when he was young. Our boss told Daisy he read this was not true even though he did graduate College near the bottom of his class. They truth is one of Albert Einstein's favorite subjects was math.
Mr. Steve told Dais one time that Albert Einstein explained how the Universe worked through the "Interaction" of three things; space, time and gravity. And she says Albert Einstein's brain was taken out and examined after he died. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye.
Our boss agrees with Albert Einstein who, like himself, was not a practicing religious person, when he said; "A spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble."
Dais and I both still remember that other Albert Einstein quote Mr. Steve told to us a while back; "God reveals Himself in the harmony of all that exists." And Einstein jokingly wondered what God was thinking when "He created the Universe?" I smell a Joshua tree.
Hey God! Mr. Steve says he thinks Isaac Newton saw evidence of "Design" in the system of the world. He believed You "governed" everything. In fact, he said one time; "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but cannot explain who set set the planets in motion."
As You know God, our boss admires that one folk singer Pete Seeger and his wife. He thinks Pete Seeger's view of You sounded a lot like Albert Einstein's. As I look out at the desert behind our three Sheds I think I understand what they meant. Daisy's right! We're lucky!
From what I see in my Encyclopedia Albert Einstein was born on March the 14th which is two days before Mr. Steve's sister Susan's birthday. And he died just a few months before Mr. Steve was born. Daisy thinks Albert Einstein must've been one of the smartest people ever.
Many people have been inspired by Albert Einstein since he died in 1955 our boss says. This one band from Los Angeles called Sparks even wrote a funny song about him Daisy says. We like funny songs. I've only heard a few songs by Sparks but I like them a lot.
In the 1970's when Mr. Steve was in High School and then Junior College his girlfriend was named Sandy. She liked that band Sparks so he did too. Sparks is mainly two brothers, Ron and Russell Mael. Our boss told us they grew up down in Los Angeles near the coast.
Daisy has heard a lot more Sparks songs than I have. And so did that other Dog Millie. She says our boss likes how "quirky" Sparks songs are. He says a British radio "disc jockey" once said they were like a "cross between Frank Zappa and the Monkees."
From what Daisy says even though the Mael brothers were originally from here in southern California they really didn't achieve that much success until they went over to England. And to this day Mr. Steve told us they still have a big "following" there.
Daisy says Sparks are kind of a "comedy" band; satirical but in a nice way. She told me that they have a really clever and funny song about Albert Einstein called "Talent is an Asset." This is what they call the ultimate "understatement" Daisy told me.
Two other Sparks songs that someday I want to hear are called "Something For The Girl With Everything" and "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us." Daisy said Millie really liked those songs and so does she. Oh! I see some Flies hovering around.
Mr. Steve told us that over the years he's had some dreams about his girlfriend Sandy or her parents. Her mother, who died a few years ago, was a Nurse. She had strong "take the Bull by the horns" personality. She was what they call a "take charge" type of person.
Sandy's mom was what they call "blunt" but friendly; a decent woman and a hard worker. In Mr. Steve's dream he says he hugged Sandy's mom and asked her about Sandy's father; who also died some time back. She said they were together up in Heaven.
Daisy thinks I would like Sparks because they're kind of "kooky" like me. I do want to hear that song about Mickey Mouse; and "Funny Face" which is one of my nicknames. Dais told me Sparks have a really good song called "In The Future." Maybe it's about time travel?
In the 1970's Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy saw Sparks play concerts; one time at Santa Monica Civic and another time outdoors at this place called Magic Mountain. Both times they put on really good shows and the people in the audience cheered a lot.
Daisy thinks sparks write clever lyrics. In "Talent is an Asset" they say; "talent is an asset and little Albert has it." And later in the song, "everything is relative" and Albert "is growing at the speed of light." Boy, I sure wish I could write a song like that!
Albert Einstein seems smart Daisy says. Our boss told us that, just like Frank Zappa, he was a "non-conformist" who never just accepted "conventional thinking." For them nothing was "set in stone;" even Isaac Newton's theories. Albert Einstein was "his own man."
But Mr. Steve thinks, things being dual in nature, the "independent" source of his creativity also meant that Albert Einstein was often a "loner." But he didn't mind being alone a lot our boss told us. In fact, he often preferred it. Isaac Newton was a loner too. I smell Sage.
Daisy says she's noticed that our boss more and more prefers to be alone. He hasn't had a girlfriend in many years and is getting used to it. He says "if God wills it" he might someday have another girlfriend but if not that's okay with him too. I hear a Wren singing.
Albert Einstein played the violin our boss says. Daisy thinks it must take a lot or skill to know how to press the right strings on the neck with one hand while using the other hand to push this thing called a "bow" to make the music. I think I prefer harmonica or flute.
Our boss told us that in 1932 Albert Einstein left Germany, where he was born, and came to America. This was because the "Fascists" or "Nazis"came into power and they didn't like Jews. Mr. Steve says for centuries some Christian's have wrongly blamed Jews for everything.
EINSTEIN BECOMING A U.S. CITIZEN WITH DAUGHTERS
Albert Einstein eventually became an American "Citizen." Daisy jokes she and I should both be granted citizenship to vote! Daisy would vote to stop killing homeless animals. Me too! But Mr. Steve says there's no such thing as "social security" for Dogs and Cats."
When Albert Einstein visited Los Angeles in 1932 Mr. Steve told us he visited this place called the "Mount Wilson Observatory" where they have this thing called a "Telescope" for looking at the Stars and Moon. A group of small Birds just zoomed out into the desert.
Daisy told me some people have smaller telescopes. I guess telescopes are sort of like really powerful binoculars except but have only one long tube for looking at things. I wish I had some binoculars to look at things close up the way Mr. Steve does. I smell a Joshua tree.
Mount Wilson is up in the mountains above the city of Pasadena where our boss used to go to U.C.L.A. Football games with his girlfriend Emily and near where Jackie Robinson grew up. It's about twenty miles to the south of Sylmar our boss says. I smell a Mouse.
Mr. Steve told us that they study the Moon and the Stars with their big telescope up on Mount Wilson. Daisy and I wish our boss would buy a telescope so in Wintertime we could look closer at Orion. Daisy would also like to look closer at the Moon. Me too!
ALBERT EINSTEIN (AGE SIX)
Mr. Steve says Albert Einstein studied the Sun and Moon and his theory of "Relativity" was proven when there was a "Solar Eclipse." This means that, for a time, the Moon moves in front of the Sun during the day and blocks it out. Daisy experienced a Solar Eclipse!
Dais told me a Solar Eclipse is like Dusk during the day. But you can't be tricked into looking directly at it or you could go blind she says. You don't want to be like Lot's wife who turned into a pillar of salt by looking at what she shouldn't have. I see the Field Mouse.
For some reason I suddenly feel like writing about Mr. Steve's 1985 trip over there to Italy and Israel. Hey God! As You know, in 1985 Mr. Steve and his Tour Group were taken to the south end of the "Dead Sea" in Israel. It was a really hot day he told Daisy.
THE "DEAD" SEA
I really like this map in my Encyclopedia that shows the area around the Dead Sea. Back in 1985 Daisy says Mr. Steve's Tour Bus drove along the west shore of the Dead Sea. At times she said, it was so hot you could see "Vapors" coming from "evaporating" salt water.
Daisy told me God that when our boss saw some of the "Salt Pillars" at the south end of the Dead Sea he thought of the Old Testament story of how You decided to destroy the two cities of "Sodom" and "Gomorrah" because they were doing some really bad things.
Later I'll write about how important salt has been in history. At times Mr. Steve told us, it's been as valuable as even gold. People dig down deep in the ground to find it and many have lost their lives doing it. Ah. A Gopher just popped it's head out of the hole near the big tree.
LOT AND FAMILY ESCAPE THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM
ARTWORK BY DANIEL PHELPS
Hey God. If I could go back in time You know I'd go back to see how You saved that man Lot and his family. As you know, Daisy would want to see Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt when she disobeyed Your orders and looked back. That Gopher is gone now.
I guess You saved Lot and his daughters when You destroyed Sodom and Gommorah God. They were the only good people left in the whole city of Sodom so You had to kill everyone there. Samson and Delilah the Crows are flying bye; cawing at each other as they fly along.
Boy! Mr. Steve is so lucky. Daisy told me he got to see some salt pillars near the south end of the Dead Sea. From far away he says, some kind of do have a human-like shape. I'll bet Daisy is up front right guarding; and she might be licking her paws for her arthritis.
My Encyclopedia says the Dead Sea is located at "Earth's lowest elevation on land;" about fourteen hundred feet "below sea level." And it's also one of the saltiest "bodies of water" in the world. That's what it says here and that's what our boss told Daisy and Millie too.
You could never drink from the Dead Sea Dais says. You would die from the salt. Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie one time that in 1985 that Tour Guide named Haim told the Tour Group the same thing. No Plants or Animals could ever live in or around the Dead Sea Dais says.
Daisy says Mr. Steve told her you can't swim in the Dead Sea. But some people float in it as the salt water, four times as salty as an ocean, is what they call "dense." In this Encyclopedia it shows a man floating out in the water of the Dead Sea. I hear Dawn barking.
This is interesting. King Herod
GREAT SALT LAKE
He met a Mormon man who told him about the "Great Salt Lake" in Utah a while back.
Dais says our boss told her that in June of 1985 when his Tour Group visited the Dead Sea it was way too hot to even think about trying to float in it. But he wouldn't have have gone out in it anyway because of his bad skin. Salt water or "Chlorinated" water
I guess But as they were escaping the destruction Lot's wife disobeyed the order You gave them not to look back. So now she's made out of salt Dais says.
Daisy has also experienced a Lunar Eclipse. Someday I hope to see one too. There's nothing better than looking up at a full Moon in the sky that's for sure. But Daisy and myself, we really like looking at the Moon even when it's not full. I just smelled a Snake somewhere.
Aha! A brown Snake just crawled under Moe the middle Shed. My Encyclopedia says there are three types of Solar Eclipse; "penumbral," "partial" and "total." There are also three types of "Lunar Eclipses" too. A Lunar Eclipse is when the Sun blocks the Moon at night.
I'm still thinking about Sparks. Mr. Steve says the older brother Ron Mael plays piano and writes "acerbic" lyrics. His younger brother Russell sings, at times in layers like a one man choir our boss says. Russell, a good singer and "front man," is Yin to Ron's Yang.
Whereas singer Russell is "animated" on stage, Ron is the opposite. He hardly moves at all. He plays piano in a "blank deadpan manner." And while Russell wears "flashy" clothes, his brother wears a white dress shirt and tie. Mr. Steve dressed like that for years.
Our boss told us Sparks are a good example of how you don't have to be so complicated or "technical" to write good "catchy" songs. Ron Mael's keyboard playing is often very simple but done with really good "tones" Mr. Steve tells us. I smell some of the new Sage plants.
Daisy says that Russel Mael can sing in a lot of different voices. She thinks he's very talented and what they call "handsome." In the 1970's Mr. Steve's girlfriend Sandy thought Russell Mael was "cute." But Ron Mael is kind of ordinary. We like ordinary around here!
Talent an Asset is an example of good simple song our boss says. Sparks have many so many good songs he told us. Mr. Steve thinks it's surprising Sparks never got bigger; though at one time they had a big "Following" over England. Music is so subjective he says.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
As a "Gimmick" or way to get noticed our boss told us, in the 1970's, older brother Ron Mael wore a "Hitler" type mustache.
CHARLIE CHAPLIN (0000-0000)
or Charlie Chaplin type mustache. Behind his electric piano he wore a "stoic," expressionless look. Daisy told me about a comedian named Oliver Hardy who wore that type of mustache too.
Mr. Steve says, while playing, the only part of Ron Mael that seemed to be moving were his hands or eyebrows; in "contrast" to Russell who was "like a kid in a candy shop" he says. Mr. Steve jokes Ron Mael would not exactly be described as a "Head Banger."
Both Ron and Rusell Mael went to U.C.L.A., where Mr. Steve's old girlfriend Emily is still working. At times our boss says, Russel sings in a high pitched "falsetto" voice, sometimes at an unbelievably "fast-paced" speed. And he's a good dancer too Daisy says.
Some music reviewers have described Russel Mael's singing as "operatic." Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that he's often thought that Ron Mael's inventive lyrics must at times be hard for his younger brother to memorize and then sing. I hear Birds chirping faintly.
Mr. Steve told us that Sparks have another song called "BC." The lyrics are what our boss calls a "word exercise" revolving around the three letters A, B, C. To have come up with the lyrics is amazing our boss says; and must be "a real mouthful" to sing.
Dais told me Sparks have this really good song about sneezing called "Achoo!" Mr. Steve thinks it has a good "bass line" and piano. But Daisy says her favorite Sparks song is called "Never Turn You Back on Mother Earth." Dawn is barking next door.
Freddie Mercury, the singer for that one band from England called Queen, said he liked the music Sparks made. That's what our boss heard. He thinks Freddie Mercury probably admired Russell Mael's operatic type singing which is at times impressive.
Mr. Steve says Freddie Mercury was liked Opera singing. In fact, he told us, Queen made an album called "A Night at the Opera" and do a song called "Bohemian Rhapsody" which starts out with choir singing a chorus just like something Mozart might write.
Dais says one time our boss told her Freddie Mercury from Queen made an album with this really good Opera singer from Spain named Montserrat Caballe. Mr. Steve has never heard that album but saw a documentary about Queen which dealt with that period..
FREDDIE MERCURY / MONTSERRAT CABALLE
Daisy says Mr. Steve told her that Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe sang what they call a "duet" on this song called "Barcelona;" which is a city in Spain. Mr. Steve would really like to go back in time to see what 16th century Barcelona was like.
One time when our boss was out doing some yard work a song by Queen came on the radio. It was called "You're My Best Friend" and I really liked it. And ever since then whenever I look at Dais I hear it in my head. It's such a good song! I hear Birds singing out in the desert.
Our boss told Daisy Albert Einstein believed it might be possible someday to travel in time. Daisy says she'd go back to hear Mozart or Beethoven. How great would that be she told me. We both really like songs done on a piano but we also like orchestras too.
Someday Dais wants to hear music Beethoven wrote called "Missa Solemnis." It was meant to be played in a Christian Mass. Mr. Steve told Dais he himself thought it his greatest work. Our boss has only heard parts of it once. He thinks it seemed too long.
Mr. Steve says Missa Solmnis is solemn but also "ecstatic." Some say it "reflects" the suffering in Bethoven's life; he started going deaf when was thirty. He wrote Missa Solemnis and died just a few years later at age fifty six our boss says. Mr. Steve is already fifty nine.
Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie some people think Beethoven, because he was deaf, could hear his own "irregular" heartbeat and it influenced his music. She and Millie one time listened to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in our boss's bedroom.
I just looked up the Latin phrase "arioso dolente." It means "lamenting song." The reason it's on my outline is because Daisy told me our boss said some have used that phrase to describe some of Beethoven's songs; like his Moonlight Sonata which we really like.
Some time back Mr. Steve mentioned a really good book which was written by this man from England named H.G. Wells. I want to read that book! It's about traveling back in time so I'll bet that Mr. Peabody has read it. They don't call him "Mr. know it all" for nothing!
Dais says the book by H.G. Wells is called "The Time Machine." He wrote it in 1895. I'll bet it's about a machine like the one Sherman and Mr. Peabody use in their cartoons. If only we had a time machine. I'd go back to see if I had any brothers or sisters.
It says here in this Encyclopedia that man H.G. Wells was one of the first persons ever to write what they now call "Science Fiction." Our boss likes some Science Fiction Dais says. He has a few Science Fiction books on a bookshelf in his offiece she told me.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that man Ray Harryhousen worked on a movie which was based on an H.G. Wells book. It was called "First Men in the Moon." On clear Full Moon nights Daisy and I have wondered if anything has ever lived way up there on the Moon; or Mars.
One of Ray Harryhousen's friends was an American writer named Ray Bradbury. Like H.G. Wells, he was also a Science Fiction writer. Mr. Steve has his books "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Martian Chronicles" Dais says. I'll bet it's hard to write Science Fiction stories.
RAY BRADBURY (1920-2012) WITH FAMILY
According to our boss that man Ray Bradbury liked the writing of H.G. Wells and also Aldous Huxley too. He preferred to call himself a "fantasy" writer Mr. Steve told us. His family was so poor during the Depression he had to write on white "butcher" paper.
In this Encyclopedia it says Ray Bradbury was raised in a large family. He's described here as a "devoted" family man. Hey! His wife was named Maggie just like me! She was the only woman he was ever with and they were together for life; just like Mr. Steve's parents.
Years ago, at U.C.L.A., our boss studied at the "Powell Library." Ray Bradbury, who never learned to drive, studied there too. Mr. Steve told Dais that Fahrenheit 451 is about a Dystopian world of the future where books are burned just like in Germany during the 1930's.
Oh! It says in my Encyclopedia that one of Ray Bradbury's female descendents, in the late 1600's, was put on trial at this place called "Salem;" which is back east near to where his sister Susan lives with her two sons. But she was not one of those girls killed for being a Witch.
I guess Salem was British during the "Salem Witch Trials." My Encyclopedia says the people of Salem were Protestants but, just like Nostradamus in Catholic France about a century earlier, they killed anyone they thought was a Witch or a Warlock.
I'm reading in my Encyclopedia about what's called the "Thirty Years War." It's the next "topic" on my outline. It says here that it was one of the most brutal wars in history and lasted from 1618 all the way through 1648. It was the world "turned inside out."
Protestant leaders Martin Luther and John Calvin broke away from the Catholic Church in the early 16th century. So Protestants and Catholics fought and killed each other from then on. But about a century later Europe erupted into the Thirty Years War. A Crow cawed.
My Encyclopedia says the Thirty Years was a "Religious War." But I guess it was more than that. At times it was a religious war and at other times it was a fight over politics; just like when the Roman Empire broke apart in the 4th century A.D. I smell a Creosote bush.
Many parts of Europe at one point or another fought in the Thirty Years War. But a lot of the time it took place in the area now called Germany. During that war there were these soldiers called "Landsknecht" who fought for whoever paid them the most money.
Using my German Dictionary I think that the word Landsknecht probably means "Servant of the Land." And in my English Dictionary the word "mercenary" means "soldier hired to serve in an army." They committed some really bad "atrocities" during that war.
Wow! This Encyclopedia says twenty percent of the Germans died in the Thirty Years War. And one third of Europe's population may have even "perished." It says here that it was a war of "shocking brutality" and "wanton slaughter." Perished means to die.
Daisy says Mr. Steve thinks sometimes religious wars are the most "barbarous." But not always he says. People don't need religion to be violent and hate. Hatred and violence at times seem to be "baked into" humanity; whether spirituality is involved or not he says.
In history our boss thinks that killing is normal for leaders. There are so many of examples of this. Killing enemies who threaten your rule is common and not unusual; whether members of your family or foreigners. For leaders killing is a practical thing to do at times. Oh darn! I just noticed I forgot to write about some things about that writer named H.G. Wells. But I think I'll just put it in here because it would be harder to go back and insert it. I don't think it will matter all that much if it's not exactly where it's supposed to be.
Daisy says our boss told her that H.G. Wells, like Jonathon Swift and Aldous Huxley, wrote Utopian fiction. But unlike them he was "optimistic" about the future. Mr. Steve says the last words H.G. Wells said before dying were; "Go away, I'll be all right."
Aldous Huxley read H.G. Wells stories and made fun of their "rosy" views. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that some people think Aldous Huxley's Brave New World may have been his "response" to H.G. Wells "overly optimistic" views.
Sometimes Mr. Steve uses the phrase "rose-colored glasses" and talks about a glass being "half empty" or "half full." But Daisy and I have yet to figure out exactly what that could mean when he says it. We think it has something to do with being "realistic."
Jonathon Swift, Aldous Huxley and H.G. Wells were all described as "eccentric." Our boss jokes that he, Daisy and I might be considered eccentric. But we don't care! As Daisy says, the 3 of us trust and respect each other so we can be just as eccentric as we want.
Daisy says, as Mr. Steve says, more than most, the 3 of us are so lucky to have "control over our own destinies." Not that everything is so perfect. They never are. But we have enough to eat and a place to live. And Daisy and I don't need any clothes to wear.
Daisy says a few years ago, before I came to live here, she and that other Dog named Millie watched a really good movie from the the 1980's called "Time Bandits." She says I would like that movie because it's about this kid and some "Dwarfs" traveling back in time.
Daisy told me in Time Bandits that one kid was so lucky! He got to meet Napoleon and Robin Hood. Mr. Steve liked that movie because in the kid's bedroom, next to his bed, was a miniature pewter figure of an ancient Greek "Hoplite" soldier holding a shield and spear.
Daisy says on the divider between the kitchen and dining room in our house is the same model of a Greek warrior in Time Bandits. Our boss built it as a teenager. In that movie Time Bandits King Agamemnon from Homer's Odyssey fights a half man, half Bull "Minotaur."
That Dog Millie was really afraid of Minotaurs; and Centaurs too Daisy says. I remember the time Mr. Steve told us about the Sphinx on that plateau called Giza over there in Egypt. At times Dais and I have wondered if there could really be a half man, half Lion?
Millie died and I was her replacement. Daisy was sad when Millie died. Her grave is on the south side of our driveway. Mr. Steve cleans the weeds around her grave. Millie's grave is to the right of a tree but to the left is the grave of this other Dog named Lucy.
In between Millie and Lucy's graves are "Headstones" that were brought from New Mexico by Mr. Steve's father. They were originally in a cemetery in Belen and belonged to relatives but Mr. Steve's father paid to have better "Gravestones" made so these ended up here.
Daisy says Millie was a "Black Lab mix." A "Labrador Retriever" is bred for "fetching" a hunter's "game." Daisy's right. I just looked up game and it means the things that the hunters kill; like Ducks and Rabbits and other things like that. I can hear Crows cawing.
Millie and Dawn used to like racing at full speed next to each other on opposite sides of the fence. Daisy says for a long time there was a worn strip on the dirt where Millie would run back and forth. Millie was all black and "ran like a Cheetah" Daisy told me.
Daisy says one time her and Millie were in our boss's bedroom watching this really good show on Cheetah's. It said that the Cheetah was the fastest running land animal. Cheetahs can get up to seventy miles per hour. I don't think I could beat a Cheetah in a race.
I'm thinking about our graveyard on the south side of our house where the three graves are; Millie, Lucy and that abandoned Dog Blackie. A year ago our boss hired for three days this one worker from Mexico named "Esteban;" which is "Steven" in Spanish.
One of the things Mr. Esteban did when he was here was to clean the area around the three graves. Pretty soon our boss will do the same thing because he usually does it in Spring. Daisy and I both noticed recently that there a few weeds around those graves.
Mr. Steve is not what they call "fluent" in Spanish and is still learning new words and phrases all the time. That worker Esteban was learning how to speak English; so they helped each other for those three days that he was here. I just picked up the scent of a Sage plant.
That worker Mr. Esteban seemed amazed when he found out that one person, our boss, lives in such a big house all by himself. He said he lives in a house with ten other people. And when he was growing up there were three generations living "under one roof" as they say.
When Mr. Esteban said that it made Daisy and me think about how lucky we are. Mr. Steve says we should be grateful for our sometimes boring lives. He thinks the three of us probably live better than most of the people on Earth. Thank all of You Guys for that!
Mr. Esteban said he knew where Córdoba in Mexico was but had never been there. He did know that it's in the state of "Veracruz." And he did know that the farmers there grew really good sugar cane and coffee. And he'd heard about the big Church there.
Mr. Steve later went and read about the city of Córdoba in Mexico. He found out the church Esteban mentioned was called "El Catedral de la Concepción" which is "Cathedral of the Concepcion" in English. I just looked that up in my Spanish Dictionary.
According to our boss Córdoba is in the state of "Veracruz." When Hernan Cortez arrived with his soldiers and sixteen Horses in 1519 he named the area "La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz" or "The Rich Town of the True Cross" in English. I smell a Joshua tree.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia the Mexican city of Córdoba was founded in 1618 to protect the Spanish from a slave revolt. Two centuries later, in 1821, Mexico broke away from Spain and it was in Córdoba that Mexico's Declaration of Independence was signed.
Mr. Steve read that in 1973 Córdoba had a big earthquake. This was about two years after the Sylmar Earthquake which hit the San Fernando Valley down in Los Angeles. The other day Daisy and I thought we felt a small earthquake. I hear Crows cawing faintly.
I guess the first leader of independent Mexico was a man named Agustín de Iturbide. It was in Córdoba that he and these other men signed the "Treaty of Córdoba" which made it official that the country of Mexico was free from Spain "once and for all" as they say.
Agustin de Iturbide was a good military General who is described here in this Encyclopedia as an "excellent Horseman." His father was what they call "Basque" and he was the only male in his family to survive into adulthood. Some Basques are from Spain Mr. Steve says.
AGUSTIN DE ITURBIDE (1783-1824)
According to this Encyclopedia General Iturbide designed Mexico's first flag. His nickname was "El Dragon de Hierro" or "The Iron Dragon" but he ended up being "executed" by what they call a "firing squad." Dais was right. Executed means "put to death."
Mr. Steve later joked that he and that man Esteban developed their own form of what's called "Spanglish;" or a blend or mix of Spanish and English. He told Esteban that he read the term Spanglish was first "coined" as they say in 1955; which was the year he was born.
Calling Auto Dealerships in order to talk to the Parts and Service Managers our boss is what they called put "on hold" a lot. So he waits and works on his art. And in New Mexico and Texas some of the Auto Dealerships play local Spanglish radio stations.
Whenever Mr. Steve hires workers he pays them ten dollars for each hour worked. And me and Daisy have noticed that he also gives them water to drink and food to eat. Sometimes he would eat with that guy Mr. Esteban back here on the Patio. I smell some Sage.
Daisy and I remember how Mr. Esteban told our boss how "Buen Provecho" is just like the French saying "Bon Appétit." I guess you say that before eating your food and it means to enjoy the meal. At least that's what Dais thinks it means and she's probably right.
Another thing our boss and Mr. Esteban talked about was Soccer. Mr. Steve told him he was a "Defender" for his Soccer team at Sylmar High. This was because he was not good at running at full speed while "dribbling" the ball. I'm looking at that green ball over there.
One thing our boss could do he says was taking the ball away from the opposing "Forwards" and then making what they call an "outlet pass" to his teammates so they could then go attack the other team's goal. My Spanish Dictionary says that "Equipo" means "Team."
Mr. Esteban told our boss that he preferred playing Forward because he liked scoring goals and was a good "dribbler." Mr. Steve brought out a Soccer ball and Dais and I got to chase the ball as our boss and Mr. Esteban kicked it to each other. We had so much fun!
I guess in Spanish "pelota" is the word for "ball." One thing that Mr. Steve still likes to do is "play catch" with other people. And, just like he hits both right and left-handed, he also likes to throw with both hands. I'm pretty sure now that I'm more comfortable right-handed.
Soccer is called "Futbol" around the world. Mr. Esteban told our boss about a really good player from Córdoba is named Miguel Layún and he's played for the Mexican national team at this position called "Midfielder." He's known for what they call "stamina."
Miguel Layun's father came to Mexico from this country called "Lebanon" Esteban told our boss. As a Soccer player he's just an average scorer but is known for his conditioning and what they call "endurance." Daisy thinks I would be a good Soccer player.
Mr. Esteban was impressed when our boss told him that during part of the 1980's he worked for this "indoor" Soccer team called the "Lazers." Mr. Steve showed him pictures he took of the 1980's Lazer players and gave him Forum seating charts and other things.
ERVIN "MAGIC" JOHNSON LARRY BIRD
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Not only did Mr. Steve give that man Esteban things related to Soccer, he also gave him some pictures he took of these Basketball players named "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird. He also gave him photos he took of Mike Tyson and other Boxers. I smell a Gopher.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve joked with that man Mr. Esteban. He said; "Pienso que Esteban es un gran nombre! Es verdad?" This means; "I think Steven is a great name! Isn't that true?" That man Esteban laughed and then answered; "Pienso que si!" or "yes I think so!"
When Mr. Esteban cleaned near Blackie, Millie and Lucy's graves Daisy noticed he had this "Medal" around his neck. Mr. Steve asked him about it. As You know Blessed Mother, it was a medal in You're honor. Now Dais wants one. Me too! The Gopher is near the tree.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Blessed Mother! As You know, that man Mr. Esteban said his Medal was his "Amuleto de la suerte." That means a "Lucky Charm" in English Mr. Steve told us. Mr. Steve doesn't believe in things like that but Dais says he's got a Rabbit's Foot in the top drawer of his desk.
My Encyclopedia says that in 1531, just like You did to those three kids in Portugal at the end of the First World War Blessed Virgin, You appeared to an Aztec Indian named "Juan Diego." I just noticed that the Gopher who came up near the big tree went back underground.
As You probably already know Blessed Mother, Daisy told me that if you're a "Peasant" that means you're poor. And that man Juan Diego was a peasant. It says here in this Encyclopedia that it was in the Winter that You appeared to him. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Oh wow! Just when I was thinking about You Blessed Mother, I suddenly just picked up the strong scent of a Rosemary plant. Is that a sign from You? I told Daisy that yesterday the same thing happened and she thinks it's a sign. I love the smell of Rosemary!
Hey Mother Mary! Mr. Esteban told Mr. Steve the main reason he prays to You is because he hoped for You're protection. And he hoped You'd what they call "Intercede" on his behalf with Your son. Dais told me that our boss sometimes jokes that's what he hopes too.
According to this Dictionary Blessed Mother the word "Solace" means; "An easing of grief or loneliness" or "To take comfort or consolation." Daisy thinks that's the main reason why we pray to You. And Mr. Steve believes the same thing. I still smell Rosemary.
This is interesting Blessed Virgin. I guess You decided to appear to Juan Diego on a site that at one time had been an Aztec Temple dedicated to the "Mother Goddess" named "Tonantzin;" which means "Mother Earth!" The Spanish always knocked down Aztec Temples.
Blessed Mother, Mr. Esteban explained how You asked Juan Diego to call You "Guadalupe" so You became "Our Lady of Guadalupe." Just like Fatima was the town close to where You appeared to those three children in Portugal; Guadalupe is a Mexican town.
Daisy really liked it when Mr. Esteban said how You stood on a half Moon right in front of the Sun's rays Blessed Virgin. Mr. Steve thinks You might appear to people in order to give them hope. My Spanish Dictionary says "Esperanza" means "Hope" in English.
Hey Mother Mary! Dais says You were probably the first and last face Your Son saw. Lord? Before You died on the cross You said to Your mother; "Woman, behold your son!" And to Your Apostle John You then commanded; "John, behold your mother!"
Hey Lord! I'm so tempted right now to write about that girl Mary Magdelane. Dais thinks she might've been the last one You looked at before You died. But I'd better just wait until book three tomorrow and learn more about her then. Mr. Steve thinks she's important.
Lord! We wish we could go back in time to help You up on the cross; even though as Daisy says, the Romans would have beaten us up. As You know, Mr. Steve wants to believe You were telling everyone to honor and stay close to the powerful "female spirit." I smell Rosemary.
Blessed Mother! You entrusted Yourself to Our Father when He sent the Angel Gabriel to tell You that You'd be His son's mother. Dais and I want to trust in You. We just feel better thinking You and God know what's best for us and have a purpose for our lives.
Mr. Esteban said every day he asks You Blessed Mother to watch over him and be his mother. He said he sings an old hymn "Ave Maria Stella." That means "Hail Star of the Sea." Mr. Steve told him Mother Teresa prayed for that too. Our boss's mother's name is Stella!
Mr. Steve thinks many people are still superstitious even though more and more we live in a "Secular" culture which does not value religion. To some being spiritual means you're kind of "backward" or "primitive. But that's okay our boss says. They have that right.
Over there in Texas Mr. Steve's Nephew Rocky Junior works as a Tatoo Artist. And from what our boss told us he's very talented. I've never seen a person with one of those tattoos but Dais told me a tattoo is when they draw pictures and things like that on your skin.
Daisy told me that she's noticed that many tattoos have spiritual ideas like being protected from bad luck or being brave. I wonder if a Dog can get a tattoo? Nah! Dais is way too furry and even my whole body is covered with hair. You wouldn't even see the tattoo.
Looking to the east at the desert behind our three Sheds I can see that the Sun's rays are just flooding everything in light. As Daisy says, at times like this you can almost feel how the Sun is pumping life into everything. It's so good to be alive! I hear Birds chirping.
Mr. Steve says in the early 16th century many Spaniards did not consider the native peoples to even be human. They were just "Savages" that were almost like animals. So in their minds it was perfectly okay to just kill them like "Vermin" and steal everything they had.
Hey Lord! As You know, our boss says many of the Catholic Priests, even though they also thought of Indians as "backward" and "primitive," argued that they were humans with Souls. Therefore, they said Indians deserved the opportunity to know You too.
Daisy says Mr. Steve told her and Millie one time that the Spanish Priests thought that if they exposed the Indian's obviously "inferior" culture to their own obviously "superior" culture, the choice would be "obvious." The Romans and Chinese thought like that too.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie he thinks, to a certain extent, in 1991 and 2003 when America attacked the Middle East country of Iraq; the thought was that we would force them to give up their inferior government system and accept our superior democratic ideas.
Dais says Mr. Steve has a lot of material on the Alta and Baja California Missions systems of the 18th century. He and Mr. Esteban discussed the Alta California Missions and a man named Father Junipero Serra. He established the first nine Upper California Missions.
Our boss and Mr. Esteban talked about how majnay people really want to make Padre Serra a Saint. But others, like the Native Californians, don't think he should be honored in that way. to them he represents many of the bad things the Spanish did. I hear a Crow cawing.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Our boss told Mr. Esteban that he thinks that by 18th century standards Father Serra was a Saint. He was courageous. In this Encyclopedia he's described as what they call an "Innovator" and "Pioneer." He lived in a time of much suffering and tragedy Mr. Steve said.
In the opinion of our boss, from what he's read, that guy Father Serra seems to always have tried to do the best he could with what he was given to work with. And sometimes that wasn't a lot Mr. Steve says. Two of the Pigeons just flew out there into the eastern desert.
Some accuse Father Serra of "Genocide." But most of the Indians didn't live in the Missions and weren't "Enslaved" our boss says. If anything, the ones who did live and work on the sites seemed more like what they call "Indentured Servants." I smell a Squirrel.
What really killed a lot of Native California Indians was disease brought from Europe with the Spaniards. That's what our boss told Mr. Esteban. But Father Serra and the Spanish had no idea what germs were. They didn't expose the Indians to disease on purpose.
My Encyclopedia says Father Serra led the "easy life" of a "Scholar" and "Academic" back thee in Europe. But Lord, he was willing to exchange that life for a life of hardship here in the New World; mainly to expose You to others. I see the Ground Squirrel.
Our boss told Mr. Esteban the real slaughter of the Indians here in California came when the Americans arrived after the 1849 Gold Rush. By then all the twenty one Missions were closed or were in what they call a state of "Disrepair." "Matanza" is Spanish for "slaughter."
Dais says one time our boss told her and Millie that he read at the time of the Gold Rush some Miners used the Indians for "Target Practice." He says the populations of Native people here in California "plummeted" after 1849. Two Crows are yelling at each other.
In this Encyclopedia it says that "Friar" Serra, when the other Spaniards wanted to punish the Indians for something they thought they did wrong, argued for mercy. Everyone else wanted to kill them in "Retribution." Father Serra worked to earn Indian's trust it says.
From what Mr. Steve says almost all Europeans thought of Indigenous peoples as backward children. Father Serra was no exception he told us. But he never thought of them as what they call "Sub-Human;" the way so many other Spaniards often did back in those days.
As I understand it, back in the 18th century many Christians believed inflicting or enduring physical pain was good spiritually. Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that for us what would seem like a dumb or stupid thing to do, like whipping yourself, was for them "uplifting."
And back then every group in every part of the world used "Flogging;" even Native peoples. British naval officers "whipped" sailors Mr. Steve says. Violence was considered a "necessity." And in every age there are those called "Sadists" who just enjoy seeing others suffer.
DONATIEN ALPHONSE FRANCOIS MARQUIS DE SADE (1740-1814)
In this Encyclopedia it says this one writer from France named the "Marquis de Sade" liked to hurt people. I guess it's called "Sadomasochism." And as Dais would say, if he was that mean to people I'll bet he was even meaner to Dogs and Cats. Boy he sure had a long name.
Huh! During the time of the French Revolution, after Napoleon had taken power, he ordered that the Marquis de Sade be arrested. Then he was imprisoned in that famous Tower in Paris I wrote about yesterday; the "Bastille." I hear some Crows cawing to the east.
Daisy says on the divider between the Kitchen and Dining Room in our house Mr. Steve has some of the miniatures he's built or collected. One is a little "Guillotine" she told me. I wrote about Guillotines yesterday when I talked about the French Revolution.
This is kind of interesting. That Marquis de Sade was from what's called a "Noble" family called "Noblesse d' Epée." And according to my French Dictionary that means "Nobles of the Sword." I guess his son burned all of his writings in shame after he died.
I didn't plan on writing about the Marquis de Sade but now I have to go back to my outline. And according to this book two outline I still have a few things to write about that man Father Serra. So I'll again use my Encyclopedia. Some brown Sparrows just flew bye.
Oh! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? It says here that Father Serra was what they call a "Comisario" in the Inquisition here in the New World. So, one of his jobs as a "Field Agent" was to watch for Jews pretending to be Christians. I hear Crows cawing.
Wow! In my Encyclopedia it says one time down in Mexico other Spaniards tried to poison Father Serra because he got mad at them for trying to steal the Indian's land. And back in 1775 when some Kumeyaay Indians killed his friend in San Diego he argued for their mercy.
Father Serra wrote to the "Viceroy;" "As to the killer, let him live so that he can be saved, for that is the purpose of our coming here and it's sole justification." Mr. Steve thinks when he said "sole" justification he didn't mean acquiring gold or land but helping the Indians.
Our boss told Mr. Esteban that even though the Spanish did a lot of damage to the Indian's culture during the 18th century Father Serra thought he trying to improve their "Spiritual" and "Material" lives. He was a hard worker and his motto was; "Never turn back!"
There's a good drawing of Father Serra here in this Encyclopedia. It shows him walking along with another Priest. Our boss told Mr. Esteban that Father Serra walked hundreds of miles in the late 1700's. Daisy says Father Serra sounds like he wasn't lazy.
In Spanish "perezoso" is the word for "lazy." I just looked it up in my Spanish Dictionary. Mr. Julio, who does the embroidery on the apparel Mr. Steve sells, sometimes uses the "Slang" word for lazy, which is "Flojo." I guess flojo can also mean to be "loose."
Well, our boss was right. He told Mr. Esteban that even though he had Asthma and painful "Ulcers" on his legs Father Serra walked up and down Alta California. Mr. Steve says he used to walk along what is now the route of the modern "Hollywood Freeway."
Mr. Steve told us that when people talk about making Father Serra a saint they seem to think that means you're saying he was perfect. But being a Saint doesn't mean that. Our boss says he wants to think of Saints as "exceptionally" decent people. I smell a Sage plant.
Because there is no such thing as a perfect person and never will be Mr. Steve thinks Father Serra should be considered a Saint. And though he did things that by today's standards would not be so good he was a decent person. Daisy says there are no perfect Dogs either.
Father Serra was neither a one hundred percent Saint or a total "Sinner" our boss says. He himself would have admitted he was flawed and imperfect. But he endured hardship in order to "Evangelize" the Indians and "give birth" to the California we know now.
In this Encyclopedia it says that Father Serra was fifty six years old when he arrived here in California. Our boss says, Father Serra "knew what he was getting into" in giving up his easy life. He said; "It will be necessary in the beginning to suffer many privations."
Father Serra also believed; "Great undertakings have always been accompanied by great difficulties. Do not let any physical impediments, such as illness, hardships in travel and living conditions bother you. Face every issue head-on. Dodge none." I smell Sage.
Some of Father Serra's "Critics" say the Missions he established were just like Prison Camps or Slave Plantations. Mr. Steve doesn't agree with that. He thinks from what he's read they were more like Hippie "Communes" or the Jewish "Kibbutz" he visited in Israel.
This Encyclopedia says the Missions of the late 18th century were places where the Friars and the Native people who became Christians worked "side by side" as they say. That's what our boss said too. And they shared equally the products of their hard labor he says.
Padre Serra told the other Priests up here in California; "Be kind and gentle, if possible. If you must show a holy anger and enter a principled controversy or fight, do not hesitate. Be a man and not a mouse. A missionary must practice the militant virtues."
Aha! I'll bet Daisy would really like this idea by Father Serra. It says; "Once you embark upon your work, you are God's servant in behalf of souls. Love your flock with the tenderness of a mother and help them with the providence of a father." I hear Pigeons coming.
Mr. Steve thinks Father Serra was far from a perfect person. He took the "Vows" of poverty and chastity and even though he didn't think in the way we do today he seems to have done the best he could with what he had to work with at the time. Pigeons are cooing.
Well You Guys, I kind of wrote more about Father Serra than I'd planned on so got off on a "tangent" as they say. Blessed Mother, according to my outline I still have to write a little bit more about when You came down to visit Mexico in 1531. I smell a Snake around here.
Mother Mary! My Encyclopedia says what Mr. Steve told Mr. Esteban. That is, the issue of whether Indians were humans with a soul was pretty much settled when You picked that one guy Juan Diego to appear to. Plus, You had dark skin back then in 1531.
Hey Lord! This one Encyclopedia says that in 1537 the Pope "Ruled" that all of the Indians were "Capable" of "receiving the faith." So from "then on" as they say, Catholics had to fully accept Native peoples in the New World as "spiritually important." I see the Snake.
Daisy is most likely right Lord. She says that even though the Pope ordered the Spaniards to accept the Indians as able to know You; many of them probably still were mean to them anyway. Oh! Rudy the Roadrunner just jogged bye but I'm not going to run after him.
Our boss told Mr. Esteban that "Steven" was his "birth name." But now only his parents and occasionally his Niece Samantha still call him that. Most of his Nieces and Nephews just say "Uncle Steve." Other people usually call our boss "Steve." The Snake is gone.
It turns out that man Mr. Esteban's favorite Soccer team are the Guadalajara "Chivas." That means Goats in Spanish. I just looked it up. "Equipo" is "Team" and "Liga" means "League" in Spanish. Having these Dictionaries is what they call a "God-Send."
It also turns out that Mr. Esteban likes what they call "Mariachi" music; so Mr. Steve let him use his Boombox to listen to the Radio while he worked. In my Spanish Dictionary it says that "Mariache" means "Mexican band and singers." I hear Blinky barking next door.
Mr. Esteban said the patron saint of musicians is "Santa Cecelia" and he likes the sound of the "vihuela" which Mr. Steve said is sort of like a five string acoustic guitar used to play rhythm. Mr. Steve likes the bass "guitarron." Both have rounded backs. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Our boss told Mr. Esteban Mariachi is popular in the northeast Valley where he grew up. As a photographer he worked at some weddings and "Quinceañera" parties which celebrate a girl's fifteenth birthday. I just looked up "quince" and in Spanish it means fifteen.
From what our boss has told Daisy and myself it was the Aztecs, even before Córtez arrived in the 16th century; who first practiced celebrating a girl's fifteenth birthday. Mariachi bands are often hired to play at Quinceañeras Mr. Steve says. A gray Squirrel just ran past.
Mr. Steve told us that one time he took some of the kids who used to live on his neighborhood down in Sylmar to an event at San Fernando High School. This one man named "Nati" Cano and his band were going to be there teaching kids how to play Mariachi music.
Our boss noticed right away that Nati Cano encouraged the girls too; jokingly calling them "Mariacheras." And Mr. Steve later told Daisy and me that over the years he's seen some really talented female Mariachi bands who were just as good as males. I smell some Sage.
At San Fernando High Mr. Steve noticed how Nati Cano's band called him "El Chief." Daisy more and more also calls Mr. Steve that. And I'm starting to call him that too! That man Mr. Cano said he played a concert at the Casino in Avalon; over there on Catalina Island.
Mr. Esteban listened to music on our boss's Boombox. Daisy and I learned about this new music called "Norteño" as he worked for three days. We now like this really good band called "Los Tigres del Norte" which means "The Tigers from the North." I smell a Lizard.
Our boss thought it was funny when Esteban asked him what type of music the band RED HOT CHILE PEPPERS played. Only he called them "HOT RED PEPPER CHILI'S." In most languages this is correct but in English the "descriptive" words are usually put first.
RED HOT CHILE PEPPERS
Daisy says the "CHILE PEPPERS" are unique. Mr. Steve told her the bass player and singer went to Fairfax High School; which used to play Sylmar High in sports. They play "Rock Funk Punk." They're in a category of their own Dais says. The Lizard is looking at me.
Mr. Steve graduated from High School in 1973. In that same year Stevie Wonder did a song called "Higher Ground on which he played all of the instruments. Our boss and a friend saw Stevie Wonder "open" for the ROLLING STONES at the Forum in 1973.
According to what Dais says, back in 1992 the CHILE PEPPERS covered that Stevie Wonder song Higher Ground. And she told me that our boss likes their version even better than Stevie Wonder's original song. That's because the way they did it was "heavier" Daisy thinks.
Because the Chile Peppers played Higher Ground in a heavier way of course our boss likes it better than Stevie Wonder's original Daisy says. He thinks that bass player "Flea" is funky and the drummer is really good too. That Lizard just ran away out into the desert.
In 1974 Stevie Wonder was in a bad accident and went into what they call a "Coma." When he finally came out of it a friend hummed the melody to Higher Ground and he started tapping his fingers to the beat. Boy! I'll bet that everyone was so happy when he did that!
According to my Spanish Dictionary a "Corrido" is what's called a "Ballad" in Mexican Folk Music. Daisy really likes the sound of an accordion now. She says in Peanuts that Dog Snoopy plays the accordion. Boy, it would be so hard to learn how to play accordion.
Our boss told Mr. Esteban that Ritchie Valens grew up in "Pacoima," which is near Sylmar. He also told him that Ritchie Valen's grave is right near Mr. Steve's parents "Crypts;" where they'll eventually be buried. Esteban told Mr. Steve he likes that song "La Bamba."
RITCHIE VALENS (1941-1959)
The San Fernando Mission Cemetery is near the Mission where Mr. Steve and his parents gave tours. It's also where his two Grandmothers and sister Celina are buried. Ritchie Valens is buried right next to his own mother our boss told us. I hear Crows cawing nearby.
Tomorrow in book three I'm scheduled to write about a lady named Carol Kaye. She was a
member of the "WRECKING CREW;" who were "Session" musicians hired to play on other peoples songs. Jack the Jackrabbit is running bye. I feel like chasing him but I won't.
I'm tempted to write about that girl Carol Kaye right now. But I better just wait until book three tomorrow. Carol Kaye was the one who played the "lead" guitar on that Ritchie Valens song La Bamba; even though she was mainly a bass player. I smell a Joshua tree.
I guess Carol Kayed played many of the bass parts on the BEACH BOYS' famous album "Pet Sounds." Daisy says she's proof females can do most of the things a male can do; and sometimes do it eve better. Daisy and I really like the song Good Vibrations. I smell Sage.
My Encyclopedia says Ritchie Valens real last name was "Valenzuela;" just like that Mexican left-handed pitcher who played for the Dodgers in the 1980's. Mr. Steve once told Daisy about that guy Fernando Valenzuela. I guess he was a really smart pitcher.
Oh! I just noticed that Ritchie Valens was born on May the 13th. This is the day after our boss's sister-in-law Yolanda's birthday. Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that in the month of May our family has six people who have birthdays. Oh! There goes some Bees!
Hey Blessed Mother. A You know, our boss gives his workers food and drink when he hires them. And on one of Mr. Esteban's breaks he told us his Medal was to ask You, "Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe" for protection. Some more Bees are now flying bye.
According to my Spanish Dictionary Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is Spanish for "Our Lady of Guadalupe." I'm sure happy that Dais found all of these good Dictionaries up there in the Garage. I've already used them quite a bit. I'm having so much fun!
Esteban told us that he grew up in a place in Mexico called "Distrito Federal" or "Federal District" in English. Mr. Steve later told us Guadalupe is a place near Mexico City; the capitol. And El Distrito Federal is the State Mexico City is part of.
Hey Mother Mary! Daisy and I sure do wish You'd come down and visit us here in the High Desert. That would be so great! We could be just like the three kids at Fatima or that guy Juan Diego; except we're Dogs of course. I hear Blinky barking faintly next door.
Boy Blessed Mother, that man Juan Diego was so lucky You picked him to appear to. I know one thing for sure, if Daisy had a Time Machine she would definitely like to go back to 1531 to see You in person. And I'd go with her because I'd like to meet You too.
According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia Mother Mary, Juan Diego had been converted to Catholicism by 1531. I guess You even spoke to him in his Indian language called "Nahuatl" and asked him to build a Church on the hill You were on.
Well, I just picked up the scent of one of the Spring Rosemary plants. Taking in full breaths of air I smell so many things. Looking to the east beyond the three Sheds I can see a lot of Birds zipping about in every direction. The light blue sky is so beautiful right now.
This is so interesting Blessed Virgin. It says here that when that guy Juan Diego went to the local Archbishop and told him about Your request he didn't believe him. The Archbishop told Juan Diego to ask You for a miracle that would prove it was You. So You did it.
Wow! To make the Archbishop believe what Juan Diego was saying Blessed Mother, I guess You gave him some flowers which were only grown back in Spain. And it was Winter when You did that so the Archbishop had to believe Juan Diego. I can still smell Rosemary.
Hey Blessed Virgin! It says here that Juan Diego gathered up the blooming flowers You gave him in his "Tilma" cloak. And when he showed them to the Archbishop there was a picture of You on the cloak. So the Archbishop built the Church You asked for.
That worker Mr. Esteban told us about that "Shrine" dedicated to You Mother Mary. And he said exactly what it says here in this Encyclopedia. After 1531 many of the Aztecs who had not converted to Christianity decided to go ahead and do it. I smell some Sage.
From what that guy Mr. Esteban told us the "Basilica" down there in Mexico is now one of the most visited Churches in the whole world. Daisy would love to go there. Me too! We could then see in person Juan Diego's cloak with Your image on it Blessed Mother.
Mr. Steve told Esteban his family is from "Nuevo Mejico" or New Mexico and that some New Mexicans also worship You Blessed Virgin. And he said that, because his parents are from New Mexico he's always noticed that in 1531 Your clothes were turquoise in color.
Another thing that our boss told Esteban about was this one "Pueblo" or town in New Mexico called "Tortugas." The people who live there have an annual "Pilgrimage." Annual means once a year. And according to my Spanish Dictionary Tortugas means "Turtle."
LAGUNA (NEW MEXICO VILLAGE)
According to my Spanish Dictionary Pueblo is actually translated as "Village." Mr. Steve told that man Esteban that Tortugas is close to the city of Las Cruces; which I wrote a little bit about in my first book. Both are located near the southern border of New Mexico.
Hey Lord! We like how Las Cruces was named after the three crosses of Your crucifixion. Mr. Steve has two customers there who he's sold things to for over ten years. His brother Rock visits Las Cruces with his girlfriend Judy; who's originally from there.
LAS CRUCES (FROM THE WEST)
Hey Blessed Mother! Ever since yesterday when I added the topic of Las Cruces into my first book because it related to Billy the Kid, I've been thinking about how this is where I originally intended to put it. That's according to my outline anyway. I smell Sage.
Oh! All four of the Pigeons just landed on top of Moe the middle Shed. Now they're walking around. Daisy thinks it's funny how Pigeons look when they walk around. Their heads go back and forth. I wonder if our Pigeons will someday have babies? That would be so great!
I'm sure glad I have I Dais around. Last night when we discussed what I would do today she told me slow down. As Mr. Steve's Grandma Trujillo used to say; "Everything in God's time." I was already sort of worrying about how I would do this section of my book today.
Daisy knows that I've been worrying about the things I had planned for book two like the Civil War or our boss's trips. Because I want him to like what I write so much that's why. But Daisy is right. I'll do my best even if I make some mistakes. The Pigeons are looking at me.
Hey Lord! Last night Daisy and I thought about how lucky our boss is. In 1979 he and his friend Mark Ritter got to see in person those three wooden crosses up on the hill at Las Cruces. Mr. Steve told Dais it gave he and Mark Ritter a good feeling when they first saw it.
Daisy says another amazing thing about Las Cruces is the shape of the mountains to the east. At least that's what our boss told her. Mark Ritter used the word "jagged" to describe them. I can remember when I first wrote that down in my outline. The Pigeons flew away.
Mr. Steve was told about how during the winter Birds from up there in Canada fly all the way down to Las Cruces to make their nests and have babies. And how nearby there's this one plant called a "Primrose" that only grows there and nowhere else in the world.
Because it was in the Spring of 1979 that Mr. Steve and his friend Mark Ritter took their trip they saw some beautiful sunrises and sunsets too. One evening in Las Cruces the mountains and all of the clouds above them were orange just like the way it's been here lately.
This Parts Manager named Don told Mr. Steve about the ruins of place called the Van Patten Mountain Camp. It was started by an ex-Confederate soldier but went bankrupt. My boss used to take pictures of this man named Dick Van Patton who was an actor in the 1980's.
Near Las Cruces is "Picacho Peak." That guy Don told our boss how if you climb all the way up there on the mountain; you can see two States, Texas and New Mexico, and also Mexico too. Daisy says that Mr. Steve used this long word called "Panoramic."
Because Mr. Steve and his parents were Tour Guides at the San Fernando Mission they had to know about the 19th century "Stage Coach Routes." And one of the biggest companies to use Horses to pull Stage Coaches was called "Butterfield." I see Libby over there.
Libby is walking around and nibbling the ground wherever there's a piece of food. She walks very slowly. This Encyclopedia shows a black and white drawing like the ones Mr. Steve does. But shows six Horses running because they're being whipped. I can smell Libby now.
Dais is right. It's hard to imagine how it would be when there were no Cars and Trucks. The poor Horses, Oxen, Donkees and Mules had to do a lot of the hard work for thousands of years. But now we have those amazing motors to do things. We have two Cars and a Truck too.
As I mentioned in book one, the Plains Indians used us Dogs for pulling things in those things called Travois. But then along came the Horse so now our main job is to guard and let our boss's know when someone is coming. Libby is looking over here in this direction.
BUTTERFIELD STAGE ROUTE
Oh! This map in my Encyclopedia shows exactly where the Butterfield Stage Coach Route went. It was called a "Trail" and started in the State of Missouri and then ended up out here in California. And I can see that it went right near where Las Cruces is located.
This map shows how Arizona was a part of the New Mexico "Territory" in the 19th century. But then in 1912 both became States. That was two years before World War I started. Daisy would like to ride in one of those Stage Coaches. Not me! That would be scary.
EL CAMINO REAL
This is interesting. According to this other map in the Encyclopedia the road to New Mexico up from Mexico City since the 17th century was called "El Camino Real." And that means "The King's Raod." In the 18th century here in California that was the name of the road too.
You can see by this map how El Camino Real went right past Las Cruces on its way up to the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. But back then all the roads were made out of just dirt. Dais says our boss told her and Millie that road is still there but is called the "I-25."
I was going to write about this man named Geronimo yesterday when I wrote about that one Charleton Heston movie Major Dundee. But somehow, in crossing things off of my outline and writing notes I totally overlooked it. Three Birds just flew bye going really fast.
Last night at first I was kind of upset with myself when I noticed my mistake. But then Daisy told me just to put it in today when I write about Las Cruces. Geronimo she said, who led one of the bands of "Apache" Indians, has to do with New Mexico. I'm glad I have Dais around.
APACHE'S / GERONIMO ON FAR RIGHT
Mr. Steve has a book about New Mexico called "El Rio Abajo." That means "The River Below" and it refers to the "Rio Grande" River which runs through New Mexico. It's mainly about the history of New Mexico's central area where Belen and Jaraales are located.
Daisy says Mr. Steve told her and Millie one time that in reading that book he came to realize how dangerous it was to live in New Mexico for a long time. Not only were there big Mountain Lions and Bears there but the weather was at times "harsh" as they say.
Before I learn and then write about that guy Geronimo, who led his Apache's in the late 19th century, I kind of feel like writing a little bit more about the history of New Mexico. Yesterday I wrote a little bit about it in book one but now I'll review it again.
Boy, this is when I'm sure glad I have all of these great Encyclopedias to help me learn new things. I used them a lot yesterday and I've used them today too. And I'm really going to need them again tomorrow according to my book three outline. I smell a Cholla cactus. CORONADO EXPEDITION (1542)
As I wrote yesterday, that one explorer Coronado went up to "Nuevo México" in 1540. But when he didn't find any gold the Spanish didn't go back for about fifty years. Oh! I just picked up the faintest scent of a Lizard that's somewhere around here.
In 1598 that guy Juan de Oñate led another expedition up to New Mexico. But this time it was to "Colonize" the area for Spain. Daisy would probably say this is just a nicer way of saying he was going to "conquer" the New Mexico "by force" if necessary.
When he got to northern New Mexico one of the Native tribes Oñate's Spanish fought was up high living on this "Mesa" called "Acoma." Daisy told me that in the mid-1980's Mr. Steve and his friend Armando visited Acoma. I just noticed a Lizard below the big tree.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In Spanish Mesa means "Table." And in the case of Acoma that means the Indians lived on a tall mountain that was flat on top. At the time Mr. Steve and his friend Armando visited Acoma you had to climb up to the top Daisy says. That Lizard just ran away.
Mr. Steve told Dais Acoma is a what they call a "natural fortress." That's why people have been living up there for centuries. In 1542 even Coronado "bypassed" it as being too difficult to attack. That big Dragonfly just zipped bye heading out into the eastern desert.
Daisy told me that in his book El Rio Abajo it says in 1598 Juan de Oñate showed up below Acoma and demanded food from those living on top. When they refused I guess he "assaulted" them and killed over eight hundred Acoma Indians. The survivors he "enslaved."
OÑATE EXPEDITION (1598)
Wow! This Encyclopedia says that guy Juan de Oñate ordered his men cut off one foot from each of the Acoma Indian males who survived his siege. This was to "send a message" to all the other Indians who lived in New Mexico. A Crow is cawing faintly out in the desert.
This is interesting. I guess Juan de Oñate was mean not just to the Indigenous peoples of New Mexico but also the Spanish settlers too. So a few years later he was "recalled" back to Mexico City and kicked out of power for the bad things he did to everyone.
From what it says here, for about eighty years the Spanish lived in New Mexico. But then in 1680 "Pueblo" Indians revolted and killed four hundred Spanish. They burned down some of the Spanish towns and took back their land. Ruins are left in a place called "Abó."
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Daisy says back in 1996 Mr. Steve told her he drove over to a town called Mountainair which is to the southeast of Belen. And the main reason he went over there was to see the ruins of Abó which was a Spanish Mission before the Pueblo Indians destroyed it.
From what our boss told Dais and Millie, the ruins of Abó are up in the mountains to the west of Mountainair. And according to Mr. Steve you have to drive all the way up this one dirt road in order to get to them. I can now hear Blinky barking faintly over there next door. COLORADO STATE RAMS
Daisy says when Mr. Steve got up to Abó he walked around. Then he ate lunch in his Car. The only thing he could "pick up" on his Car radio was a College Football game of the Colorado State Rams. He spent the afternoon reading that book El Rio Abajo.
From what Daisy told me the Colorado State Rams, just like the Oakland A's, use green as their primary color with white and yellow as their secondary colors. So we know our boss would like their uniforms most likely. He always notices when teams have that color "scheme."
MR. STEVE'S FATHER
If Daisy and I ever get to visit Mr. Steve's parents house down there in Sylmar we could see a big painting his mother did of his father. This "Portrait" in the den shows his dad holding that book El Rio Abajo. It's a yellow book with red lettering on the front Daisy told me.
My Encyclopedia says after the bloody "Uprising" by the Pueblo Indians in 1680 the Spanish stayed out of New Mexico for twelve years. But they came back in the "Reconquista" and took the land by force. A gray Jackrabbit just ran bye in front of the three Sheds.
As I wrote in book one yesterday, Mr. Steve's father's family can be "traced" back to 1692 and the re-taking of New Mexico. And from what it says here, after 1692 the Spanish set up a lot of the towns like Belen. Fannie and Freddie the Crows are floating bye up in the sky.
Well, now that I've given that general background on New Mexico I can write about that the Apache's in general and that guy Geronimo in particular. Both are important in the history of New Mexico. I just picked up the scent of one of the new Spring Sage plants.
There are two pictures of that guy Geronimo in this Encyclopedia. One is with some other Apache Indians and the other one shows him by himself. And in both he's holding a gun. In the one where he's kneeling down he looks sort of mean. A Crow cawed out in the desert.
Dais would notice that both of the photographs of Geronimo are done in brown "Sepia Tone" the way Mr. Steve used to do when he had a Dark Room in his house down there in Sylmar. I'm still smelling that Sage plant. But the scent is a lot stronger now though.
In Daisy's opinion one reason why our boss would like that movie Major Dundee so much is because the Indian named Sierra Chariba seemed a lot like Geronimo. He raided southern New Mexico and then went down there into northern Mexico to get away and hide.
This is kind of interesting. It says here in this Encyclopedia that in the mid-1600's when the Horses migrated all the way up into the area now called the United States it may have been the Apache's who first tamed them; even before the Comanche's did it. I smell Sage.
I guess Geronimo was the leader of an Apache tribe called "Chiricahua's." They spoke the same language as the Navaho's and also the "Mescalero" Apache's who have always lived in and around the area where Las Cruces is located. I just smelled a Lizard nearby.
From what it says in this one Encyclopedia, Geronimo's Indian name was "Goyathlay" which means "One who Yawns." Hey! We could call Daisy that name too. Sometimes she yawns too. I wonder what the Apache name would be for "Howler?" That could be me.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia the Apache's at one time lived more to the northeast of New Mexico. But in the early 18th century they lost a big war to the Comanche's so the survivors "fled" to the New Mexico area. I see Libby the Horse in her corral.
I guess throughout the early 1700's the various Apache tribes fought against the Spanish in New Mexico. But then in 1749 they made peace. And this "general" peace lasted for about one hundred years. Two of our Pigeons just flew bye up there high in the sky.
Oh! This is so interesting. It says here that in 1749 when the Apache's made peace with the Spanish one Apache leader "symbolically" buried a hatchet in the dirt and that's where that old saying "Burying the Hatchet" comes from. I wonder if Mr. Steve knows that?
Dais told me one time that in Mr. Steve's book El Rio Abajo it says even though the Spanish and Apache's got along Comanche's from Texas and the Navajos in New Mexico still "raided" all of the Spanish towns. That's why Belen had a big wall around it for many years. Many died on both sides.
One of Mr. Steve's customers in New Mexico is named Jill. She's a Parts Manager. She says in the early 1990's someone in Las Cruces built a giant model of a Roadrunner out of what they call "Scrap" metal. It's about thirty feet tall and sits on a hill overlooking the city.
Oh my God! Just when I'm writing about that big Roadrunner statue over there in New Mexico who do I see? It's Rudy the Roadrunner sticking his nose out from under Jack the big Shed. And now Rudy just popped out and is jogging toward the north side of the house.
Thinking about that town in New Mexico called Tortugas makes me remember when that one man told Mr. Steve how there used to be Turtles living right here in our area of the desert. But now there are almost none of them left any more. I hear the Ducks quacking.
Dais and I would love to smell a real Turtle! Mr. Steve says that Turtles who live only up here on the land are called "Tortoise's." That guy Mark Ritter knew a lot about Tortoise's from what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie. Rudy the Roadrunner is gone now.
Hey God! Even though I know that it's not a good idea to be too prideful, I'm kind of happy with how I've shown so much discipline yesterday and today in not chasing Squirrels and things like that. You know how hard that is for me to do. I smell one of the Joshua trees.
Daisy thinks it's so incredible how Turtles have permanent suits of armor! And then she says, when you're tired; all you have to do is just pull your head and legs into you're own house. You know, that is of amazing now that I think about it. I smell a Ground Squirrel.
Thinking about those three crosses up on the mountain outside Las Cruces suddenly made me think about our little Grave Yard on the south side of our two acres. that's where Lucy, Millie and Blackie are buried. There's a cement cross between Lucy and Millie's graves.
I'm still thinking about that guy Mark Ritter. Back in the 1970's he and our boss worked at Laser Images which did that Laser Light Show called Laserium. As I mentioned yesterday in my first book, Mr. Steve was in College. Oh! I just noticed the Squirrel over there.
Dais told me our boss said that for many years the Laserium show was performed at a place near downtown Los Angeles called the "Griffith Park Observatory." Mr. Steve told Daisy that they have a really huge Telescope there to study the sky at night. I smell a Juniper bush.
GRIFFITH PARK OBSERVATORY
PHOTO BY "PUCKOO"
Mr. Steve told Daisy that he's been to the Griffith Park Observatory many times. Of course in the 1970's he saw Laserium a few times but has always liked just walking around the grounds of the Observatory building. That one Squirrel just ran out into the eastern desert.
Blackbeard and Anne Bonny the Crows just flew in and landed on Moe the middle Shed. I see that Blackbeard is holding a dead Lizard in his mouth. Now he's tilting his head so that his one good eye can see me. Anne Bonny just squawked. I think she's kind of hungry.
Whenever Mr. Steve used to go down to the Griffith Park Observatory he always went to look at this thing called a "Tesla Coil." I guess it's like the one that guy Nikola Tesla invented and used at the turn of the century. It shoots out electricity Mr. Steve told Daisy and I.
Laser Imges' main offices are located in the San Fernando Valley in the city of Van Nuys. But the actual laser show was done at the "Planetarium" inside the Griffith Park Observatory. The Observatory overlooks downtown Los Angeles. That Squirrel just ran away.
Daisy told me that during College, first at Valley Junior College and later at C.S.U.N., our boss worked as what they call a "Gofer" for Laser Images. Mainly he was their "Janitor" who cleaned the offices but sometimes did things like making deliveries in the company Vans.
Daisy says one time our boss told her and Millie that Laserium is a show which uses imaged created with laser light in different colors. I guess they match the laser images to music of bands like the BEATLES or PINK FLOYD. I can smell a Lizard somewhere around here.
According to what Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie that company Laser Images also had their laser "Effects" used in Music Videos of bands like FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD and DEF LEPPARD. And they've also been shown in some of the Star Trek movies too.
Daisy says our boss said he was grateful for that company Laser Images. They gave him a lot of "leeway" in working around his College class schedule. He could come for a few hours and then go to class. Mr. Steve worked there for much of the 1970's. I see the Lizard.
According to what Daisy says Mr. Steve found the job at Laser Images listed on the bulletin board at "Valley Junior College" down in Van Nuys. That's where Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy were going to school then. It was originally listed as a "Janitorial" job.
At first I didn't know what "Gofer" meant but then Daisy explained that it's a joking way of saying "go for this" or go for that." So now I get it! That Lizard just ran really fast and went under Moe. Two of the Pigeons just flew in from out there in the eastern desert.
This Dictionary says the phrase a "Figure of Speech" means when a word or phrase is used in what they call a "non-literal" way. And it's meant to "give something more force or emphasis." A nice cool breeze just came in off of the desert. I hope it's You Holy Spirit!
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy at Laser Images the owner's name was Ivan and his wife was Carol. They were decent people and eventually our boss even became kind of their Gardener too at their house in Chatsworth. He still has a book they gave him on "Atlantis."
I think I'll write about Atlantis now. It was on my book three outline but I feel like doing it right now. Mr. Steve's book was written in 1926 by a man from Scotland named Lewis Spence but is extremely "well-researched" even by "current standards" he told us.
In this Encyclopedia it says Atlantis is considered a "Fictional" and it's name is Greek for the "Island of Atlas." I guess the Greek philosopher Plato said it was a highly advanced place which was destroyed by the Gods and sank below the ocean. I smell a Mouse nearby.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie some people think Plato was just making up a story which described his Utopia and was meant to teach people a lesson. Some think stories like the Garden of Eden or Homer's Iliad were meant to do the same thing. I see the Mouse.
From what our boss says Plato's writings on Atlantis seem incomplete and some think it was because he died. And even though most people think Atlantis never really existed many have wondered what inspired the story. There goes Max the Hummingbird flashing past.
My Encyclopedia says Plato said Atlantis was destroyed by angry Gods in about 9,000 B.C. Daisy told me Mr. Steve wonders if it's sinking below the Atlantic Ocean had anything to do with the end of the last Ice Age? That Mouse just ran away and went under a rock.
Hey God! Did You really punish those two cities called "Sodom" and "Gommorah? As You know, in 1985 Mr. Steve and his Tour Group went to the Dead Sea. That's near to where Sodom and Gorrorah were supposedly located. And was it You who destroyed Atlantis?
ARTWORK BY MAXIMILIAN DÖRRBECKER
It says here that over the centuries many writers have been influenced by the idea of Atlantis. Sir Thomas More, who wrote the first Utopian fiction in the early 16th century, knew all about Plato's "ideal state. Ah! A big Jackrabbit is looking at me through the back fence.
Daisy says Mr. Steve told her in Lewis Spence's book on Atlantis a good argument is made for Atlantis's existence. How could so many cultures, from the Celts to Greeks and Carthaginians have all come up with similar ideas that were described as coming from Atlantis?
Political, religious and cultural influences even in the Mayan people of the New World also seem to have been influenced by Atlantis. They and the Egyptians may have taken their ideas about pyramids from the society of Atlantis. That Jackrabbit just ran off.
Our boss told us he still thinks of Mark Ritter; especially when he reads some of the books on this one Airplane called the "Flying Wing." Those books, along with things about rocks, Insects and Reptiles were given to Mr. Steve by Mark Ritter's sister after her brother died.
Thinking about his friend Mark Ritter sometimes makes our boss feel sad. Daisy say our boss told her he's had dreams about him. And sometimes he just laughs because he remembers his friend's unique sense of humor. Mark Ritter did good imitations of people.
Dais says one person Mark Ritter used to imitate was this guy named Rodney Bingenheimer. He's a "disc jockey" on a Los Angeles radio station called "KROQ." Mr. Steve and Mark Ritter met him once back in the 1970's. Rodney's nickname is the "Mayor of Sunset Strip."
RODNEY WITH KISS
Daisy says our boss told her that guy Rodney has helped a lot of musicians become "known." Mr. Steve said he must be kind of like us because he's also a creature of habit. He eats the same breakfast at the same time every day at a Denny's restaurant down in Hollywood.
Because he was so interested in Reptiles one of Mark Ritter's goals was to visit the Galapagos Islands; off the coast of Chile in South America. Charles Darwin made them famous. Mr. Steve says his friend Mark Ritter was very lucky that before he died he was able to do it.
Dais says our boss once told her and Millie about how that guy Mark Ritter got to hike all around the Galapagos Islands. He took "slides" on that trip and gave some to Mr. Steve. Mark Ritter was a good photographer Daisy says. I hear our neighbor's Ducks quacking.
My Encyclopedia says that in the 1830's Charles Darwin spent five years traveling around the world on that ship called the Beagle. And on that voyage he collected all kinds of "specimens" of plants and othe things. Daisy says there are Cactus on the Galapagos Islands.
I guess Charles Darwin went back to England and then spent about twenty years studying all of the things he had collected during the 1830's. And then it says here that he used that material to "formulate" his theories and write books on Evolution and Natural Selection.
According to this Encyclopedia Charles Darwin wrote about his theory of what they now call "Transmutation" or "the generational passing of genes." Charles Darwin thought that "fixed" laws "governed" what happened here in the "Temporal" or physical world.
Mr. Steve has wondered if change in an environment is necessary to produce the process of evolution? If it is then what would happen if there is no change in a particular environment? Will there then be no evolution? Is there an Earth environment that never changes?
Daisy told me one time when they went in the house Mr. Steve showed her and Millie the slides Mark Ritter took down in the Galapagos Islands. She says slides are these little pictures which you put in a machine and then show up on a wall or screen. I smell a Gopher.
On that 1985 trip to Italy and Israel Mr. Steve took slides. Mark Ritter liked to take pictures using slides. The machine that shows you the slides is called a "Slide Projector." Daisy says it's a remarkable device that enlarges the pictures to look really big up on a wall or screen.
Some of Mark Ritter's slides from the Galapagos Islands were of these gigantic Turtles called "Galapagos Tortoises." Dais says they've got to be the biggest Turtles in history! I wish we had one of those! We could ride on it! That Gopher just ducked back underground.
PHOTO BY MARK RITTER
You know, now that I think about it, if we had a giant Tortoise we could charge people to take rides on its back! Mr. Steve could even make a saddle for it and we could have it wear a hat. But I wonder how much it would cost to feed one of those big Tortoises?
Dais said she and Millie watched this really good movie called "E.T." in Mr. Steve's bedroom. The star of that movie was what they call an "Extra Terrestrial." That means it was from outer space. I just looked up "terrestrial." I just heard a faint Train whistle to the north.
From what Daisy's told me that movie E.T. is about this boy who finds an E.T. that's stranded down here on Earth. So that boy hides the E.T. from everyone. Dais says she thinks Galapagos Tortoises might be related to those E.T.'s because they look a lot alike.
Mr. Steve told me that there used to be some smaller land Tortoises right here in our desert but now they're all gone. Sometimes Daisy and I have wondered if there are any land Tortoises left up here in the High Desert? Daisy thinks baby Tortoises would be so cute.
I can see some of the local Sparrows sitting on the Sheds. One of them has a bright orange and yellow chest. That makes me think about that Bird that lives on the Galapagos Islands called the "Blue-Footed Booby." It's a Bird that can swim under water to catch food.
PHOTO BY TUI DE ROY
Dais told me that Blue-Footed Booby's do a slow-motion mating dance. First the boy goes up to the girl and lifts one foot off the ground. Then he puts that leg down and lifts up the other one. Well, I guess the girl likes that so she does the same thing Daisy says.
Our boss showed Daisy and Millie pictures of this Lizard called an "Iguana." And down in the Galapagos Islands they have a unique type of Iguana which adapted to its environment by going underwater in the Pacific Ocean to catch food; kind of like the Blue-Footed Booby.
MARINE IGUANA EATING ALGAE
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that those Iguanas who live in the Galapagos Islands are called "Marine" Iguanas. She says not only have they learned to live under water, but they also learned to eat this thing called "algae" which grows right on the rocks!
Sometimes Dais and I wonder what algae would taste like. She says Galapagos Iguanas can swim around looking for food but have to be fast swimmers so the Sharks and Seals don't kill and then eat them. Daisy told me Charles Darwin thought Iguanas were ugly.
Iguanas hold their breath under water for a long time Daisy says; just like Penguins. She and I have wondered what it must be like to swim under water. The thought is so scary to us because neither of us have ever held our breath. A Bronze Cow Bord just ran bye.
Blessed Mother! As You know, when that man Mr. Esteban worked here Mr. Steve told him about how the New Mexican village of Tortugas, for three days every December, celebrate with a big "Fiesta" or "Festival" in honor of You "La Virgen de of Guadalupe."
To "show their faith" and gratitude our boss told us, some of the people in Tortugas climb all the way up a mountain. This is called a "Pilgrimage." Three trails lead up to the top. Mr. Steve and some of the members of his family made a Pilgrimage to Israel in 1985.
At the Tortugas Fiesta the number three is important our boss says. Some of the prayers and chants are said in three's and the local Bishop's ceremonial cap and sword represent the Trinity. And the final or third day is the day of dancing and eating.
Mr. Steve's parents grew up in Belen. His mother says for "Lent" people walked fifteen miles to a place called "Tome" as "Penance" or suffering to make up for wrongdoing. Esteban said in Spanish it's "hacer penitencia" or "to do penance." I just looked it up in my Dictionary.
Looking up it seems to me that, based on where the Sun is up in the sky right now, it's about nine or nine thirty. I've gotten a lot done today. Thank You Guys. And thank you too Stanley. Oh! A Ground Squirrel just sprinted across the yard in front of our three Sheds.
Daisy thinks at times I dwell on things way too much. I've been thinking about writing these three books for a long time but kept doing what our boss calls "procrastinating." I just looked it up and it means to keep "putting off doing something." I hear Ducks quacking.
Hey You Guys! Thank You for helping me write my first book yesterday. And thank You all for helping me now. I'm almost done with three chapters today. I'm going to focus "like a laser beam" as they say on doing what I "set out" to do and that's to finish my three books.
I smell a Rosemary plant. Hey Blessed Mother! That happened a few times yesterday. First I smell Rosemary and then all of a sudden I think I feel You. As You know, I'm doing my three books in You Guys honor; and also to make Daisy and my boss proud of me.
One reason I'm writing our story is to what our boss calls "vent" or "release" all my nervous energy. Dais says Mr. Steve uses this one word "Therapeutic" to describe how he feels when he does some of his artwork. She says she thinks that just means it makes him feel better.
My Dictionary says one of the definitions of therapeutic is "a means of preserving health." So I sure hope our boss keeps doing his artwork. Daisy says if writing makes me feel better then I should do it and that's a good enough reason to do it. Daisy gives good advice!
That guy Nikola Tesla daydreamed like I do. And look how smart he was. And he also had what my boss called "Flashbacks" to other times in my life. My Encyclopedia says he was from a place in Europe called "Serbia;" now a part of a country called "Yugoslavia."
Oh! Serbia is where World War I started way back in 1917. That's when that one guy shot the visiting Prince of Austria-Hungary and his wife too. I'm really going to write a lot about the First World War in my third book. I have it all planned out.
I'll bet Mr. Steve knows this. It says here in this Encyclopedia that Nikola Tesla, who was one of the greatest "Inventors" of all time, saw great importance in the number 3. He said to better understand the Universe you had to understand Energy, Frequency and Vibration.
This is interesting. Daisy will probably think Nikola Tesla was superstitious just like us. It says here that he did things in certain patterns that often had to do with the number 3. Three Birds just zoomed bye; going out into the eastern desert behind the three Sheds.
Mr. Steve isn't that superstitious but at times does look for patterns. Oh wow! Dais will be interested to hear this. It says that guy Nikola Tesla looked good luck signs just like we do. And we also look for things in three's just like he did. I smell one of the new Sage plants.
I guess Nikola Tesla folded his napkins three times and brushed his teeth for three minutes. He walked around his Apartment building in New York City three times before going up to his room on the 33rd floor. I think I'll start to believe more in the patterns of three's.
NIKOLA TESLA (1856-1943)
Hey! Nikola Tesla was born on July 10th; the day after Mr. Steve's birthday. So Daisy told me that means in Astrology they're both what the call "Cancers." Their symbol is a Crab. Mr. Steve does not really believe in what they call the subject of "Astrology."
Dais says our boss thinks that every person can be good or bad. And each person, no matter when they were born, can have almost any characteristic at one point in time or another. But he thinks it sometimes okay to read the "Horoscope" in the Newspaper out of curiosity.
According to my outline for book three I'm going to write a lot more about July the 9th which is Mr. Steve's birthday. O.J. Simpson was also born on July the 9th too. But so was this one guy named Tom Hanks. Yet probably either one is anything like our boss at all Dais says.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, on the night Nikola Tesla was born there was a huge "Lightning Storm." His mother saw that as an omen that he was going to be great. I'm so afraid of lightning storms. I shiver and shake until Dais and Mr. Steve calm me down.
Daisy thinks I might have a photographic memory. It says here that guy Nikola Tesla had a photographic memory. This Encyclopedia uses the word "Futurist" to describe him. Mr. Steve one time told us that Aldous Huxley was also a futurist too. I smell a Cholla cactus.
According to my Encyclopedia Nikola Tesla was what they call a "Forward Thinker." He saw almost "magical properties" in the value of 3. Boy! Wait until Daisy hears all this about things in three's. She'll want to believe in it too I'll bet. I smell a Lizard around here.
Aha! I just now saw the Lizard I was smelling. It's standing over there in the dirt right next to the big tree. And there it goes doing some Lizard pushups. Up and down. Boy, a Lizards has really long toes. Daisy thinks that's what makes them able to run so fast.
It says here Nikola Tesla died on the 33rd floor of his Apartment Building! I'll bet he picked that floor to live on. Daisy and I have at times wondered what it would be like to go up to a level above ground. I guess each "Storey" is one level. I hear a Bird singing to the east.
Daisy says our boss has been in many buildings; from short ones with only one above ground level to a building which was 100 stories tall. This afternoon I'm scheduled to write about the trip that Mr. Steve and his brother Rock took in 1977 to New York City.
One of the things I'm going to write about is how in 1977 Mr. Steve's Uncle Marty took them to see these two tall buildings called the "World Trade Centers." Dais says their other name was the "Twin Towers." In 2001 both were destroyed when Planes crashed into them.
Daisy says she'd like to go up in a tall building but not me. It would be way too scary. I kind of like it better being right here on the ground. One reason Dais admires Underdog is because he can fly. Oh! I just noticed one of those Vapor Trails up there in the blue sky.
I just looked up the word "Skyscraper" and as usual Dais was right. It says a Skyscraper is a "very tall building." Daisy thought it meant that it was a building that tries to scrape against the bottom of the sky just like they tried to do when they built the "Tower of Babel."
Dais says one time our boss's friend Mark Ritter joked when Mr. Steve told him he saw the pattern of 3 in things. He said; " I suppose anything can come in three's if you just wait long enough." Our boss chuckled when he said that. That one Lizard is now gone.
From what Daisy told me that guy Mark Ritter had a good sense of humor. At least that's the way it sounds from what our boss told her and Millie. On time he joked; "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." Daisy says she can tell that our boss misses his friend Mark Ritter.
Well, Mr. Steve was right. He told Daisy and Millie that even though Nikola Tesla was smart, when he died in debt and what they call "Indigent." I don't have to look that word up. Daisy says that means poor. She thinks we should be grateful we're not poor.
Thank You Holy Spirit and Everyone else too. I want think You Guys brought me over here to live with Daisy and Mr. Steve. And I'm so happy we have enough food and water. I can still remember being hungry and thirsty. I wonder if we'll get any snacks today?
Wow! I wonder if our boss knows this? It says here in this Encyclopedia that, even as smart as he was Nikola Tesla one time was so poor he had to take a job being what they call a "Ditch Digger." And I guess he was only paid two dollars for a whole a day!
When she was young I'll bet Daisy would've been a really good Ditch Digger. When I first came here to live she used to dig a lot more. That one time our boss even got mad at her. But I've noticed that she doesn't enjoy digging as much. I never have liked digging.
Well, here's another thing Mr. Steve told Daisy. My Encyclopedia says Nikola Tesla, kind of like that guy Albert Einstein, was a loner. And sometimes he was "Asocial" as they say. From what Dais says there are times when Mr. Steve like he's becoming Asocial.
I guess, even though he really didn't enjoy being around others all that much, Nikola Tesla was usually a nice person and was what they call "cordial" at "Social Gatherings." But at times he could also be "rude" and "abrupt" it says here in this Encyclopedia.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie he read Nikola Tesla at times didn't think highly of human nature. He was "Ripped Off" a few times Mr. Steve said. Even that guy Thomas Edison did some "Dirty Tricks" on him it says here. I hear Crows cawing out in the desert.
Mr. Steve says the older he gets the more he can understand why Nikola Tesla really didn't like being around people all that much. But, as Dais says, luckily for us he likes being around us. That's one reason why I want to write my three books; so he'll keep on liking us.
According to this Encyclopedia Nikola Tesla liked feeding Pigeons at the park near where he lived and even "nursed" several back to health. Oh my God! Just when I was reading about how Nikola Tesla like Pigeons who do I see? Our four Pigeons are flying in right now.
Nikola Tesla seems to have at times much preferred the company of Pigeons than with other human beings. Like Mr. Steve, he never married or had any kids so he said Pigeons were like his children. I can hear some of our neighbor's Ducks quacking next door.
This is interesting. Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie after Nikola Tesla died all of his "Papers" and "Notebooks" mysteriously" disappeared. But it say here it was the F.B.I. who took them so if that's true then our boss will learn something new. He'll like that.
Oh! Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel just landed on top of Moe the middle Shed. And it looks like now they're looking at me. I like the calming sound of their cooing. No wonder Nikola Tesla liked being around Pigeons. I can still hear those Ducks quacking away.
Hey God! Like yesterday this day is going so fast. And I've already learned many new things that I never knew. Judging by where the Sun is up in the sky, and also by how the shadows are falling, I'd say it's about nine thirty. Well, the four Pigeons just flew away.
Mr. Steve likes to feed Birds too the way Nikola Tesla fed the Pigeons at the Park. He says it's kind of relaxing to watch Birds eating or using the Bird Bath. I'll bet right now there are a lot of Birds, and maybe a few Rabbits, eating below Mr. Steve's office window.
Hey! I just thought of something. Maybe it was a good sign for the day when I saw our four Pigeons at the exact same time that I was writing about Nikola Tesla? I sure do hope so. I like when thing like that happen. It makes me think I'm having good luck today.
Oh! A big Bunny Rabbit just hopped around the northeast corner of the house. No doubt it's going to see if our boss spread out on the ground some Rabbit Pellets to eat. Mr. Steve likes to watch Birds, Rabbits and Squirrels eating as he works in his office.
My Encyclopedia says on the night when Nikola Tesla was born his mother saw the Lightning Storm as an omen that her son would someday "harness" lightning. Hey God! I sure hope we don't have any big lightning storms this Summer. They scare me a lot.
I guess Mr. Steve knows that story about what Nikola Tesla's mom said when he was born. Dais told me one time he joked that in a way you could say that Nikola Tesla did kind of go on to "harness" lightning; which is just super strong electricity. I smell a Joshua tree.
Wow! So I guess Nikola Tesla's mother's feeling on the night he was born turned out to be totally true. That's so amazing how she did that! As I wrote about in my first book, us females have a Sixth sense that most males don't have. Thank You God for doing that.
Dais says if I weren't so afraid to go into all of the areas inside our house I could see some of the incredible things people use electricity for. She's told me all bout the Stereo in his bedroom and the Computer in his office. And Daisy says Clocks are kind of amazing too.
I do know how a tv works through electricity because we watch our cartoons on Saturday mornings. Tomorrow's Saturday but I plan on writing my third book instead of watching tv in the living room. But, maybe I can write book three on Sunday. I love cartoons!
Electricity is dual in nature. It can kill you Daisy says. One time Nikola Tesla got shocked and almost accidentally killed himself. He came close to "perishing" so his invention was almost the source of his own "demise" as Daisy says. I love learning new words!
According to my English Dictionary perish and demise means to die; so Daisy was right. Mr. Steve told us after he got shocked Nikola Tesla said that he might've traveled in time. I wonder if that's how Mr. Peabody and Sherman time travel? I smell one of the new Sage plants. .
Our boss told us that one time this girl he mt looked at the palm of his hand and then told him about himself. Mr. Steve doesn't really believe in "Palm Reading" but let her "read" his hand just to make her happy. She did tell him some correct things about himself though.
Daisy said our boss chuckled when that girl said she could tell from the lines on the palm of his hand that he would probably make a good husband. He wondered if she told every guy that; even though he thinks in most ways he would've most likely been a good partner.
Hey God! As You know, a while back Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie that "the odds are" he'll probably always be single. But he joked, if You "will it" then he'll meet a girl who will end up being his what they call "Life Partner." I hope I have a boyfriend someday.
Dais and I wonder if you can read a Dog's paw and predict the future? We could make a lot of money if we started a paw reading business. And if it worked we could then start what they call a "Franchise" business. We might even be able to expand out into Cats.
Boy, I'm almost done with chapter three. From what I see on this outline for book two I just have a few more things to write about that guy Nikola Tesla. Mr Steve says he was a"Wizard" to supporters but a "Mad Scientist" for his "detractors." I smell a Cholla cactus.
According to my Encyclopedia Nikola Tesla invented what's called "Alternating Current" or "A.C." for short. It's a way for electricity to be "Transmitted;" the other way being "Direct Current" or "D.C." That man named Thomas Edison invented D.C.
THOMAS EDISON (1847-1931) WITH FAMILY
It says here in this one Encyclopedia, when Nikola Tesla first came over here to America for a while worked for Thomas Edison. But then they became "Competitors" and Nikola Tesla quit and went on his own. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are flying bye right now.
Wow! I guess Nikola Tesla thought of X-Rays, Radio waves, Turbine Engines and also those things called Torpedoes. He even worked on a "Wireless" way to send electricity right through the air. A big grayish-brown Jackrabbit just ran bye in front of the three Sheds.
Yesterday I mentioned our boss's friend Mr. Vic. Back in the 1980's and 1990's they worked together at at a place called "Verdugo Hills Productions." Like I said in book one, they used to go out and film events and worked on a few local what they call "Public Access" shows.
Daisy says that guy Mr. Vic, before he got sick, was a very talented "Videographer" and also "Editor." He could be creative. That's what our boss thinks. As I wrote about yesterday, one of the things our boss and Mr. Vic did at times was film what they call "Hobbyists."
There are Clubs whose members "get together" at places like Griffith Park to fly or sail all of their "Radio-Controlled" Planes and Boats. Dais says that Nikola Tesla had a remote-controlled Boat and back then in the early 1900's people thought it was miraculous. I smell Sage.
Mr. Vic was also a Pilot. Like our boss he knows about the history of Aviation. So they liked the Radio-Controlled World War I and II model Airplanes and Boats those guys in the Clubs operated. Oh! There's a small white Plane flying over our house right now.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
When she was helping me put together this outline for book two Daisy told me Mr. Steve took a picture of a man who built a really neat radio-controlled "Focke-Wulf-190." That's a German Fighter Plane from World War II. As a kid our boss built a model of the Focke-Wulf.
Tomorrow in book three I'm scheduled to write about the amazing advanced aircraft that the Germans developed in the Second World War. In book one I mentioned the Messerschmitt 262 which was the first operational Jet in history. Sometimes Jets fly over our house.
Daisy thinks Nikola Tesla must have been just as smart as Mr. Peabody and seemed like a nice man. He wanted to set up this system to give pople free power through wireless communications. But by then a rich man named J.P Morgan controlled A.C. so said no to Tesla.
Just like Mr. Steve believes, Nikola Tesla thought many females were just as capable as males so thought they should have equal rights. He told us that as late as the 1950's when he was born women couldn't even have their own what's called "Checking Account" at a bank.
That man Nikola Tesla jokingly predicted that females would dominate society in the future. Just like Queen Mary I of England, he spoke eight languages! Boy, Queen Mary I must've been really smart too! It's hard enough to understand just one language Daisy says.
Nikola Tesla had the idea for a "Particle" beam; what others called a "Death Ray." In book three tomorrow I'll write about how, during World War II, the Germans planned for an orbiting Space Station which would first "harness" and "re-direct" the Sun's rays down to earth.
If the Germans had succeeded in building a "Killer" Space Station above the Earth they'd be able to destroy anyththing they wanted. And there would have been nothing the Allies could do about it. Hitler would have been able to conquer the whole world. A Crow just cawed.
During World War II the United States War Department under President Franklin Roosevelt decided to put money into nuclear power rather than Tesla's death ray our boss told us. Some people think Tesla traveled to the future and saw his death ray being used.
Supposedly Mr. Steve says, Tesla one time said; "The present is theirs but the future is mine." Our boss has wondered about that because Israel uses this thing called an "Iron Dome" which is a laser beam that detects missiles which rockets then intercept and destroy.
Daisy says a few years ago our boss told her that man Edgar Cayce, who used to predict the future for people, did a reading for Nikola Tesla. Daisy and I sure wish we knew what he told him but it's a secret and what they call a "mystery" Daisy says. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Mr. Steve thinks that wars of the future will probably be partially fought using remote control "robots" and what they call "Drone" aircraft. To a certain extent this is Nikola Tesla's legacy in that he thought about things like that. A Jackrabbit just ran past in front of the Sheds.
Our boss thinks Nikola Tesla likely probably knew about this one ancient Greek man named Archimedes who was an inventor too. According to my outline I'm scheduled to write about Arhimedes later. Daisy tole me our boss has a book about him in his office.
From what Dais tells me Mr. Steve has bookshelves in his office. And in one of them he has all of his books on ancient Greece and Rome. In another section he has books on the history of Russia. That same Dragonfly I saw yesterday just zoomed past; heading north.
I've told Dais sometimes I wish I could invent something that everyone could use. Then we could we help others, and make some money too!
My Encyclopedia says there six "simple" machines; the lever, wheel and axle, pulley, wedge, inclined plane and the screw. With those you make other more complicated machines like cars. People think of such amazing things. A flock of Sparrows just flew bye high up in the air.
It says in this Encyclopedia that Archimedes influenced Michaelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and Galileo during Europe's 16th century "Rennaisance" period. In book one I mentioned how Renaissance means "re-birth" in Latin. I used my Dictionary to look that up.
ARCHIMEDES (287-212 B.C.)
This is so intereting! I gues it was Archimedes who figured out that math concept Mr. Steve told us about called "Pi." I just looked it up and it means; "The ratio of a circle's circumference divided by it's diameter" equals 3:14. Daisy says three is a very important number.
Daisy says one time in the living room our Chief told her and Millie about how he read that Archimedes last words before being killed with a sword by that one Roman soldier was; "Do not disturb my circles!" I guess he had drawn circles on the dirt floor.
In this Encyclopedia it says Archimedes invented the "Archimedes Screw;" a device for moving or "displacing" water. It's still used today in many different ways. Propellers which push boats through water is only one of the ways Archimedes' screw is now being used.
This is interesting. In the mid-1800's the first "Steam Ship" was called the "SS Archimedes" because it moved through the water using a propeller. In the early-1980's Mr. Steve says his dad bought what they call a "Speedboat." They used it to go fishing and skiing.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that there are rumors that Archimedes and later that man Nikola Tesla, invented death ray devices. And it says here that in Archimede's case, he used the Sun's rays "reflected" off of a mirror or shiny surface to destroy wooden ships.
Just like how the Nazis supposedly planned, Archimedes used polished mirrors to "redirect" the Sun's rays; aiming and "intensifying" them to burn wooden Romans ships attacking his home town of "Syracuse;" a colony of Greeks on the Italian island of "Sicily."
Dais told me about how those Roman ships in the harbor got burned up! She says our boss has this thing in his office called a "Magnifying Glass." It's used to look at things up close or make fires by holding it in such a way as to concentrate the Sun's rays into a hot thin beam.
Mr. Steve carries books in his vehicles in case he has "time to kill" as they. Daisy noticed that lately he's re-eading his book on Jonathon Swift. He's also been reading another book his father gave him about this girl named Emma Goldman. She was an "anarchist."
In Jonathon Swift's book Gulliver's Travels our boss told us there's a part where Gulliver sees a flying island called "Laputa." When a city below them rebels against the island the people of Laputa throw rocks down on them. This might be the first "air strike" Mr. Steve jokes.
This is interesting. For years scientists didn't believe Archimedes could have made a cannon using steam to propel cannonballs. This was hundreds of years before "Gun Powder." But Dais says our boss saw a tv show where these men proved Archimedes could have done it.
I just thought again about that man Nikola Tesla. Our boss said he was a bad "Businessman" so got cheated or "ripped off" as they say. He just gave away his rights to Alternating Current; which is still being used to this day. Daisy and I feel kind of sorry for Nikola Tesla.
In the 1890's that one man Thomas Edison and his boss J. P. Morgan wanted to use Edison's "Direct Current" or "D.C." But Tesla's Alternating Current was way better Mr. Steve told us so they played what our boss calls "Dirty Tricks" on Nikola Tesla.
J.P. MORGAN (1837-1913) WITH CHILDREN
Mr. Steve says Thomas Edison electrocuted an Elephant trying to prove A.C. was dangerous. Daisy says if we had a Time Machine we could and back to give Nikola Tesla money. In the end J.P. Morgan "acquired" Alternating Current so "shelved" Direct Current.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that Albert Einstein's father and uncle also lost their business in Germany when A.C. current "once and for all" replaced D.C. in the use of electricity. As our boss said to us; Einstein's father and uncle "bet on the wrong Horse."
In German Albert Einstein's father's business was called "Elektrotechnische." This means "Electricity Company" in English. Well, this is another time when I'm sure glad that Daisy and I found all of these Dictionaries out in the Garage in that file cabinet.
Mr. Steve's father was a good businessman. Mr. Steve is not. This has made things difficult at times as his father would get upset with him. My boss says, one of his curses is no matter how old he gets, to a certain extent, he's still a "dumb kid" in eyes of his father.
According to that book our boss read on Albert Einstein, one of his biggest regrets in life was that his father never lived long enough to see him be successful. Mr. Steve told us that one of the things he's grateful for is that he's gotten to hear his father say he's proud of him.
Mr. Steve says he heard the band AC/DC got their name after seeing a metal plate on the side of their sister's sewing machine. Our boss's mother has always been a really good "sewer" and so was his younger sister Celina; who was a very artistic "Seamstress."
My boss read that it was also Malcolm and Angus Young's sister who suggested Angus wear as a "Gimmick" his famous "School Boy" outfit. Before that time he wore other costumes like "Spiderman." Daisy told me that Mr. Steve has some Spiderman comic books!
When they were growing up Mr. Steve and his brothers and sisters at times used to watch a cartoon called "Beany and Cecil." To this day some of the things he saw on Beany and Cecil he still remembers. Daisy and Millie have seen it but not me.
"BEANY AND CECIL"
Daisy told me that one time Mr. Steve said he read that Beany and Cecil was one of Frank Zappa's favorite cartoons. Our boss has always suspected that Beany and Cecil was a cartoon that AC/DC liked too. Oh! I just picked up the scent of a Lizard around here.
According to our boss AC/DC have this one song from the 1970's called "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap." Mr. Steve told Daisy when he and his friends first heard that song they thought immediately of the "villain" on Beany and Cecil who's name was "Dishonest John."
In Beany and Cecil that man Dishonest John used to pass out these business cards which read; "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap." Holidays and Sundays special rates." Dais says Dishonest John always smiles a lot, has a skinny mustache and wears all black. I see the Lizard.
For all these years Mr. Steve had a feeling that AC/DC's song had to have been what they call "inspired" by Beany and Cecil. And recently he read that it was. Someday I'm hoping to see a Beany and Cecil cartoon. Daisy told me she thinks I would really like them.
Dais told me on Beany and Cecil that really nice boy Beany has a special hat with what they call a "propeller" on top. This allows him to fly! Daisy sure would like to have one of those hats. But not me! Maybe our boss might get Daisy a propeller hat. The Lizard ran away.
Fannie and Freddie are soaring above our back half acre. Daisy says there's a Crow in the Beany and Cecil cartoons who sits up in a box on the ship. One thing she says she can't figure out is whether Cecil a Worm or a Snake? You never see his tail. Cecil protects Beany.
Daisy says Beany and Cecil is shown on the "Cartoon Classics" channel which we watch on Saturday mornings. But she says, Beany and Cecil are on at night and because I'm still afraid to go in the house at night I can't see them. Too bad for me she says.
Maybe I'll get up the courage to go in the house at night to watch tv in the Living room. Then I can see Beany and Cecil. Daisy says our boss thinks that it's so funny when Beany and Cecil's cowardly Captain hides in the boat cabin when there's a problem.
Over the years our boss has worked under his father and friend Rick. And in both cases it was always understood that it's even more important to hear bad news even sooner than good news so you can start working on it. It's never good to ignore a problem Daisy says.
Dais says if I went in the house more I could see these tv shows about two really smart Dogs named "Rin Tin Tin" and "Lassie." Daisy says that Rin Tin Tin was a really good looking boy "German Shepard" and Lassie was a girl "Collie." I want to see those shows sometime.
Lassie and Rin Tin Tin are so smart that they always rescue people Daisy says. She told me those shows were some of that Dog Millie's favorites. Our Chief read that Lassie even has a star down in Hollywood on what they call the "Walk of Fame." I just smelled a Squirrel.
The other day Daisy told me about the time when she and Millie went in our boss's bedroom to watch a show on this big Dog called a "Great Dane." Dais told me Great Danes are so huge! Some of Great Danes can even weigh over one hundred and fifty pounds she says.
Daisy says on that tv show it said Great Danes were "bred" in the 19th century by people in England and Germany. And even though they were meant to help hunt Boars they turned out to be very friendly and nice. My Dictionary says a Boar is wild Pig. I see the Squirrel.
I kind of knew a little about Great Danes because I've been watching this really good cartoon called "Scooby-Doo." It's one of Daisy and I's regular Saturday morning cartoons. The star of that show is a talking Dog who's owner is this girl named "Shaggy."
I want to be like that Dog Scooby-Doo! Daisy's right. He can walk on two legs whenever he wants to. And Scooby-Doo's tail can press buttons. Just like Daisy and myself, he and his owner Shaggy are always hungry. That Squirrel is standing still but his tail is wiggling.
I like how Scooby-Doo seems to be cowardly but is really brave and courageous. He and his owner Shaggy, and her three teenage friends, are so good at solving all of those mysteries that involve supernatural creatures. Dais would sure like to meet Scooby-Doo!
The most amazing thing about that Dog Scooby-Doo is how he uses his paws just like hands; with a thumb and everything. I really like how he can talk; even though Daisy and I have both noticed how he starts a lot of his words with an "R" sound. The Squirrel just ran away.
On a nice day like today I'd have to agree with Daisy. We have so much to be thankful for. I mean, how many other Dogs are lucky enough to be able to watch cartoons? Not too many I'd say. Oh! There goes our Pigeons Fred and Ethel and Lucy and Ricky.
Wow! Looking at my outline I see that I'm done with chapter three. Judging by the Sun I'd say it's about nine thirty. I can see Libby the Horse over there in her Corral eating some of her hay out of the food troth. This is so great. I just love the sound of singing Birds!
Looking out at the world from this old couch I can't imagine how my life could be any better. Daisy's right! The slight breezes coming off of the desert from the east this Spring seem to be carrying some new scents that aren't familiar and we don't recognize.