Sep 25

History Wednesday: Going to the Lordy

If history teaches us nothing else, it teaches us the notion of “the good old days” is a myth and a sham. Need proof? Consider Charles Guiteau. He was a piece of work for the ages, one who put our contemporary wingnuts to shame.

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David Koresh had nothing on this guy.

Indeed, the 1881 series of events which led to Guiteau’s place in history look absolutely preposterous when viewed through the lenses of today. Yet there they are.

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Aug 07

History Wednesday: Some More Healthy Eating

S’mores are awesome. I would have definitely eaten more of them as a kid had I not despised camping so much.

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Did I grow up in the wrong state, or what?
Image credit: CorrieRosetti

Still, there’s plenty of history in that three-ingredient delicacy. Like most things, a good portion of that history is a bit off.

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Jul 24

History Wednesday: That Sinking Feeling

Believe it or not, there was a time when using the terms “Sweden” and “aggressive military power” in the same sentence didn’t sound inherently silly.

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The Swedes having long since embraced more civilized ways to irritate the rest of the world.
Image credit: RetroLand U.S.A.

For most of the 17th Century Sweden was one of Europe’s major players. They pulled it off with inspired leadership and military might. They also did it in spite of one of the truly epic fails in all of maritime history.

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Jul 16

You’re On Report!

Last week’s writing primer proved to be very popular. So much so that I’m seriously considering devoting Tuesdays at SB to a writing workshop of sorts. I’m glad y’all enjoyed it.

When I wrote last week I wasn’t thinking about writing as a school assignment. I personally haven’t done anything like that in over 15 years. However according to my search stats that’s what people want to read about. I should have known better.

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It takes a special kind of mutant to do what I do.

This week, I’m happy to oblige.

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Jul 10

History Wednesday: French Fried

Ah, the French. Famous for food and wine. Much maligned for military prowess.

Not that it mattered to Orson Welles, apparently on either count.

In terms of the latter, one could argue the French get a bad rap. After all, this is the country directly descended from the Gaul of Vercingetorix and the Frankish Kingdom of Charlemagne. No one would have accused the French of being wusses in 1812. Back then the guy in charge out in Paris was named Napoleon. Perhaps you’ve heard of him.

Still, more recently the French have been the victims of some pretty bad military leadership. That’s probably where the reputation comes from. The following is a prime example.

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Jul 03

History Wednesday: Dissing the Chief

With the Fourth of July less than 24 hours away, I suppose I should devote this week’s History Wednesday to something American. However Canada Day was on Monday, and SB has a loyal following in the Great White North.

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Much appreciated, eh? Beauty.

So what’s a blogger to do? Can I write about both American and Canadian history at the same time?

Ha! Of course I can.

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Jun 26

History Wednesday: Skipping Technlology

When I’m not blogging or herding cats, one of my favored pastimes is borrowing CDs at the library down the street. The scheme is simple. First, I log on to my account, find CDs and put them on hold. When they make their way to my library branch, I check them out. Then I take them home, rip them, and bring them back in short order. Rinse and repeat. It works out well.

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Thus far I haven’t had many problems with scratched CDs.
Image credit: wikiHow

It works until CDs become completely obsolete, anyway. While we wait for that, let’s take a look back at where CDs came from, shall we?

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Jun 19

History Wednesday: More Red Flags

Hey, ever seen one of these in your neighborhood?

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“Well, it’s not Scottish anyway.”
Image credit: Carl Wainwright

Being something of an armchair vexillologist I’ve always been fascinated with flags, both international and historical. Now, a lot of people seem to believe the above flag was the national flag of the Confederate States of America. Indeed, it remains popular in its former territory.

But as it turns out … it’s not. Never was. I find the contemporary political connotations of the subject distasteful, so I’m not going to get into that here. However, there’s still plenty of history to talk about.

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Jun 12

History Wednesday: The Unpronounceable Country

In the minds of many Utah is almost synonymous with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While it’s true the Mormon Church did more to establish and build present-day Utah than any other single entity, it’s also important to keep in mind they were never the only game in town.

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Just by far the largest.

Yes, even the relatively homogenous history of Utah isn’t without its bumps.

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Jun 05

History Wednesday: Frequency Manipulation

Today I took my daughter swimming at the condo association pool next to the Command Center. Being an exceptionally nice day in Boise, some of the neighborhood kids were already there. One of them had her iPhone or whatever plugged into a speaker, playing her list of jammin’ MP3s. This experience proved to be exactly as excruciating as it sounds.

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You’d better “Beliebe” it.

Replace Justin Bieber with, say, Wham! and the iPhone with that noted paragon of past 2T culture, Z-103, and you’d have a scene very reminiscent of the Putt n’ Plunge during the mid-80s. Of course, my mind working the way it does I thought to myself, “Hey, it could have been Z-43.”

No, I’m not making an obscure Ed Wood reference here.

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