Monday, December 28, 2009

Stones River

This week is the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Dudeboy and I took The Richard along with us to attend some of the programs commemorating the event.

These are some of the members of the 9th Kentucky re-enactment group. Of course, Dudeboy's Great-Great-Great Grandfather Joel "Top" Simmons fought with the 9th Ky, Co. K. However, he did not participate in the battle at Stones River. He was convalescing in a hospital in Nashville at the time.

Re-enactors portraying a Louisiana Battery (I believe it is the Washington Artillery).

Dudeboy and the carnage in the Slaughter Pen.

Dudeboy and the Richard holding artillery projectiles.

"Give them a whiff of grapeshot."

Fifty-seven guns were fired basically at point blank into the Orphan Brigade from this position. Former Vice-President John C. Breckinridge was moved to wail, "My poor Orphans! My poor Orphans."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3 Little Pigs

A little background about the Christmas card we sent out. It is from an unedited photo I took back in December 2001 outside of Cave City, Ky. As for the bible passage on the card, it was the oddest passage I could find pertaining to hogs.
Reason's Greetings!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Champ Ferguson

At the end of the Civil War there was a general amnesty for those who took an oath of loyalty. However, there were two people for which this did not apply . . . the commander of the infamous Andersonville prison camp and Champ Ferguson. After the war, Ferguson was tried for 53 murders (he admitted to personally killing over 100). He was not a man you would want to cross paths with. Ferguson was sort of akin to the Anton Chigurh character in No Country For Old Men, in that he was a psychopath with an odd sense of honor. This marker is located in Albany, Ky. Ferguson was born just a few miles from here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

November Round-Up

November has been a very busy month for me. I want to inform you about Super Saturdays Forest Fun which just ended last week, and I am still thinking about trees. I made several things: a bird's nest, a squirrel footprint in plaster, tree slime, and recycled paper.

Thursday night I went to the Cub Scouts' telescope viewing at WKU. At first before we went to the roof other Cub Scouts thought there was a ghost in the dean's office. When we went to the fourth floor, we had to climb scary stairs which looked unstable but actually were stable, which led us to the roof.

When we were on the roof we saw the moon: it looked orange. When you look at the moon or sunset close to the horizon it can look orange or red because you're looking through more dust in the atmosphere. First we looked at Jupiter and three of its moons through a refracting telescope. Then we looked through the big telescope which was a reflector. We saw Jupiter and its moons then the Andromeda galaxy which is a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way.

On Friday we went to the Nashville zoo for one of its homeschool events. This one was about animal wrappings like: fur, scales, skin, exoskeletons, and feathers. When we went to see the lorikeets, they were pleased to see us. They chewed my sweater, combed my hair with their beaks, and untied my shoes.

We went to the Frist and saw exhibits about "Thomas Hart Benton in Story and Song" and "Georgia O'Keefe and Her Times." Most of the Thomas Hart Benton artwork was taken from his illustrations of Mark Twain stories and pictures of songs like "Frankie and Johnny." Then we went to Artquest where I made a watercolor painting of a train which I called "Train of the Imagination." And I worked on some animations. Several had turkeys being run over, and dinosaurs coming out of the sky over temples. The first one I did was funny because dinosaurs were all around the screen and a cow came and the dinosaurs all ran away.

On the way home we stopped at Cracker Barrel in Franklin and met Kenny Perry and shook his hand. He's one of the top golfers in the world.

We went to the Frazier Museum in Louisville Saturday and saw an interpretation of John Wilkes Booth, his sister, and other people like Major Rathbone and Boston Corbett. After that we went to a play of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow with one tall person who made a great Ichabod Crane. In front of the interpretive stage I saw a model of the USS Louisville which was new to the Frazier.

I'm heading to Wartburg, Tennessee (isn't that a funny name?) for Thanksgiving and will report back afterwards.

Dudeboy has had his photograph taken with 4 or 5 Lincolns. So, here he is posed with John Wilkes Booth and his sister Asia.

Dudeboy with Ichabod Crane.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Titanic Exhibit

On Thursday two weeks ago, we went to the Louisville Science Center to see an artifact exhibit on the Titanic. There were plates from a cupboard that had rotted away in the ocean. Then we saw perfume bottles which you could still smell the perfume. You could see egg cups that did not break.

They also had recreations of third class rooms and an iceberg which was made of real ice! A museum guide told stories about people on the Titanic. John Jacob Astor IV was the richest passenger on the voyage. He let the dogs out of their kennels so that they could survive. It was a great exhibit!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Big Bats

As an incentive for Dudeboy to accompany me to a couple of lectures at the Darwin 2009 at the University of Louisville conference, I took him to Caufield’s Novelties. While there, we made it a point to view the largest bat (baseball kind) and the largest bat (vampire kind).

Dudeboy adds, "Caufield's is a store that sells jokes, gags, magic tricks, etc. It started out as a photography studio. Because in the waiting room people got bored, Caufield's started selling novelties. Soon the gags out ran the photography business."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Galileo 1610

Dudeboy got to add Galileo to his list of famous acquaintances after watching his presentation Galileo 1610, which was part of the International Year of Astronomy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cuteness Exploding

Dr. J finally joined Dudeboy and me, Merkin J. Pus-Tart, for an excursion to the Nashville Zoo.

Cuteness exploding . . . otherwise known as Clouded Leopard cubs at play.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Wall

About a week ago Dudeboy went with Panpau DelGato and Nana to see a replica of the Vietnam Memorial at the Aviation Heritage Park in Bowling Green. Dudeboy took all of the photos that are included in this post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Nina, Pinta and the Falls of the Ohio

The end of last week was very busy. Friday we went to the Nashville zoo for the Homeschool Afternoon. I learned about animal husbandry: raising domesticated animals. We met a skunk, an owl, and a rabbit.

On Saturday we went to see the life-size replicas of the Nina and Pinta that were docked in Louisville. I got to go aboard both. The Pinta was bigger and faster. I was able to go on the top of the Pinta and then on the lower part of the deck but not inside the ship. On the Pinta there were two models of the ship: one of it being built and one of it finished. The Nina was the smallest ship. They said that this is the most historically accurate replica ever made of a Columbus ship. I was surprised at how small the ship was, just 65 feet long.

Then we went to the Fossil Fest at the Falls of the Ohio. It's supposed to be one of the largest deposits of Devonian fossils. We walked to the fossil beds to get to the tents set up for the festival, and I couldn't take a step without stepping on a fossil.

At one giant tent we bought several fossils and rocks: a fish fossil, a coprolite (fossilized tortoise poop), a shark's tooth, and a piece of malachine ( a green mineral from Zaire). I almost went for the green goldstone which is man-made. We could have spent a lot more money on fossils.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hart County Civil War Days

Saturday we went to Hart County Civil War Days. First we went to the Woodson house by the real battlefield. We saw a display of artifacts found by a man who finds relics from the Civil War and before: glasses, bullets, and anything else a metal detector can find. He had a large collection of bullets and even a metal star from a Revolutionary War uniform, and he gave me a bullet. We got to use an apple cider press. A basket-maker showed us how he uses honeysuckle vines to weave very, very small baskets. We walked around the trail that circles the real battlefield.

After we went into town, we saw the model of the Hunley ( a confederate submarine) that was there. We even got to turn the crank that powered the submarine. When they raised the Hunley, they discovered a rubberized cloth hose, rubber gaskets and elastic suspenders. Isn't that a surprise!

Next we went to a tent they had set up like a confederate hospital. We saw medical tools that helped give anesthesia. We learned that 98% of Civil War operations used anesthesia. Mostly they amputated when the patient was asleep, not like I had thought.

We went to the museum and saw Lincoln give a speech about his life, and I got to have my picture taken with him, again. After we saw Lincoln, we went to the reenactment which was inaccurate because it was not at the site of the original battle.

Then we went to Kentucky Stonehenge. I stood on the stone in the middle decorated with a compass.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Daufuskie Island

In mid-August we (my cousins, my aunt, my grandmother, two uncles, their dogs. and I) went to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. First we went to Hilton Head and at four o'clock took the ferry to Daufuskie Island. No visitors are allowed to have cars on the island. On the ferry I could walk around on the deck because this was a large ferry. Some of us went on a golf cart to the house and some took the trolley. The trolley was quicker than the golf cart.

The first three days I went to the beach and built a sand fort and a sand castle with my grandmother. Then I went to the pool and took swimming lessons from Clynton. The first day of swimming lessons I got used to putting my head under water. Eventually I worked up to swimming under water for a few feet. Then one of my uncles found a shark's tooth. I competed against Rachel and Harvey to see who would be the most improved swimmer and win the shark's tooth. First I walked over to the five-feet with Avi. We both got in and held onto the ladder. Then we held our noses and climbed down using the ladder and sat on the bottom. Then we let go of the ladder and rose to the top. That guaranteed the shark's tooth.

When Victor and I went to the beach for an adventure, we had one. We found a dead horseshoe crab. Walked a little further and saw a hermit crab, an alligator in the ocean and lots of fiddler crabs. Then Victor broke his flip-flop. It was an exciting week.

Home for the Mansfields and Dudeboy for a week.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Roadtrip '09 Part 6

*This is the last post for our summer road trip. Check back next week to find out about Dudeboy's trip to the beach with the Mansfield clan.

Day 7-18-09

We saw the lighthouse at Bodie Island. Because they are restoring the lighthouse, we couldn't go up in it, but we could go in the base and look up. We drove to Asheville that night.

Day 8: 7-19-09

We went to King's Mountain Battlefield. I did the activities to become a junior ranger there. A leading British commander named Patrick Ferguson was killed there by seven or nine shots fired almost at the same time from American rifles. He fell out of his saddle, but one foot caught in his stirrup so his men had to cut him free.

At Cowpens, General Morgan, the American commander, thought up an idea. First he had his untrained militia fire two rounds and retreat. Then he had cavalry and continental regulars surround the British. Then the militia reformed and closed in on the open side. After that, the British commander Banastre Tarleton barely escaped. He had been the commander of the British at Waxhaws where the Americans tried to surrender but were massacred instead. So at Cowpens the Americans shouted, "Remember Waxhaws!" Cowpens was an important victory for the Americans and helped force the British to Yorktown.

Bodie Lighthouse

Spot where British Major Patrick Ferguson met "The Over Mountain Men."

I, Dudeboy, do swear that I will well and faithfully serve in the office of Jr. Ranger.

Banastre "Bloody Ban" Tarleton gettin' his comeuppance.

Decisive victory.