Well, yes, as it turns out, I did in fact consume a 24oz triple-sized can of Monster Energy Drink today... and yes, my heart exploded. I'm writing to you from the great beyond, and I come with a message of hope. In heaven, there are wonderful skateparks. So eternity is lookin' good... as soon as I get my body back, I'm gonna learn kick-flips down the huge double-set of stairs in front of the New Jerusalem Post Office. That's where I am right now - they have free wi-fi...
OK, fine, I'm not dead yet. My church won't let me die until after we're through the Christmas Drama this year, whatever it will be. Still unknown, at this point. I keep getting ideas that sound good initially, but upon further reflection, evaporate into nothing. One of these times, the idea will stick and I'll run with it. I hope it's soon - we really don't have much time left... The dream don't come no closer by itself; we gotta run after it now...
I spent a goodly amount of time today cropping/cleaning some pictures I scanned for my mom, of her dad and brothers and extended family back in Iowa. Here are a couple pics of my grandfather (Harry), when he was younger...
Here's a side-by-side study of one of the pics, to show you how the pics look as they are scanned, and the end result once I finish tinkering and cleaning all the flaws, etc. I think it turned out well. Photoshop is so much fun.
Check out this next picture, which I did for my Pastor last year. He had a favorite dog when he was younger, and only had one surviving picture of him, but it was of the dog behind a green chain-link fence. I told him I'd see what I could do...
I suppose I'll make a section on Wagnervana for before/after shots I've worked on over the years. It's really quite fun, in a sort of "unplug your brain, put on nice music, and let your mind wander" sort of way.
Was contemplating the Holocaust again today - I watched a documentary called Paper Clips on Netflix about a middle school in Tennessee that decided to try and find a unique way to study the holocaust. They decided, during the course of their study, that they all had a hard time grasping the numbers, so they set about to collect 6 million of something, as a class project. They decided on paper clips, since they were used by the Dutch during WW2 as a symbol of their support of the struggle against the Nazi's. They wore them on their clothing as a sort of silent statement.
Anyway, the school began to write letters and collect paper clips. After a year or so, they had a couple hundred thousand, and interest seemed to crawl to a halt. But a pair of German-American correspondents in Washington DC heard of the project and came to see it first hand, and ended up playing an instrumental part in getting the project national coverage. By the time it was said and done, they had collected over 25 million paper clips from around the world, and the attention of the world press - this little town in Tennessee. Holocaust survivor groups came to the school, these kids getting to hear the stories first-hand. It was pretty moving. But the craziest part was when it was suggested that they create a permanent memorial display for the paperclips.
The German couple scoured Germany, looking for a railroad cattle car from the era. At first, I thought, "Whoa... poor form." But really, it made sense. People thought they were nuts for looking, but they not only actually found one, but were able to reveal the particular car's history - and that it was, in fact, used to ferry people to the camps. They shipped it back to the states, and to the school, and set it up there, with 11 million of the paperclips displayed inside, behind glass walls, along with all the letters and things that they'd received (they kept every piece of mail archived), from people who told their stories and sent in paper clips, each clip in memorial of a particular loved one they had lost.
The school now hosts field trips from other schools, touring the memorial - and here's the kicker. The students from that school become the teachers on those tours, teaching the visiting kids about the holocaust themselves, and answering questions, as the teachers oversee.
Anyway, it ended up being a really moving documentary, I'm glad I watched it. Here's the trailer...
What can I say? I guess part of me will always be stuck in the nineteen forties...
Todayve In History: October 20
- October 20, 1803: The US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase, for 15 million dollars, effectively doubling the size of the country. (He can cross the country in thirty days but can't find his horse backstage!)
- October 20, 1944: General Douglas MacArthur makes good on his promise to return to the Philippines, to kick the Japanese out. (I have found your heart, and I'm gonna blow it right out of you.)
- October 20, 1967: The famous footage of Bigfoot is shot in Bluff Creek. (Look, for the last time, you've got me mistaken for someone else!)
- October 20, 1973: The Sydney Opera House opens. (Sometimes, if things are closed, you just, open them up!)
Among those celebrating birthdays today are: Bela Lagosi (1882), Mickey Mantle (1931), Tom Petty (1950), Viggo Mortensen (1958), and Snoop Dogg (1971).
Here's something you might not have known about the Louisiana Purchase... the land "belonged" to the French at that time, and the US President Thomas Jefferson bought the land directly from Napolean Bonapatre himself. Pretty cool, I think. You might have known that already, but I didn't... whoa... somebody was boring me; I think it was me!
Also watched a cool series of "interview"-style video clips on YouTube today, by a (apparently) famous physicist named Richard Feynman, called Fun To Imagine, which I found particularly fascinating. Probably not for everyone, but if you're interested, you can watch the series starting HERE. Then find the rest of the series of clips in the "related videos" listed on the side... Oh yeah. I'm learning a lot about manure. Very interesting.
So that's that for today. Back tomorrow with more! Look, when the horse underneath us drops, we take a fresh one. Until tomorrow, I ask you: Is that available stitched on a pillow somewhere?