26 February 2008

True Confession Time


I was playing around with a new small camera from Olympus that has an extraordinary telephoto capability for a small camera that is. So naturally I looked around for a place in Billings to try it out. I drove up toward the airport and along the road that leads to the Heights. I found a place to drive closer to the edge of the Rimrocks and eventually got to a fairly high point overlooking the city of Billings and the Yellowstone River. I also found the above gravesite, which I did not know existed here in Billings, though I have lived here almost 28 years now.

When I consulted Mr Google I was surprised to see that there is a book out about Mr Luther "Yellowstone" Kelly, and a movie starring Clint Walker, released in 1959; a hotel in West Yellowstone, and a catering outfit here in Billings using his name, and perhaps more but I stopped on page 3. I was not surprised at my ignorance. This is probably a good demonstration of the proposition that the things we don't know we don't know might be more important than the things we know we don't know.

[In case you have not figured out what the brackets are for: they are a reminder that I suffer from the peculiar habit of going back and adding to various blogs in the past. This morning, 11 March 2008, I remembered that I was up on this hill once before. I was called here by the coroner because someone had shot himself in the head. I did not recognize the shooter until he was laid out on my autopsy table and someone told me his name. He was an anesthesiologist who I then recalled had smiled at me in an odd way a few days earlier while passing in the halls of the pathology department. Vero.]

25 February 2008

Coincidental Flashbacks


I always turn first to the obituary pages of the Alumni Newsletter from Carroll College. The latest issue reported that Professor Gordon Folsom (in the middle above shaking hands with me; I don't know who the gentleman on the left is) had recently died. 

By coincidence I was sorting through some old pictures that my mother saved and came across the above. I can't remember what the occasion was as the only contact that I remember is taking one semester of the professor's Shakespeare course in my senior year together with a bunch of English majors. I enjoyed the course very much and I think he liked me too, probably because I never worried what the correct answer to the question was. I always received a special test because he thought, I supposed, that it wasn't fair for me to be asked the same questions that the English majors were asked. I'm not sure what they thought of the practice. I suspect that I had already been admitted to medical school, but I surprisingly got an A in the course anyway. 

I remember dropping a calculus course in my sophomore year because I was aiming toward medical school and thought that I would be lucky to get a C, and that might just ruin that dream.

22 February 2008

Eleanor Roosevelt Redux?


I watched part of the so-called debate between  Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama last night. I wondered if her concession speech at the end of the show was sort of an audition for the role of Eleanor Roosevelt in the Reality Show Called American Politics.

19 February 2008

El Barbudo Graciously Relinquishes Power


Now that our man in Havana has turned over the reins to his brother Raul, will he travel to Hollywood for his lifetime achievement Oscar, or to Stockholm for his Nobel Peace Prize?

My guess is both.

The picture above was taken at a Semester at Sea propaganda class during a visit to Havana in the spring of 2004. Fidel talked for almost 4 hours, not quite as passionate as in his younger days, but still proud of his accomplishments. He autographed a baseball for later auction.

17 February 2008

The Crypt of the Capuchins


I forgot to mention one of our stops in Rome on our recent Italian adventure. This is on the via Veneto and gets a lot of tourists. But I think it was actually put together before tourism became all that big a deal. Well, now that I think about it, I suppose touring Rome has always been the thing to do in Europe. They used to call themselves pilgrims. Yes, you are correct, the picture above are skulls, artfully arranged of course.

Anyway the Capuchins have been here since 1631. I am not sure when they got started with the bony artwork. One source says after they moved earlier burials to this place in the 17th century. Another says that the arranging of bones started after 1870. They say they came to pray here before retiring for the night: the message being perhaps that death closes the gate of time and opens that of eternity. Of course, we moderns have completely forgotten about the long history of the Catholic (especially in the days when Catholic meant all Christians) cult of the dead, the skull on the desk to remind themselves of their mortality etc. "What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be."

When the Last Trumpet sounds there is going to be a lot of confusion at this spot, as the bones of any one individual are pretty much scattered around, and I suppose the mice have carried off a few as well.

I am in the process of sorting through shoeboxes, I mean literally shoeboxes, filled to the brim with old pictures, in no special order. Some of these go back to the 60s and before, like in "the olden days" as our kids used to say about any time before they were born. The one to the right is a faded, poorly exposed snapshot taken sometime during the 40s. The girl on the right is Carol and I think that is her sister on the left, or is it the other way around?

To the left is one from another life, now closed off almost completely by virtue of advancing age. Fortunately we didn't take so many pictures in the pre-digital age. We still throw away as many now as then.

Carol had the wit to label it, otherwise we would still be guessing. I don't care what they say, I liked those big hairdos. And I liked wearing fancy uniforms too.

Then there are a ton of scrapbooks from my mother's basement. There are some real prizes here. I am trying to get these in shape before the 2nd Mueller Melee this summer.

16 February 2008

A chocolate heart for friends of St Valentine


I meant to post this a few days ago. Only in America. I was walking down an aisle in our local drug store when I was attracted by this giant chocolate heart. Three (3) pounds for $24.99. That is about three times the size of the normal heart. Probably because I am on a diet I immediately thought: how long would it take me to eat the whole thing? And then, how long before my first coronary occlusion?

Kind of looks like it is going to drip down on the text, doesn't it?

06 February 2008

Ostia Antica: Communal Crapper



The wide-awake among you may have noted that this blog has been culled of at least a few travel entries, most recently of our trip to Italy. The notes and pictures on that trip have been moved to web.mac.com/kmueller40/muellertravel_Over_There Just click on this address and it will get you there.

Of course I couldn't resist puttting the name of the now abandoned Roman seaport on the title because when I googled it, I found a reference to my blog right up there with the really helpful ones. Which surprised me.

And I couldn't resist posting a picture of a communal crapper I found in Ostia Antica. I wonder if this was the equivalent of our "smoke-filled" committee rooms where important decisions were made before going to the forum. These are some references to hygiene in ancient Rome.

Touring Ostia Antica is a really nice website by Caroline Lawrence, who has written some good stuff for kids on the BBC.

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE
Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here