16 August 2012

Final Post

Hello avid readers of my grandfather's blog. I am Ken's grandson, Nicholas, and I am really sad to tell you that Ken died yesterday. You know, one of Ken's great pleasures in life was his blog. He loved writing. I'll leave up the blog for all of his fans, but there will be no further blog posts. I think he would've liked for you all to read his obituary, so here it is:

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;—Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 KJV

Kenneth Howard Mueller, born 27 March 1940, died early Tuesday morning at St. Vincent’s Hospital of cardiac arrest. He was fortunate to have said his good-byes to most of the people he cared for. He apologizes to those he missed. He was always grateful for the attention of his many medical and surgical attendants, particularly his lovely and attentive nurses, and his many caring friends and relatives.

He is survived by his long-patient and loving wife of 50 years, Carol Ann LuConic, the best nurse he ever knew; and by his children and grandchildren: Margaret Anne & Patrick Mazzuca of Issaquah WA (Nicholas and Zachary); Joan Marie and Donald McInnes of Novato CA (Matthew and Michael); Peter Thomas of Billings MT; and S. Elizabeth Mueller Gomez of Albuquerque NM (Diego Salvador). His three younger brothers all survive him as well. They are Gerald Ronald of Sun Prairie, WI; Russell Ramon of Baneberry TN; and Thomas David of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Ken was the eldest son of Walde H Mueller and Joann Rohrschneider, both of Hustisford WI. He was born a little too soon for some, in Harvey Illinois on the south side of Chicago, and spent most of his childhood back in that rural southern Wisconsin village just south of Lake Sinissippi and on the nearby Mueller farm and Rohrschneider cottage of his parents and grandparents. 

One of his earliest memories was the joy and delight he felt when he discovered the Rock River on a map from a filling station—that is where we used to buy gasoline: he knew that was the name of the river that flowed through the village, and saw that it was a tributary of the Mississippi River. So, from an early age he had the urge to see the world outside of that village, and he knew at least one way to find his way to the rest of the world and back; and as irony often has it, spent some of his later years searching for that familiar home.

He was graduated from Hustisford High School in 1957, in a rural part of southern Wisconsin, notable for small towns and dairy farms and of course, rabid Green Bay Packer fans. He remembered particularly Mrs Mahr, his favorite English teacher and Mr Schlicht, the principal and math teacher who labored mightily to teach him the elements of algebra and geometry. He was granted a B.S. degree in chemistry from Carroll College of Waukesha Wisconsin in 1961, primarily due to the good offices of Chemistry Professor AA Sunier. He went on to attend Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1965. 

His early post-graduate medical training was in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati OH, but finding the practice of that specialty too difficult he switched into laboratory medicine, eventually spending much of his professional time in the sub-specialty of forensic—from the Latin “forum” where public business was conducted—medicine and pathology. 

After finishing his pediatric and pathologic post-graduate studies, he proudly served his country as a medical officer in the United States Air Force,[(see picture to the left) including a tour as an exchange officer with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Forces at the Institute of Pathology and Tropical Medicine, Bucks, UK, where he was strongly influenced by Group Captain Ken Mason who would later become the Regius Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.]

[On returning to to the USA, he studied Forensic Pathology with Russell Fisher at the Office of the Medical Examiner of Maryland in Baltimore and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. After moving to Montana in 1980 he transferred to the Naval Reserve—he always liked the uniform—in Billings and eventually Seattle WA. He was retired from the Navy with the rank of Captain.]

He finally found a city and a home for his family and a pleasant place to work in Billings Montana, having guessed from the people he met on a single 3 day visit that Billings was a good place to raise  a family. He was appointed to the post of Associate Medical Examiner for the State of Montana in the Fall of 1980 and remained in that position until he retired in 2010. He was fond of Billings, its people and places, especially Peace Lutheran Church, St Patrick’s Co-Cathedral, Saint Vincent Hospital, and restaurants too numerous to count. Though he called Billings home, his early years in Wisconsin meant that he was a faithful Green Bay Packer fan: ‘Once a cheesehead, always a cheesehead’ was one of his favorite sayings. He was always on the lookout for something resembling the  brick cheese and summer sausage he remembered from his earlier days in Wisconsin.

He enjoyed playing the trombone with various large and small groups, the Community Band and Community Orchestra, and especially the Al Bedoo Shriners Dance Band and the Billings Brass Society: he was a founding member of the last. He was an enthusiastic, though not especially talented singer in various church choirs. He was sometimes a performer and at other times a listener to the Messiah Chorus. He admired the ensemble sound of the Billings Symphony, in particular the low brass and of course, the splendid woodwinds. Rimrock Opera was one of his regular haunts along with Billings Studio Theatre and Venture Theatre. 

He was a loyal supporter of Little League baseball, Legion baseball, and the Billings Mustangs. If you wanted to find him on a summer evening then you would probably be successful to look for him somewhere at Cobb Field, perhaps just beyond the Mustang dugout, and in later years, somewhere in the shade. He never was persuaded that Dehler Park was better than Cobb Field, though the bratwurst, coming from Wisconsin, and the burgers, especially the ‘Stang Burger’ of Dehler Park, would be hard to beat. 

He enjoyed travel, especially his round the world trips and up and down the Pacific Coast of Central and South America with Semester at Sea, which he viewed as a form of pilgrimage. Visiting his widely scattered grandchildren and seeing what was available at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Ashland OR were other forms of pilgrimage.

In his later years he loved to blog away on his favorite Mac computer, usually the latest one. He paid close attention to the obituaries as well as the readings and music at the funerals of friends and acquaintances. Once or twice a year he would add or subtract from his obituary. 

He read a lot of bridge books—as well as a lot of other genres—but did not find time to play all that much, and when he did his bidding was always better than his play of the cards. There was never enough time to read all that appealed. When asked if he had read all the books in his library, he would usually respond: ‘If a man has read the whole of his library, then his library is not large enough.’

In the past year he finally found enough time to play bridge as he and Carol began splitting their time between Billings and Phoenix. They made many good friends in Arizona and he loved his time there taking in as much baseball as could be reasonably digested at Spring Training. 

If you feel the need to make a donation in his honor please consider Billings’ American Legion Baseball, or Rimrock Opera, or Billings Symphony, or Venture Theatre, or Billings Studio Theatre, or even better, all of these worthy organizations.

Arrangements are in the care of Dahl’s Funeral Home. Mass will be held at St Patrick’s Co-Cathedral in Billings at noon Tuesday August 21st celebrating the life of this great, unique man who we loved, admired and cherished. 

16 July 2012

A Few of the Regulars at Dehler Park

Our Senior Cheerleader Barb. She has been here since the beginning of Cobb Field they say. She must have first come as an infant in arms.

This is the current waitress for our section. I don't know what her name is because I am bashful when looking at the name tags of pretty young girls.

Back Yard Visitors

Found these animals eating my flowers one of these too hot July afternoons. They apparently do not care much for the coleus, but they do like very much Carol's geraniums.

13 July 2012

But Are They Pointed In The Right Direction?

I thought Her Majesty's Forces were being down-graded. It appears they are just undergoing a change in priorities. The Royal Navy once kept the peace on the oceans of the world. Now they and their fellow Forces are protecting athletes while they perform at the Olympic Games. I found this picture and others on Ms Geller's blog, Atlas Shrugged. For the young and ignorant, the title of my blog entry is an allusion to WWII and the direction the guns of Singapore were pointed. The Japanese did not come by sea but by land. Now that I look at the above weaponry, it looks fairly mobile.

And Don't Slam The Door As You Leave

These Australian women can be tough when they need to. Check out Jo Nova's response to some asshole or other.

12 July 2012

Civil War Amongst Climate Scientists

I don't know if your brand of job classification doesn't allow a climate scientist to be called a 'denier' or not, similar to the well known and proved idea that African Americans and card-carrying liberals cannot be 'racists.' But it seems as if these folks didn't get the memo. Check them out.

11 July 2012

I knew there was a reason I liked this guy

Because of the possible allusion to baseball in the title my attention was naturally caught. I read the article before I noticed who wrote it.

Of course, it is the same Thomas Sowell who makes so much sense in the fields of politics and economics. I am not arguing that because he makes sense when he talks about baseball history therefore we should listen to him when he argues politics and economics. But there may be a certain pattern to these observations: I am thinking of George Will for example, or A Bart Giamatti, and I am sure many more. Are there people who don't make sense in politics or economics who do make sense when talking baseball? I doubt that very much.

Wandering on the Net

"I like that the Catholic Church is so transparently inept and so plainly filled with such obviously failed and ridiculous people, not only among us laity, but throughout the ranks of its clerics as well. My abiding sense, ever since converting, has been one of relief. In sectarian Protestantism, the question is always whether you are pure enough, whether you are a “real Christian”, whether your “really meant it” when you asked Jesus into your heart, whether your latest grotesque failure means your whole life as a Christian has been one huge fraud.
 The great thing about the Catholic communion is that it begins every single act of worship with the Confiteor in which we all look at each other and say, “Who am I kidding? i don’t belong here any more than you do, so let’s pray for each other and ask the the Graduates in Heaven to put in a good word for us, trusting that God will cut us slack again just so long as we keep cutting each other slack.” It’s a place where there’s room for me: a screwup who can’t tell my butt from a hole in the ground who has no business darkening the door of a Church, much less brazenly walking up there and receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Almighty God, if you please. The whole project is so outrageous from beginning to end that my only excuse is that God tells all these other people they not only can but must do it, so I guess it’s okay that a dubious jerk like me does it too."

I found this at the top of a long blog entry and comments by John C Wright and those he argues with. This one is interesting though it does follow a downhill trajectory after awhile. The first comment and the brilliant refutation by Mr Wright are the best of the lot.

07 July 2012

It Looks Like Billings Has Some Catching Up To Do

This is something called a Faster Bassett Burger from Great Falls, a full pound! of ground beef with a bun too small by far. This notice comes from the blog Greater Falls. They of course call this the best burger in Great Falls and reserve the title best burger in Montana from some place called Square Butte, which is about 6 miles from Geraldine. The last and only time I've ever been to Geraldine had to do with an exhumation a long time ago. I must go again to check out this "best burger" business. Stay tuned my friends.

The Freedom Train

After the revelations emanating from the penumbra of the Supreme Court of the United States in the last  couple of weeks maybe we should resurrect the Freedom Train and build a high-speed track network to take it all over the country. Built by all those who don't have jobs because of President Obama's policies, of course started by Pres. Bush. What good will it do for a civilized country to have free medical care provided by slave labor without a first class free transportation system?

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


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
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