Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Photos from the past

I never got a chance to post some of the photos from the Sesquecentenial  weekend.  Here are some of my favorites:

For the full size ones and more, go here: 
and here:

I am working on catching up and making this a more frequent habit.  Please hang in there.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Why the celebration?

First off, I want to say that I am sorry this has been a bit slow to get back off of the ground, I am trying.

Secondly, I want to say that last weekend I view as more of a remembrance, a reminder of where the United States has come from and where we, as a nation have gone wrong. Beginning last Thursday, July 21, 2011, the town I live in, Manassas, kicked off a 4 day Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the 1st battle of Bull Run (Manassas). This was the first major battle of the War Between the States, the civil war if you will. Being the historian that I am, there are all kinds of discussions I could get into about the definitions of civil war and rather it should be called the Battle of Bull Run or the Battle of Manassas. I could get into the fight as to rather we were fighting over imposed tariffs on imported goods, the rights of people to “own” other people or a whole litany of other reasons, all equally compelling for enough to drag the country to fight amongst itself.

My town got together with 2 days or battle reenactments, historical parades and all manor of displays of life in the States in the 1860's. One event, possibly one of the most important events of notice was an hour and a half that took place on the lawn of the old courthouse. You see, after the civil war that put brother against brother and resulted in over a million casualties, time passed. Fifty years later, on the anniversary of that first major battle in Manassas, over 1000 thousand of the veteran soldiers who had met on the fields of battle during the war, came back. Over the course of the week they caught up with each other and met on Henry Hill, facing each other and advancing on each other. When they met this time, there were smiles and hugs and forgiveness. So on July 21, 1911, at what was then the courthouse, there was a Jubilee of Peace attended by those 1000 veterans and over 10,000 others. The president at the time, William Howard Taft even came in his motor carriage.

One hundred years later, on July 21, 2011, we met on the old courthouse lawn again, to celebrate peace once more. There were some re-enactments of the original parts from a century before and new statements as well. The one thing that was prevalent was that we as a country had to strive to be better than we had been and work together to be the country we wanted to be. Yeah, we still haven't listened, political parties bicker back and forth, no one willing to compromise to fix the problems. I should just be happy we know better than to give the two sides guns I guess, it didn't work out so well last time.

This is one of the poems I found most fitting (it is a bit grainy but I didn't take it).

So why do I post this? It comes to the old adage that is credited to George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." People need to remember how they got to where they are. I don't think it is ever bad to remember those who came before you, learn from them, become a better person though that knowledge. (Even if that person was not a good person, you can still learn to be better from their mistakes.) The other reason I post this is to explain where I've been the last week and a half.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Please don't take my geek card away...

I used to do the blogging thing and I left it for a long time as I had nothing to say and was not inspired. Well, I am back to try again. This time, I plan on not taking myself too seriously.

That said, I ask that you not take away my geek card for what I am about to say.

Until last week, I had never seen a single episode of "Firefly." I have never seen "Serenity." I have now seen four episodes; I love it and can't understand why it got cancelled after an incomplete season. I know there are five thousand sites I could go to to find a diatribe as to why and frankly, I don't want to. I can at least know that in this instance it is not because I found a show to watch that I actually like. I feel like I am the death nail for some of my favorite shows. That or maybe I just happen to like shows that are cleaver and well written which just don't resonate with the reality TV show crowd who seem to drive the ratings...

I am watching "Firefly" in the order it was intended to be watched in instead of the order that Fox aired it in. By the episode titled "Shindig," I looked over at the DH and and asked him if he thought all the episodes would all start out in a bar and a bar fight. He just looked at me and said, "Probably. It's like D & D, you always start out in a tavern to regroup, get resources and a job and then it's off you go. The crew starts out in a bar to steal some resources, blow off some steam, regroup and find the lowlifes who have a job for them"

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that most of the games I ever played in over the years started in a tavern. This should be interesting to see if his theory is right.