Monday, August 13, 2018

Annie Oakley

(Wikipedia) Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Mosey; August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926) was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter.
Her "amazing talent" first came to light when she was 15 years old, when she won a shooting match with traveling-show marksman Frank E. Butler, whom she eventually married. The couple joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West show a few years later.
Oakley became a renowned international star, performing before royalty and heads of state. Continued

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Battle of Plum Creek

Battle of Plum Creek by Don Yena
(Wikipedia) The Battle of Plum Creek was a clash between allied Tonkawa, militia, and Rangers of the Republic of Texas and a huge Comanche war party under Chief Buffalo Hump, which took place near Lockhart, Texas, on August 12, 1840, following the Great Raid of 1840 as the Comanche war party returned to west Texas.
Following the Council House Fight of 1840 a group of Comanches led by the Penateka Comanche War Chief Buffalo Hump, warriors from his own band plus allies from various other Comanche bands, raided from West Texas all the way to the coast and the sea. These Comanches were angered by the events of the Council House, in which Texans had killed the Comanche Chiefs when the Texans had raised a white flag of truce. Continued

Saturday, August 11, 2018

My New Radio

A very, very old cartoon.

I guess I’m a little old timey, but I don’t like listening to the radio from the internet or cable. I like my radio on radio. So when my old Radio Shack DX-390 gave up the ghost after 24 years, I was downright mournful.

Portable radios dominated
 the market for 40 years.
I wondered, “Do they still even make radios?” Turns out they do. Not only that, but the table (or tabletop) radio, a type that went out of style in the early 70’s has made a big comeback. I started looking at Bose radios, but they were too expensive, and real ugly. Then I browsed the Tivoli tabletop models. I don’t think you’d find a better looking radio out there, but the tuners, along with the rest of the controls, are mostly analog. I may be old timey, but I love digital tuning and volume control. Finally, I looked at what Sangean had to offer. Sangean manufactured my faithful old Radio Shack model and it was the best all-round radio I ever owned. Sure enough, Sangean had jumped on the tabletop bandwagon and produced some great looking radios that also had the modern specs I wanted.

I ordered a Sangean WR-22, which was delivered yesterday. It’s a beauty, wood cabinet and a jet black control panel, with a big bright (and dimmable), display. Heavy too, I bet it weighs more than a dozen iPhones. The audio quality is great right out of the box, though I turned the bass way down.* It amazes me how these new tabletop radios can fill a room with music. It also has RDS (radio data system) on the FM, which tells you what station you're listening too, and sometimes the song or program as well. It can also set the clock automatically, but only if the station keeps its time correctly. (Are you listening KENW?)

The radio has 5 preset buttons, just like the car, so everybody can have their favorite station in an instant. (I like National Public Radio, but my girlfriend prefers Cow Country Radio.) It also has a remote control, perfect for when you are across the room and the old swamp cooler kicks in, or when somebody starts snoring and you just don’t have the gumption to get out of bed to turn up the volume. A word of caution, like so many things these days, this is a microprocessor controlled device and you’d be wise to use it with a surge protector.

Out here on the High Plains, the biggest issue in a radio is often reception. Either you’re 50 miles from the nearest broadcast tower, or you live in a canyon, or your house is covered in stucco on chicken wire making reception difficult. Fear not, the WR-22 has powerful tuners (some have compared it favorably to the legendary GE Super Radio) and also has AM and FM antenna jacks in the back if you need to upgrade. It also has a clock (RDS or manual) with alarm settings, snooze, nap, Bluetooth, and a USB port for MP3 listening from a thumb drive, and probably some other good stuff too.
The radio costs $128.00 ($22 cheaper than my DX-390 cost in 1993), before taxes and delivery. Whether you listen to “All Things Considered” or “Unshackled!”, country or Tejano, rock or R&B, this is the radio for you.
Be sure and tune in for my next radio review, in about 25 years.

Sangean WR-22, highly recommended.
 * The overabundance of bass was due to the LOUDNESS setting being turned to ON. I turned it to OFF and that solved the bass problem. I have also read that placing the back of the radio too close to a wall can exaggerate the bass as the woofer is on the back. Anyway, the audio quality has risen from great to perfect.

Rural America Faces A Crisis In 'Adequate Housing'

Old House 119, Curry County, New Mexico (Sixgun Siding)
(NPR) Along the country roads that fan out from Ogallala, Neb., there are abandoned, weathered old farmhouses and collapsed barns, remnants of the hardscrabble settlers who first tapped the Ogallala aquifer and turned the dry, high plains into lush wheat and corn fields.
Like a lot of the Midwest, western Nebraska slowly emptied out over the years, which is why a lot of locals say the current housing shortage is nothing short of a paradox. Continued

Craig Ehlo

( A 6-7 guard, Craig Ehlo was a mainstay in the Cleveland Cavaliers' backcourt for many years, contributing both as a starter and a sixth man. A reliable outside shooter with a good three-point shot, he followed Coach Lenny Wilkens from Cleveland to Atlanta, signing as a free agent with the Hawks in 1993.
After three seasons in Atlanta he moved on to Seattle in the summer of 1996 as a veteran free agent, making significant contributions in the first half of the 1996-97 seasons but then seeing limited playing time after midseason. A native of Lubbock, Texas, Ehlo spent two years at Odessa Junior College and then finished his college career at Washington State. Continued

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Pueblo Revolt of 1680

(Wikipedia) The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 — also known as Popé's Rebellion — was an uprising of most of the indigenous Pueblo people against the Spanish colonizers in the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, present day New Mexico. The Pueblo Revolt killed 400 Spanish and drove the remaining 2,000 settlers out of the province.
... For more than 100 years beginning in 1540, the Pueblo Indians of present-day New Mexico were subjected to successive waves of soldiers, missionaries, and settlers. These encounters, referred to as the Entradas, were characterized by violent confrontations between Spanish colonists and Pueblo peoples. The Tiguex War, fought in the winter of 1540-41 by the expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado against the twelve or thirteen pueblos of Tiwa Indians, was particularly destructive to Pueblo and Spanish relations. Continued

Thursday, August 9, 2018

"Bet-a-Million" Gates

barbed wire
Photo by Fir0002
(Texas Day by Day) On this day in 1911, barbed wire promoter and oilman John Warne (Bet-a-Million) Gates died.
Gates was born in Illinois in 1855. Gates arrived in Texas as a barbed wire salesman for the Washburn-Moen Company in 1876. He rented San Antonio's Military Plaza, constructed a barbed-wire corral, and filled it with longhorn cattle to demonstrate the holding power of barbed wire. His demonstration resulted in orders for more wire than the factory could produce.
Gates returned to Illinois and, upon being refused a partnership in Washburn-Moen, quit. He went to St. Louis, where he helped build the Southern Wire Company into the largest manufacturer and distributor of unlicensed "moonshine/non-patented" barbed wire. Continued

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Fire Station: Milnesand, New Mexico

Milnesand Volunteer Fire Department has two stations, the one above, and one a few miles away. According to its website, "... the department has 14 volunteer Firemen and EMT’s and our fire district covers 120 square miles of vast dry land farm and ranch land in Eastern New Mexico. The Milnesand Volunteer Fire Department response zone covers an area of 600 square miles and serves a population of 200 in the response zone. There are approximately 375 structures (homes, barns, shops) spread over the 600 square miles of the fire response zone."
Of the 1,160,450 firefighters in the United States, 814,880 are volunteers (NFPA).

Nelson A. Miles

(Wikipedia) Nelson Appleton Miles (August 8, 1839 – May 15, 1925) was a United States soldier who served in the American Civil War, Indian Wars, and the Spanish–American War.
... Miles played a leading role in nearly all of the U.S. Army's campaigns against the American Indian tribes of the Great Plains. In 1874–1875, he was a field commander in the force that defeated the Kiowa, Comanche, and the Southern Cheyenne along the Red River. Continued

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sing, Cowboy, Sing!

Singing cowboy songs at entertainment at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) mobile
camp for migratory farm workers. Odell, Oregon, 1941 (Russell Lee/Library of Congress)
(Wild West) A silvery moon, a sleeping herd, a lonely cowboy riding night guard, crooning a soft cowboy song to soothe the cattle in the long hours before dawn. Such is the ingrained image of the singing cowboy, fixed in our collective imagination by a thousand stories, songs, books and films.
Did it really happen? Continued

Monday, August 6, 2018

Grain and a train

Hart, Texas is surrounded by green pastures and still waters. I imagine it was a pretty good place to homestead. My great grandfather's brother settled nearby in Happy, Texas. Grandpa settled in Tucumcari. They both did alright.
Hart is on the Lubbock & Western Railway, formerly the West Texas & Lubbock, before that the Seagraves Whiteface & Lubbock, and before that the South Plains & Santa Fe. Regardless of the name, the little granger line has been faithfully serving the area's farms and ranches for over a century.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Famous fraud Frederick Albert Cook dies

Photo: American Oil & Gas Historical Society
(Texas Day by Day) On this day in 1940, Frederick Albert Cook, physician, polar explorer, and infamous oil promoter, died in New Rochelle, New York.
The New York native was surgeon on the Arctic Expedition of Robert Peary in 1891-92 and the Belgian Antarctic Expedition in 1897-99. He led expeditions to Mount McKinley between 1903 and 1906. His claim to the first ascent of Mount McKinley was challenged as fraudulent.
He later falsely claimed to have beaten Peary to the North Pole by a year. Continued

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Man Who Killed the Man Who Killed Billy the Kid

Pat Garrett
(True West) … When Brazel admitted to killing Garrett on a lonely stretch of road just east of Las Cruces, New Mexico Territory, in 1908, he claimed he shot in self-defense during a property dispute. Eyewitness Carl Adamson backed up Brazel’s version of events. Adamson told officials Brazel waited until Garrett threatened him with: “You, I’ll put you out right now,” and he did not draw his own gun until Garrett had drawn his first.
Evidence at the crime scene, however, contradicted their testimony. Continued

Friday, August 3, 2018

Ernie Pyle

(Wikipedia) Ernest Taylor Pyle (August 3, 1900 – April 18, 1945) was a Pulitzer Prize–winning American journalist.
As a roving correspondent for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain, he earned wide acclaim for his accounts of ordinary people in rural America, and later, of ordinary American soldiers during World War II. His syndicated column ran in more than 300 newspapers nationwide. Continued

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Law arrives west of the Pecos

(Texas Day by Day) On this day in 1882, the commissioners of Pecos County officially appointed Roy Bean justice of the peace. He retained the post, with short interruptions, until he retired voluntarily in 1902.
As he gained fame for being an eccentric and original interpreter of the law, the Kentucky native became known as the "Law West of the Pecos." For example, when a man carrying forty dollars and a pistol fell off a bridge, Bean fined the corpse forty dollars for carrying a concealed weapon. Continued