Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Gold Standard Act of 1900

Today in 1900 President William McKinley signed the Gold Standard Act of 1900. This tied the US dollar to a specfic amount of gold in the US gold reserve. "That the dollar consisting of twenty-five and eight-tenths grains of gold nine-tenths fine", the act also set the value of gold at $20.67 per troy ounce.

It also said gold certificates would not be issued in denominations of less than twenty dollars. Under $20 would be silver based and $20 and over would be gold based.

President Franklin Roosevelt changed the valuation of gold to $35 per ounce of gold. In 1941, most countries adopted the Bretton-Woods system, which set the exchange value for all currencies in terms of gold. It obligated member countries to convert foreign official holdings of their currencies into gold at these par values.

In 1971, gold was repriced to $38 per ounce, then again to $42 per ounce in 1973. As the dollar devalued, it motivated people to sell their greenbacks for gold. Finally, in late 1973, the U.S. government decoupled the value of the dollar from gold altogether in order to finance the Vietnam war and the rest is history.

The total amount of gold that has ever been mined has been estimated at around 142,000 tons. Assuming a gold price of US$1,000 per ounce the total value of all the gold ever mined would be around $4.5 trillion. This is less than the value of circulating money in the U.S. alone, where more than $7.6 trillion (? old number - no ideal how much is in print today) is in circulation or in deposit.

The Original Mystics and The Fantastic Mystics - 1971

In 1971 I was going to college and working the midnight shift at The Holiday Inn in Pocomoke as a night desk clerk/auditor. At that time the Holiday Inn in Salisbury and the Holiday Inn in Pocomoke were owned by the same hotel company out of Pennsylvania so they naturally had similar entertainment.

The Mystics use to pack them in to the lounge at the Holiday Inn in Pocomoke. Typical Eastern Shore rednecks made up the main audience, so we would have a couple of fights a night on the weekend and at that time there was only one Maryland State Trooper patrolling Worcester County and the Holiday Inn was out of the Pocomoke City limits, so no help from them. Naturally the Maryland State Trooper was always in Ocean City when you needed him. The ones I would hate to see come in were the boys from Saxis Island Virginia. They always had to get totally drunk and start a fight. I doubt that they have changed after 35 years.

Megan Fellows Birthday

Today Megan Elizabeth Laura Diana Follows, actress, turns 41. Now in spite of Megan Fellows being Canadian she won high marks with me in her role of Anne Shirley in the 1985 TV miniseries "Anne of Green Gables" (notice there is another house with a name). She has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows none of which attained the level of "Anne of Green Gables." It just shows that regardless of an actor or actress talent you can not make a poorly written show into a great show. You have to have the story.

"Anne of Green Gables" was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908. She was a Canadian author. It is an excellent book and I was pleased that the 1985 TV show followed the book reasonably well. The sequels do not entirely live up to the first book.

Included in the 1985 TV series was another favorite actor of mine; Richard Farnsworth. Richard Farnsworth was a stuntman who after 30 years as a stuntman became an actor. I never felt he was acting, just playing himself, as he seemed so natural. He committed suicide in 2000 at the age of 80. His son, Diamond Farnsworth, is following in his father's tradition of being a stuntman. He is currently the stunt coordinator for the TV show "NCIS."

Today is Pi Day

Pi Day Song

Pi day songs
All day long.
Oh, what fun it is,
To sing a jolly pi day song
in a fun math class
like this. (Repeat )

Circles in the snow,
Around and round we go.
How far did we have to run?
Diameter times pi! (Refrain )

(to the tune of "Jingle Bells")

Yes, today once again is Pi day (3/14). If it was actually a school day math students would be singing Pi day songs and playing various Pi Day games in homage to 3.14159....

Pi is an irrational number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737. It is not a well known fact but until that time cooks baked Pies in a square shape but once the concept of Diameter times Pi was realised Pies were baked in the now familiar round (circle) shape.

Friday, March 13, 2009

State of Delaware Vehicle Auctions

There are two vehicle auctions coming up for the State of Delaware
The first is at Herman Holloway New Castle, DE, 40 state vehicles, ages between 1997 to 2002. Auction runs from 3/14 to 3/19. photos are here

The second auction is 29 state police vehicles. The auction OPENS: 3/21/09 9AM EST - CLOSES: 3/26/09 7PM EST
Location: Inspection is Tuesday, March 17, 2009 from 10PM to 3PM at 1441 North Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901

1971 Parson' Grocery, Brownies and Mickey Market Ads

Berry Picking in Seaford

I picked this photo up from the blog Shorpy where vintage photos are shown. It had the caption
May 1910. Seaford, Delaware. "This photo shows what was formerly a chicken coop, in which during the berry season the Arnao family live on Hitchen's farm. Seventeen children and five elders live here. Ten youngest children range in age from 3 to 13. On the day of the investigation no berries being picked on Hitchen's Farm. The family went over to the Truitt's farm to pick. Edward F. Brown, Investigator." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

There is also an additional photo showing the family in New Jersey picking berries, here

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dale Midkiff

I was reading Outraged Richard post on Dale Midkiff and Katherine Heigl in the movie "Love Comes Softly". I didn't realise Dale Midkiff was born in Chance and has kinfolks there. He attended school in Baltimore and graduated Salisbury University. Always good to hear some one with local roots succeeding in life.

1979 Uncle Joe's Place Suicide Bridge

Iditarod 2009

Well I looked at the Idatarod standing this morning and it looks like Martin Buser has made the old gold camp of Ophir (which is a check point on the trail). Most mushers are taking the mandatory 24-hour breaks all teams are required to do somewhere along the route. At Ophir the trail turns south to Iditarod. The trail from Ophir to the ghost town of Iditarod (90 miles) and on to Shageluk (an Ingalik Indian village of about 140 people), about 65 miles from Iditarod, has snowed over again and volunteers are trying to mark the trail.

Two mushers, Nancy Yosihida and Bob Hickel, have dropped out of the race.

A 6 year old dog died on Tuesday that belonged to the team of Jeff Holt from North Pole It is under going examination to determine why.

Another Alaskan blogger who is following this closely is Josh Rogers at Idatablog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

RIX Family Place - Salisbury - 1971

Henry Rifle Ad

Today in the News Journal there was a 6 by 10 inch ad for Henry Rifles put out by the Henry Repeating Arms Company. Now it has been a while since I have seen a firearm manufacturer put an ad in a general media publication, they do it certainly in sport magazines and gun magazines but not in a general newspaper. It is something to think about. Henry rifles are advertised as only being made in America and I think they start at about $250 on up.

Some Upcoming Events

A few events up coming around Delmar; UPDATED

March 12th The Old Mill Crab House Reopens

March 21st at Delmar High School, 15 Black Belt World students will be testing for Black Belt. Time is 5:00pm-6:00pm. Free to the public. Most students testing are Delmar Elemantry and middle school students.

March 22nd, The New Centennial Club is having a Beef and Dumpling Dinner at the VFW from 12:30 to 4 PM. Price is Ten Dollars and it goes toward their project fund.

March 28, Pop Warner Football and Cheer Signups at Delmar High School rear entrance, Cheering 8 to 9, Football 9:30 to 10:30

March 31 Middle School Chorus Concert. Delmar Middle School Auditorium.
7:00 p.m.

April 3 and 4th A barn sale at the Two Chicks Barn Sales On April 3rd from 10 am to 6 pm and April 4 from 8 am to 6 pm.

April 4, Community Easter Egg Hunt given by the Delmar Kiwanis Club at 1:00 p.m.; Delmar Senior & Middle High School Football field. Rain Date - April 11, 2009

April 6. 7:00 p.m. Delmar Alumni Association General membership Meeting. Delmar High School Auditorium.

April 9. Delmar High School Chorus Concert. Delmar High School Auditorium. 7:00 p.m.

April 12th Easter Sunrise Service - Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009 7:00 a.m. All Saints Episcopal Church (corner of 10th& State Streets)

April 25. Delmar Alumni Association 7th Annual Banquet at Delmar VFW. 5:30 p.m. Social Hour
7:00 p.m. Dinner
$20.00 per person.

April 27. Delmar Middle School Band Concert. Delmar Middle School Auditorium. 7:00 p.m.

May 11. Delmar High School Band Concert. Delmar High School Auditorium. 7:00 p.m.

May 12. Delmar School Board Election

Latin I Class - 1955

Click To Enlarge
From The March 11, 1955 Edition of the Bi-State Weekly

In 1955 the Delmar High School Latin Class I and II gave a Roman wedding presentation. Shown in Roman dress are; Cythia Ellis, Becky Pusey, Ann Jones, Gwendolyn Wright and Naurita Rigsby (in the background)

Today I don't think they even have a Latin Class at Delmar High School.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

La Casa De La Pobre Gente and other House Names

Most houses built on Delmarva prior to the 1900's were identified by a house name, rather than a street number. The tradition of naming houses dates back many centuries in Britain and parts of Europe and was adopted by many settling on Delmarva. Names served to identify houses, helped the postman to deliver mail and ensured that the butcher, baker or other tradesmen made their deliveries to the correct address.

Altho that practice seems to be dieing out for individual homes there are a few houses/farms in our area that will hang a sign out with a house name. Now I am not talking about “For Sale” signs which are very plentiful now days, and for this post I am not going to address the names of the farms the chicken growers have for their operation – which is a wide and amusing group of names, but I am talking about the little sign out front of a bungalow that say this is “Green Acres.”

The names frequently reflect the owners interest, background, birth, aspirations, or a geopolitical area name, or they tend to adhere to the natural theme, for example a particular tree or flower or landscape feature. My sister-in-law's last name is Waters so they named their lake front property “Waters Edge”.

Some houses do not need a name sign.

Certainly with Northern Delaware and the Brandywine Valley near us we have all hear of Longwood, Winterthur. And Nemours. I don’t think any of our local house names are pretending to be that grandiose. I also don’t think they have

“Tara” in mind when they named their house. Nor “Graceland.” They are just following a tradition. Below are a few around Delmar.

Now as I have said before my house is referred to as the Harlan Tull House (for the previous owner). There is no sign out front but all the old timers know where it is when it is mentioned. However Howard has named his house sometime ago. I do not have a sign out front but my back steps proudly bear the name "La Casa De La Pobre Gente."

Now what else would you expect from someone who calls Tuna Fish salad "Pollo Del Mar" (Chicken of the Sea). My translation of “La Casa De La Pobre Gente” is the “house where poor people live.” And with the rising prices of everything those people are getting poorer by the day. I am told by my daughters that first, it is grammatically incorrect and second, just plain ignorant. To which I have given my usual reply to critics and distracters.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Delmar Maryland Council Meeting - March

The Maryland side of town had their council meeting tonight. All elected officials were present. The meeting started at 7 P.M. and since Mayor Niblett stuck to the agenda was over with by 7:40 P.M. There were 3 or 4 people in the "public".

Some items discussed tonight;

The new K-9 dog, Erin, has arrived.

The Parks and Rec committee reported two new members were sworn in.
They had ten girls at the Diamond Dream training session and they hope they will join a softball team.
There was a break-in at the snack bar of the Mason/Dixon field. Nothing was stolen but locks and windows were broken.
The summer youth program will cost $5,000 and may have to be picked up by the town in future years. Mayor Niblett suggested the town contact civic organizations to help with the costs.
4% of the Wicomico County goes for Parks and Rec, Carrie Williams told us the town may want to use a similar percentage as a base for future Town of Delmar budgets.

A motion was made and carried not to renew the business licenses of Delmarva Inn until all the rooms are corrected.

The Town Manager reported that during the Bank of Delmava construction a cable was cut going to the parking lot lights of RiteAid. The two companies are having a dispute over who did it.

Upcoming is a budget workshop on March 18th at 6 P.M.

The USS Monitor and The CSS Virginia

Today the Battle of the Ironclads took place at Hampton Roads as the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia battled it out in 1862. The USS Monitor Center website is here. It is located in the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA. This past weekend was the "Battle of Hampton Roads" in Virginia.

The Iditarod 37 Restart

Yesterday at 7 PM our time the Iditarod was officially did their re-started. For a writeup of it see the Anchorage Daily News.

Now look at the Iditarod photos and article people, not the 76 photos of the 2009 Fur Rondy Fur Bikini contest at Chilkoot Charlie's, featuring home made fur bikini's made by the models.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bethasda M. E. Church

I happened to be driving by Bethasda Church today and was really surprised at the work that has been done on it. Before it was just a simple white clap board county church now it is a Green and Cream clap board county church. The church itself has not been active for I would guess forty years. It is located east of Laurel in the Racoon Pond area. It looks good.

Most descriptions will refer to it as Bethesda but plainly the corner stone says Bethasda.

The corner stone

In a survey of historical buildings it was described as a one and one half story, frame structure built in 1879. It is a long, narrow, gable fronted building of very simple exterior details and overall shape, set out on a north/south axis. The whole
rests upon a brick foundation and is surrounded by cultivated field and woodland.
Exterior walls are the orignal white weatherboards. The gable roof is covered with asphalt shingles and displays a boxed, molded cornice. Cornice of the gable ends include partial returns.

Fenestration of the church is regular. A three bay, front elevation includes the central (main) entry door flanked by six-over-six light windows with molded drip caps. The door is panelled with a gable roof entry hood supported with two wooden
posts. A lancet window is located in the front gable. Windows on the building's nave walls are six-over-six light with molded drip caps.

Looking Thru Dirty Windows to the inside

A distant relative, John and Mary Miller, left a couple of children buried in the graveyard connected with the church before they moved to Glouster County, Virginia.

Annette Yeomans

I usually only like to talk about local embezzlers but this one is so amazing to me I have to mention it. Annette Yeomans a bookkeeper for Quality Woodworks, Inc., a cabinetry business in San Marcos California embezzled $9.9 million from 2001 to 2007. She was removing $25,000 a week from the company. She is currently in the San Diego County jail in lieu of a $10 million bail. The company never suspected (?) and only became aware of it when American Express contacted them about it. The company had never hired an outside auditor. Her husband also works as a cabinet installer at the same company and is not suspected of any crime.

Now first how can you not miss $25,000 a week? Plus not notice it for six years. Where did her husband think she was getting the money to buy all those 400 pairs of shoes etc she had? I forecast Quality Woodworks will be asking for a government bailout and Annette will receive six months work release and promise to pay it all back.

Bad review on Jimmy's Grille

Over at Up At Creek In Lower Slower Delaware there is a bad review of Jimmy's Grille in Salisbury.

We went there last night expecting to have another great meal like we had last month. Boy, were we surprised! Actually, I now wonder if the place was sold. I think the cook used to work at MacDonald’s and it must have been the waitress’s first day. The crab-cakes were more filler than crab-meat, the shrimp and scallops were overcooked and too few for the amount they were charging. We were half finished our meal when the waitress got around to bringing the seafood and tartar sauce and Worcestershire. And she never asked about dessert.

Almost sacrilegious, but I haven't eaten there in a couple of months so maybe you readers can tell me what's going on.

Delmar Streetscape - Sunday

While taking my morning walk today I walked by the new construction downtown.

This is the new sidewalk that is being be put in by "The Park" area. Notice anything already laying in the sidewalk? Maybe like beer cans. No, not mine, I keep mine at home and even "recycle."

More beer cans. Now the last work that was done on this sidewalk was maybe Friday so over the last two days these cans have been tossed there.

and a broken beer bottle adds to the effect. Now this project is going to cost taxpayers over $300,000 to help the business owners downtown and you know what it is going to look like a month after it is complete. If you have trash people coming to town they are going to make it look like the pig sty they live in so they can feel at home.

Now I don't entirely blame The Sports Nut. The cans are opposite their place of business, however it is the nature of their business that some amount of trash will visit their place. Maybe it would be a nice gesture on their part if each morning they went over and picked up the beer cans and other trash their customers left in town.