Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I've Gone And Done It Now . . .

Tucson Weather Today


Am I a competent writer, or not?

I am somewhat disappointed, in that after blog publishing my attempt yesterday at writing a miniature memoir, I received only a couple of comments about it. Of course I realize that the number of people reading my blog varies from day to day, and very few of these ever offer a comment. And it has only been one day.

But still, I feel a tad rejected;
One might say a bit dejected,
At what was easily detected,
As being so little respected.

Whoa! Take a little breather,
For I am not a poet, either.

Hey! I won't let that stop me, though. I intend to keep on writing such little snippets from events that might have happened earlier in my life, most of which are to be true, or almost true, to the best of my ability to remember. And hopefully each one will be better than the one before.



On this day, February 19 in 1847, the first rescuers reached surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of California-bound emigrants stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In the summer of 1846, in the midst of a Western-bound fever sweeping the United States, 89 people--including 31 members of the Donner and Reed families--set out in a wagon train from Springfield, Illinois. After arriving at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, the emigrants decided to avoid the usual route and try a new trail recently blazed by California promoter Lansford Hastings, the so-called "Hastings Cutoff."

After suffering great hardships in the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake Desert and along the Humboldt River, they finally reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains in early October. Despite the lateness of the season, the emigrants continued to press on, and on October 28 they camped at Truckee Lake, located in the high mountains 21 kilometers northwest of Lake Tahoe. Overnight, an early winter storm blanketed the ground with snow, blocking the mountain pass and trapping the Donner Party.

Most of the group stayed near the lake--now known as Donner Lake--while the Donner family and others made camp six miles away at Alder Creek. Building makeshift tents out of their wagons and killing their oxen for food, they hoped for a thaw that never came. Fifteen of the stronger emigrants, later known as the Forlorn Hope, set out west on snowshoes for Sutter's Fort near San Francisco on December 16. Three weeks later, after harsh weather and lack of supplies killed several of the expedition and forced the others 'to resort to cannibalism,' seven survivors reached a Native American village.

Of the 89 original members of the Donner Party, only 45 reached California.




continuum [cuhn-TIN-you-uhm]
a continuous series or whole, no part of which is perceptibly different from the adjacent parts.

And . . .

In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum.

Which introduces:

 (According to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity)

Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as existing in three dimensions and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions. From a Euclidean space perspective, the universe has three dimensions of space and one of time. By combining space and time into a single manifold, physicists have significantly simplified a large number of physical theories, as well as described in a more uniform way the workings of the universe at both the supergalactic and subatomic levels.

Well, that's what the science books say. But being an eternal skeptic, I can't say that I put much faith in mere mathematics.



Lee Marvin
 Born Feb. 19, 1924
Died  Aug 29, 1987

Lee Marvin was an American film actor. Known for his gravelly voice, white hair and 6 ft 2 in. stature, Marvin at first did supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers and other hardboiled characters, but after winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his dual roles in Cat Ballou (1965), he landed more heroic and sympathetic leading roles. He was perhaps best known for his starring role as Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger in the 1957-1960 NBC hit crime series, M Squad.

He starred in Attack, (1956) had a good supporting role in the Western Seven Men from Now (1956) and starred in The Missouri Traveler (1958). In the 1960s, Marvin was given prominent supporting roles in such films as The Comancheros (1961), John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and Donovan's Reef (1963), all starring John Wayne, with Marvin's roles getting larger with each film. As the vicious Liberty Valance, Marvin played his first title role and held his own with two of the screen's biggest stars (Wayne and James Stewart).

He appeared in The Killers (1964) playing an efficient professional assassin alongside Clu Gulager.

Marvin won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Actor for his comic role in the offbeat Western Cat Ballou starring Jane Fonda. He also won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 15th Berlin International Film Festival.

Next Marvin performed in the hit Western The Professionals (1966), in which he played the leader of a small band of skilled mercenaries. He followed that film with the hugely successful World War II epic The Dirty Dozen (1967). In Point Blank he portrayed a hard-nosed criminal bent on revenge. In 1968, Marvin also appeared in the World War II character study Hell in the Pacific. Marvin starred in the Western musical Paint Your Wagon (1969).

Marvin had a much greater variety of roles in the 1970s and 1980s, with fewer 'bad-guy' roles than in earlier years. His 1970s films included Monte Walsh (1970) with Jeanne Moreau, the violent Prime Cut (1972) with Gene Hackman, Pocket Money (1972) with Paul Newman, Emperor of the North Pole (1973) opposite Ernest Borgnine, as Hickey in The Iceman Cometh (1973) with Fredric March and Robert Ryan, The Spikes Gang (1974) with Noah Beery, Jr., The Klansman (1974) with Richard Burton, Shout at the Devil (1976) with Roger Moore, The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday (1976) with Oliver Reed, and Avalanche Express (1978) with Robert Shaw.

Marvin's last big role was in Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One (1980). His remaining films were Death Hunt (1981) with Charles Bronson, Gorky Park (1983), Dog Day (1984), and The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission (1985); his final appearance was in The Delta Force (1986) with Chuck Norris.

 Born Feb 19, 1955
Age: 57 years old.

Jeffrey Warren "Jeff" Daniels is an American actor, musician and playwright. He founded a non-profit theater company, the Purple Rose Theater Company, in his home state of Michigan. He has performed in a number of stage productions, both on and off Broadway, and has been nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actor for the Broadway play God of Carnage (2009), along with his other three cast-mates.

His film debut was in 1981 with Ragtime, and his most recent film is Looper in 2012. He is best known for his role in Dumb and Dumber.

 Born Feb 19, 1966
Age:  46 years old.

Justine Tanya Bateman is an American actress, writer, and producer. She is best known for her regular role as Mallory Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties (from 1982 until 1989). Until recently, Justine ran a production and consulting company, SECTION 5. In the fall of 2012, she started studying Computer Science at UCLA.

 Born Feb 19, 1473
Died May 24, 1543

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a comprehensive heliocentric model which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center of the universe.


Memoirs are the backstairs of history.

--George Meredith

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