Unexploded WWII bomb found near Tower Bridge in London

This is a short clip for you to watch (2 minutes tops) is from the Rachel Maddow show March 24, 2014.  This unbelievable story is about a WWII German bomb was dug up in London on a construction site near the Tower Bridge.  Homes had to be evacuated while experts worked to extract and remove the bomb.    The link below the video is for the London Evening Standard article that shows pictures (sorry, that the video is more just audio).  

 

London Evening Standard Article

 

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The Boys Are Back in Town

Listening to the song “The Boys Are Back in Town” by Patty Loveless always conjures up two types of images for me.  One is sailors coming back into port after the war, and the other image is of baseball players coming back after the winter break.  Since the Milwaukee Brewers 2015 season opener is only 2 days away, I picked out this song and made my own video to go with it.  It shows some of my favorite players like Nori Aoki, Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy, Matt Garza and Bob Uecker.

                                                                        

“The Boys Are Back In Town” by Patty Loveless

 Gather ’round, ladies, gather ’round
Hear the news that’s comin’ down
The ships are in and the sails are down
The boys are back in town

Get your skirts down off the rack
The boys are in and the boys are back
And no time now for takin’ slack
The boys are back in town

Yeah, the boys are back in town
Your true love can be found
Gather ’round the old playground
The boys are back in town

They’ve been gone for quite a while
Man, it’s good to see ’em smile
Now they’re loaded up on style
The boys are back in town

Come in the house, get out of the car
See ’em coming down the road
Gonna raise some hell ’cause don’t you know
The boys are back in town

Well, the boys are back in town
Your true love can be found
Gather ’round the old playground
The boys are back in town

Well, the boys are back in town
Your true love can be found
Gather ’round the old playground
The boys are back in town

 

 

 

Yellow Star

yellow star

Yellow Star written by Jennifer Roy is another book that I picked up in the children’s section at the library.  I was interested to see how the Holocaust was going to be presented to a non-adult audience.  I was surprised to see that once I had opened up the book, that it was actually a true story of the author’s aunt.

The author’s aunt was named Syvia (Sylvia) Perlmutter, and like many of the Holocaust survivors, she didn’t talk about her experience very much until later in life.  She was only 4 years old in Poland at the begining of the war and 10 when it ended.What made Syvia’s story so remarkable was that she was one of twelve children to survive in the Lodz ghetto.  Here are a few statistics:

  • Before WWII 233,000 Jews lived in Lodz, Poland
  • This was 1/3 of the total population and the 2nd largest Jewish community in Poland
  • 160,000 Jews were isolated from the rest of the world in the Lodz ghetto
  • Only 800 survived
  • 12 of the survivors were children

In the introduction, the author described her struggle with how to write this story.  She tried in both third and first person accounts, but found that it didn’t flow very well.  She finally settled on transcribing her interviews with Syvia’s the same poetical way it was relayed to her.  Sometimes, she only had a few words describing a memory or situation.   Thus the book is 227 pages of short stanzas of free form poetry.

Here is a small selection from the book that I chose to demonstrate this (page 59)

No Friends

Last night with Itka was so happy
but today is the saddest day ever.
Sadness.
Sadness.
Sadness.

Papa took me on his lap and told me this:
On his way home from work,
he passed the train station
and saw Itka’s face in one of the windows.
She was looking out
as the train pulled away.
Itka’s family had received a summons,
Papa told me.
It had come earlier that week.

I think of Itka
in a train car
packed with people
and Hava
disappearing from the street.
I have to friends anymore.

 

Eventually the Nazi’s began to thin out the ghetto and many Jews were shipped out of Lodz via train to concentration camps.  Those left behind were tasked with the job of cleaning up the ghetto and sorting out all the possessions left behind.  Syvia’s sister, was technically still a child, but passed herself off as a young adult and got a job so she wouldn’t be separated from her family.

Later on the Nazi’s decided that no more children were allowed in the ghetto and rounded them up.  Syvia and a few other children, including her cousin, were hidden in a basement.  She couldn’t go outside anymore.  One time, when the Nazi’s were doing random checks, Syvia and her father had to escape from the house and try to find a safe place to hid.  I had never heard of this before, but they ran to a nearby cemetary and dug a shallow hole and laid down in it so they were flush with the top of the ground.  I couldn’t imagine how scary that must have been as a 7 year old to have to lay in a grave, completely silent while the Nazis are running all over the city shouting and trying to find you.   That was just one of the times, Syvia was forced to be brave and only one of times that her Papa was a hero for saving his family with this idea.  Syvia always felt that she as insignificant and not brave.  Her time to step up came right before the liberation of Lodz.

Near the end of the war, Lodz was bombed.  Syvia woke up in the middle of the night when she heard things exploding.  She woke up her family.  If she had cowered in the corner no one would have made it out alive.  The slow destruction of the city was a chance for the rest of the Jews to escape.  They had been hiding in a building directly across the street from where the Nazi’s had their headquarters because Papa said, “it would be the last place they would look for us.”  However, the buildings were the targets for the bombs so the Jews had to get out fast.  Most frantically ran around the city without any plan.  Syvia’s Papa gathered everyone he could and herded them to an open field.  He told everyone to lay down in the courtyard and be still.

The bombs continued to fall and destroy all the buildings.  When it finally had stopped everyone stood up and tried to figure out what to do next.  That’s when they heard voices speaking a familiar language.  It wasn’t German shouting, but Polish and Hebrew and Yiddish.  It was the Russians who were bombing Lodz.  Papa found out that the Russian pilot was also a Jew and as he flew his bomber over the city, looking for targets, he noticed the courtyard where everyone was laying down.  It was the numerous cluster of all the yellow stars of David that had been manditorily affixed to the Jews’ clothing that caught his attention when they glowed in the spotlights.  He then called off the bombers and found a place to land in order to rescue the survivors.  What luck !  I could not help but cry when I read that.

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a great story of heroics and survival for sure, but when I read how they were rescued, I couldn’t help but cry.  My emotional person transfers into being an emotional reader too… as you can tell if you read my Wake of the Wahoo review.

 On google books you can preview parts of the book.  Click the link below 

https://books.google.com/books?id=_rN-tztTfbwC&lpg=PP1&dq=yellow%20star&pg=PP11#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Charles Nelson Reilly

I love collecting autographs in person, but sometimes the autograph that I want is no longer obtainable so occasionally I will have to purchase them.  It’s always a challenge to figure out if what you are buying is authentic or not. 

This time I wanted to get Charles Nelson Reilly’s autograph.  At the time, when I searched Ebay a lot of what was available was pictures of him as Hoo Doo from his TV kids show, Lidsville.  I wanted a picture of him, but couldn’t find him so I went for the next best thing.  This is one of the more irregular autographs that I own.  

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I suppose anything could be faked these days, but I’m pretty sure this is authentic.  Because I’m so interested in autographs, even before I started searching for it, I would always watch his handwriting (as well as my other favorites like Richard Dawson) on the Match Game cards he wrote his answers down on.

In this screen shot you can see the capital F is the same as the check.

I haven’t put it together in a collage in my scrapbook yet, but when I do I’ll update this with a picture.  

Charles Nelson Reilly has been one of my favorite performers since I started watching the Match Game. Boy did he have some crazy outfits ! He was just so funny, even when he wasn’t picking on Brett.  If you haven’t seen Lidsville before, he’s a perfect villain.  You’ll have to watch it on YouTube or spend over 160 bucks on Ebay for the vhs tapes.  

Speaking of YouTube, his one man comedy show called The Life of Reilly is available to watch in segments.  He talks about his childhood and life. This is the best recording of it.  

 

 

Liberty’s Kids

Liberty’s Kids is one of my favorite cartoon TV shows.  I found my DVD collection while doing some Spring Cleaning today.  The show is about 3 kids who work for Ben Franklin in the newspaper business and they get mixed up in all kinds of events before and during the Revolutionary War.  

I like the theme song (minus the rap part)

Looking at Life Through My Own Eyes (Liberty’s Kids theme song)

Sung by Kayla Hinkle and Aaron Carter (I’m not sure of the writer, this was transcribed from the opening— Video below)

I see a land with liberty for all

Yet still I know the truth will rise and fall

That’s just the way it goes

A word now to the wise

The world was made to change

Each day is a surprise

I’m lookin’ at life through my own eyes

Searchin’ for a hero to idolize

Feeling the pain as innocence dies

Looking at life through my own eyes

I take my heart into battle

Give that freedom bell a rattle

Get my independence signed

Declare it on the dotted line

In Philadelphia freedom ring

And patriotic voices sing

Red White & Blue

never give up

We represent America

I’m hoping and praying for a brighter day

I listen to my heart and I obey

How can I see it any other way?

I’m looking at life (looking at life)

Through my own eyes

 

Custom made T-shirt Design Using Bleach

I found this idea on Pinterest and thought it was something that I could re-create.  It’s a T-shirt where a picture was created by using bleach around a pattern.  I pinned it on my craft board, but this shirt was actually for sale on Etsy so I had to guess on the instructions.  I felt it had a more definite result than tye-dyeing.

 

Supplies

  • T-Shirt
  • Bleach
  • A spray bottle
  • Stencil design
  • Plastic to protect the surface you are working on
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Goggles to protect your eyes
  • A washing machine to finish your design

 

The design I wanted to use was the old Amtrak logo because they have since changed it to a new design and it is hard to find the vintage look.

I went on the computer and enlarged the logo to the chest size of my T-shirt and then went ahead and cut it out, using an exacto knife. I then placed it on the front of my shirt and taped it down. 

I wanted to make sure that the shirt was completely flat.  I used a large piece of cardboard to insert inside the shirt, and I also covered it with a plastic bag so that the bleach wouldn’t soak through to the back side. 

Next I wanted to make sure that I didn’t spray any bleach on parts of the shirt that didn’t require it so I taped another bag around my design to cover the other parts of the shirt.

Next I got the bleach treatment ready by pouring a bit of liquid bleach into a spray bottle.  I also bought a bleach pen to make sure I got clear lines. 

I took the shirt outside to the back yard and did my spraying on the pavement. I saturated the T-shirt and the stencil.  And let it dry outside in the sun.  Next I put it in the washing machine and dryer to set it.

IMG_2877

Looking back at the design I saw online, I can see where I went wrong by reversing the negative and positive spaces on the shirt with my design.  If I try again in the future I’ll know to do it the opposite way. Where they used an outline and sprayed the bleach around it, I sprayed the bleach into my outline.  That’s where it came out looking like a sweat stain.  But at least I got the logo nice and straight with the help of the bleach pen.  I failed on this project and ended up using the shirt to wash my truck with. 

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