About smkelly8

writer, teacher, movie lover, traveler, reader

Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

It’s been a mixed week. On the plus side, Friday I celebrated my birthday with a dinner with my parents and two cousins, I haven’t seen in ages. We ate outside at a local spot which has a lovely patio area. The downside, which is minor, is that it was quite chilly. We wore our fall coats the whole time. I must admit fall has come and it’s time to switch out my seasonal wardrobe.

While Friday was great, Saturday started with a fender bender. Ugh. I was parking in front of a food pantry where my partner and I were going to work. I accidentally started to park in a loading zone and the man who owned the store by the zone, startled me as he dramatically waved and pointed to the sign. Of course, I started to move out, but I wasn’t careful enough so I soon heard a dreadful CRRRUNCH. I’d hit the taillights of the car in front of me. Long story short, I’ve exchanged information with the other driver and will go through the process of making things right. There’s something so awful in that sound of a car accident, even a minor one. Then there’s the dreadful thought of how much will it cost and how much hassle this will be to fix. My car had a pretty long scratch, but when I got home, I wiped off the door and saw that the scratch isn’t so bad. Have you had any experiences like this?

This week at work we got more people to do the Census than any other, but 200%. Where have these people been? They were pleasant and we didn’t have any insults shouted at us. We have had some of our future assignments changed as both in Albany Park and the Morse CTA station, there were shootings. We work during the day and these incidents happened after 6pm, but it’s good we’ve been reassigned. I do wonder when Chicago’s violence will decline. Nothing seems to be working.

On Thursday, my partner and I had an interesting talk with the two police officers covering the Rogers Park CTA stations. They explained how there’s a lot to their job that TV commentators and social media users just don’t understand. For example, tasers only work as designed if they can touch the skin. If someone is wearing thick or baggy clothing, they’re ineffective. Someone can pull out the prongs pretty easily and once those wires are disconnected, the device is useless. I’d love to see a news program that offers information on how tasers work and what they can and can’t do. I’d like to see the actual statistics on how often someone draws a weapon on the police and the officers make the arrest without drawing a weapon.

I’m reading That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. It’s the third book of his space trilogy. It’s quite different from the first two books, but relates to what’s going on in society right now in terms of violence and division. The main character Mark is a university professor and I’m enjoying the view into academia.

I finished the Hillsdale College Children’s Classic Literature course so I got Peter Rabbit and reread that and got Beatrix Potter’s Two Bad Mice. Both were witty and soothing timeless stories.

My job will end on September. I have lined up short term work as a judge for early voting which will start here on October 19th and culminate November 3rd. After that I have to get something else. First and foremost I have to figure out what I want to do.

Book Club: Up From Slavery

I’ve added this to my TBR list. I did read parts of this in junior high, but since then Book T. Washington has been dismissed. By rereading this classic, I can determine if I agree that he should be.

Xingu, Volume 2

Carol Swain

Carol Swain, PhD, discusses Up from Slavery with Michael Knowles. I remember reading parts of it in junior high. It’s back on my reading list.

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Today in History

On this date in 1940, Polish soldier Witold Pilecki allowed himself to be captured by the Nazis. He was a captain in the Polish resistance, and he wanted to find out what was going on near the town of Auschwitz. His superior officers believed it was just a German camp for prisoners of war, but Pilecki suspected that something else was happening there. He hounded his commanders until they finally gave him the go-ahead to join a crowd of Polish citizens who were being rounded up by Nazi soldiers. Pilecki, who left behind a wife and two young children, was taken to Auschwitz along with the others, just as he’d planned. He was given a number — 4859 — and soon realized the true purpose of the camp.

“Pilecki remained there for nearly three years, during which time he smuggled out detailed reports of the atrocities with the camp’s dirty laundry. His reports of gas chambers and ovens to dispose of human remains were so horrific that no one in the Polish underground believed him. And even though his reports made their way to the British and the Americans, suggesting ways to liberate the camp, still nothing was done. Meanwhile, he did what he could to arrange escapes for his fellow inmates.

“Finally, in 1943, frustrated with the lack of action, Pilecki faked a case of typhus and escaped from the hospital. After the war, the Polish underground recruited him to spy on the country’s new occupiers, the Soviets. But he was captured by the Polish Communist regime and executed for espionage, in 1948. His story was suppressed until after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.”

From the Writer’s Almanac, Retrieved from http://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-september-19-2020/ on September 19, 2020.


I didn’t know about Pilecki.

Sepia Saturday

Each week Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers with a visual prompt from way back when. This week we’re challenged to share photos of people cooking outdoors. Well, you can interpret the image above however you like, but I’ve gone with outdoor cooking.

Here’s what I found.

Wolcott, M. P., photographer. (1940) Camp Livingston construction worker cooking outdoors in front of shacks which they have built themselves out of lumber they purchased or found nearby. These are along the main highway on government property so they do not have to pay rent. Water is hauled from a nearby church faucet. There are no satisfactory facilities.There were all from Monroe, Louisiana. Their names were: S.A. Trichel, John H. Poole Jr., R. Jones, D.C. Lovelady, Charles B. Griggs. Most of them have been here about three weeks, a couple only one week. Louisiana Rapides Parish Rapides Parish. United States, 1940. Dec. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2017805919/.

Robinson, H. R. (1834) The Political Barbecue
. , 1834. New York: Published by H.R. Robinson. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2008661772/.

Andrew Jackson is roasted over the fires of “Public Opinion” by the figure of Justice in a cartoon relating to the controversy surrounding Jackson’s removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. Jackson, with the body of a pig, is prone on a gridiron over a stone barbecue oven. The fire is stoked by former Secretary of the Treasury William Duane, at lower right, while Jack Downing, lower left, splits kindling. Jack Downing: “I jest split a little kindleying wood, so Amos can jest make Broth for all hands &c.” Duane: “I am opposed to Removing the Deposits, as I was when I was Secretary, but prefer gently Stirring them up.” Five men, opponents of Jackson’s bank program, stand behind the barbecue. They are (from left to right) Senators Henry Clay, Daniel Webster (holding a knife), William B. Preston, Bank president Nicholas Biddle, and an unidentified fifth man. Vice-President Martin Van Buren, as an imp, flies off to the right with a sack of Treasury Notes over his shoulder. Clay: “Dan this is what they call in Kentuc our High Game to their Low Jack.” Webster: “In Massachusetts they call it Roasting.” Preston: “In South Carolina t’is called Barbecue only he wants a little more Basteing.” Biddle: “In Pennsylvania we find it difficult to find a home for the animal but have concluded to call him Nondescript pertaking of the General, Hog, Man and Devil.” Fifth man: “We think he pertakes strongly of the Rooter, for he has rooted our treasures all over the country and was squeeling for the Pension-fund when Clay caught him and put a ring in his nose, and we’ve all given it a twist.” Van Buren: “T’is my business to get folks in trouble and their business to get themselves out.”

Ibid
Kilburn, B. W., photographer. (1904) Thanksgiving barbecue, Moscow, Wash
. Washington, 1904. [Littleton, N.H.: Photographed and published by B.W. Kilburn] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2018653443/.

If you want to see more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

Sculpture Saturday

St. Paul’s in Pilson, St. Theresa of Avila

Saturday Sculpture was hosted by the  Mind over Memory blogger.

1. Share a photo of a sculpture

2. Link or ping back to Ruined for Life because Mind over Memory‘s has had to stop hosting. Between a new graduate program and work, she’s super busy.

To find out more about St. Theresa of Avila, click here.

It’s a fun challenge. Give it a try.