Turtle Sex

This is the image to attract your attention in case you are a visual sort of person. It comes from a peculiar website called Grist. The website is dedicated to environmental things including the whackos who are attracted to that sort of thing. It looks very interesting. The story had to do with mating turtles disturbing air travel somewhere on the East Coast. It was written in an amusing way. I wonder, are there animals, besides ourselves, that mate face to face?

El Barbudo Graciously Relinquishes Power

[I must have been commenting on some article I read in one or another paper that I read, but I see now that I forgot the reference. Oh well, things may improve or not. It obviously needs a picture too. I can add that a picture from a trip to Havana in 2004, when El Barbudo was in better shape. As I recall it, he talked for almost 4 hours straight.]

Now that our man in Havana has turned over the reins to his brother Raul, will he travel to Hollywood for his lifetime achievement Oscar, or to Stockholm for his Nobel Peace Prize?

My guess is both.
[I may have been wrong, ironically, I suppose it can still happen.]

The Crypt of the Capuchins


I forgot to mention one of our stops in Rome on our recent Italian adventure. This is on the via Veneto and gets a lot of tourists. But I think it was actually put together before tourism became all that big a deal. Well, now that I think about it, I suppose touring Rome has always been the thing to do in Europe. They used to call themselves pilgrims.

Anyway the Capuchins have been here since 1631. I am not sure when they got started with the bony artwork. One source says after they moved earlier burials to this place in the 17th century. Another says that the arranging of bones started after 1870. They say they came to pray here before retiring for the night: the message being perhaps that death closes the gate of time and opens that of eternity. Of course, we moderns have completely forgotten about the long history of the RC cult of the dead, the skull on the desk, etc. “What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be.”

When the Last Trumpet sounds there is going to be a lot of confusion at this spot, as the bones of any one individual are pretty much scattered around, and I suppose the mice have carried off a few as well.

I am in the process of sorting through shoeboxes, I mean literally shoeboxes, filled to the brim with old pictures, in no special order. Some of these go back to the 60s and before, like in “the olden days” as our kids used to say about any time before they were born. The one to the right is a faded, poorly exposed snapshot taken sometime during the 40s. The girl on the right is Carol and I think that is her sister on the left

To the left is one from another life, now closed off completely by virtue of advancing age. Fortunately we didn’t take so many pictures in the pre-digital age. We still throw away as many now as then.

Carol had the wit to label it, otherwise we would still be guessing. I don’t care what they say, I liked those big hairdos.

Then there are a ton of scrapbooks from my mother’s basement. There are some real prizes here. I am trying to get these in shape before the 2nd Mueller Melee this summer.

Busy Day for Elderly Pathologist

For a mostly retired pathologist I had a busy day.

First thing was a post-mortem examination on a 40 year old male who didn’t wake up yesterday morning. Now that I think about it, with the amount of skin slippage that he had, it was probably at least 3 or 4 days ago that he didn’t wake up. He had a heart large enough to do him in.

Then I hurried to St Pius for a funeral mass for the wife of a retired surgeon. Apparently she just up and died one evening a few days ago. Another reminder that we need to treasure all our gatherings as they may be cut short at any time, so always say what needs to be said, just in case one or the other of us doesn’t wake up.

A quick lunch at home, then off to First Presbyterian where we celebrated the life of Bob W., president of the Billings Mustangs for quite a few years, and a good guy. He was known to have some kind of heart disease and fairly severe Parkinson’s disease, but as bad luck would have it, he slipped and fell while shoveling snow on 1 January, broke his hip, and then took about a month to die.

Then back to the morgue to examine a month old male whose mother was in jail and was being looked after by his step-father: not a very auspicious start in life, and not surprisingly, he didn’t get very far either. He was filled with pus in all his airways and even in his urine. The “old man’s friend” can affect the very young too.

Standing out in my mind at the end of the day was the reading from Proverbs about the good wife at the morning funeral and the eulogy from an articulate 11 year old grandson at the afternoon funeral.

What has been offered for learning today? 1) Choose your ancestors wisely; and 2) Get somebody else to shovel your driveway.