09 April 2012

(Easter) Monday Musings...
I must say, that when the world decides to have a "busy" weekend, they certainly "pull out ALL the stops" (nice gratuitous pipe organ reference, Bob), don't they?
Around our "Fortress", all was pretty much "standard fare", and by that I mean We STILL had boomcars driving past (15 total for the day).
I really have to wonder about the "spirituality" of those residing around us...
Ah, they're all heathens, who the hell are we kidding, right?
Now forgive me for being so damn "old-fashioned", but I like to hold Easter in a bit more reverence...as we used to.
After all, it IS supposed to be the highest Holy Day of our calendar, and this nation was founded by GOD-fearing individuals, was it not?
It's so nice to be looked upon as an anachronism.
Anyway, enough about that...for now.
We had ourselves a nice dinner with ham (pineapple and brown sugar glaze with cloves added), a casserole full of (homemade) macaroni and cheese (none of that Velveeta-laced, boxed stuff for THIS household - we use bricks of EXTRA sharp cheddar), and baked beans.
A standard dinner in my day...and it still holds up well, even in these "modern" times.
Meanwhile...back at the kitchen...
*** Like I said at the top...it's been a BUSY weekend.
We FIRST lost noted painter Thomas Kincaide (not to be confused with the 17th century golfer of the SAME name). He was only 54 years old, and was one of the most significant and influential artists of the late 20th century (imho).
Here's the WIKI on him:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kinkade
And here is his website:
http://www.thomaskinkade.com/magi/servlet/com.asucon.ebiz.home.web.tk.HomeServlet
In many ways, he became the Norman Rockwell of HIS time (and ours), and he, as well as his beautiful renditions of our lives will be missed.
But that was only the beginning...
*** We also lost iconic journalist Mike Wallace at age 93.
Here is HIS WIKI:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Wallace_(journalist)
Now, I grew up with Mike Wallace (figuratively-speaking)...and I have always considered him the last of a rapidly dying breed of REAL journalists.
In many ways, he reminded me of the late Edward R. Murrow, with his lines of questioning.
Some might have considered him relentless, while I just thought of him as wanting to KNOW THE TRUTH, and asking questions based in FACTS that were presented.
He was largely responsible for the creation and success of the (eyeball news network) show 60 Minutes, which we used to watch religiously at our house. You just knew that Wallace would be able to dig down and get to the bottom of whatever story he was chasing.
It's funny, but when I see people like Bill O'Reilly asking questions of some guest, I have to think of Mike Wallace.
And if we have come to notice that people of celebratory status usually pass away in THREES, we're due for that third person soon enough.
Makes you wonder who it could be.
*** They have this cruise, putting out of the UK that is going to RETRACE the maiden voyage of the ill-fated RMS Titanic (1912) on the centennial this weekend. And while on some levels, I applaud the gesture (replete with period attire, foods and music), I am also kinda creeped out by this as well.
The cruise line is even holding the passenger manifest to the EXACT number of voyagers on the Titanic (1309).
Here's the WIKI on the RMS Titanic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic
And here's the article on the current voyage:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/08/us-britain-titanic-idUSBRE8370BX20120408
Many on board this chartered cruise are DESCENDANTS of the original Titanic passengers.
The ship chartered for this trip is the Balmoral, and here is her WIKI:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Balmoral.jpg
I've NEVER been a fan of ocean voyages...don't know why, either (unless in a past life, I was on board the Titanic...or the Lusitania).
I have this extreme aversion to LARGE bodies of water, but I will spend DAYS at a shoreline, watching ships sail past as well as watching sunrises or sunsets. THAT is spectacular.
We ALL have fears, and one of mine is DROWNING.
Perhaps it's because I had a close call as a youngster in an above-ground backyard pool, not to mention that I had read the book A Night To Remember when I was in 6th grade...that didn't help, although the book as excellent.
The movie was pretty good, too...better than the movie Titanic (with Clifton Webb).
Now the Cameron film with Winslet and DiCaprio was a visual wonder, but even Cameron admits he got some things "wrong".
The Nat-Geo Channel ran a 2-hour show last night about the Titanic, with a panel of experts who produced a computer simulation as to what probably happened to the ship as she sank. And it was a good piece, from a few standpoints.
The wreckage site and debris field figured prominently into this, as the experts determined HOW the filed became as scattered as it did.
--It was Robert Ballard who FIRST found the Titanic (as an adjunct to a special operation from the U.S. Navy to find the submarines Thresher and Scorpion, both lost with all hands). Using the same technology and search patterns, he determined current speed and direction and with only 4 days left of the original 12 he was allotted to find the wreck, the Titanic finally gave up her grave site.
The entire back story on the expedition and subsequent visits to the wreck (over 2 miles down) is a marvelous adventure in modern oceanography as well as archaeology.
I wish the passengers on the Balmoral Godspeed and a SAFE journey without incident.
*** Lastly today, you really have to marvel at the ability of man to engineer what seems to be the impossible.
We have built ocean liners that plowed the seven seas...we have built rockets to send men to the moon, and then built lunar landers and rovers to allow these brave men to walk and ride upon the surface.
We have created the ability to extinguish ourselves with the press of a button (the atomic bomb age) and yet have had the reserve to not pursue such insanity after WW2.
We have created technology after technology to better our lives and in some cases, even EXTEND them.
And through all this (and more) we have never quite outgrown out own arrogance.
We still have that to some degree, and it's displayed itself in our past.
The Titanic was claimed to be unsinkable...and yet it sank.
We lost 3 astronauts in Apollo 1 and nearly lost another three on Apollo 13.
We DID lose two space shuttle crews. (Columbia and Challenger)
But through all this...we DID learn from such mistakes.
Still, it should never have to take disaster to make any of us aware of the flaws in either our technological wonder...or ourselves.
Could many of such disasters like the ones mentioned have been prevented?
Most assuredly.
And that is where we have to focus...
We need to slow down sometimes, step back and take a long, hard look at whatever the problem is, to properly address it, and correct it.
We might have to begin anew if the problem cannot be solved as it presents itself.
But in the long run, with the persistence and patience we have been known to have in times past, we can resolve most any situation.
And that's just what I happen to believe.
Have yourselves a great week.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

6 comments:

John D. said...

Sadly, I missed that NatGeo special on the Titanic the other night. Hopefully I can catch it on a rerun.

As for the voyage retracing the Titanic's journey, I'd tend to avoid that too. With my luck, the trip would include an encounter with an iceberg. I figure it's better not to tempt fate. Fate already slaps me around enough as it is.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
If NAT GEO is any good, they should be reruning these shows at least by THIS weekend.

I LOVE your take on "fate"...nice to know I'm not the ONLY person that has this market "cornered".

We'd like to CHANGE that if we could, right?
(fate likes to grab me by the collar and boot me in the ass, but that's another story...lol.)

Hey, thanks for rolling on up today and commenting.

Stay safe out there.

CWMartin said...

Im can't get to the end of the Dicaprio/Winslet Titanic with out tears- the scene where the passengers all greet Rose after she finally dies gets me just thinking about it. IMHO, the most well-put-together movie of all time.

Bob G. said...

CWM:
I will give Jim Cameron one thing...when he sets his mind to something, he DOES come through.
Mark of a real professional.

That moment you mention is moving.
(and after all she went through on that fateful night...it does get the emotions flowing.)

Don't know if I would want to see it in 3D, though...lol

Thanks for stopping on by today and commenting.
Stay safe up there.

Slamdunk said...

The older kiddo and the Mrs. heard a Ballard lecture on the Titantic and have been hooked since. He is very engaging.

Sorry to see the death of Kincaide. Though I understand why some disliked his work because it was over-commercialized, his technique was appealing; especially works done with a fall theme using the oranges, yellows, and browns.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
Bob Ballard is a very engaging individual. You said it perfectly.

I love the "secret" mission prior to the Titanic gig where he looked (and found) both the Thresher and the Scorpion...amazing stuff.
It was a test of the equipment to be used to find Titanic.

Kincade was commercialized, but I think if Rockwell, or even Renoir were living in our present day, they would also suffer similar fates.
It's all about the money, however talented you might be.
Conversely, if Kincaide were back in Rockwell's day, he have cornered the market on calendars!
(hands down)

Hey, thanks for stopping on by today and commenting.

Stay safe out there.