Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Reading and Movie Favs

Robert B. Parker's Wonderland - Ace Atkins
Raylan - Elmore Leonard
Plum Lovin' - Janet Evanovich
Bad Business - Robt. B. Parker
Calico Joe - John Grisham
Walking Shadow - Robt. B. Parker
Jungle Tiger - Mark Rainbolt
Explosive 18 - Janet Evanovich
Benjamin Franklin - Brandon Miller
Detroit - Scott Martelle
Drift - Rachel Maddow
Heads in Beds - Jacob Tomsky - *2014 favorite
The Cheapskate Next Door - Jeff Yeager
Killing the Blues - Robt. B. Parker
I Suck at Girls - Justin Halpern

Blue Jasmine
The Big Year
Dallas Buyers Club
American Hustle
The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain America: the Winter Soldier
Heaven is Real
Draft Day
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Our Idiot Brother
Enough Said
Love Serenade
22 Jump Street
Girl Most Unlikely
Edge of Tomorrow
Muscle Shoals
And So It Goes
A Walk Among the Tombstones
St. Vincent
Citizen 4

Monday, December 8, 2014

Oceanside Museum of Art Bike Ride

This weekend I biked up to Oceanside on Saturday and back on Sunday. On Saturday I took the train up to Sorrento Valley and biked the remaining twenty-seven miles to Oceanside. On the return trip on Sunday I missed a major turn off and ended up biking all the way back to San Diego. Which really only added another ten miles to the return ride.

The art museum had an opening Saturday night for the new show "California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California". My cousin PJ's husband Craig had a piece[above] hanging in the show.

Another favorite from the show.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Langins - Langin Loyalist Notes

Note by Joe Leeak:
I was interested in finding out if there was any truth to the rumor that the Langins went to Canada as Loyalists around the time of the Revolutionary War. The short answer is they seem to predate the Loyalists as you'll see in my research notes below.

None of this rules out that the Langins were originally French Huguenots. The Huguenots have a history of moving multiple times so it's perfectly possible that the Langins came from either France or Ireland or both.

I have positively been able to confirm Loyalist roots on my dad's side of the family though. Christian Knisley was given 200 acres of land adjacent to what would become the Welland Canal that parallels the Niagara River between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. This land became enormously valuable and was held by various family members until the untimely death of an unmarried school teacher in the '60's who left the land to a combination of the local school district and hospital. This land would be worth 10's of millions of dollars today.

24 November 2014

Joe Leeak's notes on early Canadian Langins being Loyalists:
From the historical literature:
The greatest number of Loyalists[ about 14,000 ] went to Canada after the revolutionary war was over in 1783.

There was no immigration into Nova Scotia[the eastern half later to become New Brunswick in the early 1780's] between 1775, when the US Revolutionary War started, and when it was over in 1783.

Per “Planters and Pioneers” the Langins where in Nova Scotia before the Loyalists arrival starting in 1783[ ** Son Frances born in MA in 1797 ].

Per Lois' unattributed genealogical record:
All of Thomas Langin & Jane Mooers' children were born between 1782 and 1797 in Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts.

Thomas born between 1760 and 1769 and Jane Mooers in 1753[** 7 to 16 years before Thomas]. Assuming Thomas was at least 16 when his oldest son was born in 1782[ 29 YO mother] the latest Thomas Sr. could have been born would be 1766[ ** at least 13 years after his wife. ].

The last of 11 children, Frances, is shown as born in 1797. [**Making the mother 44 years old.]

[ ]

Excerpts from: Planters and Pioneers: Nova Scotia, 1749 to 1775, by Esther Wright, published by Justin Wentzell, Beaver Bank, N.S., 2007.

"Nova Scotia from 1749 to 1775 included the area north of the Bay of Fundy, which, in 1784, was made into the province of New Brunswick. The settlers who came to New Brunswick are therefore part of the story of the pre-Loyalist settlement of Nova Scotia. ...

...I found it necessary to separate the pre-Loyalist settlers from the Loyalists. ... there was a larger population in Nova Scotia (including what later was New Brunswick) when the Loyalists came than historians had realized. ... the whole story has not been put together. ...The settlers who came to Nova Scotia before the influx of loyalists have been relatively ignored, and the importance of their contriubtion to Nova Scotia, to the Loyalists who followed them, to Canada as a whole, and to North America and beyond, has not been adequately known or emphasized. Even in New Brunswick, where the number of Loyalists was in greater proportion to the number of older settlers than in the rest of Nova Scotia, the dominant factor in the cultural heritage came from the Massachusetts pioneers. St. John River families had taken it for granted that they were of Massachusetts origin, and it was a surprise to find that the Loyalists came mostly from New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

It was partly to emphasize the importance of these settlers in their own right, that I chose the title "Planters and Pioneers." Planters was an Elizabethan term for colonists. ...1749, the year of Cornwallis' arrival in Halifax, was taken as the beginning of the period, although there were a few earlier settlers ... 1775 makes a convenient end to the period, because the outbreak of hostilities in the rebellious colonies put an end to immigration to Nova Scotia, although there were one or two families who moved up the coast from Maine to New Brunswick after 1775, and a few Scotsmen who arrrived at the Miramichi. ... (and) about 2000 (Acadiams) in the area when the Loyalists came. ... (the above exerpts from pp. 1 to 3).

...Halifax.. .knew little and cared less about such a remote area as the St. John River and what was happening there. James Simonds from Newburyport, Massachusetts, who had been trading at Passamaquoddy, had found that area crowded, and had by 1762 established a trading post at the mouth of the St. John River. James White soon joined him, and William Hazen arrived in 1775. To carry on their various enterprises, they brought up many workmen from Massachusetts, most of whom became permanent settlers. In 1763, settlers from Essex County, whose scouts had previously come overland from Machias and chosen a site, began to arrive. Their settlement, at first known as Peabody's, ...later as Maugerville, because of help Joshua Mauger was supposed to have given in getting their grant, was one of the most successful in the whole of the old province of Nova Scotia. Nearly all the subscribers came, only a few returned to Massachusetts, and the Maugerville settlement was and continued to be a dominating influence up and down the St. John River.

The other townships on the river were less successful. ... Beamsley Glasier came to Nova Scotia in 1764 to select lands...and obtained grants of Gagetown, Burton, Sunbury, and Newtown. ... Glasier spent two years in an abortive attempt to get a milling venture established, but (many) sold their shares to British entrepreneurs, probably for debts they had incurred. Settlement lagged, as it always did under absentee proprietors. For those four townships, and Conway at the mouth of the river, the official enumerator of 1783 gave 500 inhabitants." (pp 15-16.)

Among the pre-Loyalist[ ** Thomas Langin's children were born in MA between 1882 and 1797] names listed in the book "Planters and Pioneers" are three men who are the direct ancestors of the Langin/Burpee lineage:

"BURPEE , JEREMIAH MAUGERVILLE, 1764. b. 21 May 1726, son of Jonathan and Hannah Platts Burpee, Rowley, Mass., d. 11 July 1767. m. 28 May 1751, Mary, dau. of Edward and Elizabeth Gage Saunders. Ch: David, Lydia, Edward, Hepzibah, Esther, Jeremiah, Thomas, Josepth or James." (p. 57)

"LANGIN, THOMAS (LANGDON) ST JOHN RIVER, 176-. d. 1811, Burton. m. Jane Ch: Edward, Jane, Rebecca, Huldah, Elizabeth, Margaret, Frances, Thomas, Hugh, Mary." (p. 163)

"MOOERS, PETER MAUGERVILLE, 1765. cordwainer, prob. from Haverhill, Mass. m. Mary . Ch: Huldah, Elizabeth,Sarah, Abigail, Rebecca, Samuel, David, Molly." (p. 188).

Note from Geneva Ensign-Langin. I have listed the above Pre-Loyalists exactly as quoted; however, some of the data is incomplete. According to my research, the maiden name of Thomas Langdon's wife, Jane, was Mooers. An additional daughter should be listed for them, that of Margery Langan, b. 1788, m. Asa Upton. Peter Mooers was was born 1726 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. His wife's maiden name was Howes; they married in 1748. They also had a daughter who isn't listed in the book-- Jane--who married Thomas Langdon.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

San Diego Water Color Society

I was out for a bike ride on Sunday and happened across a really great water color show at the San Diego Watercolor Society. As I was walking out I was going to quip that I'd like to have one of each. As it turned out they were selling a full color catalog for the show so I bought one. Here are some of my favorites:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Faux Kombucha

I like kombucha but can't tolerate any amount of cafeine at all so wanted to come up with a no cafeine alternative.  As it turns out it's just not possible to make kombucha from herbal tea.

I've come up with the following kombucha-like herbal tea drink that is pretty easy to make myself.

2 quarts boiling water
3 - rooibos tea bags
1 - licorice mint tea bag
1/3 cup stevia
1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice
Chill overnight in the frig

To serve:
Fill a glass 2/3 full with tea and three ice cubes; then fill with soda or seltzer water.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Travels

I headed north after Labor Day for a trip through Oregon and Washington.  After leaving on Tuesday after Labor Day I stopped for two nights to camp on the Rogue River about an hour north of Medford, OR to spend a day hiking along the river.  This is my favorite place to be on the planet... so far.

I left my campsight near Crater Lake on Friday to head for my friends Perry & Carol's house in Bend.  We spent Friday night through Sunday at the Sisters Folk Festival in Sister, OR.

After the Sisters Folk Festival I headed up to Seattle for a couple of weeks before heading back towards home. I met up with my friend Jay for an afternoon at the Puyallup fair.

As chance would have it I was able to meet up with my friend Don from Alaska for lunch in Marion Forks, Oregon.

The first week I was in Seattle I stayed at my friend David's house.  As it worked out though he and Jacque were in San Diego though. But I did manage to see them the next week. At the left is one of Jacque's home made quilts hanging in the hallway.

My friend Diane and I met up for a walk on the beach one afternoon at Discovery Park. Every time we'd planned a longer hike in the mountains it rained. Pffft... what did I expect!

On the way home to San Diego I stopped for a visit with long-lost third cousin Jim and his wife Brenda.   They have an olive orchard with nearly a thousand olive trees outside of Redding, CA.

My original plan had been to drive down California's central coast from Carmel to San Luis Obispo.  The weather was terrific and views spectacular... but I wasn't prepared for the mob.  The campgrounds were full and I ended up getting home a day early after a backwoods bivwac up in the coast range.

Friday, September 5, 2014

My Langins - Traditional Song "Once More a Lumberin' Go"

Notes by Joe Leeak:For any other Langin musicians here's a transcription of "Once More a Lumberin' Go" with my best guess at chord changes. This song was sung by Carl Lathrop in 1938 in St. Louis, MI and recorded by musicologist Alan Lomax.

Once More a Lumberin' Go

Come (I)all you sons of freedom and (IV)listen to my theme. Come (I)all you jolly lumberjacks that (V)run the Saginaw stream. We'll (I)cross the Tittabawassee where the (IV)mighty waters flow. And (I)we'll roam the wild woods over and once (V)more a lumberin' (I)go.

And (I)once more a lumberin' go. We'll (V)roam the wild woods over And once more a lumberin' (I)go.

When the (I)white frost hits the valley and the (IV)snow conceals the woods. The (I)lumberjack has lots to do to (V)find his family food. He has no (I)time he has for pleasure or to (IV)hunt the buck and doe. He (I)will roam the wild woods over and once (V)more a lumberin' (I)go.


With our (I)cross-cut saws and axes we will (IV)make the woods resound. And (I)many a tall stately tree will come (V)crashing to the ground. From our (I)cant-hooks on our shoulders to our (IV)boot top, white with snow. We will (I)roam the wild woods over and once (V)more a lumberin' (I)go.


You may (I)talk about your farms, your (IV)houses and fine places. But (I)pity not the shantyboys while (V)dashing on their sleigh; For (I)'round the good campfire at night we'll (IV)sing while wild winds blow. And we'll (I)roam the wild woods over and once (V)more a lumberin' (I)go.


And when (I)navigation's open and the (IV)water runs so free. We'll (I)drive our logs to Saginaw once (V)more our girls to see. They will (I)all be there to meet us and our (IV)hearts in rapture flow. We will (I)stay with them through summer then once (V)more a lumberin' (I)go.


And (I)once more a lumberin' go. We'll (V)stay with them through summer, Then once more a lumberin' (I)go. When our (I)youthful days are ended an our (IV)stories are growing old. We'll (I)take to each man a wife and (V)settle on the farm. We'll (I)have plenty to eat and drink, (IV)contented we will go. We'll (I)tell our wives of our hard times and no (V)more a lumberin' (I)go. [Chorus] And no (I)more a lumberin' go We'll (V)tell our wives of our hard times And no more a lumberin' (I)go.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Langins - Lumbering in Michigan By Maria Quinlan

Joe Leeak notes:
My great great grandparents JJ Langin & Anna Ramsey Langin came to Riverdale, Michigan from New Brunswick, Canada during the end of Michigan's 19th century logging boom. Maria Quinlan's story “Lumbering in Michigan”, originally published by the Michigan Historical Museum, will give you an idea of the world they lived in and what life was like when they arrived.

This story is offered for it's educational value for Langin family members looking for a broader context of their family's Michigan background.

Lumbering in Michigan
By Maria Quinlan

The "shanty boys" and the "timber barons" of the lumbering era were some of the most colorful characters in Michigan's history. Tales of the lumberjacks' prodigious strength and of the company owners' opulent houses and manner abound, but the lumbering industry produced more than songs and legends. A vast amount of housing in the Midwest was constructed of Michigan timber, and the profits taken from the state's forests were in turn used to fund a variety of enterprises around the state.

Geographic factors played an important part in the development of Michigan's lumber industry. White pine, the wood most in demand for construction in the nineteenth century, grew in abundance in northern Michigan forests. The state was also crisscrossed by a network of rivers which provided convenient transportation for logs to the sawmills and lake ports.

By 1840 it was apparent that the traditional sources of white pine in Maine and New York would be unable to supply a growing demand for lumber. Michigan, the next state west in the northern pine belt, was the logical place to turn for more lumber. The first commercial logging ventures in the state utilized eastern techniques, capital, and labor, but Michigan lumbering soon expanded beyond the scope of anything previously known and established itself as one of the state's most important industries.

The production of Michigan lumber increased dramatically during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The Saginaw Valley was the leading lumbering area between 1840 and 1860, when the number of mills in operation throughout the state doubled, and the value of their products increased from $1 million to $6 million annually. Rapid growth continued, and by 1869 the Saginaw Valley alone was earning $7 million yearly.

As the potential of the lumber business became apparent, companies were organized to begin commercial logging in other areas of the state. Many rivers, such as the Muskegon, that could carry logs quickly were transformed into a valuable means of transportation. By 1869 Michigan was producing more lumber than any other state, a distinction it continued to hold for thirty years. During that time loggers penetrated and settled the interiors of both peninsulas and moved away from the rivers in search of timber. Lumbermen became less selective as the years passed, cutting inferior quality white pine and logging other kinds of trees in order to meet a continuing demand for wood. In 1889, the year of greatest lumber production, Michigan produced approximately 5.5 billion board feet. (A board foot, the standard unit of lumber measurement, is a piece of wood 1 foot long, 1 foot wide and 1 inch thick).

The increased lumber production during the final decades of the nineteenth century was due in part to changes in machinery and techniques which brought greater efficiency to the industry. Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century lumbering had been a weather dependent and seasonally limited enterprise. Cutting was done during the winter when timber could be pulled on large sleds, if there were snow, from where the tree had been felled to banking grounds along a river.

The river drive was also dependent on a good winter snowfall for it was the spring run-off which enabled the rivers to carry the huge pine logs to the sawmills. Log drivers were usually men who had spent the winter in the woods cutting timber. It was their job to control the flow of the river by building and breaking dams and to break up log jams they could not prevent.

Sawmills were most often located at the mouths of the driving rivers. Associations were formed to cooperate in the sorting of logs into a pond or bay where floating "booms" of logs separated the property of one company from that of another. From the booms logs were floated to the mills to be sawed.

The sawmill was the first unit of the lumber industry to achieve increased output through technological change. Although water-powered mills were still common in the 1860s, steam saws, whether up-and-down or circular, were rapidly replacing them. Steam saws so increased the capacity of the mills that it became necessary to devise faster methods of handling both logs and sawn lumber in order to avoid pile-ups and delays. By the end of the 1870s virtually every mill operation had been mechanized to some degree.

In addition to increased speed of mill sawing, mechanical innovations were eventually also able to reduce waste. The first circular saws of the 1860s had wide blades that produced mountains of sawdust. They wobbled as they cut through the timber, so that the boards that were turned out "more nearly resembled washboards than lumber." Within a few years, however, these problems had been almost totally eliminated. The widespread adoption of the band saw in the 1880s further reduced waste. Metal technology now made it possible to build a saw with a thin band of steel operating as a continuous belt that cut both rapidly and efficiency.

Greater mill capacity coupled with a continuing demand for wood also put pressure on the loggers to cut as much as possible each season. A number of small changes improved the efficiency of woods operations somewhat. These included the substitution of the cross-cut saw for the axe in felling timber and the replacement of oxen with horses as sled teams. The development of rutters and water sprinklers to maintain the sled tracks enabled the woodsman to haul heavier loads.

Two Michigan-initiated innovations of the 1870s were responsible for the largest increases in logging production. The Big Wheels invented by Silas Overpack of Manistee enabled cutting to continue in the snowless seasons by providing an alternative to sled transportation. As its name implies, this device consisted of a set of enormous wheels drawn by a team of horses. Logs were chained beneath the axle, and once the inertia of the load had been overcome, it was relatively easy to keep the wheels moving.

Like the logging wheels, the narrow gauge railroad helped to make lumbermen independent of the weather. Trains could be used in place of sleds year round for the relatively short run to the riverside banking grounds, or the river drive itself could be ended by carrying the logs to a mainline railroad depot. In addition, the logging railroad was sufficiently economical to allow cutting in areas that had been considered too far from the nearest driving stream to make sledding practical. Michigan lumbermen were not the first to use railroads to carry logs, but the idea of using temporary narrow gauge track to supplement other means of transportation did originate within the state. And the widespread publicity given the successful experiment of Winfield Scott Gerrish during the winter of 1876-77 in Clare County provided the impetus for the development of small railroads industry-wide. (The river drive, however, continued to be an important method of log transportation throughout Michigan's lumbering era.) Lumbering employed many Michigan residents. It made the fortunes of a few men such as Charles Hackley of Muskegon, Louis Sands of Manistee, and Perry Hannah of Traverse City. These men were exceptions to the rule, however. The vast majority of men employed in the lumber industry worked long hours for low pay. Lumberjacks, most often single men in their twenties, spent the winter in the woods, working from dawn to dusk six days a week, cutting, hauling, and piling logs. They were usually paid between $20 and $26 per month and were also provided room and board. Those who stayed on in the spring as river drivers received higher wages due to the grueling nature and the very real dangers of their job. There were amusements for the few leisure hours such as singing songs and telling stories which became lumbermen's classics, but the company never varied, and often many weeks passed between trips to town. Between 1840 and 1870, Michigan loggers came primarily from New York, Ohio, New England, and Pennsylvania. Throughout this period, however, the proportion of Michigan-born among the population was steadily increasing. Canadians always constituted the largest single group of foreign-born lumberjacks, although many stayed only for one or two seasons and then returned home. The lumber camps were also manned by individuals from many ethnic groups. Near the end of the nineteenth century, however, the number of Scandinavians entering the state increased dramatically; the number of Swedish immigrants, for example, which was a mere 16 in 1850, had grown to 9,412 by 1880, and stood at 26,374 in 1910. During these same decades there was a corresponding influx of Scandinavians into the lumber camps.

Much less is known about the backgrounds of the men who labored in the sawmills in the late nineteenth century, but it is likely that they followed the same general pattern as the loggers. Like the men in the woods, mill hands worked long hours. They did not face the isolation of the logging camps, but their working and living conditions were often worse: noisy, dirty mills and dingy, cramped housing. Although mill workers received higher wages than loggers, from $30 to $50 per month, they had to provide their own room and board. They were also more likely to have families to support than were the loggers.

Like workers in other American industries, those employed in lumbering made attempts at organization during the decades following the Civil War. Union organization was most successful among the mill workers because they were concentrated in the towns. Prior to 1884 there were scattered unsuccessful strikes in Michigan mills. They did little to unite the workers but which effectively consolidated the mill owners against the workers.

The largest strike occurred in the Saginaw Valley in 1885. Mill hands demanded an immediate shift to a ten-hour day (which was due to occur soon anyway as the result of a recently enacted law) and more importantly, that the change not be accompanied by a reduction in pay. Within a month, in many mills in Saginaw and East Saginaw, the strike had been broken, but the workers in Bay City, the source of the strike movement, held out for another month. The mill hands had shown a willingness to cooperate in relieving some of the financial hardships caused by the strike; they were less successful in uniting to negotiate with the mill owners. Nor did this strike spur the growth of the labor movement. By the mid-1880s the forests of the Saginaw Valley were nearly exhausted, and as jobs became more difficult to find, disruptions became fewer.

In their haste to move on to new cutting sites, loggers usually gave little thought to the lands they were leaving. By the 1870s stumps and branches already littered much of northern Michigan. There was no longer any barrier to erosion on cutover land, and the dried debris created an enormous fire hazard. At the end of the dry summer months fires frequently broke out, sometimes moving into still uncut timberlands or settled areas, as in 1871 and 1881, when fires broke out across the state. These dangerous conditions in the former logging districts inspired, in large part, the first attempts to conserve Michigan's natural resources.

Lumber companies had no desire to own already logged parcels of land and thus found themselves trying to sell large tracts of land in the 1880s and 90s. They vigorously promoted the former forests as good farmland, ready for the plow, but experience soon proved that this was not the case. Most of the land simply could not support continuous farming, and its fertility was soon exhausted. Families that had put all their savings and hopes into such a farm often had no alternative but to give it up when they could not pay their taxes. Tax delinquent land as well as acreage simply abandoned by lumber companies was thus acquired by the State of Michigan, forming the basis for its early efforts toward reforestation and land management.

The primary effect of the lumber industry upon the State of Michigan was economic. The timber boom in the latter half of the nineteenth century brought millions of dollars into the state, both to lumbermen and those who supplied them. Thousands of men and some women found employment in some aspect of the business. The decline of lumbering also had its effects; both individuals and entire villages and cities, formerly thriving, lost their most important source of income.

The lumbering era also saw vast changes in the natural environment of northern Michigan. The conservation programs in effect today on state lands grew out of concern over the conditions the loggers had left behind them. Another legacy evident today is the body of songs and stories about lumbering, an important part of the folklore tradition of Michigan, and indeed, of the entire nation.

Between 1840 and 1900, lumbering changed from a small, speculative business to an efficient industry that had lost much of its earlier uncertainty. Michigan, as a top producer for much of the period and cradle for industry innovations, was key to the industry's development.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sunset Cliffs Hike

Sunset Cliffs Park is a short twenty minute bus ride away for me so I often go over there for an afternoon hike.

Friday, August 8, 2014

LaJolla Beach Walk

Yesterday I took a bus up to LaJolla for a walk on the beach near the Scripps Pier.  Up on the bluff is a hang glider launch base so there are lots of them buzzing around.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Laguna Camping trip...

A nice half moon was visible on Thursday morning...

...and had a great morning to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday at Balboa Park

On Tuesdays at San Diego's Balboa Park residents are able to get into the various museums for free on a rotating schedule. My favorite is the third Tuesdays when the Min Gei Museum, The San Diego Art Institute, and the Museum of Art are open.

This surfboard exhibit is terrific has been at the Min Gei Museum all summer.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Laguna Overnight

I took a quick trip up to Mt Laguna about an hour east of San Diego on Wednesday and Thursday.

There were swarms of these Acorn Woodpeckers all over the place...

On Thursday morning I hiked up to nearby Garnet Peak.

...and it was REALLY windy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Huyler's Chocolate at the Mingei

I only discovered this art museum in Balboa Park a couple of months ago.  I had walked by it many times on free Tuesdays thinking it wasn't a free museum.  Well, my loss...  Every visit has been a pleasant surprise.

Today I went in and ran across this odd exhibit called "A Golden Age of Marketing Design" about Huyler's Chocolate.  ...never heard of it.  It turns out Huylers was in business for fifty years and for much of that time it was the biggest chocolate company in the country.  The company and it's products have now  completely disappeared.  The Huyler family sold the business in 1925 and it went bankrupt during the depression a few short years later.   I was born in 1952 and have never heard of this company before today.  Can you imagine Microsoft going out of business and within 20 years nobody has ever heard of it before.

Huyler's was the first candy company in the U.S. to use large-scale advertising to market its products-- as a result it became the major candy company in the U.S. during its fifty years.  By 1915 Huyler's was producing over 1600 varieties of candies.

During this period in our history few women worked outside the home, and those that did were often grossly underpaid and slaved in conditions that were pitifully unhealthy.  Huyler's factories were models of egalitarian reform which was very rare in that time.  Most of Hulyer's 2000 employees were women and given managable workloads, paid holidays, medical aid and disability compensation.

By the time the business was sold by the family in 1925 fourteen factories produced the chocolates that were sold in fifty-one Huyler's Stores and soda fountains throughout the East Coast while its products were sold in over 5000 small businesses nationwide.  Despite the rapid expansion Huyler's chocolates were never mass-produced.  The business relied on maintaining its reputation for supplying the best chocolate in America.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tucson Fun

I spent the last week of April visiting my friends Phil and Jody from Seattle who were spending the month in Tucson.  We spent the week hiking or biking every day. 

I arrived in Tucson on Tuesday afternoon then on Wednesday we hiked Ventana Canyon literally out the door and across the parking lot from where they were staying.  The high temps require an early start so we were out the door before 8am and back shortly after noon.

Phil and Jody on the Ventana Canyon trail.

On Thursday we went for a hike at Mt Lemon in the Catalina Mountains on the north side of Tucson.  There were great views of Tucson in the distance.

On Friday we biked up nearby Sabino Canyon.  We were out the door at 7am in order to bike up the canyon road before the park service passenger trams start running at 9am.  The Saguaro were blooming like crazy as you can see here.

On Saturday I visited friends Dave and Loree in Green Valley fifteen miles south of Tucson who I know from when I lived in Alaska in the early '80's.  What was I thinking-- I didn't take any pictures!

On Sunday I went for a hike with Phil and Jody in Bear Canyon which involves going to the Sabino Canyon trail head and taking another short tram to the nearby Bear Canyon trail head.

On Monday we took a hike in Pima Canyon also in the lower Catalina Mountains on the north side of Tucson.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Zion and Snow Canyon

I left Tucson on Tuesday, April 29 to head for Hurricane, UT.  After arriving in Flagstaff Tuesday afternoon I hung out at the movie theater and saw Heaven Is Real and Draft Day.  Neither was a very good movie.  On Wednesday I met up with my friend Wayne in Hurricane for a few days of hiking in nearby Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park north of St George.

There was some great scenery on the drive from Tucson to Hurricane on Wednesday.  This view was on Highway 89A west of Page, AZ.

 On Thursday we took the bus from the main Zion Visitor center up to the end of the road at the Narrows trailhead-- shown here.  The water was way too bitter cold to consider hiking in it without waders.
The squirrels were incredibly tame and very persistent about demanding treats.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Joshua Tree

On Monday I drove up to Joshua Tree National Park for a couple days of hiking and camping.  The weather was pretty ideal the whole time;  mid to high 70's  during the day mid to high 60's at night.

Shortly after I arrived at the campground my neighbor spotted this rattle snake.  But it's the only one I saw during my three day stay.

The campground was near the remains of the long abandoned Ryan Ranch.  The ranch was established about 1896 and occupied by the Ryan family for nearly forty years.  What remains of the ranch house's adobe walls is shown here.

Three Ryan brothers and another prospector also ran the Lost Horse gold mine located about 4 miles south of the house until about 1908.  Water required for the gold mine was supplied from a spring located near the house and piped to the mine through a three inch steel pipe, much of which is still in place today.

On Tuesday I hiked east on the California Riding and  Hiking Trail that goes by the Ryan Campground.  The old Ryan water pipeline is visible along much of the trail.

Joshua Tree is known for it's great rock climbing.  Headstone Rock seemed really popular with the climbers and is located just a couple of hundred yards from where I was camped.

On Wednesday I hiked the California Riding and Hiking Trail to the west through Juniper Flats.  There was a very light overcast which made for perfect hiking weather.

 As luck would have it it seems like I arrived at the peak of the wildflower season.
 In many locations the ground seemed like it was covered with a carpet of wild flowers.

 Late in the afternoon on Wednesday a couple of climbers showed up at Headstone Rock.  It didn't really take them very long and they were at the top.