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csziggy's Journal
csziggy's Journal
March 15, 2017

April the giraffe STILL has not had her baby! 18 days after live stream started and counting.

Animal Adventure Park began live streaming from April's stall on February 23, about the time they expected April to have her baby.

On March 1 when she had not given birth, the park posted April the Giraffe: The World On Edge, a video discussing April's health, her living conditions, and when she might actually be due. The video included the information that perhaps April had gotten pregnant later than thought - and might be due 17 days later.

Well, now it is 18 days after the first live stream of April began and April still does not have her baby. Even Oliver, her companion and the father of her baby, seems to be impatient.

The official live stream of April is from Animal Adventure Park - any others are unauthorized rip offs.

March 10, 2017

Can I make upside down mini-trifles and freeze them?

Strawberries are on sale and so are angel food cakes. So trifles came to mind and I found this recipe that sounds good:

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

Servings 24


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1?2 teaspoon vanilla
1?4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
4 tablespoons sugar
1 angel food cake, torn into bite-size pieces
2 quarts fresh strawberries, thinly sliced


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy; add sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the almond extract; set aside.
Fold the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture.
Gently stir in cake pieces; set aside.
Combine strawberries and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Layer in a large glass bowl, starting with 1/4 of the strawberries, then adding 1/3 of the cake mixture.
Continue layering; finish with strawberries.
Cover with plastic wrap; and chill several hours.


The first problem is the Cool Whip - I think I will omit that and replace with real whipped cream.

The biggest problem is how much this makes - 24 servings! There are only two of us and we can't eat this much!

Since most of the reviews indicate that unless it is made the day it is served the cake gets soggy, I am thinking of changing things around.

First, I will not mix the cake with the cream cheese mixture - I will mix the strawberries with it. Then I will put measured amounts of the cream cheese/strawberry mixture into storage containers and put a slice of angel food cake on top of each. Then I will freeze each container.

The containers I have will hold about two servings of this combo. When we want strawberries, I can thaw one, turn it upside down, cut it in half and we can have strawberry trifle, two servings at a time.

Does this sound as though it would work?
March 9, 2017

Former Secretary George Schultz at the Commonwealth Club on NPR

I only caught the last half of his talk, mostly the question and answer portion, but I found his comments on climate change and nuclear weapons very interesting. I wish there was a transcript so I could quote that part, but the audio is available at this site:

The Honorable George Shultz: Lessons from Government, Business and Life
Tue, Feb 21 2017 - 6:30pm

George P. Shultz, Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution; Former U.S. Secretary of State, Labor, and Treasury; Author, Learning From Experience
In conversation with Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club

His stance on climate change is that it is real - but even if you don't believe that it is, steps to prevent it are a form of insurance to protect you and the future (my words, not his). He put it in the context of the steps he took to protect the ozone layer back in the 1980s - Reagan was not convinced depletion of the ozone layer was real but he agree that protecting it was a wise move.

It was an interesting talk, at least the part I heard.
March 9, 2017

When family history informs us about American History

I've been scanning my Dad's letters home during World War II. The letters begin in 1942 when he was at the Michigan School of Mining and Technology (now known as Michigan Tech). He'd signed up for the US Naval Reserve, volunteered for active duty but was sent back to college until he was called up.

The sequence is not clear to me and I haven't correlated the letters with his service record, which I have already scanned but he was eventually called up. He spent a while in Washington DC as a draftsman. He then attended midshipsman school at Columbia University in New York, submarine school at New London, Connecticut, and was assigned to a brand new submarine before it was commissioned at Mare Island, Vallejo, California.

While at Mare Island, on July 19, 1944, he wrote home:

Dear Folks,
We had quite a big blow out here the other night. Port Chicago is only 15 miles away and we really felt the thing here. Concussion broke about have the plate glass in town. There was no noise but a rapid pressure rise for a few seconds./div]

The event was the Port Chicago Disaster on July 17, 1944:
Port Chicago disaster

An ammunition ship explodes while being loaded in Port Chicago, California, killing 332 people on this day in 1944. The United States’ World War II military campaign in the Pacific was in full swing at the time. Poor procedures and lack of training led to the disaster.

Port Chicago, about 30 miles north of San Francisco, was developed into a munitions facility when the Naval Ammunition Depot at Mare Island, California, could not fully supply the war effort. By the summer of 1944, expansion of the Port Chicago facility allowed for loading two ships at once around the clock. The Navy units assigned to the dangerous loading operations were generally segregated African-American units. For the most part, these men had not been trained in handling munitions. Additionally, safety standards were forgotten in the rush to keep up frenetic loading schedules.

On the evening of July 17, the SS Quinault Victory and SS E.A. Bryan, two merchant ships, were being loaded. The holds were being packed with 4,600 tons of explosives–bombs, depth charges and ammunition. Another 400 tons of explosives were nearby on rail cars. Approximately 320 workers were on or near the pier when, at 10:18 p.m., a series of massive explosions over several seconds destroyed everything and everyone in the vicinity. The blasts were felt as far away as Nevada and the resulting damage extended as far as San Francisco. Every building in Port Chicago was damaged and people were literally knocked off their feet. Smoke and fire extended nearly two miles into the air. The pilot of a plane flying at 9,000 feet in the area claimed that metal chunks from the explosion flew past him.

Nearly two-thirds of the people killed at Port Chicago were African-American enlisted men in the Navy – 15 percent of all African-Americans killed during World War II. The surviving men in these units, who helped put out the fires and saw the horrors firsthand, were quickly reassigned to Mare Island. Less than a month later, when ordered to load more munitions, but still having received no training, 258 African-American sailors refused to carry out the orders. Two hundred and eight of them were then sentenced to bad conduct discharges and pay forfeiture. The remaining 50 men were put on trial for general court martial. They were sentenced to between eight and 15 years of hard labor, though two years later all were given clemency. A 1994 review of the trials revealed race played a large factor in the harsh sentences. In December 1999, President Clinton pardoned Freddie Meeks, one of only three of the 50 convicted sailors known to be alive at the time.

I'd never heard of the Port Chicago disaster and certainly not the horrendous loss of life for African-American enlisted men in an American port. That the survivors were expected to repeat the same actions that caused so many deaths was callous to the extreme. What an absurd loss of life and ridiculous response to real worries about the methods used to load munitions!
March 9, 2017

Saving the House of the Furies

December 9, 2015
Saving the House of the Furies
By: Jenna Sauber

When Robert Pohl and his wife moved into their home in the Washington, DC neighborhood of Capitol Hill in 2004, Pohl conducted a Google search to find out if there was anything special about the house. He immediately came across a page from a local LGBT organization called the Rainbow History Project that named his “new” house as the operational center and main residence for a small lesbian feminist collective in the early 1970s called The Furies.


“I wanted a project to keep me semi-coherent intellectually, and the Furies was a great hook,” he says. That research rabbit-hole ultimately led to Pohl transitioning from his career as a computer programmer to a tour guide, historian, and writer.

Now, Pohl’s research is playing a role in a nomination to make the house at 219 11th Street Southeast a historic landmark, with the help of Rainbow Heritage Network co-founder Mark Meinke.


While there were three sites in DC that the Furies lived and worked at, the 11th Street house had the biggest basement, which the women used to host meetings and create their newspaper, called The Furies: Lesbian/Feminist Monthly. The ten issues of the paper included a mix of poetry, political analyses, and ideological essays, all with the goal of expressing the Furies’ commitment, according to the first issue, to “the growing movement to destroy sexism” and to “building an ideology which is the basis of action.”


The Furies Collective

The Furies Collective, 219 11th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C. The Furies Collective, 219 11th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C.

Photographer: Patsy Lynch

Quick Facts
219 11th Street SE
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The Furies Collective house is directly connected with the early expression of the character, role, and ideology of the lesbian community as a social and political community in the 1970s. The house became the operational center of the“Furies,” a lesbian feminist separatist collective, which between 1971 and 1973 created and led the debate over lesbians’ place in society. The 12 women in the collective published a lesbian feminist edition of motive magazine, a youth magazine of the United Methodist Church, and a tabloid-size newspaper titled The Furies, which over a period of two years addressed major questions of women’s identity and women’s relationships with other women, with men, and with society at large. Together, The Furies and motive set the issues and agenda of lesbian and feminist discussion for many years to come.

National Register of Historic Places information:

Property Name: The Furies Collective
Reference Number: 16000211
State: District of Columbia
County: District of Columbia
Town: Washington
Street Address: 219 11th St., SE
Multiple Property Submission Name: N/A
Status: Listed 05/02/2016
Areas of Significance: Social History

Things you find while looking up other things...
March 5, 2017

Someting you don't see very often

Cosplayers Go Snowboarding

Originally found at: http://www.neatorama.com/2017/03/04/Cosplayers-Go-Snowboarding/
March 1, 2017

Update on April the Giraffe - basically nothing new

Animal Adventure Park has a video update with lots of information:

The official webcam site for live feed:

The others are not official - watch the top video for more informaiton

The big "news" is that they are wondering if April conceived a cycle later than they originally thought. Giraffe's cycle every 17 days - if she had conceived when they thought, she would have been due about February 24/25. If it was a cycle later, it could be two weeks before she has her baby.

She is NOT in labor yet - any bumps seen in her abdomen are just the baby moving around. Everything is normal, nothing to worry about, just a lot of waiting around for those few minutes of excitement!
March 1, 2017

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says hes running for governor

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he’s running for governor
Jim Rosica
17 hours ago

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, Tuesday said he will run for Florida governor in 2018.

In a conference call with supporters, Gillum said he had a “clear and authentic voice to break through … and have an agenda for opportunity” for voters to identify with. He said he will focus on jobs and education.


Gillum, a 37-year-old, has been the capital’s mayor since 2014. He first was a city commissioner, the youngest person ever elected to that body and is among the youngest people to run for governor.


On the Democratic side, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, also of Tallahassee, has announced she is considering running. Other names mentioned include Democratic mayors Bob Buckhorn of Tampa and Philip Levine of Miami Beach.

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