Monthly Archives: July 2013

Best Deals on Van Houtte K Cups Coffee

Best Deals on Van Houtte K Cups Coffee
Van Houtte K Cups

We all like to drink coffee to help us wake up in the morning.  With the invention of the Keurig single cup coffee machine it is easier than ever to get that jump on the day since we can make just one cup in two minutes and get on to work.  There are many K Cup flavors available nowadays but one company has stood out to stand for some really delicious coffee.

Van Houtte K Cups are some of the most delicious k cup coffees you can buy which has also made them one of the most popular k cups brands available for your Keurig coffee machine. They come in all kinds of elegant flavors and some just in time for Christmas. Van Houtte has a Candy Cane coffee and Chocolate raspberry truffle k cups that are to die for. For their take on dessert, Van Houtte K Cups come in a decadent creme brulee and mouth watering praline pecan.

Van Houtte K Cups – Dessert Coffees

Van Houtte Creme Brulee Coffee, Light , K-Cup Portion Pack for Keurig K-Cup Brewers 24-Count (Pack of 2)
Amazon Price: $37.88
List Price: $33.03

Van Houtte K Cups – Candy Coffees

Van Houtte Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Coffee, Light Roast, K-Cup Portion Pack for Keurig K-Cup Brewers 24-Count (Pack of 2)
Amazon Price: $29.68
List Price: $33.03
Van Houtte Candy Cane K-Cups for Keurig Brewers, 24-Count K-Cups
Amazon Price: $16.54

Van Houtte also makes the classic coffee flavors for those of us that drink our coffee black like French Roast and French Vanilla. Some of Van Houtte’s flavors are also available in decaf which is a plus to coffee drinkers that do not want to be all wired up or for having a cup before bed that will not keep you up all night.

No matter which kind of coffee you enjoy there is bound to be a Van Houtte K Cup flavor that is a perfect match.  Happy coffee drinking.

Van Houtte K Cups – Decaf

Van Houtte Decaffeinated Medium Roast Coffee, 24-Count K-Cups for Keurig Brewers (Pack of 2)
Amazon Price: $46.00
List Price: $33.03

Van Houtte K Cups – Classic Coffees

Van Houtte French Vanilla, Light Coffee, K-Cup Portion Pack for Keurig K-Cup Brewers 24-Count (Pack of 2)
Amazon Price: $19.69
List Price: $33.03
Van Houtte French Roast Dark Coffee, 24-Count K-Cups for Keurig Brewers (Pack of 2)
Amazon Price: $41.50
List Price: $33.03

K Cup Links

The Best K Cup Carousel and other K Cup Storage Options

How To Expose (Your Picture) Properly, For Photography Beginners

How To Expose (Your Picture) Properly, For Photography Beginners
“Dali Atomicus” (1948) taken by Philippe Halsman
Source: Wikipedia

Related Resources

Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Photography Field Guide: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Amazon Price: $12.72
List Price: $24.99
Jason Youn’s 99c Photography Guide
Amazon Price: $0.99
David Busch’s Nikon D7100 Guide to Digital SLR Photography (David Busch’s Digital Photography Guides)
Amazon Price: $19.90
List Price: $32.99

Your Digital Camera

Is your camera one of those with the P, Tv, Av, M buttons on your mode dial? Yet, do you always only take your pictures using the “Auto” or “Scene” modes on your camera? Have you ever wondered what the other modes do or how to use them? Then, this article is for you. Today, you will learn how to operate, and gain a strong understanding, of what is known in the photography industry, as a PASM camera (PASM being an acronym for Program; Aperture Priority; Shutter Priority; Manual), and hopefully in the process, unleash the inhibited power of your camera and along with it, your hidden creative genius.

I have split this guide into multiple articles for a better structure. I will want to discuss about some photography theory first, then we will
move on to some applied examples in order for you to comprehend the subject better. Don’t skip over the theory, though! It is important as knowing the theory behind well will give you the eventual confidence to tailor the shot to your specific needs.

Do not worry, I will keep this guide as simple as possible. You need only a PASM
camera – some examples are the Canon PowerShot S, SX, G-Series; Nikon P-Series; or even a SLR, and a will to read and think a little to get started. This guide is also suitable for those interested in the basic exposure mechanics of a camera. Let’s get started then:

The Theory
This article seeks to give readers a general, non-technical theoretical understanding in the physics and manipulation of photography exposure, using the concepts of aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
The Practical
Learn how to use your digital camera from this practical exercise. Find out how to control the amount of exposure your picture gets for purposes of creativity or realism, using the basic photography concepts of aperture; shutter speed and ISO.

Best Screen Protectors for iPhone 3G and 3GS 8GB and 16GB

Best Screen Protectors for iPhone 3G and 3GS 8GB and 16GB

The best screen protectors for iPhones will keep your screen clean and scratch free and is essential to keeping your iPhone investment pristine and they do not even have to cost very much. 

EMPIRE 5-Pack LCD Screen Protector with Lint Cleaning Cloth for Apple iPhone 3G 8GB 16GB [EMPIRE Packaging]
Amazon Price: $0.01
List Price: $5.99

5-Pack Premium Reusable LCD Screen Protector

You will get 5 individually packaged screen protectors for a super cheap price.  There is a protective film on both sides of each protector so that you do not get your fingerprints on the protector while applying it to you iPhone.

EMPIRE 5-Pack Premium Reusable LCD Mirror Screen Protector with Lint Cleaning Cloth for Apple iPhone 3G 8GB 16GB / 3G S 16GB 32GB [EMPIRE Packaging]
Amazon Price: $1.95

5-Pack Premium Reusable LCD Mirror Screen Protector

These are the same screen protectors as the ones above but with a cool mirror finish so that unless your phone is shining through it just looks like a mirror. It gives your iPhone 3G or 3GS a cool flashy looks but is super cheap.

One hint is to turn your iPhone brightness up all the way if you are having trouble seeing it through the mirror but generally it is pretty easy to see.

Case-Mate Screen Protector Film 3 Pack for iPhone 3G, 3GS
Amazon Price: $0.01
List Price: $9.99

Case-Mate Screen Protector Film 3 Pack

These fit perfectly for an iPhone and you get 3 so when the other one wears out you can put a new one on without buying a new pack.  They are also super affordable.  Take your time putting them on and they will probably out like your iPhone 3G or 3GS and the next pack you buy will be for a new iPhone.

More Goodies for Your iPhone

How to Connect Your iPhone or iPod to your Factory Car Stereo
If you would like to use your existing car stereo to play music from your iPhone or iPod it is actually easier than you might think. There are 2 ways you could make this connection. The easiest way…

Favorite Funny Story About The Whale Watching Adventure

Favorite Funny Story About The Whale Watching Adventure
See all 5 photos

flickr erikogan

Favorite Funny Stories – The Whale Watching Adventure

Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about many things. Orca whales happen to be one of those things. Years ago when our kids were little, we went on a trip to San Diego where I grew up. We dutifully took them to Sea World so that they could learn more about the beautiful whales that I have been enchanted with for decades.

Living in the Pacific Northwest for 23 years, we had ample time to visit the Orcas in their native habitat. This was something that was no simple feat to accomplish since we lived in the Tacoma area and had to drive several hours just to get to the ferry, which was another 1-1/2 hour ride, plus another 20-30 minute to the far side of the San Juan Island where the Orcas most likely pass when in season.

Sometimes we stayed over on the island camping or for a weekend just so I could have multiple ‘fixes’ of my favorite ocean friends, but much more often, we would simply drive up, ferry across and come back the same long day. The funniest thing about all of this – I have friends who have gone time and again and never seen the Orcas when they did not go with us.

However, in this one thing, I have had the most profound luck. We must have gone to see the Orcas at least a dozen times over the years, maybe twice that. Every single time – they were there. Even if people on the shore or in town said there had been no Orca sightings that day, I would stubbornly insist that we go to our favorite spot – ‘if I traveled there, they would come’.

And it happened – every single time! It is one of the most amazing things of my lifetime to have been so blessed as to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

TOTEM WHALE Northwest Indian pole carving orca killer T-Shirt L, NATURAL, GILDAN
Current Bid: $8.99
TOTEM WHALE Northwest Native Indian art pole carving orca killer GILDAN T-Shirt
Current Bid: $11.95

Preamble to the Adventure

All this said, we have of course taken our children to San Juan Island countless times and seen the whales often.  We’ve seen the whales in small numbers and once in multiple pods. Once, we saw the whales so close to shore it was unbelievable as most often they hovered quite a ways out. However, the sea is so still there and it is so quiet that no matter how far out they are, you can hear them breathe as they surface. It is almost a religious experience for me.  Most often people spot me standing in awe with tears running down my face while I snap photos or try and video tape them but most often I just stand and watch.  It is a special place for me I love to share with people I love.  They of course most often have to start the car and threaten to leave me behind to get me to leave!

Patrick is our middle son and he was born severely visually impaired. He can see an object for instance as a man across the street, but he cannot tell who the man is.  We have actually lost him a couple times over his lifetime as he walked off with someone with the shape of his dad!

Over the years, we tried our best to do things in such a manner as to help him ‘see’ as much as he possibly could but in the case of seeing the whales, it seemed like every time we had him with us, the whales just had to be out in the strait too far for him to really see them. We never could synchronize him being with us and seeing them ‘up close and personal.’ Even with binoculars, he could not distinguish them clearly.

This bothered me a little bit because darn it – I just wanted him to see as much of the world as possible. One summer though, I came up with this brilliant idea of how we could solve the problem. Much as I am not fond of whale watching tours, simply because so few of them observe the law which is to leave the whales alone and NOT follow them or get too close, I decided in this one case I could break form and do something totally cool for my son.

Our 2 remaining kids were teens by this time and our oldest son was away at college in Alabama playing soccer. It seemed like a good time to ‘bond’ further with our 2 teenagers and do something that we all loved which was enjoying nature. However, I don’t think our 2 teens were too thrilled at all when they found out that the boat mom had booked them on left at 6:00 a.m. from Everett, Washington – which meant we had to leave our house by no later than 4:30 a.m.

After hearing glowing reports on how environmentally bound the Mosquito Fleet was who operated the whale watching tour out of the Seattle environs, I made all the necessary arrangements and one bright and early Saturday morning, we headed north to catch our boat.

Whale Watcher: A Global Guide to Watching Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises in the Wild
Amazon Price: $3.60
List Price: $19.95
The Complete Whale-Watching Handbook: A Guide to Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the World
Amazon Price: $7.91
List Price: $19.95
Webkinz Orca Whale
Amazon Price: $7.99
List Price: $14.99
Orca Whales Killer Whales Reactive Beach Towel 30″ X 60″
Amazon Price: $10.50
List Price: $24.99
Orca: The Whale Called Killer
Amazon Price: $16.50
List Price: $14.95

The Adventure

Well, granted, there was a lot of grumbling going on – teens do not like waking up at that ungodly hour and doing anything but there we were…all driving along happily to Everett. (Sure) We got to the dock without a glitch and promptly boarded the vessel. While we cruised along, we were treated to a wonderful breakfast and got to watch movies of rescued whales or whales released back into captivity.

Of course, being teens, Katie and Pat both dropped off for a while after their bellies were full and I, left to my devices, seeing Bob was joining them in a nap, took off to explore the boat. As I toured around and read the information posted and in the pamphlets, I became aware of one very important fact. Once we reached our destination in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, everyone and his brother (or sister) was going to be out on the deck of the ship with binoculars and trying to get the best view of the whales! I had also noticed that there was not that much room out there!  I asked a few ship personnel if we could ‘secure’ a spot because my son was visually impaired but they told me that everyone could see from ‘everywhere’ – a fact I knew would not be true but I did see their point regarding ‘reserved seating’ and wasn’t going to argue.

But now I began to panic a bit (oh what a surprise). I was thinking to myself ‘self – after all this planning – not to mention the money – we are going to get out there and Pat is not going to be any better off than before. He’s going to be straining and straining to see and now he’s going to have to do it over all these people’s heads!’

Necessity as they say is the mother of invention – and what a mother my Patrick has! Was it any surprise that I set about trying to assure that my son was going to by golly get the BEST view in the place? There was NO WAY that Patrick was not going to see the whales this time up close and very personal.

I hurried back to my sleeping family and shook Patrick awake. I told him my plan and he looked at me quite skeptically – that’s the thanks you get for coming up with a master plan! He said something like ‘Are you sure that’s a good idea, mom? Did you ASK anyone about it?’ To which I answered ‘Of course I did – they said first come, first serve out on the forward deck – so that’s what we’re going to do?’ Still the skepticism!

We waited a while as the ship buzzed along through the Puget Sound and when I heard them announce that we were coming up on Deception Pass, in my mind on the map, I saw ‘close – almost there’. I bolted from my seat, grabbing Patrick’s arm and pulling him up with me and dragging him to the door that opened onto the front deck of the boat. As the door slammed shut behind us, Pat says ‘Good grief, mom – it’s like FREEZING out here! Are you nuts? Let’s go back inside and wait.’

‘No’ I doggedly insisted. ‘If we don’t get a seat right now, we’re going to be missing out on everything once we get there. It’s not that much further after all (I’ve always been great with a map) and we should just hunker down out here and keep our seats.’ As I turned, to further qualify my opinion, there were 2 young people huddled against the railing. Proudly I said ‘See – they’re out here so why shouldn’t we be grabbing our place?’ Of course I realized 5 minutes later that they were TOTALLY making out.  They could have cared less if they’d been underwater or in a blizzard – they were hot enough for the whole boat! I of course guided Patrick to the opposite side of the boat – he is visually impaired but he isn’t deaf!

Reluctantly, Patrick hunkered down with me on the right side of the boat – is that called the prow or the bow – the front part? Anyhow, we are hunkered down sitting on the wooden seats minding our own business when all of a sudden, we broke free of the inner sound I guess and whipped out into the open part of the sound at Deception Pass. I now know why they call it Deception Pass – because it definitely is deceiving! One minute, we were riding along albeit with the wind whipping us with its cold fists and bouncing along pretty well on the swells and the next, we were in ice cold hell!

As we turned out into the patch known as Deception Pass, the wind kicked up about 20 knots and all of a sudden, the waves weren’t swells – they were all out WAVES crashing over the front of the boat. I tried to create an air of total confidence as I gripped white knuckles onto the railing holding on for dear life and smiled over at Patrick through frozen teeth….’This isn’t so bad – should be there any minute now’……as yet another wave crashed over us soaking us to the skin.

He is looking at me like I have 5 heads – ha – I’ve seen this look before! It was on the lake in the boat at Lake Crescent! He thinks I’m insane (again) and he is going to die. He is holding onto the railing with a death grip and just glaring at me by this time. The 2 lovebirds have decided they can’t handle being thrown over the railing into the sea so have literally skidded to the door, thrown it open and have dived inside….leaving me and my visually impaired, trusting son on the deck to fend for ourselves!

We both tried at one point to get up and follow the lovebirds, but by now, the deck had become so treacherous that we were slipping and sliding around like crazy – we could not get a foot in front of us to get to the door. The boat was pitching up and down, right and left and by now, we are both petrified and afraid of drowning – being swept over the side into the swirling sea.  We apparently both just instinctively make the decision that we were staying put NO MATTER WHAT! If someone came out and threw us a rope, we might consider trying to get back inside, but we are doomed now without a steadying prayer to get back inside – so on we ride.

To say that we were a little wet would be putting it mildly…..it seemed like HOURS while we rode out the bucking bronco on the front of this ship from hell. All I could think of was what had I done THIS time with my brilliant plans? And where in the name of heaven and all that was holy was my freaking husband? Had he not possibly noticed that he was on a bucking bronco and that his brilliant wife and poor son were missing? Could he have not sent someone to look for us? And do they not have cameras on these boats? Were they thinking I was looking for a thrill and wanted to see if I could plunge into the frigid waters of Puget Sound with my son in tow? Is anybody in there????

I could imagine Bob and Katie sitting at the window watching the sights go by – sipping hot chocolate while Pat and I were being buffeted by wind and sea and turned into icicles on the bow or the prow or whatever the heck it’s called! I no longer cared! I didn’t care if I ever saw the whales – I didn’t care if I ever saw anything but the safety of the interior of the ship!

It seemed almost as quickly as all those waves came crashing over us, the sea settled down and there we were, drenched like drowned rats sitting in the prow of the ship but we were in the calm water again. Then I heard the message over the loudspeaker. ‘We are coming up on San Juan Island Lime Kiln Park. Please take a seat on the front of the ship and binoculars will be forthcoming.’

Ah – see!!!! It all worked out for the best! I was almost giddy with enthusiasm and jumping up and down except I couldn’t because of the 3 gallons of water in my jeans and in my shoes! Patrick was still glowering at me like I’d made him a date or something and he was shivering badly. ‘See honey – it’s all good – I got us the best seat in the house. You’re going to thank me for this soon!’ Yeah – I’ll bet!!

So everyone piled out of the inside of the boat. My husband and Katie came to stand next to us and looked at us peculiarly. My husband then had the nerve to ask ‘So what the heck – how the hell did you get so wet? Did you guys go swimming?’

‘Yeah sure, Einstein – we jumped off the boat and somehow miraculously pulled ourselves back up after the quick dip. Where the hell
do you THINK we were? Did it occur to you to come looking for us while we were smacking around on the front of this boat?’ Oy vey – I get no respect.

He just gives me the typical puzzled Bob look – whatever! He has no idea what we’ve done until I tell him later on but he rolls his eyes and shakes his head. About this time the boat comes to a stop as they are required to by law as a pod or two are approaching and I am going mad in my zeal to show my son these beautiful creatures! He has come out of his frigid daze and is excitedly looking all over the place and saying ‘Where are they? I can’t see them’ and of course everyone on the ship is looking at him and pointing. ‘They’re right THERE – can’t you see them?’

Well, in actuality they weren’t ‘right there’ and finally I guess they ‘got’ that he could not see a whit as well as any of us could. Sadly – where do you think the whales were? You guessed it – today they were on the SHORE – the rarest of all places to find them – and right at the spot where we usually sat, just south of Lime Kiln Park. GO FIGURE!!! If I could have, I would have thrown myself into the sea!

Pat took it well as he usually did – ‘It’s okay mom – I can see them a little bit – is that them over there?’ (as he points to a boat).  We took pictures and folks took movies.  It was kind of a letdown after braving the elements to see them so far away and I wanted to scream out over the strait ‘Come closer – please – don’t you know we risked our lives to see you?’ but it just wasn’t meant to be.

The ship hung in the water for a long, long time as I begged the folks to please wait to see if they would swim closer but alas, they didn’t!

See all 5 photos
See all 5 photos
See all 5 photos
See all 5 photos

flickr erikogan

Epilogue

I realized later that it just wasn’t meant to be and after all was said and done, I got a laugh out of Patrick my funny boy after all! We were drenched for the entire trip because we had stupidly not thought to bring extra clothes. After all, we did not think we were going to be getting an ocean shower but live and learn!

Bob was kind enough to take us all to dinner once we got back to the dock in Everett – Pat and I got a few looks in our decidedly damp and crumbled clothes as we entered the restaurant and I was very tempted to ask the waitress to bring us a few hot towels to put in strategic places!

It was worth all the adventure I guess in the long run as it turned out to be yet another of our crazy stories together but in retrospect, we probably should have just kept traveling to ‘our spot’ and waiting to see the whales. Sometimes the harder you try, the less likely you are at succeeding I have found and it definitely was a lesson learned!

Of course, knowing me, it probably would have been something else if not being nearly drowned on the prow of a ship! Sometimes these things just seem to happen to me and a few times, I managed to somehow drag my poor family along with me! Yet, they still love me! I am one grateful girl!

Thought for the day: “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”  Author unknown

We Were Here

{“lat”:48.551369,”lng”:-123.07811,”zoom”:10,”mapType”:”HYBRID”,”markers”:[]}

Almost Like Being There

May We Always Have This Beauty

Creating Good Habits

Creating Good Habits
See all 3 photos
Source: Connecttimes.com

It has been said that we, human beings, are creatures of habit. All of us have experienced the routines of going to bed, getting up, times when we eat, what we eat and a host of many others. We can experience these routines or habits at a mind level or at a physiological level. Think of many who cannot resist a cookie, or a can of Mountain Dew, or cigarettes, or alcohol or a porn image. At this point, I would like to go a step further and say that we are not only creatures or habit, but we are creatures of addiction. Because of our natural dependence on sensory feedback and the ability to feel pleasure, we are capable of getting addicted to many harmful things, however, we are also able to getting addicted to good things.

A good piece of advise

Jeff Benedict, in his book ” The Mormon way of doing business,” shares an excerpt from a letter written by J. Willard Marriott (founder of Marriott International and the hotel chain) to his son Marriott Jr. In this excerpt J. Willard gives his son two pieces of advise for a successful life. One, Always create good habits for bad ones will destroy you. Second, Pray when you need to make a difficult decision.

I read that excerpt a few years ago and it stills hits me between the eyes. There are many things I cannot control, but I realized then that I have been given full control of my habits. The habits we encourage in our daily lives will eventually dictate the path we take and the amount of happiness or misery we enjoy in this journey called life. In April 2010, USA Today published the results of a 20 year study where 5,000 British adults were followed. The study focused on four common bad habits: smoking, drinking too much, inactivity and poor diet. The results showed that such habits substantially increased the risk of death and made those who engage in them seem up to 12 years older.

Our family of origin

As children and later during our adolescent years we are a captive audience to our family of origin, meaning our parents and siblings, in at least two ways. One, we are recipients of our parents’ genetic inheritance. Two, we learn habits as we observe and participate in the different activities in our home. Our genetic inheritance includes various degrees of tolerance towards addictive behaviors as well as propensities to other illnesses. Our capacity to learn and absorb at home can be reflected in the simple use of the words “please” and “thank you.” The use of good manners is greatly fostered when such expressions are repeated over and over in our families of origin and when children have the opportunity to practice them among family members. Regardless of our genetic factor and the examples we carry in our memories from our younger years, our individuality and our capacity to direct our lives is never relinquished. This means that we still own our thoughts and actions, and consequently, we can choose the direction of our lives. As Mr. Marriott said, ” create good habits, for bad ones will destroy you.”

See all 3 photos
Source: marcandangel.com

Life happens

I remember talking to a man in his 50’s. He told me he had been in and out of jail for most of his life, and there he was, he said, with nothing to show for. Drugs had dominated his life, however, the next statement was quite revealing. He said that he did not want and was not ready to change until now.

On a different occasion, I was present when and older gentleman told of his knee pain history and how he was able to find relief through pain killers. There came a point, he said, when he realized he was becoming dependent on those pills. He went to his doctor and told him not to give him those pills anymore and to explore other ways to manage his pain.

The caffeinated soft drink advent in the U.S. has created a devastating trend of caffeine dependence, obesity, tooth decay, weakening of the bones and other ailments. I have seen young and old become mesmerized by the clicking sound of an aluminum can being opened. I have heard those sounds at all times of the day in offices: morning, afternoon and night. Nonetheless, I have witnessed individuals that have kicked the soda pop habit and turn to healthier levels of consumption or nothing at all. It has not been easy, but they have succeeded.

See all 3 photos
Source: bistromd.com

Creating new habits

Counsel in creating good habits is varied and extensive. I would like to share my view. The number one piece of information I would like to emphasize is the fact that you are a worthwhile individual. There is no one like you. You are unique in your physique, your talents and influence for good. No one will ever replace you on this planet because there is only one of you. Second, no one will ever have any influence in your mind and brain unless you allow it. Viktor Frankl in his outstanding book ” Man’s Search for Meaning,” his story as a concentration camp prisoner in Nazi Germany, concluded that everything can be taken from a man or a woman, except the power to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. Third, learn self-discipline. One important aspect of self-discipline is the need to release any tension connected with the task at hand. Meditation, mindfulness, exercise are a few techniques used to relieve tension. Once tension is manageable it is important to tackle the task. In other words action. There is no substitute for action. The more we do, the more time we will have and most importantly, we will be on our way to creating new habits. You are worth every effort. Move forward. Best wishes.

Is Hemingway boring?

Is Hemingway boring?
See all 3 photos

Hemingway , the writer

Ernest Hemingway has been considered one of the best writers of the twentieth century. He won both the pulitzer and Nobel prizes and produced several novels and short stories, some of which were made into films. However, in today’s world, it is likely you will hear many readers characterize his stories as boring. One reviewer has said: ” [I find Hemingway boring because] I’ve decided that …his books are about nothing. I suppose that was why he was such a “genius”. Evidentially, people in the middle of the 20th century wanted to read about nothing.”

A writer friend of mine said to me, “I also wonder about a writer like Hemingway in this day and age. I mean most of my friends have not, would not, read anything by Hemingway, much less enjoy it. Stephen King, yes. Tom Robbins, yes. Hemingway, blegh”

And another writer friend of mine, when asked why he might be considered boring replied, “People today go for the story, not the writing. Look at the Da Vinci Code, it was one hell of a story, but as writing goes, it was [not]. [On the other hand], Stephen King writes great stories. He engages the reader and you can easily read a chapter each night before going to sleep, pick it up the next day and still follow the story”

An American writer and journalist, Hemingway was part of the 1920s expatriate community in Paris, and one of the veterans of World War I later known as “the Lost Generation.” He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for The Old Man and the Sea, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He was without religious persuasion (atheist). His distinctive writing style is characterized by economy and understatement, and had a significant influence on the development of twentieth-century fiction writing. His protagonists are typically stoical men who exhibit an ideal described as “grace under pressure.”

Many of his works are now considered classics of American literature. I’ve always been a fan of Hemingway’s but, in today’s world, I can see where some might consider him boring. He spends a lot of time, in his novels and stories, talking about ordinary, mundane things. I guess at the time he was writing that’s what people wanted to read about. But now, many people would find that boring. Part of what was so compelling about his writing then was his “style”, which today is no longer new. At the time, writing in short, terse declarative sentences was unique. This is one reason why he won the Nobel Prize in 1954.

See all 3 photos

Hemingway, the man

One thing I’ve always been attracted to was the man himself. I found him very interesting. If you haven’t read “Selected letters 1917-1961” you should. They were captivating.

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Depressed most of his life, he committed suicide in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961. Other members of his immediate family also committed suicide, including his father, Clarence Hemingway, his siblings Ursula and Leicester, and later his granddaughter Margaux Hemingway.

Hemingway was the first son and the second child born to Clarence Edmonds “Doc Ed” Hemingway – a country doctor, and Grace Hall Hemingway. Hemingway’s father attended the birth of Ernest and blew a horn on his front porch to announce to the neighbors that his wife had given birth to a boy. The Hemingways lived in a six-bedroom Victorian house built by Ernest’s widowed maternal grandfather, Ernest Miller Hall, an English immigrant and Civil War veteran who lived with the family. Hemingway was his namesake.

Hemingway’s mother once aspired to an opera career and earned money giving voice and music lessons. She was domineering and narrowly religious, mirroring the strict Protestant ethic of Oak Park, which Hemingway later said had “wide lawns and narrow minds”. While his mother hoped that her son would develop an interest in music, Hemingway adopted his father’s outdoorsman hobbies of hunting, fishing and camping in the woods and lakes of Northern Michigan.

The family owned a summer home called Windemere on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan and often spent summers vacationing there. These early experiences in close contact with nature instilled in Hemingway a lifelong passion for outdoor adventure and for living in remote or isolated areas

After high school, he began his writing career as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star. After six months, he quit his reporting job against his father’s wishes. He tried to join the United States Army to see action in World War I but he failed the medical examination due to poor vision. Instead, he joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps.

On his route to the Italian front, he stopped in Paris, where, instead of staying in the relative safety of the Hotel Florida, he tried to get as close to combat as possible. Soon after arriving on the Italian Front he witnessed the brutalities of war. On his first day on duty he was assigned to pick up the mostly female human remains of the dead, the result of a bombing close by. He wrote about it in his short story “A Natural History of the Dead”. This first encounter with death left him shaken.

Hemingway was quite a drinker. It’s said that he drank more in one night than some people did in a lifetime. He drank in-between hunting wild game, running with the bulls, and churning out some of the finest literature of the 20th century, in which the characters also drink, heavily and constantly. No sober man would have done what Hemingway did, and no one else could have written such prose without having experienced life so incessantly on booze. Like other great drunkards, he has a drink named for him: Cuba’s famous El Floridita makes the “Papa Doble,” which is a extra-rum-soaked double frozen daiquiri.

See all 3 photos

His Works

“When I was young, Ernest Hemingway was king of the hill. During the 30’s and 40’s aspiring writers all over the world were mimicking his voice, struggling to pare their sentences and sentiments to a lean precision. His best work, perhaps a dozen stories and one or two novels, declared a new style, which meant a new way of looking at the world. These stories and novels would have been inconceivable before the First World War, improbable after the Second.” (Irving Howe)

During his lifetime Hemingway had seven novels, six collections of short stories, and two works of non-fiction published, with a further three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction autobiographical works published after his death. Hemingway’s distinctive writing style characterized by economy and understatement had an enormous influence on 20th-century fiction, as did his apparent life of adventure and the public image he cultivated.

He produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, culminating in his1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. Hemingway’s protagonists are typically stoical men who exhibit an ideal described as “grace under pressure”; many of his works are considered classics of American literature. (wikipedia)

Novels and stories: The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, To Have and Have Not, The Torrents of Spring, Death in the Afternoon, Green Hills of Africa, Across the River and Into the Trees, The Dangerous Summer, Island in the Stream and A Moveable Feast

Methodic: A Short Story

Methodic: A Short Story

Methodic

Everything went blank, dark, deep nothingness.

“AHNNH!” An alarm roused me from my deep slumber.

First, I glanced at the intercom that woke me, then, I stared at a colorless wall in front of me. There were walls on either side of me: front, back, right, left. The barriers made up my dismal, dimly lit room. Although, you could hardly call it a room at all. I was enclosed.

“State your status 0247M,” the intercom droned.

“Prime,” I replied.

I never have had to say anything other than prime. I wouldn’t know what to respond even if the event occurred, so I just answer prime.

“Standby,” it declared.

I could hear rumbling in the distance like a freight train with rust on its wheels. The wall in front of me slid to the side revealing another cell the same size as mine. I stepped into the next chamber and the same wall behind me slipped shut. I could feel the cell ascending, and I wheeled around because I had been through this at least a million times. Once again, the wall behind me glided sideways to reveal a dreary hallway.

I could see a compact, dull archway connecting to a dark corridor. There was a title on the arch, lettered in bold, “0247=John”.

“I still don’t know why they don’t put my full name, John M!” I thought to myself.

I strode through it and along the hall, but stopped abruptly at a door in which I proceeded to push open swiftly and stroll out. I found myself in a modern business-like building bustling with movement as wave after wave of people formed five tight lines out the doors. I ambled into a line moving closest to the reception area at the far end of the foyer. The receptionist was a lovely woman who sat in a cushioned high-back chair.

“Good morning John M,” the woman exclaimed as she saw me.

“And the same to you Teresa M,” I replied, “is it nice outside?”

“Very much so, same as always.” She remarked.

I walked out and the sunlight momentarily blinded me. It was a warm blanket that evenly coated my skin. Then, I hopped on the nine o’clock bus to fifth street. I exited at the corner of fifth and sixth. I came to a halt at the number five coffee shop and gave the cashier my daily medium coffee stamp.

“I’ll have the usual, Bert M,” I told the portly distributor.

“Coming right up!” Bert M replied.

“Man, I can’t wait until I turn thirty years in a week. I get a wife and large coffee stamps, that’ll be the day!”

He was a cheerful man, even though he got the short end of the stick on his life. Because he was only a coffee distributer, he didn’t get a wife or an apartment.

“Day 1 is some day alright, even on day 360 I can feel it looming above me. There are too many people changing to large coffee stamps every year,” Bert M said, “Why does everybody have to be made on the same day?”

“I am new to your troubles, Bert M, I am not a coffee distributor.” I replied matter-of-factly as I strode into apartment building five.

In the building, I advanced straight to the elevator in the corridor. Since I had to walk through the entrance hall to get to the elevator and I was on a tight schedule, I kept my head down so as not to speak to the receptionist. I pressed the up arrow and the elevator rumbled as if it were not sure if it should let me in or not. Then, obviously having made its decision, the doors spread wide and I marched in. The only item on the control panel was a scanner, in which I placed my right thumb on, and the elevator ascended up to level 3.

“Ding!” the elevator cried like an elephant with the voice of a mouse.

I stepped out just as the doors closed behind me. In front of me was a massive hall of doors. There was one hall on my right, and one on my left. Also, I could mosey forward and proceed down the hall in front of me. Basically, the halls formed an enormous “T” at which I was at the crown of, where the base of the “T” met the top. My apartment was down the base, the hall in front of me. I strolled swiftly forward to apartment 0247= John. I unlocked the door by again pressing my thumb to the scanner. Inside was a massive living room with a luxurious Persian carpet and one single velvety couch and chair. It was heaven to a neat freak. Nothing was left out or askew.

“Next Day 1, there will be two chairs. I wonder what my wife will look like?” I thought to myself happily as I shut the door behind me.

I slipped off my black, leather shoes and gold toe socks so I was standing in my bare feet in the middle of the carpet. I sighed, long and deep.

“Good day 0247M, your daily meal is in the kitchen,” came a female, robotic voice from the ceiling.

“What is today,” I asked, “the third day of the week?”

“That is correct 0247M,” replied the ceiling again.

“Ooh, tacos, my favorite.” I said as I trotted into the kitchen.

“Enjoy” I heard from behind me.

After scarfing down my delicious taco with the energy water we were given, I trudged into my office, the chamber connected to the living room by the kitchen. Those were the only three rooms in my apartment, the living room, kitchen, and office. I plopped down in the black, leather swivel chair behind my laptop and stretched. I was a king in his throne.

“Did you know that tacos were invented in a place people used to call Mexico,” I inquired.

“I did know that 0247M.” came the voice from the ceiling again.

“That was way back in the first twenty centuries, at least 5 thousand years ago!” I said astounded.

“That is correct, you had better get to work or you will not be finished by shut down time.”

“ I’m going, I’m going!”

I began typing rapidly on the keyboard.

“It’s hard work programming robots to work in the Cornucopian Fields during harvest.” I grumbled to myself.

I tapped away two hours on my laptop and almost missed 11:30 stop time. There was so much work to be done in the programming business. So many commands to tell the robots; when to plant the seeds, where to plant the seeds, how much water to give them, and how to harvest the crops. Crop harvesting was the most challenging of all commands.

“Woo wee,” I cried out, “I was working hard!”

“You almost missed stop time,” fussed the ceiling.

“Oh don’t be so abusive!” I teased.

Slipping on my loafers, I looked back at the living room, oozing sapphire blue from the walls.

“I will see you again when I wake up.” I called.

I tromped briskly down the hall, took the elevator to the lobby, and exited through the two mahogany double doors in the front. I leaped onto the 11:45 bus when an alarm like in a basketball game reverberated throughout New York. It was the Master calling us back to the shut down center. It signaled fifteen minutes until shut down. There were many rules implanted into our brains by the Master when we were first made. One of them was the rule of silence, fifteen minutes before shut down. We were not allowed to communicate during that time. Actually, we were physically unable to speak at all. I’ve tried before. It’s like someone flipped the switch on our vocal cords to “off”. It was really quite terrifying in the first days of my life, but then I got used to it.

The bus let me off at the shut down center where I filed into a line leading to the front doors. After entering the building, I jogged over to the door marked “0247=John” and pushed through it. Finally, I was alone, a lost child on his way home. I walked down the hall, beneath the archway and into a cell. It proceeded to descend down, down, down, before stopping abruptly. The wall in front of me skimmed to the right revealing another compartment into which I stepped. The door closed behind me and everything went blank, dark, deep nothingness.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

An alarm jolted me awake.

“State your status, 0247TU,” it told me.

“Prime,” I replied.

The wall in front of me slithered away like a slimy snake slinking back into its soiled hole. It disclosed another cell of the exact shape and size as my own. I stepped inside and it started to ascend up to what I knew would be a building. Again, the door behind me opened to a hall about the width of a rather skinny person. Luckily, I was that person. I passed through an arch on my way down the hall before thrusting the door open. My eyes came in contact with a lobby that had five single-file lines leading out the doors.

After sashaying to the back of the line closest to the inside of the room, I followed its progression out the door. I caught the 9:00 bus to fifth street and placed an order for my medium coffee.

“Mornin’ John TU,” uttered the cashier.

“As to you, Bert TU,” I added, entering apartment building five. I placed my thumb on the scanner in the elevator and got off at level three. I plodded forward to apartment 0247=John. After unfastening the door with my thumb, I entered my royal blue living room with my silken persian carpet with my easy chair in it.

“I’m here,” I declared.

“Good,” stated the ceiling.

“I wonder what’s for meal time,” I thought aloud.

“Tacos sir,” answered the ceiling, “always tacos on the third day of our seven day week.”

“Try not to bore me,” I replied as I messily devoured my taco and roamed into my office.

“Ugg, robot programming as always, back to the old grind.”

After two grueling hours it was finally stop time. I closed my lap-top and trekked back to the shut down center and into my cell.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

The alarm from the intercom startled me.

“State your status, 0247W,” said the same droning voice.

“I’m good,” I replied. Then, I blacked out, with the phrase “remember the routine” ringing in my head.

Another bleeping buzzer woke me.

“State your status, 0247W.”

“Fine…. I mean prime, I’m prime,” surprisingly, I stayed conscious. There was no pushing against that system, you had to go by the rules or you got cut off.

The wall in front of me glided to the side to reveal an elevator I leaped onto. It brought me up to a building that looked like an office building. I stepped into a line that slowly crawled out the door.

“What a beautiful day as always,” I thought, “I think I’ll take a walk.” I moved in the opposite direction I usually went to for the bus. I took in the trees and the glorious sky. Again, I fell unconscious, thinking again about the phrase “ remember the routine” resonating in my head.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

I sat up in bed. I could feel the bags under my eyes from lack of sleep. I trudged into my bathroom groggily. There was no one to comfort me, feed me, or heal my sick, derailed mind. It was all because of the responsibilities I was given by the previous Master. He chose me. I was chosen. Out of everyone in the city, me. It would have been better if I had stayed programmed and locked into the daily life of New York, but I had to be the different one. I was the Master of all New York. Regular people thought I was “Belle of the Ball”, but I worked a sad, lonely life overseeing the progress of the city. I alone knew the secrets of the robotic, methodic existence normal people called their life. I alone knew that for every one day someone lives and shuts down, there are six more lives exactly like theirs between their shut down and wake up. But I had to live out all seven of the days. I aged much faster than them. I didn’t get a peaceful shut down. I alone had to lay in a bed and fall asleep fitfully. My life was so different. So lonely. So miserable……. to be different.

After doing what I had to do in the lavatory, I walked into the only other room in my……my….. That was the problem, I didn’t know where I was. When I was born, I had certain things etched into my mind, like the rules of the city and that my job was to make sure everything went normally. I had never spoken to anyone. I had woken up, looked after New York, and fallen asleep. That’s what my life was.

Anyway, I went into the control room and gazed at the many tiny screens in front of me. They gave different video shots of the city. There were buttons in front of me for every person in New York. Somehow, I knew that if one of those buttons was flashing, I was to press it and the person it corresponded to would shut down. Then, the people closest to that person would carry him back to his cell. I had to do this because the whole of New York had to be on schedule. Our fathers worked for this organization and control, we won’t mess it up by having drastic changes. That’s why if any person got off schedule, we shut him down immediately and etch what he did wrong into his brain. I never had too many buttons flashing at one time. Today was different.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

By this time I knew that if I got off schedule, the Master would shut me down and program my brain to fix what I did wrong. Obviously, that wasn’t working. I could still disobey the rules set forth when I was made.

I devised a plan to break away from the system.

“There must be some kind of boundary around New York City,” I pondered. “If I could just break through it, I might be free from this terrible control!”

I also knew that when I went off the schedule, I would black out. That was why I decided I would need to get enough people off task so the Master would have to shut them down before he got to me. It was not much of an idea, but it was the only piece hope I had left. The next morning I put my plan into action.

For once, I awoke with excitement to the sound of the regular alarm.

“State you status, 0247W.”

“Prime,” I replied

I stepped into the cell that opened up to me and started to move upwards. I skimmed over the plan in my head to the point that I could recite it on the spot without thinking. After I stepped out of the elevator, I moved swiftly down the hall and out into the city building. I followed my schedule all the way out to the coffee vender. Then, I put my plan into motion.

“Hello again, John W. Would you like some coffee,” Bert W. asked.

“No!” I yelled and slammed his head against the table. I flung the table at a group of people walking down the street. They dropped to the ground.

“What the….” Bert started, but then shut down.

Automatically, the people behind me, on the ground started blacking out. I sprinted down the street, punching and kicking everyone in my way. They collapsed, out cold. But… they were shutting down too fast! Eventually the Master would get to me. I needed to cause a gigantic diversion so that a great many people would be set off course. I looked around and spotted a bus stopping near me. I had to act fast. I ran onto the bus and threw the driver out. I floored it straight at an apartment building and jumped out the window just before impact. I landed safely on a canopy above a coffee stand, but I couldn’t say the same for the bus. It slammed into its target and the apartment building started to collapse like dynamite had been set off underneath it.

First the bottom floor, then the second and so on. I knew it would finish caving in before a minute was up. I probably had that much time before the Master shut me down; he must have realized by now that more people were going to get disrupted so he would devote all his time to shutting down. I bolted down the street and I saw a haze two blocks down. There was nothing visible beyond it.

“That must be the boundary,” I exclaimed.

I raced closer and closer to it. It was yards, feet, inches away. I could feel myself slipping into unconsciousness. Just one more second….. I blacked out.

I awoke, not to an alarm but to sunshine and lush grass under me. I had made it out! There would be no more control, no more organization. I alone controlled my destiny.

Rich Pete is Proving Size Doesn’t Matter

Rich Pete is Proving Size Doesn’t Matter
See all 2 photos
Rich Pete continues to show that freshman can contribute immediately. He rushed for 753 yards and nine touchdowns on 100 carries in his first season as a Buffalo State Bengal.
See all 2 photos
Rich Pete finished his indoor track season with Buffalo State’s top long jump score of 6.89 meters and finished third on the Bengals in triple jump with a score of 13.40 meters

Being a freshman can be overwhelming, but imagine trying to be a two-sport athlete without your parents to help you deal with a heavy workload and the daily stresses of college.

Ask anyone on the Buffalo State football team or track team though and they’ll tell you they know one person who can handle it and his name is Richard Pete, a business major from Utica.

Pete is a Thomas R. Proctor High School alum who was regarded as a big-time track kid and a very talented running back. In fact, he was a Class AA all-state running back, but he decided to take his talents to Buffalo State because he wanted to help rebuild the football program and join a winning track team.

“I decided to come to Buffalo State because on my visit, I really felt a connection with the players and I felt that they had the same goal that I had,” said Pete. “We basically all had the similar mentality of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to take the program and rebuilding it. For track, I really liked the coaches. On the boys’ team, they had just come off a SUNYAC championship, so I thought it was a great program to be at for me.”

Despite his small frame of five-foot-six, 150 pounds, Pete has shown that size doesn’t matter with his achievements thus far in his freshman year.

Pete thrived in his first season with Bengals, rushing for 753 yards and nine touchdowns on just 100 carries. He also caught 13 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He finished up with four NJAC Offensive Rookie of the Week Awards and was given an All-NJAC team Honorable Mention.

Pete began the season as a backup to Ismail “Manny” Brooks, but when an injury began to hamper Brooks, Pete had to step up in the Bengals’ first home game against Western Connecticut and he didn’t disappoint, rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Pete would continue his success at home as he rushed for 436 yards and four touchdowns on 46 carries in Buffalo State’s four home games.

Brooks is the player whom Pete credits as the person who made his transition to Buffalo State the easiest.

“All I told him was that college was going to be quite the experience, but it’s what you put into it as far as your books and your football career and the profession that you’re going to eventually pursue,” said Brooks. “Basically I told him, if you’re not here for yourself, you’re here for your future family and I just introduced him to a couple guys around campus whom he was able to rally around.”

In indoor track, Pete had similar success as he finished the season with the Bengals’ best long jump of 6.89 meters and had the third best in triple jump with 13.4 meters.

“He’s a very solid jumper,” said track head coach Eugene Lewis. “My expectations is that he is going to continue to get better with the jumps and he’s going to be a very serious threat conference wise and he’s on the brink of becoming a national-caliber athlete on a consistent basis.”

Heading into the outdoor season, Coach Lewis says the plan is to get Pete involved in the 100 meters

“So far in his freshman year, he’s done very well,” Lewis said. “There were some things that we felt like he could’ve done a lot better, but the adjustment of doing two sports in high school and college is a little more difficult and I think he’s on the brink of getting a feel for that as we transition into outdoor, we expect him to do a lot better.”

“Right now, we’re just going to focus on the 100-meter,” Lewis continued. “He has the ability to go up to the 200-meters, but right now we’re going to really work on the 100.”

Meat eaters!

Meat eaters!

Absolutely

Before I start this thing I’m going to tell you what happened to me this morning. My German Shepherd (that’s a large dog and not a shepherd that just happens to be German) figured out that I have a bone in my leg. I don’t know who told her. I know she watches that nature channel. Anyway, when I awoke, there she was chewing on my leg. So I confronted her and she simply starts whistling, looking around innocently and pretending that she wasn’t doing it. I’ll have to keep an eye on her. I just hope she doesn’t decide to bury the bone in my leg in the backyard.

So scientists are USUALLY pretty smart cookies. I mean when they were 10-year-old’s, they were the smartest 10-year-old’s around. They’re flying around in rocket ships and jumping off the roof of the house, I know I was. I was definitely ahead of my time. I showed up at school an hour early one day. When they’re in university they are often more intelligent than the professors. I know I was. Jumping off the roof of the house that is. (Yeah, like I went to university. I peeked inside one but got scared and ran away squealing like a dog.)

But sometimes people think they know more than they actually do. They believe we were descended from monkeys? Oh yeah, then why are the monkeys still around! My mother-in-law may be descended from a monkey but not me. And you can take that to the bank. (I don’t know what the bank guy will do with it but take it there anyway!)

Now let me get this absolutely straight. Scientists believe that 70 million years ago, that’s before I was born, that meat eaters destroyed ALL the dinosaurs. And that’s why there’s no dinosaurs today. MEAT EATERS, can you believe it?

Are they absolutely nuts! You know how big some of those dinosaurs were! Do you? Huh? Big enough to wash your windows even if you were on the third floor… second floor? Fourth floor? Wait, let me get my measuring tape. Well, anyway those guys were freaking big. So what the heck was so big that could eat all those guys and make them extinct.

Now, for something to be that big and eat ALL the dinosaurs it would have been like a mile tall and two miles long. And gravity being what it is, something that freaking big would not have been able to support its own weight. And how would it stalk and eat all the dinosaurs if it can’t even walk. I mean to say that the dinosaurs didn’t just walk up to them and say, “Here I am, eat me!” And they also believe that dust would have originated from this large beasts, so much dust that it would have blotted out the sun for years? What are these guys smoking. I want some.

So scientists are not as smart as they think they are. I just proved it, which means that I’m smarter than all the scientists put together. You know, I really didn’t think I were that smart, but I just proved it! Didn’t I? Yes I did. I am so smart! Am I? Yes I am! Who am I? Er.

Oh, wait. The WIFE is hollering something. “It’s a meteor you MORON!!”

Oh, a meteor destroyed the dinosaurs. That’s different. Never mind then.

The Bowman Memorial Museum In Prineville

The Bowman Memorial Museum In Prineville

Oregon History: Bowman Memorial Museum

Nestled in the sleepy city of Prineville, Oregon is a historical treasure you will not want to miss – the A.R. Bowman Memorial Museum, otherwise known to us who live here as the Bowman Museum.

This is a spectacular place to visit and I urge you to set aside time to tour this incredible building that is chock-full of beautiful exhibits that depict beautifully Oregon history but especially Central Oregon’s origins and development.

Let’s take a bit of a virtual tour now and examine how the Bowman Museum started out and what it is yet to become.

Enjoy the videos and photos that I took on my recent visit to the museum. Even though there are many photos, I was hoping to capture the flavor of the museum on camera; likewise with the videos. There are many videos but these are short and give you a hands-on experience I hope for the exhibits at the museum. With all that I have presented here, there are still many, many more that I did not photo or videotape.

I shot most of the virtual tour with my little Flip video camera because the flash on my cameras would have been detrimental to the artifacts. I then captured the photos from the video stream to create the photos.

I hope you enjoy your tour and encourage you to come for a visit!

See all 68 photos
All pictures and videos by Audrey Kirchner

A. R. Bowman and the Bowman Memorial Museum

Who was A. R. Bowman?

Arthur Ray Bowman was one of Crook County’s leading citizens. Born in Kansas originally, Bowman came to Prineville in 1910 after he had graduated with a law degree from the University of Washington. He was a prominent player in civic affairs and aided greatly in the development of Crook County.

He was most notably involved in the construction of Highway 26 which is still our main thoroughfare running east and west through Central Oregon. He also participated in such projects as the Ochoco Irrigation District and the construction of the Prineville Airport.

He would later also have the dam on the Crooked River named after him as well because he backed the project called the Crooked River Project which built the Prineville Dam. He also served as a county judge in Crook County from 1936 to 1942.

History of the Museum Building

The
building site where the Bowman Museum stands today on the corner of
Third Street and Main was a 1-story wood building constructed in 1883
and was first a drug store.

In 1901, this building was replaced
with a 2-story wood building which was known as Belknap Hall. Around
about 1908, this structure was actually moved to West Second and
Claypool Streets and was an I.O.O.F. lodge hall until its final
demolition in 1972.

The building that presently serves as the
Bowman Museum was built in 1910 by the Crook County Bank and it was a
building made not of wood but of stone from the local quarry. This
quarry is located near the Ochoco Viewpoint and the same stone was used
to construct the Crook County Courthouse about a year before the Crook
County Bank.

The Crook County Bank was in existence for 22
years. It was the Crook County Bank from 1912 until 1923 and then later
became the Bank of Prineville and the Prineville National Bank. In
1935, the building was purchased by A. R. Bowman and became his title
and loan business. Still later, it became the location for his
insurance business for at least 20 years.

If you visit the
museum, the first thing that you notice is the beautiful interior on the
first floor. Much of the old bank remains from the exquisite marble
counters and bronze teller cages to the etched art-glass, paneling of
mahogany and alabaster chandeliers. Although the bank failed in the
Great Depression, the building was never touched.

Judge
Bowman died in 1970 and the building was donated by his wife Alta and
daughters Jean and Elaine who deeded the property to the people of Crook
County stipulating that it must be used as a museum. The building
became part of the National Register of Historic Places on June 19,
1991.

The museum is maintained by the county and the Crook
County Historic Society. Admission is free but feel free to donate if
you visit and make sure you sign the registry!

See all 68 photos

What You’ll See at the Bowman Memorial Museum

Remarkably, I have lived here 6 years and though I said absently many times ‘I need to go check out that museum’, for some reason or another, I just never went in. I’m so happy that I did because it is an incredible museum. The displays and exhibits are absolutely stunning.

I was particularly overwhelmed by the amount of artifacts that this museum contains. It is not just pertinent to Crook County history, however, and in fact, speaks of our ancestors and all that they left us in terms of our heritage and the early days of America.

Their exhibits are beautifully done and the information available is staggering. You are first consumed with wonder as you enter the museum and see the splendor that was the original bank. It is simply breathtaking with the marble counters and bronze teller cages – all left in precisely their original state.

The gift shop is a wonderful place to browse for information on anything and everything historical and how it pertains to Oregon history most specifically. There are wonderful tees and sweatshirts for sale and books by the hundreds. There are also many fine publications available for sale on-line and I will list those further along.

You can even purchase a beautiful afghan which depicts the Crook County Courthouse in all its glory and also honors the Crooked River Roundup and Les Schwab tires, one of the things Prineville is most famous for.

Displays at the Bowman Museum

Just some of the things you will enjoy at the Bowman

Period dress – from baseball uniforms to women’s finery – military uniforms to nurse uniforms – corsets to Indian dress
Forestry displays complete with manuals and tools of their trade
Ranching and homesteading displays and artifacts
Gemstones and rock-hounding displays
Arrowheads and Indian artifacts
Guns and rifles
Combat equipment
Firefighting equipment
Memorial to firefighters lost – a tribute to the Echo of the Wildlands Firefighters Monument located in Ochoco Creek Park
Books upon books of Crook County photographs from people to buildings to documents
Gift shop and book store
Original bank front with its original construction
Bank vault complete with the safe inside – as well as many other artifacts such as old typewriters, ink wells and office equipment
Railroad history and equipment displays
Tack room which is full of saddles including a beautiful woman’s side saddle
Branding irons and all sorts of horse tack
Photography exhibit complete with a large wall photo of a family having their portrait taken and surrounded by all kinds of antique cameras from huge to small
Parlor area displaying a beautiful dining room set, old piano and several china cabinets
Other parlor furniture such as a gramophone, chairs and even a highchair
Bedroom display along with furniture and period dress
Paulina store and post office exhibit
Butter churn and kitchen equipment
Many of the things you’d find at the general store
Display devoted to medicine and old medical equipment such as tonsillectomy chair
All manner of equipment and medical items from throat lozenges to pills and doctor bags; even a wheelchair and a nurse’s uniform
Telephones, radios and telegraph equipment
Genealogy research room
Several sports displays including uniforms and many pictures of the various teams
Toys and games display from checkers to dolls to toy pistols
Ranching and cowboy paraphernalia including camp stoves and other tools of their trade

Click thumbnail to view full-size
See all 68 photos
Outside Facing Main Street
See all 68 photos
Memorial Plaque
See all 68 photos
Inside showing old bank
See all 68 photos
More inside showing old bank
See all 68 photos
Tack room
See all 68 photos
Outside facing Third Street
No Photo
Ranch Under the Rimrock (Central Oregon) 1968 by McCALL
Current Bid: $9.95
New Era : Reflections on the Human and Natural History of Central Oregon by…
Current Bid: $12.95

Coming Soon – Expansion at Bowman Museum

In November, the Bowman Museum will be expanding. They have purchased the building next door and will be expanding into that building as well. The construction is anticipated to be done in 2011 and will offer much needed space and allow the museum to expand.

Some of the wonderful things coming in the future include:

Fenced outdoor exhibit garden
Collection care center
Research library
Office space
Western heritage gallery
Community room
Les Schwab exhibit
Archive room
Timber exhibit hall
Raised stage area for events
Oral history space

This expansion will allow more in the way of tours and such things as traveling exhibits. This will also allow for additional permanent exhibits which tell the story of Crook County – from the Native Americans who lived alongside the early Americans to the farmers and ranchers that make up the history of this area, to the great accomplishments of Les Schwab.

It will also provide a larger place to hold meetings, lectures and reenactments of history.

The Bowman Museum will also be moving in an internet direction by collecting and preserving electronically all of its documents so that they can be accessed on the web around the world.

A research library will also give anyone from professional to amateur the ability to access historical and genealogical records.

I am waiting eagerly to see what more the Bowman Museum has in store for us!

See all 68 photos

Tours and Field Trips

The Bowman Memorial Museum not only is a great place to visit, but it is a great place to arrange tours and field trips.

An example of a wonderful tour is the Steens Mountain Historical Tour.  In the past, on this tour the participants met at the Frenchglen Hotel and took in the grandeur of Steens Mountain via access on the Steens Loop – a very old and bumpy road through spectacular geological scenic areas to the eventual panoramic views of Steens Mountain. This tour was enhanced by Carrie Gordon who gave information on the geology of the area while Steve Lent provided historical information.

Another great tour was the Oregon Trunk Tour.  This is a tour of the abandoned railroads of Crook County. 

Tours are an excellent way of getting out and seeing more of the area but also absorbing history. 

Call the museum for this year’s events but these are some of the most notable annual events.

Field trips and local historical site visits – every spring and fall there are trips to different areas around Old Crook County (call for details)
Tours of downtown buildings
Lecture series on events and prominent people in history
Spring field trips – check website for more information or call the museum
Courthouse tours – Tuesday or Thursday at noon from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  This is a 1-hour tour that takes you all the way up to the clock tower
Summerfest – Crafts and Activities Fair at Pioneer Park where the Historical Society hosts an information booth. This is during the Crooked River Roundup.
Splash and Dash – Booth on the 4th of July participating with other events such as breakfast by the Chamber of Commerce, barbecue lunch, music, arts and crafts and other food booths
Pioneer Queen Picnic and Coronation – early August each year.
Fall lecture series “Looking Back” – September through October – every Friday night through mid October.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
See all 68 photos
Books in gift shop
See all 68 photos
Teller cage
See all 68 photos
More books
See all 68 photos
Old bank
See all 68 photos
Calendars for sale
See all 68 photos
Another book
See all 68 photos
Book for sale
See all 68 photos
Blanket for sale
See all 68 photos
Book for sale
See all 68 photos
More books
See all 68 photos

Available at Bowman Museum and On-Line

Field trip guides are also available at the Bowman Museum or on-line for some of these great field trips. This also gives you an idea of what kinds of field trips are available. There are many, many more than listed here – check on-line for all of them!

Ochoco Mountain Mines – this guide includes information on many mines in the area from Champion, Independent, Mother Lode and Blue Ridge to name but a few

Bear Creek Country – this guide gives history on homesteads in the Bear Creek area of southern Crook County.

Crooked River National Grasslands – this guide gives information on such places as the Weigand Homestead and Stage Stop, the Gray Butte Cemetery, and Lamonta Camp.

Forest Service Centennial – guide to a tour of Ochoco Forest.

Lieutenant Watson meets Paulina – guide based on historic sites from Prineville to Paulina.

Steens Mountain Historical Tour – this is the guide for the trip as mentioned above and was a 2-day trip.

These field trip guides and many others are available on-line or at the museum for $10. On-line ordering can be done through PayPal.

Books On-Line and at the Museum:

These books are also available and are just a sampling of what you can find on-line to order through PayPal or in the museum itself.

Cowboy Poetry and Barn Sour Verse by June Collins – $28.00

Prineville
Business History by Keith Snyder – $29.95

Trails to
the Ochoco Valley by Andrew G. Ontko – $12.95

School Days
of Old Crook County by Irene Helms – $14.95

The History
of Crook County, Oregon 1994 by the Crook County Historical Society – $45.00

These are just some of the offerings on-line and at the Bowman Memorial Museum.  Check it out!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
See all 68 photos
Butter churn
See all 68 photos
Branding display
See all 68 photos
Sports display
See all 68 photos
Piano in parlor
See all 68 photos
See all 68 photos
Gramophone
See all 68 photos
Typewriter
See all 68 photos
Clothing store
See all 68 photos
Baseball jersey
See all 68 photos
Vault
See all 68 photos
Railroad
See all 68 photos
Clothing store logo
See all 68 photos
Branding irons
See all 68 photos
Highchair
See all 68 photos
Prineville railroad
See all 68 photos
Football pads
See all 68 photos
Chair
See all 68 photos
Camera
See all 68 photos
Letterman’s sweater
See all 68 photos
Baby announcement
See all 68 photos
Photographing
See all 68 photos
Checkers
See all 68 photos
Sports display
See all 68 photos
Crook County photos
See all 68 photos
Camera
See all 68 photos
Memorial to fallen firefighters
See all 68 photos
Saddle
See all 68 photos
Toys
See all 68 photos
Doll
See all 68 photos
Baseball and glove
See all 68 photos
Photographing
See all 68 photos
Forestry pamphlets
See all 68 photos
Telephone pamphlets
See all 68 photos
Gramophone
See all 68 photos
Oregon or Bust

Oregon History: Bowman Memorial Museum

If you’re looking for an interesting place to visit in Central Oregon, the Bowman Memorial Museum is a great place to accomplish that!

Their staff is well informed and wonderfully helpful in giving you more information or setting up tours and field trips. They can also give you all the background information on the history of this area regarding its various aspects and subjects from homesteading to railroads to Indian history.

How to Become a Partner in the Bowman Memorial Museum

There are several options for someone wanting to support the museum in terms of membership:

Pick a level of membership on-line and pay through PayPal
Fill out an on-line form and receive a bill for payment
Join the Bowman Museum annually – form is on-line

Full membership includes participation in field trips, quarterly newsletters, attendance at 4 general meetings, periodic lectures and 10% discounts in the gift shop.

Endowment Participation

You can give to the Crook County Historical Society’s Endowment Fund in several different ways as well:

Outright gifts – this includes cash, property or securities
Deferred gifts and charitable remainder trusts – The Bowman Museum receives the principle while you continue to collect the income
Planned gifts through wills – you bequest a specific amount of money, property or percentage of your estate to the Bowman Museum

Click thumbnail to view full-size
See all 68 photos
Tack gear
See all 68 photos
Saddle
See all 68 photos
Another saddle
See all 68 photos
Another saddle
See all 68 photos
Pistol
See all 68 photos
Spurs
Click thumbnail to view full-size
See all 68 photos
Wheelchair
See all 68 photos
Nurse’s uniform
See all 68 photos
Clothing display
See all 68 photos
Eyeglasses display
See all 68 photos
Finished glasses
See all 68 photos
Tonsillectomy chair
See all 68 photos
Rancher gear
{“lat”:44.302864,”lng”:-120.847054,”zoom”:15,”mapType”:”ROADMAP”,”markers”:[]}

Oregon History and the Bowman Museum

I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of one of the nicest museums I’ve had the opportunity to visit.  This will give you an idea of what the Bowman Museum has to offer in terms of Oregon history.

The future holds much for the museum with its planned renovations and I can’t wait to see what else the Bowman Memorial Museum will have in store for the people of Central Oregon.

Learning where we came from is a great gift and a wonderful educational opportunity – hope to see you at the Bowman!

Oregon’s Promise: An Interpretive History
Amazon Price: $13.07
List Price: $19.95
Oregon Or Bust: True Short Stories from the Descendants of Oregon Trail Pioneers, Prospectors, Trappers, and Settlers in the Great Northwest
Amazon Price: $19.62
List Price: $29.99
New Era: Reflections on the Human and Natural History of Central Oregon
Amazon Price: $3.99
List Price: $14.95
The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane
Amazon Price: $10.21
List Price: $29.95
Hiking Oregon’s History : The Stories Behind Historic Places You Can Walk to See
Amazon Price: $11.36
List Price: $18.95
Roadside History of Oregon (Roadside History Series)
Amazon Price: $10.00
List Price: $24.00

Old Bank and Gift Shop Area

General Store Displays

Bedroom Display

Tack Room Display

Quilt Display

Photography Exhibit

Railroad and Forestry Displays

Gemstone, Indian and Cowboy Displays

Gift Shop