Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Really Ex-Parrot

If this isn't the coolest New World archaeological find of the 21st Century, it's pretty darn close.

Mexico's Cultural Affairs Office announced recently (July 10, 2016) that construction work near the first prehispanic archaeological site registered in the municipality of San Francisco de Borja, in the State of Chihuahua, Northern Mexico, encountered the mummified remains of a Scarlet macaw parrot in a cave in the municipality. The parrot appears to have been buried in a funerary context. Workers say the complete body of the parrot was discovered, but only the head was collected. The remains of two human bodies were also discovered, leading archaeologists to believe the bird may have been buried with its owner. Scarlet macaws are not native to the region, but were highly prized and traded from hundreds of miles distance throughout Mexican prehistory.

The exact age of the archaeological site is unclear, but appears to predate Mexico's prehispanic Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, which flourished from the 7th to 14th Centuries, A.D.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Just a Reminder

Thursday, July 21, 2016

May You Live In Interesting Times

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine. As today is ‪#‎ThrowbackThursday‬ we thought we'd throwback to our favorite movie of all time, Casablanca, which is somewhat apropos to these times since the movie deals with war, refugees, greed and corruption, and the fight against Nazism. A subplot of the movie is the disposition of the coveted Letters of Transit, documents that in wartime Europe were worth more than life itself!

Well, these are actual Letters of Transit, signed by the French Consul of Constantinople, which my grandparents used in 1920 to escape the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. As an indication of how cherished these documents were, they were some of the few documents my grandparents preserved from that era. My grandparents were war refugees, the kind of people who today would be looked down upon by certain retrograde segments of American society.

Grandfather Vasily is the dapper cavalry officer wearing the riding boots, front right, in his White Army uniform, and Grandmother Maria sports her White Army nurse's uniform. Grandfather was wounded in battle fighting the Bolsheviks on the Crimea during the Russian Civil War and met Grandmother in the hospital. The rest, as they say, is history:

Grandfather Vasily is the dapper cavalry officer, front right, wearing the riding boots. Tall man standing in center of photo is Baron Wrangel, the last Russian White Army general.
This would have been his officer corps in the Crimea. Grandfather Vasily was a Captain of Engineers.

Grandmother Maria in her White Army nurse's uniform

The last surviving photo taken of Grandfather Vasily (or William as his name was Americanized) at his engineering office at the old Idaho Highway Department in Boise, circa 1960

Rick's introduction to the letters of transit

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Simple Metaphor for the Republican Party

Like they say, a picture (or in this case, video) is worth a thousand words. Here's a couple that come to mind. Irresponsible. Thoughtless. Crude. Uncaring. Refusing to accept personal responsibility. Okay, that's more than a couple. But in a nutshell, nothing sums up the Republican Party like shitting and running.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Birds of a Feather

A matched set. Our male Blue and Gold macaw parrot Aboo, and his friend Ally at Seattle's Sunday Ballard Farmers Market.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

I was a very young world traveler. Came from being born into a refugee family. The kind of family that would be banned in this day and age. Explains my wanderlust during a very misspent youth.