Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rebel Hill

Many Yankees came on that cold March night
Between thunder, rain, the late sleet and hail
Pickets taken! Courage fled at the sight
Hearts faltered, hands weakened, and men turned pale

So these wounded men with their wounded pride
Had in vain it seemed paid such a high price
No hope and no more would these Rebels ride
The noble cause, dead, it would not suffice

Almost released, a voice destroyed the plan
"That is the boss!" cried the newly freed man
The Captain now old, faces the hard truth
He's captured by those he fought for in youth

All that is left from history
Is the name his children bear
Where else he's been still a mystery
Buried in New Orleans somewhere


About:
I began writing this poem in the spring of 2014, as the sequi-centennial of my Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather's death in a Union prisoner of war camp in New Orleans. He died there from "pneumonia", possibly a complication from injuries incurred during his capture. He was a Captain in the Militia of Rapides Parish. Specifically, he was training soldiers on how to use artillery when he was captured. As best as our family historians can tell, he was born in Canada, joined the US Army in Maine, saw some action during the Mexican American War where he received injuries, and an honorable discharge as a result. He was paid for his service in the US Army with a land grant in Rapides parish, near Alexandria, LA. When the civil war broke out, he would have been an older man, but his family was young. He was called into service by the Governor and given the duty of training Confederate troops and home guard in the use of artillery. When the Yankees captured him, a recently freed slave said that he was not an enlisted man, but rather was the captain of the local militia. He was then sent to the POW camp in New Orleans, where he died April 30, 1864. The location of his grave became part of Canal Street in New Orleans sometime in the early 20th century.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

He is Risen INDEED

Thoughts from this last Sunday:
The kids are in the other room getting Easter Baskets.
I love watching them get a "surprise". Little toys, some candy, it brings joy and helps you understand what Christ means when he said to have a "child like faith".
There's nothing happier than a 2 year old with chocolate.

Sunday service just blurs past me. The same two year old is now a handful. Scared of children's service because of the ever present threat of puppets. Never mind that last week I worked with her using a puppet, that she apparently now likes.
Sunday morning was too much.
After the kids time she goes to the two year olds' class. I caught 5-10 minutes of the sermon.

Eating at a church potluck with small children is a challenge.
And the two year old fears the Easter Bunny.

I'm home, processing the day, wondering:
Have I proclaimed that He is risen? Does anyone know what I believe?
The only direct proclamation I made all day was a single Facebook post (29 likes when I wrote this), quoting an angel at the tomb: "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"
Is this my only witness now? What else is needed?

The early Church used a sort of code, they would great each other with "He is Risen", and the person being addressed would respond: "He is Risen Indeed."
Let's think about what that means:
"He" -> Jesus, born in Bethlehem, son of Mary, son of Joseph (so it was thought), son of God, savior of the world
"is" -> currently, RIGHT NOW, verifiably.
"Risen" -> Once dead, now no longer. Resurrected, without death. Not merely a reanimated corpse zombie Jesus, as the godless mock, but alive with a spiritual body that's physically discernible, rationally observed.
"indeed" -> actually, observably, physically happened, "indeed" means "in deed". A real act. Witnessed by many.

Because He is Risen In Deed, I hope to obtain the same.




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

NAQCC CW Sprint Tonight!

I should participate, there's supposed to be prizes.
The kids will be going to bed....
I've got the gear ready to go....
hmmmmmmmmmmm.
One thing bothers me.
Logging. I lost my e-log due to a computer mishap (may be recoverable, idk yet), and it's keeping me behind at LOTW. I don't have a lot of QSOs to add over there, but I do have a few.
I have another logging program installed on my laptop right now, it uses some N1MM software.
Need to QRV...
info about the sprint/contest/prize:
Tomorrow night, April 11th ( The morning of April 12th for those of you not bothered by UTC conversions), will be the 150th NAQCC Monthly Sprint.  That's 12 and a half years of monthly NAQCC Sprints now - since the club was formed.  In honor of this momentous occasion, the leadership of the NAQCC has planned something special.
Info about NAQCC:
Will anyone be interested in trying to pick me out of the noise on 80m on 3579?
I'll fire up the NoGA Twin Tube 80, otherwise, I'll be QRV at the full QRP gallon (5w) using a Kenwood TS-140s.
My # 7276

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Some Notes about Phalaenopsis Orchids.

I like orchids, I love them, and the more I learn about them, the more I want to know about them. I'm not even prejudiced when it comes to what orchids I like. Right now, in my back yard, I'm creating a little bit of an orchid area. I'm slowly converting an old playhouse into an orchid greenhouse. This project is long running. I've been working on this conversion for over a year now. Let me tell you about the plants that live there.
Right now, I have three four Phalaenopsis orchids. This will be about the first two I got.
This one I gave to my wife for her birthday 2015, the blooms were a light green. It set a spike in 2016, but didn't bloom, so I cut the spike to allow the plant a year to rest and grow nice big healthy leaves. Of course, I then tried to kill it by setting it out in the sun too long one day, and one of the leaves got sunburned and fell off! There was also some damage done to another one of the leaves by a kid, so I cut that section off.


An earlier spike was killed while just barely budded out due to kid injury. Fortunately, it set a second spike. We didn't have green flowers in time for my wife's birthday, but there's a bloom now!
 I can't wait to see how the flowers on the rest of the spike turn out.

 In this picture, you can see more of the overall green tones of the flowers. That's one of the reasons why I chose to buy this orchid for my wife, the "Kelly green" factor :-)






Then there's the $2 big box store clearance special. I paid two bucks for this baby, and it was in horrid shape. The mix it was planted in was horrible, the leaves were really floppy and puckered, and the roots were rotted except for one. Truly a project plant! I decided to give raising it a shot though, so I changed mix, trimmed off the decayed roots gave it a good soak, and held on tight. It didn't take long to set new roots, and a new leaf. I was really surprised to see it even set off a couple of spikes in the winter. When spring arrived the spikes budded out and made flowers.


Totally worth the $2 and time I put into it.
 This is from April 2016. It's been a long row to hoe with this plant, but as it grows, I like the simple flowers it produces more and more.
Phalaenopsis in profile

These last couple of pictures are from this year! The blooms look wonderful.



It just keeps on giving too! This spike is starting to show some great flowers, even though the leaves got sunburned like the last one, the blooms look very good to me.

The two that started this round of orchid collecting for me, in bloom at the same time!

I have two more I need to get some good pictures of. One is a mini phal I got for our wedding anniversary, and the other came from my parents on their visit last August.