As this year is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, it seemed fitting to mark this Veterans Day with a pair of our World War I veterans.
John Ardison returns from WWI, 1919
Postcards sent by George Arthur Benner (Corporal, US Army) from France to his family in Newark, OH during World War I
George Arthur Benner with his mother and dog
George Arthur Benner, 1894-1966
In Britain, the Tower of London was the site of an art installation titled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the war. Each ceramic poppy represents a British or Commonwealth soldier who lost his life during the war, providing a beautiful memorial to those fallen yet also a somber reminder of the scale of the human cost of the conflict. (For more coverage of this art installation, see the aforementioned link, and click on the photo below from Getty Images and choose “More Like This” to find other views of the installation, which fills the entire Tower moat.)
Some years ago now, long after nearly all web standards people had adopted Firefox or Safari, the great CSS guru Eric Meyer was (still) a Camino user. In that capacity, I interacted with him a few times in my role as a member of the Camino team.
Today I join with the global community of those who knew or were influenced by the Meyers in presenting a #663399Becca border on افكار و احلام (and background on the main ardisson.org landing page) as a mark of remembrance for their young daughter who tragically passed away last Saturday.
I have no more words.
(Via Jon Hicks)
“Into the Jaws of Death”
(courtesy Wikipedia/National Archives and Records Administration)
Atlantic Pavilion, National World War II Memorial, August 2013
Washington Monument from the Pacific Pavilion, National World War II Memorial, August 2013
Requiēscat in pāce
To say that dogs and I have had a troubled relationship would be to put things mildly. Whether it was extremely early childhood trauma from Tribbie eating my Bristle Blocks (and whatever else of mine he could get his teeth on while we lived with the Hoods) or something else I can no longer remember, dogs and I have had an adversarial relationship nearly my entire life. There have been, to date, but two exceptions: the late Sam Beauregard the basset hound, faithful companion of the Danes, and my brother’s first dog, PITA.
My brother rescued PITA from rising water in the cave where he was born (beginning PITA’s life-long aversion to bodies of water, no matter how small or shallow) and brought the new puppy home, where he grew up to be a friendly, loyal, kind, and fiercely protective dog. He loved to sit and watch the birds eat and to howl with the fire, police, and ambulance sirens (there is a fire station only a few blocks away, as the crow flies, and it is rumored that his father was part Dalmatian), but he also would never fail to defend the women of the family from any perceived threat (most often other dogs encountered on walks). But PITA is also the animal who knew, each time, that one of my grandparents had died, and did his best to comfort me. What more could one ask for in a dog?
Good-bye, my friend; I’ll miss you.
PITA, Fall 2002
PITA, June 2003
PITA minds the store, August 2003
PITA’s first birthday, October 13, 2003
PITA with his daddy at his first birthday, October 13, 2003
PITA waits for a treat, September 19, 2005
PITA watches his brothers, October 23, 2010
PITA with his blanket, February 2013
PITA in the sun, February 2013
If you look at my undergraduate transcript, you will see from the summer of 1997 two course credits from the University of Aleppo. While in Aleppo (as part of the since-discontinued “Summer in Syria” program of the National Council on US-Arab Relations), we resided on campus and lived in the university dorms.
My anger is seething at those responsible for the cowardly act of targeting a university, and, worse, doing so during final exams yesterday.
My heart is weeping for the students and people of Aleppo and their families.
I haven’t written very much for a while. At least recently, in part it’s been a readjustment, in part the need to attend to so many things that had been delayed since the beginning of 2011, and, certainly, partly sadness.
I made pizzelles yesterday for the first time in more than half a dozen years. It’s also the first time I’ve made pizzelles without the able assistance of Grandpa Porczak, who for many years served as my timekeeper and as an extra set of hands when arranging and stacking the cooling cookies. Things definitely go better with a two-man team, so it’s unfortunate for me that he no longer travels south for Christmas. It was a bit of an adventure, with a rougher start than normal (I don’t think the rainy weather helped, either), but in the end, we once again have several years’ worth of pizzelles.
Pizzelles are Italian wedding cookies, though in our family they most often appear around Christmas (like most of our ethnic cookies).1 But they have also made appearances at family reunions in the summer, as well as whenever my grandmother felt like sending me a care package. So I have many happy memories associated with pizzelles, both baking and eating.2 It’s somehow comforting to press my parents’ forty-plus-year-old pizzelle iron into service and continue baking the same cookies as my Ardissone ancestors.
Maybe next year I’ll tackle potica.
1 I suppose that as our immigrant ancestors recede by more generations into the past, those pieces of that heritage we retain tend to focus on special occasions, and any stray elements shift to coincide with those occasions/holidays. ↩
2 In addition, one of my favorite memories from Washington was after we’d returned from our first Christmas holiday; Meredith came back with her krumkake (a similarly-baked Norwegian cookie) and regaled me with tales of Norwegian treats from the holiday. ↩
Dolores R Ardisson
February 4, 1920-October 13, 2012
Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont, PA, October 20, 2012
Requiēscat in pāce, little buddy.
But this is not the time for reasonable people, on both sides of this issue, to be silent.
(via John Gruber)
Magister Coleman would be proud.