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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Category: Musings

Written by Gerald Boerner




Good Morning, My FB Family…

Well, I’m back to my regular wake up time — about 4:30 am! I love getting up early enough to get my thoughts straight, watch the morning news to catch the breaking events of the day, and start posting my different pieces. I had always thought of myself as a night person; but now I really thrive on the early morning hours. While I was taking my photography classes, this would be the time that I would get ready to leave on my morning trek to my favorite photo spots to catch the predawn and period right around sunrise. I got some of my best photos at this time. It was also a time that I could catch the Metrolink train to go into downtown LA or down to the beach area of San Juan Capistrano.

I’m partially back, in that I am now able to get up and start functioning at this early hour. Perhaps when I get a lift for my new power chair on my Sequoia, I’ll be able to get to the Metrolink station to begin my daily treks again. I certainly hope so. (Too bad the Dial-a-Ride shuttle doesn’t start moving before 8 am! I could use a ride to the Metrolink station at about 5 am. Oh well…) What’s great about retirement is that I can get up early and start my day while letting my wonderful Gracie sleep in to awake on her own schedule.


So, this morning I was greeted by a relatively warm temp of 48; that’s about what was predicted. The high today is predicted to be in the low 80s. And this is the 3rd of April? I guess Mother Nature is going through her schizophrenic phase where she can’t decide whether to be winter or summer. The solution seems to be bouncing back and forth between the two seasons. But, well, this is SoCal after all. What we consider cold is a very desirable temp for others in my FB and genetic family. Isn’t life a fun journey through the days of the year.

I guess, we all need to be thankful that we do wake up each morning. That is a sign the good Lord has given us another day in which to show our appreciation. So I am happy for each day that I’m given. It is indeed a gift and I want to make the most of it. My postings and writings are part of my celebration of this gift. I want to share my memories and thoughts while I am still breathing the air on this good earthGLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2043 Words ]


Quotations Related to Maya Angelou:

[ ]


“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
— Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou

“For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.”
— Maya Angelou

“I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.”
— Maya Angelou


My Musings of the Day: April 3rd…


Thinking about Life…

Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs_svgWe see a lot about how to live healthy in adds by Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. These ads emphasize the relationship of living well and thriving; they have emphasized the theme: "Live Well and THRIVE…" While these ads are intended to bring in more business for the health care giant (and I have been a client of Kaiser for nearly forty years now!), they send everyone an excellent message. There is a relationship between good health and thriving in life.
Today’s poster was shared by one of my FB family, Lynn; it features some important elements of thriving in this life. I would like to explore some of these ramifications of this in the present posting.

How much would our lives be enhanced if we looked at the mission of our lives is not to merely survive, but to THRIVE. I think that the Kaiser ad campaign draws much of its effectiveness by its exploration of this concept. We would do well to do so with our own lives. Let us examine what our mission, or purpose, is in this life. It should be more than to just exist from day to day. That would mean that we are living at a bare survival, subsistence level.

An acclaimed psychologist, Abraham Maslow, put forth a theory in the early 1940 in which he attempted to explain human motivation. This theory of developmental psychology looks at life’s motivations being based on a hierarchy of needs. It start out by looking at basic existence being at the Physiological Level, while safety of our family, loved ones, and ourselves is at the next level: Safety. From there it progresses from Love/Belonging, Self-Esteem, and capped with the Self-Actualization level. I think the Ad Men for Kaiser knew this theory well and built upon it to encourage us to move from a survival to higher and higher levels on this hierarchy.

_Maya Angelou_Mission in Life

Maya Angelou’s poetry and speaking addresses many of these same issues. This poster speaks of living with Passion, Compassion, Humor, and Style. You might think about these concepts and how they play out in your own life. This is a personal thing; it cannot be done vicariously by someone else for us! We see in these statements elements of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s concept of the "Passionate State of Mind." This allowed him to transcend the interment in the Nazi death camps during World War II and think himself above his physical limitations. It is the thing that gives us hope. It gives us a reason to live. It allows us to THRIVE!

I have had to fight the demons of being sorry for my loss of mobility and my poor health to move on to the higher levels. I have given careful consideration to the issue, in my own life, of the quality of life. After avoiding the abyss of depression over my current state and seeking only to survive, I have had to reach within myself to grab ahold of the strength within me. I have had to look at my past experiences and try to weave them into a tapestry of existence that led me to blogging and sharing my story with my FB family and friends. I approach each day with a renewed passion for life, a thankfulness for each new day that I am given.

Lift Team CroppedLast Year, on my Birthday I took a fall that required us to call out the
Riverside Fire Department Paramedics to get me up off the floor.
It took four of them! This was a turning point.

Yes, I still deal with limitations, but I’m trying to attack those limitations straight on. Contrary to what some of my health care providers have felt, I will strive to THRIVE, to make the most of my situations. I am starting into my photography again, I am motivated to write about my life experiences for the benefit of my FB family, and to leave a legacy by which my grandkids can know me when I pass. This has also renewed my interest in topics of equity, equality, and fight discrimination. How do I deal with some of my limitations? Humor; I need to laugh at them and surmount them. I have found in my writing and photography my own style, that which makes me distinctively ME. I will THRIVE.

I hope that this little exploration of the psychological and my experience will encourage you each to think about your own lives. Be thankful for each day, each challenge, each issue and mount our horse, grab our lance and tilt at the windmills like Don Quixote. Look inward and see how you can develop a new passion for life so that you, too, can THRIVE…


Musing for Today…

Do I believe in fate? Not necessarily. But I think we encounters two types of challenges in our daily activities. We also, as we have been discussing in recent days, found out that our genetics, environment, and previous life experiences become translated into "filters" that are used to interpret the meaning of different behaviors (actions or words) and treats in people and situations into which we are thrust during the day.

Some people consider this fate and yield themselves to the inevitable consequences. It’s almost as if they have applied, in the extreme, the theological concept of "predestination" to their daily life. We need to remember that the theologians who developed this concept, especially John Calvin and John Knox, were interpreting how they saw God affecting the lives of men; this is not undisputable, factual evidence at all. The quick lesson here is: don’t jump to conclusions just because you think something is happening because of that unforgiving fate.

_Never Expect, Never AssumeOur poster of the day starts out with some very good advice. Never expect (something to happen). Never assume (something will happen regardless of what we do). In this circumstance, I am interpreting "expect" and "assume" are giving ourselves over to the fates over which we have no control. That is not always true!

Here is a good time to remember the words of the Serenity Prayer. It goes: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." There are, indeed, some things in life that we cannot change; we need to avoid wasting our energy and building frustration in doing so. But there are other things that we can change and it is our right and obligation to make every effort to make a difference. By directing our attention, energy, and resources at those things under our control will simplify our lives and give us much happiness.

The latter part of this poster is a bit convoluted, but I interpret it as saying that if something was meant to be it will be and if it is one of those areas over which we can change AND WE TAKE ACTIONS TO DO SO, things will end up being to our liking. The most important part of this whole conversation is this: exercise your mind and wisdom to take on those challenges on which we can make a difference. This will not only be more productive, but will lower our frustration level which will make us even more productive — productivity times two, if you will!

Think how this could help you in your daily battles. Be smart. Be wise. Be HAPPY! Think about it…

Photo of the Day:

For our photo of the day, I want to share a photo I took last weekend on our trek to downtown Riverside. We had intended to visit the Farmer’s Market on the downtown walking mall, visit the Mission Inn, and go to the downtown library. This was to be a combined photo expedition and exploration of these downtown landmarks.

When we arrived, we discovered some real treasures. On the mall, the city had installed several monuments to individuals making significant contributions to mankind. I share with you one of the photos I shot of the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi known for his advocacy of non-violent resistance as a tactic for organizational change. There is a lot of detail about the base, but that will need to await another day. Given our discussions above, I think Gandhi personified one who has put several of the suggestions into practice. Enjoy and be edified…


Tribute to Gandhi. (Photo Credit: ©2012 Gerald L. Boerner)

Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Abraham Maslow: Theory of Motivation — Hierarchy of Needs…’s_hierarchy_of_needs

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: In Memoriam — Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Dying for his Christian Duty…

Written by Gerald Boerner




Welcome, My FB Family…

Warmer night! It was supposed to be in the upper 40s last night and was already 50 degrees when I went to bed at midnight; I woke up this morning to an outside temp of 52, so I don’t know if it got down as low as the weatherman’s crystal ball, I mean, projection model had predicted. I hope that the same does not apply to the high predicted today; an 81 is predicted and I am not ready for higher temps yet!!! Summer will just have to wait as far as I’m concerned.

_Mission Inn_redroofMission Inn: Redroof  (Photo Credit: ©Don O’Neill)

This weekend the temps are supposed to to drop down to the 60s again and a possibility of rain Saturday night. I hope the rain does stay away until the evening, because Grace and I are going to the Downtown Farmer’s Market again, Lord willing and the shuttle comes as requested. It will be interesting to see what they have and an overcast day will be great for photos. We are going to check out a store across from the Mission Inn that handles Don O’Neill’s watercolor prints (postcard size). I love some of the samples that I’ve seen on his web site; O’Neill was a resident of Riverside until he passed in 2008. Many of his paintings are set in and about River City here. Then on to the Mission Inn and especially to the Downtown Public Library. We haven’t been there for many, many years. Again, photo op of Grace in and about the Gazebo from our sister city, Sendai. Looking forward to a great outing…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2263 Words ]


Quotations Related to Alaska:

[ ]


“America is looking for answers. She’s looking for a new direction; the world is looking for a light. That light can come from America’s great North Star; it can come from Alaska.”
— Sarah Palin

“In one line of his poem he said good fences make good neighbors. I’d like to think that Alaska and British Columbia working together can prove that we can be pretty darned good neighbors without fences.”
— Dan Miller

“A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”
— Sarah Palin

“But again, you know, the views that we’ve expressed are transferring power back from the federal government to the states, giving Alaska an incredible opportunity to expand its economy, especially at a time when our federal government is coming close to bankruptcy.So that is a broad-based appeal. It’s not an extreme view.”
— Joe Miller


My Musings of the Day: March 30th…


Successful Visit to Goeske Center…

Well, yesterday morning we actually got to the Goeske Center, one of Riverside’s Senior Centers. Shuttle bus was a little late, but it came and we got to the Goeske Center. Grace had called the day before and they told us to go to the main desk and someone on duty would give us a tour of the facility. So we followed those instructions; they gave us a brochure of the facility and activities before going on the tour, which was very interesting. The facility is quite large, has a couple of exercise rooms, a couple of large lobby areas for small groups to assemble, and a number of smaller meeting rooms where classes and other groups can meet. There is even a small computer center with six computers hooked up to the Internet.

Goeske Center_Collage-1

As we were talking to the ladies at the front desk, we found out that the center had lost there computer teacher several months ago. So, what do you suppose that Grace did? Volunteer to teach some classes? NO! She volunteered yours truly! Well, I was handed the form for volunteering and I filled it out. You would have thought that Moses had just walked through the door — LOL! Before we left, I talked with the director of the center about it and looks like a may have yet another thing to do — in my spare time! Between researching material for these FB postings for my dear FB family and writing my blog articles, most of my day is occupied. But, I think that I will be able to work in a morning once a week; it probably will not start until June. I’ll keep you informed on this new activity as it becomes clearer.

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Written by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today I want to share some thoughts about our blind spots and cultural stereotypes. Sometimes it takes an insider to understand and capture the real community that exists; one that outsiders do not or can not understand.

I think about my time in the Boy Scouts while growing up. I belonged to Boy Scout Troop 426 in Downey, California. I joined this troop with about a dozen or so guys that I had gone to school with, played baseball with during the summers, and been in the Cub Scout Pack at my elementary school. In short, these are guys that I had spent about a half dozen years during the prime of my life to that point. The camaraderie that we experienced would be hard to explain to an outsider. We each knew each other and our strengths and weaknesses. These came into play as we challenged the forces of nature, whether it be rain, desert, or mountains. When we were the first group to blaze the trail that later became one of the major scout hikes in the Los Angeles area, we worked together as a team. Outsiders did not understand, including our parents. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photographs of that experience, but those photographs could have helped to capture the moment.

I have tried to relate a story along a similar line to you below about a photographer, Shelby Lee Adams, who grew up in the Appalachian mountains and captured this special culture on film. I hope that you will enjoy this presentation and that it will open your eyes to a different view of these mountain people. I will come back to this work in a future post. Enjoy… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1491 Words ]


Quotations Related to Appalachia:

[ ]


“I’ve never set out consciously to write American music. I don’t know what that would be unless the obvious Appalachian folk references.”
— Carlisle Floyd

“Some people want to call me an Appalachian writer, even though I know some people use regional labels to belittle.”
— Robert Morgan

“Daddy was real gentle with kids. That’s why I expected so much out of marriage, figuring that all men should be steady and pleasant.”
— Loretta Lynn

 “I know there’s some kind of history to mountain music-like it came from Ireland or England or Scotland and we kept up the tradition.”
— Loretta Lynn

“We don’t intend to always keep this necessarily African oriented. Originally I had hoped to have African American Indian of this area, and the Appalachian of this area, but at the same time, just as we have the Haitian room, we will always have room for another exhibit.”
— Katherine Dunham

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Written by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Welcome to the year of the predicted Apocalypse — 2012. Such is the conclusion of the believers in the Mayan calendar that end with this year. But I’m not sure that I am among those “believers”. None the less, my life will go on in its new “NORMAL” mode. Damned — aging is such hell!

But these days in good old River City are unbelievable! The nights have been warmer for the past several days; the night-time lows have been in the upper-30s or lower-40s. For the past couple of mornings the temp has actually been around 40-42 degrees. And this is the end of December. The daily highs have been in the upper-70s and lower-80s. Yesterday was a nice 81 with only whips of clouds in sunny skies. Another spring-type day is due today. I can dig it!

_2012 MayanIt is the morning of New Year’s Day and there is no Rose Parade on TV this morning and the Rose Bowl game is not going to be played later today. Did Pasadena cancel these events? NO. The Pasadena Rose Association had negotiated an agreement with area churches many years ago which stipulated that if New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday, the festivities would not be observed until the following day to allow church-goers to attend services without being hampered by the parade crowds. So, tomorrow morning the parade will move down its route on Colorado Blvd through the downtown area. The floats will draw their usual Oohs and Ahhs. Their shapes and colors will work their visual magic. The girls riding these traveling floral displays will be their usual beautiful selves.

Likewise, the marching bands will toot their own horns, so to speak, along with the drums and other instruments. They will be accompanied by the majorettes, cheerleaders, drill teams, and flag units will dress in their usual cute outfits. They will be a visual spectacle as well as playing rousing songs as they move in step along the parade route. To their credit, these marching units have earned their place in the parade by their outstanding performances over the recent years; they are award-winning competitors at the highest levels.

And then there are the equestrian groups. They will feature a variety of breeds, many of which are known for their unique gaits and extravagant tack. These saddles have often been covered with enough silver to fund a small third-world country! But they are exciting to see. I have fond memories of parades past in which the cowboy heroes from radio or TV would ride down the route, moving from side to side to show off their rope tricks or horse handling skills. Those were the daysGLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2366 Words ]


Quotations Related to New Year’s Resolution:


“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’.”
— Henry Moore

“It is always during a passing state of mind that we make lasting resolutions.”
— Marcel Proust

“Dieting on New Year’s Day isn’t a good idea as you can’t eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.”
— Helen Fielding

“And I’ve tried to give us a higher profile. Typically, at a board meeting, we’d pass resolutions about the civil-rights issue of the day, but we’d never tell anyone. So I’ve instituted a policy of announcing our resolutions at the end of our meetings.”
— Julian Bond

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner




More of the same last night here in River City! The temp dropped down to about 36 without a cloud cover, so the cold was penetrating. The predicted high today was supposed to be in the low 60 but I don’t know if it made it. It stayed COLD all day. Tonight it’s going to be more of the same. But with the reflective window film that Bill put on all of our windows a year and a half ago, we kept most of the house’s heat inside; we don’t need to try to warm up all of Riverside. Just got our SoCal Gas bill in yesterday — was $130 for this last month when it’s been cold. Good insulation beats cold weather, at least to a certain point.

Jazzy SelectHD_calloutWell, it has been an interesting day. We got ourselves ready and were out at the curb to catch the RTA Senior and Disabled Transportation Services shuttle bus for our trip to Kaiser. All went well. The bus’ lift moved me into the bus, the driver tied my power chair so it wouldn’t shift during transit. Grace grabbed a seat (she had the choice of any seat on the bus, since we were the only passengers). And the price was right: $2.00 for me and Grace rode free as my help provider. Such a deal!The return trip was just as uneventful. Good experience and we have already scheduled a trip on the shuttle to the local mall Sunday morning during the Farmer’s Market.

Once we got to Kaiser, everything went like clockwork. Went to the Lab to have blood drawn for a series of tests ordered by my doctor. Check. Went to Urgent Care to have the wound on my right leg checked out. Check. And requested that the doctor order the Home Health Care Wound Nurse to treat the wound; it was ordered and he/she is coming out tomorrow. Check. It was a very productive day. With all the tasks done, we decided to catch lunch in the cafeteria. Did that and we went downstairs to the Caf. We both had a salad; I had brought a “PB&J” sandwich with me to eat after having my blood drawn since I had to fast for twelve hours for a couple of the tests (A1c and Lipid Panel). So the salad was a nice followup to the sandwich.

After eating, we had time to talk a little. Grace is reading Follett’s The Fall of Giants about the beginnings of World War I. So she was able to pick up where she left off. While she was reading, I was working on writing the second section of this musing. We were productive and had a chance to relax and talk while we waited for the shuttle to arrive to return us home. Great day of conversation, reading, writing, and medical attention. My Jazzy held up very well, which is encouraging to know before we venture out on a longer trip. Bring it on…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2169 Words ]


Quotations Related to Jeff Bezos:


“What’s dangerous is not to evolve.”
— Jeff Bezos

“There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.”
— Jeff Bezos

“There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills. Kindle is an example of working backward.”
— Jeff Bezos

“The killer app that got the world ready for appliances was the light bulb. So the light bulb is what wired the world. And they weren’t thinking about appliances when they wired the world. They were really thinking about – they weren’t putting electricity into the home. They were putting lighting into the home.”
— Jeff Bezos


Thinking About the Dedicated eBook Readers…


Yesterday I went over the tablet devices that I considered competitive in the current holiday marketplace. They included, of course, the Apple iPad (iOS) and a leading group of Android handheld tablets, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the HTC Flyer. In my estimation, these are the top contenders for the Christmas shopping bucks. But I intentionally left two prominent entries off that list — the RIM Blackberry Playbook and the Hewlett-Packard HP TouchPad. Why did I omit them? Each of them use a splinter operating system that I did not feel had a user-base sufficiently large to meet the competition.

playbook-external-2011-04-13-600-20-1302722950The Blackberry Playbook hails from the corporate legacy that RIM has catered to for many years. In competition with iOS and Android operating environments, the Blackberry OS has been having a great deal of trouble holding on to their market share in the smartphone market. They just don’t have the critical mass of apps to compete with iTunes or the Android or Amazon Marketplace. The Playbook could attempt to appeal to their corporate customers, but such an appeal isn’t even working with the Blackberry smartphones. It looks like a losing battle at best.

TouchPad%20Main-728-75The HP TouchPad suffers from a greater malaise. It is built upon the WebOS operating environment. Hewlett-Packard acquired Palm primarily for WebOS. This smartphone OS has virtually no current user-base due to Palm’s corporate problems. And it didn’t help the TouchPad that shortly after it was released, HP made the decision to kill off WebOS and sell off the rest of its PC product line. The TouchPad dropped in price to fire–sale levels, and then, under a new CEO, it found a second life. But I believe that customer confidence had all but disappeared! Time will tell.

But today, I want to focus on a different issue, namely the way we read e-books. Basically, there are two choices: using a dedicated e-reader (like the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, or the Sony eReader) or using an e-reader application from Amazon or a third-party reader. Amazon has made its Kindle application available for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS computing devices. This program on these other platforms perform essentially like the Kindle itself. So why buy a dedicated e-reader? In a word, I think it is CONVENIENCE! But let’s take a look at the three main e-readers.

Sony eReaderThe first e-reader in the marketplace was the Sony eReader. This device was characterized by rather mediocre performance, a hard to read screen, and a cumbersome process for adding new eBooks. It was the first of this class of device on the marketplace to make any inroads into the publics heart. It was convenient to take along with us. It ran for long periods of time on a single battery charge, and it didn’t require an active connection to a computer or network. It was an icebreaker with technology that hadn’t functioned well before. But it has had to play “third fiddle” to the Kindle and Nook.

My wife and I purchased our first Kindle 2 two and a half years ago. I was recovering from a surgery and needed something to occupy my time. Our bookshelves were full and we didn’t have room for any more bookcases. I could purchase and download books conveniently to my Kindle and I spent hours reading. It was great! A little over a year later I got a Kindle 3 for my Gracie so that we could both read at the same time and share the books with each other. The e-paper technology made the screens extremely easy to read, and the control over the font size helped make books easier to read to my “mature” eyes on the fly.

kindle-holding_575pxThere’s an interesting story behind our first Kindle. We were at a birthday party for my sister-in-law and she showed me her Kindle 1. It was fascinating.I was amazed that it could be operated for at least a week on a single charge. It had an easy-to-read screen that allowed the font size to be varied. Since her has vision problems, the Kindle allowed her to read her books that were no longer readable in the print version, especially the mass market paperbacks. How did she hear about it? On one of Oprah’s programs. It was featuring the Kindle and offered one to the viewers at a substantial discount. She had a big part of her life back!

The Kindle solved a number of problems of the Sony eReader. We’ve already mentioned the e-paper that stores the image of the text as passive images that don’t need to be refreshed, like on an LCD screen; this saves huge amounts of power. Secondly, the Kindle included 3G cellular circuitry that allowed the user to access the online Amazon Kindle Book site, order one or more books, and have that book automatically delivered to your Kindle over the 3G network. All without an added subscription to a cellular service! That sure beat the process on the Sony eReader that required an eBook to be downloaded to a computer and then, as a second step, required the eBook to be downloaded to the eReader! That’s OK for the Geeks of the world, but could be highly threatening to the average Joe or Jane out there.

Furthermore, updates to the Kindle OS could be sent over the 3G link without the user’s intervention. By this means, most Kindles were upgraded to allow sharing what they were reading with the primary social networks — Facebook and Twitter. Again, the communication link is through the “free” 3G “WhisperNet” provided by Amazon. Also, the Kindle environment a numbers of Kindles, and the Kindle software on other devices, to jointly use those books purchased for the Kindle. So family members are given access to the same books without re-purchasing the. In fact, I have been able to read the same book on both my Android smartphone and netbook with both of our Kindles. It will keep track with our place through the “Synch” process.

nook-touchThe Barnes & Noble Nook supports WiFi connections for accessing the Barnes & Noble store of eBooks. It has been playing catch-up with the Kindle every since its release. But it uses a touchscreen instead of hardware buttons and even has models showing the books in color. But it is more expensive than most models of the Kindle. But it has captured a substantial market share since its introduction.

So, why buy a dedicated eBook reader? If we can get the Kindle app to run on our Androids, iPads, iPhones, notebooks, and desktops, isn’t a dedicated reader redundant? I don’t think so. For one thing, there is the whole issue of battery life. These eBook readers have a battery life of at least one week. One does not need to be tethered to a power outlet like most notebooks or desktops. Yes, the tablets have 8-10 hour battery life, but that pales when compared to the eBook readers. In addition, the screen technology makes a big difference in screen comfort. Both the Kindle and the Nook (monochrome models) use ePaper technology which doesn’t require constant refreshing of the display like computers or tablets. This eliminates much of the flicker that is found in LCD screens. It also reduces the amount of power required by these dedicated devices. What’s more, the ePaper is much less susceptible to glare so it allows the Kindle and Nook to be read in mid-day sunlight. Is there a future for these dedicated readers? Yes. And don’t forget, their prices are dropping. My first Kindle cost $270 some odd dollars; a current Kindle can be obtained for about one third of that cost!

So, before you pass up a dedicated eBook reader like the Kindle or the Nook, think about these devices advantages. But remember, they have one task and they do that task very well. What is that task? It is to read eBooks offline…

Photo of the Day:

I leave you today with a photo taken on a foggy morning at sunrise in Texas. This scene is not only pleasing to our visual side, but the fog, as usual, gives the image an ethereal look. Sit there for a couple of minutes and contemplate this image; when you’re done, don’t you feel more relaxed? Doesn’t it take some of the tension of the day away? It is truly what we were meant to feel. This image was taken by Henrick Fagerström on this special morning in Texas (specific location unknown). Thank you, Henrick, for this photo to sooth our day…

_Sunrise in TX through foggy lens

Sunrise in TX through foggy lens. Photo by Henrick Fagerström.

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Ebook Readers…

Adroit Alien: Compare eReaders Kindle 3 vs Nook vs Sony Reader vs Kobo eReader…

Brainy Quote: Jeff Bezos Quotes…

Written by Gerald Boerner




Another cold night has passed. Temps got down to somewhere in the upper 30s, but with my heavy sweater on and my toasty comforter protect me from that cold. Today, the rain has pretty well cleared up and the temperatures are predicted to go up into the low 60s, but they only got up to about 58. But, it was nice enough to go out on the patio in my new power chair (a “Jazzy”). It was great getting out of the house, if only for fifteen to twenty minutes at a stretch. Tonight it’s supposed to return to the upper 30s. I’ll let the weather people keep track of all of that; I’m going to be asleep.

Pasadena Storm Damage

Also, the winds are gone for the time being, but there is some talk of SoCal getting another blast of winter winds and more rain by the end of the week. I’m afraid that ‘Ol Man Winter is literally nipping at our noses! The mountains got their layers of snow. The winter sports people, the skiers and snowboarders, should be in paradise, albeit a cold one.

Well, Grace had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. It was scheduled for yesterday, but the doctor’s office called and rescheduled it. Don’t know why, but she was just as happy to delay it until today. We are going to Kaiser again tomorrow morning; I hit my leg on something over the weekend and it broke the skin. On boy, here we go again. Need to go into Urgent Care to get the Home Health Care started again. I’ve found that catching these things early, with a “Una Boot” compression dressing gets it under control quickly and gets it healed up. Fortunately, it’s on my right leg, which has much stronger skin than my left calf which has had all too many open wounds over the past 20-some years. Hoping for the best!

Tropical sky background

Since I don’t have a lift or platform for transporting my new Jazzy and Grace & myself, we needed a plan. We could do as we’ve been doing for my appointments over the past several months — Grace would drive me there, I would use one of their plain wheel chairs, sit outside while Grace parked the car, call the hospital’s Transportation Services to have them push me to the appropriate office. After my appointment, we would call Transportation Services once again and reverse the process.

But another solution came to mind — call RTA, the local transportation agency, and check on their Senior/Disabled Services Shuttle Bus (we’ve seen it at Kaiser on previous visits to the doctor’s office). So I called RTA and they looked me up, and I was still in their system. They checked on the availability of getting the bus, but we live too far from the regular bus routes; they could not help us. But they referred me to their special services group. Several years ago, when I first got my scooter, I had gone through the qualification process and was qualified to receive ADA services, including transportation for only $2.00 per way, per trip. I called them and found out that I was still on their system even though my card had expired. The long and short of it was that we have the shuttle picking us up tomorrow morning, taking us to Kaiser, and then picking us up for the return trip. And Grace rides free as my support person!

So, we are in for a whole new experience. I’ll be able to finally get out of the house! This will open up a whole new world to me. I’ll finally get out of the house again and see the world. I’m on the trail of an external platform for use on my Sequoia, which would let us get out of town. (The RTA shuttle only operates within limited areas, so no museums or other experiences that I’ve been longing for over the past two years.) I’ll update you after it’s over…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1675 Words ]


Quotations Related to Tablets:


“The seven-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad.”
— Steve Jobs

“For too long, decisions have been taken behind closed doors – tablets of stone have simply been past [sic] down to people without bothering to involve people, listen to their views or give them information about what we are doing and why.”
— Peter Mandelson

“I think right now it’s a battle for the mindshare of developers and for the mindshare of customers, and right now iPhone and Android are winning that battle.”
— Steve Jobs

“Now that digital lifestyle devices, tablets, wireless phones, and other Internet appliances are beginning to come of age, we need to worry about presenting our content to these devices so that it is optimized for their display capabilities.”
— Mike Davidson


Thinking about the New Slate of Tablets (Part 1)…


Over the next few days I’ll be exploring some of the new Tablet-style computers coming into the market. Of course, the “class of the class” has been the iPad and iPad 2 over the past two years. They are just plain “NEAT” to play with and they are great for dealing with images and online resources. Yes, they have their quirks, such as limited cameras, no FLASH apps, and you are tied to the iTune store for your apps. You get only those apps and services that Apple decides, its role as the “Almighty Big Brother”, what you need. Thank you, uncle Steve! (‘May you burn in ****, Mr. Jobs.’) Apple gives us a great little tool at their prices and with their services. It sounds like some tracts that some groups give out in their evangelistic fervor.

kindle-fire-vs-ipad_smallBut, there are new players entering the marketplace. Of course, there is always the next version of the iPad itself on the horizon in the early Spring, so it is rumored. It is said to have higher resolution cameras, like the iPhone 4s, higher resolution screen, and Apple’s quad-core processor. But rumors don’t always show up in the delivered device. But, being the third generation of this device, it will have had an opportunity to get rid of many of the bugs always found in new form factors and implementations of a technology. If you need serious apps for photo processing and word processing, the iPad seems to be the device of choice at this point. It uses the iOS, which is a more mature operating system that supports the most apps of any of the devices, thanks to its little brother, the iPhone. So, it remains the one to beat.

But there are some serious competitors in this holiday season’s marketplace. Most of these are based on Google’s Android operating system for smart phones. More Android smartphones are being sold than iOS devices combined. Apps for these devices are available at both the Google Android Marketplace and at the Amazon App Store. There are lots of apps available for these Android tablets, but none are fully up to the test of the iPad. For instance, you can get apps for e-book reading, accessing your social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.), and running some basic apps. But if you want to do some writing, forget about it. No real app is available. Plus some of these tablets, the Kindle Fire for one, lack a built-in microphone or line-in jack for an external mic. Also, the better photo processing apps are only on the iPad at this time.

kindle-fire-vs-samsung-galaxy-tab_smallBut, these tablets have very attractive price points. Whereas the iPad ranges from $500-850, depending on accessories, the Kindle Fire is selling for $199. The HTC Flyer and Barnes & Noble Nook Color are in the $250-300 range. The Samsung Galaxy 7” sells for about $400. So on price, the Androids beat the iPad; these are all 7 inch screens instead of the 10.1 inch screen on the iPads. The Galaxy Tab has a 10 inch screen, but it is still in need of some refinement. So these Android tablets are coming to market, and the Kindle Fire is selling like crazy, but people are discovering some of its shortcomings. We will explore more of this in coming days.

kindle-fire-vs-nook_smallSo an amazing new world is opening up. It started with our smartphones which have morphed into mini-computing devices. The iOS and Android operating systems are dominating the current market, and when is the last time that you head of shopping for a new desktop system? We have notebooks that are every bit as powerful as desktops used to be. We have netbooks that are as power as notebooks used to be. So, over the next few days, we will have some fun investigating these tablets. Please join us for my musings and reflections on these devices, especially if you are considering buying one for Christmas (or even have already purchased one)…

Photo of the Day:

On a more soothing note, my wife’s cousin, Bon, posted a picture that she caught yesterday during a break in the rain showers. It shows a beautiful rainbow as well as a good look at the cloudy sky. I find scenes like this very soothing and rewarding. Thank you, Bon, for this lovely photo. I always look forward to your next capture. As we continue through this holiday season, let us remember those without all that we have blessed with and think how we can share. The true message of “A Christmas Carol” is appropriate here. Think about it…

_Rainbow Pix by Bon

Rainbow and Sun during December Storm. Photo by Photos by Bon.

[ Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved ]




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on: Can Amazon Kindle Fire Challenge its Counterparts? A Complete Review… Kindle Fire vs. iPad- Is There Any Comparison Between The Two Gadgets?…

Brainy Quote: Tablets Quotes…

Written by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhotoLast night was not as cold as it has been. Temps were in the upper 30s, but it seemed to be comfortable. That scares me a bit because it might mean that I’m getting used to the cold! Today we are only going to get up to 58 degrees and its now raining. The storm hit up in the Santa Barbara and Ventura coasts last night and spread to the San Fernando Valley this morning. But its raining here now, steady but not too heavy; it should give us a nice, steady rainfall that will help our gardens and grass but not a threat of flooding, at least in the Riverside areas.


Today is expected to be wet all day. We just talked to Rosie and its raining down there along the North County coast now also. It’s the type of day that one thinks about hot tea (or a good hot spiced cider), a warm fire and a good book. Then I just want to craw up into my easy chair and get toasty warm under a snuggy. Isn’t winter great under these circumstances? I just want to stay off the roads and take shelter in our little abode.

Tonight it’s supposed to return to the upper 30s again. Well, winter is here with a vengeance this year. While the rains are steady and gentile here, I worry about the folks in the foothill areas of Pasadena (and the surrounding communities) that were so had hit by the recent winds. The news this morning reported that the City of Pasadena had committed itself to the clean-up of the debris left when the fallen trees were cut up; some of the sawdust from the cutting and the small branches left were sitting on the side of many roads in the rain gutters. The fear was that this debris would threaten to block the storm drains, causing the run off to back up and flood the nearby homes. But perhaps this action by the city workers, even in the rain, will avoid that possibility.

_Cajon Pass with Snow_Signal Station

On a happier note, the mountains should provide some nice new snow for all of the college students finishing fall classes this week. The mostly avid snowboarders will probably be attacking the slopes even before their finals are over. Tonight, the snow level is supposed to come down to the 2500 foot level! Anyway, many college students these days are more interested in the recreational activities than they are in their classes; I have had many of these students in my classes in recent years. But that is another story and the responsibility of each student.. GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2031 Words ]


Quotations Related to Sportsmanship:


“It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.”
— Mark Twain

“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.”
— Knute Rockne

“Tactics, fitness, stroke ability, adaptability, experience, and sportsmanship are all necessary for winning.”
— Fred Perry

“I think sportsmanship is knowing that it is a game, that we are only as a good as our opponents, and whether you win or lose, to always give 100 percent.”
— Sue Wicks


Thinking about Sportsmanship and Greed in Sports…


Yesterday I finished my series on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It is always interesting to re-read my writings from a couple of years ago — I see vast improvements in my writing over that period of time. And writing my musings during the past few days (since the first of the month) has been very enjoyable. Most of my postings to this blog have been “information-rich”, meaning that I have tried to pack the postings with a good coverage of each day’s topic on events of historical importance, or related to my interests in photography, or interests in technology topics. In the next few days, I look forward to a few days of plain, unbridled exploration of issues that fascinate or irritate me. Many of these postings will involve getting up on my virtual “soap box” and harping on a topics that get my “dander” up.

Today, in fact, I do have a bit of a rant to vent. I’m referring to the matter of sportsmanship and fair play on the athletic field: the football field, the basketball court, or the boardroom. It is important that these highly-paid players in the NFL or the NBA behave in a civilized way while playing their chosen sport. Many of the top players, the so-called “high rollers”, who are the anchors of their team earn a very high salaries; sometimes these salaries are truly obscene. We have seen recent examples of very unsportsmanlike behaviors.

Yes, I know that football is a rough game, especially in the NFL. Yes, we are looking at the players who are the “crème de la crème” of the many college athletes at their position. But when things go beyond what is reasonable even for the professional game of football, something is very wrong. The situation that strikes me right off the top of my head is that act of senseless violence displayed by the Detroit Lion’s Suh. After the end of a play on Thanksgiving Day he got to his feet after being blocked on a play, they turned to the player that blocked him and kicked him in the chest!

Such violence is totally out of place in a professional sports event. The NFL suspended the All-Pro Suh without pay for two games ( article, cf. the References section below). Suh is appealing his suspension, but he probably got off easy. These players make so much money that what they lose in such a suspension is like excess pocket change.

What can we do to make these athletes behave more reasonably? I’m not sure, but new rules have been imposed to protect the quarterbacks and running backs. Helmet tackles have been banned, but they still happen. The oversized gorillas who play the defensive line pick up and throw to the ground the much lighter quarterbacks. All this appears to be legitimate, but it has often been done with more force and violence than required to just stop the play. We have seen many quarterbacks suffer season-ending injuries. The answer must be out there, but I’m afraid it lies in attitudes, not in rules!

And then there are the ruffians on the basketball courts. In all too many cases, NBA players have flagrantly taken on one of their opponents for more personal reasons rather than because of the flow of the play. More and more technical fouls have been called and the penalty for repeated violation is suspension for one or more games. This has resulted in the referees interfering with the flow of the game to call yet another foul. Yes, we are seeing more “hard” contact among players in the supposedly non-contact game of basketball, but some of the enjoyment of the game is taken away from the fans.

But this aggressiveness is not limited to the NBA ranks. An article published in the Washington Post (Gene Wang, August 18) reports on a brawl that arose between the Georgetown University team and a Chinese team playing an exhibition game in Beijing, China. Why? Who knows? But what was supposed to be a goodwill exchange turned violent in an unsportsmanlike confrontation. This is a lack of sportsmanship to the highest degree. Could it be that the college teams are adopting the same hard play, confrontational tactics seen in the NBA? Do these players expect to increase their likelihood of getting drafted by an NBA team? I hope not!

And if these incidents move from the pros to the college teams, how long will it take to become a standard tactic in our high school teams? We are looking at a sad abdication of Sportsmanship to the extreme. Maybe it is time for coaches to met out their own fines to the overpaid NBA superstars to help nip this malaise in the bud. Let’s hope that teams can see beyond their own wins to the survival of the sport as a wholesome entertaining activity.

Have we made sports heroes an elite “royalty” that only seeks the crown of victory? This is not a civil war where one side will win and the other side, as losers, will lose their heads, as in the days of old. Is there no sanity left in this world? Could we have foreseen these changes coming with multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts? While free-agency has generally been good for sports, I don’t think the greed and avarice that we see today was in Kurt Flood’s vision when he challenged the lack of free-agency. We have now seen the abuse of almost any loyalty to a team or to a community.

_Georgetown Brawl

And lest we think that only the players and coaches are to blame, there is plenty of blame here for the owners and their league commissioners. These two groups are quickly becoming as confrontational as the players. This was vividly pointed out in the recent NBA lockout by the owners. The owners deserve a decent return on their investments. But that does not mean that they have the right to become dictators and reap large profits from their player’s efforts on field or court. Unfortunately, as in most business endeavors, some teams are stronger and some are weaker. But on any given day, the winning team is not completely foreordained. Any team can win on any day; that is competition. But when the team owners in smaller markets demand subsidies or player concessions to boost their profits, something is wrong.

It seemed that the recent NBA lockout (Washington Post, November 26) indicated that, while the reasons were complex, the owners wanted concessions by the players to boost the bottom line, especially of owners in smaller, less profitable markets. The NBA season will be shorter this year after a compromise agreement was finally worked out. Who is representing the public in these negotiations? Apparently no one. But cities are asked to build and/or refurbish stadiums or arenas, and the public is asked to pay more and more for game tickets. Such a program will eventually reach a point at which the fans will say, “ENOUGH!”

In a similar vein, the NBA commissioner is out of control. This was in evidence recently when a trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and other clubs were halted. Why? Well, apparently because it was not in the best financial interest of the NBA. More probably, it was to prevent a dominant team, the Lakers, from acquiring another dominant player to go along with Kobe. But is that not meddling? Is the commissioner trying to balance the allocation of talent by dictatorial means? It looks like it!

Well, that is probably enough for this morning. Let’s put sports into perspective — they are for the entertainment of their fans. Let us not loose sight of the ideals of sportsmanship that led to the rise of college and professional teams. We can only hope that some sanity can be brought into the picture once more! Think about this…

Photo of the Day:

To turn to a more peaceful moment after considering all of the fighting that I discussed above. There are places in nature that serve to sooth our souls without requiring us to take medications. I find that just looking at a sunlit forest, such as this scene in the Shenandoah National Park, is extremely relaxing. While being there in person is best, even a photo serves that purpose. I hope that you will enjoy this mountain meadow and let it stroke you soul. GLB

_Shenandoah National Park_Steve Corey

Shenandoah National Park. Photo by Steve Corey.

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Sports Lions’ Suh suspended two games for stomp, will appeal…

Washington NBA lockout: Owners, players reach tentative agreement to start season on Christmas…

Washington Georgetown basketball exhibition in China ends in brawl…

Brainy Quote: Sportsmanship Quotes…

Written by Gerald Boerner




Again the temps here in River City dipped close to freezing. In our neighborhood, the low was about 36 degrees, but at the nearby March Reserve Air Force Base, they apparently dipped down into the mid 20s. That’s cold! Today, we are expecting a high of about 63, a full ten degrees less than yesterday. We are also going to have the rain clouds roll in. Tonight the low is supposed to get down to 37 here.


What’s more, there is a rain storm heading our way. It’s supposed to hit us after midnight. The weather people predict that this will be a real “soaker”; the low will sit off the coast where it can pick up water from the sea and drop it in the LA Basic. The recent showers have only been enough to get us a little wet. But this storm could deliver over an inch of rain. The local mountains, like Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, will get up to sixteen inches of fresh snow to go with their man-made snow. The skiers and snowboarders should be thrilled. BTW, for those of you in the mid-west who see “real” snow storms, this may seem strange, but here in SoCal the mountain resorts depend on man-made snow more than that delivered by Mother Nature!

I look forward to seeing some great snow-capped mountains throughout the San Gabriel and San Bernardino ranges on Tuesday morning. I want to get out and get some photos of that scene. If I do, I’ll be posting them on my page. In the meantime, we have prepared the back yard for the coming storm. My old scooter is under cover of both the patio and a tarp. The furniture has been repositioned so as to be out of the rain. Bring it on.

But we are more fortunate than those who live in the areas of the San Gabriel Valley hit so hard by the winds a week ago. Most of them have now had their electricity restored and they are no longer freezing (figuratively, at least) in their homes. The downed trees have been, by and large, removed from their cars, houses and power lines. But the city workers have piled up the cut limbs along roadways awaiting later pickup by city crews.

Some of it could be used as firewood, of course, but much of it comes from trees that are not very good for burning in family fireplaces. Therefore, they sit along the roads along with the debris from the cutting process — sawdust, small branches, leaves, etc. These will be swept into the storm drains and catch basins during a heavy rain such as we’re expecting tonight and tomorrow. So, let’s just hope that the city crews can get things cleaned up enough to avoid flooding those residents hit so hard by the initial wind damage. Let’s all keep them in our prayers…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1898 Words ]


Quotations Related to Internment (Camps):


“You know, I grew up in two American internment camps, and at that time I was very young.”
— George Takei

“I was six months old at the time that I was taken, with my mother and father, from Sacramento, California, and placed in internment camps in the United States.”
— Robert Matsui

“February 19, 1942, is the year in which Executive Order 9066 was signed, and this was the order that called for the exclusion and internment of all Japanese Americans living on the west coast during World War II.”
— Xavier Becerra

“I spent my boyhood behind the barbed wire fences of American internment camps and that part of my life is something that I wanted to share with more people.”
— George Takei

Today we are attending to one of the aftermath effects of the Pearl Harbor attack that is not among America’s Proudest Moments: The Imprisonment of Japanese-American citizens because of their ethnic heritage. The were removed from their communities, sent to the desert, and punished for their genetics. For a first-hand photographic account of their plight, see Ansel Adams, Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans (1893343057)

Thinking about the Japanese American Internment Camps…


But on to the primary focus of the day. Over the last several days we have discussed the reaction of FDR and the Congress to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. A formal declaration of war was issued on the eighth and our forces were being mobilized. On this day, the eleventh, the European Axis Powers (Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy) declared war on the United States; we were finally joining the forces of Britain and the Soviets in their fight against the Axis. So, like Germany, we were embarking on a two-front war. The partial mobilization that had started as part of the Lend-Lease Act would now become a full-blown manufacturing operation that would make the difference in the war.

But today we look more specifically at the racist and discriminatory treatment directed at the Japanese American population, especially those living along the Pacific Coast. Some of the consequences of the Pearl Harbor damage came about because of the fear that the Japanese population on the Hawaiian Islands were committed to the Japanese Empire and its Emperor, Hirohito.  While some of the approximately 150,000 Japanese living on the islands were no doubt spies for the Japanese military, most were American citizens loyal to their adopted country. Many were born in the U.S., the nisei (first generation) or sansei (second generation) individuals. A few were issei, those not born in this country and ineligible for U.S. citizenship.

Tokio_Kid_SayThe ships in Pearl Harbor and the planes at the various air bases, such as Hickam Field, were tightly paced for security from feared attacks by Japanese saboteurs. These attacks were not expected were expected from Japanese residents of the Hawaiian Islands, not from planes coming in from into the Pearl Harbor from aircraft carriers off the north coast of Hawaii. Because the threat was expected from within, so the ships were clustered around Ford Island in Pearl and the aircraft on the Army Air Force bases such as Hickam Field were clustered in small groups on the field.

When the Japanese planes swept into the harbor, these tightly-packed ships and aircraft became easy targets for the bombs and torpedoes. A majority of our loses of men and equipment were due to the anticipation of the attack from Japanese saboteurs on the islands, not from four aircraft carriers that had traversed the Pacific to launch the surprise attack on that fateful Sunday morning.

Following the declaration of war against the Empire of Japan, the prejudges of the American military and civilian leaders against the Japanese population flourished among these leaders. These prejudices had been escalating, especially on the west coast, since the early 1900s. In 1905, California, the home of over 90% of the Japanese Americans, passed the “anti-miscegenation” law that outlawed the marriage between Caucasians and “Mongolians” (those from East Asia). Students in many communities like San Francisco were transferred to schools within the local Chinatown. In fact, in 1924, an “Oriental Exclusion Law” blocked Japanese immigrants from gaining U.S. citizenship. Thus, the actions at the start of our war with Japan came from a long period of resentment and discrimination against the Japanese.

Not unlike the Jews in Germany during the 1930s, the Japanese had become successful businessmen and farmers throughout California. They had become excellent farmers who out-produced their American neighbors. These American farmers welcomed the war as an opportunity to remove their Japanese American neighbors from their lands so they could take them over. In the cities, both civilian and military leaders had the same fear of Japanese sabotage as was found in pre-Pearl Harbor Hawaii. While the FBI had found little evidence of such collaboration with the Japanese forces, either via direct contact or through radio links, there was a great fear on the west coast that the Japanese could attack the coast at any moment.

This led FDR to issue Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This order created “military areas” from which any person could be excluded. These exclusion orders were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1944. In the meantime, they were used as a pretense to remove the Japanese Americans, by force if necessary, from an area within 100 miles of the Pacific Ocean. When some voluntarily removed themselves further inland, this area was extended further. The order was used to force all Japanese, American citizens or not, to “Relocation Camps” which were generally located in interior, inhospitable regions of the west. It is interesting that while this order applied equally to the Hawaiian Islands, only about 1,500 of the Japanese population (out of 150,000) were interned in internment (“concentration”) camps. On the west coast, about 127,000 Japanese lived in the states along the Pacific Ocean. At least 50% of these were place in the Internment Camps like Manzanar in the Owens Valley of eastern California. This discrepancy reflects the discrimination against the Japanese that was rampant in California.

JapaneseAmericanGrocer1942So much for the basic facts of the situation. Our country has had a long history of mistreatment of minority, non-Caucasian populations. We can start with the early Native American groups encountered by the early settlers, the Trail of Tears during the Indian Removal period under President Jackson, the whole slavery issue of the African American populations and, of course, the Indian Wars in the West during the post-Civil War period. The discrimination against the immigrants from Asia who came to this country to help build the railroads, work in the mines, and grow the crops in the San Joaquin Valley of California found fertile ground in California, which had the majority of these immigrants. So the assignment of the Japanese to Internment Camps was just a continuation of that pattern of discrimination against those groups who looked or acted different from the dominant population.

I called these Internment Camps “concentration” camps with intent, since that is the language used in governmental records on the process. But let us not confuse these camps with those death camps in Nazi Germany or the camps operated by the Japanese throughout their territory of East Asia. Our camps did not try to starve the occupants. They were allowed to build adequate, though not luxurious, shelters for themselves as well as cultivate the ground. But they were deprived of their civil rights, property and most of their possessions. They were falsely accused of a lack of loyalty to their adopted (or native) country. We did them a dishonor that was finally recognized by Ronald Reagan in 1988. But by then the damage had been done!

In fact, the 442nd Infantry Battalion was an all-Nisei unit who fought valiantly during World War II in Europe and became the most decorated unit in the Army. (See my blog posting about this unit at: .) We need to take another look at this sad period of our nations history…

Photo of the Day:

Again, I want to leave you with a positive vision to carry you through the day.  The photo was made by Ansel Adams at the Manzanar Internment Camp in the Owens Valley of California. This area had been a rich agricultural area before Los Angeles “stole” the water from the Owens River in the early 1900s to fuel the growth of the LA Basin. Those Japanese settled here made an adequate life for themselves until they were released at the end of the war. The valley is beautiful, but not as hospitable as those homes that they had been forced to abandon. Let us remember this sad part in our nation’s history and vow never to repeat it again…

_Manzanar Internment Camp, Ansel Adams

Tom Kobayashi, Landscape, Manzanar Relocation Center, California
Photograph & Copyrighted by Ansel Adams.


Copyright©2011 • All Rights Reserved




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Japanese American Internment…

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Pearl Harbor: The Interment of the Japanese-Americans…

Brainy Quote: Internment (Camps) Quotes…

Written by Gerald Boerner




We had a slightly warmer night last night than the previous several nights. The temps only got down to the upper 30s! That is relatively warm. In fact, yesterday, Riverside got up to 78 during the day and was the warmest spot in the LA area. A regular heat spell. Today, we only got up into the lower 70s, which was nice. Tonight it’s supposed to get down only into the lower 40s; but tomorrow and the following several days we have projected temps only in the 50s. Burrrrrr. And a new storm is expected during the early morning hours of Monday morning with somewhat heavy rain storms in the 1” range. Winter is approaching with a vengeance.

_Murphy_CA_with Snow

I just got off the phone with Jack (in Indiana) and he said it was cold there — temps below freezing during the day. I hate to think what it will be during the night. They’ve also had some light snow, which may be fun for the kids, but creates a hazard on the road. But Jack is smart enough not to take his rig out on icy days, although he says the snow doesn’t really bother him. But Liz has to drive about 40 miles to work, which would worry me. I know how I hated to have to drive about that distance to teach in Azusa for all those years. But I guess that people back in the mid-west know how to drive in inclement weather; they can have it! I like my options: when I want snow, I can drive for about an hour up to Running Springs or Lake Arrowhead and they return to the lowlands where it is dry.

I hope that people in the San Gabriel valley and foothills that had so much wind damage last week will be able to weather the storm. They’ve been through enough; they don’t need rain damage as well. But, I guess that is not an option to avoid the gifts of Mother Nature. The biggest problem will probably be in the areas with lots of downed trees (and debris from the cutting of those trees) that is still is on the sides their roads. If that debris clogs the storm drains and/or fills the catch basins used to capture excess run-off water, some homes could get flooded out. Likewise, streets could flood and create a dangerous commuting situation.

These areas and the families living there need our “Good Thoughts” and prayers. They have been through enough already. Let’s pray that the cities will, in fact, be spared any further damage…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2158 Words ]


Quotations Related to Jimmy Doolittle (Raiders):


“If we should have to fight, we should be prepared to so so from the neck up instead of from the neck down.”
— Jimmy Doolittle

“The first lesson is that you can’t lose a war if you have command of the air, and you can’t win a war if you haven’t.”
— Jimmy Doolittle

“If you want to go anywhere in modern war, in the air, on the sea, on the land, you must have command of the air.”
— William Halsey

“There are no extraordinary men… just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.”
— William Halsey


Recovering from Pearl Harbor — The Doolittle Raid on the Japanese Home Islands…


Well, yesterday we looked at the Japanese attack on the Midway Island bases in the months following the surprise attack on our Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. But why pick these islands half-way between the Japanese home islands and the US bases in Hawaii? It was the direct result of an event that transpired two months prior to the June attack at Midway. What was this attack? On April 18, 1942, a small naval taskforce consisting of two aircraft carriers and some cruisers and destroyers (and their support ships) that made their way, under the leadership of Halsey on the Enterprise. A new carrier, the Hornet, rendezvoused with Halsey’s contingent in the mid-Pacific. 

B-25 taking off from aircraft carrierSo what was so special with that task force, and the Hornet that was on its maiden voyage? If you were to have seen it, it would look like almost every other  aircraft carrier in service. There was a large (for the time) flight deck. There was the typical command and navigation superstructure on one side of the ship, along with the smokestack from the boilers. But what were those planes on deck? They didn’t look like any other fighter aircraft in service in the Pacific at that time. They had two engines and two rudders on the tail. And they were BIG! Why? Because they were Mitchell B-25 bombers!

Who ever heard of bombers operating from the deck of an aircraft carrier before? No One! Bombers, with their normal supply of gasoline and ordinance load, would require a much longer runway to gain the airspeed reach flight speed than was available on the deck of a carrier, even a new one like the Hornet. But they were there. All sixteen of them were sitting on the deck waiting to take off. And why? They were tasked with a very special mission — to deliver a bomb load to the Japanese home islands, especially Tokyo.

The leader of this exceptional mission was Colonel James Doolittle. Doolittle was probably one of the few men who could have pulled off this feat. He was an award winning racing pilot. He was a experienced test pilot. He was an aeronautical engineer with degrees from M.I.T. And he pioneered instrument flying. All this in the period between the two world wars. He was called upon by General Hap Arnold to fulfill FDR’s charge to deliver a warning blow to Japan in the wake of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Tokoyo Fliers

USAF - Tokyo Raid - On 18 April 1942, airmen of the US Army Air Forces, led by Lt. Col. James H. (Jimmy) Doolittle, carried the battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a surprising and daring raid on military targets at Tokoyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe.

This historic attack against these major cities was the result of coordination between the Army Air Forces and the US Navy, which carried the sixteen North American b-25 medium bombers aboard the carrier USS Hornet to within take-off distances of the Japanese Islands.  Despite the rough seas this B-25 bomber becomes airborne on last leg of its journey to the Japanese mainland.Doolittle trained a select group of pilots, selected an appropriate plane (the B-25), and modified these planes for the special mission by removing all unnecessary equipment from the plane. These B-25s would be fitted with extra fuel tanks so they would allow the planes to takeoff about 600 miles from Japan, deliver their ordinance over selected Japanese cities, and fly to friendly air fields in China. This special set of air crews were able to use special techniques to get their planes up to take off air speed in 500 feet when these techniques were combined with the ship’s motion and any winds available at takeoff in less than the distance provided by the carrier deck!

As these the task force approached the Japanese islands, they were detected by picket ships disguised as fishing trollers. Therefore, on April 18th Doolittle’s raiders took to the air and started their fateful mission. All planes took off successfully, reached their targets over the home islands without interception, and dropped their bombs. This took the Japanese leaders by complete surprise, and came as a shock to the populace, since they had been told that the islands were impenetrable! They were not.

After dropping their payloads, the B-25s were low on fuel and most barely reached the China coast. Most survived and were returned to the states. But the damage was done, and the Japanese military were forced to take a bold action at Midway Island during those days in June, 1942. As we saw yesterday, the American victory during that confrontation resulted in the destruction of most of their top line aircraft carriers and set the tone for the ongoing island-hopping campaign to the home islands and the eventual B-29 attacks in 1945 and the dropping of the two atomic bombs…


Photo of the Day:

But, to return to a more uplifting thought, I want to share another image with you on this day. This sunrise was captured looking on the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge at False Cape, Virginia. It is an image that should calm our tattered souls and set our minds into a relaxed state ready to meet the challenges of another day. Take a few minutes to let it settle your own mind, today or any day in which you anticipate hectic meetings or other uncomfortable encounters at either work or in other relationships…

     _Back Bay Wildlife Refuge_False Cape_Virginia

(Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, False Cape, Virginia. Photographer: Unknown)

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: The Doolittle Raid

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Pearl Harbor: The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo…

Brainy Quote: Jimmy Doolittle Quotes…

Brainy Quote: William Halsey Quotes…

Written by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Talk about cold! This morning when I woke up about 5:00 am the temp was only 30 degrees, far below the 36 predicted by the Weather Channel. But what do weathermen know? It is supposed to get up to 72 degrees this afternoon, but at 1:00 pm it’s already at 73. While tonight it’s predicted to get down to 36, but I’m guessing that it will probably end up like today, getting somewhere below freezing again. And, then, the seven day forecast shows us getting cooler by about ten degrees during the day with some chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Old man winter is going to beat the Winter Solstice (December 21st) this year, I guess. But, I was complaining about the heat only a couple of weeks ago!


Our wind damage problems from a week ago are still with us. The good news is that all but about 50 homes seem to be back on electricity again. That is truly good news. The bad news is that the debris from the fallen trees apparently is still in the streets by the pictures on the news programs. If we get the rains in any great intensity next week, we will have the possibility of flooding. The movable debris will enter the storm drains and catch basins, clog them up. and the water will rise to flood houses and businesses. The city crews are predicting that removing the debris in the streets could take several weeks.

Maybe that task will turn into one of their New Year’s Resolutions! “I will clean up my mess. I will clean up my mess.” Maybe if we had the city workers who are not getting this job completed should have to write this 100 times for their first missed deadline. And, maybe the second offense should be 500 times. It worked for us when we were in school, so why not now. LOL.

After I get this written and posted on my blog, I will go outside and soak up some of those great rays. As usual, it was nice watching the spikes of golden sunshine were making their way through the trees. I looked out with my fresh cup of coffee, and the pool was crystal clear. This is another day given to God’s children to enjoy and be productive in… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1402 Words ]


Quotations Related to Midway (Islands):


“After the Battle of Midway there was a week in a rest camp at Pearl Harbor.”
— Jack Adams

“Our citizens can now rejoice that a momentous victory is in the making. Perhaps we will be forgiven if we claim we are about midway to our objective.”
— Admiral Chester Nimitz

“The good news was that Enterprise and the newly arrived Yorktown had attacked the Marshall and Gilbert islands. Those attacks had a great effect on morale.”
— Jack Adams

“On December 5, 1941, Chicago led a task force built around the carrier Lexington to Midway Island, at the western end of the Hawaiian Islands, about 1,000 miles from Pearl Harbor.”
— Jack Adams


My Musings of the Day: Recovering from Pearl Harbor — Battle of Midway…


While having breakfast, Rosie called saying she was having trouble with her printer. When she got her new computer a couple of years ago (a Dell, I believe), she also brought home a new Dell all-in-one printer. Selling packages like this probably doesn’t do the consumer any favors since these are not the best devices for most people, especially the cheap all-in-one’s gadgets. Apparently, the scanner and copier portion was kaput! copies were coming out as one black page! It just reinforces my experience that for printers, I prefer either an Hewlett-Packard (HP), Epson, or Canon. I have not had good experiences with the other brands. It’s too bad Rosie had such a bad experience, but perhaps we were able to help her get through it a little better.

_ThirtySecondsOverTokyoBut getting on into my main topic for today, the United States battle with the Japanese Navy at the Midway Islands in June of 1942, only a few months after the surprise attack on our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. During the previous April, Jimmy Doolittle had taken his select group of pilots on their surprise attack over the Japanese home islands. I remember with pride watching the movie “30 Seconds over Tokyo” at the movies after the war; it was very patriotic and uplifting, which was the intended purpose of the Doolittle Raiders. The book, by the way, was written Captain Ted W. Lawson, one of the members of the Doolittle Raiders. But we will look at this raid on the home islands more tomorrow.

Today, I want to focus on just what happens when a “Sleeping Giant” is awoken. The Battle of Midway took place shortly after the Battle of the Coral Sea in which we came away the worse off for wear. One of our aircraft carriers, the Yorktown, was damaged and had to “limp” back to Pearl for repair. While our carriers were in port there, the cryptologists at Station HYPO had started to decode large portions of Japanese naval communications, the JN-25 code, and detected large amounts of coded messages referring to a location “AF”. The destination associated with this designation was unknown to us. Through a little shuffling through older intercepts, it looked like this code may be associated with the marine bases on the Midway Islands.

To verify this linkage, a clear text voice message was made from the Midway base that their water converter was “out”. This resulted in a coded Japanese message referring to the water converter on “AF” being out! This confirmed Midway as the target of the next assault. The goal of that raid upon the base and airfield on Midway was to draw out our carriers so they could be eliminated. But now that we knew, thanks to the codebreakers, their intent and target, Nimitz ordered a carrier task force to that location to “trap” the Japanese carriers. This trap worked better than expected.

Our three carriers laid in wait for the arrival of the Japanese task force. Their search planes discovered them after launching the first wave of planes, equipped with bombs, to attack Midway. But, because of the early warning, the troops were ready. They still took it on the chin, but our carriers had launched a wave of fighters, torpedo planes, and dive bombers to attack the Japanese carriers. These planes arrived just as the carriers were ready to launch the second wave… Without going into nauseating detail on the battle, we destroyed most of the carriers that were used in the attack on Pearl Harbor before all the dust had cleared. We lost the Yorktown.

G13065_USS_Yorktown_Pearl_Harbor_May_1942The victory effectively neutralized the Japanese naval aircraft carriers. After the Battle of Midway, they were held in reserve to defend the home islands. This was not only our first victory in the Pacific War, but was a transfer of airpower from the Japanese to the American forces. We would complete a island-hopping campaign on our way to the Japanese home islands. We would move, with high casualties from one island to the next major target all across the Pacific. In the Pacific Theater, we would have the upper-hand in the air war; when the B-29s came on the scene, the long range bombing of Japan would begin in earnest.

And that, as the story goes, was the beginning of the end…

Photo of the Day:

I want to leave you today with an image that I always find quite relaxing. This scene, with it cascade of water falling in the foreground and the mist arise above it reminds me of the absolute soothing sounds of the falling water. The mist reminds me of a nice hot shower falling upon my tired body. It creates a cathedral in the valley with the sweet chords of the cascade creating the music in the background. Take a few moments to relax and enjoy this scene.

_Ethereal Waterfall

(The Photographer of this image is unknown.)

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Pearl Harbor: America Rebounds at Midway…

Brainy Quote: Midway (Island) Quotes…