Friday, July 04, 2008

Two hundred thirty-two years ago . . .

. . . a document was published that began thus:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

This action was the official beginning of unpleasantness between us and our (now) friends in the British Empire - an unpleasantness that lasted (again, officially) until 1815. During that time, we had the unfortunate need to declare war on Britain not once, but twice.

Feelings between us have moderated a bit since then, and I shall be eternally grateful that they have remained so.

Our Navy still flies a jack based on one from that era. Whatever the opinion of the U. S. in the world today, the flag still contains some good advice.

Barack Obama's . . .

. . . official photo.

Apparently, there is no position he isn't willing to change for political expediency.

Of course, one may say that of most politicians, but BHO has raised it to an art form not seen since John Kerrey.
WARNING: If you don't know what memento mori photography is, look it up before you read this post.

I am a professional engineer by trade, but also a genealogist and historian by avocation. A part of genealogy is the study not only of people, but of the customs and mores of the time.

During the Victorian period, and for sometime after, during the infancy of photography, it was common to take photos of loved ones after they died. Most people today find that practice to be morbid, but the study of genealogy requires a look at those pieces of our past that are not so pleasant.

The photo below is of Lela Maberry, my 2nd cousin, twice removed. She died in 1899 at age eleven. I found her memento mori in a box of photographs handed down by my g.g.grandmother

The kid with the largest head . . .

. . . ever recorded - would most likely be me.

I'm still rummaging through old photos, and I found this one taken at age three. I wonder if the barber charged my haircuts by the acre. For those of you who are younger than, oh, say DIRT, this is an example of portraiture back in the era just post Neanderthal extinction. It's hand colored.