Friday, March 27, 2015

This is a half hour radio show, Elvis Mitchell interviewing Paul Seydor--& mentioning my READING "BILLY BUDD"

 Judy Richter was listening to it and (at 18 minutes in) heard Elvis mention the name of her cousin's husband. Imagine the shock!


In a time when the most popular American Westerns were more like pulp, filmmaker Sam Peckinpah made Westerns that had a sense of immediacy and influence that set them apart.
In his new book, The Authentic Death and Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: The Untold Story of Peckinpah's Last Western Film, writer/editor Paul Seydor takes a closer look at this fabled film, examining what makes it so haunting over 40 years after it was made, and why Peckinpah's greatest films are the ones that are somehow incomplete.
Photo: Samantha Rose Seydor
Paul Seydor, author and editor
Jenny Radelet

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Then there is the carpenter from the best appliance store in SLO

who used a power screwdriver to put a screw partly in, and an angle, in a support for a new oven-microwave combination. He never heard of countersinking.
The screw stuck up and extra trips were required . . . .
He also measured a nice piece of oak and cut it wrong.

In 2002 when I added a third of the cabinet space in the kitchen I pre-drilled holes for every screw.

Incredibly incompetent licensed local repairmen we have endured. I don't yell. Today I yelled.

What was wrong with the lock on the door to the south battlement was that the painter's assistant had put the lock back on crooked and after a few weeks it broke. Turn the knob, the bolt would not move. Locksmith, professional locksmith from Los Osos arrives and decides that the way to remove the brass plate set in the frame is to pry it out with a screwdriver, thereby savaging the third of an inch of wood between the plate and the inside of the door, and he leaves a jagged piece of wood underneath so you could take off most of a finger on if you ran one up from below. I stopped him before he tried to hammer the plate flat by putting in on tile on the battlement. When I finally told him what a sloppy job he had done he lied--he had not used a screwdriver to pry against the wood, not him. Well, I saw him, just too late to stop him, and let him know I did not like being lied to and hated unprofessional work. Someone else wrote him a check.

Now, our Cayucos electrician is a god among men, but all the others . . . .

The plumber who used his power screwdriver to put up the laundry sink we used for 5 months while we were working on the kitchen and broke the plastic, when he could have screwed it in by hand.

Oh, the roofer putting back in a skylight who used a power screwdriver to force a screw in so tight that in a couple of weeks the glass cracked right at that point and all the way across.

On--this is to be continued, but the electrician--does he have to redeem all the others?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Important New Book by Cousin Jeremy N. Smith

Jeremy N. Smith is the son-in-law of my triple cousin Bonnie McMullan, husband of her daughter Crissie. As Bonnie's sister Lois says, in the South if you are not kin you are connected. I am a cousin of Jeremy N. Smith's and Crissie's offspring. In the South, that means I can say, "Hey, watch out for Cousin Jeremy's book, folks."

From Amazon:

Moneyball meets medicine in this remarkable chronicle of one of the greatest scientific quests of our time—the groundbreaking program to answer the most essential question for humanity: how do we live and die?—and the visionary mastermind behind it.
Medical doctor and economist Christopher Murray began the Global Burden of Disease studies to gain a truer understanding of how we live and how we die. While it is one of the largest scientific projects ever attempted—as breathtaking as the first moon landing or the Human Genome Project—the questions it answers are meaningful for every one of us: What are the world’s health problems? Who do they hurt? How much? Where? Why?
Murray argues that the ideal existence isn’t simply the longest but the one lived well and with the least illness. Until we can accurately measure how people live and die, we cannot understand what makes us sick or do much to improve it. Challenging the accepted wisdom of the WHO and the UN, the charismatic and controversial health maverick has made enemies—and some influential friends, including Bill Gates who gave Murray a $100 million grant.
In Epic Measures, journalist Jeremy N. Smith offers an intimate look at Murray and his groundbreaking work. From ranking countries’ healthcare systems (the U.S. is 37th) to unearthing the shocking reality that world governments are funding developing countries at only 30% of the potential maximum efficiency when it comes to health, Epic Measures introduces a visionary leader whose unwavering determination to improve global health standards has already changed the way the world addresses issues of health and wellness, sets policy, and distributes funding.

Dear friends --

My new book, EPIC MEASURES, comes out two weeks from today. Please help the launch by pre-ordering the book and telling friends!

EPIC MEASURES is the true story of a 20-year, 500-scientist, $100-million moonshot attempt to track and quantify every illness, injury, and death for everyone on Earth: the biggest of Big Data ever. This work has already transformed health systems from Mexico to Australia, and it has also shown Bill Gates a way to invest his fortune for global good. Now it may help people everywhere -- all 7 billion of us -- know what really hurts us and what will best improve our health.

Kirkus Reviews calls the book “Fascinating.” E. O. Wilson calls it “Inspiring.” Paul Farmer says that it “reads like a novel and is better than any textbook or survey of this planet’s health.”

Learn more and find links to pre-order on my website:

Monday, March 23, 2015

"Chalmers Gaston Davidson" of Davidson College and Revolutionary soldier Robert Knox and Horseshoes

Was Professor Davidson a descendant of Robert Knox or of Thomas Bell? Why would he have requested information about Robert Knox if he were not a descendant? Is he a cousin?

CGD's book on his distinguished ancestor William Lee Davidson is very pricey but I may have to buy it.


So Professor Davidson had a distinguished career as college librarian and history professor and is remembered now because in 1953 he blew the last two points in a game of horseshoes.

So he clutched and blew the points: was he a cousin and is this to be expected?

P. S. I ordered his book from Amazon.