I watched the PBS series The War most of yesterday, and David joined me for the last hour. The story only made it to the D-Day invasion. I suppose WETA will finish the series next week on Memorial Day.
The series began this past weekend to honor Armed Forces Day, which was a very important holiday when I was growing up. With my 8 uncles, the EX’s father and 7 uncles, and David’s brother involved, someone in the family took part in almost every event of WWII. Amazingly, they all came home, alcoholic and crazy in some cases, but physically intact.
I am fascinated with how Ken Burns organizes PBS version of the tale of WWII with personal recollections, film and photos. A historical “period” can seen from an economic (commercial); political (left-right); sociological (organization, demography); psychological; or technological perspective. Burns tells the story from the popular or micro level…how real people understood the events they experienced.
For example, P. the professor of business history told us a technological anecdote of how the American tanks, although inferior to the German tanks with their Mercedes engines, served the Americans well. P said when the German tanks broke down, troops had to order new parts and an auto technician to fix them. In comparison, every boy in America knew how to work on a car in those days, so when the American tank broke down, the boys in the field knew how to fix it. I told David this story and he says, “Yes, the engines in the American tanks were two Cadillac engines wired together. The boys knew how to work on GM engines.” Battles and wars are won and lost on technological issues. This story makes me wonder about all the things we can’t fix ourselves these days.
Those who track heavenly events have a treat in store. The ‘Transit of Venus‘ is about to occur (June 5-6 2012). Until a year or two ago I had no idea what the transit of Venus involved. It was then my friend and classmate Mary, a school teacher, took it on as an assignment in our History of Science class. Mary wrote the Wiki article you can see by clicking on the link above. Folks in the Pacific, especially Hawaii will have the best viewing so heads up you guys.
This celestial event set off a scientific revolution among astronomers in Europe when they figured out the transit gave them the means to measure the size of our solar system.
Lately, strange things have been happening in my bedroom. This morning, I heard a distinct little bird voice say. “Hello Daddy.” I almost said something back until I realized I must have dreamed it. We (the birds, me, my kids and grandkids) call David Pops, which is a nickname he had in high school. (His English teacher called him Popsie.) The only person who calls David “Daddy” is his daughter Julie. David’s son calls him Pop. Julie comes around once in a while and the birds like her high-pitched voice so they copy the things she says.
However, the other thing that struck me was that I don’t have a bird in my bedroom, they are all downstairs, so how could I have heard a bird voice? Sometimes I have incredibly vivid dreams. Mostly they are about mundane things. On the other hand, maybe my amazing dog Johnny, who sleeps in my bedroom said “Hello Daddy.”