Word of the day for Thursday, May 29th

Wow. I had a quiz in my California History class yesterday that solely consisted of three essay questions. Still recovering from a long weekend where I was able to light very loud fireworks on the beach with no repercussions, I was not my most coherent self in cobbling together my answers. “UFW… bluhh… the uh Black Panther Party… people selfish scared… jerks… Mono Lake but stuff… did I talk about grapes yet also internment camps”; I was pretty

ETp7eT1401413462swoopstake. All over the place, indiscriminate. I still got a good grade, though. My teacher is either feeling sorry for me or he’s just getting random doodles on the other papers and I’m looking good by comparison. Thanks, Mr. Smith.

Cliffs notes

It’s still a little early in the game to make any real judgments, but so far my California History class is stranger than my class on Magic, Religion and Witchcraft. To wit, here are some facts I’ve just learned about my home state’s early days:

  • The state was named after an island of Amazon women ruled by Queen Califia. They had weapons made of gold and rode into battle on the backs of their trained griffins.
  • Head of the Spanish mission system Father Junipero Serra was 5’2″ tall, and he frequently beat and burned himself to stop the bad thoughts. He also seemed to be really proud of his ulcerated leg that developed from an untreated insect bite.
  • The all-important representative of the Spanish crown with control over the Caribbean, Mexico, and the southwest part of the future US in the late 1700’s was a fellow named Joseph de Galvez. Galvez had a really hard job to do and he kind of went crazy from all the pressure (or maybe he was always crazy), and when the native Americans in the region kept repelling Spanish rule he decided that the best thing to do was to get together an army of 600 apes from Guatemala to defeat them. Somehow this plan never came to fruition; I’m guessing he either got some rest or maybe one of his underlings said they were working on it and he forgot about it.

That’s it so far, but I’m sure there is more to come.

I believe it because it is absurd

If I live to be 100, I will never be able to visit all of the historical markers placed in the West by the crackpot preservationist/html abusing fraternal order E Clampus Vitus. I probably will never even make it to all of the ECV plaques in Southern California. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying.

This weekend I went to Burro Schmidt’s Tunnel. The tunnel was really good – it’s not every day that you get to walk through a nearly half mile long granite tunnel dug by a tubercular native of Rhode Island. The thing I liked best, however, was Burro Schmidt’s outhouse.

There were a lot of pictures of Shirley Temple in there too, but I didn’t get any good pictures of those – it was still pretty stinky in there.

As for the actual living quarters, they weren’t too shabby either in terms of printed ephemera, if you’re into that sort of thing.


The last photo here is kind of a mystery to me. Burro Schmidt lived and worked alone for about fifty years, and most of his immediate family died before he even set off to California. So who sent him that Christmas card? Could it have been his donkey companions Jack and Jenny?

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