Rockford, Illinois, USA
February 05
I'm a regular middle aged guy, living in a regular middle class neighborhood, in a regular middle-sized community in the middle of America. I am an expatriate Texan transplanted to the Midwest, and wondering how I got here, and where I'm headed.

Procopius's Links
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 18, 2008 10:19AM

A 200 Year Old Birthday Resolution

He was born on August 18, 1774, on a plantation in Albemarle County, Virginia.  President Thomas Jefferson personally picked Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition to explore the vast lands west of the Mississippi, and to seek an overland route to the Pacific Coast.  He was just 29 years o/… Read full post »

AUGUST 15, 2008 7:19PM

What Cold War Looks Like

Events in Georgia have some speculating that we may be slipping into a new Cold War.  Let’s hope such talk is exaggeration.  A generation has come of age that only knows the Cold War from the history books, or from the stories told by their parents and grandparents.  But the Cold/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 15, 2008 1:12PM

Bush Channels "Goya's Ghosts"

Last night I watched the Milos Forman film “Goya’s Ghosts”.  The movie was made in 2006, but never received widespread distribution in the United States.  This despite the fact Milos Forman is a highly regarded, Academy Award winning director (“One Flew Over the Cuck/… Read full post »

AUGUST 12, 2008 4:35PM

Georgia and Finlandization

Dan Conley has a very insightful post today entitled “Georgia and Iraq”.  I urge all who would read this post to check out Dan’s as well.  I would like to expand a bit on that post with some additional historical context on the current hostilities in Georgia.


On… Read full post »


February 22, 1980.  The Miracle on Ice.  This is the Olympic moment that has remained with me most vividly through the ensuing years.  This wasn't even the gold medal game.  It was the sem… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 8, 2008 9:52AM

David Broder, Liar?

I'm reading David Broder's latest column, which discusses how in the past week each campaign is supposedly accusing the other of playing the race card.  This is a topic that has been way over analyzed, and little more needs to be said about it.  One item in Broder's column sticks out,… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2008 12:11AM

Toothless In Tlaquepaque

First of all, let me preface my tale by saying I love Mexico, at least the parts I have visited.  That includes fancy seaside resorts, as well as a seedy neighborhood in Mexico City that I had no business wandering.  I love the big cities, with their Renaissance Spanish architecture and/… Read full post »

Yesterday I took my wife, son, and his two best friends to the Bristol Renaissance Faire.    This is one of the premiere festivals of its type in the world.  Located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, about half way between Chicago and Milwaukee, it draws visitors from all over the Midwest an/… Read full post »

AUGUST 1, 2008 3:30PM

Thinking About Slavery


Race seems to rearing its old and ugly head this week in our national discourse.  I am reminded of an event that happened on August 1, 1619. On that day, a Dutch ship sailed into port at the fledgling British colony at Jamestown.  The crew was on the brink of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 31, 2008 12:52PM

If Bush Were President During Watergate

John Dean  Rove

As everyone knows, President Bush has used the prerogatives of Executive Privilege to prevent former aids from testifying before Congress about potentially illegal activities involving the Executive Branch.  The President has employed Executive Privilege to an unprecedented… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 29, 2008 11:39AM

An Historical Atrocity

It was 994 years ago, July 29, 1014, that the Byzantine forces of Emperor Basil II surrounded and destroyed the Bulgarian army of King Samuel.  The battle took place in a mountainous Macedonian valley near the Struma River.  A Hunnic people from the Central Asian steppes, the Bulgars began/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 25, 2008 2:30PM

Things Change...Or Do They?

In his book The World Lit Only By Fire, historian William Manchester describes Europe at the dawn of the Renaissance, as it emerged from the oppressive monotony of the Medieval world.  For hundreds of years there had been so little advancement in technology, education, and culture that one would/… Read full post »

JULY 25, 2008 12:51PM

A Boy and His Dog

Joey Albert 

This is my son and his dog in the back seat of our car, as we neared the end of our 3151 mile driving vacation last month.  The dog is named Albert.  He is smiling.  He always smiles when my son is nearby. Read full post »

polar bear 

6 years ago I joined the Sierra Club, and am a member of the Executive Committee of my local group.  As an active member of probably the oldest nationwide conservation organization in the country, I have tried to stay informed about the main issues threatening our global environm/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 21, 2008 11:12PM

1588, And What Could Have Been


A few weeks ago my blog featured a post called “Pivotal Events”, which are events that change irrevocably the course of history.  I listed ten such occasions, and several others in the OS community offered a/… Read full post »

JULY 21, 2008 5:32PM

5 Months Ago

It's been very hot this past weekend in Northern Illinois.  Not Arizona hot, or even Texas hot, but still hot.  And VERY humid.  90-ish and 75% humidity.  So I found this photo of my son taken almost exactly 5 months ago to the day.

on the trail 

 Doesn't this look inviting… Read full post »

JULY 19, 2008 9:08AM

Don't Go In "The Shuttered Room"!

                                    shuttered room 

When I was a kid in the late 1960's and early 1970's, a now obscure l… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 17, 2008 12:31AM

A Man, a Boy, and a River

                kish canoe river view

The man and the boy had been anticipating this day for weeks.  It would be the boy’s first time to go river canoeing.  The man, who considers himself reasonably adept, has been down th/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 15, 2008 11:42AM

Thoughts of an Independent Voter

I am not a member of either the Democratic or Republican Party.  I am one of those Independent voters that both parties need in order to win an election.  I have voted in every Presidential and Congressional election since 1976, and have split my vote between both parties.


Like… Read full post »

I work for a very large telecom company.  Every year, management employees are required to read the company's Code of Conduct, and pass a test on its contents.  Since each of the companies that are alleged to have engaged in warrantless wiretaps are progeny of the old Bell System… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 8, 2008 1:45PM

Number One



For Major Dale R. Buis, July 8 started out like any other summer day.  As usual, he missed his family, and he wondered what his small son Kurt would be doing today.  He thought about the Nebraska prairie, and how different that was from where he lived now, a/… Read full post »

JULY 4, 2008 1:07PM


I’m thinking about the incredible story the New York Times broke, reporting that the Bush Administration used the same “interrogation techniques” (i.e. torture) on terrorist suspects that the Chinese used to garner false confessions from American Servicemen during the Korean War.&Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 1, 2008 4:37PM

Uncle Earl

It was Saturday when Uncle Earl came to visit.  I was playing with my GI Joe’s in the den.  The Germans were searching for the American and British paratroopers, who were hiding by the fireplace, behind the ash shovel and fire poker.  When the doorbell rang, I assumed it/… Read full post »

My most memorable 4th of July experience happened during that greatest 4th of July in my lifetime:  the Bicentennial year of 1976.  I had just graduated from high school 6 weeks earlier.  To celebrate, I packed the backpack, caught the Icelandic flight to Luxembourg, and be… Read full post »

baumgartner exteriorbaumgartner interior

 On the square in Monroe Wisconsin. 

Clientele:  families, hunters, bicyclers, antique shoppers, German & Swiss tourists, Wisconsin wannabes from Illinois

On the bier tapper:  Berghof Red, Berghof Dark, Berghof Lager, Wisconsin Red, New Glarus Spotted Co… Read full post »