Thursday Door – Day Late, 1 Door

I was just too busy yesterday to post my Thursday Doors offering. Doing…. ummmmm… nothing???!  Ah well, so for my door this week, I have a door from a small little lane on the lake south of our lane. I drove down this lane last week while I was driving around in our area looking for a lost dog. Didn’t find the dog, but did see this neat door. I really like the echoing of the arches in the windows, doors, and roof lines…

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details. When you get to Norm’s site, look for and click on….

The Blue Frog, and only the Blue Frog….

 

How 1922 Doubled My Life

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus at the age of 30. With Type 1 diabetes, the body has an auto-immune response, usually following an illness (I had the flu), and starts making anti-bodies that attack and destroy the Islet of Langerhans cells in the pancreas. The islet cells produce the body’s insulin. Insulin is required for nutrients to pass from the blood into the body cells. With the destruction of the islet cells, insulin has to be introduced into the body artificially. Diabetes has been recognized by the medical community for over 3000 years. A diagnosis of diabetes (type 1) was a death sentence within a year, at the longest. Until the 20th century.

On January 23, 1922, doctors and researchers at the University of Toronto (Canada) starting experimentally treating a recently diagnosed insulin patient (14 year-old Leonard Thompson) by injecting him with a refined sample of animal insulin. Leonard’s symptoms improved, and he went on to live another 13 more years by taking daily insulin injections. “The University of Toronto immediately gave pharmaceutical companies license to produce insulin, free of royalties. By 1923, insulin had become widely available, saving countless lives around the world, and (Dr. Frederick) Banting and (Dr. J.J.R.) Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.”   from History.com

By the time I was diagnosed 66 years later, the technology of injectable insulin has advanced considerably. Insulin by then was no longer extracted animal insulin, but was manufactured in a lab (recombinant human insulin). Pure, inexpensive, and GMO at its lifesaving best. I began taking multiple injections of insulin daily.

I have a cousin who is a diabetes research doctor, and he spent many years studying ways to implant new islet cells in the body where the anti-bodies would not locate and destroy them.  This line of research has had limited success. I participated in a research study a few years ago into inhaled insulin. But to date, the biggest advance in insulin therapy has been the insulin pump. The pump provides a constant flow of insulin via a subcutaneous catheter, and can provide a manual bolus, or boost, of insulin when eating or when blood sugar levels rise above a set level. Diabetic complications are greatly reduced when blood sugar levels are regulated.

The next step is the artificial pancreas, which will combine the pump with a constant glucose monitor that will work jointly to adjust insulin levels to continuously control glucose (sugar) levels. The FDA granted initial approval for such a system late last year.

Not a bad track record, to go from being able to keep type 1 diabetics alive with injections of animal insulin to being able to manufacture cloned human insulin and regulate its use artificially in under a century when dealing with a disease that has been recognized for over 30 centuries.

 

The Origin of the Illinois State Highway Patrol – Excerpt

The following is a short excerpt from my History Master’s Thesis at the University of Illinois – Springfield. An original copy of this work resides in the UIS Archives, the U.S. National Archives, and in the archives of the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation and Museum. If you would like to read more, let me know, and I’ll post more next Sunday…

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The Origin of the Illinois State Highway Patrol

Copyright 1998 © Kevin E. Hughes

Introduction

It had been raining hard for three days, and the dark, slowly churning clouds held no promise of relief.  Governor-hopeful Lennington Small sat in the back seat of his son Leslie’s 1919 Paige Touring Car, Illinois license number “8251”.  Len was a handsome, stocky man of 44, with balding head and bushy moustache.  He watched the rain collect into rivulets on the side window.  He could easily have been thinking to himself, “This trip should have taken me two-and-a-half hours at best!  Now I’ve been trying to get to Kankakee for almost a full day.”

How relevant seemed the haunting words of the journalist J.C. Burton, “… is the supposition correct that there are no highways winding through the fertile fields on which a speed of 20 miles an hour can be maintained without pounding a motor car to pieces and inviting Trouble to jump from Pandora’s box to the bonnet of the machine?”[1]

Candidate Small was headed home to Kankakee following a campaign tour by rail and airplane of Illinois. The Small campaign had shifted into high gear on October 18, 1920, the day in which presidential-hopeful Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding’s campaign train made its first Illinois stop at Kankakee’s Illinois Central Railroad depot.  An enthusiastic crowd greeted Harding, and he assured the assembled crowd “…that he and Len Small would carry Illinois.”[2]  Harding was voicing the campaign slogan, “Return to Normalcy.”  Small was promising to “pull Illinois out of the mud” by building hard (paved) roads throughout the state.

In 1920, Illinois was readily traversed in all directions by railway.  It was a reliable method of travel, although not particularly fast.  For example, in the early 1900s, three eastbound and three westbound trains stopped daily in Oregon, Illinois (100 miles west of Chicago) on the route from Chicago to Minneapolis, plus there was twice-daily service northwest to Galena. “It took from one-and-a-half to three hours to get 22 miles from Oregon to neighboring Rockford by rail, four-and-a-half hours to return on the 5:15 p.m. train… to get 16 miles from Oregon to neighboring Dixon took an hour-and-a-half by rail…”[3]  The Rockford to Oregon trip via horse and buggy, by comparison, took only four hours.  Illinois in 1915 had 12,157 miles of steam railway, and 3,760 miles of electric railway.  Yet by 1918, Illinois only had 427.77 miles of paved roadway.[4]  The main advantage of rail was that trains could run year-round, whereas the dirt roads of the day were impassable much of the year. In spring or fall they were merely mud-bogs and in winter were mostly deep frozen ruts sunk into the rural landscape.

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State road near Mount Carroll, Illinois

[1] J.C. Burton, ”The Rock River Valley and Its Cities” (1913), in Paul M. Angle, ed. Prairie State: Impressions of Illinois, 1673-1967, by Travelers and Other Observers (Chicago, 1968), p. 455.
[2] Mary Jean Houde, Of the People: A Popular History of Kankakee County (Chicago, 1968), p. 300.
[3] James J. Flink, The Automobile Age (Cambridge, 1992), p. 137.
[4] Louis L. Emmerson, ed. Illinois Blue Book: 1917/18 (Springfield, 1917), p. 383.

©Kevin E. Hughes  and http://www.msgt3227blog.wordpress.com, 1998 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin E. Hughes and msgt3227blog.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Note: I have decided that publishing the entirety of my thesis would exhaust/fill my storage capacity on my blog, so I have opened a dedicated site just for this history. It is located at:  https://illinoishighwaypatrol.wordpress.com/.

The Stars and Me

I love this poem! It is cheerful, optimistic, and just darned fun!!!

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Victoria has us repeating ourselves over at d’Verse Poets Pub
I’ll Say It Again (and Again and Again)


The Stars and Me

I thought I saw the stars wink at me
As if they knew my secret
I thought I heard the stars whisper
As if they might be gossiping
I thought I felt the stars hopping
As if they could share my joy
I thought I whiffed the scent of stardust
As if the stars were blooming
And so I turned my face up
To the sky and blew the stars
A kiss

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Thursday Doors – Desmond Castle, County Cork

My offering for Thursday Doors this week comes to us courtesy of my older brother, Nik! He read my posting about the heavily debated “Hobbit Door” and sent me a picture of a (much younger) me standing next to what might just be another Hobbit door. He took this of me in 1994 at Desmond Castle (Caisleán Deasmhumhan) in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. He and I were on vacation with my parents…

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The following information about Desmond Castle comes from Heritage Ireland.

“Desmond Castle was built by the Earl of Desmond c. 1500. A fine example of an urban tower house, the castle consists of a three storey keep with storehouses to the rear.  Originally built as a Customs house, the castle also served as a prison in the 18th century (it is known locally as the French Prison) an ordnance store during the Battle of Kinsale (1601) and as a workhouse during the Great Famine. By the early decades of the 20th Century Desmond castle had fallen into decay. It was declared a National Monument in 1938.  Today Desmond Castle hosts the International Museum of Wine Exhibition, an intriguing story that documents the unique history of Ireland’s wine links with Europe and the wider world.

Location: In Kinsale town, 300 metres from Garda (Police) barracks along Cork street. Close to Carmelite Friary.”

And, the Blurb: Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details. When you get to Norm’s site….NO LUKE…USE THE BLUE FROG, LUKE!!!

Eagle Ice & Fish Heads

I just asked The Mrs if she was familiar with the song, “Fish Heads”, by Barnes and Barnes. She immediately started singing it, which truly surprised me because she is not normally so well versed with 70’s & 80’s music, especially the quirky stuff like, well, Fish Heads! This is the link to the original short movie from 1978

If you have noticed my banner photo for the past week or so, you may have noticed that it is two Bald Eagles sitting on the ice just east of our dock here on Lake Springfield. I took that picture on December 28th. A couple days later, the temperature outside got warm enough for the ice to melt. This past week, the temps dropped again close to 0 degrees F, and the lake froze again. Two days ago, the young eagle was back again, this time flying over a flock of geese , looking for injured or sick ones. All the geese were healthy, so the young predator flew off, headed back (I assume) to what is affectionately called Bird Island. The eagles have a huge nest on the small island. It is illegal for humans to go onto the island in order to protect the variety of birds that nest there.

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So…after the ice melted the first time around a couple weeks ago, I was down by the shoreline taking Lester (the cat) for a walk, and we both were surprised to see a catfish carcass lying in the rip-rap, mostly eaten.  Of course, I stumbled down to the water’s edge, grabbed the fish (head), and carried it up to the back deck and positioned it so it faced in towards the living room window in order to impress The Mrs…

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I put the soda can next to the F-H for perspective, not cuz dead catfish are particularly fond of diet root beer…

The next morning, the fish head was lying on the deck under the table, totally devoid of skin or meat of any sort. Raccoons… And the following morning, the F-H skull was gone, never more to been seen. The Mrs, I’m certain, was very disappointed!!!

 

 

Thursday Doors – South Saint Paul

Context first: Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details. When you get to Norm’s site….USE THE BLUE FROG, LUKE!!!

Disclaimer: The following 3 photographs might be slightly disturbing for the meek, the easily intimidated, or the normally adjusted… so proceed at your own risk.

Who: Two young US Army vets and their new and growing family.

What: The little house they were renting in a new, growing, working class subdivision.

When: It was winter of 1958. In December. Sometime before Christmas.

Where: South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Exhibit #1: First photo showing the front of house, and how basic it was. This is your Two-fer shot… front door and side door all in one view!!

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Exhibit #2: Second photo showing the back of the house, and how stark the little subdivision was.

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Exhibit #3: Third photo is a close up of the front door and, clockwise from the lower left, Lobo (German Shepherd pup), Nancee (ret. Sgt WAC), Nickie (oldest human pup), Kevie (future Old Guy Walking and second oldest human pup).

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Summary: The fanciest part of the whole house is/was the metal scroll-work holding the number plate… and I STILL have mittens on a string that goes from one to the other!

Thursday Doors – Vienna, Österreich

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details.

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Wien, Österreich – 2007

I have enjoyed riding my bicycle for fun, exercise, and basic transportation since I was a kid. I convinced The Mrs in 2007 that we should take a bicycle trip for our anniversary that year. Grace had not ridden her bike like I had, so we settled on a sag-supported trip along the Danube (Donau) River from Germany to Vienna (Wien). No major changes of elevation on the bike paths, and mostly on paved surfaces.  We had a wonderful trip. Once in Vienna, we surrendered our rental bikes and explored on foot. Back then, I was not a door fueled freak like I am these days, so most of my photos that might even somewhat include a door were either from a panoramic shot of an entire building or block of buildings, or of a detail of architecture adjacent to a door. THIS photo is of a balcony door to a loft apartment I assume, and it just absolutely fascinated me. The photo below is of another loft apartment… I believe these were near the Naschmarkt .

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Couple more gratuitous building photos from Wien… (sans doors I am afraid.)

 

Keep up…

I am just now trying to catch up on all the New Year’s Day postings by all the bloggers I follow. I spent yesterday, New Year’s Day, outside most of the day, so I spent very little time with either the computer or the iPad… It was a sunny and brisk day (in the 40’s), with little wind blowing, so no wind chill to notice.

So a theme from a number of people is Resolutions. I seem to remember making my last NY resolution sometime in the last century. I resolved to never make another resolution ever again. Have pretty much stuck with that one too. Too laid-back otherwise, I guess. Instead, I have mentally made a list of Goals for this year.

Travel and camp and hike more. The Mrs is already planning this for us, so I guess I am cheating… But she is such a great travel planner/organizer! I only get in the way. So, she mentioned Florida, I added, “what about Gulf Shores and then New Orleans?” Goal being objectified and progressing towards execution…. And this also includes planning an overseas trip to explore more of the UK, maybe EU. We already have our train reservations to/from New York, so the framework of the trip is established. Next is our transatlantic ship bookings (I hate flying commercially! HATE it!!!). And then we just have to fill in the little tiny eensy-weensy details from there. You know, who, what, where, when, how. And HOW MUCH??? My one demand for the trip is to visit Charles and Anne at Veddw…the rest, I defer to The Mrs.

Writing. A great number of the bloggers I follow participate in unique Challenges online. I find them interesting, but have not felt compelled to join in (except for Norm’s Thursday Doors – but this is about photos of doors, not a writing challenge). I am setting my own challenge in response therefore. My writing goal is to edit my own historical writings from the past and publish them on line, specifically my senior thesis (about Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP), and my Master’s Thesis (about the Origins of the Illinois State Police.) I also have some of my (non-history themed) creative writings I kept from my writing classes that I would like to revisit and post…

PostScript. “Keep up…”, the title of this posting comes from (drum roll)… The Mrs! The very first time I EVER saw The (future) Mrs, was at one of her one-woman comedy shows back in 2004. She was talking about how she’ll start talking about one thing, then zoom off in another direction with another thought and so on, and it is important to KEEP UP and not get that glazed and confused look on your face that (some) men get when she is talking to them (Not ME, right dear?).