Saturday, December 31, 2011

African Jungle

I had always thought of Africa as a large desert, but I have learned there are many very beautiful parts. In fact, much of the area along the equator turns out to be like a tropical jungle.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tribal Africa

Today we feature a photo of Tribal Africa. I admit I did not see anything this primitive during my travels here. This picture was taken in Kenya in 1936.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Royal Family

This is a picture of the Royal Family of Kenya in the early 1900's. At the time, Kenya was still under British governance, so I am not sure what role the Royal Family had.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

African Queen

Our tour of Africa would not be complete without some Royal Images, so here we present the Queen of Ethiopia. The picture was taken in 1933. The child is her son. I am not sure how long her dynasty ran, or if the child ever became King.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Today we feature a photograph of Zulu Tribesmen. The picture was taken in the 1920's. The picture sort of reminds me of the movie "The Gods must be Crazy". I don't know if any of you remember that movie.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Zulu Chief

Our tour of Africa would not be complete without a picture of the Zulu. Here is a nice photo of a Zulu Chief from 1905. I have not seen anything like this in my time in Africa. Some mud huts, but no completely tribal dress. Most people wear cloth clothes that I have seen.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day at the Baby House

Spent Christmas Day at the Instep Baby House. There were 106 babies and you were allowed to hold as many of them as long as you wanted. Christmas for this group was 5 jump ropes for the group. Also, usually meal portions are rationed, but today the children could eat all they wanted. Some of the older children were taken to the city dump, where several families live by picking through the garbage. These children took some tea and sugar and cookies to the families in the dump. 

Reason for the Season

Isaiah 9

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
 2 The people walking in darkness 
   have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
   a light has dawned.
-- - - - - -
6 For to us a child is born, 
   to us a son is given,
   and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace 
   there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
   and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
   with justice and righteousness
   from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
   will accomplish this.

Luke 2

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

My prayer for each of you is that you will be greatly blessed by God, and will strive to be a blessing to others in the coming year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

African Market

Today we feature an image of an African Market in the early 1940's. Again, this does not look all that different from scenes I am seeing today in Africa. I see a lot of desperate poverty, but I see people living in mud huts, not so much grass houses. Also, the people I have see have cloth clothing, I have not seen any real tribal looking people thus far.

Friday, December 23, 2011


The lovely Ms. EAM took us to Kipsongo yesterday. I decided this must be the saddest place on earth. People living is complete squalor. Everyone is sick, they are starving, and people are lying on the ground covered with flies. I realize that I should never complain about anything as long as I live.

African Rubber

One of the traditional products of Africa is Rubber. Raw rubber is collected from trees. The picture above shows a market where rubber is traded. I don't understand exactly what form the rubber is in in the picture. Perhaps someone can comment on this process.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Driving in Africa

Being in Africa has been an eye opening experience. It is much poorer than I had imagined. I had imagined to be something more like Mexico, but conditions are far worse. The video below shows a glimpse of what things look like on the 8 hour drive from Nairobi to Kitale.

Kenya, Africa

Today's picture is from 1936, and it shows a family and a mud hut in Kenya. Interesting thing is that you could take a picture just like this still today. Many people in the countryside are still living in conditions no different than these.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Road to Kitale

Today's picture is from the 1930's and it shows a car on the highway between Nairobi and Eldoret. We are taking this same highway. We first have to get to Eldoret, and then it is one more hour to Kitale. What I learn from this picture is that the highway was much better maintained in the 1930's.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nairobi, Kenya

Our Journey has taken us to Nairobi, Kenya. Now we must hire a driver for the 10 hour drive to Kitale, Kenya. The roads are unimproved, so I understand it is quiet an adventure to make the drive. We had a choice to hire a small plane, or a driver. Neither sounded too safe. So, hopefully you will be hearing from us soon in Eldoret, Kitale, and then finally Mattaw.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brussels Belgium

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights between Dallas and Mattaw, so we have been routed through both New Jersey, and Brussels. My hope is that our next stop will be Nairobi, Kenya, but there might be another stop in Africa first. No time to see anything in Brussels, we are just changing planes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Departing Washington Dulles airport

We are getting ready to depart from Washington Dulles to Brussels. Mrs. PJM has run into her first cousin in the airport. Come to find out he is going to Africa for completely unrelated business. Even stranger we are on the same flight. Downright spooky they have adjacent seats.

Departing DFW

Waiting for our flight at DFW. Just learned that our driver has gone on a walk about. So transportation from Nairobi to Kitale is uncertain. Hopefully he will show up soon.

Also I have made Mrs. PJM mad already. When we were checking in for our flight at united airlines the flight agent asked if we were together. I said "for now". Big mistake.

Dallas Airport

I begin my African Adventure this morning. We are departing from the Dallas International Airport. This is the first time I have flown since I retired in 2006. Traveling was one of the things I hated most about work, so my dream was always to retire and not have to travel any more. I am making a special exception in this case in order to get to visit the Lovely Ms. EAM. We will keep you posted on our journey.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flying Machine

We wrap up Travel Week with this picture . . . an improvised flying machine. I have a bad feeling that this thing never got off the ground.

Well, our trip begins tomorrow. I will try to keep you all updated. Lets hope for a smooth trip.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

British Imperial Airways

This is a great picture for our "Travel" theme this week. We have a car, bus and an airplane. The airplane is interesting in that it appears to be a passenger biplane. It looks like motors are mounted on upper and lower wings, but I can not tell for sure how many engines the plane has. The picture was taken in 1936.

Well, we are making final preparation for our departure on Friday. The lovely Ms. EAM assures us she will be in Nairobi to pick us up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Travel by Riverboat

OK, travel week continues with this photo of an old Riverboat. I don't anticipate traveling by riverboat while in Africa, but you never can tell. Now that I think about it though, we will not be far from Lake Victoria, the largest lake in the world, so maybe some riverboat travel will be in the cards.

The one part of our trip that has been up in the air is the leg from Nairobi to Kitale, which is a 10 hour drive over very poor roads. The lovely Ms. EAM just filled me in on the details of this part of the trip. She says she has rented a mini-bus. Upon further questioning a "mini-bus" appears to be much like one of those little carts you see in the parking lot at Disneyland driving people to their cars. Now, she says one of the orphan children is "a pretty good driver", so she has secured his services to drive the mini-bus. So they will drive from Kitale to Nairobi to pick us up, spend the night in Nairobi, and then drive us to Kitale. This could get interesting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Traveling in Style

This looks like the most posh travel set up we have seen yet. The picture was taken in 1937 and shows a nice car and trailer. Who would have been traveling in such style during the great depression . . . oops, look at the emblem on the door, it appears to be a US government vehicle. Oh well, as least some people had what they needed during the dust bowl.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Travel Week

Welcome to Travel Week! As you probably know, Mrs. PJM and I will be departing for Africa this coming Friday to find and visit the Lovely Ms. EAM. In anticipation of this adventure we will examine various scenes of travel this week. We start with this picture of travel by Reindeer. The picture was taken in Alaska in the early 1900's.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snow Storm

We wrap up Snow Week with this cold picture of New York City in 1910. Now this really looks unpleasant. Hopefully they all had warm clothes on.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fifth Avenue Snow

Today's picture shows a snowy scene on Fifth Avenue in New York. Hopefully someone familiar with the area can let us know if there is anything recognizable in the picture that is still there today. The picture was taken in 1905.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snow Scene

Today's snow scene is from New York City in 1905. I like how all the transportation appears to still be horse-drawn. The building is the Flatiron building. I wonder if it is still there? There is a very similar oddly shaped building in San Francisco.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snowy Street

My Snow Week plan appears to be working . . . we got a little snow yesterday. Nothing stuck on the ground, but it was nice to look out and see the snow. No snow in forecast now, but we will get some really cold days the rest of this week.

This picture is from 1905, and it shows a snowy street in New York City.

Monday, December 5, 2011

White House Snow

Today's picture features a beautiful snow scene at the White House. The picture was taken in 1938. Almost looks like a Volkswagen in the foreground.

Well, we have gotten a little rain here, and it has gotten cold, but so far, no snow. I will keep you posted. Also, if anyone out there is getting snow, let us know.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shoveling Snow

Today's picture is from the early 1900's. It shows men shoveling snow. The picture was taken in Washington DC. It looks like the men are loading the snow up on a wagon to haul it off. How are things done today in big cities with lots of snow? Do they actually have to load it up and haul it off? Where does it go.

We did not get any snow here yesterday, but we did get a nice rain last night, so that was most welcome.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New York Snow Scene

December is here, and I am hoping for snow. So, this will be snow week here at OPOD. We kick off the week with this snowy scene from New York City in the early 1900's. While I am hoping for snow here, things do not look all that pleasant in this picture.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Hindendburg

We wrap up Airship week with this picture of the Hindenburg. Yes, while we all enjoyed the pictures of elegant travel via Zeppelins, it all came to an end with the Hindenburg. The "lifting" gas used in the old Zeppelins was Hydrogen. There were two reasons for this. Hydrogen gas is the lightest, so gives the most lift when used in an airship, and secondly Germany did not have ready access to large amounts of Helium, which would have been the second best choice of a gas. The thing about hydrogen is that it is very flammable, and it is always prone to leaking. So, Zeppelins were in fact disasters waiting to happen. We share the famous news clip of the Hindenburg disaster below.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Travel by Zeppelin

This picture shows that the interior of the Graf Zeppelin was in fact quite posh. This shows the dining room. In addition to the dining room, the Zeppelin had individual sleeping quarters. The one issue is the airship was not heated, so it was in fact very cold in winter or when traveling over arctic regions.

This is a GREAT video that really lets you see the interior of these huge airships.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Army Blimps

While the large airships are most often associated with Germany, the US Army had a large interest in the craft in the 1920's and 1930's. This picture shows two of the airships circling the Washington Monument. It is generally recognized that most of the real innovation in this type of aircraft was done in Germany.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Parking Zeppelin

Today's picture features the tedious task of parking the Zeppelin. I am thinking you would have to have almost completely still conditions to put the Zeppelin in the Hangar.I wonder how they managed rough weather?

Interesting conversation yesterday in the comments on whether people would enjoy Zeppelin Travel today. Sort of a new version of cruising. I know people would enjoy it, but I wonder if it could be made economically viable. Given the Zeppelins had really limited passenger space (room for maybe 100 passengers), I would bet it would be quiet expensive. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Airship in Hangar

This is a picture of the Zeppelin parked in a hanger. The hanger appears to be on a floating barge. I was not able to determine where this picture was taken. As I have studied more about airships this week, I have been impressed with how much passenger space they had. The gondola is much bigger than it looks, and decks actually extend up into the lower portion of the airship. Hope to show more on the interior later this week.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Graf Zeppelin over New York

Today's photograph features a scene with the Graf Zeppelin over New York City. It appears to be a little foggy, so you have to look carefully to see the Zeppelin. This video shows what a grand event it was to have the Zeppelin arrive in New York.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Zeppelin over the Tower of David

Today we feature a photograph of the German Graff Zeppelin over the Tower of David in Old Jerusalem. The picture was taken in 1931. This week we will be looking at pictures of these grand old airships.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Crockett Ward and the Blogtrotters

We wrap up Folk Music week with this picture of Crockett Ward and the Blogtrotters. If I am not mistaken the man standing is Fields Ward, whom we featured on Wednesday. We present them singing "Sugar Hill" below. I could not really figure out what that song was about. Maybe one of you can decipher it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

First Thanksgiving

We take a break from Folk Singer week to wish you all a happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fields Ward

Today we feature another folk singer from the 1930's . . . Fields Ward. I had not heard of him before, but did find his music interesting. Below you can listen to Fields Ward and the Grayson County Railsplitters singing Way Down in North Carolina.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stavin' Chain

Today we feature another folk Singer . . . Stavin' Chain. The recording of him is another of Lomax's prison recordings. This one was done at the Ramsey State Farm near Otey, Texas in 1939.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alan Lomax

Folk Singer week continues with this picture of Alan Lomax. We feature him not so much for what he sang, but what he did. From the 1930's through the 1940's Alan went across the country and recorded "real" folk music from real people. One of the more interesting aspects of his project was his recordings of prison Chain Gangs and other prison work crews. The prisoners would sing to make the work easier, and the tools they used became percussion for their music. As an example of one of his Chain Gang recordings, we present Po' Lasrus below. 

Interestingly, this authentic Chain Gang recording was used in the opening scene of the hit movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" 

Even more interesting, they were actually able to track down the main guy singing on the recording, and he got a completely unexpected, and very generous check for the use of his voice.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pete Seeger

Today we feature a picture of Folk Singer Pete Seger. Pete is pictured on his way into Federal Court. 

As someone mentioned in the comments yesterday, it turns out that many of these early Folk Singers were communist, or at least communist leaning in their politics. But despite the politics, these guys came out with some great music. For your enjoyment we present some classic Pete Seeger below.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Woody Guthrie

We kick off Folk Singer week with this picture of American Legend Woody Guthrie. This week we will be looking at some of the old time musicians. I want to look at the era before music became so commercialized and "plastic".

So, for all you Woody Guthrie fans we share this recording. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prospecting in Pinos Altos

We wrap up Old Prospector week with this photo from 1940. The picture shows a prospector working his Rocker Box near Pinos Altos New Mexico. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures this week as much as I have . . . now to decide on a theme for next week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Today's picture was taken in 1903. It shows an old prospector in Wyoming, working in the area of Yellowstone. I love the hat . . .the turned up front bill really gives the guy a sense of credibility. I will admit though, I never really understood the "fold the front of the hat upwards" hat style.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

PIke's Peak Prospector

This is my favorite photo so far this week. It was taken around 1900, and it shows an old prospector and his cabin. He is working in the Pike's Peak area of Colorado. I like love the old stove, but wonder why it is not INSIDE the cabin. You also have to wonder what is in the little black jug.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Panning for Gold

Today we feature another old photograph of prospectors. This picture was taken in 1940 near Pinos Altos in New Mexico. I wonder if this was a hobby, or how they made their living.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Prospecting in the Sierra Nevadas

Today's picture shows a prospector in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The picture was taken in 1866. The man is using a Rocker Box to help in the prospecting. Perhaps some of our Gold Bugs on the site can better explain what a Rocker Box does. I do not completely understand what a white picket fence is doing in the background. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Prospecting for Gold

Today's picture was taken ni 1889 and it shows some Old Timers mining for gold. The picture was taken near Rockerville in the Dakota Territory. The men are Placer Mining using a Sluice. Placer mining is a technique where you are looking for gold in loose dirt or other sediment. 

Prospecting is still a major hobby in the US although you do not hear it talked about much. When I was in New Mexico I had a number of friends who were avid prospectors in their spare time. I will have to tell you that it is a little bit of a sickness. Yes, they would find nuggets, but the value of the nuggets would never come close to the cost of the equipment, gasoline, supplies and so forth used in their expeditions. They would love to come to work though, and show their exciting finds from the weekends. They always had that dream, though, of finding the big one, and the dream kept them going.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Old Prospector

It is a been a while since we have visited the men of the rugged outdoors, so I think it is time we have an Old Prospectors week. We start with this photograph from Idaho. The picture was taken in 1889. The prospector is Archie Smith, and he is prospecting near Eagle Creek. If you click on the picture you can see details of his camp much better.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today's picture was taken in about 1935, and it shows a very early form of commercial air travel. The plane is actually a twin engine biplane with closed passenger compartment. I had never seen one like this before. The picture was taken at an airport in Israel.