Islamic Jihad and the Crusades

Interesting video with maps showing jihadi invasions from 620 to 1920 vs. crusades from 1080 to 1260.

Perhaps the next time somebody brings up the crusades to make a point about Europe’s role in this apparently endless madness I’ll have to point out that the jihadi invasions started 440 years before the first crusade and lasted 660 years longer, and that only takes us to 1920.  Not much of a comparison.

And that makes me wonder if suicide bombers, attacks on diplomats and diplomatic facilities, the 9/11 horror and travesty, and all the rest of the hideous reports we endure with seemingly every night’s news thanks to “Islamic extremists” – does any of that get added to the thirteen centuries, the thirteen hundred year list of jihad?

At the U.S. National Archives: “Study the Past” and “The Past is Prologue” is etched beneath the stone lions that guard the entrance on Constitution.


Still Can Laugh

Pickles made me laugh today.

Earl showed Opal his newly

discovered sock removal-retrieval

system, using feet to remove,

then flip up and catch.

Earl waited for applause;

Opal regretted no current

talent show, no Ed Sullivan.


A few days ago putting on socks

didn’t first require a hot shower.

Kneeling to paint the baseboard

didn’t require leaning on a stool

to get down and back up.

Afternoon reading didn’t require a nap,

and sleep didn’t require a LazyBoy.


But the daily comics still summon me;

Earl, Opal, Charlie Brown, Dagwood.

No new requirements;

I still can laugh.

Snowstorm Memories

Good friend sent me some photos of the snow over-supply in New England.
Reminded me of the snowstorms in Michigan in the 80’s.  At that time I had what I called my “mini-farm” of 10 acres a few miles southeast of Lansing.  One morning of my dogs was rapping on my bedroom window to wake me up for her morning food.  That was only unusual because my bedroom was on the 2nd floor of my house, and she had crawled up on a snow drift to deliver her message.
Of course the kids loved it.  I had to have a guy come out with a front loader to clear the driveway, which was about 150 yards long.  He piled all the snow to make a small mountain the kids played on for several weeks.  For several winters after that episode my youngest two kept asking me when I was going to get the mountain back.