This week is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, one of the most decisive naval battles in American history, and possibly in world history. It was certainly the first major Allied victory against the Japanese fleet in World War Two.
Why is this American victory called a “miracle”, most notably by renowned historian Gordon Prange in his bestseller Miracle at Midway? Because the possibility of an American victory seemed so remote, and the circumstances of the American victory were so unlikely.
As anyone who knows me well already knows, I am half Portuguese on my father’s side. His family came from the Azores, and as it turns out we also have converted Portuguese Sephardic Jews on his mother’s side of the family. Anyway, I have always loved Portuguese cuisine, and as I have gotten older I have come to appreciate Portuguese culture and history a lot more. Kelly and I originally planned to visit Portugal and France (my mother’s family is French-Canadian) on our honeymoon, but circumstances and finances prevented it. Perhaps one day we will get to go. I hope so.
Anyway, recently the Netherlands released a tourism promotional video that poked a lot of fun at our new President. It’s easier if you see it rather than me try to explain what they did. But it is hilarious. See the original below.
It’s been a while since I have written anything about Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. I have been struggling to figure out what to talk about. Then the other day Kelly and I were talking, and it occurred to me that Donald Trump and Cersei Lannister actually have quite a bit in common.
Over the last couple of days, we had our first nor’easter since we moved to Winthrop. The storm caused wind speeds here near the coast to pick up quite a bit, and as result there was a pretty heavy surf along the beaches here too.
While I have been in parades and candlelight vigils and such, I have never been in what could be called a political protest until this weekend. But I am glad I did it. In fact, it has given me a great deal of satisfaction, and has cheered me up somewhat from what has been for some time a generally dark mood. The crowd ended up being MUCH bigger than was originally anticipated. I think they were expecting maybe 90,000 people, but the totals were probably more like 150,000 to 175,000.
I would never have imagined that I would look back on the Presidency of George W. Bush with any type of nostalgia. And I certainly never imagined that I would live to see a Presidency that was not only worse than Bush’s, but is well on the way to topping the administration of James Buchanan as the absolute worst Presidency of all time.
I haven’t done a lot of posts lately, much less history posts. But today is an important anniversary, and will probably be the last major anniversary for this event in which there are still a number of people alive who remember it.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was one of those events that defined my grandparents’ generation, and virtually everyone could tell you where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. And of course, President Roosevelt’s speech to Congress the following day is one of the most famous in American history.
Yes, 2016 has not been a great year for all sorts of reasons. In that sense. John Oliver is right (see below, and definitely not safe for work).
We can’t wait for it to be over either.
Yes, there have been some good things that happened this year. Kelly and I finally have a house of our own, and we love it. Just this past weekend we put up our Christmas tree for the first time in several years. I was smiling from ear to ear. I just couldn’t help myself. As silly as it might seem to some people, putting up the tree in our living room as we listened to Christmas music was one of the most serene and happy moments I have had in a long, long time. It meant the world to me.
Also, there was the addition of little Violet to our family a few weeks after we moved to Winthrop, and we love her very much. She is an absolutely sweet and affectionate little thing and we could not have hoped for a better addition to our little family. She has found all sorts of little places around the house to sleep, and one of my favorite things to do around the new house is to find the new places where she has decided to sit and/or nap.
We spent our Thanksgiving day in New Hampshire at my sister Liz’s house, after picking up my Aunt Donna from her place (also in NH now) and heading over to have Thanksgiving as a late lunch. And we had a pretty good time, all things considered. Luckily, we managed to avoid all discussions of politics.
So yes, while I can’t avoid discussing politics forever, I am going to put off talking about it for a little because I wanted to end this post on a positive note. While I have much to see about current events I will still try to put up some more pictures of the new place, as well as some pictures of all of our furry “kids” together. It is the season for that sort of thing.
Much love to all our family, friends and acquaintances.