Sunday, February 28, 2010

High Technology

Good Sunday Morning to you all. We are kicking off High Tech Week here at OPOD with this picture of a woman listening to an old radio. The picture is from the 1910's. It is probably hard for any of us to imagine just how cool this was back then. If you want a challenge, you can try to identify the woman in the picture, and why she was famous.

Domestic Update:

I am pleased to report that things are going very well out in Chickie Town. I have been working on tracking egg production, and am pleased to be able to issue the following report. Below, we have a chart that shows daily egg production for the last week. The bars show eggs produced by day, and the red line shows cumulative production (read off the right axis). You can see that things are moving along very well.

In addition to tracking overall production, I am monitoring the production of each chickie. Below, you can see how each of the chickies is doing. As you can see, Miss Lilly, who was featured on the blog last week is a veritable egg laying machine. We have highlighted in red areas where improvement is needed. I have found that chickens are a lot like people . . . you have a few of them carrying the load for the entire group.

Below we are tracking the overall cost per egg of the operation. You can see that the cost per egg is dropping dramatically as the number of overall eggs produced increases.

I have decided that it is very important to encourage the chickens that are not performing to improve their output, so I have created posters which I have posted around Chickie Town. You can see in the picture below one of the posters posted inside the coup. This way, the chickies can check their production numbers as they leave the coup. Below, you can see Miss Lucy reviewing the chart. Miss Lucy has produced some eggs, but is one of the chickies in need of improvement, so I was happy to see her taking note of her production numbers.

Besides posting production numbers and motivational posters around Chickie Town, I also decided to try and encourage increased performance by featuring a Chick of the Week on the blog. We start today.

Chick of the Week: Miss Nelly

Name: Miss Nelly

Birth date: September 28, 2009
Likes: Hanging out with friends, Worms, Scratching the Dirt, and chasing bugs.
Turnoffs: Peacocks, mean chickens, dogs, and rainy days.
Her Ideal Rooster: The ideal rooster would be a good crower, and one who really knows how to strut his stuff around the barnyard. Big red comb a plus.
Best Friend: Ivy June.

So, hopefully with these new procedures put in place, we will be able to further increase egg production.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mystery Person

Good Saturday Morning to you all. It is time for Mystery Person Contest. Ready Set GO!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cowboys off the Trail

Today's picture features a statue by Frederic Remington called "Cowboys off the Trail". the picture was taken in 1904 at the World Fair at St. Louis. As some mentioned earlier this week, Remington was one of the great ones.

Picture Embargo Threat Level: Orange. The Picture Embargo Threat level has been raised to "Elevated" due to reports of Insolent Chatter in comments yesterday.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Today we feature a picture of the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. He created many of the statues of Civil War heroes found across the country. Of all the important artwork he created, he is most remembered for creating the design for the US "Double Eagle" twenty dollar gold piece. Many people consider this to be one of the most beautiful coins ever created.

Picture Embargo Threat Level: Green - No imminent threat of picture embargo.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Statue of Liberty

I really think this is a neat picture. It shows Frederic Bartholdi's workshop in Paris, as the Statue of Liberty is being assembled The picture was taken in 1882.

Good News! Due to the excellent quantity and quality of comments yesterday, Blog Management has decided to NOT issue a one day Old Picture Embargo. An Embargo is not under consideration at this time. However, visitors should realize that Blog Management reserves the right to issue a one day embargo should comments once again fall below minimally acceptable standards.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Statue of Freedom

Today's picture shows the Statue of Freedom, on top of the US Capitol Dome. The men are doing repair work. The sculpture was done by Thomas Crawford. Looking at the statue from the ground, it does not look this big.

OK, we got a whopping 3 comments yesterday. I have a feeling this is going to be a long week. Perhaps instead of Great Sculptors, the theme this week should have been Great Train Wrecks. Maybe that would have gotten a little more discussion going. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with this blog. Hmmm . . . maybe a one day Old Picture Embargo is in order.

Snow in Chickie Town!

OK, we got a big snow in Chickie Town last night. Lovie and the peacocks decided to sleep ON Chickie Town instead of IN Chickie Town. Boy they looked cold this morning. I wish they would use the nice peacock palace we built for them, but would rather sleep up top.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Paul Wayland Bartlett

Good Monday morning to you all. This morning we feature a picture of Paul Wayland Bartlett. He is the man standing in the dark suit. Bartlett was responsible for the sculpture work on the Pediment of the House of Representatives at the US Capitol. He is pictured here as the work is in progress. This is really a masterpiece. I think a lot of times we walk right by these works on buildings without hardly noticing them.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Henry Bush-Brown

Today we kick off Great Sculptors week. It actually got started yesterday with Gutzon Borglum, who did Mount Rushmore. Today, we feature Henry Bush-Brown. He was a great sculptor of the early 1900's, and he was famous for doing scenes with people and horses. The picture above is a great example of his work. I find this type of artwork amazing, and would love to have a bronze of the piece above. Bush-Brown did many of the statues and monuments at the Gettysburg battlefield.


OK, I promised a major announcement today, and here it is. I heard some commotion out in Chickie Town yesterday afternoon. I went out, and found all 10 chickens in the peacock palace. They were all cackling and carrying on. I went in, and there it was . . . the first egg. Mother and egg were doing fine.

It is interesting that it is Miss Lilly who laid the first egg. She was sitting up on the little laying box just singing and singing. All the others were excited as well. I found it interesting that Miss Lilly is the smallest of the chickens, and has been low on the pecking order, yet she laid the first egg.

Wanting to make the most of it, I did not tell Mrs. PJM, but hid the egg, and then got up early this morning to make her a spectacular breakfast. While this first egg was on the small side, as would be expected, I was most impressed with its quality. It had a very nice hard shell, and when you broke it and put it in the pan, the yolk was a deep orange. Also, the yolk was very firm, and did not flatten out in the pan.

So, I cooked Mrs. PJM breakfast, and had it all ready when she came downstairs, including toast on home made bread, and home made, hard cured, slow smoked Canadian bacon. She was wonderfully surprised, and went on and on about how it was the best egg she had ever had, and what a "peach" of a husband I was to get the egg thing set up, and for making such a wonderful breakfast.

Now, I must say that since I have achieved the coveted "Peach" status as a husband, I feel that the tractor is all but in the bag. I just need a few more wins like this, and springtime should most certainly result in a shiny little tractor out behind the house.

Also, I have determined that the breakfast above could possibly be the most expensive breakfast in recorded history.

1) Orange Juice - 29 cents
2) Canadian Bacon - 17 cents
3) Tea - 10 cents
4) Toast - 12 cents
5) Egg (Cost of chicken operation amortized over 1 egg) $8,000

Good news is that the next egg will only cost $4,000.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


There will be a MAJOR domestic update as part of tomorrows post. This is BIG!!!!

Mystery Person Contest

February 20th will be the day I finally defeat the Evil Nate Maas. It will be the day I defeat you all. I put a lot of thought in this contest, and I am quite confident none of you will get it. Let the Games Begin!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Earthquake Aftermath

Today we wrap up San Francisco Earthquake week with this picture showing the aftermath. One of the things I found interesting about these pictures is how they show that following the disaster people just got up, brushed themselves off, and got back to their business. Some of the pictures were almost surreal, as the people were dressed up, and walking down the street as if things were normal, yet they were surrounded by devastation.

Anyway, I learned a lot this week. Disaster can strike at any moment. Also, from the poll I learned that many people would not be prepared in the case of a disaster. I feel that the most important thing for me to ensure I could care for my family in such a scenario would be to have a nice little tractor. Perhaps I should discuss with Mrs. PJM this evening.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

San Francisco Burning

This is yet another picture of the 1906 disaster in San Francisco. You can see the smoke rising from the city from all the fires.

Yesterday I felt we really were developing an iron clad case for me needing a tractor. I started with having a theme this week of a disaster. Then a poll where people ponder whether they would be prepared for a disaster. So, talk naturally turned to how nice a tractor would be in such a scenario. Then some yahoo pops up and suggests that a "Tiller" would be a more affordable, practical, and effective tool. I feel we should pause a second and look at the big picture. The goal is for me to be a gentleman farmer, and have a hat like Captain Walsh. A tiller would never elevate me to the status of "Gentleman Farmer". At best maybe it would make be an apprentice gardener. So, I would appreciate if we cold all remain focused on the big picture.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

California Street

Today's picture shows California Street in San Francisco after the earthquake. The Great Merchant's Exchange is on the left, and the Fairmount Hotel is in the distance. I find it interesting that even with the disaster, people are still dressing nicely. I would have thought they would have just had "Jeans Week" or something like that.

I enjoyed reading the comments yesterday, and I am sensing a clear consensus developing that I need a tractor. Several pointed out that with a tractor, I would be able to get a garden put together. In times of disaster, we could eat produce from the garden. Mrs. PJM has grown quiet fond of the chickens, and this plan has the advantage that the chickens do not get eaten in the first week of the crisis. I feel we finally have a scenario that might actually work, as far as me getting a tractor.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Today we feature another picture of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. You can see the smoke of burning buildings in the background, and ruble from the earthquake in the streets.

I enjoyed reading your posts about your level of readiness if the grocery stores ran out of food. It really sounds like a number of you are fairly self sufficient when it comes to food. I could make it about 5 days on old stuff in the cupboard. Then, well, we eat the chickens. That gives us another 10 days. The peacocks are big, so six peacocks would take us about another 12 days. After that we would be out of food. I would love to grow our own food in a large garden, but unfortunately our house is situated on a rock, and there is only a couple of inches of top soil. Moving dirt in is a pretty expensive proposition. On the plus side, all of our neighbors raise cows, sheep, goats or pigs, so perhaps my best strategy would be to try and stay in good standing with neighbors, and have something useful to trade.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tent City

Good Monday morning to you all. Hope your week starts out good. We start the work week with this picture from San Francisco taken shortly after the Great Earthquake and Fire in 1906. With most of the city destroyed, tent cities sprung up. Reading the signs, you can see that these folks lost everything . . . except their sense of humor.

I am sort of surprised by the early results on the poll question. Half of you indicate that if the grocery store ran out of food, you could feed your family. I wonder if we have that many farmers as readers?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

San Francisco Fire and Earthquake

I must say that I am a little sad that Great Generals week is over. I enjoyed the lively discussions and comments. Appears the matter of the unpleasantness of '61 is still not settled in some people's mind. Anyway, we start a new week with this picture, from the great earthquake and fire of 1906 in San Francisco. The picture shows the hospital near the Union Ferry building. You can see smoke from the city in the background.

Domestic Update:

Several have asked about the peacocks and chickies. Sorry I do not have a picture for you this morning, but I can report that Handsome is getting a nice set of tail feathers coming in, and he spends quiet a lot of time strutting around all day. When he starts that business Lovie gets mad, and goes over and pecks him hard on the head. The chickies are all grown up, and are looking pretty much like full size chickens. I am sad to report that egg production has been somewhat disappointing. Total egg count to date is 0 eggs produced. I have a real good friend that has a little "farm" in Palo Alto, California. He has 10 chickens. He says his egg production is excellent. He is married to a wonderful woman from Vietnam. He says she runs a tight ship, and any chicken that does not produce an egg two days in a row goes in the soup pot. He says he is getting about six eggs a day from each chicken. So, maybe I need to go to that system and see if production increases.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mystery Person Contest

Well I am sad to say that Greatest Generals week is now over, and I had so many more Generals that we did not have time to get to. Well, we still have the mystery contest, which starts now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

We continue to explore the greatest generals who ever lived this week on OPOD. Today, we feature P.G.T. Beauregard. Beauregard was an author, engineer, inventor, and masterful general. As tensions rose in 1861 between North and South, Beauregard was in command of the area around Charleston surrounding Ft. Sumter. The south was adamant that Sumter should not be resupplied by Union Ships. As it became apparent that the North intended to both supply and hold Ft. Sumter, Beauregard's men completely surrounded Ft. Sumter and Charleston Harbor. Always the gentleman though, he would send regular supplies of Brandy and Cigars to Union Major Anderson, who was in command of the fort. Anderson had known Beauregard at West Point, and wrote Lincoln that Beauregard was in command of Southern men, and that he could be assured that Beauregard would attack with "skill and sound judgment". That he did, and on April 12, 1861, Beauregard gave the order to attack Sumter. And the War Came.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

James Ewell Brown Stuart

What salute to the World's Greatest Generals would be complete without a look at JEB Stuart. Stuart was a dashing officer, often sporting a peacock feather in his hat. On the battlefield he was all business, and one of the great Cavalry commanders of all time. Stuart was killed at the Battle of Yellow Tavern in the War. I find it interesting that he was only 31 years old at the time of his death. A short, but certainly magnificent life.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Man Week would not be complete without featuring one of the best generals of all time, General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson. Jackson remains a hero in the South to this day. He is remembered for helping to turn the tide at Bull Run, and sending the Union Army into a panic retreat back to Washington DC.

Jackson died from wounds he received at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Jackson and a small group of men rode behind enemy lines to survey the situation. Upon returning to his front line, the pickets mistook his group for the enemy, and fired upon them. Jackson was shot three times, although his wounds did not appear to be life threatening. As they were carrying him away on a stretcher, one of the medics was shot, and Stonewall was dropped, compounding his injuries. At first it looked like he would survive his injuries, but after his arm was amputated, he began to go down quickly. On Sunday, May 10, 1863, it was clear that he would not make it. He had some time to visit with his wife, and then he began to slip out of consciousness. As he was drifting off, he began to issue orders to General A. P. Hill. His last words were, "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees". I find it interesting that both General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, in their last moments, were calling out to General A.P. Hill.

This link is to an original newspaper article withh the obituary of Stonewall Jackson.

Monday, February 8, 2010

General Robert Baden-Powell

Man Week continues here at OPOD, and today we recognize General Robert Baden-Powell. We choose him not just because of his illustrious service to the British Empire, but because 100 years ago today, on February 8, 1908, he founded the Boy Scouts of America. So, we tip our hat to the good General, and all the young men in the Boy Scouts today.

OK, I guess I should say that the picture was suggested by the Evil Nate Maas. Normally I try to just ignore him, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Man Week

We have spent a few weeks here looking at things like hats, and women voting, and fashion and so forth, so, this week is going to be Man Week. We are going to look throughout history, and feature the greatest generals that ever lived.

We kick this off with the greatest general of all times. General Robert E. Lee. We love Lee because he was the underdog, and he almost pulled it off. The south had fewer men, fewer weapons, and fewer supplies, but Lee was able to almost always fight to either a victory or a draw. Through it all, Lee remained a man of honor.

Lee died on October 12, 1870. During his last moments he was incoherent, and was calling on General A.P. Hill to bring his troops up. Then, his final words were, "Strike the Tent".

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Contest Day

Today is Mystery Person Contest Day. So, have a look at this guy, and tell me who he is. Ready Set Go!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Woman Voting

Well, Women did finally get the right to vote, and this picture shows an early example of someone exercising that right. Sometimes I am surprised that with how hard so many people had to fight to get the right to vote, how few people actually take the time to vote these days.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Good Thursday morning to you all. We are getting close to the weekend, so I am feeling good. Yesterday you remember our Suffragettes got arrested for protesting at the white house. Today, we have a photo of one of them actually in jail. The conditions really look to be pretty miserable in there. I guess t was somewhat common for these women to get arrested during protests.
Last nigh I was reading all the comments from the last few days. After reading them, I went up and went to bed. Funny thing is I had this crazy dreams all night that SmartGirl had joined the Suffragettes movement, or maybe they had joined her movement. I could not figure out exactly what was going on, but the dream looked something like this. SmartGirl is the one in the middle.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


OK, all week I have been advising the Suffragettes to take it up a few notches, and perhaps not protest in neat straight lines. Yesterday, we saw them actually start a fire on the sidewalk in front of the white house. Today, we see them getting arrested, I guess they finally stepped over the line. I can not help but feel somewhat responsible. Perhaps they should go back to protesting in neat, single file line

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

White House Protest

This picture was taken in 1918. In this one the suffragettes have taken it up a notch. They are protesting at the White House, AND they have started a fire on the sidewalk. Also on the plus side, the words on the sign are higher contrast and more readable. My advise to this group is that they have too many words on the sign. They need fewer words, and something that would be easy for a mob to shout over and over.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Women Protesters

Today's picture was taken in 1918, and shows three suffragettes protesting in front of the Capitol (do you like the way I know how to spell 'suffragettes'?). Today, one of the signs has a message on it, which is a step forward. I still think they needed higher contrast in the banners, so they would be easier to read. I like how the street in front of the capitol is relatively uncrowded, compared to today.