Category Archives: General

Palauan Hobbits

This one is just too cool to pass up. After evidence of small bodied humans appeared in Indonesia a few years ago, I got a series of comments regarding duendes, the mythical little people on Guam. I discounted them at first, but now little people just got a whole lot closer.
Anthropologists uncovered two caves in the Rock Islands of Palau with the remains of up to up to 25 people, all of which are of a comparable size with homo floresiensis from Indonesia. Yes, that’s right, little people in Micronesia. Holy taotaomona batman. Palau is sure a lot closer to Guam than Indonesia, which raises the probability that Guam had it’s own population of little people at some point in the past. Freaky deaky dude.

Enjoy It While You Can

An interesting and candid interview with James Lovelock, the biologist who came up with the ‘Gaia Hypothesis.’ His take on global warming? We are decades too late to stop it and all the things we are doing now will have zero effect in the long run. Carbon offets? Worthless. Renewable energy? It will never work/ Recycling? A waste of time and energy. Sustainable development? Empty words and gestures. Instead of trying to save a world that is about to disappear, we should be preparing for the chaos and disasters we are heading towards at an alarming rate.

His advice to people? “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.”

Test Something

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Well I guess I need to look into editing the stylesheets or something in this theme. I don’t like how it displays lists (most notably those daily del.icio.us linkfests – they look like crap).

My Father’s Eulogy

We buried my father last week. Steve gave a eulogy during the Mass, and I would like to reproduce it here. He said it was alright to reproduce, I didn’t want to infringe on his copyrights or anything.

Good Morning.
For those of you who may not know me, I’m Steve Strohmeyer. Child #6. The one between Jim and Tom in the chronological order. My mom asked me to come up here and say a few words about Dad. Although I find it very difficult to speak at this time, I’ll do it because my mother asked me to do it.
Let me begin by saying, on behalf of my mother and the rest of the family, thank you to everyone who came here this morning to say farewell to my father. It really means a lot to us. If Dad is looking down right now, I’m sure he’s pleased with the turnout. If I know my dad, I pity the people who knew him and are not in attendance today. He’ll be letting them know about it when they get up there. And they’ll be hearing about it for all eternity.
Who was Russell Strohmeyer? Many of you here today only know the Russell Strohmeyer that moved into Cape Albeon a few years ago. You probably just know him as Shirley’s husband. The guy on the 3rd floor who liked to play cards and always had lots of candy and snacks in the apartment. Dad would have been 86 in a few more days. Now only his sister, our Aunt Rosemary, can say they knew him that long ago. I’ve barely known him 45 years….a little more than half his life, so I can only relate firsthand about his life since then.
There are many words we can use to describe Dad; kind, opinionated, witty, proud, organized, determined, beloved. The list could go on indefinitely.
More than anything else, Dad was a devoted husband. He loved Mom dearly. I’m sure he considered their wedding day to be the best day of his life. He probably thought he was the luckiest man alive. I know my mother…he was the luckiest man alive. It would have been sixty years together in December.
He was a devoted son to his parents. I remember going over to visit Grandma Strohmeyer almost weekly when I was a kid.
He always cared deeply about his sister Rosemary. She has always been like a second mother to us kids. It’s ironic that in his final days, he would once again be sleeping in the room next to hers.
He was a father to seven children. Gary, Nancy, Rick, Bill, Jim, me, and Tom. I’m sure it wasn’t easy and many sacrifices had to be made, but I think we all turned out OK. Amazingly, he managed to raise seven children and for some reason his hair didn’t turn gray until his later years. I’ve still got a few more years to go on my two, and I can’t stop the progressive flow of gray.
And I haven’t even mentioned the grandchildren yet. He spoiled them shamelessly. I remember walking through the lobby of Cape Albion with my family after a visit, my kids with their pockets bulging with candy, and someone sitting in the lobby said “I know which apartment you’ve been visiting.”
He was very close to his extended family. He maintained close contact with most of his cousins throughout his adult life. This is evident when I see that the children of several of his cousins are here today. You obviously knew Russ well enough that you decided to come here today and avoid that eternity thing I mentioned earlier. Wise decision.
Despite all of this family, Dad always found time for his friends. Unfortunately, most of his old friends have also passed away, but I’m very glad to see those of you who are still going strong and wanted to be here to say goodbye. He’s probably already putting together a fishing trip with Art Rohmberg or Charlie Nester.
Dad was a religious man. I remember countless road trips where he would silently say the Rosary as we motored down the highway in the station wagon. I also recall frequently going to the Carmelite monastery on Clayton Road to light a candle and pray. This was usually done in conjunction with a visit to the Dash’s house. And now, after years of telling everybody else to do this, he can finally tell all his troubles to Jesus in person.
There are passengers in life, and there are those who sit in the driver’s seat. Dad was definitely in the driver’s seat. Oh, there was that time when we took a family vacation to Yellowstone and Dad let Mom take the driver’s seat for a while, but that was the last time that happened. I think we wound up somewhere in Idaho.
It seems like only yesterday that we were drinking dad’s ice cream floats. I’ll always remember Valentine’s Day as extra special in our house. Christmas was also special. We remember that Dad was obsessed with twinkle bulbs. And Mom truly appreciated Dad putting that red bulb over the garage door. I was probably 15 when I learned that there was such a thing as charcoal lighter fluid. Dad always poured gasoline on the charcoal and threw matches in the general direction of the grill. I’ll remember the well stocked medicine cabinet. I was in my twenties when I realized that penicillin was a prescription drug. Dad gave it to us whenever we had the sniffles. And don’t even talk to me about rolling newspaper logs for the fireplace.
For Dad’s sake I hope there’s no coconut, pineapple, broccoli, cauliflower, or balloons in heaven.
Dad was my great teacher. I learned so much from him. He taught me how to fish, how to ice skate, how to play bridge, how to invest money, and perhaps most importantly, how to be a father and husband to my own family.
Monetarily speaking, Dad wouldn’t exactly be considered a wealthy man. When I see how many people came here today to say farewell to an 86 year old man, I realize that he was wealthy in all the most important aspects.
I’m very sad that Dad has passed away, but he hasn’t really died. Each one of us carries a piece of him inside of us. As long as we can recall memories of him, that piece will still live. I intend to keep my piece right here in my heart. I hope you will also.
Thank you.

I know it was a hard thing to do Steve, so kudos to you and Nancy for getting up there and saying a few words. I know I could not have done it, I would have broken down up there on the pulpit, looking down at Dad’s casket.

Swiss Prepared For Nuclear Holocaust

Not only do they make nice watches and tasty chocolate, the Swiss are also pretty darn good and making fallout shelters. Seriously big fallout shelters. One of those weird things you rarely hear about, but apparently Swiss law requires fallout shelters on new homes. And the municipal governments provide mass fallout shelters as well – visions of underground bunkers, full of Swiss morlocks making watches and explosive chocolates for the Mad Max overworld come to mind.

Oh Yeah…

Since I’m finding the time to update today, let’s drop this little nugget out there…

I bought a truck. I bought a Dodge Dakota pickup last week. Traded in the Blue Torpedo. I’m pretty conspicuous now, driving around in a red truck with a canoe on the top. But it is a better fit with my life now.

Pictures to follow…

Happy New Year

I hope your 2006 was happy and fruitful and warmest wishes for a wonderful and prosperous 2007!

Here’s to the bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here’s to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Okay, while the title is still Raymond Carver, this won’t be another extended paragraph from one of my favorite writers. But I guess it’s an apology of sorts. My silence was abrupt and complete these last few months, and I owe all three of you an apology.

Dear readers, I fell. And I fell hard. I fell willingly, I knew it was doomed, saw it coming and I accepted it. And while my navel gazing on these web pages was becoming increasingly banal, I wrote odes and constructed eidolons in my personal journals. I will not parcel out those solipsistic writings for public consumption. Suffice to say I am not J. Alfred Prufrock. A more apt analog is Jake Barnes. And that is all I have to say about that.

Where I’m Calling From…

We are on the front porch of Frank Martin’s drying-out facility. Like the rest of us at Frank Martin’s, J.P. is first and foremost a drunk. But he’s also a chimney sweep. It’s his first time here, and he’s scared. I’ve been here once before. What’s to say? I’m back. J.P.’s real name is Joe Penny, but he says I should call him J.P. He’s about thirty years old. Younger than I am. Not much younger, but a little. He’s telling me how he decided to go into his line of work, and he wants to use his hands when he talks. But his hands tremble. I mean, they won’t keep still. “This has never happened to me before,” he says. He means the trembling. I tell him I sympathize. I tell him the shakes will idle down. And they will. But it takes time…