Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Florida Keys Extension Railroad "Dogbone" Artifact.....


Back during the 1990's I was contacted by Dan Gallagher who was with the Pigeon Key Foundation in the Florida Keys regarding some old bottles that had been found around Pigeon Key. I took a ride up to the Key and spoke with Gallagher who showed me several cases of bottles collected and had a nice visit of the museum. Gallagher was a very interesting man to talk to and had much info on the Seven Mile bridge that ran over Pigeon Key as well as the Florida Keys Extension Railroad that ran from Miami to Key West. The 128 mile railroad was built back in 1905 to 1916 by Henry Flagler and linked the mainland to the Keys and Key West...


During my visits with Gallagher at Pigeon Key he advised me to keep and eye out for small cement artifacts that looked like "Dogbones" that were used to test the strength of the concrete used in the construction of the bridges. At that time Gallagher did not have any examples of this artifact for the museum and could only describe them to me... 


Since that time Gallagher has written several books on the construction of the railroad and the work camps that housed the workers. Above is a page from his book showing the "Dogbone" artifacts with description. 


During this recent trip to the Keys I had the opportunity to dive the area again looking for old bottles known in the area. On my first dive I descended directly on two of these "Dogbones" sitting in the sand. I had hoped to find a few broken pieces for my collection and was happy to find a total of three intact specimens...


Specimens that have been submerged in saltwater over long periods of time must be soaked in freshwater for extended periods to leach out the salts. If not many artifacts like porous cement will deteriorate once exposed to air. Here are some of the artifacts soaking in a dish where the freshwater is easily changed daily. Both specimens are covered with marine growth and have been soaking for weeks at time of this photo...


I took one of the artifacts and cleaned it down to the bare cement to show the exact shape of the "Dogbone". This specimen will be allowed to dry out completely and then will be sealed in polyurethane for protection...


Research found that this type of testing is still in use and is used to determine the "Tensile" strength of the cement used in the concrete for projects. I found this photo of testing equipment recently...


Now that we have pinpointed a very productive site for these artifacts I hope to get back down to the Keys soon to continue the "Hunt"....





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Thursday, October 16, 2014

And yet President Obama plays Golf while ebola comes to the United States.....



Here we have the report on how while the country is dealing with the ebola virus spreading, president Obama plays golf instead and doing something about it......

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baitfish....

video

Trip out to the Vandenberg wreck South of the Florida Keys near Cudjoe Key....
Just hanging out watching the baitfish...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

And here they told us there were NO WMD's in Iraq?......


Isis storms Saddam-era chemical weapons complex in Iraq

Facility containing disused stores of sarin and mustard gas overrun by jihadist group


The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin.
Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern.
The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme.
Isis has shown ambitions to seize and use chemical weapons in Syria leading experts to warn last night that the group could turn to improvised weapons to carry out a deadly attack in Iraq.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10913275/Isis-storms-Saddam-era-chemical-weapons-complex-in-Iraq.html

Wednesday, September 10, 2014



To my Liberal NPR friends.....

All during the 2012 Presidential election you guys preached and reminded me at every opportunity that Romney was part of the evil 1%er's and that there was NO WAY he could understand or represent me as President...


But yet now I see you have no comment on or even mention that Senator Mark Warner (Dem) of Virginia has a average net worth of over $257,000,000, or $257 million, or quarter of $1 Billion, or how he could represent me?.......

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Senator Mark Warner (Dem).....


With all of the 414 Golf courses we have here in Virginia, why haven't we seen President Obama here campaigning for Mark Warner who has voted 97% of the time with Obama??......

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Buena Vista Labor Day Parade ~2014~

video

Several observations from this weekend’s Labor Day Parade down in Buena Vista, Virginia..
  1.          It’s nice to be able to show up at a decent time just before the parade starts as compared to getting there hour and half earlier and trying to coordinate volunteers, committees, officials, etc. (Herding Cats)…
  2. 2.      Ridding “Shotgun” in the float pulling truck is much easier on the paws. Easier to observe the crowds and point out interesting factoids instead of later “Did you see that?”…..
  3. 3.      As I watched Democrat Senator Mark Warner (D) crisscross the street many times trying to shake as many hands and possible (with dependent local media in tow) it was obvious and easy to note how many empty business storefronts he walked past. Something that he stressed in his speech after the parade was jobs and helping business growth. But yet the local media failed to ask the Senator of five years how this happened during his watch and what did he do about it…
  4. 4.      Sit back and watch the mass of Democrat (paid) college kids all dressed in campaign shirts wandering aimlessly with the candidate down streets they had never seen before. Obvious for none of these hirelings associated with or even talked with or walk with the Rockbridge Democrat float that was just ahead of the blue-mass…
  5. 5.      Note the numerous Republican yard signs that the Dem-muchkins blocked by putting the Democrat Warner yard sign directly in front of them. This is not new and many people see this tactic and comment it over the years. “Think you might win a person’s vote by doing this?”
  6. 6.      Observe the usual hundreds of Democrat Warner signs on the hill near the Maury River just before the pavilion. Again, obviously none of the “Paid” volunteers walking with the Senator are from this area or part of the local Democratic committee….  
  7. 7.      Senator Warner is known for his legendary perspiration during parades and once again no change. Only hope he sweats that much on election night. No worries, if in fact he becomes “unemployed” after election night he still has an average net worth of over $257 MILLION so he will survive. Sure, he understands what you guys are going through in Buena Vista…..
  8. 8.      After watching Warner’s speech I could only notice how he did not mention President Obama once during his speech. And Warner is a guy they tell me voted with Obama 97% of the time during his five years in the Senate…
  9. 9.      Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Delegate Ben Cline took the time during their speeches to point out the failures of the Obama administration and the support Obama got from Warner. The “Boys were off the Leash”….
  10. 10.   3rd Party Libertarian candidate Sarvis got to talk last and immediately picked fights with the audience from the “Left & the Right” at which time the Republican crowd left the Pavilion. Common knowledge is that “Libertarian” candidates tend to take votes away from the Republican candidate as compared to the Democrat guy. Needless to say it was fun to watch the hired Demo-college kids sitting there with blank stares wondering if they should still applaud the Libertarian guy who just got trashing their democrat candidate as well…..The “After Party”…..  


Friday, May 30, 2014

President Obama takes the resignation but forgets what he said in his book....


President Obama took the resignation from the top guy at the Veterans administration today and said this:
“With considerable regret, I accepted,” Obama said. “We don’t have time for distractions,” he added. “We need to fix the problem.”

But yet my same Liberal Democrats friends forget what Obama said back six years ago in his book that he made $$MILLIONS$$ off of from my same Liberal Democrat friends....

"The current Administration has consistently underinvested in the health care for our heroic veterans. ... As President, Barack Obama will fully fund the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it. ... Finally, an Obama Administration will take on the massive backlog of hundreds of thousands of VA benefits claims. As President, Barack Obama will hire additional claims workers and spearhead an effort to develop an updated training and management model that will ensure that VA benefits decisions are rated fairly and consistently and stem from adequate training and accountability for each claims adjudicators."
From the book "Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise," (NY: Three Rivers Press, 2008), p. 123-124

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Florida Keys Dolphin Championship ~2014~


Team "Signs Unlimted" out of Key West took First Place and over $25,000 in prize money by winning the Florida Keys Dolphin Championship with a 46.8 lb Bull Dolphin...


Team Captain and owner also owns and operates the "Signs Unlimted" production and sales location in Key West and is also a local resident. He was fishing the tournament with his family on the boat for the two day tournament.


This was the first time that this team ever fished a tournament and in fact stopped at the local hardware store on the way in to pick up frozen pre-rigged bait for the trip. I registered this team the night before at the registration party and the Capt asked me what to do if they caught a large fish. My advice was if it happened to slowly turn the boat towards land and make sure they got to the weigh station before closing or the fish would not count... Signs Unlimited arrive at the weigh station 2-1/2 hours early and paced the dock several times !!...





The FKDC "Florida Keys Dolphin Championship" encompasses the entire Florida Keys with District weigh in locations from Key Largo to Key West  providing the opportunity to weigh any caught fish at any district location...


The Florida Keys always provides a nice environment for this tournament and favored by both locale and out of state anglers...



This tournament provides numerous categories to compete in including a Female Anglers division as well as winnings for each of the five districts...


A predetermined percentage of the total winnings is automatically set aside and goes towards several local charities who provide volunteers during the tournament...




Registration night is always a party providing the numerous fishing teams to go over rules & strategies for the upcoming two days of fishing...



Many fine boats in this tournament including this 45 foot SeaHunter center console...




Tournament T-shirts always prove to be a popular item...








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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Visited Ottie...~1891 - 2014~


Every year or so I make the hike to the top of Bluff mountain which is SouthEast of Buena Vista just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and along the Appalachian trail to visit the marker for little Ottie Cline Powell. 


Back in 1891 Ottie and his schoolmates were instructed by their teacher to return with some wood for the schoolhouse stove after their recess period but Ottie never returned. The town came out in force searching the mountain areas for the boy but were not able to find him. Ironically one of the families friends brought a dog that knew Ottie well and the dog insisted in heading upt towards the top of the mountain but the searchers disregarded the dog thinking that there was no way Ottie could\would have headed for the top of the mountain. Ottie's body was found a year later and returned to the town for proper burial. Very good write up of this also posted here...


The hike up to Bluff Mountain is not a long one at about 1.8 miles but with a considerable elevation climb in a short distance. Nothing compared to the 7 miles that Ottie hiked from the schoolhouse... 


In the several hikes that I have made to this spot I have always found items left by the Applachian Trail hikers at the marker and have heard that several Thru-hikers doing the entire 2,227+ miles of the trail carry something to leave Ottie as a present of their visit. Also note that the neame "Ottie" is usually worn & shinny from the hikers rubbing the name. It is also common to see coins left on the marker to record the hikers visit and Dimes are common. This is a variation to the tribute used by many military friends to companions graves....

According to some, leaving coins on a headstone has very specific meaning for military burials. Generally speaking, a visitor who did not know the deceased well enough to be considered a friend might leave a penny. Someone who went through boot camp or a training class with the deceased might leave a nickel. A friend who served in another platoon within the same company might leave a dime. A buddy who served in the same outfit, or was with the deceased when he died, might leave a quarter.







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Monday, May 05, 2014

Exactly how hard is Terry McAuliffe working to get a Virginia budget passed?...






Candidate McAuliffe said he would NOT hold the budget hostage over Medicaid but where is the action & promise?...

Sunday, May 04, 2014

The Historical Bottle Diggers of Virginia bottle show...


This past weekend The Historical Bottle Diggers of Virginia had our annual bottle show at the Rockingham County Fair grounds with a great turnout and many interesting bottles\artifacts for sale and on display.


Upon entering people came to a memorial in remembrance of bottle club member and friend David Beyeler who passed away this year. A long time member of the club and friend to many involved in this hobby...


With over 70 tables this is one of the biggest bottle shows in central Virginia and has always had a strong draw of people from many States and other clubs. Many club members specialize in specific type of bottles such as Milk bottles, Medicine bottles, Soda\Beer bottles, Spring water bottles, etc.


Some dealers have been coming to this show for years and look forward to both the sales as well as trading with other collectors and dealers. There was some pretty intense selling & trading going on before the show began. Also there were many tables selling off "Old" inventory to make room for newer additions. I even meet another Scuba diver who dives near Richmond and has some interesting stories to go with many of the bottles he has found...



Numerous dealers from all over the east coast...




In addition to dealer tables there were several display tables of artifacts and collections. 



Club member Sonny S. picked up a impressive flask from Harrisonburg, VA. by W.H. Willis....



Sonny then picked up this very impressive "Black glass" bottle that is very old, possibly late 1600's - early 1700's and one that will be very interesting to learn the history on this item...



New addition this year was food prepared by "Shaney's Shack...




Gene D.  Indian arrowhead collection included a fish hook made out of bone...


Award for most educational display...






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