Disaster Comes When Men Go To the Wrong House
January 26, 2011

pinkerton_eye

Pinkerton Logo Coined the Term "Private Eye"

On This Date in History: A few years ago, Snow White and I were walking from Papa Johns Stadium and some event,,,probably a football game. We were walking back to the car and crossed the railroad tracks. Well, we were supposed to do that but I decided it would be faster walking the tracks. I started walking down the tracks and Snow White stopped, telling me to come back that it was against the law. Out of the darkness came a figure. It was a Pinkerton Man! Pinkerton Security provides the security for the railroad and he wrote me up. Snow White was right again.

Jesse and Frank James

Jesse and Frank James

Well, on this date in 1875 the Pinkertons got it wrong. The Pinkerton Detective Agency had been on the trail of Frank and Jesse James when it was hired by the railroads to catch the train and bank robbers. It was not an easy task. See, the James gang also had members of the Younger family and both the James’ and the Youngers had lots of friends and family in Missouri. Many of their relatives and friends had been partial to the Confederacy during the Civil War and considered the big railroads to be nothing but a bunch of Yankees. They thought the same of the Pinkerton Agency.

Allen Pinkerton Provided Security For Abraham Lincoln

Allen Pinkerton (left) Provided Security For Abraham Lincoln

Now, the men of the Pinkerton Agency were not too fond of the James Gang. Seems that one of their men, John W. Witcher, was found with a bullet hole in his stomach and much of his face eaten off by hogs. They thought for sure the culprits were members of the James Gang. The Pinkerton Agency must have let their animosity for the James’ get to them because, even though they weren’t entirely positive that it was the James Gang who killed Witcher, they went after them anyway. They had heard that Jesse and Frank often returned to their family farm. So, the Pinkertons waited until the sun went down and surrounded the James home. They threw some smoke bombs or flares into the home. To there surprise, there was a huge explosion. Jesse and Frank’s young half-brother was killed and their mother had her arm blown off. When the smoke had cleared, the Pinkertons found that Jesse and Frank were never there. Guess they should have knocked first.

Jesse's Mom Missing an Arm

Jesse's Mom Missing an Arm

After their keystone cops episode, the Pinkertons backed off a bit but they kept up the pursuit. They never got Frank and Jesse. Instead, Jesse was shot in the back of the head in 1882 by one of his own men, Bob Ford, who collected the reward money. Frank turned himself in shortly thereafter but no jury would ever convict him. He remained a law-abiding citizen until his death in 1915. As for his mother…she had quite the cottage business. Tourists could come by her house and for a small fee, they could hear of how the nasty railroad men and their disgusting Pinkertons persecuted her poor, innocent boys. Bet that performance was worth the price of admission.

Is This Floodwater?

Is This Floodwater?

On This Date in History:

On This Date in 1962, Jeffery Gordon Riley came into the world. Since that time he has come to be known as Flood Water, F-Water, Floods, F-Ditch, F-Dip, effrey and just plain F. Jeff Riley is a lot of things…and one of those things is a good friend to all who are fortunate enough to be able to call him a friend. Happy Birthday F.

Peru-Bolivia Beauty Contest Dispute Irks Diplomats, May go to International Court
August 23, 2009

Why Bother With the Costume?

Why Bother With the Costume?

I prefer Karen in the Swimsuit

I prefer Karen in the Swimsuit

The South American mountain countries of Bolivia and Peru have had numerous diplomatic disputes over the years.  According to the Wall Street Journal,  The level of animosity is such that diplomats have taken their pettiness to the dance floor.  Donald Trump’s Miss Universe contest is coming up and contestants are showing off their wares early.  Karen Schwarz doesn’ t have a name that one might associate with Peru, but she nonetheless is the contestant from that country.  She decided to show off an ornate dress and accessories with a multi-colored, horned headpiece.  It’s supposed to be a part of traditional dance associated with her country.  But, not so fast.  The Bolivian Foreign Minister has protested loudly, saying that the devil-looking costume and dance belongs to Bolivia!   A Peruvian Congressman said that the Bolivians were disoriented as he had traced the roots of the dress and dance to Peru in 1583.

The Bolivian president is chums with Venezualan President Hugo Chavez.  A story in the Chicago Tribune on the subject says that the Bolivian president  calls the Peruvian president “fatty” and says both he and former US president George W. Bush are the worst presidents in world history.  The Bolivian president accuses the Peruvians of theivery.  The Peruvian Congress has issued a strong denial.  And now Bolivia is threatening to take the dispute to an international court in The Hague.  For her part, Ms. Schwarz is calling for peace, saying that the two cultures are linked in brotherhood and that no one can claim the get up and dance as their own.  While Ms. Schwarz might be digging the publicity she’s getting, she may at some point wish that someone else would claim the outfit because the headpiece she has to lug around weighs over 35 pounds.    Believe it or not, but Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe competition has been silent.  I’m sure that won’t last.  But, isn’t it odd that his USA pageant got all sorts of publicity from the comments of Miss California and now this one has gained international attention from this?  You don’t suppose the Donald has a little PT Barnum in him, do you?

Don't Be Fooled! The Lady's A Spy!

Don't Be Fooled! The Lady's A Spy!

On This Date in History:   One of the most alluring hostesses in Washington DC during the late 1850’s and early 1860’s was Rose Greenhow.  I don’t think that one could really call her a madame, but at the height of her activity, she directed some 50 people, 48 of them women.  She lived a pretty short distance from the White House.  So close the Confederate General P.G.T Beauregard said she was within rifle range of the presidential mansion.  See, Rose wasn’t just a “hostess” but instead a spy for the Confederacy.  The First Battle of Bull Run was a disaster for the Union but might not have been so had it not been for Rose.  It might be interesting to find out how she obtained the information, but she had learned that the Union Army was to march on Richmond.  So, on July 9 1861, Rose  put a ciphered message in the tresses of one of her “couriers” who combed her hair for Rebel officers.  Out popped the message.  She did it a second time and provided the Union Army marching orders as well as the exact strength of the army.  Pretty specific stuff.  I betcha a young officer must have literally been caught with his pants down.    In fact, there were a bunch of officers and political officials who became pretty nervous on this date in 1861 when Rose Greenhow was arrested for espionage by ace-detective Allen Pinkerton.  But, even in jail she was still pretty good as she still managed to get secret information out the government of Jefferson Davis.  She must have gotten out of prison because, somehow, she tried to run a blockade off the North Carolina coast and died in the attempt in 1864 and with her died all of the secrets of who was saying what when and with whom.  Would have made a great tell all book.

Weather Bottom Line:  An early fall-like pattern has set up for a few days.  It will be dry with cool nights and afternoons somewhat warm but still below seasonal averages.  Probably low 80’s is all we will muster for at least the first few days of the week.

An Eye on a Tragic Day
April 14, 2009

 

pinkerton_eye

Night To Remember

Night To Remember

NY Times Titanic Headline

NY Times Titanic Headline

On This Date In History:  Two of the biggest disasters in US history, or perhaps even world history, happened on this date.  On this date in 1912 the HMS Titanic struck and iceberg and sank and on this date  in 1865 President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth.   Now…if that’s not enough of an oddity for you..how about this?  One of President Lincoln’s final acts of office was to form the United States Secret Service on this date in 1865, just hours before his own assassination.  The Secret Service was officially commissioned in July of that year but it’s job was not to protect the President.  It was formed in an attempt to thwart counterfeiting operations that plagued the Union during and after the Civil War.  That is why until 2003 it was under the United States Department of Treasury.  Today it falls under the Department of Homeland Security.

Allen Pinkerton (left) America's First "Private Eye" Keeps Tabs on Abe

Allen Pinkerton (left) America's First "Private Eye" Keeps Tabs on Abe

Allen Pinkerton’s detective agency was hired by the US government to be the main unit of espionage and counterespionage for the United States during the Civil War and he is credited with helping to spoil an assassination attempt on President Lincoln at the outset of his first term.  The Pinkerton’s claim that their founder was the first to organize the nation’s first secret service, but the Secret Service itself was not established until 1865 with its sole purpose to combat counterfeiting.  The above symbol adorned his agency and is widely thought to have been the influence for the term “private eye” for private detectives.  I believe it was Pinkerton who urged then President-Elect Lincoln to come into Washington under the cover of darkness to avoid potential assassination attempts in 1861.  It was at that time that Lincoln grew the beard that we now find so familiar, which also may have been part of his disguise but then decided to keep the beard because he liked it.  It was not until the assassination of President McKinley in 1901 that the Secret Service was requested by Congress to provide protection for the President.  The Secret Service is part of the Department of Treasury.

The Pinkerton Agency was around until 2003 when it was acquired along with one of its biggest competitors and folded into an organization that became Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., which is now one of the largest security companies in the world.

Weather Bottom Line:  Things went pretty much as expected.  The only real slam dunk was that the SPC would put out a Tornado Watch for our area and that was the case.  There were several tornado warnings in Southern Indiana but as far as I know there were no reported touchdowns.  There were several hail reports and also several Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.  The low that caused it all is pokey and so look for some shower activity on Tuesday and pretty cool conditions as we will probably be in the low to mid 50’s.  We start to come out of the bucket and by Friday we’re up to near 70 and low to mid 70’s on Saturday.  The bulk of Thunder Saturday will be pretty good though late Saturday the rain chances go up.  Guess is that at this point the rain would be after the fireworks. Let’s hope that holds true.  Rain is more likely on Sunday.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

Don’t Eye the Wrong House; Winter Storm Watch
January 26, 2009

pinkerton_eye

Pinkerton Logo Coined the Term "Private Eye"

Is This Floodwater?

Is This Floodwater?

On This Date in History:

On This Date in 1962, Jeffery Gordon Riley came into the world.  Since that time he has come to be known as Flood Water, F-Water, Floods, F-Ditch, F-Dip, effrey and just plain F.  Jeff Riley is a lot of things…and one of those things is a good friend to all who are fortunate enough to be able to call him a friend.  Happy Birthday F.

A few years ago, Snow White and I were walking from Papa Johns Stadium and some event,,,probably a football game.  We were walking back to the car and crossed the railroad tracks.  Well, we were supposed to do that but I decided it would be faster walking the tracks.  I started walking down the tracks and Snow White stopped, telling me to come back that it was against the law.  Out of the darkness came a figure.  It was a Pinkerton Man!  Pinkerton Security provides the security for the railroad and he wrote me up.  Snow White was right again.

Jesse and Frank James

Jesse and Frank James

Well, on this date in 1875 the Pinkertons got it wrong.   The Pinkerton Detective Agency had been on the trail of Frank and Jesse James when it was hired by the railroads to catch the train and bank robbers.  It was not an easy task.  See, the James gang also had members of the Younger family and both the James’ and the Youngers had lots of friends and family in Missouri.  Many of their relatives and friends had been partial to the Confederacy during the Civil War and considered the big railroads to be nothing but a bunch of Yankees.  The same was true of the Pinkerton Agency. 

Now, the men of the Pinkerton Agency were not too fond of the James Gang.  Seems that one of their men, John W. Witcher, was found with a bullet hole in his stomach and much of his face eaten off by hogs.  They thought for sure the culprits were members of the James Gang.  Now, the Pinkerton

Allen Pinkerton Provided Security For Abraham Lincoln

Allen Pinkerton Provided Security For Abraham Lincoln

Agency must have let their animosity for the James’ get to them because, even though they weren’t entirely positive that it was the James Gang who killed Witcher, they went after them anyway.  They had heard that Jesse and Frank often returned to their home.  So, the Pinkertons waited until the sun went down and surrounded the James home.  They threw some smoke bombs or flares into the home.  To there suprise, there was a huge explosion.  Jesse and Frank’s young half-brother was killed and their mother had her arm blown off.  When the smoke had cleared, the Pinkertons found that Jesse and Frank were never there.  Guess they should have knocked first.

Jesse's Mom Missing an Arm

Jesse's Mom Missing an Arm

After their keystone cops episode, the Pinkertons backed off a bit but they kept up the pursuit.  They never got Frank and Jesse.  Instead, Jesse was shot in the back of the head in 1882 by one of his own men, Bob Ford, who collected the reward money.  Frank turned himself in shortly thereafter but no jury would ever convict him.  He remained a law abiding citizen until his death in 1915.  As for his mother…she had quite the cottage business.  Tourists could come by her house and for a small fee, they could here of how the nasty railroad men and their disgusting Pinkertons persecuted her poor, innocent boys.  Bet that performance was worth the price of admission. 

 

NAM Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

NAM Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

Weather Bottom Line:

Well, there is some consensus regarding the snow.  But, things have flipped somewhat.  Before, the GFS was going bonkers with snow for Monday night and Tuesday and the NAM was less enthusiastic.  Now its the other way around.  The 00Z Mon NAM wants to throw out about 7 inches of snow from after midnight on early Tuesday through midday Tuesday.  Then it wants to toss out about .75″ of freezing rain or sleet before it goes back to snow late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.  The 18Z Sun GFS only wants to throw out less than an inch of snow and then freezing rain and sleet on Tuesday with some rain then back to the frozen stuff and ending with a little snow.  Now, the 00Z Mon GFS has more like 6 inches of snow from Louisville north with the snow total rapidly decreasing to nothing for the extreme southern part of the viewing area.  The Canadian and ECMWF

GFS Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

GFS Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

models both seem to prefer less snow and more sleet or freezing rain.  What makes some sense is that we get some snow…say 1-3 to 2-4 inches… on Monday night and Tuesday morning before we get a fair amount of time as sleet and freezing rain.  The low track would tend to push the warmer air up over the top and mess up the snow profile.  Further, the one model that has it being all snow or is the most bullish on snow is the NAM and it’s been a poor performer so far this winter, in general.  Bottom line remains that Tuesday morning drive to work should be interesting.  We are under a Winter Storm Watch Monday Evening through Tuesday.