Monthly Archives: June 2020

Christmas Letter 2018

Dear friends and family.

I hope this season brings happiness to you and yours.

We had an exciting 2018. I had hoped to add pictures, but had hard drive failure again.

In March of 2018 I again took the whole family to Mars for a couple of weeks. This time we followed the latest rover for a couple of hours and had to watch out to not get photographed. The kids thought it was a great game.

The Martians still sneak in at night and put items around it that look a lot like earth creatures. They have a great sense of humor.

The Martian who dusts off the rover’s solar panels every night when it is down, is still at it and nobody at NASA can figure it out what is happening. One day we may tell them…or maybe not.

The most exciting part of the trip was visiting the Martian Museum where the Martians have gathered together all of the old landers and pieces of the first attempted landings. Strangely, some looked like they might not have come from earth.

They also have quite a number of interesting items in their souvenir shop. We bought a few. They are still in quarantine, being checked for contamination.

The Martians were really interested in buying Steve’s “Marvin the Martian” shirt, but he wanted to keep it. He did get it autographed, by several of them. We aren’t sure what it says since the entire Martian alphabet has not been translated as of yet.

Oh, that reminds me. When we arrived on Mars we were greeted by a welcoming committee of Martians wearing “Marvin the Martian” masks. As I said before, they have a great sense of humor.

On our way back we visited the American colony on the back side of the Moon. They were celebrating the colony’s 40th anniversary. They were happy to see us again, as were the Odnisors at the nearby “alien” colony who made my spaceship for me. I’m sure I told you how I came in contact with them. It is all in my story at: www.dougstepsout.com/category/novels/bsement-51/

I was really delighted to find out that with some help from our colony’s doctors they were able to finally solve the problem they were having with the survival of their eggs. It turned out to be a trace mineral that had somehow disappeared from their diet and been overlooked. Everything is fine now and they are going to stay.

Steve decided that he and his son, James, would like to stay on the moon for a while so he could see what new inventions the Odnisors and come up with. If you recall, they originally had colonies on Earth and gave us most of what we know in the way of architecture, electronics, etc.

I went back and picked them up two weeks later. James loved playing with the silly moon dogs and jumping high in the lower gravity. He really wanted to have a moon dog as a pet, but they are so difficult to keep alive on Earth, because of the higher gravity, that we thought it would be better not to. Maybe when he is older.

We spent a few days July in NOAA’s deep-sea living quarters near the bottom of the Marianas Trench. The sea at that depth, 36,000 plus feet, has some very interesting creatures living in it. Erika and Stella, my daughter and granddaughter, thought some of them looked a lot like the grey crawlers that live on Mars. I am sure you remember hearing about them and the other Martian life in my letter a few years back.

My time machine is working well and undergoing final tests on some improvements. Machine is probably not the right word, since what it does is just open a small portal to the past. Contrary to what Einstein said, we were able to go back in time, and have now proven that anything we do has already happened, so we are bot going to change history.. My grandson, Harris, wants a small dinosaur for a report he is making on them. We have already obtained a few “chicken sized” ones for several universities, but I am not sure he needs one of his own, report or not.

Our gold mine is doing quite well. We opened it through my basement by using the small mining equipment the Martians loaned us. We are recovering around 30 ounces a day with very little work.

Everybody is in good health and looking forward to our trip to the top of Mount Everest in 2019. If you recall from my previous letters, I landed there a few years ago and surprised a number of climbers by coming out from behind a rock in my shorts, Hawaiian shirt and straw hat, and offering them bottles of beer. Fortunately for me it was a sunny day.

This time we plan to hover near the top, get out, plant a flag and take selfies. Then we will land at the highest flat spot and look around. We hope to bag up some of the garbage left by the climbers and bring it down.

Have a great 2019

Doug Noble and family, Steve, Karen, Erika, Roy, Stella, Harris and James..

REMEMBER, BECAUSE SOME OF THIS INFORMATION IS CONFIDENTIAL, THIS LETTER WILL DESTROY ITSELF IN TEN MINUTES AFTER BEING OPENED OR IF YOU TRY TO COPY IT…. YES, UNCLE HENRY, WE KNOW YOU TRIED TO DO THAT. DID YOUR HAIR EVER GROW BACK?

Criminal Annals, Part 135 – Heavy Robbery

Continuing with the October 4, 1852 edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we return to the “From the Interior” articles from Shasta, Sonoma and San Jose.

“SHASTA.

HEAVY ROBBERY. – It has been reported that Mr. L. H. Sanborn, of Sanborn’s ranch. Was robbed a few nights since of $4000. His house was entered about ten o’clock at night and the money was taken from beneath his pillow. We have seldom heard of such a bold and daring robbery.”

“SONOMA.

“ The Bulletin, speaking of the improvements in that delightful region, says that Gen. Vallejo has completed a beautiful cottage on what is known as the “spring property.” The spring from which the bath-house is supplied furnishes from 20 to 30 gallons of water per minute, irrigating a fine garden and vineyard of about 30 acres. The willows around the spring afford a pleasant retreat in warm weather, and is much visited by citizens and strangers.”
Note: General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo (1807-1890) was the Mexican military commander of northern California in 1846, when a group of Americans showed up at his home and, after devouring most of his food and wine, took him prisoner. This was the famous “Bear Flag Revolt,” in Sonoma which took place on June 14, 1846. Once the United States defeated Mexico in the war, Vallejo proved his allegiance to his new country by persuading wealthy Californios to accept American rule. An influential member of the state’s Constitutional Convention, he was elected as a member of the first session of the State Senate in 1850.

The Vallejo Estate in Sonoma, also known as Lachryma Montis (crying mountain), is part of the Sonoma State Historic Park. The Rancho Petaluma Adobe, the largest example of the Monterey Colonial style of architecture in the United States, is part of the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park. Due to financial restraints, both of this parks have limited hours of operation.

“A panther weighing 200 pounds was killed last Saturday at Mr. Spence’s farm, about two miles from Sonoma. He had been prowling in that neighborhood for some time, and it is supposed killed several colts belonging to Mr. Spence.”

“SAN JOSE.

“From the Santa Clara Register [1852-1853, San Jose. Preceded by the Visitor, 1851-1852, and ultimately became part of the San Jose Mercury News] of Thursday, we extract the following:

“STABBED. – Last Sunday night, about ten o’clock, an Indian was found on Market street, near the Plaza, with a dangerous knife wound in the left side, and several other severe cuts in other parts of the body. It is not known by whom the deed was committed, the Indian being too drunk to give any account of the affair.

“On Monday morning last, the body of an Indian was found on a vacant lot on the south side of Santa Clara street, in a shockingly mutilated state. It is supposed that the Indian was killed on Sunday night, but as yet we have no clue to the murderer.

“An American, name unknown, was killed on Tuesday night, two miles above this city, near the Townsend House. Particulars not known at present.

“A man by the name of Porter was shot by the guard of the county jail on the night of the 19th inst. It seems that Porter had gone near the guard and upon being hailed several times and failing to answer, the guard very naturally suspected his motives and fired upon him. We are pleased to state that the wound though severe is not dangerous, and that the unfortunate man is now convalescent. It was only through Porter’s inadvertency in failing to answer when hailed, that he was shot.

“On Monday morning, a Pennsylvanian by the name of James Blair, was found murdered in the south-eastern portion of San Jose.”

Following this article is the usual, but often entertaining report from the Recorder’s Court.

“Recorder’s Court. – Before Judge McGrew. Saturday, Oct. 2

“Attendance slimmer than usual this morning and not so many colors to variegate the scene.

“Jonathan Harold, for assault and battery on the person of Levi Welber. Found guilty and fined $10 and costs – in all $30.

“Harry, from Bombay, for drunkenness and disorderly conduct. This was Harry’s first offense, and didn’t amount to anything, at that; so he was permitted to vamos [Spanish – leave hurriedly. Anglicized to “vamoose.”]

“James Hinnessy, for threats made against the person of Blanch Ellis, one of the frail daughters of Eve. Found guilty, and bound over in the sum of $500 to keep the peace for three months.”

Amongst the advertisements in the latter pages of the paper is an article entitled, “From the South,” meaning information from southern California. It starts with the hearings on the claims for land issued by the Spanish and Mexican governments, but then adds additional information.

“We are indebted to the Alta [Alta California, San Francisco, 1849-1891. Descended from the California Star, 1847-1849] for the following summary:

“LATER FROM THE SOUTH. – The steamer Sea Bird, arrived here yesterday evening after a passage of three days from San Diego. Hon. G. W. Cooley, U. S Law Agent, and several members of this bar who attended the sittings of the Commission were among the passengers.

“Jeronimo [Geronimo], the celebrated chief of the Yumas, was killed at Santa Isabel by the Indians living in that neighborhood. He was enticed there and then treacherously murdered according to the usages of Indian warfare. His scalp and one ear were sent to the American authorities.

“A correspondent who has crossed the plains writes to the Star [Los Angeles, 1851-1879] that the Camanches, Yumas or Shacos, did not show their faces either in the day or night, and not an animal was stolen from their train. Some of the emigrant trains have met the fate of the careless and unconcerned. The southern route is far better for horses and mules than oxen, and the Santa Fe route is the best for those coming to California.

“Nicholas Blair, for several years a resident of Los Angeles, committed suicide on Saturday evening. Mr. Blair came to California as a member of Col. Stevenson’s regiment [New York Volunteers who fought in the Mexican War], and married a native if the country. He was a native of Hungary.”

 

TO BE CONTINUED

Criminal Annals, Part 134: From Salmon Falls doctor to legislator

GWspring2004The October 4, 1852 edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” opens with a front page devoted mostly to advertisements and politics. In a column of odds and ends, is found one very interesting article from Canada.

“ANNEXATION OF CANADA TO THE UNITED STATES. — Mr. Papineau, who has just been elected to the Canadian Parliament by an extraordinary majority, has published a long address, in which he declares he is in favor of annexing Canada to the United States.”

Note: Louis-Joseph Papineau (1786-1871) supported the Montreal Annexation Manifesto that called for Canada to join the United States of America. He was a leader of the reformist Patriote movement, a political movement that existed in Lower Canada (present-day Quebec) from the beginning of the 19th century to the Patriote Rebellion of 1837 and 1838 and the subsequent Act of Union of 1840. The movement was a liberal reaction against colonial control of the government of Lower Canada, and a more general nationalistic reaction against British presence and domination over what had previously been an exclusively French territory.

Following an increasing  number of political articles is one simply entitled, “Placerville.”

“The prompt messenger of Hunter & Co.’s Express laid the El Dorado News [Coloma 1851, ultimately becoming the “Mountain Democrat”] on our table yesterday, at an early hour. We cull from it the following items:

“The stock of the South Fork Canal Company has been all taken and the books closed. This work, the News says, ‘is truly one of the most gigantic of any age or country, and certainly surpasses, in magnitude and importance, anything of the kind ever undertaken and accomplished by private individuals.”

“Dr. S. A. McMeans had written a letter explaining his course on the ‘cooley bill’ [Foreign Miner’s License Tax of May 1852]of the last Legislature. The Doctor explains why he voted for the bill. He is a candidate for reelection to the next Legislature.

Note: Dr. Selden Allen McMeans (1808-1876) was born in Knoxville, Tenn., served in the Mexican War and arrived in California around 1849. He was one of the first doctors at Salmon Falls, El Dorado County. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1851, and again in 1852. In 1853 he was elected to the position of State Treasurer, a position he held until 1856.

In 1859, he moved to Virginia City, Nevada, after the Comstock Lode silver strike. When the news of the firing on Fort Sumter reached Virginia City in 1861, he announced that he, and a group called the Knights of the Golden Circle, would capture Fort Churchill for the Confederacy. But when they received news of a detachment of Union soldiers heading to Virginia City, they changed their mind. After the Civil War, he organized the Democratic Party in Nevada and became its first chairman. He finally moved his practice to Reno, where he died 1876.

Continuing with the article, “ FUGITIVE SLAVE CASE. –  A woman was arrested in this place, on Tuesday last, on the plea of being the property of Amelia Raymon, who brought her to this country in 1850. The case was tried before Thomas Wallace, Esq., who, we understand, discharged the woman, on the ground that the complaint did not state that she was to be taken back to Louisiana. She was subsequently arrested, to be tried before Judge Hall, on Thursday evening; but before the hour of trial arrived, however, a compromise wise was effected, and the woman discharged.

“RAIN. –  Just before our paper went to press this morning, it clouded up very suddenly, and in a few minutes we were favored with a refreshing shower of rain, which seemed to betoken, in the miners’s faces, the ‘good time coming.’ The shower was accompanied by repeated flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, which is something unusual; and we think the probability is that the weather, as well as the country, is becoming Americanized.”

Under the heading “From the Interior” are articles from Shasta, Sonoma and San Jose.

“SHASTA.

“We have received copies of the Shasta Courier [1852-1872], Marysville Herald [1850-1858] and Miner’s Advocate[Coloma 1852-Diamond Springs 1855], for which we are indebted to Adams & Co.’s Express. We make such selections from these as are of a general interest to our readers. We clip the following from the Courier:

“IMPORTANT FROM YREKA. –  Mr. Rains, of Cram, Rogers & Co.’s Express, furnished us with the sad news which we give below. Mr. Strawbridge forwarded. his letter to Mr. Rains after he left Yreka, and we are consequently in possession of no particulars except those contained in it:

“Yreka, Sept. 28, 1852.

“Dear Rains: Since you left yesterday a detachment from Ben Wright’s party beyond the Butte has reached here, conducting an imigrant [sic] train; they report that twelve miles from the trail the bodies of three men, one woman, and two children have been found, butchered by the Indians.

“You will recollect a short time since (about the time Coats was killed) Ben found a quantity of children’s clothing in an Indian camp. This was probably the property of this last murdered party, who, it is supposed, constituted one family. Some papers which may lead to a knowledge of their identity are in possession of D.D. Cotton, Esq.

“ All quiet here as you left us. ‘ Yours, truly, Jas. Strawbridge.”

“TROOPS FOR THE NORTH. — It is reported that a company of dragoons are now at Reading’s ranch. They departed from Benicia some weeks ago. It will be seen, therefore, that the progress of this body of troops towards the place where they are expected to do important service is rapid –  expeditious –  very. At this rate of travel they will probably reach their place of destination in the course of a month or two. In the meantime we have published the name of many who have been murdered. In another column it will be found that six more victims have been added to the list. We will not insult the common understanding and virtuous impulses of our readers with a single word of comment –  the facts speak for themselves.”

“INDIAN HUNTING. –  Owing to some depredations recently committed on Clear Creek [Shasta county] by the Indians, Capt. Larabee organize a small party and gave them chase. The party returned a few days since, bringing with them a number of squaws and children. During their absence on the scout they killed fifteen Indians. We are not furnished with a full account of the work done by this volunteer and independent company of frontier soldiers. It is probable that this wholesome and impromptu chastisement will eventually check the serious depredations which had lately become alarmingly frequent on Clear and Cottonwood Creeks. Should the Indians, however, still continue troublesome we are assured that this timely castigation will be repeated, and prosecuted even to a greater length, by the same company or another similarly organized.”

TO BE CONTINUED