Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LBJ Ranch 4

LBJ loved to scare guests by driving this Amphicar into the water while pretending to have lost his brakes. It was one of his "tests" of potential staff members' cool. This vehicle was a poor car and a worse boat.
Secret Service Headquarters on the ranch, a trailer painted OD to make it disappear?

Monday, May 23, 2011

LBJ's "Hunting" Car

This 1937 Lincoln Continental was LBJ's "hunting car" used mostly on the ranch. It contained a complete custom bar in the back seat. He used it to tour guests around the ranch, and perhaps to hunt.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

LBJ Ranch 3

LBJ's doctor advised him to get more exercise, so he had this kidney shaped pool put in. The only use he ever made of the pool was to stand in the water while talking on the phone. He loved talking on the telephone, but didn't enjoy exercise much.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

LBJ Ranch

This was LBJ's Lockheed Jet Star aircraft. When he was aboard it was Air Force One, but he called it Air Force One Half because it was so much smaller than his Presidential Boeing 707. It mostly flew between Austin, TX and the ranch with the Johnson family and guests, a distance of only 50 miles each way. Locals called it Smoky Joe because it produced a huge trail of black smoke and deafening sound when it took off. This plane may be one reason LBJ passed the aircraft noise abatement act. It was found about a decade ago in an Air Force bone yard in AZ, trucked to TX, and given a fresh coat of paint.

Here are a few photos from the Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) ranch west of Johnson City, TX. He was a President with huge accomplishments and huge failings. He never did anything in a small way. This house was known as the Texas White House. It was large, having multiple additions, but was not a grand or palatial house. The 1500 acre core of the ranch, with the house, barns, garages, airport runway, family cemetery, Hereford cattle, and surrounding fields was willed to the National Park Service so long as it remains open free to the public. The rest of the 6000 acres of ranch is still owned by the Johnson family.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Interesting debate about the nature of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Was it the top predator ever, or was it just another scavenger cleaning up dead carcasses? There is general agreement that it was carnivorous from the late Cretaceous period in North America. Contemporary thinking is leaning toward the scavenger view. This particular Tyrannosaurus is here to give small children nightmares as it moves, roars, and looks around at the Brookings Children's Museum showing itself ready to devour any youngsters not paying attention.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Habitat for Humanity Posters

The Habitat Restore accepts donations of building materials and recycled items which are then sold to raise money to build new houses. The information on the poster is what this one Restore has accomplished.

This poster lists the materials used to build eight new houses in the 2009-10 construction year using mostly volunteer labor.