Sunday, May 15, 2022

Me Googled

I came down with the Covid a few weeks back. Can't for the life of me figure out where I got it.  Church or the grocer are about the only public spaces I've occupied. Thankfully, I was vaccinated (twice) & boosted, which I believe saved me from a potentially ugly ordeal. I isolated for a week. Did a lot of reading, a little writing, too much eating. And boredom. What’s a guy to do?  Yup, Google yourself.  

The Hoplin (JP: ホップ hoppu) is an enemy in Ring Fit Adventure. They have no special abilities. There is a larger variant known as the Gobhoplin. Should I care if a rare Hoplin escapes?

Hop'lin IPA. American India Pale Ale. This smooth, medium bodied American IPA will hit the spot. The intense citrus/pine aroma and taste is accompanied with ..

Revenge of the Hoplin by Uiltje Brewing Company is a IPA - American which has a rating of 3.5 out of 5. This Cold IPA is mad, bad and potentially dangerous. What it lacks in pumpkin bombs and razor bats it makes up for in ruthless innovation.

Hoplin Creek is a stream in Minnesota and has an elevation of 1339 feet. Hoplin Creek is situated nearby to Wolf Creek, and east of Stowe Lake.

HOPLIN Kid's Tooth Gel Toothpaste for kids of all ages. thoughtfully formulated with high quality ingredients. tastes delish. no artificial sweeteners/flavors. sls-free. vegan. cruelty-free. not tested on animals. whitens naturally. tastes awesome. vegan. polishes & brightens. strengthens enamel. 
 A lightweight RabbitMQ client for Java (built on top of rabittmq java client)

Definitions for Hoplin


Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Hoplin.

Did you actually mean hipline or hypovolemia?

Cry Terror!  1958

… Unable to contact Hoplin since then, Jim is now certain that Hoplin used his bomb design as a model to create others. The Molners are then interrupted by the arrival of Hoplin who forces his way into the house at gunpoint. Hoplin admits to using Jim, but suggests that the authorities will believe Jim is involved in the plot. Hoplin then declares he is kidnapping the Molners and their young daughter Pat and forces the family into a car driven by his accomplice, ex-convict Steve.

David Hoplin

Vice President Wc Sw Development at PTC Inc. · Boston

And then there are these ..

Janis Joplin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Janis Lyn Joplin[1] (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)

Third Row Bill Milne. Bill Moore. Richard I ,a«e. Dan McCreevy. David Hoplin 

A doppelgänger apparently.

And finally, this
George Hoplin, born Circa 1862

George Hoplin was born circa 1862, at birth place , Indiana, to David Hoplin
George had 3 siblings: Mary Hoplin and 2 other siblings .

Beer, gaming and enigmas. Pretty weak public legacy.

Copyright ©  2022  Dave Hoplin
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Monday, May 2, 2022

Shakespeare's 1st Drafts

"The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good - in spite of all the people who say he is very good." - Robert Graves

Shakespeare, the "Bard of Avon", is considered THE master wordsmith of the English language.  Tis a pity that reading Shakespeare has seemed to fallen from favor in this tweet length attention span age. There's even a wonderfully humorous novel 'The Shakespeare Requirement', written by University of Minnesota professor Julie Schumacher, about an attempt to relegate Will to the dustbin. 

However, you almost certainly speak much more Shakespeare than you realize. Many common idioms have Shakespeare to thank. 

'There is a method to the madness.' 
'Too much of a good thing'.  
'Give the devil his due'.  
'As luck would have it'. 
'What the dickens'. 
'It's Greek to me'.
'Love is blind'.
"Off with his head.'
'What's done is done'.
'Neither here nor there'.
'The world's my oyster'.
'Milk of human kindness'.
'Discretion is the better part of valor.'
'Forever and a day'. (I always thought this was a Scandinavian thing). 

Now, don't you feel like a scholar?

But even Shakespeare had to make revisions to his writing to achieve such perfection. I have uncovered early drafts of some of his plays and I here share some misfires he corrected.

1. To be, or not to be: that is the question. (Hamlet)

Draft: To be or not to be, do be do be do.

2. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars. but in ourselves. (Julius Caesar)

Draft: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in whom we put our trust

3. The course of true love never did run smooth. (A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Draft: It’s a long and winding road that leads to your door

4. If I lose mine honour, I lose myself. (Antony and Cleopatra)

Draft: If I lose mine honour, there's always charm to fall back on

5. All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. (As You Like It)

Draft: All the world's a stage, with wheels falling off at every turn.

6. Now is the winter of our discontent. (Richard III)

Draft: Now is the winter of our sniffling malcontent

7. Brevity is the soul of wit. (Hamlet)

Draft: Brevity is the soul of wit, by the half 

8. Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. (Twelfth Night)

Draft: Be not afraid of greatness, tis unlikely.

9. Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. (All's Well That Ends)

 Draft: Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none - live the fantasy

10. Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow. (Romeo and Juliet)

Draft: Good night, Mrs Calabash, wherever you are

11. But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve. (Othello)

Draft: I would wearest my heart upon my sleeve, but I wipest my nose upon my sleeve

12. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Hamlet)

Draft: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than halos and fruitcakes.

13. Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? (Romeo & Juliet)

Draft: Romeo, Romeo. You're late again.

14. Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. (Measure for Measure) 

Draft: Lucio, Just go for it.

15. We are such stuff as dreams are made on. (The Tempest)
Draft: This is a bloody nightmare.
16. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. (Hamlet) 
Draft: The lady doth think to much, me protesteth
17. What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo & Juliet) 

Draft: What is in a name? Rosencrantz and Guilderstern not withstanding.

18. The worst is not, so long as we can say 'This is the worst'. (King Lear)
Draft: This is definitely the worst.
19. All that glisters is not gold. (The Merchant of Venice) 

Draft: All that glitters is impossible to sweep up

20. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: I come to bury Caesar,  not to praise him. (Julius Caesar) 

Draft: Friends Romans countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to mislead you

21. Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war (Julius Caesar) 

Draft: Cry havoc and let slip the vicious dogs of mass destruction 

22. A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse! (Richrd III) 
Draft: Where is that damned horse?
23. What light through yonder window breaks. (Romeo and Juliet)

Draft: Romeo, will you at long last, fix that blind?

24. .. a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (Macbeth)

Draft: .. a tale told by idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying a marvelous book title

25. To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. (Hamlet) 

Draft: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, get thee to a nunnery

26. Et tu, Brute? (Julius Caesar)

Draft: Brutus. You’re impossible.

27. Lord, what fools these mortals be! (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Draft: Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread

28. Men of few words are the best men (Henry V)
Draft: Men of few words are the best men, thus condemning the writer.
29. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones. (Julius Caesar)

Draft: The evil that men do beggars belief. The good oft goes beggaring.

30.  Out, damned spot! out (Macbeth)

Draft: Beatrice, remember to pick up some Lifebuoy.

31. What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!  (Hamlet)

Draft: What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason. How infinite in faculty. Give me a head of hair, long beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

32. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble (Macbeth)

Draft: Double, double toil and trouble; Soak and steam, bath of bubble

33. Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest. (King Lear)

Draft: Don’t be an ass

34. My salad days, when I was green in judgment. (Antony and Cleopatra)

Draft: My salad days are over. Kale and hardy am I not

35. The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. (Merchant of Venice)

Draft: Dear me, Good King James must clarify

36. When the hurlyburly 's done. When the battle's lost and won.  (Macbeth)

Draft: Do the hokey pokey. That’s what it’s all about

Copyright ©  2022  Dave Hoplin

Friday, April 22, 2022

Echos from the Past: A Book Report

I have just finished reading Robert Caro's Pulitzer Prize winning Master of the Senate, a biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson documenting his Senate years (1948-1960) and the inner workings of that body. For most of those years Johnson served as Majority Leader and controlled the Senate and its agenda, earning the moniker "Master of the Senate". Reading this book is a commitment, running 1100 pages. Although at times overwhelming in minutia, the book is a fascinating study of the events and issues of the 50’s, the personalities of the Senate members and the Majority Leader’s exercise of power over those members - the strong and the weak. It is both an enlightening and appalling read.

Common wisdom says there are things you really don't want to know, like how sausage or creamed corn is made. The workings of the US Senate might fall in that category but as a citizen and voter you really should take a deep breath and a strong whiff even though it is not pleasant.

The House of Representatives with its 435 members and 2 year terms is a body with plenty of attention seeking prima donnas, knee jerk responses to issues, horse trading for pork for the home folks and designed to reflect, in James Madison's term, "the popular will".

But our Founders did not trust the "popular will", so a 2nd legislative body, the Senate, the "upper chamber", in Madison's words, was designed to be the deliberative body, "a cooling engine to counteract the boiling House of Representatives, a necessary fence .. it is to consist in its proceedings with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom, than the popular branch" - a body to protect the people from themselves. 

And the Senate was designed to protect itself from the people, with 6 year terms and appointment by state legislators to a term long enough to insure their independence. (Senators were not elected by popular vote until 1913.) With 100 members, 2 per state, it is in no way representative and intentionally gives outsized power to states with small population; the result being, a majority of people cannot pass laws unless a majority of states agree. And up until the Civil War the Senate held true to the Founder's vision, the "Golden Age" of the giants of the Senate, where compromise, even on the pre-Civil War fractious issue of Free vs. Slave states, could be accomplished. Of course that civility became quite uncivil in 1861.

As the House grew in size and became more and more dysfunctional with reorganizations every 2 years, the Senate became the dominant legislative force, with rules that gave inordinate power to committee chairmen and rules to enable obstruction. The Senate was designed to slow things down. And to this day, the thing the Senate does best is block things. 

(Note: Men only. The first woman senator was Rebecca Felton of Georgia, appointed in 1922. In 1932, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas became the first woman elected to the Senate. And there were never more than 2 women serving Senators at a time until 1993). 

Senators serve for 6 years and there is little turnover. Only a third of the Senate stand for election in any given election year. In the mid-20th century, the Senate's seniority rules assured the major Senate committees, those bodies that determine what legislation actually reaches the Senate floor for debate and vote, were led by Southerners who all had safe seats dating from the 30's. Richard Russell of Georgia, Harry Byrd of Virginia, James Eastland of Mississippi, Russell Long of Louisiana, John McClellan of Arkansas, Claude Pepper of Florida - led the Armed Services, Finance, Judicial, Appropriations, Rules, Foreign Relations committees, stifling those bills threatening the Jim Crow status quo - and orchestrated by Lyndon Baines Johnson, Majority Leader from Texas 

But the main reason for bills failing to be passed were the rules originally intended to allow for lengthy and calm debate of contentious issues. It got perverted. The filibuster, sometimes referred to as "talking a bill to death" and cloture, a motion to end debate but requiring a super-majority to pass, allow a small minority to block initiatives they oppose. (Strom Thurmond  spoke for 24 straight hours in a filibuster attempt to block the 1957 Civil Rights legislation.) The 22 Senators of the Southern Caucus could block any bill that smacked of rights for the African-American population. And in many cases, they were supported by Midwest & Western Senators, who traded their votes against civil rights bills for favorable votes from the Southerners for Western dam construction (e.g. Hell’s Canyon). For these Senators, from states with few black voters, the votes were not all that damaging to their electoral prospects - as opposed to their integrity.

In the 40's and 50's, opposition to civil rights legislation became the focus for the Southern Caucus, going all out to block each and every initiative. After WWII, returning black servicemen were no longer willing to accept the status quo of the Jim Crow South and the indifference of the North. The lynchings (Tuskegee Institute has recorded the lynchings of 3,446 blacks between 1882 and 1968); the murder of Emmet Till, a 14 year old boy who was brutally beaten to death and his body dumped in the Tallahatchie River, supposedly for whistling at a white woman; the harassment and expulsion of Autherine Lucy, the first African-American student at the University of Alabama. These outrages, coupled with the blatant voter suppression throughout the South, awakened Congress and the country to this massive injustice. 

Poll taxes, literacy tests and “vouchers” - a requirement for a prospective black voters to be attested to by an already registered voter - made voter registration difficult in the extreme. In 1948 Bullock County, Alabama, with a black population of 11,000, there were exactly 5 registered black voters, who were limited by Alabama law to 3 vouchers each. So in Bullock County, precisely 15 black voters could be registered per election cycle. This system was replicated throughout the South. Coupled with voter intimidation, the suppression efforts were so successful that only 2% of registered black voters actually voted throughout the South in 1948. This discrimination was not disguised and the US House attempted to address it, passing civil rights bills in 1936, 1938, 1944, 1946, 1948 and 1950 - all of which failed to pass the Senate, filibustered to death by the Southern Caucus under the smokescreen of states rights. 

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education that school segregation, so called “separate but equal” was unconstitutional. The South reacted with church bombings, lynchings, KKK night riders and outright defiance. The federal government responded with troops in Little Rock to enforce school integration but the seminal event was Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, leading to a year-long bus boycott and the emergence of Martin Luther King as the Gandhi of The Civil Rights Movement.

In 1957, largely due to Lyndon Johnson's obsession with becoming President, a Civil Rights Bill again reached the Senate. Rebuked in his attempt for the Democratic nomination in 1956, Johnson believed that in order to fulfill his dream he had to disassociate himself from the Southern Caucus, or at least appear to do so. He decided a Civil Rights Bill must pass the Senate. The ‘57 bill from the House was a "dream bill", with Part 3 specifying equal rights covering a broad spectrum and Part 4 ensuring voting rights. But LBJ conspired with the Southern Caucus to gut the bill and to agree to pass only the Part 4 voting rights in exchange for no filibustering, justifying the gutting publicly, claiming that if blacks had voting rights they could change other things through the ballot. The South of course objected, so LBJ finagled an amendment to Part 4 to state that anyone indicted for violating voting rights had the right to trial by jury. i.e. a southern white jury like the jury that acquitted the confessed murderers of Emmett Till. A "worse than nothing" bill according to the NAACP. But in the end this token Civil Rights Bill of 1957 was accepted as "finally something", the first civil rights bill to become law since 1875. Perhaps something that could provide hope. And LBJ’s image as a Southern segregationist moved slightly left and opened the path to becoming John F Kennedy’s VP pick in 1960.

It must be noted that upon becoming President in 1963, Lyndon Baines Johnson, if not for Vietnam, would have secured a powerful legacy with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the greatest advancement of civil rights in American history, short of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

The 50's were a shameful period, a period defined by white privilege. Now there are people hard at work to send us back to the 50's, with state by state attacks on voting rights and extreme gerrymandering to assure representatives pick their voters rather than voters picking their representatives - and a Senate that refuses to even hear debate on the Right to Vote Act. Basic human and civil rights are being rolled back by copy-cat state legislatures without objection from Congress or Supreme Court. When civil/human/voting rights are under attack, what is needed urgently is Madison's “more wisdom Senate”. So far what we have seen is a mirror of the 50’s version - except the names of the perpetrators have changed. And We The People seem strangely ambivalent. Democracy is a fragile thing, hard won, easily lost.

"The fabric of democracy is always fragile everywhere because it depends on the will of citizens to protect it, and when they become scared, when it becomes dangerous for them to defend it, it can go very quickly."   Margaret Atwood

"The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment." Robert Hutchins

Time to stand up.

Copyright © 2022 Dave Hoplin

Monday, April 18, 2022

Lowry Group

It's been a pretty miserable Spring here in Lake Wobegon country. In fact, looking out my window as I write on April 18, I see snow falling, one of perhaps a half dozen days of April snow showers (so far).  Probably not what the song writers were thinking with their April showers lyrics.

To avoid falling into brooding, I picked up my ongoing project of searching for historical photos of my home town of Lowry, Minnesota and adding to the Photographic History of the Village of Lowry collection. This project coincided with the launch of this blog and owes credit to a group of Lowry notables, collectively known as the "Lowry Group*", who took on the task of documenting the village's history. This effort produced a photo book, published in 2002, proudly titled Our Home Town. The book includes a photo of every structure in the village, a substantial effort on its own, but more remarkably, it documents the ownership lineage of these structures as well. This information could perhaps with great difficultly be extracted from title documents, but quite remarkably was based solely the memories of this dedicated group. (There is a caveat in the book that there may be omissions in the ownership list but I should yearn for such a memory.) It also includes numerous photos of Lowry-ites and Lowry scenes, many of which I shamelessly copied into my Lowry History album. 

So I salute you:

*Lowry Group Members

Elwood "Buckshot" Johnson - President

Researchers: Glenn Hoplin, Arnold Hedlin, Esther Hedlin, Bob Chan, Gurvin & Myra Femrite, Donald & Doris Hoplin, Chuck Thompson,  John Weaver, Roy Robieson, Paul & Dee Weisel, Alan Dahlseng, Gerald Olson, R'Dell Molander, John Femrite, John Erickson, Charles Christianson.

Here are a few look-ins to the Lowry book to pique your interest. Note - this history ends in 2002.

The Teigen Home on 114 on the west side. This house was converted into 2 apartments at some point and take note of one the occupants: The Jaegers. This was the Latvian refugee family that Lowry embraced in the late 40's, early 50's.  Read their story - Lowry's Latvian DP's.

Ole & Esther Hoplin's, my grandparents.  This Swedish style home was built in 1928, just before the crash and managed to stay out of foreclosure due to the generosity of the bachelor farmers who held the mortgage. It was not paid off until after WWII. For detail: 304 Drury Avenue  [Update: add Julie Formo to the ownership list.]

Originally Lutheran Free Church.  Who knew? Lowry Group.

Howard & Mary's in my memory

The storied history of the Lowry Clinic.  MD & DDS.

District 30

The F&M Bank closed during the Depression. Hank Bosek's Grocery in my memory.

In Honor of Elwood "Buckshot" Johnson  (1931-2018)

Copyright © 2022 Dave Hoplin