Jewelry heists usually come in the form of someone robbing a jewelry store, and they are usually caught pretty quickly due to all the security cameras these days. But, when a jewelry heist nets 85 million euros ($95,058,560 in US dollars) the thieves have to do a little more planning…if they plan to remain anonymous and get away with their heist, that is. In reality, there were two heists that took place at Harry Winston’s Avenue Montaigne shop, and the grand total was $113 million in jewelry and other valuables. The heists took place in October of 2007 and December of 2008.
These robbers were very sophisticated in how they carried out these heists. The heists were carried out in broad daylight. In the 2008 robbery, the men boldly walked in through the front door of Harry Winston’s Paris shop. Despite the fact that three of them were dressed as women in wigs and heels, they were all men. They walked in, pulled a hand grenade and a gun, and in less than 20 minutes, the security guard held the door for them as they walked out to a waiting car with their rolling suitcase filled with over $90 million of jewels and watches.
Eight men were convicted for their roles in those two bold jewelry heists in 2007 and 2008, in which they made off with an estimated $113 million in jewelry and other valuables, most of which has never been found. It was said that the police never had a chance. That was in December of 2008 and to the frustration of Harry Winston, their insurer Lloyds of London, and the police, it was the second massive jewelry heist at the store in just over a year. The earlier job took place in October in 2007 and involved four men masquerading as builders. They were let in through a back door with the help of an inside man and made off with close to $30 million in diamonds, luxury watches, necklaces, earrings and other valuables
Finally, in March 2011, there was a small breakthrough when the police recovered some of the jewelry after a 2009 crime sweep in Paris. Police recovered $20 million worth of jewelry (19 rings and three sets of earrings) from the 2008 heist. Found in a drain in the Parisian suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, it was all that was ever located.
After a trial that started in early February, eight men were convicted for their roles in the crimes. Their sentences ranged from nine months to 15 years. The longest sentence was for the crime’s purported mastermind, Douadi Yahiaoui, a repeat criminal offender and drug trafficker. His 59 year old brother Mohammed was also convicted. In all, the Paris police arrested 25 men in the Harry Winston jewel heist probe. The suspects ranged from 22 years old to 67 years old.
I think we have all been to a New Year’s Eve party, and at the stroke of midnight, everyone began singing that old favorite that everyone knows, “Auld Lang Syne” to welcome the new year. It’s a tradition that has been around…well, as long as I can remember, and probably as long as most people living today can remember. That is because, on March 7, 1939, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians recorded that song that has become such a favorite party tradition. Of course, there are a number of people who were living before 1939, and so remember a time when this song did not exist, but they are becoming fewer and fewer every year.
With all the new music out there, and the ever-changing musical styles, it’s hard to picture a song being so timeless, but there are quite a few of them in reality. Some songs just captivate us for various reasons. When you think of the religious songs, like “Amazing Grace” or “The Old Rugged Cross,” we all know them and most of us love them, because they solidity our faith…along with many others faith songs I can think of.
Of course, there are songs from every genre that have become timeless to people who like that particular genre, but “Auld Lang Syne” has not only become timeless, but it has crossed the genre barrier to become timeless to people, no matter what type of music they like best. I think that is when you can truly call a song timeless. So the next time you find yourself singing “Auld Lang Syne” at a party, remember that it is a very old son, written in 1939, and it was brought to you by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians. Of course, if you are like many New Year’s revelers, you will probably have too much to drink to think about or even care where the song came from. All you know is that it’s traditional to sing “Auld Lang Syne” as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.
I have always been one to think that there is a logical explanation for everything that happens, but in the case of the Bermuda Triangle, it’s hard to stick to logical thinking, because it doesn’t follow logical lines. Over the past centuries, many ships and air planes have disappeared or met with fatal accidents in the triangular area on Atlantic ocean known as Bermuda Triangle. There are several cases in which no trace of the ships and aircraft were found even after extensive search operations were carried out for hundreds and thousands of square miles in the ocean.
So…what happened to them. Of course, there have been many theories from a black hole to a time warp, but whatever it is, something happens to ships and planes in the Bermuda Triangle. Incidents of disappearances have been documented since the 1600s and continue today. There have been various explanations and theories behind these incidents, but in many cases the incidents are still unexplained.
In one shocking incident in 1945, a whole squadron of five training flights took off from Florida naval base under the leadership of an experienced captain. The planes never returned to the base. No one has come up with an explanation for the disappearance, and in fact, a Martin Mariner flying boat that was sent for the search operation, went missing too. None of these planes was ever heard from again.
In another incident in 1918, a large well known cargo ship went missing in the triangle area without a trace. All of the more than 300 crew members were lost. This was one of the largest lives lost case of disappearances in the Bermuda triangle. And there are many more such incidents. Theories such as methane gas blow out below the ocean causing ships to sink, electronic fog engulfing an aircraft and taking it to unknown zone, hurricanes destroying aircraft, and several other such theories try to explain such cases. They happen randomly, and not even once a year. That said, there is no way to anticipate them. For that reason, we are always shocked when the latest incident happens. Tornado and severe weather warnings exist. We know when hurricanes are coming. We even know when snow or rain storms are coming. Unfortunately, these disappearances, like earthquakes are still very unpredictable. Nevertheless, from Christopher Columbus seeing strange lights and getting strange readings in 1492; to the disappearance of the Patriot, a ship which was carrying Theodosia Burr Alston, the daughter of former US Vice President Aaron Burr disappearing in 1812; to the latest event, the small private twin engine Mitsubishi MU-2B-40 fell victim to the Bermuda triangle on May 15, 2017 while flying from Puerto Rico. across a corner of the triangle to south Florida. The weather was fine, were no warnings…they simply vanished.
Naming your baby is a big job, and not one to be taken lightly. The name you bless them with, or sometimes stick them with, is very important. Of course whether the name is a blessing or a curse is a matter of opinion. Some people think you should give your children common names, while others don’t want their child to have the same name a dozens of other kids born that year.
My parents were of the persuasion that their kids were unique, and so their name should be too. If not in pronunciation, then in spelling. Every one of their daughters’ names are spelled in an unusual way…Cheryl, not Sheryl; Caryn, not Karen; Caryl, not Carol; Alena, not Elena; and Allyn, not Lynn. While our names don’t necessarily sound different, very few people spell them correctly.
In my family there are a number of unusual names. Chantel, Corrie (for a girl), Garrett, Lacey, Keifer, Siara, Shai, Caalab, Aurora, Reece (for a girl), and Jaxx. Some are hard to pronounce and some are hard to spell. Either way, they are all unique. We also have some in my husband’s family that are unique…Corrie and Shai (who are in both sides of the family), Machelle, Weston and Easton (who are brothers), Marlyce, Jala, Kaytlyn, Hattie (it’s making a comeback), and Bowen (which I hadn’t heard before). I guess there are a number of us who like the unique names.
Every year lists come out to tell of the most popular baby names. The celebrities are famous for giving their children unique names. Moon, Apple, North are just a few that are easily recalled. Some of them make you wonder just what they are thinking, but apparently they all have their reasons for the unusual names. Names are important as they help to create our identity to the world and to ourselves. Unique Names Day takes a moment in the year to celebrate those who have these interesting names. We are the people who can never find our name on souvenirs, and other personalized items. We have to create our own, have it spelled wrong, or just skip it. We are never on any lists that are produced with all the common names that are out there depicting funny situations applying to names…sometimes that may not be a bad thing.
Someone, at some point realized that unique names was something of some significance, and Unique Names Day came into being in 1997. Since then it has been a yearly occurrence. There are some things that people with unique names go through that those with common names never think about. As children who want keepsakes with their name on it, visiting a tourist attraction or taking a trip there is rarely an item that people with these names will ever be able to have. While that may seem like a small thing, for a child trying to fit it, it’s a big deal. When there is nothing that they can ever find with their name on it, they feel like they don’t really belong.
Unique Name Day is the perfect chance to embrace those with unique names. Having a day just for those who put up with repeating their names, spelling it, teaching people how to say it and rarely having any of the fun trinkets with their name on may not take away any frustration, but it can help make new memories! Find out is their name from their cultural background? If you are the one who walks through life with a unique name, you can take this day to revel in your uniqueness. This day can be used to find out the story of how your parents picked this name for you. My own mom liked the name Karen, but didn’t like the spelling, since they wanted their kids to have names beginning with “C” for my mom and “A” for my dad. So, they came up with ways to make the chosen names fit the categories. As for Caryl, I think they liked the “y” in my name and continued it with her. The funny thing about that is just how easy it is for Caryl and me to type our own name when we mean to type the other name…thereby misspelling our own sister’s name. Do you have a unique name? what is your story? This is your day, and your chance to tell the world.
Long before she became my sister-in-law, Rachel Schulenberg was friends with her future nieces, Machelle Moore and Susan Griffith. They didn’t know, when their friendship began, that one day, they would be related. As they all grew up, and began to marry, it was Machelle who instigated the union between Rachel and my brother-in-law, Ron Schulenberg, that made Rachel my sister-in-law and “aunt” to Machelle and Susan, as well as all Ron’s other nieces and nephews.
Of course, Machelle could only be the instigator, Rachel and to be the one to win Ron’s heart, if she want to continue the relationship. Well, that was a slam-dunk. According to Machelle, Rachel is a “mother hen.” She is always trying to make sure that her friends and family have what they need. It really breaks her heart when she is unable to help people. It is at those times that she knows that she must put them in God’s hands, which as we know, is not an easy task. Her kind heart and loving ways drew Ron to her, and if that wasn’t enough, Rachel is a great cook. When Machelle was going to introduce Rachel to Ron, Rachel asked her what she should cook. For Machelle, it was another slam-dunk, Rachel’s lasagna!! She wanted to impress Ron, and feed him something besides the “frozen burrito” type meals he had been eating. Machelle calls Rachel’s lasagna, “the best in the west,” and Ron agreed. Rachel made a great first impression. Rachel loves to cook and is never bothered by extra people at dinnertime. She always has ways to make sure there is enough.
Probably the most interesting thing about the relationship between Machelle, Susan, and Rachel is the fact that, while none of them knew of it, until later, all three couples got engaged the same day…not the same year, of course, but the same day…February 13th. That has been a lot of fun for them. They call it Engagement Day, and they make a big deal out of it, texting each other to wish each other “Happy Engagement Day!!” The tradition makes it that much more special for all of them. And I think it is very cool too. It is something you just don’t see every day. Today is Rachel’s birthday. Happy birthday Rachel!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
For my grand niece, Kaytlyn Griffith, summer is just an ideal time to take classes to learn about her favorite pastime…art. Last summer was filled with such classes, and as it turns out, Kaytlyn is a talented artist. At this point, most of Kaytlyn’s art is in the form of drawings, and while I’m not an expert, I can tell you that they are very good. She entered a contest at Christmas time, and she was declared the Grand Champion out of all the schools in Powell!! That is a high honor for any student.
Kaytlyn’s parents, Susan and Josh Griffith are so proud of their daughter’s abilities, and her continuing interest in the arts. They are considering having her work on a few projects that she can enter in the county fair this summer. Looking at Kaytlyn’s work, I think she has a great change of winning some ribbons at the fair, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. I am so excited for Kaytlyn to be entering her first fair.
Kaytlyn Has been working very hard this year in school. She’s trying to improve her math skills. There are lots of kids for whom math does not come easy, and I think that often, artistically minded kids don’t naturally gravitate toward mathematical skills. They have to work hard to hone their mathematical skills. That makes their success even sweeter. They have have had to step outside their comfort zone to embrace something that is a little bit foreign to them, but when they work hard, breakthrough can come. Last week, Kaytlyn received an Effort Award at school, because she had been working so hard on trying to improve on her math skills. Her parents are so proud of her, as is the rest of her family, and we are all thankful that her teacher can see how hard she is trying. Good job Kaytlyn!! Today is Kaytlyn’s 11th birthday. Happy birthday Kaytlyn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Years ago, my mom, Collene Spencer told me about witnessing a plane crash as a little girl. I wish I had thought to get more information from her then, but at the time, all I could think of was the vision of the crash she told me about, and specifically the airplane in a corkscrew nosedive toward the ground. She said she didn’t hear any engine sounds, and she thought the plane was a piece of paper at first, but then she realized that it was a plane. I didn’t think to ask where she was at the time…whether she was at home or if the family was rock hunting or something. I wish I had asked more questions, back when I had the chance to do so.
Rather than asking questions, I began to try to research plane crashes in the area over the years of my mom’s childhood. I had expected it to be an easy search, given all the information on crashes that is out there these days. I was wrong, and by the time I decided that I needed more information from my mom, she was gone. I tried asking my aunts about the crash, but they did not remember it. It’s possible that they didn’t see it, and so they were unable to help me with it.
After much research, I have found possibly the only plane crash my mother could have seen at the age she would have had to be…provided she was close to her childhood home when she witnessed the crash. The crash would have been a B-17 bomber on a training maneuver 25 miles north of Casper, Wyoming. The biggest problem with this crash is the 25 mile distance from Casper, but looking north from Casper, you can see a very long way, provided you are near the events center, which could have been a possibility back then. The distance could also explain the lack of engine noise, if the engines were still working as the plane was going down, which is unlikely.
The plane, which crashed on March 3, 1944 was carrying three officers and five enlisted men. There were no survivors in the crash, which is in line with what my mother told me about the crash. The bomber was on a combat training flight, according to Lieutenant Colonel Marcus A. Mullen, station commandant, who said that the cause of the crash was not yet determined but that a board of officers had been named to investigate. The dead were later identified as Captain Charles W. Bley of Berkeley, California, Second Lieutenant Eugene E. Ravera of Newton, New Jersey, Second Lieutenant John A. Williams of Morristown, Tennessee, Staff Sergeant Carl E. Cleveland of Sunbury, Ohio, Sergeant George P. Peterson of Perry, Ohio, Sergeant Vernon E. Arne, Stewart, Illinois, Sergeant Duane T. Zefah of Cushing, Minnesota, and Corporal Elmer L. Walters of Pawpaw, Illinois. I can’t say, for sure, that this was the plane crash my mom saw when she was a little girl, but it is noteworthy, and so worth telling about. I know that the crash was something that my mom never forgot, even though she would have only been eight years old at the time.
Forty-four years is a long time, but for my husband, Bob and me, it doesn’t seem like long at all. That is the number of years that we have been married. It’s over half of our lives!! We were just two kids back in 1975, when we said “I do” on March 1 of that year. Of course, we “knew” that our marriage would last a lifetime…doesn’t every married couple? Still, in reality, you hope your marriage will last a lifetime. You don’t know for sure until many years later, when that lifetime is in it’s golden years. If you are still together, then you know that yours is a marriage that will last a lifetime.
We were one of those blessed couples, for whom marriage stood the test of time, and still together, and still going strong. For us, the “mountain” has been filled with lots of trails and hikes, and mountains within mountains, and I many ways, that is what has given our marriage the color that it has been filled with. Every trail, whether outdoors, or just a “virtual trail” in a marriage taking us on a different path than we had intended to go before, or one that we had been working toward for a long time. Every trail, and every path became the journey our lives were meant to take.
With every passing year, our marriage becomes more and more precious, but this past year took a turn that made it even more precious, when my husband, Bob had a heart attack that was deemed the Widowmaker. At the time, God provided us with all the right people in all the right places to save Bob’s life, and I still find myself thinking about how very blessed we were and are. Our marriage could have ended that October day, but instead, everything was restored to us and Bob continues to be healthy, and our lives have continued on as before, only better. I guess that when you have a serious event take place, you discover just how precious the love of your life is, and that is a discovery that has not been lost on me. I know that I am very blessed to have Bob in my life, and I will love him for the rest of my life. I couldn’t be happier with my choice of a lifetime mate. Happy 44th Anniversary, my love!!
I am of the opinion that every birthday for every person should be special. For most of us, that is easy to do, but for the person, like my granddaughter, Shai Royce, who was a Leap Day baby, three out of four birthdays are virtually missing. Oh, they do exist…sort of, but they pass so quickly that unless you are up at the precise moment, or in reality, nono-second between 11:59pm and 12:00am, you missed it. I have been up at that time, and somehow, that nano-second slipped by without my actual notice of it, so I know that it is easy for Shai’s birthday to pass by without any real, concrete knowledge of it’s passing. So I call those three years where February 29th doesn’t happen…Nano-Birthdays. If all you look at is the year Shai was born, you will know that she is 23 years old this year, but she has only had 5 actual birthdays, and since she will have her 6th actual birthday next year, she is officially 5¾ years old and will turn 6 next year. During these past 23 years, Shai has celebrated her birthdays, however, because she has now had 18 Nano-Birthdays. It’s quite confusing when you have to do the math to figure out you granddaughter’s real age.
Shai is a sweet, loving girl, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She doesn’t like it when someone she loves is treated unfairly, she will defend them if necessary. Her family is of paramount importance to her, and when they are healthy and happy, so is she. Shai is a hard worker, and holds down two jobs. She works for Mako Reels, making…you guessed it, fishing reels. This has probably been the biggest shock to her grandma, because I would never have guessed that my granddaughter might make fishing reels for a living. She also works for Red Robin, for extra money. Shai is a very social person, so she is a true asset to Red Robin. Shai is one of the most loving people I know, and she is always doing nice things for people. She is very real about her feelings. When she likes someone, she lets them know it, and she likes most people, provided that they are good, honest, and kind people too. I think that makes her an asset to anyone who knows her.
Recently, Shai and her family took up bowling, and they are having a great time as a team. Last year they took first in the county where they live. That’s quite an honor, considering that Shai and her brother, Caalab hadn’t been bowling that long. They had a great time, and since they like spending time together as a family, it was the perfect team. And speaking of time together as a family, this year for her birthday, the whole family flew to Vegas for Shai’s birthday, and because Shai gave the trip to her family as a Christmas gift. She wanted a wonderful little vacation with her family on her birthday…and they had a great time, even going zip lining for thrills. Sounds like a great trip. Today is Shai’s 5¾, 18th, 23 birthday of some type. Happy 18th Nano-Birthday Shai!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Few things change a man as much as becoming a daddy. Yes, becoming a fiancé and husband are life changing events too, but when your beloved presents you with your first child…well you never forget how amazing that feels. For my oldest grandchild, Chris Petersen, this past year was that year…the most important year in his life. Chris went from being a a young man to being someone’s daddy, and it doesn’t get better than that amazing day, when that precious little girl finally arrived.
Chris and his fiancée are doing everything they know to do to protect and nurture their little girl. One of those decisions was to protect her from over exposure to the internet, and so my readers will have to use their imaginations concerning my little great granddaughter. I can say that she and her mommy have enriched Chris’ life beyond anything he could have imagined, and I can see the love he has for them in his eyes every time he looks at them. For his parents, and his grandparents, it is such a beautiful change to see. Chris has grown so much. The “wild child” of his youth is long gone, and he is a settled family man, who wants nothing more than to go home after work to be with his girls. They are his life and his joy. He loves them more that he does himself, and he feels so blessed that they are in his life, and every parent can fully understand that. There is nothing like being a parent. It’s a feeling that has no equal.
When a child is little, you simply do not know what they will become, but it is a good bet that at some point, most will become parents. Chris has reached that place, and these days the greatest part of his life is his fiancée, his baby girl, and the simple word…Dada!! Who could have thought that such a simple little word could create such joy in a person. Of course, every parent knows the joy of your baby’s first words, usually mama and dada. They are forever precious. Today is Chris’ 23rd birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day with your girls!! We love you!!