John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Found another country road today

This dog of mine

This dog of mine is a piece of work. He rides up front in the and leans his paw on the arm rest, taking it all in. When I pull into the driveway, he won't get out of the car, he wants to keep driving.

Good words to have

1: Of little or no consequence: trifling, inconsequential
2: Having no force : inoperative
Nugatory comes from the Latin adjective nugatorius and is ultimately a derivative of the noun nugae, meaning "trifles."

 (JET-i-suhn, -zuhn) 
To cast off something regarded as unwanted or burdensome. The act of discarding something.
Originally, jettison was the act of throwing goods overboard to lighten a ship in distress. From Latin jactare (to throw), frequentative of jacere (to throw). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ye- (to throw), which also gave us jet, eject, project, reject, object, subject, adjective, joist, jactitation,subjacent, and jaculate.

Good words to have



Using or involving the use of a minimum of words: concise to the point of seeming rude or mysterious

Laconia was an ancient country in southern Greece, bordering on the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas. Its capital city was Sparta, and the Spartans were famous for their terseness of speech. Laconic comes to us by way of Latin from Greek Lakōnikos, which is derived from Lakōn, meaning "native of Laconia." It has been with us since the 16th century and has sometimes been used with the basic meaning "of or relating to Laconia or its inhabitants" (though we're more apt to use Laconian for this meaning today). In current use, laconic means "terse" or "concise," and thus recalls the Spartan tendency to use the fewest words possible.


A miserly person.

Originally, a pinchgut was someone who didn’t give enough food to a ship’s crew.



1: a symbol written above and to the right of a mathematical expression to indicate the operation of raising to a power

 2 a: one that expounds or interprets

 b: one that champions, practices, or exemplifies

 You probably won't be surprised to learn that exponent shares an ancestor with proponent—and indeed, the Latin ponere ("to put") is at the root of both terms. Exponent descends from exponere, which joins ponere with ex- ("out") and means "to put forth" or "to explain." Proponent traces to proponere, a word created from the affix pro- ("before") that can mean "to put before," or "to display" or "to declare." Proponent is related to propose and can describe someone who offers a proposal, but today it usually means "one who argues in favor of something." Exponent can also refer to someone who is an advocate, but it tends to refer especially to someone who stands out as a shining representative of something. In addition, it has retained its earlier meaning of "one who expounds."

The Day the Confederate Army Almost Marched on Washington DC

Fort Stevens was located near Georgia Avenue at 13th Street and Quackenbos Street NW in Washington DC. For the most part, the fort has slipped out of the public’s memory and nothing of the fort itself remain standing today. (parts of the fort have been reconstructed) 

But it was at Fort Stevens, part of the extensive fortifications built around Washington, D.C., during the American Civil War, where President Abe Lincoln came under fire and where approximately 900 soldiers were killed, wounded or reported missing, all within a few miles from the White House.

Constructed in 1861 as Fort Massachusetts it was later renamed for Brig. Gen. Isaac Ingalls Stevens, who was killed at the Battle of Chantilly, Virginia, on September 1, 1862. Stevens is renown in American military history for picking up the fallen regimental colors of his regiment and shouting "Highlanders, my Highlanders, follow your general!" as he charged the rebel lines carrying the banner of Saint Andrew's Cross. 

A bullet struck him directly in the forehead killing him instantly. His son, Hazard, (Below) was also injured in the Battle of Chantilly. He also became a general in the U.S. Army and an author, and the first man to climb Mount Rainier.

Three years after the fort was built, in June of 1864, Confederate Gen. Jubal Early of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia was sent to clear the Shenandoah Valley of Federal troops and then to and invade Maryland, disrupt the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and threaten Washington DC. The idea was to force the Union to withdraw Yankee troops away from overrunning Richmond, the confederate capital.

By July 7 the Second Corps prepared to march on Washington when Union Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace, (author of Ben Hur and later Governor who pardoned Billy the Kid) led a disheveled army attempted to resist the Confederate advance at the Battle of Monocacy, in Maryland, just outside Washington.
General Wallace

The battle lasted all day and Early's troops pushed the Yankees back to Washington, meaning there was nothing between Early and his army and the United States capital except a dilapidated force he had just defeated.

On July 11 the confederates were in Silver Springs Maryland, right on the DC border. The next day, they attacked Fort Stevens with the main assault being led by Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, (Below) former U.S. vice president and one of Lincoln's opponents in the presidential election of 1860. (He was also a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln, a suspected confederate spy by many, and had dated her when they were in their teens)

President Lincoln and his wife rode out to the fort to observe the battle. Right after they arrived, the rebels unloaded an enormous spray of bullets in their direction which narrowly missed the president and seriously wounded a surgeon standing next to him. Throughout the time he was there, sharp shooters also spotted the President and fired on him as well. At one point, Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright (His aide-de-camp at the battle was Oliver Wendell Holmes) shouted at Lincoln "Get down, you fool!"

General Wright 

General Early withdrew his confederates from the attack and returned to Leesburg Virginia, telling one of his officers "Major, we didn't take Washington but we scared Abe Lincoln like hell."

Early died at age 77, after falling down a flight of stairs at his home in Lynchburg Virginia.

(The above mentioned Quackenbos Street, unusual in a city with streets named with single letters or after states) was once called Madison Street, after the President. In 1905 the name was changed so the city could adhere to the new nomenclature mandating alphabetical streets of increasing syllables the further you moved from the center of town.
Some think the street might be named for New York’s Quackenbos family, which included a Revolutionary War figure named John Quackenbos or perhaps after George Payn Quackenbos, a teacher and author. Others say it was named for George’s son, John Duncan Quackenbos, a Columbia University-trained physician who became a leading proponent of hypnotherapy, believing that it could curb criminal tendencies and addictions.) 


On February 11, 2017, a 96 year old woman named Lucille Conlin Horn died in the town of Mineola, New York. There was nothing unusual about her death. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease and grew ill and died.

But the very fact that Lucille Horn lived at all, now that’s unusual. She was born premature in Brooklyn New York in 1920, a dangerous birth in those days. Her twin sister died almost immediately after she was born and Doctors advised the parents that her sister, Lucille, would follow her to death within a few hours. But she didn’t. She survived but barely. There was little doubt that she would probably die within the month, maybe even by the end of that week.

Desperate to keep his remaining daughter alive, Lucille’s father learned of a doctor named Martin Couney who put babies on display in incubators at a Coney Island sideshow as a mean to fund his research to keep the children alive. "(My Father) said, 'Well that's impossible, she's alive now. We have to do something for her.’ My father wrapped me in a towel and took me in a cab to the incubator; I went to Dr. ‘Couney. I stayed with him quite a few days; almost five months."

Dr. Couney’s practice was set up in Luna Park, an amusement park in Coney Island, in Brooklyn that opened in 1903 located on the north side of Surf Avenue on a site between 8th street, 12th street and Neptune Avenue. The park was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1944.

Couney accepted all children regardless of race, social class or faith, something that was almost unheard of at a time when America as dramatically racially and class segregated.


Couney, seen today as a pioneer in neonatology, would run the infant incubator exhibits (There were several across the US) for more than three decades because mainstream medicine saw no point in trying to save premature’s. 

The medical establishment also a problem with incubators which they saw as more Voodoo than science. 

Couney gambled that he could change that view by showing the public what the technology could do to save lives and the only way to do that was to display the machine and the infants it was saving on tawdry carnival midways and county fairs What the public display did was to enable Dr. Couney to never have to charge the parents of the children he cared for. The price for admission did that.

Oddly enough Couney was not a medical doctor. 

He said that had studied medicine in Leipzig and Berlin and had been a student of Pierre-Constant Budin, (Below) a French obstetrician and founder of modern perinatal medicine. In his long career he made many contributions in efforts to reduce infant mortality including popularizing a technique known as gavage for feeding premature infants who were too weak to receive nourishment by conventional methods.

Aside from the fact that there is no evidence of any kind that Couney ever finished medical school, precious little else is known about him. His place of birth is vague. He was probably a German national, perhaps Jewish.

What is known, is that he immigrated to the US in 1888 at 19 years old meaning he was far too young to have been admitted to a German medical college, which was extremely difficult to gain entrance too. In the 1910 he was surgical instruments salesman and made claims that he actually invented the incubator, although that seems doubtful. By 1930, Couney was a practicing physician.

 By the 1930s, the medical community had a change of heart and began to take Couney’s work seriously and by 1940, his sideshows were closed because incubators were finally becoming more widely used in hospitals. 

Regarded a savior and Saint by the desperate parents he helped, it is estimated that in his career Dr. Couney successfully kept about 7,500 of the 8,500 children alive in his sideshows. By the time Couney died in 1950, incubators were included in most hospitals.

As for Lucille Conlin Horn, she became a legal secretary and married her boss, had three daughters and two sons. She finally met Dr. Couney when she was 19 years old and thanked him for saving her life. She is buried next to her twin sister.