Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Honoring Our Heroes

During a recent road trip in southern Indiana I was scrolling the radio dial to find some driving music. I hit on a station playing patroitic music. They were honoring 83 members of the 135th Army Engineering Company that was arriving in Illinois after a seventeen month deployment in Iraq. The radio announcer was accompanying the caravan of buses and cars as they traveled through several towns enroute to their home base after having landed in Evansville, Indiana just moments earlier, We listened until we were out of range. What impressed me was that they were enroute to a town of 5000 citizens and many, many citizens of southern Illinois turned out to welcome them. Then I started thinking about Middle Georgia and the recent return of our 48th Brigade. Well over 4000 heroes and we put up hundreds of yellow ribbons and a local TV station did a 30 minute program honoring these heroes. Additionally, I am aware that several small towns in Middle Georgia had grand home coming events. Other than a few corporate sponsors in Macon I am not aware of any special events to honor these Heroes. I would have thought that the Veterans Organizations would have been "front and center" in Honoring these Heroes of the 48th. As but one member of the Middle Georgia population I am ashamed of what we did, especially after hearing the live broadcast in Indiana as they honored 83 Heroes. Something to think about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Dull Boy? - Flower Child
We have heard this adage: "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy!" With this thought in mind I would like to post a bit of humor today. Please be aware that all the images here were obtained from the World Wide Web.
Now for the story:
An American, a Japanese and a Chinese went for a hike one day. It was very hot. They were sweating and exhausted. When they came upon a small lake, they took off all their clothes and jumped into the water, since it was fairly secluded,

Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their "freedom." As they were crossing an open area, suddenly a group of ladies from town appeared.Unable to get to their clothes in time, the American and the Chinese quickly used their hands to cover their privates. But the Japanese covered his face while they ran for cover.After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on.
The American and the Chinese asked the Japanese why he covered his face rather than his private part.The Japanese replied, "I don't know about you, but in my country, it's the face that people recognize."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Macon, Georgia
It is Budget setting time for the next fiscal year in Middle Georgia. Not only the City of Macon, the County of Bibb and the Bibb County School Board are all busy establishing what it will take to serve and protect for the coming year. This along with the recent assessment notices which everybody received the last week of May 2006 has everyone in Bibb County excited and also concerned. With the phenomal growth in the 2006 Tax Digest, without a Millage Roll Back all of the governments concerned will have a plentiful income. However, Georgia law requires that the Millage Rates be rolled back upon the establishment of a new Tax Digest unless the Budget establishing organizations conduct three public meetings. We have been informed that everyone now plans to establish budgets which will be set with the rolled back Millage Rates. It will be interesting to wait and watch to see if this actually happens.
I suspect that the increased Tax Digest will tempt some organization of our Local Governments to possibly roll back the Millage Rate, but not all the way back to eliminate any increased revenue. I would suspect that the City of Macon will be the first government tempted to do this. Macon needs to build up the Cash Reserves so that in the future they will not have to obtain any loans each Summer to meet payroll until the first half of Property Taxes are collected in October. I am all for prudent financial management and I support the City of Macon rebuilding their Cash Reserves. But the image I have selected to accompany this Blog indicates what it will take. I sincerely hope that Macon, Georgia uses this opportunity to rebuild the cash reserves of the city. The time will never be better than right now. A bitter pill to swallow, to be sure, but one that needs to be consumed.

June 14, 2006. Soon, our Nation will be 230 years old. Celebrate today in a manner appropriate. Thank You.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The 2006 College World Series from Omaha, Nebraska will be very exciting to watch on ESPN and ABC. For the citizens of Georgia we will have two teams to back. Shown here is the site of the World Series games which commence on Friday, June 16th. The Baseball team from Georgia Tech and the Baseball team from the University of Georgia will be in attendance at the 2006 College World Series. All images for this Blog were obtained from the World Wide Web
The 2006 College World Series should be very interesting to watch. I am looking forward to watching this competition. The players are playing the game for the love of the Sport.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The illustration is courtesy of dancollinscartoons Web Site. Thank You!!

Good Day,
By now you may have noted that I usually try to have a picture in at least half of my post. Today it is my desire to share some of my views concerning the responsiblities of being a Citizen in the United States of America. We have all learned from our early elementary school days that thousands have given their lives for this right in our Country. Even more have served this great Nation to preserve that right. So why am I posting this Blog?
Every campaign I have witnessed in my adult years always caters to the Senior Citizens. The fact of the matter is that most candidates who even desire to win their race say and do the things that appeal to the elderly, or as some have put it: "The AARP Crowd." Unfortunately this concept ignores the fact that there are plenty of peoples in this great country who are not having their needs met.
This has come about because it is a known fact that Senior Citizens Vote. Senior Citizens have clout. The next time you view a TV campaign commercial quietly observe who the candidate is appealing to. If the Governor and I can have low drug bills, I will when elected provide all over the age of 55 the same benefits. Or the one that causes me to laugh the loudest is: Elect me to the Office of Lieutenant Governor and I will lower the cost of fuel. Admittedly the above are not the exact quotes from the commercials, but the message delivered. Both of these commercials will have broad appeal to the Senior Citizens.
Then there is the candidate that tells us that if we vote correctly there will be No increase in your property taxes as long as you own the home. Of course we know who this will appeal to the most.
Then, I cannot finish this post without discussing the topic that on the Federal level is taking far too long in the halls of government. Same Sex Marriages and the companion topic, Religion in Education. Admittedly, I was most likely raised wrong, but my Parents insured that I was educated in the Religion they observed. As an adult I have grown to practice and respect that Religion. I cannot even begin to comprehend teaching religion in Schools, or even the course recently authorized in Georgia, "The Bible." This will do nothing but open the door for each and every religion to seek to have their "Bible," or spiritual manuscripts integrated into Public Education. As regards "Same Sex Marriages" there is simply no way that our great Nation, or any other Nation for that matter; can adopt laws and regulations to regulate morality.
In this regard, I recall reading a Readers Digest article some years ago that in a certain State of the United States of America it was against the law for a female to appear in a public place without the proper foundation garmets. I believe the article required was called a Corset.
I do not know if the Corset law is still on the books, but I suspect that very female readers of this Blog are wearing a Corset.
So, what is the solution that I am proposing to remedy this situation. How can we get candidates to respect the needs of all the citizens of this great City, County, State or Nation that we all reside in?
Simple, Vote. If you are not registered to vote and are of the proper age, contact your local voter registration office today. In Georgia the deadline for registration for the current primary cycle is June 19, 2006.
Before our candidates will consider the needs of our society as a broad spectrum of citizens, the citizens will have to display an avid interest in the process. We as a society have left our candidates cater to a small segment of the population, simply because they vote.
Thus, before we can expect the U. S. A. to improve we all need to be involved in the process. Soon we will all observe "Independence Day" in our great Nation. We all have a lot to be proud of. But I challenge each of you to Vote.
Before you go off the deep end and tell your self that if you register to vote you will be a potential juror; ask yourself this question. Suppose I am wrongfully accused of a crime, would I desire a Jury of my peers, or would I want a group of old conservatives to determine my fate!!!!
Certainly something to Think About!!!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Here we are, Middle Georgia has not had any significant rain fall in several weeks. This led me to recall a time about 27 years ago, when a peer of mine was relocating and he placed his home on the market to sell. It had been a dry summer and during the selling process cracks appeared in the brick wall on the back side of the home. The reason given was that the soil had contracted and the foundation gave way under the brick veneer. Needless to say, the $20,000.00 repair job generated a negative cash flow upon closing of the home. With that event in mind, I just spent the last two hours watering the foundation of my two story brick home. While I was doing the watering, I recalled a passage in my recent reading of "The World is Flat," which clearly stated that if everyone is able to participate in Computer Software development by sharing their ideas, a better program will result. With that in mind, I would like to share this information which I acquired during a google search on "brick wall foundation maintenance."

Home Foundation Maintenance Tips
Watering your foundation

The primary objective of a foundation maintenance program should be to keep the soil under the house in a uniform and constant moisture condition. This is best achieved by keeping water from accumulating near the foundation to keep the soil from getting too wet (see below) and by adding moisture during periods of dry weather to keep the soil from getting too dry. Dry, cracked soil near the foundation is an indication of both lack of moisture and the presence of expansive soils. Water should be added to soil around the foundation before the soil drys, shrinks and cracks. This is best accomplished by a watering program during periods of dry weather.
A watering program can be accomplished with a sprinkler system or, especially during periods of extremely dry weather, soaker hoses. Remember, however, that soil that is too wet can be just as damaging as soil that is to dry, so monitor the soil so that it doesn’t get too wet and muddy or too dry and cracked or pulled away from the foundation. Other watering tips include watering at night to limit evaporation and watering more often rather than longer to reduce run-off and conserve water.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

2006, 6 June is now in the History Books. We also all recall that June 6 is also known as D-Day when the Allies launched an invasion on the North Coast of France, which led to the end of World War II in Europe. We either recall from memory, or have learned from Histroy about the events which led to the end of World War II in the Pacific Area of Operations. Victory in Europe day (VE Day) is May 8, 1945 and Victory in Japan day (VJ Day) is August 15, 1945.
The image I have selected for this article is from the Andersonville National Cemetery here in Georgia. It was copied from the Andersonville National Cemetery Website. At this time there are over 17,000 burials in Andersonville. The image is a Memorial from one of the States of the Union which like many other states committed Warriors to the cause of the Civil War.
I can recall the day that World War II ended. My Mom took us four children aside from our play and informed us in a calm, yet reverant manner with the following statement: "Today the War is Over." I look back on that day and as I prepared to do this Blog. I recalled how my parents encouraged us to gather Milkweed fiber so that they could turn it in. We were told that the fiber was used in the production of life jackets. My Sister and I were proud to be doing our part for our country. While I do not recall how much milkweed fiber we gathered, I do know that as I reflect back, I feel a level of pride on what a five year old had accomplished for His Country.
I discuss this background today to also set the stage for my comments, my views, which is what this Blog is all about. As a Society and citizens of the world, we must be mindful of our history, our heritage and also our responsibilities.
Just the other day a young citizen in Georgia was brutally murdered when someone threw an axe into his face. I am sure that no matter where you live, you can hear of this type of event each and every day. What can we do? I would submit that as a society we need to always be mindful of the sacrifices of our citizens of the past. We must learn to appreciate what we have. We must also respect our fellowpeople kind on this Earth. How can this be done, you may be asking yourself? While there are no simple answers may I submit that if we start now we can avoid a more tragic future. We simply must educate our youth that many have given a lot, even their lives so that we can have our Freedoms. We must allow our youth the opportunity to serve their Country. We need to develop a sense of pride in our heritage. While we can not repeat history, we must study it and also respect the events of the past so that we can stand tall and always remember that thousands have sacrificed a lot. In summary, we must be ready to answer the call. We cannot continue to sit back and expect others to give us our freedom.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The other day when I shared with you the origin of my Name on this Blog I mentioned the "Angel Trumpet" plant. In early 2005 I ordered one plant and it arrived in April. I nurtured it in accordance with the directions and finally on November 19th the blooms startled me. Of course I wintered the plant over in the garage, taking it outside only on nice warm days. I had planted it in a fourteen inch terra cotta pot so it was quite easy to move about. I did take six cuttings each about seven inches long and rooted them over the winter. This spring I placed two in pots and the remaining four plus seven plants I had rooted from cuttings I obtained from a friend who also had "Angel Trumpets" in his gardens in the soil in the east gardens. I have learned that these plants will winter over here in Middle Georgia so I had no problem with placing eleven in the ground. Of course the baby plants are now only about three feet tall; however the Mother Plant has reached eight feet and has five blooms as of today. Each bloom is about six inches across and the whole flower is at least twelve inches long. They really do look like trumpets. I hope that you enjoy Alan's views today. In addition to their unique shape and size the fragrance is overwhelming. A more pleasant smell I have yet to experience. Simply Grand.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Good Day. Several days ago I mailed in the Post a letter of concern to the members of the Bibb County School Board. I am concerned that these elected officials, representing the people do not use the most modern resources available to allow citizens to communicate with them about the one thing that probably impacts the most on the future of our Middle Georgia - Education. These elected officials do not allow citizens to E-Mail them with their concerns. If we are to improve education I would submit that these guardians of our Education System in Bibb County, Georgia would allow timely citizen response. See the letter I sent:

Hello, Bibb County, Georgia School Board Members and Fellow Citizens of Bibb County,

As you all gathered at the various Graduation activities at the Bibb County Schools this past week I am confident that you felt a great sense of pride in your accomplishments. This is as it should be. We have seen improvements in the infrastructure of our School System in the past few years.

On May 23 I addressed my concerns regarding the 2006-2007 Government Budgets with our County and City Leaders. We all know that the prices of energy will never return to what we enjoyed a mere two years ago. As you and the fellow members of our School Board labor with the 2006-2007 School System Budget during the next few weeks, I am confident that you will consider the impact of what it will cost to continue to do business to the standards of the past. I am also confident that you will seek to improve on the past School District reputation and strive to continue to improve our system of public education.

I, just like you am aware that the cost of doing business will only increase. Just recently I read in our local print media an article that very few contractors are bidding on proposed building/improvement projects that our System is seeking to accomplish. This is expected and should not come as a shock because no matter who we are, or what business we operate because the cost of doing anything will increase because of the increased cost of energy. I cannot comprehend any article that I obtain for my consumption that is not impacted by the higher cost of energy that we all must endure.

I am shocked that you, our educational leaders have not caused the Bibb County School System to develop a Web Site where we the citizens can communicate with you, our duly elected leaders as you labor to do the will of the citizens you so labor to represent. The May 23 event I discussed above was conducted by E-Mail to the various City and County Representatives who are our public servants; just as you have sworn to serve us all in the area of public education. These dedicated individuals are available via letter, telephone, public meetings and also via E-Mail. It is a public disgrace that you are unavailable to the public via one of the most cost efficient methods currently available to the citizens of Bibb County.

Just a few weeks ago, my Sister-In-Law in Iowa indicated to me that I should obtain a copy of the Book “The World is Flat” and read it. More than likely this book will be required reading for all public educators in Iowa as they take time off to enjoy the Summer months. Needless to say, I took her advice and obtained the Book from our local Public Library System here in Bibb County. I would urge you all to read this revealing book and consider the concepts contained therein. For our Nation to continue as a leader in the World we need to focus on the future and adopt some break through thinking on how we do business and also how we educate our next generations of citizens. After we discover what is currently causing our potential problems we will have to initiate some positive actions. Of course we can sit idly by and let the rest of the world overtake our leadership roles and then wonder why and/or what went wrong. I am confident that to a person, no one member of our Bibb County School Board desires to be a part of the destruction of America. Sure the Book I reference above contains some shocking information, but you and I know that we have all endured some great, yet tragic events in our lives. It is how we react and develop our plans for the future that will mark us as a caring and dedicated society that only desires to do what is best for the next generations and also for our United States of America.

For those who desire to cast this letter aside and not even read “The World is Flat,” please let my advise you that while you are all very busy with your lives, your jobs, your families and your duties as a member of our School Board you must simply find the time to read this book. You may also be aware that I am retired and have plenty of time to keep abreast of what needs to be done. You may also consider me to be a thorn in your side. Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am currently enjoying my lavish life style financed by your FICA payments and your yearly contributions to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. What are you going to do to insure that our United States continues to remain ahead of the pack? After all, you, your children and even your grandchildren deserve something better than our current attitude of “Business as Usual.”

By reading the Book I have come to appreciate what our Nation has accomplished, and also the fact that I am now aware that our Earth must realize that globalization is here and a fact of life. We all need to be proactive and learn from each other. The attitude of our current school board as a whole regarding input from citizens using only archaic communications systems tells me a lot about the attitude of our Bibb County School System.

Should you doubt this, please read “The World is Flat,” for a viewpoint that indicates that everyone has the ability to make a positive contribution to the welfare of society!!!!!! No longer will management from the top down be the mantra for any successful organization. This applies to governmental bodies as well as business opportunities in the real working global world. This is a difficult lesson, but even Big Blue; a.k.a. IBM learned this one the hard way.

Again, please take the time to read the book, “The World is Flat.” It will help you has you also proceed through your private life. Additionally, your ability to function as a concerned School Board Member will also be enhanced.

Some have asked me the origin of the "Flower Child" so today I will inform you. During the 60s I lived in San Francisco, California. I visited the Haight-Ashberry section and was impressed with the casual lifestyle. In later life I developed a passion for gardening. At the present time I enjoy looking at flowers that are in abundance in the gardens surrounding my home. Today we have an Angel Trumpet plant that is just beginning to burst forth with a plethora of nice dark yellow trumpet shaped flowers. Additionally the Hydrangeas and Gardenias are blooming in abundance. Thus I thought I would share several Hydrangea images here today.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Several days ago a group of High Seniors engaged in an incident at Rutland High School in Bibb County. The 12 now have a name as the "Rutland Twelve."

School officials determined that they would not be allowed to walk in the graducation ceremony. Yet a group of parents and a local Church in South Bibb County set up a graduation event which allowed the Rutland Twelve to Walk.

Then, we as a society wonder why our future generation of citizens lack respect for the system.

(Photo obtained from the Rutland High
School Web Site. Thank You)

May I suggest that maybe it is because we have abandoned the system when it is comfortable and we have also allowed our standards to be compromised. I see all too often where the standards are modified to allow or even encourage inappropriate behavior. I certainly believe that this is the case with the "Rutland Twelve."

In addition to what is happening with our local governments I will try to highlight some of the great things that are happening here in Middle Georgia each Week. Just this past Friday, June 2, 2006 I participated in my first Gaudet Baseball Camp. What a great experience. There were 369 boys and girls who participated from 23 towns in Middle Georgia and they represented 66 different schools. Talk about a diverse group. It is a fun experience and I would like to share some pictures:

Here you can see the action at the Batting Station. There were several other stations such as catching, fielding and the one that was most impressive to me was the one where a Baseball Umpire discussed the rules of the game. Throughout the entire camp day all the speakers and leaders stressed that the game of baseball could also be used as a model in the opportunities of life. The lessons learned on the playing field can be applied to the game of life.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The major topic of discussion in Bibb County, Georgia this week has been the publication of the 2006 Tax Assessors assessments. Most, if not all of the assessments increased a great deal.

Many are upset and submitting appeals. It is my understanding that if enough property owners submit appeals that the digest will have to be discarded. What is your opinion?