Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
- Most of us obtain fuel for our vehicles and that cost has increased in recent years.
- Most of us enjoy air conditioned homes and energy cost have also increased in recent years.
- Most of us enjoy and also appreciate wholesome family time in our homes.
- Most of us have become victims of great advertising on behalf of the entertainment equipment industry. Translation - Most of us have reasonably big screen televisions in our home.
- Most of us appreciate the opportunity to enjoy the plethora of programs we can receive on these same big screen televisions. We can enjoy what we want without the confusion of crowds or having to adorn our bodies with appropriate attire to be seen in public.
- Most of us rely on our television entertainment via cable or satellite transmission which can consume a fair amount of available funds for entertainment.
I realize that most of my considerations discussed above are recent events so you may be asking, Why has Middle Georgia failed in the arena of Fan Support of worthwhile sports organizations in the past?
- Is there a lack of appreciation for the efforts of the talent who have participated in the sports arena in the past?
- As a second tier city, do we in Macon expect professional sports at a minor league level to be as well executed as the big time professional players we observe on our televisions?
Additionally I would suggest that there are many here in Middle Georgia who are tired of the hassle of poorly managed infrastructure which has surrounded the previous sports organizations we have enjoyed in the past. Parking at the coliseum is not a major problem, but I can recall that during my thirty some years here in Middle Georgia that it appears that no organization can function effectively there until we have an appropriate exit scheme in effect for visitors who want to depart the parking lot after an event. We have several exit gates there and yet most of the time one has to que up to depart only one gate. My observation here is that if you pay to park, there should be a viable scheme in place to assist with the exit from the parking lot.
I have never been the victim of vandalism at the Coliseum Parking lot, but I have observed smashed car windows. This does not bode well for repeat attendance!!!!
These are just but two examples of why attendance may be poor at the Coliseum. I can also state here that we may have lost the Macon Braves because we, all of us, were not ready to expend the funds to upgrade the drainage infrastructure at Luther Williams Base Ball Park. What a shame. I have been to Rome, Georgia and witnessed first hand the joy of attending a Minor League Base Ball event in a fine facility in an area that was and still is dedicated to providing a wholesome arena for Wholesome Family Fun Entertainment.
Until we have a dedicated cadre of leadership who is willing to admit that we can, and should also do better; we in Middle Georgia will continue to suffer from a lack of Wholesome Family Fun Entertainment.
Speaking to my own situation, my funds are now expended as follows:
- A generous cable bill for a plethora of television options along with Internet access
- A more than ample High Definition Television with a big screen
I did enjoy the recent Little League World Series Base Ball Tournament. Columbus, Georgia I salute you for a season Well Done!!!!!!!!
To reinforce a situation that I feel should have been of major impact to Macon, Georgia and also Luther Williams Base Ball Park. The recent State of Georgia American Legion Base Ball tourament was played at the Mercer University Sports Complex. Why not have future American Legion Base Ball Touraments at Luther Williams Base Ball Park? We have teams from all over Georgia participate in this event and once again we here in Middle Georgia missed an excellent opportunity to showcase a wonderful facility which also has a stellar heritage which we could have also shared with these young players and their families. Again, what a shame.
When I was last employed at a local factory here in Middle Georgia I always jokingly stated that the most stable job opportunity would be a fork lift operator. Well that has played out quite well. I know for a fact that the last labor job at this very same factory was to operate the fork lifts as the last production machines were loaded on appropriate transport to go to a new facility.
Yes, We Do Need High Paying Jobs!!!!! Yes, We Do Have to Also Educate People!!!!!!
Monday, August 28, 2006
The Little League Baseball Team from Columbus,
Georgia is not only the best Little League Team in the
United States of America, but they are the best team in
the World. Certainly the Best in the World. True
Champions!!!!! Well Done. Well Done to the Young
Little Leaguers from Columbus. Well Done to the Little
Leaguers from Japan!!!! This has been a dynamic and
tremendous Little League Championship Series.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
- High expectations for every student
- Parent and community support
- A rigorous curriculum and fair assessments
- Sufficient resources to help all students achieve
- Safe, healthy and supportive learning environments
- Schools and classrooms equipped for teaching and learning
- Qualified teachers in every clasrom
- Strong school leadership
Unfortunately we here in Bibb County have an Elected School Board where only three of the eight members allow citizen, voter or even parent access via E-Mail through the Board of Education Web Site. I would suggest that the five who desire only phone and/or letter contact may be avoiding contact via a dynamic and also effective communication system: E-Mail. As I compute the percentage of School Board Members who allow E-Mail access I obtain 37.5 percent every time. We all know that 37.5 is a failing grade. What a Shame!!!!
Thus it is quite difficult to achieve all eight of these characteristics here in Bibb County. I am also confident that all eight of these characteristics must be achieved if we are to ever have educational excellence in the Bibb County, Georgia School System.
The referenced Parade article also identified what we as concerned citizens must also accomplish to "Help Give Kids Good Schools." There are three major items:
- Learn the facts about public schools in your community.
- Vote for issues that make a positive difference for public education.
- Act by letting elected officials and others know that quality public education is a top priority on Election Day and every day.
As a concerned citizen there are several things I would encourage you to do, even if you do not live in Bibb County, Georgia:
- Demand accountability from your elected School Board. After all, you voted them into office.
- Volunteer at your local school, or even some other school in your immediate area. You do not need to have children attending the school you volunteer at. You only must be willing to work with Children. I know for a fact that I am well rewarded by the attitude of the students at the schools I function as a Volunteer Reader. Of course you must grant permission to the School Administration to perform a background check on you before you can be accepted as a volunteer. You must be vetted for all the correct reasons. Unfortunately we have those in our society who are not appropriate for exposure to our Children.
- Support the Children and Youth we encounter in our daily routine. I always ascertain which school the Bag Person attends when I do my marketing. I then wish them well in their educational endeavors. I am confident that our Young People appreciate this type encounter.
- As a Society we need to develope a culture where we appreciate Academic Excellence at the same level that we appreciate and also expend our resources on when we recognize our Youth Sports Activities and the individuals that participate in these endeavors. When will we have the opportunity to view a "Academic Excellence in our Schools" on Television on a certain night of the Week. I do realize that Georgia Public Television awards a Scholar of the Week award for the individuals who also excell in "Sports." But I do believe that we can do more.
- Be aware that a Great Education requires Money. However, I would be quick to point out here that simply throwing money into education will not always achieve the desired results. Research and review of Systems with far superior results than we enjoy here locally in Bibb County or even the State of Georgia has verified that educational excellence can be achieved with less expenditure of funds per student. In short, we must expect and also demand great performance for each dollar expended!!!!
- We must also recognize the fact that the five school systems profiled in the Parade magazine turned poor performance into educational excellence when they achieved the above listed eight characteristics of Good Schools.
I did not write this post to exceute a vendata against the Bibb School System. Nor did I write this with a desire to boast about myself. However, I think it is appropriate to share some facts from my own life so that you are aware of the reasons I am an advocate for educational excellence. During my six years at the one one room country school, much like the school pictured at the start of this blog, I had the opportunity to lay the ground work for future educational excellence. This was a one room school with eight scholars from two different families. Although we were small I sincerely believe that our Teacher had but one goal, which was to educate us so that we could be valued citizens and also prepare us for a productive life.
I do know that this ground work allowed me to achieve a score of 98 during each of my High School years on what we called the "Iowa State Test." I believe these test are now known as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). I would also point out that when I enlisted in the United States Navy in 1961 that I achieved a score of 98 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), which certainly validates my High School test scores. The AFQT was, and is still used to assigned enlistees to the plethora of specialized schools to meet the skilled manpower requirements of our U. S. Military. Additionally, any enlistee needs to achieve a certain score just to be eligible to serve in the U. S. Military.
I am also aware that at no time was I ever taught the test!!! We were educated so that we could be valued citizens in a productive United States of America. At this point I would like to also state that I know for a fact that in my time in the U. S. Navy and later as a laborer in the local work force that all peoples had the same goals and desires for their Children. I have never met a person who desired a mediocre education for their Children. Which brings me back to the first characteristic on the list I quoted above: "High expectations for every student."
I also believe that the Children educated in the United States of America that were my peers in the 1940s and the 1950s were victims of this "High expectations" mantra. All of our Youth should be so Blessed today.
Yes, I wish that this were true today. Yet I believe, just as the Parade article pointed out with the five individual school system success stories that achieving educational excellence today is possible. Achieving educational excellence today is doable.
Yes!!!!! We Can Do It!!!!!
Friday, August 25, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
- Is our Health Care System so overburdened that they cannot submit claims to more than one vendor?
- I suspect that all of these Claims are done On-Line via the Internet so I really cannot comprehend the extra cost involved.
- I would think that it would be very simple for the Health Care Provider, in this case the Lab, to have two blanks on the form so that the Claim could be processed much more efficiently.
As it is, the Lab now sends me an Explanation of Benefits and I make a copy and put it in an appropriate envelope, put on a stamp and mail it back with note reminding them that I am a Veteran enrolled in the "TriCare for Life" program. That is the last I hear of that specific claim.
I am amazed that in their era of High Speed Data Processing that our medical care organizations from Doctor's Offices, the Laboratories they use and the Insurance Claims Processing Offices can not be more efficient. Is it that no body cares as long as they are paid? I would hope that this is not the case. But the evidence and procedures I endure to have my Health Care Providers adequately and properly paid lead me to believe that as long as it is simple for them, I must bear the brunt of their inefficiency. This is a Shame. Here we are in the 21st Century and I have to expend postage stamps and my health care provider must wait an extra week or two to be properly paid. Simply because someone, somewhere has set up a narrow minded simple system. I am always willing and ready to allow my Health Care Providers to copy my Medicare Card and my Retired U. S. Military Card so that they may be paid promptedly.
Why do we as citizens of this great Land allow this to continue?
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I do. What a beautiful sunrise. As we all travel through our lives I would like to encourage you to take the time and smell the Flowers. "Flower Child, Sunday, August 20, 2006."
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
"Expectations versus Inspections"
I recalled the above situation this morning as I contemplated the TNT Movie that I had viewed on Sunday Evening, August 13th. The title was "The Ron Clark Story," and the the most important message I received from the presentation was very familiar to me. This educator went from last to first and his mantra was "Have High Expectations and the Students will Rise to a High Level." For those who have not heard of the Ron Clark Story, please check it out on the Internet. However a brief summary is: This educator took a teaching job in a depressed school system in New York City. He did not have to. He had a very rewarding career in a much more pleasant environment. However, He saw an opportunity to truly make a difference. As I indicated above, he took a class from last to first in the period of one year by having standards much higher than anyone deemed achievable. He did it. He did more than what a normal teacher would do, to be sure, but he did it.
Indeed, He received what his expectations demanded. He achieved the standards and the goals he set out for his class. I believe that we can all rise to the situation at hand. For too long we have expected fair to average performance and we have sold future generations of citizens short. We have sold the future of our United States of America short. We all know and actually most realize that we can do better. Are we ready as a society to raise the bar, so to speak and expect dynamic performance from our schools. Mr. Clark made learning fun without compromising the goals and standards he set for this class. His Book, "The Essential 55" should be a must read for all the educators and education managers in our United States of America.
In fact, I would recommend that any adult who has appropriate expectations for their own Children or Grand-Children, to please give this book serious consideration by obtaining a copy today and reading it.
Should you desire additional information about this concerned and caring educator, please visit this link:
I believe that we can do more. We certainly should not do any less. All adults need to emulate Mr. Ron Clark as we all conduct appropriate interface with the youth of America. Here is a quote from the above Web Site regarding his program in a school he is opening in Atlanta, Georgia; and I quote:
"Most recently, Ron is devoting the majority of his time to opening a school in Atlanta for students from low-wealth areas. The Ron Clark Academy will truly be unique as it applies a curriculum that is based on travel around the world. Each year the students will journey on international adventures, and by the time they are in 8th grade each child will have visited every continent."
Thank You for taking the time today to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest this rather long Blog
Saturday, August 12, 2006
In recent weeks during the Primary Election Campaigns we have heard of “Family Values” from various candidates. I do believe that a better phrase would be “Moral Clarity.”
I know that it is sometimes helpful to look up certain words:
Moral: “Capable of making the distinction between right and wrong in conduct.”
Clarity: A noun “clearness”
I have observed, all too often, the need for people to be politically correct in their daily involvement with fellow members of the human race. In this regard, I also believe that these same individuals may also lack moral clarity in their thinking. I can speak out against an issue and some consider it an attack on the person. I would like to relay a principle that I have found works for me: “Love the Sinner/Wrongdoer, not the Sin/Mistake.”
I certainly believe that some confuse the issue. It appears to me that there are those who think that they must love the sin/mistake if they also want to love the sinner/error maker. Talk about a convoluted through process. I suspect that this is the mantra of those who seek approval at all times and devote to much of their precious time to “Being politically correct;” at the expense of what is the best course of action for the long term and also of greatest value for all!!
I think of the Muslim woman in England who “rang up” New Scotland Yard some months ago to report a suspicious event. We all can certainly thank Her and also New Scotland Yard for taking the call seriously. She had moral clarity and certainly did not adhere to the “politically correct” mantra in her actions.
I am grateful and will forever be thankful that this Muslim woman had moral clarity as a mantra in her life. Just Think, here she put the finger on or in fact ratted on an extremist!!!
Friday, August 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
As we all go through life we are constantly facing new challenges and also opportunities each day that we live. Recently I have observed a shift in the political paradigm that we have accepted and also grown accustomed to. For the past three months we here in Georgia have observed an abundance of campaign activity. We have also learned how to walk past the “curb side trash bin” that we keep parked near our door so we can fill it with trash and move it street side on the designed pick-up day. We have also experienced a plethora of phone calls from anyone who thinks they can sway my voting pattern. I suspect that my wife would have voted for anyone who had Jeff Francoeur,http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/player.jsp?player_id=425796 the great looking young man currently playing for the Atlanta Braves, delivering a phone pitch. I suspect that because of my advanced age, Dale Murphy would have had more of an impact with me. But then again, I really would have liked to receive a phone call from Gwyneth Paltrow http://www.askmen.com/women/actress/19_gwyneth_paltrow.html asking me to vote for certain candidates.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
Sunday, August 06, 2006
- First of all, please turn off all electric power to the compressor. Usually there is a switch mounted on the exterior wall of your home very near the compressor.
- Next remove the top cover so you can back flush the fins or coils.
- Pump a degreasing soap onto all the exterior sections of the compressor box that has cooling fins visible.
- From the inside of the compressor, through the top take a water hose and spray water from the inside so that the dirt on the coils is blown back out.
- After you have reinstalled the top cover, turn the electric power back on and enjoy a more efficient cooling system.
Now a few recommendations on how to keep the coils clean:
- When performing the task of mowing the grass and/or weeds take the time to turn off the Air Conditioning Compressor at the same switch you turned off the system to clean it.
- If you employ someone else to mow your grass/weeds, instruct the worker on how you want the Air Conditioning system turned off.
- If your lawn maintenance people cannot do the above, at least have them turn the lawn mower discharge chute in a direction away from the Air Conditioning Compressor.
Every heating and every cooling season we are all reminded to change the filters on our Air Handling systems on a monthly basis. I do mine on the first day of each month. To make the task an easy one to remember develop a routine and execute it in a consistent manner. Additionally I write a date on the new filter just to insure that I am doing my changing on schedule. Of course in the mild Spring or Fall Months it is also quite possible that your Air Handling Systems will not be in operation so it is of no value to change the filter for the sake of change.
Because I believe in frequent changing of filters I obtain a box of twelve filters of the appropriate size for each of the air return vents in my home each December. It is a lot like buying your home a Christmas Present. Then, when you need to change a filter/filters you have them on hand.
Please be aware, as I stated above, I am not in the Air Conditioning Sales or Installation Business. Nor does the image I chose for the blog constitute an endorsement of any particular brand. I publish this blog to help my fellow members of planet earth save some money. Anyone who knows me knows that I continue to enjoy life. To enjoy life sometimes takes money.
Thank You for Reading My Blog today!!!
Friday, August 04, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006