Sunday, December 30, 2007

Guttenberg, Iowa
River Park Drive
Iowa Caucus - January 3, 2008

This Snow laden Street runs alongside the Mississippi River in Guttenberg, Iowa. The Jefferson Township Caucus will be held in the Dining Room of the local Hospital on Thursday, January 3rd, 2008. The Snow has been plowed out of the way as you can see here. Judging from the view here it is possible that the snow is three feet high alongside the Street.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

U. S. Navy Memories

The Flower Child served in the USS Ranger (CVA-61) from April 18, 1962 through July 18, 1964. During this tour of duty he advanced from Seaman Apprentice to Yeoman Third Class. Yeoman is a Navy Term for Administrative Assistant. During his Tour in Ranger the Flower Child worked in the Operations Office, Served a tour as a Mess Cook and also worked in the Air Intelligence Office. For those who may be interested the CVA designator means Aircraft Carrier - Attack. The USS Ranger was the first Carrier to deploy with the famed F-4 Phanthom Aircraft.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Donating Blood

In Early December the Flower Child donated whole Blood. The image above is of a Christmas Decoration that the Red Cross here in Middle Georgia gave to all donors in December of 2007.
Everyone knows that the Flower Child served in the United States Navy. While visiting a U. S. Navy Photo Website recently I ran across this image. A Sailor donating Whole Blood. This image brought back memories of when I first donated Blood. I also was in the Navy and our Ship was visiting Japan. One morning at quarters the word was passed that the local U. S. Navy Hospital was running a Blood Drive. Volunteers to donate blood would have the whole day off, after donating Blood of course. I donated and enjoyed liberty in Japan. Since that time, donating blood while in the Navy was for the Flower Child considered vampire liberty.

Flower Child's Magnolia
The Flower Child has been a member of the Middle Georgia Camera Club since September 1999. During that period of time he has learned some about digital photography. Additionally, he has learned to appreciate Black and White photography even more than before. Displayed here is the center section of a magnolia bloom with the vivid detail that has been enhanced with Elements Software.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Campaign 2007

As the 2007 Iowa Caucus Season draws to a rapid ending, the Flower Child is confident that a plethora of Campaign Motor Homes are rapidly crossing Iowa in search of yet another voter who will participate in the famed January 3rd Caucuses. You will notice that the Motor Home shown above does not have a candidates logo, which is my intent.

The Flower Child does have several serious questions that he considers germane to the 2008 Presidential Campaign and he expects to hear the responses of the various candidates:

  • What are you going to do regarding the number of illegal people currently living in the United States of America?
  • What options will you exercise as "Commander in Chief" of our Armed Forces to bring the War on Terrorism to a rapid conclusion?

There are really no other factors to consider when selecting a President to lead our United States of America.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Lights 2007

San Diego, California. Christmas 2007. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) is decorated for Christmas as she rest pierside at the United States Naval Base. This ship is a Guided Missile Destroyer and is powered by gas turbine engines. The Flower Child was on the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32).
A Most Perfect Christmas

Christmas 1971. When Flower Child first came to Georgia he needed a small nativity scene for his mobile home in Jones County. He obtained this one at an arts and craft store on Shurling Drive in Macon, Georgia.
Then in the 1980s, Flower Child's Mother obtained this Nativity Scene from Leward Mills, in Elgin, Illinois and this has become a treasured Family Gift ever since.
During one of the first years of the new Millineum the Flower Child and his Bride were doing their Christmas Shopping and they found this Nativity Scene in a local Macon, Georgia shop at half price. The scroll in the front of the Christ Child simply states "Come Let Us Adore Him."
This Nativity Scene is quite simply, yet very powerful. It was given to us a a Gift. It also is a treasured part of the Christmas scene.
All of these Nativity Scenes simply remind us that the real reason for Christmas is the Celebration of Jesus, Christ, the Savior of the World. There can be nothing more perfect than remembering the real reason for the season. We Celebrate and also realize that this side of Eternal Life, there is no such thing as a Perfect Christmas; although the Nativity Scenes we enjoy remind us all of what is yet to come. Peace and Joy through the Coming of Jesus Christ.
Thank You!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Perfect Christmas
On December 23 I had the pleasure of attending "The Chancel Choirs of Vineville Presbyterian Church and St. Paul's Episcopal Church" presentation of the Christmas portions of G. F. Handel's Messiah. The performance was grand and was enjoyed by the Flower Child and his Bride. There must have been 300 in attendance.
During my High School Years I developed a profound appreciation for this Masterpiece. The Mixed Chorus of the High School I attended performed the Messiah every year. There were 126 students in this small high school in rural Iowa, however there were 110 members in the Mixed Chorus. Our vocal music teacher always stated that she could teach anyone to sing. In that regard she did quite well. I have fond memories of thinking that some day I could be the First Tenor who would sing the opening to this great work. I always looked up to the lead First Tenor, who was one class ahead of me. Finally, in my Senior Year I had the opportunity to sing "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people" and the Air "Ev'ry valley shall be exalted." Since that time I have always enjoyed the performances of "The Messiah" wherever I was stationed or living.
I want to Thank the Members of both these Chancel Choirs here in Macon for this performance which certainly made Christmas 2007, perfect for the Flower Child.
Have a Blessed Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Food Cost - Continued
Just a few days ago I posted an article about Food Cost. I have it on good authority that land values in Iowa increased by more than 20 percent during the last year. The experts predict that this type of increases will continue as long as the demand for ethanol continues. Just think, in a few years we will have cheap energy and very expensive food. I, the Flower Child, suspect that soon there will be a major compromise on where we can drill for oil in our United States of America. Why, soon we may also be able to utilize the vast oil reserves that are known to be just off-shore of our United States of America.
In summary, as soon as enough people are hungary, just maybe those who are holding out on drilling here may be forced to change their mind. A refreshing thought, indeed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Food Cost
Just last evening the Flower Child was viewing a major network news broadcast where he was informed that the cost of our "Daily Bread" was going up. WOW!!!!! This is real news. I suppose the next thing we will hear is how the farmers of America are getting even richer. One of my recent post here discussed the fact that energy cost are increasing. Farmers need to obtain energy to produce our food stuffs. Thus the cost of our food must increase to cover the cost of production. Besides that, the food distribution network needs to increase their rates to deliver our food stuffs to our local markets.
Yes, my friends, times are changing. What can we do about it. We can all cultivate victory gardens, just like our forbearers did during World War II. But then we must realize that the cost of fertilizer is also going up. So, how can we beat the system and keep our food cost low? Sorry, my friend, we are just going to have to change our lifestyles. We will not be able to have every want we desire fulfilled. We may have to focus on needs. Maybe we will have to cease being a throw away society, which is the mantra that far too many of us currently subscribe to.
In summary, I do not think that Kroger and Publix are getting any richer. I know that Farmers are not getting any richer. Can we blame the transportation and processing companies? I do not think so. I would humbly suggest that we need to remember that for many years, we have enjoyed the lowest cost of any industralized nation on Earth when it comes to expenditures for our food items. I sincerely think our time has come. We just may have to revise our priorities, if we want to continue to eat well.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Water and Fuel Concerns

Anyone who views the evening news knows that the citizens of North Georgia are facing a major water problem. Lake Lanier which has been the source of most of the water for citizens of Atlanta has been drying up. Recent rains have served to delay the day when there is no more water. Of course an abundance of Winter Rains will resolve the problem, but the future certainly is uncertain. I had thought of driving up to Lake Lanier from Middle Georgia, but I determined that the fuel required would stress my Christmas budget. Thus this image today. I am confident that you can ascertain that this is a sink. Of course there is no water in it. That stated, I must point out that while we here in Bibb County, Georgia have an abundance of water it is only because we rely on a lake filled with water pumped from a river. This system was constructed after the great Flood of 94 with major assistance from the Federal Government. We have a lot to be grateful for.
Now, regarding the topic of fuel, we must all be aware that 30 cents a gallon gasoline will never return to our shores here in the United States of America. I can recall when I was making $300.00 a month and gasoline was 30 cents. Based on this ratio, gasoline would have to cost $4.00 a gallon before I can gripe.
All of these facts stated to simply point out that we are indeed fortunate, however that does not eliminate the need for conservation of these precious natural resources. But then again, we must also be aware that we also need to explore our own natural resources in the United States of America. It is a fact that we are a user Society. I am confident we can also become a user Society using our own resources in a much more effective manner than we currently do. Of course such action will require a dedicated "Leadership" on the part of our Government and our Private Industries. A true partnership must be developed and everyone must learn how to work as a team. When I think about team work I think that we have failed each other greatly. Our duly elected leaders often are the stumbling blocks to internal exploration of our own natural resources. Now, please bear in mind that I am not promoting isolationalism, but merely pointing out that we can, and indeed should become more able to support our own energy and resource needs.
I know that this is a lot to think about and with Christmas being so close at hand it is difficult to even comprehend the needs that our Society will have in the future, but it is certainly something worthy of taking a few minutes to think about now, today.
Now, the Flower Child should sign off and proceed to "The Mall," to become a worthy shopper!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Style Guru
Have the fashion experts, the style gurus or the decorators invaded your life yet? Today we will endeavor to banish some recent myths that I, the Flower Child have been exposed to in recent years.
Recently the painting of the walls in our home was a project. During the exploration of the plethora of colors available a statement was made that the down stairs powder room would also have to be redecorated. You simply can not paint all the rooms downstairs and not redo the powder room. That was about four years ago. The down stairs powder room has not been redone and the water closet still works as well as the sink. Everything is still functioning, even though all the rooms down stairs have been repainted.
I was recently advised that the counters in our kitchen need new granite surfaces in order to keep our home competitive in today's market. An excellent idea!!!!! Recent revelations in the media have indicated that granite is often the source of unwanted radon gases. I have also recently heard of "Radon Gas Measurement Equipment" that home owners can buy to ascertain if dangerous levels of this gas are in their homes. It sounds as if the Dangerous Gas Measurement Equipment manufacturers and the Granite Counter Suppliers are each supporting each other. So the question must be asked, "Why would I want or even desire a shiny new Granite Counter Top in my Kitchen, if I must also obtain a measurement instrument to ascertain if dangerous levels of radon were in my home?"
Now to be fair, I know that radon can be dangerous. That is why, during the process of acquiring my home here in West Bibb County, Georgia that I required that a vapor barrier be installed over the soil in the crawl space. So, I am now wondering why I would procure granite for the counter top so that I will now have the potential of radon emitting from the interior fittings of my home.
Besides, as most of you readers know, the Flower Child is an avid baker and cook. During my recent baking opportunities in our kitchen, the counter top served me well. It held the necessary equipment to produce six fruit cakes and six pumpkin cranberry breads. I enjoy cooking and baking. I have also been informed that granite, to continue to maintain it's new installation shine, will more than likely have to be sealed each year.
So Fashion Experts, Style Gurus and Decorators, I appreciate your concerns and your recommendations. But to be fair, please ply your trades in areas where fashion conscious two income families reside. The Flower Child is happy and anticipates continuing to enjoy a long, productive life without the unnecessary stress of paying for all of these updates simply to satisfy those who may think that Happiness can be purchased by having the latest upgrades..............
Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!
Joshua Cup

The Joshua Cup on Washington Avenue near College Street and just across the street from the famed Washington Library in Macon, Georgia.

During a recent WMAC "AM-940" Morning Radio Show the Flower Child won two Meals from Joshua Cup along with appropriate beverages. On December 12th the Flower Child and his Bride visited this friendly establishment to redeem the free meals. A plethora of choices and excellent food along with the friendly wait staff made the visit most worthwhile. Admittedly, we ate for free, but that consideration aside, it was a pleasant encounter. The Staff was appropriately dressed as you can see from this picture. Therefore, "Thank You."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas 2007 in Macon, Georgia
The cards have been mailed and the Tree has been decorated. Here you see a partial view of the thirteen foot tall tree that adorns the foyer of our home. Several years ago we had a tree that was eighteen feet and six inches tall.

This view allows you to see the glow and the top of the tree with lighting from the upper level balcony.

This image allows you to view the glow of the bows and lights with no other lights in the foyer. A lovely sight and a warm, inviting charm that certainly adds to the feelings of Christmas. All of this allows us to appreciate the Blessings that we enjoy. The Flower Child wishes everyone a Blessed Christmas.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

"A Powerful Witness"
Saturday, December 8, 2007. Dateline New York City, United States of America. As I watched ESPN and the 73rd Heisman presentation I, the Flower Child, was overcome with emotion. The program featured the four finalist for the 2007 Heisman Trophy. Each of the final four had a dynamic and power witness. Anyone of the four could and would have been a worthy and appropriate winner.
When Tim Tebow was announced as the Winner, the first Sophmore to ever do so, he proceeded to the podium and extended his gratitude to a host of people. Most importantly, he witnessed to the power of Jesus Christ in his life. WOW!!!!!! I thought. A young man winning a very prestigious award in the Sports World and he felt so free and confident to talk about his God. He stated that during his life he kept the following scheme which had always served him well:
1 His Faith
2 His Family
3 His Education
4 His Football
During an interview with Tim's Mom she indicated that when he was a youngester that they encouraged Tim to follow in the footsteps of a young Danny Wuerfell who won the coveted Heisman in 1996. Tim's Coach also stated that he studied game films for 7 to 8 hours on Sunday.
Tim Tebow will go down in the record books as a star in the History of Football. However, parents can certainly point their children, both boys and girls to Tim Tebow as a role model that they can emulate. Tim, just like Danny, and a host of others, can be proud of their accomplishments. What is so refreshing about Tim Tebow in 2007 is that he was so comfortable with openly stating his value systems. A confident young man.
For a bit of information concerning the Heisman Trophy and the individual who it is named after I include this:
"John W. Heisman"
An Innovator of the Game

As the tradition of the Heisman Memorial Trophy grows with each passing year, the life of the man memorialized by the award fades into the annals of history. No one more thoroughly studied the dynamics of football, nor witnessed more closely the game's evolution, nor personally knew more immortals of the gridiron, nor effected more change in the game's development, than John W. Heisman.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, October 23, 1869, John William Heisman grew up on the oil fields of northwest Pennsylvania, in the town of Titusville. John Heisman's first football games were a hodgepodge of soccer/rugby. In 1887, at age 17, he left Titusville for Brown University where he played a form of club football with his class mates. After two years, in the fall of 1889, he transferred to Penn to pursue his law degree. Though outsized at 5'8" and 158lbs, he played varsity football for three years as guard, center, tackle, and, at times, end.