Thursday, January 31, 2008

Flower Child Visits the 2008 Southeastern Flower Show

Wednesday, January 30, 2008. The Flower Child and fellow members of Macon's Pine Ridge Garden Club Visited the 2008 Southeastern Flower Show in Building A, World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia. The show is a major fund raiser for the Atlanta Botancial Gardens. The Southeastern Flower Show (SFS) has a Garden Shop within the Show. The Flower Child purchased the above container garden to adorn his Breakfast Room Table here in West Bibb County.
In addition to demonstration Gardens developed by a plethora of Atlanta Area Landscape Firms, the Show features a Standard Flower Show. It is always interesting to view the many entries.

This is just one of the fifteen demonstration gardens. This knot garden was developed by the "Alex Smith Design Landscaping" firm in Atlanta. Alex is a Macon native and many Maconites will remember his Dad, who was the owner of Second Chance which is very near the Central City Park Entrance in downtown Macon, Georgia. This garden was downlighted with blue lights and was thus difficult to photograph. To see it in person was far more enjoyable than this picture presents.
One more picture in this Blog. This was a lovely arrangement. For those interested in attending the 2008 Flower Show, please be aware that the final day is Sunday, February 3rd. For additional information on this delightful show please visit:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Serving Those Who Serve
Those Who Have Served

The Flower Child has been a member of The American Legion for twenty-five years, yet has never heard what the purpose of that Great Organization so well stated as during the Dinner at Post Three, Macon, Georgia where the National Commander of the American Legion gave the local members and Legion Members from throughout Georgia an inspiring talk.
While I had heard of the Legion's Family Support Network I was impressed to learn that this network is established through the some 15,000 Legion Post who respond to the calls for assistance to members of a Warrior's Family while they are deployed to the Legion's Hot Line at 1 (800) 504-4098. A Serviceperson does not need to be a member of the Legion for their Family or they themselves to receive assistance. With some 15,000 local post the Legion is in more towns and cities in our United States of America; thus more available to the military families it is pledged to support and assist.
The National Commander also pointed out that The American Legion is the only major Veteran's Service Organization in the U. S. A. that is growing in membership. The American Legion has pledged to fund the college education of any child who lost a parent while engaged in the War on Terrorism since September 11, 2001. This is a $20,000,000.00 obligation, which The American Legion has committed itself to. At this time 37 Scholars are enrolled in this worthy program.
To me, there is no more noble cause than to support an organization that has made these committments. There is no higher calling than to "Serve those who Serve and Those Who Have Served," therefore I will call my Post Commander today and pledge my support to our Nation's Heroes when they have needs.
If You, or any in your Family, have served, Thank You, but please consider joining your local American Legion Post to support those who now serve.
Thank You and God Continue to Bless America.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Medicine and Victim
As we travel through life and even watch a bit of evening prime-time television most of us are subject to the plethora of commercials which key in our health or well being. "Ask Your Doctor About" and the list is endless. Are my heart, my blood vessels, or my sex organs functioning propertly appear to be of the most concern of the prescription drug companies. Surely these commercials cost money. Yet we as a society decry the high cost of medicine and medical care. Of course to be fair, pick up any magazine at the newstand and you are again bombarded with ads for prescription drugs which will prevent heart failure, lower colestrol, or increase your sexual prowlness.
I, the Flower Child know that I am old fashioned. I always thought, and still do for that matter, that if I have a problem I should consult a Doctor and they will determine what I need, if anything.
Of course, this Blog entry would not be fair to just single out the Medical Profession. Have you, like I noted the plethora of Lawyer Commercials on television. Have you been prescribed medication ________________ or have you taken the ____________________ Over the Countery Drug" Have you experienced major medical problems because of this medication? If you or a deceased loved one has had a problem please call the Law Offices of ______________________________ today. Our toll-free number is 1-800-555-1212.
I realise that everyone has to achieve an acceptable standard of living. But these major advertising campaigns certainly cost money. What is wrong with the old "Gold Standard" of word of mouth advertising from friend to friend, or family member to another family member? What is wrong with relying on your Medical Professional to determine what medications you may or even may not need to resolve a health related issue?
Today the Flower Child would suggest that if the "professionals" relied on their own good work and the drug companies relied on trained Medical Professionals to determine what we as a Society should be medicated with that the cost of Medicine and the cost of Lawyer's services just may be reduced.
You will note that the title of this Blog included the word "Victim" which is what we all can become if we let the commercials we all are exposed to run our lives or control our actions. I for one feel confident in the abilities of my Trained Medical Professional to prescribe what I may need. I certainly do not need a TV or Print Commercial to tell me what I need. As regards needing the services of a Lawyer, I will choose one who comes to me via a personal recommendation from some who has been served by that Lawyer.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Just Think, in less than a month we will have the opportunity to enjoy Automobile Racing. NASCAR will open the season at Daytonna. On his way down to Florida, Kasey Kahne decided to stop in Macon and visit a few of his fans.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yellow Flower - Winner

Saturday, January 12, 2008. The Middle Georgia Camera Club conducted the Annual Banquet which honored the photographic efforts of some 100 members during 2007. Additionally the 2008 Officers were installed. The image you view above was a Second Place Winner in the Digital - General Class Competition. I suspect that the Flower Child should have a Winner which is a Flower.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Friendship Plant or Queen's Tears

It is about time for the Flower Child to show some flowers on this blog. Here is an image of the lovely Friendship Plant. It is also known as "Queens Tears." It normally blooms in January and is a low maintenance plant. They reside on the deck on the North side of the house and are brought in to the garage in Winter to reduce the freezing hazard. In January when the pink flowers begin to show they are brought in the house so that we can enjoy them. Somehow two images made it here so you can enjoy one large flower and one small flower.

The texturing was done using "filters" in Photoshop Elements 5.0 which I am learning to use.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The "R" Word - Campaign 2008
On December 27 I posted a Blog that asked two questions of every candidate running for the Office of President of the United States. Briefly stated the questions were:
  • What will you do to resolve the illegal citizens in the United States of America?
  • How will you bring a rapid conclusion to the War on Terrorism?

Yet most of the hyberpole I have heard as we all witnessed the Iowa Caucus and the first primary in New Hampshire related to how people in this United States of America needed to have their needs met.

During the last few days we are beginning to hear the dreaded "R" word. Is it possible that our great Nation will under go a Recession? While I am not an economic expert by any stretch of the imagination, I do know that if the citizens of this Nation continue to expend more and more of their income for energy (gasoline for transport to the workplace) there will of course be fewer dollars available for the other necessary items to support life. Thus, it is quite possible and also most probable that a recession will soon be here.

Yet, our Nation's esteemed lawmakers continue to ignore the obvious. We have an abundance of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, we have oil that can be pumped out of the sub-strata under Alaska. We also lack refining capacity to process an abundance of crude; but we do have the technology to build new infrastructure. When will we realize that some of our own current policies simply make us very vulnerable to the oil rich countries in this world? If we start drilling in the Gulf and in Alaska it will send a message to these foreign powers that we are indeed looking forward to supplying more of our own oil. Thus the price of oil in the world wide market will decrease as we show everyone that we will not be a victim to their pricing schemes.

Additionally, we can use Nuclear Power to supply energy for our homes, businesses and factories. It is a fact that we have the technology and the trained nuclear plant operators. Our great nation has several Nuclear Powered Air Craft Carriers and an abundance of Nuclear Powered Submarines. We submit our finest young men and women to the alledged dangers of Nuclear Power, yet we refrain from building more Nuclear Power Plants. I would think that if Nuclear Power is good enough for them, that it would be also safe for us. I know for a fact that several of these Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carriers are currently in ports in the United States of America. We rely on young men and women in their early twenties to operate these Nuclear Power Plants. These young men and women have done so in a safe manner for many years now, yet we are reluctant to build new Nuclear Power Plants for generation of power here in the United States of America.

Yes, our Lawmakers have us over a barrel. At this time it also looks as if we are all over a barrel of oil as we procure gasoline for transportation to our jobs. Or as in the case of the Flower Child who is in retirement, for those errands necessary to enjoy the fruits of his previous labors. The Flower Child also expends fuel to do his weekly Marketing for food stuffs.

We can also appreciate the energy requirements of the plethora of candidates campaign buses, their respective staffs and all the volunteers who expend their own personal resources to support the candidate of their choice.

So the question we all should be asking today of each candidate is:

"What will you do to resolve the energy crisis in the United States of America?"

or maybe we should add one more question for ourselves:

"When will we, - We the People - stop electing members of the House and the Senate who continue to serve themselves and their subsequent re-elections by actually facing the difficult choices we must face and also resolve?"

All of this stated by the Flower Child today to simply point out that unless our Nation's Lawmakers face the facts, we will have a recession and it will be soon. This also makes the plethora of candidates seeking the Office of President of the United States of America a bit nervous.

Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom

"Persian Gulf (January 10, 2008) An F/A-18 Hornet launches off the flight deck of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Truman, and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, are deployed in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo J. Reyes (Released) "
I am confident that most visitors to this, the Flower Child's Blog are aware that our U. S. Navy has been busy in the Persian Gulf in recent days. I captured this image and the information from a U. S. Navy Informational Web Site.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Salt Water and U. S. Navy Ships

The Ships of the U. S. Navy, like those ships of other Navies operate in Salt Water. Now we all know that salt water sea spray and metal do not get along. Metal will rust when exposed to water and salt water makes the rusting process just that much faster. Therefore any Sailor in any Navy is constantly battling rust. This picture shows a Seaman assigned to the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) masking a capstan in preparation for a new coat of paint. A never ending battle, but one that is necessary to keep the ships of any Navy in tip top shape.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Strait of Hormuz
Sunday, January 6, 2008
When I first heard of this encounter in the Strait of Hormuz the first thing that came to my mind was the tragic attack on the USS Cole (DDG-67) on October 12, 2000. Seventeen Heroes lost their lives when this great Warship was attacked. The motto of the USS Cole is "Determined Warrior" which is very appropriate when when considers that this great Warship has been rebuilt and is on active duty in our United States Navy.
The above image is of the USS Ingraham (FFG-61). This is a stern view of this Guided Missile Frigate which was one of three United States Navy Ships involved in the Hormuz incident. The Motto of this fine ship is: "The Last and Finest."

This is a Port Side view of the USS Hopper (DDG-70). This Guided Missile Destroyer was named after the first Female Rear Admiral of the United States Navy. She was Grace Hopper and is regarded as the pioneer in development of the "Computer." The Motto of this great Warship is: "Dare and Do."

The last of the three ships involved in this incident, and also the largest is the USS Port Royal (CG-73). This Guided Missile Cruiser, shown here at sea has as it's Motto: "The Will to Win." We here in the United States of America can certainly be very proud of the young men and women who man these great ships. They certainly acted in the highest tradition of our United States Navy. It can certainly be stated that they reacted to this situation with great appreciation of the Heritage every Sailor is a part of. They must have certainly also thought of the USS Cole. These three Guided Missile equipped ships certainly had the firepower to wipeout the five speed boats. We can all appreciate the situation and we can all also appreciate the fact that the situation was quickly resolved when the five potential attackers quickly sped away.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Fire Fighting At Sea
A U. S. Navy Aircraft Carrier

As you know, the Flower Child's first duty station in the U. S. Navy was onboard an Aircraft Carrier. Therefore he regularly visits a Navy Website to remain current on the tempo of Navy Operations. This photo was developed to honor the Fire Fighters onboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Flying squad members (left to right) Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Delanya Ruff, Machinist Mate 3rd Class Michael Alavarado and Damage Controlman Fireman Ryan Gallop are part of an elite team that fights fires when the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) is at sea. The Flying squad is designed to quickly, efficiently, and safely contains fires, flooding or any damage to the ship. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group was on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO help set the conditions for security and stability, as well as aid counter-terrorism and security efforts to the regional nations. Thanks to the Department of the Navy which has released this photo.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Threshing Has Begun

When the Flower Child was a Young Iowa Farm Boy he often participated in such a scene as you are viewing above. We grew a field of oats each year. When the crop was ripe it was cut with a McCormick Grain Binder and bundles were tied. We shocked the oats to help it cure and soon the Threshing Machine, pulled by a steam engine would appear. My Dad was part of a Threshing Ring, where all the local Farmers participated in threshing the oats from the straw as you see above.

While modern combines now thresh oats, wheat and corn for the Farmers in our United States, the threshing of candidates for the office of President of the United States of America has begun. The good grain is being separated from the chaff. With the Iowa Caucuses now behind us the focus will now be New Hampshire. It will be interesting to observe how this Threshing Process evolves over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

USS HULL (DD-945) Navy Memories

The Flower Child served in the USS Hull (DD-945) during the period 9 December 1977 through 1 December 1978. During this period of time the USS Hull was deployed to the Seventh Fleet area of Operations. For those who have never had the opportunity to serve our Country in the Navy, please be aware that the U. S. Seventh Fleet area of Operations is the Western Pacific.
The USS Hull was a test platform during the late 70s for a new gun. The Gun shown here is an eight inch. As the last all gunned destroyer this test program determined that an eight inch gun was simply too much for the hull of a destroyer type ship. Additionally a new generation of Guided Missile Destroyers was in the development process. However, those who served in USS Hull during the late 70s had the reputation as being eight inch sailors.