Sunday, November 30, 2008

Amazing, Amazing
I recall the "Class Reunion" Story that had a certain attendee bragging without end of all the accomplishments she had achieved, how her husband had risen to power and how her children had flawless childhoods and were now attending world renown institutions of learning. After each statement her tablemate would only say one word, "Amazing." Finally the bragging women turned the conversation over to her tablemate with a phrase like "Tell Me Darling, What Is Going On In Your Life!!!" The Tablemate's response was I recently graduated from a Charm School where I learned to simply say "Amazing" instead of "B ll Sh t."
The Local & State Section of "The Telegraph" published here in Macon, Georgia had an amazing statement credited to Candidate Jim Martin as he travels across Georgia to win a Senate seat in the December 2, 2008 election. Candidate Jim Martin gave his opponent "Saxby Chambliss" credit for the demise of the Brown and William Tobacco Company here in the Mid-State.
My first reaction after reading this aritcle was to do nothing. I felt that I should not dignify his comment/s with a response. But after considering the impact of such a statement I determined that I should do my part to let everyone know that Candidate Jim Martin is simply misleading the voters to achieve a U. S. Senate Seat.
There is a picture of candidate Jim Martin standing on Weaver Road with the Closed Tobacco Plant in the Background. To quote the photo caption - "Martin blamed plant closures like it on 'Saxby Economics," referrring to his Republican opponent in Tuesday's runoff Sen. Saxby Chambliss."
Candidate Jim Martin's statement is Amazing. It is a fact that the Democrats had as a major objective in the 1990s the goal of shutting down the Tobacco Industry. The Honorable Henry A. Waxman, Democrat, 30th District, California quickly comes to my mine. He like so many other Democrats labored hard and long to achieve the Tobacco Settlement Plant which provides a windfall of monies to the Fifty States of the United States of America over a pre-established number of years. These monies were to be used to prevent smoking. Well, we have all recently read where the States are using their monies for anything but smoking prevention.
I will conclude this Post with this comment: Candidate Jim Martin is Amazing!!!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Onboard a U. S. Navy Ship

" PERSIAN GULF (Nov. 27, 2008) Capt. Robert P. Irelan, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), speaks to Marines and sailors before carving the turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner for Marines and Sailors aboard Iwo Jima. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Strike Group are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick M. Johnson-Campbell/Released)"
The picture and the caption is from a U. S. Navy Website. We can all be Thankful for our Nations Warriors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Coasties, and Sailors. Their dedication to their Country certainly allows us all to enjoy our lifestyle. Thank You!!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Children Welcome
The Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity
1899 Tucker Road
West Bibb County
Macon, Georgia
Today the Flower Child would like to tell you a little about the Church he attends.

You may already have heard about the Church on Tucker Road that sponsors "Trinity Woods Summer Day Camp. You are now invited to Worship with us. We have just installed a Children's Playground .
We conduct Sunday School every Sunday morning at 9:45 A.M. with a meet and greet and the Lessons commence at 10:00 A.M. Our Pastor also conducts a "Children's Sermon" prior to the Sunday Message during the 11:00 A. M. Worship Service and then the Children are excused to attend Children's Church in the Fellowship Hall.
The Worship Service is conducted at 11:00 A.M. every Sunday. Prior to Christmas we have three Mid-Week Advent Services. The dates are: 3 December, 10 December and 17 December. Each Advent Service (Preparing for Christmas) starts at 7:00 P.M. every Wednesday during Advent. We also hold a Soup Supper commencing at 6:00 P.M. prior to each Advent Service. You are Invited and Certainly Welcome to prepare for Christmas with us.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving Day 2008, we will conduct a Thanksgiving Eve Service starting at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 26, 2008.
All Are Welcome

Fair Play
You Got Yours,
Now it is My Turn
You may be wondering what the Flower Child is up to today? A Blog Post entitled "Fair Play" with the picture of a Check Book.
Most readers here know that the Flower Child is an avid reader of the print media. Especially the local version - The Telegraph published in Macon, Georgia.
Yesterday, Friday, November 21st on page 7C an article headlined "Tobacco settlement is being wasted, activists claim." Nothing new about that. Just a few years after the landmark settlement was achieved on November 23, 1998 we all read about how various states were using the proceeds of this settlement to build sidewalks, etc. The list was endless, with only a pittance being used for the publically stated purpose - Smoking Preventation, especially among the younger citizens in this Country.
I quote the Friday article, "Of the $61.5 billion divided among 46 states between 2000 and 2006, only 30 percent was spent on health care, according to federal Government Accountability Office data analyzed by the Associated Press. Less than 4 percent went to anti-smoking efforts.
States defend the myriad ways they have spent their tobacco money, which is still being paid out in annual installments and is expected to total $294 billion over 25 years in today's dollars. They note that no strings were attached to the settlement reached on Nov. 23, 1998, and that anti-smoking campaigns do not cost billions."
As I read this information I was fastinated. It seems that now, in 2008, corporate America has learned one thing. If the Politicans who are sworn to protect American citizens can misuse funds obtained under the guise of smoking prevention, that they, corporate America can now get into the Federal Treasury to line their own purses and/or the bank balances of their stock holders.
Meanwhile the Tobacco Industry is continuing to write checks to the various States for alledged "Smoking Prevention" programs. I would suggest that way back in 1998 that it was appropriate for the power brokers in Washington, D.C. and the various State Governments to milk an industry for the benefit of the respective Government projects. At the time this was all happening I was a Tobacco Company employee. We were told by various individuals, including talk radio that none other than an attorney by the name of Hugh Rodham, who was the lead Lawyer for the State of Florida in the Tobacco Settlement Case was able to garner $185,000.00 for each billable hour that he labored on behalf of the State of Florida. I am not against fair pay for a fair day's work, but to receive personal gain at this rate while publically stating that these funds would go toward Smoking Prevention was the most clever guise that has ever been delivered to the Tobacco Industry and also the Citizens of America.
So, now we have major corporations seeking "Bailout/Rescue" Funds from the Government. I would humbly suggest that the power brokers of big corporations have learned their lesson well.
After all, who set the paradigm?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ethics in Bibb County, Georgia
A quick search developed this information regarding "The Golden Rule" which from my point of view is the premier "Ethics" statement that we all would do well to emulate:
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31, King James Version.
The above information provided so that all the readers here are aware as to how we are all expected to live and conduct our daily involvements with other fellow members of the human race. Admittedly the quote above is from the "Christian" viewpoint; however please be aware that all of the Faith expressions in this world have a similiar policy or concept regarding "Ethics."
Now comes the Bibb County, Georgia Commission who will consider the following this very evening in a Full Commission Meeting here in Macon, Georgia:

Covered officials and employees shall not exceed their authority or breachthe law, or ask others to do so, and they shall work in full cooperationwith other public officials and employees unless prohibited from so doingby law or by officially recognized confidentiality of their work. Each covered official and employee of Bibb County shall:
(1)Uphold the Constitution, laws and regulations of the United States, theState of Georgia, and all governments therein and never be a party totheir evasion;
(2) Never discriminate by the dispensing ofspecial favors or privileges to anyone, whether or not for remuneration;
(3) Not engage in any business with the government, or allow anymember of his/her immediate family to engage in any business with thegovernment, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with theconscientious performance of his/her governmental duties;
(4)Never use any information coming to him/her confidentially in theperformance of governmental duties as a means for making private profit;
(5) Expose corruption wherever discovered;
(6) Never solicit,accept, or agree to accept gifts, loans, gratuities, discounts, favors,hospitality, or services from any person, association, or corporation forhimself/herself, or any member of his/her immediate family, undercircumstances from which it could reasonably be inferred that a majorpurpose of the donor is to influence the performance of theofficial's employee's official duties. For gifts, loans, gratuities,discounts, favors, hospitality, or services solicited, accepted, oragreed to accept under circumstances from which it cannot be reasonablyinferred that a major purpose of the donor was to influence theperformance of the official's employee's official duties, the followingrules shall apply: A covered official shall publicly disclose, prior todiscussing or taking any official action on any matter involving thedonor, any gift or campaign contribution (cash or in kind) received byhim/her, or any member of his/her immediate family, greater than onehundred dollars ($100.00). Receipt of gifts and campaign contributionsvalued at five hundred dollars ($500.00) or more by a covered official,or member of his/her immediate family, will prohibit the covered officialfrom participating or taking official action on any matter involving the donor;
(7) Never accept any economic opportunity for himself/herself,or any member of his/her immediate family, under circumstances wherehe/she knows or should know that there is a substantial possibility thatthe opportunity is being afforded with intent to influence his/herconduct in the performance of his/her official duties. All businessrelationships, regardless of the dollar amount involved, between acovered official, or a member of his/her immediate family, and anyonehaving business with the county shall be publicly disclosed prior to anydiscussion or official action being taken on the matter. Should the businessrelationship provide a covered official, or a member of his/her immediatefamily, with at least six thousand dollars ($6,000.00) on an annualbasis, such covered official shall be prohibited from participating ortaking official action on any matter involving the person with whom such business relationship exists; and
(8) Never engage in otherconduct which is unbecoming to an official employee or which constitutes a breach of public trust.

Sec. _ __. Procedure for alleged violations.
(a) Alleged violations of this code of ethics must be submitted via written, sworn complaint to the clerk of the board of commissioners of Bibb County. Consistent with the open meetings laws, theboard of commissioners shall review all complaints against coveredofficials and employees except those complaints filed against a member ofthe board of commissioners. A majority of the full board of commissionersmust agree that a sufficient basis has been given to warrant a publichearing. Certain violations alleged against employees may be referredthrough the proper channels within the employee handbook's disciplinaryprocedures.
(b) The board of commissioners shall conduct thepublic hearing to determine whether, based upon clear and convincingevidence, the covered official or employee violated the code of ethics.Covered officials and employees are subject to the following penaltiesand action for violations of this code of ethics:
(1) Writtenreprimand or public censure;
(2) Recovery of value transferred orreceived by the county;
(3) Cancellation of the contract or rejectionof the bid or offer;
(4) A monetary fine not to exceed one thousanddollars ($1,000.00); and
(5) Demotion or termination. Ifa complaint is received by the clerk of the board of commissioners whichalleges a violation of the code of ethics by a member of the board ofcommissioners, an independent review board will be formed if thecomplaint alleges sufficient facts which, if proven to be true, would bea violation of the code of ethics.

The county attorney of any county within the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, except the county attorney for Bibb County, shall make the determination of whether or not a review board should be impaneled. If a review board is needed, three county attorneys within reasonably close geographical proximity to the county will be requested to conduct a public hearing based upon the complaint. Amajority vote, based on clear and convincing evidence, will determine the existence of a violation.
A lot of words to simply state that no duly elected citizen (official) and/or any county employee shall not abuse his/her position for personal gain or for the gain of others which is simply stated in the "Golden Rule," quoted above. Treat others as you would have them treat you!!
Enough said!!!
"Equality and Fairness"

Let's Talk About These Concepts!!

A few of the duly elected leaders of Macon, Georgia are suggesting that the benefits that members of our Law Enforcement Community receive, such as being able to drive Police Cars to Off-Duty Jobs or to approved parking locations should be reviewed in these difficult economic times.
It has been stated that this is not fair for the other City Employees. Let us consider this from the point of view that may not have received appropriate attention. I say that the Macon City Council should be Fair. If the Police Officers can take a car home, all city employees should be able to do so.
Conversely, the Clerks in City Hall should be issued Weapons, trained in apprehending criminals and also work shifts. It would be nice if any Citizen in Macon could conduct business at City Hall 24/7. After all not all citizens work a 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. job.
I am all for equality and fairness. Just think of the impact of all city employees being armed with an appropriate weapon. The criminal element would even have to respect the "Garbage Truck."
All city vehicles could be fitted with speed detection devices. All city vehicle operators would be authorized to make arrest. All city employees would also become targets for the criminal element of our Society.
Yes, I the Flower Child am all for Equality and Fairness!!!!!
Just think of how the crime stats would decrease!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Toys for Tots
A U. S. Marine Corps Project

Every year we all hear about this dynamic program which gathers Toys for Tots which is run by the Marines of our United States Marine Corps. I decided to do some research about this project and program. Here is what I found on the World Wide Web:

"Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The idea came from Bill's wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, Diane handcrafted a Raggedy Ann doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. He did. The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign. That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located. Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns at Christmas each year since 1948. The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the program today is to "bring the joy of Christmas to America's needy children." Bill Hendricks, a Marine Reservists on weekends, was in civilian life, the Director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio. This enabled him to convince a vast array of celebrities to support Toys for Tots. In 1948, Walt Disney designed the Toys for Tots logo, which we use today. Disney also designed the first Toys for Tots poster used to promote the nationwide program. Nat "King" Cole, Peggy Lee, and Vic Damone recorded the Toys for Tots theme composed by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster in 1956. Bob Hope, John Wayne, Doris Day, Lorrie Morgan, Tim Allen, Kenny Rogers and Billy Ray Cyrus are but a few of the long list of celebrities who have given their time and talent to promote Toys for Tots. First Lady Nancy Reagan served as the national spokesperson in 1983. First Lady Barbara Bush served as the national spokesperson in 1992 and in her autobiography named Toys for Tots as one of her favorite charities.
From 1947 through 1979, Marines collected and distributed new and used toys. On Reserve drill weekends during October, November and December, Reserve Marines refurbished the used toys.
From Christmas 1980 through the present, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys. Three factors dictated this change. First, the Secretary of Defense's Total Force Program, introduced in the 1970s, assigned Reserves a greater role in America's defense posture. As a consequence, Reservists had to dedicate every minute of weekend drill time to honing and polishing combat skills. No time was available to refurbish toys. Second, public awareness of the health and safety aspects of toys that developed during the 70s made distribution of used toys legally inadvisable. Third, distributing "hand me down" toys does not send the message Marines want to send to needy children. The goal is to deliver a message of hope, which will build self-esteem and, in turn, motivate needy children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. A shiny new toy is the best means of accomplishing this goal.
In the late 1980s, the Marine Corps determined that a non-profit charity was needed as an integral part of the overall national Toys for Tots program. Based on this need, the Secretary of Defense, in August 1991, authorized the Marine Corps to recognize and work with a charity committed to supporting Toys for Tots. Based on this approval, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation became an operational organization in September 1991 and has been the fund raising and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program since that date.
The Foundation was able to satisfy the five needs identified by the Marine Corps. First, the Foundation could provide toys to supplement the collections of local units that had fewer Marines due to military cutbacks of the 80s and 90s. Second, the Foundation could arrange and pay for the creation, publication, manufacture and distribution of promotion and support materials to Toys for Tots coordinators - something the declining budgets prevented the Marine Corps from doing any longer. Third, the Foundation could enable individual and corporate donors to Toys for Tots to take a charitable deduction on their income tax returns. Fourth, the Foundation could enter into contracts with corporations to conduct promotions, which would produce royalties for Tots for Tots. (Needs three and four were two important elements of this charitable endeavor that the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, could not fulfill). Fifth, the Foundation could ensure that the Toys for Tots program operates in compliance with IRS regulations, state laws and regulations and charitable standards.
In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.
In 1996, the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve expanded Toys for Tots to cover all 50 states by authorizing selected Marine Corps League Detachments and selected local community organizations (generally veteran Marines), located in communities without a Marine Reserve Center, to conduct toy collection and distribution campaigns in their communities as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
In 1997, the Marine Corps celebrated the 50th anniversary of Toys for Tots.
In 1999, the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve delegated authority to the President, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to approve and manage local Toys for Tots campaigns conducted in communities without a Reserve Unit.
2001: Despite the trauma the nation experienced as a result of the 911 attacks in New York City and Washington, DC, the economic downturn and the anthrax scare, the 2001 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign was the second best in the previous 54 year history of the program. Local campaigns were conducted in 388 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This was the most extensive coverage to date.The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary as the fund-raising and support organization for Toys for Tots in 2001. The highlights of the year were that the Foundation had its most successful campaign to date plus was ranked #289 in the 2001 "Philanthropy 400". This was the first time the Foundation earned a ranking in the "Philanthropy 400".
In 2002, Charity Navigator awarded the Foundation a 4-star rating and the Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked the Foundation #267 in the “Philanthropy 400”.
In 2003, the DMA Nonprofit Federation named the Foundation the “Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year” for 2003. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked the Foundation #341 in the “Philanthropy 400”. Starburst ranked the Foundation website #9 of the “Top 100 Toy Websites”. Reader’s Digest, in the November 2003 edition, named Marine Toys for Tots Foundation “America’s Best Children's Charity”. In the December 2003 edition, Forbes included Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in it's "Gold Star List" of charities.
During 2003, the Foundation assumed full responsibility for managing the after action reports for all local Toys for Tots Coordinators
Despite the continuous worldwide war on terrorism, the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the mobilization of 35% of Marine Forces Reserves and the Presidential election which siphoned a great deal of America’s disposable income, the 2004 Toys for Tots Campaign was the most successful to date. Local campaigns were conducted in 481 communities – the most extensive coverage to date. Marines distributed more than 19 million toys to 7.5 million needy children. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation supplemented local toy collections with 8.8 million toys valued at $40.9 million. The Foundation also distributed to local coordinators promotion and support materials valued at more than $700,000. Importantly, the 2004 campaign enjoyed the most extensive visibility at the national level in the history of the program, due in large part to the support of ABC TV and radio.
During the 2005 Toys for Tots Campaign, local Toys for Tots Coordinators distributed 18.5 million toys to 7.5 million needy children. Concurrently, local campaigns were conducted in 516 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico - the most extensive coverage ever. Although the number of toys distributed was fewer than the 2004 campaign, local coordinators reached 7.5, million children; hence the 2005 and 2004 campaigns are the two most successful campaigns in the history of Toys for Tots.
During the 2006 Toys for Tots Campaign, local Toys for Tots Coordinators distributed 19.2 million toys to 7.6 million needy children.Concurrently, local campaigns were conducted in 558 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands - the most extensive coverage ever.
Over the 59 years of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, Marines have distributed more than 370 million toys to more than 173 million needy children. This charitable endeavor has made U.S. Marines the unchallenged leaders in looking after needy children at Christmas. Over its 16 year life span, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supplemented local toy collections with more than 70.2 million toys valued at more than $387 million; plus has provided promotion and support materials valued at over $4.7 million."

I would encourage all the readers of this Blog to Support the U. S. Marines this year, 2008 as they conduct another "Toys for Tots."


This is a group of Angels on the Mantle. These Angels are made by Residents of The Bethesda Lutheran Home in Wisconsin. The residents there made these angels to raise funds for their Home.
Here you see two Angels close up. They are special to me because My Brother always told me that you can never have too many Angels in your life.

I suppose that my appreciation of Angels and Guardian Angels comes from the fact that during my Childhood, many, many years ago that my Parents had a copy of this picture hanging in the Bedrooms where us Children slept. We could always see these Children crossing a dangerous bridge with their Guardian Angel watching over them. A very comforting image to view as you prepare to go to sleep.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Man Night
My November 12th Post titled "Enough is Enough" spoke of the Friday Night, November 14th event at The Cox Capitol Theatre in downtown Macon, Georgia. I attended this Man Night, which was a fun filled evening.
The Scotch Seminar was most educational for me. When ever I have consumed Scotch in the past it was always on the Rocks. I have never been much of a Scotch consumer, but the Seminar taught me the fine art of enjoying this great adult beverage.
When we arrived, all six of us, we were seated at a long table. The Seminar was conducted by Mr. Vernon Ryle, a citizen of Macon, who I knew from many years ago when our respective Sons participated in Boy Scouting.
Each of us had four Wiskey Tulip glasses with a dram of the following:
  1. Aberfeldy
  2. Caol Ila
  3. Talisker
  4. Johnny Walker Red

Behind these selections was a teaspoon and a glass filled with water.

I learned the following information about enjoying Scotch:

  • Whisky means "Water of Life"
  • Water wakes up the flavor
  • There are five areas in Scotland which produce Whisky
  • Age may not be as important as I had heard. All Whisky is bottled when ripe.
  • There is a definite protocol employed to enjoy/savor Whisky

As we tasted the selections I learned that the Aberfeldy is very pleasant and is generally considered as an appropriate Scotch for someone just starting to enjoy great Scotch.

Caol Ila is enjoyed with a good cigar. Most cigar smokers enjoy Caol Ila as they smoke cigars.

Talisker is considered by many as an appropriate before "Dinner Drink."

The Johnny Walker Red is a blend and is the most popular Scotch based on sales volume. It is a blend of 40 types of Whisky.

I learned that the distilling of Whisky is a science. Blending is an art.

The Scotch Seminar presenter also informed us that the best Whisky is the one that the consumer enjoys the most.

After the Scotch Seminar we viewed the 1995 Movie "Braveheart," staring Mel Gibson. As I enjoyed this great epic movie which featured the struggle, more appropriately called a War; between Scotland and England many years ago. Two quotes from the movie struck me as being very germane today:

"What Will You Do Without Your Freedom?"


"Men Follow Courage."

These two phrases were used to motivate the Warriors. Certainly a great "Man Night!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Coming to America

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the Honorable Michael Chertoff, addresses Sailors and Marines during a naturalization ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway Museum. More than 130 San Diego based service members, representing 35 different countries were sworn in as citizens of the United States during the Veterans Day ceremony.

This event happened on November 11, 2008 - Veterans Day. It is always comforting to realize that many, many peoples from around the World look to the United States of America as the land of opportunity. These peoples willingly serve in our U. S. Military and also apply for citizenship in our Great Land.

Congratulations to these New Heroes of our Country!!!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It Is That Time - Again

Ever since I have resided in Georgia I have always heard the old timers tell me how hard they worked in their youth. They picked cotton. This was most certainly hard work which has now been modernized with the employment of cotton pickin equipment. These are rather large bales of Cotton on a field very near Pitts, Georgia.
I wonder how many T-Shirts can be made from just one large bale shown here?
Making Macon Go!!!!!
Recently I read that the Movers and Shakers in Macon are interested in improving business opportunities and even attracting new business to Macon, Georgia. This is a noteworthy effort and vital to the continued success of our Middle Georgia area. As we also read about large business organizations experiencing financial problems I think it is imperative that we all realize that Bigger is Not always Better. In the quest for large big box emporiums many business organizations have moved out of most City Downtowns. Now we have the golden opportunity to reverse this trend. We here in Macon, as well as other cities nation wide have a vast inventory of infrastructure that has been abandoned, and in some cases overlooked. These properties could now be rehabed to serve as sites for business organizations to prosper.
Besides that, have you ever had to conduct "Customer Service" inquires with an 800 Toll Free Number. These phone answering systems leave a lot to be desired. You have menu, sub-menu and so on before you finally have the opportunity to even speak with an uninformed individual. In some cases these uninfomred individuals have strange voice patterns which also make it impossible to conduct business in a friendly manner. So much for that problem.
As these local business opportunities become a way of life, maybe it will be possible to obtain real customer service from caring individuals. In some cases the customer service individual will actually be the business owner. Would that not be refreshing!!!!!!!
Now before we yearn for the return to the good old days, it is imperative that we also expect a change in attitude of the current business operators here in Macon. Recently I sent this message to the "Talk Radio Duo of Charles E and Kenny B with the subject line of "Keeping Business Local."
Way back in 1992 if I recall correctly, I desired to purchase a new Dodge Ram with a V-6 Engine and a stick transmission.

So I continued the routine of stopping by the Macon Dodge Dealership on Riverside Drive here in Macon on my way home at about 7:13 A.M. from my job at B&W. I could shop the lot without any salesman bothering me.

Then one day I stayed up later and went to the Dealership after they opened and I inquired why they did not have any Dodge Ram Pickups like I wanted. I was informed that I could buy any of the Dodge Pickups on the lot. Unfortunately, none met my requirements.

Later in the day, after I awoke from my day sleep and my oldest Son was home from school, he told me to try the Dodge Dealership in Perry. I drove to Perry that evening and ascertained that they did not have any Pickups that I was interested in.

However they did inform me that they would do a vehicle search and find what I wanted.

When I awoke from my day sleep the next afternoon the Dodge Dealership in Perry had called my Bride to tell me they had found a pick up in Red with a V-6 Motor with a Stick transmission.

I traveled to Perry that evening and completed the deal. They arranged to have the Truck transported to Perry and I would be able to pick it up the very next evening.

So customer service and dealer attitude plays a lot of importance when customers decide to acquire a new "whatever."

This story can be played out in any city, but the morale is, Business Owners need to train their employees to render Customer Service. It is time to respect the customer and to also develope and train employees to have the correct attitudes. Employees need to realize that their attitude can impact their future employment.

This is my take on how to develop a great business environment here in Macon, Georgia.

Nothing new here, but simple common sense.
Now you may be wondering why the Flower Child is using such a small font to post this entry. This is just another example of inferior customer Service. Have you ever tried to read the directions for the use of a product you have acquired?
Have a Great Day in Macon, Georgia and also Middle Georgia

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Enough is Enough!!!!!!

For many years now, we here in Middle Georgia have viewed bunches of mature females run around at various public events draped in purple gowns and covered with red hats. Of course they are known as "Red Hatters."

Therefore I was certainly impressed and also happy to read last Friday's Out and About in The Telegraph that the Cox Capital Theatre at 382 Second Street in Macon would be hosting a "Man Night" this Friday, November 14th. The doors will open at 5:00 P.M. for this evening of Scotch, cigars and "Braveheart" which stars Mel Gibson. Cigars on the patio until until 7:00 P.M. with a seminar on the tasting of fine Scotches at 7:00 P.M. and the movie will commence at 7:30 P.M. The cost for the Movie is $5.00. The Scotch and Cigars will be available. I assume that we can purchase these two items as we desire.

While I have nothing against "Red Hatters" I certainly feel that we males can also exercise our right to bond with males here in Middle Georgia. I am looking forward to this event. Maybe we could wear "Blue Hats!!"

The Flower Child's Views This Morning

Some of my peers travel to North Georgia to view the beauty that abounds each Fall. I did this once on my Honeymoon way back in 1972. I have learned that sometimes it is also appropriate to view what is close to home. The images in this Post were taken from and around my West Bibb County Home this Morning. The colors are lovely this year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day - 2008
A Grand Weekend of Activities

Veterans Day 2008 for the Flower Child commenced on Saturday, November 8, 2008 when the Alberta Crummey Garden Club in Rochelle, Georgia dedicated the Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker in the Bicentennial Park. The theme for this Marker is summed up from the Program from this event: "We remember with grateful heart those who defend our freedom. The Blue Star Marker Program was established after World War II and is Sponsored by the National Garden Club, Inc. Each State Garden Club Organization in the United States of America actively supports this "We Remember those who have served, those who are currently serving, and those will serve our Country in the future."
On Sunday evening, November 9th my Bride and I attended the Community Veteran's Day Service at Ebenezer United Methodist Church here in Macon, Georgia.
The Speaker for this event, Rev. Dr. Vance B. Mathis who served in the U. S. Army as a Chaplain during the Vietnam War spoke of "Reflections of a Veteran." His presentation was very moving and can best be summed up with our Nations Defenders Serve "To Defend the Values of the United States of America." These values being those that orginated in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution of the United States. We are Nation blessed by God, our Creator and must hold these values close and it is the Veterans who have served and are now serving that make our Freedoms possible.
On Tuesday Morning I, the Flower Child attended the Veterans Day Program at Southwest magnet High School and Law Academy, which had as a purpose: " Honoring All Who Served." This event featured Students from these departments:
Southwest Philharmonic Society
Southwest Patriotic Band Ensemble
Southwest Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
Southwest Magnet High School Law Academy
The Macon-Bibb County Fire Department catered the Breakfast which featured Pancakes and Sausage prior to the formal program. The performances of each of the Southwest Groups listed above were most impressive. Additionally, Veterans from all Services were Honored Guest at this annual event.
The Speaker focused his comments on 'Our Heritage, Our Legacy, Our Duty.' The presentation concluded with these comments:

"Yes, we all have a great Heritage. We all have been given a great Legacy. I would now like to share with you some of my ideas of what you, each of you and I as well; can do to perform our Duty as we all continue onward in our respective lives.

  • First of all we can always show appropriate respect to the symbol of our Great Country, our Flag.
  • We must take every opportunity to show our respect for those who have served........ Let them know that you appreciate their service to our Country.
  • Continue to take pride in our Country by our daily actions.

and most vital:

Become involved in your community.

As the presentation concluded with the speaker addressing the students with this challenge:

You, the Southwest Scholars here today are the future of our United States of America. Always remembering that 'We the People,' are you the citizens of the United States of America."

The final activity for the Flower Child and his Bride was at the Forest Hill United Methodist Church in Macon where 34 Choir Members presented a "Liberty" Concert. This uplifting Concert was also a joyous event which featured the great Songs about our Great Land as well as the Armed Forces Medley. Of course no Patriotic Concert would be complete without Katherine Lee Bates's "America The Beautiful."

No Posting about an appropriate Veteran's Day would be complete without Taps.

Thanking You for taking the time to read this rather long Blog Post today. This picture was taken during the conclusion of the "Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker" dedication in Rochelle, Georgia.
It is my wish that everyone had a complete Veteran's Day this 2008. God Continue to Bless America.
Thank You!!!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Middle Georgia's Future
A Possible View of the I-75/I-16
Interstate Highway Project

For some time the powers that be in Middle Georgia, specifically Macon, Georgia have been very concerned about the Georgia Department of Transportation Road Project that we all know as the I-75/I-16 Interchange. There are those who are concerned that the current Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) proposal is simply too large and complex. Some have argued that it will hamper the Dam System currently employed to protect Macon when and/or if another 500 year flood should engulf this region such as in 1994. Others are concerned that the proposed project will cause Macon to be overlooked by the plethora of Tourist that currently visit Macon and expend their resources.
The above image is one concept of what the future of Macon, Georgia can be if nothing is done. A bit drastic to be certain, but also a bit correct. If Middle Georgia continues to fight progress as has been reported, the State of Georgia has other cities that can grow. Growth causes changes, and changes are sometimes difficult to comprehend. Change has been the watch word during the recent Presidential Elections. Maybe our civic leaders, power brokers and also duly elected leaders need to join in the National Movement. I, the Flower Child understand that there are some 50 organizations in Macon that have banded together to fight progress. They certainly have the right to do so, but are they acting in a responsible manner for the good of all of the Citizens of Middle Georgia. Can Macon, Georgia even be considered the economic engine that is necessary if we continue in our current manner?
You may think so, or you, like I, the Flower Child may not desire to see Cotton Avenue turn into a bleak road with no buildings. A fast forward to no progress may cause the central city of Macon to be degraded to the point that it will look like the following picture.
Of course all of this struggling may be of no consequence if the Big Three Automobile Companies in the United States of America fold. There have been recent reports that should these three companies fail that at least fifteen percent of our economy will be eradicated. Not a very bright future.
But then, I also recall that during the dark days of the "Great Depression" that our Government launched massive public works projects to employ the citizens of the U. S. A.
Maybe this I-75/I-16 Interchange could be the salvation of the Middle Georgia Economy!!! Of course if no one has the funds to expend on new automobiles we could soon look like Cuba. Tin benders and welders repairing the automobiles they have which were new in the 1950s. Not a very bright future for us.
I realize that I have covered a lot of areas of concern in this blog, but you can always scroll to the top and read it again.
Change can be challenging, but let me remind you that "Change" is the new paradigm here in the United States of America.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Newsflash!!!! The Flower Child has friends who are Democrats and friends who are Republicans.
At 11:00 A.M. Today, Friday November 7th, sixty hours will have elapsed since that moment in History - 11:00 P.M. ET on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 when the electronic media in the United States of America announced that the 55 electorical college votes from the State of California would give candidate Barack H. Obama the Votes necessary to become the forty-fourth President of this Great Country.
Since that Historic Moment I have been observing what my peers and fellow citizens have been doing:
  • A Democrat Friend asked me "How Are You Doing?"
  • A Republican Friend asked me why I have not yet posted a "Blog" entry about the recently completed Historic Presidential Election.

In addition to considering the above queries I have engaged in some serious observations of what is happening around me. As but one individual I have observed the following:

  • Married couples are still enjoying sexual activity.
  • Teenagers are still probably conducting exploration activities.
  • Senior Citizens are still conducting their weekly marketing activities on Wednesday at Kroger.
  • The Landscaping/Lawn Maintenance Firms are still maintaining the gardens of my neighbors homes.
  • Children are still riding school buses to the many Public Education Facilities here in West Bibb County.
  • Children are riding in their Mom's SUVs to gain access to the plethora of Private Schools that abound in West Bibb County.
  • Children who have the use of an automotible are still driving to various Schools. Some even operate Hummer SUVs and Porsche Automobiles.
  • Citizens are still praying for the well being of our Nation's Defenders who are engaged in the War on Terrorism as well as their respective families.
  • The College and Professional Football Schedules and the various team's performances still dominate the Sports Pages of print media as well as capture considerable time in the electronic media.
  • Those who choose to break our Nation's Laws are still conducting their criminal activity.
  • Moms and Dads still have high expectations for their progeny.
  • The Obituaries of the recently deceased/departed are still being published, although the name of the page in the local print media is now known as the "In Memory" page.
  • OB/GYN Professionals still have a full patient load.
  • The Child birthing facilities at our Health Care Centers are still active.

Yes, we as a people have a lot to look forward to. We as a people have a lot to accomplish in the future; but I am reminded of an adage I have often heard:

"The More Things Change, The More They Remain The Same!!!!"

God Bless Us All!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Traveling to Columbus
Everyone knows that as one progresses in age that it is important to read the obituaries in the local print media each day.
That stated, I the Flower Child, must admit that I read them each and every day. One thing I learned during my morning read on Monday, November 3rd was to stay away from Columbus.
I will quote: "....went to be with her Lord, Jesus Christ on Friday while in Columbus."
Of course I read the Obituaries this morning, November 4th. This one certainly reflects on the deceased in a very positive manner: "He leaves his bride of forty-five years, ...."
I am always impressed when someone who has been married for a fairly long period of time when they refer to their wife as "Bride."
Have a Great Tuesday, November 4th, 2008.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

"Powerful Witness"
On December 9th, 2008 I posted a Blog entitled "Powerful Witness." It was about the 2007 Hiesman Trophy Winner - Tim Tebow. Yesterday as I watched the Georgia-Florida Game I also had the opportunity to view yet another powerful witness.
To go back to December 2007, when Tim spoke after being selected to receive the Heisman he spoke very briefly, yet he delivered a very powerful witness. He stated that their were four things in his life and he indicated that they were in this order:
  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Education
  4. Football

Yesterday, November 1, 2008 he again maintained his focus. Under his right eye was "Phil" and under his left eye was "4:13." During a break in the game I looked up Philippians 4:13 to read: "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Here was Tim Tebow, who the commentators stated was possibly the best Quarterback in the Nation acknowledging that he was not alone. In addition to the other members on the Florida Gators Football team he displayed his number one focus: "Faith."

What more can I say this Sunday morning. Tim Tebow has stated it all.