I realize that I am older than many of the readers here, but today I want to start a series of Memories from days gone by:
- Remember when banks lured customers by offering a free toaster is you opened an account or deposited a certain sum in an existing account?
- Today you have to get up early in the morning and read your morning paper to ascertain the name of your bank.
- Remember when you were purchasing a car and the salesman wanted you to buy the vinyl option and even the undercoat option?
- Today you have to wonder why the Automakers are giving great discounts. For the past thirty days even the Federal Government got in on the act. They developed a short lived scheme entitled "Cash for Clunkers."
About twelve years ago the original wood shutters which adorned the front windows of our home here in West Bibb County began to look very shabby. I took the opportunity to acquire vinyl shutters because they would never rot. What I did not consider is that they would fade in this Climate. Even though the front of our home is quite shaded because of large trees the shutters did fade. Needless to say I did not appreciate the faded look. Reflecting back on my experience with vinyl tops on cars a few years ago I determined to conduct an experiment. I applied some Original formula "ArmorAll" (Trademark Registered) to the four shutters on the Garage. This was done about two months ago. The results were outstanding and the shine held up.
Today I acquired four bottles of "ArmorAll" and went to work on the windows on the house. This is a view of one of the Windows which I have labeled the "Before" image:
As you can tell the "After Image" above certainly looks much better. So that you can appreciate the view better, please click on either of the images and view them in a larger format. I think that I have developed a method of keep the shutters looking great.
Three days ago, July 26th I posted several images. Tonight I update you with the progress of this Night Blooming Cereus Plant and more specific, the flower. I have never lived through the bloom cycle so they may bloom tonight or quite soon. Anyway I will be keeping a close watch on these blooms. One plant has a potential of eight blooms while the other plant has two blooms. I have noted that the bloom stem has become quite curved so maybe this is progress and I can view the blooms very soon.
During my recent trip to Iowa I had the opportunity to meet BarackO. This dog wandered onto the Farm of one of my relatives about March 2008.
You may recall that this was about two months after the famed Iowa Caucus events of January 2008. As we all know our current President captured his first win in Iowa. Because his history was unknown the name of "BarackO" was immediately given to this fine looking speciman.
Today, July 29, 2009 I was shocked to learn that the "Blue Dog Democrats" on our Congress have actually agreed to vote on the Health Care/Health Insurance Reform Package this coming September 2009. Good news indeed because maybe everyone involved will have the opportunity to actually consider this Reform Package and actually have time to communicate with the American People. You know, "We The People."
In the mean time I thought you may like to see what a "Blue Dog" looks like. I do not think BarackO is a Democrat, but then again you never know. One thing for sure - He Is Handsome!
July 29, 2009 is the date that a Senate Committee is expected to recommend that our President's current Supreme Court Nominee will receive a vote that will place here on ther U. S. Supreme Court. Since our President nominated her we have all heard about her struggle to her current position.
I would urge the members of our Media to read this biographical information about another Nominee to the U. S. Supreme court many years ago:
We all can list the names of notable citizens of this United States of America who had humble backgrounds that rose to positions of leadership.
The interesting aspect about the current nominee is that I get the impression that she is the first to have endured a life of struggle and hard work. Struggle and hard work has developed many, many U. S. A. leaders who have achieved much on our behalf. I take this opportunity to "Thank Them, All."
Several years ago one of my Bride's Garden Club Peers gave us two cuttings of this ugly looking plant. I had seen her plant when it was in full bloom. In fact we attended a party at her house at about 11:00 P.M. when the plant was in full bloom. As the Blooming Party wound down we were given two cuttings of this ugly plant which produces such lovely flowers with a nice pleasant scent.
Our two plants have finaly matured enough to the point that they are now in their final count down to provide us a lovely show some evening very soon. Here you have two views of the flower buds which I acquired on July 23.
Here are three views of this plant which has eight flower buds. The other plant has two flower buds. suspect that they will be in full bloom soon. I just do not know when. I understand that the bloom buds take days to produce their lovely flower. These three images were captured on Sunday, July 26, 2009
Once you read the article I have linked above you might like to know that I intend to let others know when this flower will bloom. Please contact me if you are interested in viewing this special flower when it is in full bloom. Please remember that the blooms are good for only one night and it is late in the evening when it can be determined when it will bloom.
During the recent Holiday Trip to Iowa we stayed at the Home of my Sister-In-Law. There were several projects that her Sons and I completed. Here you see one of my nephews trim down a door while I, the Flower Child hold the door stable. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with my relatives in the Holy Land a.k.a. Iowa.
This Church is officially named: St. Peter German Evangelical Lutheran Church and is located on U. S. Highway 52 between Guttenberg and Garnavillo, Iowa. The Flower Child grew up on a farm about one mile South of this Landmark. The church is no longer in service, but is lovingly maintained as a Museum by the local citizens. This limestone rock church was built in 1858, just twelve years after Iowa became a State. This church was a museum when I was a child in the mid 1940s.
Three of the Nephews were able to remove the forms from the parking pad at their Mom's House. The youngest one wanted to make sure that a picture was taken to document that he had participated. You can see him with the barn broom. Of course the Flower Child had to grab a tool to prove that he could also help. This event also took place on July 2nd.
During the evening of 2 July 2009 Volunteers from the American Legion, a Boy Scout Troup and others put up 108 Flags in the Central Park of Garnavillo, Iowa. These flags were put in place early so that they would be ready for the Fourth.
Please note that this event was able to draw volunteers, both young and old.
This historic bridge spans the Turkey River in Elkader, Iowa, which is the County Seat of Clayton County, Iowa. If you look closely you can see the keystone at the top of the arch. This stone keeps the bridge from falling.
BEKASI, Indonesia (July 22, 2009) Construction Electrician Third Class James Smith, from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40, lays wire for a playground courtyard foundation alongside Indonesian Navy engineers as part of an engineering civic action program at Pusaka Rakyat Primary School during the first phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2009. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Maria Gonzalez/Released)
I must admit that I have never featured the U. S. Navy Seabees in my Blog Post. Today I will make up for that oversight. This picture shows our Constructmen inacting with Sailors of Indonesia. When I served in our Navy this was called "The People To People Program."
Last evening I learned that the Bank where I do my checking had been taken over by the FDIC and resold to another Bank.
This morning while I conducted my errands here in Macon, Georgia I noted an unusual number of cars at the Security Bank Branch on Riverside Drive. This picture does not show an unusual number of automobiles at the Security Bank Headquarters on Forsyth Road however I did drive through the back parking lot and noted a large number of automobiles parked there. Many more than usual for a Saturday Morning. In fact there were a good number of automobiles from out of State. I got the impression that the FDIC was inside doing their job. For that I am grateful.
The Piedmont Community Bank, another Bank in Middle Georgia was also resold this past week.
This past week has not been a good week for Middle Georgia Banks. As I read our local print media, "The Telegraph" I learned that Georgia has had sixteen of a total of 64 failed Banks in our Country.
Certainly not good, but I am glad we have the FDIC.
Anyone who watches any television has heard the words that are the title to the Blog Post. I will change the wording a bit. "I Like The Way I Look." This evening my Bride joined me on a shopping trip to "The Shoppes at River Crossing," which is the newest Shopping Area in Middle Georgia. Here you see me modeling a new Sport Jacket by Nautica. It was a very good price so I could not turn it down. The main purpose of the trip was to acquire a new Suit, which you can view below.
The suit we chose was a deep Navy Blue, which is totally appropriate. While the trousers were being hemmed the Salesperson sold me a new shirt and two new ties.
A Wonderful shopping experience. Thank You Men's Wearhouse.
For some time I have been posting Middle Georgia Challenges. Today I will think outside of the box and pose a World Wide Challenge. Anyone can place their reply in the comments section of this Post and give the correct name for this device. The Winner, will of course be treated to a casual lunch at my expense. If the winner should reside outside of the Middle Georgia area I will remit appropriate funds to them so that they can have a casual lunch on me.
The deadline for this Challenge is: 2400 Monday, 27 July 2009. Good Luck! Remember, you must post your answer in the comment section of this post to earn the casual lunch.
I have just finished the two local television stations report on the Job Fairs held in Middle Georgia today. The video journalist showed the lines and the people attending each of these events. Generally speaking I learned that about 3000 job seekers will attend the Macon event to gain employment at the New Hotel which will hire sixty people. I suspect that the management will have the option to be very selective.
As I viewed the television coverage many applicants were dressed for an interview and the prospect of gaining employment. What shocked me though was the number of potential employees that were dressed very casually and it appeared to me that they were not taking their personal employment search all to seriously.
The Macon Job Fair was seeking employees for what I would consider an upscale Hotel and I would suspect that if I were going to apply for a job there I would wear well shined shoes, dress trousers and maybe even a well pressed long sleeved shirt and maybe even a tie.
But I must admit that I am retired and I have no need for a job at this time, but for those who were interviewed by the television reporters I obtained the impression that most were not now employed. With the potential of only 60 hires of an applicant pool of at least 3000 I would hope that serious applicants would give some consideration to as how they presented themselves. Those who appeared to be well dressed will certainly stand out. I wish them well.
I, the Flower Child recently visited the heart of the cornbelt in Iowa and Illinois. The weather there was not as warm as the farmers need to insure a succesful crop of corn. When the corn is preparing to tassle it needs warm days. The high temperature was 80 degrees and the desired temperature is 90 degrees or even a bit warmer. I heard famers hope for warmer weather. I even hear one say that somehow this Global Warming situation must not be true in as much as the temperatures were not even up to normal in early July.
For those who may not appreciate this situation, please remember that a lot of our food stuffs depend on a bountiful corn crop.
You can quickly ascertain that I focused on homes and buildings at the North end of College Street in Macon, Georgia. It was a fun evening and I look forward to the 2010 Walk.
Of course no Walk would be complete without some stairs so I captured this image on Spring Street as we concluded the Walk back to the starting point at Rose Hill Cemetery. I have adjusted several of my images and entered them in various competitions.
YOKOHAMA, Japan (July 21, 2009) Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) man the rails as the ship passes under the Yokohama Bridge. John S. McCain made the transit from Yokosuka to Yokohama, Japan as the first-ever U.S. Navy ship to participate in the annual celebration of the Yokohama port opening. This year's celebration marks the 150th anniversary of the port being opened. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josh Cassatt/Released)
I also have fond memories of my time on U. S. Navy Ships and how we also manned the rails when we entered ports while on deployments. Of course the most important "Manning the Rails" happened when we returned from deployments.
I served on four U. S. Navy Ships:
USS Ranger (CVA-61) - An Attack Aircraft Carrier
USS Sellers (DDG-11) - An ASW Guided Missile Destroyer
USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32) - A Guided Missile Destroyer
Everyone is trying to save money to cope with the current economic situation in our World. Today I have but one suggestion on how we can all realize a considerable savings on our Utility Bills. Of course it involves some outside of the Box thinking. At the current time we have a meter reader for each utility that the average residential home in a town or city requires.
A Water Meter
A Natural Gas Meter
An Electric Power Meter
Now for my money saving suggestion which would involved the utility companies. For example the County of Bibb in Georgia could be divided into three sections. Each section would have about the same number of dwellings which consume water, gas and electricity.
The utility companies could set up their meter reader crews to cover one third of the county or one section and read all the meters at each dwelling. No one would loose their job. They would have to be trained to read all three meters at their assigned dwellings.
The cost of doing business would be reduced when one considers that currently the vehicles with different meter readers must cover the the whole county. The cost of fuel to keep these vehicles on the road would be reduced and the vehicles would probably last longer considering that they would cover fewer miles each month.
Thus the utilities could reduce their cost to the customer.
From my own personal investigation of the meters which are read at my dwelling place I think that it would be possible for one person to read them all and punch in all the data on the hand held computer which the meter readers currently employ.
I feel that it is high time that our Utilities consider the impact of continuing to do business as in the past. We all need to work together to reduce our fixed cost to allow our citizens to prosper.
Recently the media has been full of reports on our President's Proposed Health Care. I have heard it called Socialized Medicine to Nationalized Health Care. I am not really concerned about the title.
I have also heard that the long range cost will be so high that we will be mortgaging our Souls to pay for it.
Of course some of this is hyberpole depending on the point of view of the commentator/reporter.
I have also heard that we have from 37 to 47 million uninsured Americans. This has been questioned. Do we need to cover the illegals? I just heard today that our influx of illegals is slowing down because of the current economic climiate in the U. S. A. Maybe if we wait a few months some of the illegals will return to their homeland.
That stated, I also understand that some who have adequate funds do not have health care insurance by their own choice. The number of citizens "Note the word citizens) who do not have adequate health care insurance ranges from 8 to 14 million American Citizens.
Yet we have all heard the figures from the Congressional Budget Office that the price tag for the current Presidential Proposal will range in the 25 Trillion area when the long term consequences are added up.
I have a much cheaper solution. Just suppose that we have 10,000,000 real citizens who have and may deserve a Government Health Care Program. I would suggest that we issue each of these ten million citizens a $100,000.00 check. They would be required to have a valid Social Security Number. The funds would be tax free.
Then each of these ten million could purchase adequate health insurance to meet their own needs, maybe even improve their lot in life where they could achieve better employment with health care insurance coverage, or if they so choose to squander away the $100,000.00
They would have freedom of choice which we all know and realize is the American Way. No matter how these Ten Million use their funds, they would be forever denyed health care coverage courtesy of the U. S. Government. Their use of the funds would indicate how much they respected their own bodies. No longer would "We The People!!" have to be concerned about them.
The total cost for Ten Million currently uninsured U. S. A. Citizens in today's dollars would be:
By my calulations that is far less than the long range cost of our President's proposal if the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) are correct.
Certainly something to consider. While some my decry that my proposal is inhuman, it would certainly allow freedom of choice and those who decided to abuse their $100,000.00 would be the ones who would suffer the consequences. As the current proposal stands, everyone will suffer forever!!! Certainly not a future that I desire for my Great-Great Grand Children to have to even cope with.
This is a picture of the Clayton County, Iowa Court House in Elkader, Iowa. During my recent visit to spend time with my Siblings I traveled to Elkader to do some shopping. I also collected an abundance of pictures. As I passed this structure I decided that I would take a picture.
Way back in the Summer of 1961 after failing in College and also growing tired of working as a farm laborer for about two years I decided to enlist in the U. S. Military. The various recruiters visited the County Court Houses to acquire recruits. The day I traveled to Elkader the Navy Recruiter was there.
To weeks later I was on a bus traveling to the Armed Forces processing center in Des Moines, Iowa.
Thus my Navy Career of 21 years was launched at the Clayton County Court House in August 1961.
While on my recent Holiday the Thiese Siblings visited Gunder, Iowa and dined at the Irish Shanti. Here you see the Flower Child just after he was served the Famous Gunder Burger. It weighs one pound. The side of Potato Salad must have been two full cups. A great meal and also a great challenge to consume, but I did. There were eleven of us and our host was my youngest Sibling who you can see to my left.
Gunder, Iowa is on the prarie of Clayton County. This view shot from a Corn Field also displays the Church in Gunder.
On July 9th we visited Froelich, Iowa and the Museum there in a former General Store. The Store was operated by John Froelich. In 1892 he developed the Gasoline Powered Tractor (Traction Engine). He never applied for a Patent and in later years he sold out to a company in Waterloo, Iowa. The firm was known "The Waterloo Boy Tractor Works."
This is the museum Froelich Tractor. The steering was quite primitive, but it did not travel fast so the need for a quick action steering system was unnecessary.
A replica of the first Traction Engine and this one is used for display in the museum outbuildings.
Here you see the Flower Child modeling the Froelich Traction Engine. To learn more about this tractor and the inventor please visit:
After visiting the Froelich Museum it was time for Alan to function at the home of the Host in Clayton County. Note that the lawn tractor is a John Deere. The Waterloo Boy Tractor Works later sold out to John Deere, which is now the most common tractor in the Midwest of the U.S.A.
The Sermon at Church yesterday focused on the Book of Esther in the Bible. I have never given much thought to this book or even studied it before. I did know that the Book was about a woman.
What I learned is that Esther was a Beautiful Jewish Woman who lived in the Persian Empire. She lost both parents when she was young so she was raised by a family member while the Jewish people were in exile.
The Persian Empire consisted of 129 provinces and the Ruler was looking for a new wife after his former one had disobeyed him. The Ruler's Court visited the whole empire to obtain the desired future Queen.
Esther lived in the Capitol City and she was selected along with many others. Esther found favor with the Ruler and was crowned Queen. However this created problems for some of the Ruler's Advisors. No one knew that Esther was a Jewish person, but some Jewish peoples in the Empire refused to pay homage to the Ruler's Advisors. The Prime Minister (for lack of a better term) devised a scheme to have all the Jewish people executed on a certain day. The Queen heard of this scheme and after a trying period of deciding what to do she visited the Ruler who only could be visited when he requested to try to eliminate the execution of the Jewish peoples.
Esther did this at the risk of her own life because she had not been invited. The Ruler decided that the Jewish peoples could arm themselves to resist the planned killing. In short, the Jewish peoples won the battles and the rest is history.
The peoples of the Middle East have been at War ever since.
The Persian Empire was centered in the country we now know as Iran. The Jewish peoples are now centered in Israel.
The History of the strife between the Ruler of the Persian Empire and the Jewish Peoples contained in the Book of Esther happened over 2500 years ago.
With that history in mind I now have a new insight into the current situation in the Middle East. The Persian Empire at the time of the History of the Book of Esther consisted of the Whole Middle East from Ethopia below Egypt, up through Greece and East to what we now know as Iran.
This silo is 90 feet tall and is located on Eagle Avenue in Clayton, County near Luana, Iowa. It is located on one of my Sibling's farm.
This is a scene of a farmer near the Great River Road in Clayton County just North of Guttenberg, Iowa. The area is known as Clayton Ridge. The farmer is engaged in cutting forage for silage which will be stored in the silos in the following pictures.
The silage is used to feed out beef cattle or to provide forage for dairy cattle. Yes, it does ferment in the silos which also allows cattle to digest the forage more efficiently.
After reading the link above I am confident that you will have a new appreciation for the role our farmers perform so that we can enjoy fresh dairy products and wonderful beef. A farmer must know a lot and also use a large amount of equipment so that we can enjoy great food each and every day.
The fireworks shots contained in this post were done by my Bride. She did very well. This show is produced each year using the funds collected from donors during the Annual Parade the year before. Certainly an easy way to keep within budget. The show was impressive and lasted a good thirty minutes and there were no breaks in the flashes or booms.
The following picture is from an overlook near Balltown, Iowa. This vantage point allows one to over look the valley just West of the Mississippi River. The cloudly trees and hills in the background are on the far side of the River in Wisconsin.
I have three blogs which I publish here. One is entitled "The World This Week". For the Blog entitled "The World This Week" I am known as the Flower Child. With such a title I am able to express my views and share my concerns on a wide variety of topics.
The other Blog is entitled "Gardening Tidbits" where I share my limited knowledge about flowering plants and shrubs that grow in the Gardens of my West Bibb County, Georgia Home. I have enjoyed the Hobby of Gardening working with flowers and shrubs here in Macon, Georgia. My purpose with this Blog is to share what knowledge I have learned through trial and error. Additionally I desire to share my love of plants and invite everyone to participate by sharing their comments to my post. We here in Georgia have a great heritage of sharing the beautiful things that grow in abundance around us.
I have just commenced the third Blog entitled: Young Iowa Tractor Boys, which I am sure you will also enjoy.