Monday, September 28, 2009

Photography Contest - 2009 Georgia National Fair
For at least ten years The Flower Child has submitted entries to the Georgia National Fair Photography. Over the course of this time he has move from the "Beginner" Division to the "Advanced" Division. In recent years The Flower Child's Bride has also joined the Middle Georgia Camera Club and has also participated in the Photography Contest. At first she participated in the "Beginner" Division and has just moved up to the "Advanced" Division. Well the results are in and following you will view some award winning images.


This above entry was submitted by The Flower Child's Bride. Here is a summary of her winnings in the Advanced Division of the Photography Contest at the 2009 Georgia National Fair:
  • Color - People - Third Place - I'll Play for You
  • Color - Creative - Sixth Place - Night Blooming Cereus
  • Mono - Still Life - Fifth Place - Tools and Things
  • Mono - Plant Life - First Place - Night Bloomer
  • Mono - Photojournalism - Fifth Place - Helping Grandpa

The First Place award was received on the Night Bloomer Image displayed above. The Flower Child's Bride entered a total of fourteen images and received five awards. The Night Bloomer Image was acquired in the Gardens surround the Home of The Flower Child and his Bride here in West Bibb County, Georgia.

The above image was submitted by the Flower Child. He had a total of fifteen entries and won two awards. The following is a summary of his awards:

  • Mono - People - Third Place - Three Tubas
  • Mono - Plant Live - Second Place - Tree Trunks

Tree Trunks is shown above. It was acquired during a Garden Club Field Trip to the Hill and Dale home of the Calloway Family in LaGrange, Georgia

I submit this post in great humility and to also let all the readers of "The World This Week" know that there are some fine images to be viewed at the 2009 Georgia National Fair, which is will be held near Perry, Georgia from 8 October through 18 October 2009.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you each and every day.

Cirque Dreams illumination
Last evening, Sunday, September 27, 2009 I had the good fortune to attend the Macon, Georgia performance of "Cirque Dreams illumination."
This high energy performance was simply fantastic. I can not put the performance into words other than to repeat the word, "fantastic."
This touring company has a web site which I am confident you will enjoy:
To view a list of future performances please visit:
The performance certainly was worth the price of admission. If you have the opportunity to attend a performance of Cirque Dreams illumination please do so.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

USS Cole (DDG-67)

" ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept 24, 2009) The guided missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) transits the Atlantic Ocean while participating in Exercise Joint Warrior 09-2. Exercise Joint Warrior 09-2 is a multi-national warfare exercise designed to improve interoperability between allied navies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter/Released)"


You may recall that on 12 October 2000 the tragic bombing of this Great Warship was executed by Terrorist. This proud ship is a testament to the will of the People of the United States of America, the U. S. Navy and those USS Cole Crewmembers who have served on this ship and to those who are currently serving on this ship.

All of us in the U. S. Navy owe a great debt of gratitude as we will soon remember this tragic event on 12 October 2009. Today, I the Flower Child salute those families who lost loved ones when the USS Cole was bombed on 12 October 2000.

Thank You and may we as a grateful nation never forget the devotion of the lost crewmembers of the USS Cole (DDG-67.

Rest in Peace, great Warriors. Thank You!!!!
Shutterbug Camera Club - Macon, Georgia
Last evening, September 25th, 2009 I attended a Photography Sale and a Fundraiser at FrancarsWings Shop near Mercer University.
The Shutterbug Camera Club in Macon is sponsored by the City of Macon, Georgia Parks and Recreation Department. The photographers in this club are special needs individuals; but you would not know that by observing their photography.
Of course, as the event was hosted by Francars it was not possible to leave the Photography Sale without consuming some of the "Hot" Wings that were available. I only consumed the Level III sauce, but that was hot enough for me.
A delightful evening and I certainly felt honored to be able to purchase two of the photographs of the hundreds that were on sale. I purchased one photo that featured corn stalks and one that featured a flower.
In as much as I was raised in Iowa and I am known in the Blog World as the Flower Child the two images I purchased did indeed "Talk To Me!"
I am very happy that I attended this event and the evening was well spent.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

U. S. Navy


During my daily check of the U. S. Navy News Website I discovered two images that were of great importance to me as a retired Navy Sailor. My first Sea Duty was as a crewmember of the USS Ranger (CVA-61). Although that great Ship is no longer in service, Sailors still operate Aircraft Carriers in the same manner as was performed way back in the 1960s. This image of Sailors and Marines scrubbing the Hangar Deck shows everyone that team work is still vital in our U. S. Military.



(Sept. 21, 2009) Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Frank Diaz assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) holds his four-month old son for the first time following his return home to Naval Station Norfolk, Va. On April 12, 2009, Bainbridge Sailors assisted in the rescue of Richard Phillips, captain of American container ship MV Maresk Alabama after being seized by Somali pirates. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Suits/Released)
Please note that the USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) was, as indicated above very involved in the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips. I can testify that it is a very emotional day when a U. S. Navy Ship returns to Homeport after a major deployment. This picture invoked memories for me from my own Navy Service and I cannot describe them.
May God Continue to Bless our Nation's Warriors of the U. S. Navy, the U. S. Army, the U. S. Air Force, the U. S. Marines and the U. S. Coast Guard.

Lutherans

Wheat Ridge Ministries
I have fond memories from my youth when I participated in packaging and mailing 'Wheat Ridge Christmas Seals" to the members of the Church I attended. This organization has a legacy of providing service to humanity.
"Mission statement"

"Wheat Ridge Ministries is “Lutherans seeding new ministries of health and hope in the name of the healing Christ.”

"Our Mission"

"Wheat Ridge Ministries is a charitable organization with roots in the Lutheran Church that provides support for new church-related health and human care ministries – and we have been doing so for more than 100 years! It is our desire that all people experience wellness of body, mind and spirit made possible in Christ Jesus."
To learn more about this dynamic organization please visit:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lutherans


Lutheran Women's Missionary League


The Mission Statement of this Lutheran Organization is:


"The mission of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League is to assist each woman of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God so that she is enabled to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world."


To learn more about this organization I would encourage you to visit their Web Site at:
This organization was established in 1942 and it's members save money in "mite" boxes and turn them in during annual conventions. The sum of the mite box donations has exceeded $80,000,000.00 with the money going to various organizations that support the mission statement posted above: "In ministry to the people of the world."


Angel Trumpet Blooms

In addition to Lenten Rose (Helleborus) Blooms in December through March each year I enjoy the Angel Trumpet Blooms. Here you see two views of one bloom. You can appreciate the size of this flower as you compare it to the Flower Child.
You may also recall that recently I published a Post about the delightful looking Night Blooming Cereus Flower.
Recently a good friend of mine reminded me of the potential dangers of the Angel Trumpet Plant and Flowers. This caused me to conduct a search on the World Wide Web and I found this site:
Please scroll down to the section labeled "A Highly Toxic Plant" and learn more about the dangers of this plant. I would urge everyone to respect this plant, just as you would a potato or tomado plant.
In addition to learning about the dangers of this plant the above referenced site contains other useful information about this lovely plant, especially when it is in bloom.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Having The Big Picture"
Way back in 1963 when I was a very young Sailor onboard the USS Ranger (CVA-61) I was assigned to work in the Operations Office as a clerk. Admittedly the Navy had a different name for the task and I was a Yeoman Striker. For those who do not know what a CVA is let me inform you that it was an attack aircraft carrier. We carried a mix of fighters and bombers.
The Operations Officer was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and was always keeping us informed about what was going to happen next during our deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean. As a Yeoman Striker I was assigned the night shift which commenced at 1800 hours (6:00 P.M.) to 0600 hours (6:00 A.M.) and we had the task of scrubbing and waxing the deck each night when were at sea. Additionally we had to type up the daily flight schedule, run it off on a mimeograph machine, assemble it and carry it to the stateroom of every pilot on board the Carrier.
The task of distributing the "Daily Flight Schedule" was quite an undertaking. As anyone who has every served in the U. S. Navy knows, once Taps is sounded at 10:00 P.M. all passageways and berthing areas are lite with small red lights. Therefore the task of delivering the flight schedules was a challenge because you almost had to know the ship without the benefit of effective lighting.
However, that is not the purpose of this Blog Entry. At one time we had an Assistant Operations Officer who thought that it was his duty to micro manage us low pay grade personnel. This went on for several weeks and one day the Operations Officer called a meeting of the Operations Office Staff which included the Assistant Operations Officer. He delivered a brief story about his marching in the Bataan Death March and then went on to inform us all that he trusted that our Boot Camp Training was sufficient in regard to how to swab a deck and to polish it to a magnificant shine. We used paste wax and buffed it with an electric buffer. It always looked good each morning when the Officers arrived to conduct their daily task. The Operations Officer used very effective language to let us all know that he trusted us and during the conclusion of the Meeting he informed the worrysome Assistant Operations Officer that he needed to be concerned and also focused on the Big Picture and to let the Enlisted Personnal perform their assigned duties. That stated he also told all of us that if we ever failed in the execution of our duties that he, The Operations Officer expected his Assistant to then become involved in addressing our shortcomings.
For the past eight months I have witnessed our President and his Leadership style. To be brief and to the point it is my impression that at times he is focused on the small items and has lost his focus on the "Big Picture." We have an established Staff System of Department Heads that should be conducting their own affairs. For example the "Secretary of State" needs to run the State Department, etc.
As it is I have witnessed a President that is focused on so many small things that he can not effective lead on the important things. I trust that as our Commander in Chief he should be focused on the Safety of our Country and working to support the various treaties that we as a County have obligations to be a part of. As regards Health Care, if it is to be the center piece of his Presidency as I often hear, then he should focus on Health Care Reform/Health Care Insurance Reform and let the respective Department Heads perform thier constitutional duties.
I would not expect to see a long list of Czars appointed who have as their sole duty to advise the President. We have Department Heads for this purpose.
I am currently witnessing a Federal Government that is so self centered that it might not be very easy to comprehend or even see "The Big Picture." I will never forget the words of the Bataan Death March Survivor - Work With The Big Picture.
I would respectfully suggest that our President, our Congress, both the House and Senate work/labor to function within the confines of our Approved Constitution and always keeping the "Big Picture" foremost in their minds. We The People deserve no less.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

U. S. A. Bank Failures
Recent Bank Failures in the United States of America have caused many Bank Stock Holders to loose money. While this statement should come as no surprise I have a proposal for the Banking Organizations that have taken over these failed banks. To view a list of failed banks please visit:
Admittedly the stock holders in these failed banks have lost considerable sums of money. For the organizations that have taken over the failed banks I would encourage the new organizations to provide some comfort to these stock holders who may have lost a lot of their retirement investments.
I know for a fact that several Middle Georgia Banks that have been taken over by other Banking Organizations have large lobbies that could serve as "Reception Areas" for Wedding Receptions. Those who have lost sums of money could be given the use of these Lobbies for the weddings of their Grandchildren and in some cases their Children. This would appear fair to me. After a family has lost money in a Bank it would be a nice gesture for the follow on organization to at least provide an appropriate "Wedding Reception" area for the losers. Certainly a gesture that would provide good will. If a stock loser has no children or grandchildren in the marriage age groups maybe the new Banking Organization could make their lobbies available for "Funeral" visitations. Another measure that would certainly be a good will gesture. Some might consider this a marketing ploy, but if I were to loose a sum on money on an investment in a bank I would most certainly appreciate any good will gesture on the part of the organization that might take over a failed bank.
From what I have heard and also read in various media reports the State of Georgia leads the Nation in the number of failed banks. The link I referenced above has 146 Banks on the Failed list. About 52 of these failures happened prior to 2009. Therefore there a lot of Georgia Investors who would welcome the good will of a no cost reception for a family wedding or even a funeral wake/visitation. After all they have lost money for their own funding for these events.
Just a thought from the Flower Child which may help reduce the pain for the losers who have invested in the Banks that have failed so far. From what I understand the problem that causes banks to fail is that they are under capitalized. Or to put it in terms that I might be able to understand, some banks have loans outstanding with a balance that is more than the assets of the banks. While this may work in the short term we as a Society are finding out that this concept does not work for the long term. Or as they used to say down at the General Store, the Chickens are coming home to roost.
Unfortunately a lot of good people have lost a considerable sum of money. My suggestion to provide an appropriate reception area in bank lobbies just may help ease the pain.

Friday, September 18, 2009

United States of America
New Citizens of our Great Republic
One Nation Under God
Last evening as I viewed the evening news I learned that since September 11, 2001, our Nation has had 52,000 young men and women become citizens of our Great Republic. I was impressed. Here we have 52,000 young men and women who joined our U. S. Military Forces for the opportunity to serve and to also become United States Citizens. I acquired the following four images from a U. S. Navy News Website. All images were released.
I can appreciate the fact that 52,000 young men and women chose to serve our Nation and to also work to acquire Citizenship in our United States. I realize that not all joined our U. S. Navy or U. S. Marine Corps, however I am a frequent visitor to the U. S. Navy News Website so I acquired my images for this post there. All of these images show some of our newest citizens. In addition to these fine young men and women who joined our Sea Services, I also salute those who joined our U. S. Air Force, our U. S. Army and our U. S. Coast Guard.
We can all be grateful for their service to our Nation and we can also salute them for their dedication to our Country and we all can Welcome them as your peers in the Greatest Land on Earth. I am not aware of any other country in the World where people come to the shores to serve and also acquire Citizenship.
Again, New Citizens, Welcome to America and I wish you great success and appreciate your quest for Freedom.
Thank You!!!











Thursday, September 17, 2009

Middle Georgia Challenge
Locations Revealed
On September 10th the Flower Child published a Challenge. The deadline for submission of replies was September 16th at 2400 hours. Therefore today is the time to reveal the locations.

1241 Adams Street

596 College Street

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here Is Your Sign!!!
I am confident that many readers here will recall that several years ago when there was a "Comedy" routine that included this phrase: "Here Is You Sign."
Today as I was out and about conducting errands I was listening to my radio and I heard this commercial. You know the ones, just like every evening when the drug companies are pushing a pill for this or that ailment. Well now the commercials have pentrated the Radio Networks.
As I was driving along I was asked this question:
Men!!! Do You Wake Up To Urinate?
As I pondered that question for all of one brief second I laughingly responded to my radio: "Of Course I Do!!" I had quickly figured out that if I did not wake up I would soon would get that warm feeling that I am sure all babies appreciate prior to being toilet trained.
To the Drug Company that is marketing a pill and to the ad agency who developed this commerical:
"Here Is Your Sign!!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Golden Rain Tree

Greetings Everyone. Today I visited the home of a friend that has one of these trees in the front garden. The Flower Child was not able to capture a picture of this lovely looking tree because he did not have a camera with him. Therefore I picked, with permission, a branch with leaves and a branch with the seed pods which you are able to view above. The friend indicated that this tree is a lot like the famous Blooming Cherry Trees that abound in Middle Georgia. They have a short life span. I performed some research on the World Wide Web and found some who did not enjoy the tree and the mess it can create as well as many who enjoyed the delightful spring blooms and the color of the fall seed pods. I would encourage you to conduct your own research to acquire appropriate information before you rush out to obtain this tree that is impressive to some and depressing to others.

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL

A Lesson on Team Work

I recently received this message from a Friend of Mine who also served in our great U. S. Navy many years ago.

A must read for Grandparents. Those who aren't will love it, too!


At one point during a game, the coach called one of his 9-year-old baseball players aside and asked, 'Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?'

The little boy nodded in the affirmative.

'Do you understand that what matters is whether we win or lose together as a team?'

The little boy nodded yes.

'So,' the coach continued, 'I'm sure you know, when an out is called, you shouldn't argue, curse, attack the umpire, or call him a pecker-head. Do you understand all that?'

The little boy nodded again.

He continued, 'And when I take you out of the game so another boy gets a chance to play, it's not good sportsmanship to call your coach 'a dumb ass' is it?'

Again, the little boy nodded.

'Good,' said the coach. 'Now go over there and explain all that to your grandmother.'

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Beauty Abounds in Macon, Georgia
or
There is Nothing To Do In Macon

Last evening as I was enjoying Adult Entertainment - "The Georgia versus South Carolina Football Game" a Gardening friend of mine who also enjoys, grows and appreciates the Wonderful Angel Trumpet Flower called to invite me to capture some images of hundreds of flowers. I quickly told him that I would do so in the morning. During our brief conversation he also informed me that he had other flowers blooming.
Therefore, this Morning at about 8:38 A.M. I arrived at his Gardens to capture some wonderful images and to also try to capture the magnitude of the plethora of Angel Trumpet Blooms. In addition to the Angel Trumpet Blooms I was impressed with the Hibiscus Blooms. It was a very overcast morning so I was able to capture the flowers in true color without the sun washing out the color. Except for cropping these images have not been altered.

Angel Trumpet Blooms, as you know are beautiful and I also grow some in my own Gardens, but I have never been exposed to an abundance of these Blooms such as I viewed this Morning. I am extremely grateful for my Friends Invitation. Thank You!!!


This image is just a small portion of a drift of these lovely Blooms which adorned the Back Gardens of my friends home.



As with all my Blog Post pictures you are invited to simply click on the image to view the detail and color in full screen.
Enjoy the Gardens and the Hibiscus and Angel Trumpets. Have a Wonderful Week. All of this Beauty and Georgia won their game. The Atlanta Falcons also won this afternoon. Life simply does not get any better than this. Please remember that there is beauty in Macon, Georgia and I also know that they is plenty of fun things to do in Macon, Georgia if you simply get off of your sofa or out of your recliner.
Enjoy!!!!





Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Remember"


Friday, September 11, 2009

"Our National Parks"
DISCOVER America's Best Idea
Thanks to an announcement in "The Telegraph" published in Macon, Georgia on the Day by Day page I attended a gala pre-view party for the upcoming "Our National Parks" by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. My Bride and I attended this event at the Cox Capitol Theatre in Downtown Macon and we enjoyed the one hour pre-view segment. The entire series will be broadcast on Public Television in two hour segments for five days starting on Sunday, September 27, 2009.
Please mark and/or enter this series on your personal schedules and program into your blackberrys or other electronic devices you maintain to assist you with your schedule.
If you can not watch the program on the designated evenings I would certainly encourage you to program your DVRs to record this series.
Based on what I viewed during the pre-view party I would suggest that every adult as well as all Middle School and High School Students view this wonderful series. In addition to the history of the establishment of the National Park System, anyone watching will glean an abundance of U. S. History as well as view the scenic wonders of the United States of America.
It goes without saying that I, the Flower Child am excited about this series and I am confident that once you view the first segment that you will lay all other obligations aside and view the following four. If unable to lay other obligations aside at least program you DVR to record so you can learn so much about our United States of America.
Of Course You Can Learn About Our National Parks By Visiting the World Wide Web At:
During the presentation this evening I also learned the motto of the National Park Service which is inscribed in the North Gate at Yellowstone National Park. It is:
"For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People"
"Night Blooming Cereus"

It is only fitting that the Flower Child focus on the lovely Night Blooming Cereus Blooms which have adorned the Back Door Gardens for the past few days. Admittedly these blooms are only on display during the night time, but they are a real beauty to behold. Please click on the above image to see much more detail.
The two plants last bloomed on August 1, 2009. Then on September 9th and 10th they had lovely looking blooms once again. It appears they are on a forty day cycle. It will be interesting to see if they bloom again in another forty days.
Please be aware that the plants are very easy to grow. The two plants that the Flower Child owns are in fourteen inch pots so that they can be wintered over in the garage each Winter to prevent freezing. They require infrequent watering and they are fed a bit of liquid fertilizer during the Summer growing season. The Flower Child's plants were obtained from cuttings received about five years ago from a Garden Club friend. Research has indicated that they thrive in a pot bound situation. Admittedly the plants do not look like much, but the blooms are out of this world. The blooms also have a very pleasant fragrance. Certainly a joy to behold when they are in bloom. The almost five year wait for the blooms on these plants was certainly worth the wait.
Enjoy the photos and try growing a Night Blooming Cereus. You will be delighted with the results.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lutherans
Lutheran Laymen's League
The Lutheran Laymen's League is one of many organizations dedicated to promoting God's Kingdom here on earth and also helping people to achieve Eternal Life. The mission of this organization is:

"Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church."
Members of the Lutheran Laymen's League, which is a volunteer organization sponsor Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM).

"Lutheran Hour Ministries is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide. LHM produces Christian radio and TV programming for broadcast, as well as Internet and print communications, dramas, music, and outreach materials, to reach unchurched people in the United States and more than 30 other countries. LHM's flagship program, The Lutheran Hour, airs weekly on more than 900 stations in North America."
To learn more about this organization I would encourage you to visit:
Thank You and Have A Blessed Day!!!
Middle Georgia Challenge
Once again the Flower Child is presenting a Middle Georgia Challenge. The normal routine applies. You must post your answers in the Comments section of this Blog Entry.
The deadline for this Challenge is Midnight or 2400 on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.
I have not been very fair in my previous Challenges. The location of both of these doorways is East of I-75 and West of the Ocmulgee River in Macon, Georgia. The Southern Border is Mercer University Drive. This, my dear readers is a relatively small area.


Of course you must give the house number as well as name the Street that both of these doorways face. Good Luck and enjoy this friendly Challenge. As usual the Flower Child will treat the Winner to a casual lunch at his expense at a local Macon facility. Enjoy the Search!!! Of course there will only be one winner so you must be the first to post the correct answer!!!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Lutherans"
Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots, U. S.
(LAMPS)
Did you know that there is an organization which has as it's focus the Native Americans? You may like to check out this organization which has this mission statement:
"Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots U.S. shares Christ's Kingdom with Native North American Peoples for ministry to their own and to others."
To learn more about this organization you are encouraged to visit this website:
Enjoy the day and appreciate the opportunities that we all have as citizens of The United States of America.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Macon, Georgia
Progress in 2009



This is the East Side view of a Mystery Building at 6055 Lakeside Commons Drive which is in the area of Bass Road and Bowman Road. I have no idea what this building was built for, but it also looks like it could be a Church.


This is the West Side view of the same building. If anyone knows the purpose of this building, please post a comment to this blog entry. Certainly an impressive looking building.

For several years now, we in Macon and even Middle Georgia have been waiting for this new Hotel to open. Today was the grand opening gala.


This new Mariott Hotel is the anchor of the rebirth of East Macon. The future of the Convention Center is tied to this new Hotel and the prospective business it will help generate for Macon and Middle Georgia.



No photography outing in Macon would be complete without visiting the River Walk and viewing this monument. You can just view the new Marriott in the background.


Let us all hope that with this building boom that Macon, Georgia will see an upswing in convention business as organizations focus on doing business in their Home State, Georgia and at a central location.





Lutherans
Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services
From the time I was a child growing up in Northeast Iowa I will always remember how the ladies of the church made quilts for the residents of Watertown, Wisconsin.
Bethesda is a recognized service organization of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and works cooperatively with LCMS on a number of national and international initiatives.

The mission statement of this organization is: To enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through services that share the good news of Jesus Christ.
To learn more about this organization which has been assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over one hundred five years please visit:
In addition to the quilts the ladies sent to Bethesda I can also recall how the ladies of the church also cooked down lard with lye to make soap for use at the Bethesda Lutheran Home laundry.
"Self Improvement"
The U. S. Navy Way


PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 4, 2009) Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling Airman Andres Garcia studies for a qualification exam in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 are underway for a scheduled western Pacific Ocean deployment in support of the Maritime Strategy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Robert Winn/Released)
Almost everyone knows that The Flower Child, the originator of this Blog "The World This Week" served in our U. S. Navy for many years.
This image brought back fond memories of when I was onboard the USS Ranger (CVA-61) and my tour as a Mess Cook for three months. I am confident that the system of having non-rated Sailors perform Mess Cooking Duties as well as Compartment Cleaner Duties continues to this day. I know that in my own case, no one had to tell me to study for advancement. Just as the Sailor above is studying during a break in his duties, you can be sure that one three month tour of Mess Cooking was enough for me. I wanted to make Petty Officer Third Class so that I could be a junior supervisor of non-rated Sailors.
My duties as a mess cook consisted of wiping down tables for seven hours and then for one hour we struck down the tables and cleaned the deck in preparation for the next meal. Of course we set up the tables for the next shift of Mess Cooks. On a Carrier the routine called for meal service to be conducted twenty-one hours a day when at sea to allow all watch standers ample opportunity to enjoy three great meals each day, no matter what their work schedule.
I am glad that I was not a compartment cleaner. In addition to keeping the berthing (sleeping and recreation areaa), the showers and the heads clean the compartment cleaners were responsible for gathering up the dirty uniforms and taking them to the laundry. Once the laundry was clean they returned the large bags to the berthing spaces and sorted it out and placed each Sailors gear on the proper bunk.
A Compartment Cleaners task were never done. But it must be stated that they were very responsible for the good morale and a positive attitude of their Shipmates. Each Division had their own Compartment Cleaners. They were always on duty unless they were sleeping or eating.
After a non-rated Sailor worked a few weeks at a Mess Cook or a Compartment Cleaner, no one had to tell him, or as is the case now, a her, to study to advance in rate. Every Sailor I knew was self motivated. No one wanted two tours of Mess Cooking or Compartment Cleaning.
Now, for those who could not comply with common rules and regulations of ship board duty there was the "Side Cleaners Division" which seldom had free time when the ship was inport while overseas. They were a special group who primed and painted the exterior of the ship when we were inport to keep the Ship looking good for the benefit of impressing Foreign Visitors.
If a Sailor was really a non-conforming member of the crew he found that duty in the Scullery was often the cure all for not abiding by the rules. This was the area that held the dish washing machine. The prisoners in the brig had to pay respect to the Scullery Captain when they turned in their dirty mess trays by calling him "Sir!!"
One tour of duty as a Scullery Captain often changed the attitude of many Sailors while I served in the USS Ranger as a non-rated Seaman Apprentice, a Seaman and as a Yeoman Third Class.
Motivation the Navy way certainly helped many Sailors find their position in life. I am grateful and thankful that I had the opportunity.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

"The Future"
or
What Lies Ahead for the
United States of America?
Several weeks ago I received an E-Mail which listed all of the Staffers which We The People are paying for who are the government Pay Roll to support the First Lady of the United States of America.
As I often do, I recalled my History Lessons from my Elemementary and Secondary Education time frame. I had learned that the Roman Empire declined because they essentially became self centered. The British Empire declined because they, much like the Romans became inwardly focused and the nobility were all too powerful.
As I considered the number of White House Staffers for our First Lady I inquired of the Website we can all use titled "Snopes" to learn the real truth. You can see for your self what I learned from Snopes at this site:
In addition to our current First Lady, our former First Lady had a high number of Staffers. While this might appear appropriate it also displays how far those who lead have traveled to expand their influence/power. As you can ascertain when reading Snopes it is not a Democrat or a Republican problem. It is a problem that we all must consider as we consider the future of the United States of America. Are we setting ourselves up to become another "former World Power" such as the Romans and the British have experienced? One could certainly see this happening in as much as we now appear to also be on the path of becoming very self-centered at the top governing levels.
Anyone who has watched any National News concerning the United States of America also realizes that our Current President has set up a plethora of "Czars" to assist him in managing the United States of America. From what I understand these Czars are only accountable to our President. Additionally it is my understanding that many of these Czars are taking the place of various Federal Departments, with the one exception that the Czars are not approved or in some cases not vetted by appropriate authority. For a list of Czars as of please visit this site, also on the World Wide Web:
Now to be totally fair and correct, I just noted on my Internet Explorer that the "Green" Czar has resigned this date.
The Czar situation is yet another example of the exercise of power which is currently uncontrolled and the consequences do not appear to be of any value to the citizens of the United States of America. The Czar appointments appear to me to be another quest for control and power over "We The People" without the benefit of appropriate oversight by the members of Congress or the Judicial Branch of our Government.
It is the Flower Child's opinion that what we are all witnessing is a quest for absolute "Power" over the United States of America. Certainly not a situation that is even condoned in our Constitution of the United States of America.
So the question as I conclude this Post is: Were my Elementary and High School Teachers incorrect when they told me that I must study History so that I can be a part of the Citizenship who will be watching our government so that we do not make the same mistakes Former World Powers allowed? As a Citizen of the United States of America I hope that we as a Society are not too late!!! We must not be lead astray by those who seek power for the sake of power alone.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Customer Service versus Branding

Many years ago, 1966 to be exact, I was ordered to perform Shore Duty with the U. S. Navy in London, England. Once I arrive there I attempted to open a Check Account at "The Bank of America." I had several reasons for doing this. The name sounded great. I was a Citizen of the United States of America and the Vietnam War was on everyone's mind so it just seemed to be the right thing to do. I entered the lobby of this Bank and inquired of a Teller as to what were the requirements for opening a check account. I was immediately informed that "The Bank of America" did not cater to members of the U. S. Military.
As I left the Bank of America I noted that there was a "Barclays Bank" across the street so I went in and inquired about opening a Checking Account. I informed them that I was a U. S. Navy individual on shore duty at 7 North Audley Street right next to Grovner's Square and they quickly informed me that they could meet my checking account needs. I could write checks in sterling or dollars. The value would be determined when my Check would clear the bank. Needless to say I enjoyed a three year tour of duty and was most pleased with Barclays Bank.
Which brings me to the title of this Post. No matter how much an organization works to promote their brand, they must also realize that Customer Service is vital. One bad experience with The Bank of America has remained with me for 43 years and I will never open a Checking Account or any other Bank Account with them.
Additionally, if any organization with which I currently conduct my limited business fails to meet my needs or delivers poor customer service you can be assured that I will find an appropriate organization with which to expend my limited resources.
For example here in Macon I conduct all of my vehicle tire business with a local, family owned organization. I have never seen a commercial or ad to promote this business, except "Word of Mouth," which is how I found out about them in 1981 when I retired here in Middle Georgia from the U. S. Navy.
In summary, Branding is vital, but may I remind everyone that "Customer Service" is essential.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

World War II Ended
Everyone of us knows that World War II in the Pacific and the involvement of our Great Country was spurred by the events of December 7th, 1941 when the Japanese bombed our U. S. Naval Facilities and Ships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Even though I attempt to remain up to date regarding U. S. History, especially history involving the U. S. Navy, I overlooked September 2, 1945 as the end of the World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations when the Japanese surrendered on board the USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay. For a current news story concerning this event please visit:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Katrina + Four
New Orleans Citizens Still Suffering
Recent media coverage concerning the recovery from Katrina shocked me. As I understand the situation we still have U. S. Citizens living in FEMA Trailers in the New Orleans Area.
Here we are in the United States of America and four years have passed and we still have U. S. Citizens living in deplorable conditions. May I remind you that this is the same U. S. of America where in the past ten months we have rescued Banks, AIG, Many Banks, helped General Motors and Chrysler Automobile Companies with Government Assistance and even stimulated the Economy with a "Cash for Clunkers" sales program.
Yet this same United States of America has yet to assist U. S. Citizens acquire suitable housing in the four years following Katrina. All of this happening in a County where the Leaders of our Federal Government labor to establish a National Health Care/National Health Care Insurance Reform for the good of all Citizens, including the possible illegal peoples who reside in our Country.
If this Federal Government is so compassionate I cannot understand why we have U. S. Citizens still living in deplorable conditions brought on by Katrina over four years ago.
So I am wondering today:
  • Where is the Compassion at the Federal Level for our own Citizens who are victims of Katrina?
  • Why did we have to wait until four years passed since Katrina before the Media brought this tragic and horrible situation to our attention?
  • What is the Will of We The People regarding this situation? Maybe we have our priorities out of focus when we overlook a few thousand while we demand Health Care for those who may not be citizens of our Country.

There are those among us who undoubtedly state that it is not a problem that we have fellow Americans in this situation. May I remind these self-centered individuals that we never know when the next series of tragic events will not hit us and those who are self-centered!!

We have a fine country, but sometimes we get our priorities out of order. We need to focus on fixing the problems which Katrina delivered to us all. We are indeed all Americans first. I can state this fact today because I, as well as many, many thousands who have served, are serving, and will serve in the future to insure the freedoms.

From my point of view we must be concerned that "Katrina + Four" is even a fact of life. This situation should have been resolved within two years. But we have lost our focus and are looking to Washington to cure our Banking Problems, our Automobile Problems, etc.; even before we reach out in a caring/compassionate approach to our peers who are victims of Katrina.

Now, I am also aware of the ongoing relief efforts by many citizens and organizations to assist the Katrina victims; but the current process will take a long time until we all focus, we all as a Nation focus on these victims.

As it is we are all part of the problem when we turn a blind eye to our fellow citizens who are the victims of Katrina. They truly need our help and they needed it a few years ago. Now before you label me as an impatient citizen, put your self in the place of a Katrina Victim living in a cramped, possibly toxic, trailer for almost four years. We all deserve better.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Reflections
How Does the World See Us?

The question sounds simple enough!!!! How Does the World See Us? If I lived in Warner Robins, Georgia I could answer that question very quickly. The World would see a City where the Children are excellent "Ambassadors" of their City.
Now, please take the time to think of your answer to how does the World see Macon, Georgia? Right off the top of my mind comes the situation in the local Middle School where a gun was fired! Hopefully this incident did not make the National News, but for those who reside in the Macon area this is not good news and certainly does not reflect well on our local Society.
I am confident that you, my dear readers will post a comment regarding how you think the World views Macon, Georgia. That is the challenge today. Comments Please!!!!!