Friday, January 28, 2011

Our U. S. Navy - The Newest Aircraft Carrier


"ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 25, 2011) The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting a composite training unit exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin J. Steinberg/Released)"

Pictures such as this cause me to recall my own days at sea in the USS Ranger (CVA-61) in the early 1960s.  The Ranger was a fossil fueled Carrier.  The Carriers in our Navy today are powered by Nuclear Energy.  I always find it amazing that the average age of the crew members in our Carriers is in the 19 years some months range.  These dedicated Crew Members and what they accomplish seldom, if ever makes the evening news, yet we rely on them to protect the interest of the United States in every corner of the World. 

Now to be fair, the Carriers are not the only Ships or Boats who protect the U. S. interest around the world.  We have other surface ships and a plethora of Boats under the surface performing the same duties twenty-four hours of each day, seven days a week for 365 days a year.

Thank You!!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Atlanta Braves Baseball

2011 Caravan To Middle Georgia

The Braves Legacy Continues

 I attended the 2011 Caravan for the promotion of the Braves Baseball Team in Macon, Georgia yesterday, January 24, 2011.  It brought back fond memories of when Chipper Jones played in Macon, Georgia in the early 1990s.

 Just in years gone by, the youth enjoyed the opportunity to collect autographs from the Braves Players.  I recall my own Son standing in line at the Macon Braves Ball Park to obtain the autograph of Steve Avery who was pitching here for one night during a rehab opportunity.

 Of course I obtained this shot during a lull in the autograph line.  Many came with baskets full of memorbilia for the Young Braves to sign.

 These young fans, just like my Sons of a few years ago sought autographs to collect and to also be a part of the event.  Every youngster wants to be a Ball Player, especially if they are involved in Little League.
 As you can ascertain the Braves Caravan stopped at Academy Sports in Macon.  I understand that these young Baseball Heroes also stopped at the Medical Center of Central Georgia Children's Hospital.

As you can ascertain even the players were having fun.  I am glad I attended this event and I remain confident that the hundreds of young fans as well as the older ones also enjoyed the 2011 Braves Caravan Stop in Macon, Georgia.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom"

Exploring The Color Line

It was my pleasure to attend the first event of the series "Exploring The Color Line" on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at the Tubman African American Museum.  The event was chaired by Andy Ambrose of the Tubman.

Attendees were encourage to read the book "Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom" prior to this event.  The book was written by a former Slave who had escaped the South in 1848 with his wife.  It is an excellent story and it actually starts in Macon, Georgia.

I have been a citizen of Macon, Georgia and the Middle Georgia area for 40 years except for a three year absence when the U. S. Navy required that I perform duty at Sea.  I was amazed by the story as I read it and asked myself why I had not ever heard of William and Ellen Craft.  It is a story that certainly should be told to every Student everywhere.  Admittedly it is a story about a black couple who escaped the "Slavery" economy of the 1800s in the United States of America.  It is also a story about a couple who coveted "Freedom" and took every opportunity to receive an education.

I publish this Blog today to point out that the next event, which will focus on the Ellen and William Craft escape will be held  on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 7:00 P.M.  at the Douglass Theatre in Macon, Georgia.   I would suggest that every citizen of Middle Georgia and every elected leader plan on attending this event. 

The Book entitled "Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom" bears excellent testimony to the slavery system of our History and also to the means that Slaves employed to escape to Freedom.

I cannot stress enough the fact that there is a great need to read this book; however if you cannot do that between now and next Tuesday, please attend the event at the Douglass Tuesday evening, January 25, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. so that you may gain an appreciation of what a young couple who commenced their journey to freedom from Macon, Georgia endured.

Thank You!!!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sleet Day - Middle Georgia
January 10, 2011

 This picture was captured at about 8:00 A.M. January 10, 2011 on the Street where I reside here in West Bibb County Georgia.  The local officials have told everyone, except emergency personnel to stay at home today.  This sleet is about one inch thick and the roads are considered dangerous.  I did not see who left the neighborhood, but I suspect that is may have been one of two Medical Professionals who reside here.

As you can see here, our transport vehicles are still in the garage which is where they will remain until the impact of this Sleet Day 2011 is over.  As I conclude this Post I would encourage everyone to conduct themselves in adult manner so that emergency personnel can perform their duties with out having to rescue someone who ignored the request of appropriate officials to remain in their homes today and also possibly tomorrow.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Life Is Good
As most readers of this Blog "The World This Week" know I am a retired U. S. Navy Veteran and also a retired Brown and Williamson Factory Worker.  I have enjoyed a wonderful life and I now enjoy the opportunity to savor wonderful food in an appropriate setting. 

What you are viewing here is a casual Breakfast which I served My Bride and Myself on the morning of December 29, 2010.  It consisted of Cranberry Juice, Toast, Breakfast Sausage as well as a bowl of Cherrioes flavored with Georgia Honey.    In as much as we were still celebrating Christmas I used appropriate table linens so that we had an opportunity to appreciate this selection of food as well as savor a cup of Coffee at the conclusion of the Breakfast.

As you may surmise, I do enjoy life.

We Must Do Better

I have recently read the December 2010 issue of "Georgia Trend" magazine.  This issue contained an enlighting article entitled "Georgia's Charter Schools."

The article written by Krista Reese provides a wonderful and informative insight to the development of the Charter School concept in Georgia, U. S. A.  One of the advantages of a Charter School is that they have greater flexibility to meet the needs of students. 

From my own point of view I feel that it is a tragic fact that our regular Public Schools do not now have the flexibility to meet the needs of students.  As you may surmise, I think that National and even State mandates and/or control at the current level of the local Public Schools is not desired.  That stated, the current systems in many states are funded by State Governments and to some degree the National Government which is an unfortunate situation.  With local control the citizens of a local system/county could educate their future citizens to meet the needs of the Scholars. 

Now, before anyone proceeds off of the deep end, I would also suggest that graduation test be administered at the end of the eighth grade and also at the end of the twelfth grade to insure that the Scholars were ready for the awarding of diplomas. 

Should anyone desire to learn more about this scheme please leave a comment here.  I can quickly provide you with questions that my own Father had to answer in order to graduate from the Eighth Grade way back in the 1930s.  Most of the questions he had to answer way back then would overwhelm a High School Scholar today.

Therefore I would suggest that Public Education in our Country has not really made much progress in the last 80 years. 

Cane River Vineyard

This facility, Cane River Vineyard is located on the same parking lot as Georgia Bob's in Byron, Georgia.  Georgia Bob's is a locally owned BBQ outlet.  He is currently expanding his operation to include Wine making and retail wine sales.

I visited this new store on January 5th.  They are open from 11:00 A.M. through 8:00 P.M.  The offer wine tasting for a price of $5.00 for five selections.  You can also take your famous Georgia Bob's BBQ across the parking lot and consume it with appropriate wine selections. 

This facility also boost a balcony  for private parties  as well as an area with tables and chairs downstairs for events such as group meetings for social organizations. 

They also retail a plethora of food items to dress up your meals.  I noted several kinds of sauces and Cashews covered with Chocolate.  A fun place to visit and I am confident that you will enjoy the opportunity to obtain some great wine produced here in Georgia.  At this time they are retailing several brands from other winemakers in as much as their grape vines are young plants.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Update on Healthcare for U. S. Military

Yesterday I posted an entry on this Blog about the reimbursement for the Surgery that My Bride had to have to repair the broken bones in her right leg.

The X-rays above display two views.  The top view displays quite well the complexity of the repair procedure which was required.

It does not take a medical professional to ascertain that the repair procedure was quite complex.

Today I had the good fortune to view a quote from a former President of the United States of America who served this great Country many years ago.  I quote:

"A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his Country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards."  Theodore Roosevelt

As our duly elected officials praise our Veterans it might do them all well to read this quote from a former President.  I must admit that during my 21 years of active service I did not shed my blood for my country, but I certainly did serve with Honor.  I was fortunate that I was never assigned in country during the Vietnam War. 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Health Care for Military Families

I have always had great faith in the U. S. Governments pledge to take care of the Family Members and the Veterans of our U. S. Military.  However a recent accident suffered by My Bride where she broke both bones in her right leg has caused me to reconsider the situation.

She broke the major support bone by shattering it into ten pieces.  The small leg bone was a clean break.  The surgery to repair the breaks consisted of two plates with about fourteen or more screws or pins to hold everything in place to allow proper healing.  My Bride is covered by TRICARE.

The total bill from the Doctor who performed this surgery was $3264.00.  TRICARE has paid a total of $612.41 of this bill.  I have appealed this to the appropriate Organization.  I indicated that a recent repair kit on the rear end of my 1998 Dodge Pickup truck required that I pay a total of over $400.00.  A set of new tires for this same pickup cost well over $500.00. 

I cannot understand where it is possible for our Government to authorize only $612.41 for the complex procedure to repair My Brides Right leg.  I cannot understand the logic or reasoning for this inadequate level of funding for the restoration of a leg on a human being.  Yet every Veteran's Day we see and hear our President and other duly elected leaders inform us that they will never let our Nation's Veterans down.  The Veterans deserve nothing but the best and that our Nation will provide for their welfare.

I am beginning to think  that this is simply a ploy to gain votes from all the citizens.  It is very patriotic of the many Veteran's Day speakers to state this. 

It would be my suggestion that our Government actually display this attitude through their actions.  I publish this information today to let everyone know that it is possible to have a misplaced faith when we believe what our duly elected officials tell us as we observe Veterans Day.

Yes, I have sent copies of my appeal to the two Senators from my State as well as my newly elected Congressman.  One Senator sent me an E-Mail back with a few statements of fact and suggesting that I contact him in the future should I need assistance in any matter.  The appeal letter I sent to TRICARE requested a reconsideration.  It will be interesting to learn of the outcome of my request.  Meanwhile, the Healthcare Provider must wait.  I have been advised that many Healthcare providers are reluctant to accept TRICARE patients.  What an unfortunate situation when our Healthcare providers are placed in this situation. 

I suspect that come Veterans Day 2011 we will see and also hear the same high praise for our Nations Veterans and also the pledge that we will provide the best care for them and their dependents.  Will it remain a hollow statement?  Time will tell.

This is what Government Health Care is all about?  Is this the same Government that now boldly tells us that the Universal Health Care for all U.S. citizens recently enacted is going to be much better than what we enjoyed in our Nation's past!!!!!

So my concern today is how long will our Nation's Healthcare providers remain in business with a low level of reimbursement from Government Health Care? 

Meanwhile I hope that my recent appeal will result in a higher level of reimbursement for the Doctor that performed the surgery to repair My Bride's broken right leg bones.

To put this in proper context, my twelve year old pickup is worth a fair sum of money and it cost me well over the sum of money TRICARE approved for the surgery to repair My Bride's broken leg.  You may be thinking that I could pay the difference.  That sounds great, but I also must inform you that I have already paid for my Health Care as well as the Health Care for My Bride with twenty-one (21) years of service to our "Grateful Nation!!"

Admittedly the phrase "Grateful Nation" may be improperly used in the previous sentence.  I am certainly beginning to think so as I await the result of my appeal.

Something to think about if you or any of your family or friends are considering Service to our Nation in the U. S. Military.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Cost Effective Education Idea

We Must Do Better

Today we will take a break from the Bus Trip Across Georgia and present a concept that is sure to catch the eye of any elected official, local, state and who knows, maybe even a national elected official.

In recent months I have expended a fair amount of time in Medical Treatment Facility Waiting Rooms.  I have used this opportunity to read the many magazines that are available.  Recently I was eyeing the selections available and I was  captivated by the Cover Story entitled "The Case Against Summer Vacation" in the August 2, 2010 issue of Time Magazine.

The cover showed a young male skipping rocks across a pond of water in a very casual pose.  He certainly appeared to be enjoying Summer.,

The article written by David Von Drehle contained these sub-headings:

  • It's an outdated legacy of the farm economy.  Adults still romanticize it.  But those months out of school do the most damage to the kids who can least afford it.
  • By ninth grade, summer learning loss could be blamed for roughly two-thirds of the achievement gap separating income groups.
I have memories of when our oldest Son attended Elementary School in San Diego, California many years ago.  He attended year round school and enjoyed it very much.  In fact the tax payers also enjoyed it.  It was a fact that the San Diego School System could have twenty percent more students in any facility by simply having it in operation around the year.

It was also beneficial to the parents because the students did not require day care for the long Summer months.  Certainly cost effective in so many aspects.

This is certainly something that should be considered by all School Systems in urban/surburban settings.  Not many families farm these days.  Additionally, the breaks in the school year scheme in a year round system would allow families to take Vacations during the off-peak times.  Yet another savings of funds.

There are so many win, win aspects of this concept that I find it difficult to believe that it has not been implemented on a national basis.  In fact, local school systems would be well advised to implement a year round education scheme both as a cost reduction scheme because less class rooms would be required and Scholars would not have the knowledge loss that is associated with the long Summer Break.

Admittedly this concept would not bode well in the Farm Belt, but then again, we all know that we have very few farmers in our United States of America.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education

2010 Bus Tour Across Georgia

Yesterday I commenced the year with a Journal Entry about the First of Seven Schools the 2010 Bus Tour Visited.  The Second School we visited was Norcross High School.  Here is what I wrote in my Journal on the evening of October 26, 2010:

"  A very diverse student population, but very high expectations.  Their test scores and graduation rated bear excellent testimony to reflect well on the community.  This school has over 3300 Scholars focused on Life, Academics, Sports and Community Involvement.  IB, AP, a full spectrum of Scholars.  Motivated Staff dedicated to the success of the Scholars!!!  Education of the whole child.  Arts, Music and other subjects on an equal level as academics. Required tutoring.  A seven period day with one 52 minute period devoted to lunch, tutoring and homework/studying.   The opportunity for Social Intercourse was appreciated by the Scholars.  The ability to have flexible course options was appreciated by Scholars, i.e. IB Math while doing A.P. English and even a lower level "Art" allowed Scholars to have the best of all worlds/options.

The IB/AP Panel we visited was impressive.  They learn public speaking in the course with presentations to their peers.  Class rooms had "Groups" of four working on a problem.  This fostered team work and motivated Scholars to do their best because each contributed a portion of the solution.  What teenager wants to let their peers down?  A great motivator and also a situation that fosters respect for others.  A valuable life skill they learn from each other.  The Teachers guide and the Scholars respond.  I must stress -- The expectations are high.  No strict dress code.  I saw many shirts outside of trousers; yet each Scholar demonstrated respect for self and peers.  All of this in a large High School with a "Blue Devil" mascot; and a winning Football Team.  The Scholars indicated that the high expectations and the rigor of the AP and IB programs taught them that " priorities" in High School is preparing them for even Higher Education.  A note worthy achievement.  This High School blew my socks off.  A motivated and diverse Student Body.  The County expends $8300.00 per Scholar.  The Principal also stressed that one size does not fit all situations!!!"

Saturday, January 01, 2011

"We Must Do Better"

In 2009 I published a total of 380 Post on this Blog "The World This Week."  During my recent campaign for Post 8 on the Bibb County Georgia School Board I published 16 Post during the period May 27, 2010 through November 3, 2010.  The theme of my Campaign was "We Can Do Better."

It is my goal to publish a post each day of 2011.  As my campaign for the Post 8 School Board concluded I participated in the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education "18th Bus Trip Across Georgia" during the period of October 26-28, 2010.  I  participated in this Trip because I wanted to see first hand the best schools in Georgia.  The trip showcased the best of Georgia's  public school system.  The theme for the 2010 trip was "Greater Flexibility, Greater Focus on Result."

The first of the seven schools we visited was DaVinci Academy in Hall County.  This Middle School used a former school facility and was located in a urban setting.

During the trip we all kept journals.  Today I will share my brief comments from my journal that I wrote the evening of October 26, 2010:

"Inspired Scholars modeling inspired educators.  Each Scholar develops a "Project" to complete that is their passion.  Each Scholar is responsible for their own clean up.  No janitors or food service staff.  This school is on the internet.  No expensive text books.  This school functions well using only 70 percent of the funds that a "normal" school uses.  The concept of individual responsibility is evident in the attitude of the Scholars.  Talent is sought and Nurtured.  "A Dream School."  Team work abounds.  No rows of desk here.  Enrollment of about 210 in grades 6, 7 and 8. 

A Community school in a setting that fosters pride of ownership.  The stress on Fun and Joy while learning was very evident.  An announcement about a "Lock Down" was stated once and everyone performed well.  An escaped prisoner was at large in the area.  No panic!!!

A small school preparing Scholars for the future challenges of life with the values of a one-room school of yesteryear.  A real joy to visit. The Student guides were terrific."  My only concern about the future for these Scholars was summed up with this Journal Entry: 

Will High School Be ready for these passionate Scholars?