Monday, February 28, 2011


A Challenging Month

February for another near will be over at Midnight.  The month of February is and has been a challenging month for me.

Every member of my first family was born in February.  I am usually able to maintain my focus on my current family during the remaining eleven months of the year.  In some regards I do wish I could forget the month of February.  That stated I also realize that I cannot change the past.  Like anyone else in this world, I must focus on the future. 

I know that I have been very well blessed and I appreciate my health each and every day.  My current family is also well blessed.  The picture displayed above was taken at Christmas Time in 2009.  It shows my two Sons and their respective families.

I know that God's Blessings will continue to have an impact in my life.  Thank You!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring - The Wonderful Season

I have often heard the adage about Spring when one's thoughts turn to love.  Here is proof that even our canine friends know of this tradition.

Tom Burrell

Exploring the Color Line

The Exploring the Color Line discussion group which has been meeting at the Tubman African American Museum has just completed the reading and discussion of the book "Brainwashed."

This book had several chapter with interesting titles which captured the attention of all the discussion group members.  Some of the chapter titles are:

By Now, Pay Later
D's Will Do
Bred to be Led
Studs and Sluts
Relationship Wrecks
to list a few.

The concluding Chapter was titled:  "Yes, We Must!!"  This chapter concluded with these brief comments/recommendations to resolve the plight of Black Peoples Everywhere.  No Victims Allowed.  We Must Now Move Forward.  Everyone must individually do the Correct Things.

The Black Race has a long legacy of oppression, but changes must be accomplished.

The Author recommended a four step program:
  1. Question
  2. Analyze
  3. UnPlug
  4. ReProgram
I certainly learned a lot during my readings thus far and I would encourage everyone, no matter what race to read the books which we have now completed:

"Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom" by William and Ellen Craft

"Brainwashed" by Tom Burrell

If we are to move forward as a society things must change.  I can accept this concept which was stressed in the book by Tom Burrell.

I would further add to this Post that this Discussion Group and the Exploring the color Line is funded by the Georgia Humanities Council.

Visiting Hong Kong, B.C.C. 1963
A USS Ranger (CVA-61)
Sailor Alan (a.k.a. Flower Child)

Seaman Alan F. E. Thiese is shown here as he visited Hong Kong during the 1963 Cruise to the Western Pacific of the USS Ranger (CVA-61)

This picture was taken by my Buddy (I always went on Liberty with a Shipmate) as I sat on a concrete/rock fence on top of Victoria's Peak.  In the lower background you can see a portion of Hong Kong.  The city in the top background is Kowloon.

I was twenty-three years old at the time this picture was taken.  I decided to publish this picture today as I set up the U. S. Navy Reunion Scheme for the next two years for the ships that I served in.

The USS Ranger Reunion will be held in Las Vegas this year from September 14th through September 17th.

The USS Sellers Reunion will be held in Jacksonville in 2012 on dates to be determined.

The USS John Paul Jones Reunion will be held in Charleston, SC in 2012 on dates to be determined.

The USS Hull Reunion will be in 2012 at a location to be announced.

It looks like 2012 will be a good year for travel.  I am looking forward to these reunions and the change to tell Sea Stories and enjoy the company of former Sellersmen, Hullmen and JPJmen.

The USS Ranger Reunion in Las Vegas should also be a great event.

Please note that the picture displayed above was first a 35MM Slide which I had reproduced to a print many years ago so I could place it on my Desk.  Today I scanned the print to a digital file so that I could post the picture here.  Please ignore the comment on the bottom right of the picture.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2011 Macon Georgia
Cherry Blossom Festival
March 18 - March 27
29th Annual Festival

Make your plans now to attend the events that interest you.  The Festival Website is:

Of course you may also pick up the official 32 page brochure at your local Middle Georgia Food Market.

As you know this is being billed as:

  "The Pinkest Party On Earth"

Can You Answer a Question?

Can you name the devices in this post?  Please respond with your answer in the comment section below.

As with all my prior puzzle Blog Post there is a prize if you post the correct answer.  The deadline for this rather simple puzzle is Midnight, February 24, 2011.

Blue Storm Baseball

Macon's Historic Luther Williams Field

This is an image from 2008, but it does show the Stands at Luther Williams Field in Macon, Georgia.

The Macon State Blue Storm Baseball Club will play their 2011 home games at this historic venue.  The schedule is as follows:

Feb 26 versus West Georgia Tech at 1:00 P.M.
Feb 26 versus West Georgia Tech at 3:30 P.M.

Feb 27 versus West Georgia Tech at 1:00 P.M.

Apr 2 versus Georgia Southern at 1:00 P.M.
Apr 2 versus Georgia Southern at 3:30 P.M.

Apr 3 versus Georgia Southern at 1:00 P.M.

Apr 9 versus Kennesaw State at 1:00 P.M.
April 9 versus Kennesaw State at 3:30 P.M.

Apr 10 versus Kennesaw State at 1:00 P.M.

Apr 16 versus Emory University at 2:00 P.M.
Apr 16 versus Emory University at 4:30 P.M.

Apr 17 versus Emory University at 1:00 P.M.

Please note that all of the March Games are away games and include the following Opponents:

Chattahoochee Tech
University of Florida

I find it impressive that a group of baseball players formed this Club Baseball Team last year, 2010 at Macon State College and had a season record of 17-9.  The also achieved great success considering it was their first/opening season with a trip to the World Series and ranking sixth in the U. S. A.

Well Done!!!!

So, if you are looking for some fine sport to watch this Spring consider traveling to Luther Williams Field and watch the young Scholars from Macon State College play Club Baseball. 

I would suggest that it is very appropriate that we support the "Blue Storm" Club Baseball Team this year.  Just think, by the end of the Summer you may be able to say that you attended baseball games in Macon, Georgia and the team went to the World Series in 2011.

Nothing To Do
Middle Georgia
I am always amazed when I hear some of my peers discuss the fact that there is nothing to do in Middle Georgia. 

Last Friday, February 18, 2011 I attended a "Masterworks At Noon Series" concent which featured Ben Altman on guitar at the Neva Langley Fickling Hall, McCorkle Music Building at Mercer University.  This event was part of the Townsend School of Music outreach to the community. 

The young Ben Altman presented a program of music of classical guitar which consisted of music composed by Bach, Tower and Tansman. 

When I think of Bach I do not think of guitar music, but I can certainly say that I enjoyed the concert and look forward to future programs presented by Ben Altman who is a Macon, Georgia Native but now residing and teaching in Denver, Colorado.

Well Done, Ben!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Discussion on Federal Spending
a.k.a. Being Responsible!!!

Alan's (also known as the Flower Child) views on what has recently happened in our U. S. House of Representatives.  I received this message from a concerned citizen and friend of mine here in the Middle Georgia Area who follows my Blog "The World This Week."  His message is printed in italics below: 

"This just happened in our world this week.
On Saturday, our "representatives" voted to keep a $45 million military sponsorship of NASCAR but cut SESAME STREET and the rest of Public Broadcast funding. Our government spends $430 million a year on public broadcasting... less than the $500 million that (according to the Washington Post) it spends each year for marching bands in our military.
Please don't make me explain to XXXX  that his daddy voted for the men that would rather have the army logo plastered on the side of race car than give him quality, commercial-free, educational shows like SESAME STREET and CURIOUS GEORGE.
Please don't let the Senate seal the deal. Write a quick note to our GA senators asking them not to cut PBS funding!
Senator Isakson:

Senator Chambliss:

I hope you agree with me on this matter and share this message with your contacts, friends, and family."

Of course I will share his message with my contacts, you the readers of this Blog and with my Family and Friends.  My comments are as follows:
  • I also appreciate Public Radio and Public Television.  In Georgia we have the opportunity to watch "Lawmakers" produced by Georgia Public Television.  This allows us to learn what is happening during the annual sessions of our General Assembly. 
  • I also have fond memories of my own children enjoying the public television offerings during their youth.
  • The amount expended by our U. S. Military to advertise during NASCAR events is considered appropriate to recruit for our Nation's Military.  The 45 million dollar advertising/sponsorship of NASCAR can certainly be contested. 
  • The amount expended on U. S. Military Marching Bands which my friend also mentions in his message may appear excessive; but as a Retired U. S. Navy Veteran let me quickly point out that since the American Revolution we have always enjoyed Music by pipe and drum to full fledged Bands as morale builders.  I have fond memories of my own participation in Underway Replenishments (UNREPS) when I served in several U. S. Navy Ships.  Sailors working very hard in manual labor to strike below the stores and ammo necessary to meet the mission.  During my time in USS Ranger (CVA-61) I recall with fond memory and even great pride as we consistently set underway replenishment records.  Can you imagine a crew with the average age of 19 years and 2 months working hard to keep the flow of food items going so that we could receive 352 short tons of groceries in one hour.  This takes coordination and a high level of morale to insure that all work at top efficiency.  Yes, we did enjoy the benefit of a "Seventh Fleet Band" stationed onboard Ranger.  Yes, they did perform for every underway replenishment of food/stores/ammo and fuel.
  • I also am aware that every American takes great pride in the Bands of each of the respective services of our U. S. Military.  The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Band Concerts here in Macon, Georgia,  performed by various U. S. Military Bands are a mark of civilized society.  These concerts are free and are well attended.  The mission of the Military Music Program is to assist in the recruiting and retention of qualified individuals.  It is a recognized fact that music and the other arts are a necessary part of our culture and have been enjoyed by all cultures of all ages.  In short, music and the arts are necessary for the good of all peoples everywhere.
  • Before we discount expending monies on U. S. Military programs, I would remind my readers that we all have enjoyed the benefits of an All Volunteer Force since the early 1970s.  The U. S. Military must advertise and have programs that attract qualified young citizens to serve us all and defend our great nation.  I am also aware that our Military expends great sums of funds for the various demonstration teams that perform all over our Nation every year.  The first such organization/team that comes to my mind is the U. S. Navy Blue Angels.  Of course the Air Force has the Thunderbirds and the Army has Parachute Teams that also assist in the recruiting/retention efforts of their respective organizations.
  • Then there is the "President's Own - The U. S. Marine Band!!"
  • I recently learned that only about 24 percent of our Nation's Youth in the 18 year old to 24 year old age range are even qualified for service in Our Military.  Therefore the marketing of our Military to attract recruits must  appeal to this age group as well as the parents who have raised these fine young women and men.  They need to see that the U. S. Military is a civil organization that respects a well rounded person.
I can appreciate the need for our U. S. Congressmen and Congresswomen to attempt to reduce Federal Spending.  I would respectfully submit that the first place they reduce cost would be in their own respective offices.  I recall that recently our former Speaker was traveling to the West Coast  very frequently at great expense to the U. S. Taxpayers.  Additionally She required an office suite in San Francisco that many considered an excessive expense.  I know that I, the Flower Child did.  I am aware of the San Francisco area.  The USS Ranger (CVA-61) which I mentioned above was homeported in Alameda, California.  I was also onboard USS Ranger during a major overhaul which was performed at Hunter's Point, just down the hill from Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

In summary, I consider the expenditure of funds to recruit/retain our Military a vital aspect of our Government.  After all even our U. S. Constitution provides for the common defense of our Great Nation!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Flower Child's Home
West Bibb County Georgia
Ready for the 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival

I am confident that by now you have reviewed my Blog Post of February 19th where I displayed the fact in pictures that I am personally ready for the 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival.

Therefore, today I was determined to get my dwelling ready for the Festival. 

Macon's Skyline

Last evening, Saturday, February 19th, 2011 a group of photographers assembled at the Ocmulgee National Monument for a photography shoot of Macon, Georgia's Skyline.

Here is an image that I was able to acquire using a simple to use Point and Shoot Digital Camera.  I did set it on one of the pre-programed programs which was entitled "Night Shoots."  I am pleased with the results of this fun event.  I recall that there were at least a dozen photographers there.  We all assembled on the Great Temple Mound and had a wonderful time shooting as well as using the opportunity for fellowship among like minded photography hobbyist.

The weather was perfect as regards temperature; however the cloudy sky did hamper our ability to catch the Full Moon (plus one day) rising.  Still a fun event.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Flower Child Is Ready
The 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival
held in
Macon, Georgia
The 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia is a mere 26 days away.  This year's festival billed as the "Pinkest Party on Earth" is an annoual celebration.  Real Men in Middle Georgia also get in on the action by wearing Pink.

Today I modeled my pink garb for the Photographer who happens to be My Bride.  As you can quickly ascertain, The Flower Child is ready.

For additional information about the Pinkest Party on Earth please visit:

The 2011 Festival runs from March 18th through March 26

I am looking forward to seeing you at the Festival

You are encouraged to make this Blog one of your favorites or bookmark it.  I will post updates concerning the 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Day Trip To Atlanta, Georgia

You may now be wondering why I would have a picture of five U. S. Army Music Men performing with a title such as this post.

Yesterday, February 12, 2011 was the day to turn in accepted images for the 2011 Southeastern Flower Show which will be held at the Cobb Galleria on February 25th through February 27th.

An edited version of this picture was accepted for display and additional judging in the Photography Contest portion of the Southeastern Flower Show.  After we delivered the framed picture to the contact person for this show we took the opportunity, while in Atlanta to Dine at the OK Cafe at exit 255 of I-75.  We have enjoyed the meals and service at this retro dining establishment and yesterday was no exception.

If you plan on attending the Southeastern Flower Show later this month I would encourage you to visit:

In as much as you must pass the exit where the OK Cafe is located I would recommend that you plan a stop there either before the show or after you have enjoyed the show.  To learn more about the OK Cafe, which was featured several years ago in a Southern Living article please visit:

It was a lovely day to visit Atlanta, Georgia and we experienced no traffic problems.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Exploring the Color Line"
I post this entry today to encourage my Fellow Middle Georgia Citizens to participate in the ongoing series which is also the title of this Blog.

The Tubman African American Museum is hosting a weekly discussion group to learn about a book entitled "BRAINWASHED" by Tom Burrell.  Mr. Burrell book has a subtitle "Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority.'

I quote here a small portion of Mr. Burrell's comments in the introduction:

"Over time, I've learned that the root of the problem wasn't what was being done to me--it was what I'd been brainwashed to feel about myself."

It must be remembered that Mr. Tom Burrell along with a partner launched a company in 1971 which would later become Burrell Advertising.   As I read this book and  participated in the weekly discussions at the Tubman I have discovered that Mr. Burrell has the freedom to discuss the "brainwashing" of his fellow people.  I have also discovered that even my fellow people of the white community have been brainwashed. 

The final discussion of this book will be conducted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at the Tubman Museum starting at 6:30 P.M.

The conculusion of the "Brainwashed" study will be held at The Historic Douglass Theatre at 335 Martin Luther King Blvd, Macon, Georgia on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 starting at 7:00 P.M.  This event will feature a young man who was from Macon, Georgia.  His name is Lewis Williams and he attended Kent State University and Syracuse University before working for Burrell Communications.  He is the Chief Creative Officer at Burrell Communications.

I would encourage you to learn more about Mr. Lewis Williams by visiting his personal website:

Please take the time to attend the Tuesday, February 15th event at the Tubman and also the Tuesday, February 22nd event at the Douglass Theatre.

I would also suggest that every High School Student in Middle Georgia take the time to read the book "Brainwashed" by Tom Burrell.
"Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom"

On January 20, 2011 I posted an entry here about the Tuesday, January 25, 2011 event at The Historic Douglass Theatre here in Macon, Georgia.  This event which was part of a series entitled "Exploring The Color Line" sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council, the Tubman African American Museum featured a Dramatization by the Tubman Outreach Teacher, Jeanette Wadell who resides in Hancock County Georgia.  Ms. Wadell delivered a dynamic story telling event portraying Ellen Craft who was one of two principals in the Book, "Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom."

In addition to the dramatization by Ms. Wadell we had to the opportunity to view a video clip by the Great Grand Daughter of Ellen Craft.  I appreciated the focus of this event and will sum them up here with two quotes:

"All Equal In The Eyes of God"

"God Desired 'Our' Freedom"

I realize that I was but one of many Middle Georgia citizens who attended this event but I felt that the consensus of opinion of the attendees was that the William and Ellen Craft Story about their trip from Macon, Georgia to Freedom should be a part of the studies our Middle Georgia Scholars are required know.  It is an important legacy and also a part of the heritage of everyone who resides here.  I would encourage everyone who desires to learn more about this couple and their flight to freedom and also their dedication to acquire an education to obtain the book entitled "Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom" which is available in the local libraries here in Middle Georgia.

Friday, February 04, 2011

18th Bus Trip Across Georgia

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education

Day Two of this exciting opportunity to learn about Schools that are doing well in Georgia commenced at "Sawyer Road Elementary School, Marietta, Georgia."  My Journal entry:

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010.  An IB School.  All Scholars were IB, a requirement for Elementary Programs that want the IB Program.

The Welcome was performed by all Scholars under the Catwalks.  Reminded me of Extreme Home Makeover on TV, except there were 94 of us on two buses visiting the selected schools.

About Sawyer Road Elementary (SRE).  Training with a strong business involvement.  Five year old facility with 650 Scholars.  Focused on best practices.  Strong Community and Parent engagement which was very evident.  Preparing Scholars for a Global Society.  Service Projects included Haiti Relief and Heifer Project among many.  Clusters/Groups evident in each Class Room.  We had several groups and I was assigned to the "Balanced" group.  We had two guides, one to lead us from each class room on the tour and the other with a stop watch.  Well organized.  The school atrium greeting includes mimes who displayed the focus of the School.  Our guide answered my question about the school.  "What Makes this School Good."  The reply I received was:  "The Teachers make learning Fun."  All wore a Red Ribbon "I Believe in Me" which was a part of a drug awareness program.  All had the opportunity to participate in drama workshops. 

Interactive groups in each Class Room.  Extensive use of graphs and smart boards.  As we toured the Class Rooms all 94 of us in several groups noted that the Scholars remained focused.  The teachers "modeled diversity" colored hair was the common trait in one wing of the school.  The Spanish Lab included the language and geography.  Integerated Learning.  A very hands on learning environment in each classroom.  Very effective.  The Staff and the Scholars owned the circulum.  A Win, Win situation which was evident in each classroom.

A bully box in the Hallway where a Scholar could report a Bully without anyone knowing who did the reporting.  Excellent concept from my point of view.

Education Excellence in Georgia U.S.A.

As 2011 commenced I posted two entries about the Georgia Partnership in Educational Excellence on January 1 and January 2, 2011.

Today I will resume that series:

I will quote from my Journal which I wrote during the Bus Trip. 

Evening - 26 October 2010.  Kennesaw State University.  We enjoyed a lovely evening meal.  The speakers focused on the Teacher Training Program.  This institution has 23,500 Scholars.  Only the University of Georgia trains more teachers than Kennesaw State University (KSU).

The meal was buffet style from anyone of seven serving areas.  I chose the hamburger and shake option.  A great evening. 

Why The Flower Child Lives In Georgia!!

This morning, a Sibling sent me an E-Mail letting me know the total impact of the Winter of 2010-2011 in the Midwest.  This is a view of a country road in Northeast Iowa.  To be specific, it is in Clayton County which is bordered on the East by the Mississippi River.

As you can quickly ascertain, the snow plows have been working overtime this Winter.  The photographer's shadow is present on the right hand side of this picture.

I did spend the first twenty-one years of my life in Clayton County, but I cannot recall the snow plowed out of the road with the piles of snow this high.  Let us all hope that the Spring 2011 thaws do not happen fast or we will all see Television News Coverage of terrible flooding in the Midwest and further on down in the Mississippi Valley.

Yes, I appreciate the fact that I do not now live in the Upper Midwest!!!!
 CrimeStoppers of Middle Georgia

Bibb County Georgia Jail

On November 8th of 2010 I attended the 9th Annual Crime Stoppers Community Luncheon here in Macon, Georgia.  I was a guest of Mr. Charles E. Richardson of "The Telegraph."   Prior to the Luncheon everyone of us (several hundred) had the opportunity to participate in the Silent Auction to raise funds for the CrimeStoppers.  I placed a bid on the Wide Screen Television, but the bidding quickly passed my self imposed limit.   I did place a bid on "Lunch with the Sheriff," which I won.

I am happy to report that the Lunch with the Sheriff event happened on Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  The Lunch was donated by "Market City Cafe" in downtown Macon and we both enjoyed the opportunity to have Lunch at this supporter of CrimeStoppers.  After the lunch the Sheriff invited me to the Bibb Law Enforcement Center (LEC) and I accepted.  I was given a guided tour and observed first hand the dedication of the entire staff there.  I did not formerly realize that the Jail is indeed a small city.  In addition to a place for sleeping, eating and confinement a jail is also a place where medical assistance is rendered to the inmates as they serve their sentence. 

As I concluded the tour I realized that a prisoner is afforded  health care, spiritual care and legal assistance as well as a place to eat and sleep.

I was impressed with the morale and attitude of the Staff at the Bibb County Jail (LEC) and am confident that they do their best to assist in the reclamation of these citizens.  Of course I am grateful that I have never had the opportunity to be incarcerated.