Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 3012
I attended the McDUFFIE MACON concert in the company of My Bride.  This free event sponsored by the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend School of Music Mercer University featured Robert McDuffie performing with the Violin, Distinguished Faculty Artist and the McDuffie Center String Ensemble.

We arrived about one hour early and it was a good thing we did.  By the time the concert started the performance was a "Standing Room Only" (SRO) event. 

Before I discuss the Concert literature I would like to say that the 2012 McDufie Center String Ensemble consist of 25 talented individuals.  Nine came from the following foreign countries:

Manto Agouridou, cello (Athens, Greece)
Shin Jung Lee, violin (Seoul, South Korea)
Mattis Palm, double bass (Lund, Sweden)
Jessica Pinkersgill, viola (Victoria, BC, Canada)
Li Shiqi, cello (Shanghai, China)
He Siao cello (Shanghai, China)
Rogerio Shieh, cello (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Elizabeth Skinner, violin (Victoria, BC, Canada)
Rochelle Sumampong-Heavens, violin (Victoria, BC, Canada)

The balance of the Ensemble came from:

Woodstock, GA
Honolulu, HI
Warwick, RI
Mounds, OK
Rochester, NY
Peachtree City, GA
Monona, WI
Houston, TX
El Paso, TX
Dade City, FL
Roswell, GA
Oak Park, IL
Redding, CA
Bulverde, TX
Saint Louis, MO
Honolulu, WI

The literature for this fun concert was composed by George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Astor Piazzola, Paul Schoenfield, Erno Dohnanyi, Johannes Brahams, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Samuel Barber.

"Adagio" was my favorite performance of the evening.  Prior to each selection Robert McDuffie provided comments about the background of the music or interesting information about the Composer.  For "Adagio" we learned that one day after the death of President Kennedy, his Widow requested a private concert with this selection. 

Several of the selections were performed by the Faculty Artist.  They certainly did well and their performances certainly set the standard for the Music Scholars selected for this McDuffie Center String Ensemble.

This was a fun concert, like I stated above, and they kept everyone on the edge of their seats.  I will close this Blog Entry with this comment.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend a McDuffie center String Ensemble Concert do so.  In fact I would even suggest that you alter your personal schedule so that you can attend at least one of these Concerts. 

Although I am not a Music Scholar, I can certainly state that this was a dynamic performance and I can understand and also appreciate why this was an SRO event.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"We Can Change It!!"

I also viewed the principal speakers on Day Two of the Republican Convention.  Today I will share what I consider high lights of each.

Our Former Secretary of State made this statement:  "We Do Not Have a Choice - You can not Lead from Behind!!" I especially appreciated this statement:  "Peace Comes Through Strength."  "It does not matter where you came from, but where you are going!"  Regarding why people from all lands strive and often struggle to come to the United States she stated:

"People come here to make a decent wage!"

She then cited her own experience of a young lady in  Birmingham, Alabama and how the Jim Crow Crow laws during her youth prevented her Parents from taking her to Woolworth's for a Hamburger.  Her goal was to become the President of the United States.  She reflected on that fact and while she did not achieve her goal, she did become the Secretary of State.

The next speaker was the Governor of New Mexico.  She spoke briefly about achieving the American Dream.  Her own parents without a vast sum of funds founded a Security Guard Company.  As an 18 year old female she was one of their first employees.  Today they have over 125 employees in three States.  She boldly told us all:  "My Parents Did It!"  Like the speakers during day one of the Convention, she informed us that when she became Governor of New Mexico there was a deficit and with an appropriate focus and effort the state now has a surplus.  This was achieved with No Tax Increase!!!  She concluded her speech with the statement that "Success is the American Dream."  Her parents achieved it with hard work and she also achieved success.

The concluding speech of the evening was by Vice President Candidate, Paul Ryan.  First of all he accepted the Nomination of the Delegates to the Convention.  He quickly informed everyone that the Goal of the Romney-Ryan Ticket is "To Get This Country Working Again!"

His presented this question to the Convention and who were viewing the Speech:

"Without a change in Leadership, how can we expect a change during the next four years?"

"The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare."  Our current administration is much like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind. 

From my point of view the most interesting and also a bit humorous part of his speech was when he discussed the twenty year old College Graduate who was currently living in his Childhood Room and looking at the ceiling at the faded Obama Posters because it is not possible to obtain employment in the field in which they studied."  - or words in that manner.

"We deserve a better Country than one where everything is free, except us!!!!"

He concluded his speech with this Pledge: 

"We Will Lead!!"
As I compose this Blog Post today I am also taking the time to reflect on the manner in which the speakers addressed the Convention.  All three that I heard made their statements in a calm manner, however in a matter of fact manner.  The tone and demeanor of the speakers was appreciated and also displayed the care and also compassionate attitude that they each had for the future of the "United States of America."

I certainly feel that the theme of day two "We Can Change It" was well presented in an effective manner. We have certainly heard appropriate examples of how Republican Governors have already implemented this mantra.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"We Can Do Better"
I took the opportunity to watch the Republican Convention broadcast last evening.  I took notes and was able to appreciate the "one line comments" of several of the speakers.  I was most impressed with the presentations by several Governors who told of the success they had achieved in their respective states concerning balanced budgets, education and employment opportunities - read  - job creation.

One of the speakers reminded everyone that he believed that "We can handle the truth."  I would certainly agree.  Most of us know that we cannot continue spending money we do not have.  Soon we will find ourselves in the same situation as Greece.  Not a very nice situation.

As I listened to the various speakers I quickly recalled an adage that I have heard very often in recent years.  "Hello, I am from the government and I am here to help you!!!"  While we laugh at this comment it certainly has some element of truth. 

One speaker reminded us that "Freedom" is the bedrock of our founding fathers.  For the most part the original settlers to our country left Europe in quest of "Freedom."  It was also acknowledged that with about one half of our citizens dependent on the U.S. Government it is quite possible that soon we will all be searching for the "Freedoms" that allowed our United States of America to the the great Nation we all have enjoyed.

I recall hearing a few comments concerning the fact that the Republicans were not very respectful of women.  I heard that during the current President's term we have actually saw a decrease in employment opportunities for women. 

One speaker, a former Presidential Candidate reminded us all that there are three milestones to be met/accomplished so that our citizens can be a successful society.  They are:

Hard Work

By completing these milestones we can all live the American Dream.  A life of Liberty and Freedom. 

All listeners were challenged with this question:  "Is the current situation in Greece what we want for our United States of America?"  I would suggest, is the situation in Greece what we have labored for and want to pass on to our yet unborn Grandchildren?

Another speaker encouraged us to remember.  Remember what we all desire for the future of our United States!!!!!   We cannot continue in the manner that we have in the last three and one half years and hope that more of the same will improve our situation in life.  Much less improve our situation in the in the World, or our status in the World. 

We were all encouraged to "Remember Who You Are!!"  We then heard this phrase:  "Remember Who We Are!!"  By remembering we can also look forward to the future.  "We The People" voted in 2008 for the Hope and Change for the Future.  We all know how that worked out for us.  So in 2012 we have the opportunity to prepare for the future with this statement which can be achieved in November of this year.

"2012 Mistake Corrected!!"

I was very much impressed when the Governor of South Carolina informed us that "We Won" and that "Boeing Won," as regards the attitude of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and their efforts to keep Boeing out of South Carolina.  

Ann Romney spoke and advised us all that "Love" was a key word in the lives of us all.  Her testimony regarding the Republican Candidate for President of the United States of America allowed us all to appreciate the fact that he is a Candidate who is first of all a successful business leader who has dedicated his life to growing the economy, but also is a caring Husband who supported his Spouse through three major crisis.  In summary, not only does he Love his Wife and Family, he loves his Country to the point that he is ready to be the Leader we need now!!!!

The statement by Mrs. Romney that summed up the current election cycle for me was something like this:  "We are not dumb enough to not know there are better answers!!"

The final speaker of the evening informed us that:

I am a New Jersey Republican!
Washington D.C. is out of Excuses!!
Regarding his Mom - "I Am Her Son!!!
At Times "No" is Required!!!!

Like the other Governors who addressed the Convention he also has achieved success in balancing the budget and improving the employment opportunities in the State he governs.  He concluded this portion of his speech with this remark:  "We Did It!!!!!"

Each of these Governors reminded us that now is the time for these concepts to be implemented in Washington D.C.  The Republican Candidate has the Leadership Skills and the Background of Experience to actually do these things necessary to keep the United States of American from emulating the current situation in several countries in Europe. 

The most critical statement I heard during the entire evening was this:

"Real Leaders Change Polls!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Obama - 2016

I just returned from viewing this Movie.  I can now understand why our President has done what he has done.  He has been motivated by the influence of those who mentored him in College and since his Graduation from College.

This film documents the individuals who mentored him and their own individual goals.  In short his mentors have influenced him enough that our President desires "Socialism" as the ultimate goal for our United States of America.

His developmental years were influenced by the "evil" impact of Capitalism.  Thus he has worked to eliminate Capitalism in the United States of America.  The movie also points out that "Capitalism" is the only system of government that will survive in the future.  Several developing formerly "third world" countries were cited.  If I recall correctly, China was one of these countries.

The dynamic ending of the Movie challenged each viewer to do something about our current situation.  If we continue and relect our current President we will have an even higher national debt and it will then only be a matter of time until our United States of America will be another Greece.

Not a pleasant outlook; however we can work to solve the problem.  Also near the end of the Movie it was carefully explained that our current President wants to drastically reduce our number of Nuclear Weapons so that the balance of power will essential be equal with or even inferior with other potential world powers. 

So much for the concept that "Peace through Power" which was the concept that our Nation followed in the past and resulted in the end of the Cold War of the past century.

"August Rains"

West Bibb County Georgia

Prior to 1 January 2012  I acquired a "rain gauge" so that I could keep an adequate record of the rains so that I could plan my Sprinkler operation in an appropriate manner.

So far, through 3:00 P.M. for August 2012 my gauge has recorded 5.05 inches of rain.  I expect that the bands of rain we will experience in the next few days because of Isaac will increase the amount of measurable rain for the month of August.

I did place the gauge quite close for this photographic event.  It is always placed in an area where the impact of shrubs/trees/structures will not interfere with an accurate measurement.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Middle Georgia Art Association
Off the Wall Auction
The 45th Anniversary Finale

Last evening My Bride and I attended the Gala Auction which featured Guest Emcee Mark Ballard.  He was in charge of the Auction.  Thirty-five members of the Middle Georgia Art Association donated Art work for the auction.

 When my name was drawn to select an item I immediately selected the above still life by Glenda Clance.  Of course I used the time prior to the actual auction to select my choice.  Therefore I had no problem making my selection.

 During the activities of the week visitors to the Gallery were able to make their individual contributions to the "Community Painting."  I bid on this and was able to win the Silent Auction.  Thus I now have a painting which was completed by many visitors to the Week of the 45th Anniversary of the Middle Georgia Art Association.

Unfortunately no one placed a bid to acquire this painting which was completed by the "Past Presidents of the Middle Georgia Art Association."  After a period of negoiation I was able to also acquire this fine painting.  Thus I am now the proud owner of the "one of a kind" paintings completed during the Anniversary Week celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Middle Georgia Art Association.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Middle Georgia Art Association

The Summer of Love


The Middle Georgia Art Association was founded in 1967.  This week, August 20-24 the Association is celebrating 45 years with a week of celebration.  Last evening, August 21, 2012 was the Bandanas, Bell Bottoms and Birthday Cake event from 6 - 8 P.M.  Members and the Public were invited in to participate in the Community Painting Experience.

 On arrival everyone had the opportunity to have their photo taken in this set up which focused on the Summer of Love - 1967.

 If you did not have a bandana you had the option of selecting one from this "give away" assortment. 

 One of the resident artist conducted the "Community Painting Experience.  This painting will be auctioned off on Friday Evening.

Here you see a Middle Georgia Art Association Member doing her part in the Community Painting Experience.

To learn more about the Middle Georgia Art Association I would suggest that you visit:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Middle Georgia Camera Club

Member Competitions

Each year the Members of the Middle Georgia Camera Club may enter three Digital Competitions and the images are sent to a non-partial panel  of judges to determine the winning entries.

Today I sent off my second series of images for this Club Competition.

 This is a creative image of the Famed Blue Angels who recently visited Warner Robins Air Force Base to conduct an Air Show. 

 This is also a creative image of two Wind Turbine electric power generators.  I took this image during my recent visit to Northeast Iowa during the Summer of 2012.

 I also particiate in a Photographic Society of America (PSA) Digital Study Group.  The theme for our most recent submission was "A MACRO view of an unusual object/s.  These are railroad spikes that I arranged in a circle.  I also edited this image using Picasa 3 and the Neon option.  I am eagerly awaiting what my peers will say about this image.

 You may have heard of the "Feedom Rock" which is located in Iowa just South of Interstate 80 and West of Des Moines.  This image is a painting on the garage door of the artist.

 This is a view of the stairs leading to the Dome of the Iowa State Capital in Des Moines, Iowa.  I sharpened the photo to give it more drama.

During my experience as a photographer as a Member of the Middle Georgia Camera Club I am often informed that my submissions would score better if my scenic shots had clouds.  Thus I have become aware of always trying to take the pictures when the clouds are present.  This view of the Iowa State Capital shows the main dome as well as two smaller domes.  There are two other small domes on the other end of the structure.

If you are interested in honing your skills as a Photographer, either as a hobby photographer or a photographer who is interested in gaining additional knowledge I would suggest that you visit the Middle Georgia Camera Club.  The club website is:

I have been a member since 1999 and I enjoy the fellowship as well as the opportunity to learn more about my Hobby of Photography.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012 Corn Crop Report
Clayton County Iowa

Everyone knows that I was born and raised in Iowa.  During a recent visit to my Siblings and other Relatives My Bride captured several images of Corn Fields.  The first two pictures were taken on 9 July 2012.  The crop looks very healthy and the Farmers were hoping for much needed rains so that the ears could mature.

 Then in late July 2012 a severe wind storm and hail caused a lot of damage to these same fields.  It must be stated that the following pictures were taken from different viewpoints; but are within one half mile of the first two above.

I have been informed by my relatives that the corn is down, but the stalks are not broken, thus there will not be much relief from crop insurance. 

My Nephew has had his combine fitted with special equipment to assist in the harvest. 

I post this Blog Entry today to let my readers here know that while the price of corn is currently high, it is because of the dry situation in a majority of the corn belt and also the damage to the crop caused by storms such as the hail and winds which caused this destruction on Kale Avenue, Clayton County Iowa.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Team Georgia
2012 Little League
Regional Championship
The Southeastern
 Regional Ball Field
Warner Robins, Georgia
August 10, 2012

This Blog Post will focus on the Little League Ball Players of Team Georgia.  It was a very close game with the final score Tennessee 1 - Georgia 0.There will be no captions below each picture.  Enjoy the images and appreciate what these young Base Ball Players from Warner Robins, Georgia accomplished the Summer of 2012.

2012 Southeastern Regional
Championship - Little League
Tennessee versus Georgia
Friday, August 10, 2012

This post will feature images from this Game which focus on the place and the fans.  I enjoyed the game and it was what I would consider a Pitcher's Duel.

 The game time was 7:00 P.M.  The two prior pictures were taken before the game started.

 The "Color Guard" from Warner Robins Air Force Base provided the proper respect for our Country before this epic Game to determine who would proceed on to the Little League World Series.

 This a portion of the Tennessee Fans that had traveled via three Motor Coaches to watch this Championship Game. 

 The Georgia Team was the "Visitor" team.  This is the first batter. 

 This picture is of the Georgia Fans.  If I recall correctly I took this picture when the game was half over.

 The final batter for Team Georgia.  Final Score:  Tennessee 1 - Georgia 0.

The Winning Team after they were presented the banner, 2012 Southeastern Champions."