Monday, September 29, 2008

88- THE UPSIDEDOWN STAMP?....

When we really LISTEN to our older generation, especially grandparents, a wealth of neat stuff is learned about our early society. Once again, I learned from way back, when my grandmother Willie was a young lady, about the 'secret' of sending a letter in the 'post' by positioning a stamp upsidedown. Was a 'secret' message to the sendee that the sender loved them, the romantic kind! Now you know how to send a romantic 'secret' to someone 'spacial'....go for it!
Let's see...2008...computers...can anyone figure out how to stick a stamp on the monitor screen, upsidedown, and send it along?
I have the solution! Write a letter the old-fashioned way. And apply that stamp upsidedown. You don't even have to lick anymore, right!

87- chocolate...choCOLATE...EXTREME DARK CHOCOLATE!!...'FAD' or 'FASHION'?...

Hmmmmm...the elixor of the, uh, mind! And EXTRA-DARK chocolate is leading the way. Have you found and tried that Intense Orange-Dark Chocolate, yet? American society loves this stuff. Is it, though, a 'fashion' or a 'fad'? A 'fashion' rises up in society and sticks around, like blue jeans. A 'fad' enters and fades away, like that hula hoop 'craze'. Anyone remember those 'Mood Rings'?

a) 1920s/1930s/1940s---Miniature golf...Betty Boop...Drive-in theatres...Peter Pan PB...soda fountains...Hokey Pokey...Monopoly...bright red lipstick....

b) 1950s---Fins on cars...Teenyboppers...the Bunny Hop...flat tops...TV dinners...Silly Putty...Sideburns...the Chicken Dance...Scrabble....Mr. Potato Head...Paint-by-number...Disneyland...3D Movies...neon signs....

c) 1960s---American Bandstand...the Woodstock Festival...GI Joe...Mood Rings...hair ironing...the Twist dance...Granny dresses...Laugh-In...Bond, James Bond...Hippies...Jell-O...Smiley faces...the Peace sign...Yo-yos...the flower child...Barbie!...Twiggy...

d) 1970s---Star Wars...Rocky Horror Picture Show...Mopeds...do the Hustle...polyester...Pong...Happy Days...that Disco music...Amway...Lava Lamps...Toga parties...View-Master....Denim...Hello Kitty...California Raisins...Hacky-Sack...Pop Rocks...Tupeprware parties....

e) 1980s---Jelly Shoes...Care Bears...Spandex...Brat Pack...Atari...Chuck E. Cheese...Valley Girls...Weird Al...Penny Loafers...Garfield...Jud Blume...charm necklaces...Swatches...mullets...ripped jeans...Smurfs..."Where's the beef?"...WWF Wrestling...goatees....

f) 1990s---Pokemon..."Saved by the Bell" TV...Push Pops..."WWJD"..."I've fallen and I can't get up!"...Tickle Me Elmo...Girl Power...the Macarena!...Grunge...Koosh Balls...Pogs...Hip-Hop stuff...SUV's...Clackers....

g) 2000s---High School Musical...iPod...YouTube...Texas Hold-em Poker...Vanilla Cokes...Ring Tones...The Da Vinci Code...Text messaging...Red Bull...Tivo...Mentos..."That's Hot"...American Idol...thongs...Hybrid cars...U.S. and college flags on cars...the Bratz Dolls...Sudoku puzzles...Craiglist...Botox...MySpace...FaceBook...Hi5...skinny jeans..."mounted fish that sing!"...Webkinz...Hanna Montana....

h) 2010s---hmmm, I can only guess, and that's why my "social commentary" is fun!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

86- THINKING PHILOSOPHY!....

"Tell me, and I will Forget...
Show me, and I will Remember...
But, Involved me, and I will Understand!"
(Very early Chinese philosopher)

Friday, September 26, 2008

85- THE DUMBING-DOWN of OUR AMERICA SOCIETY!...MY ADEPTING-UP!!

a- Try calling for a missed newspaper delivery? First, you'll get a recording..."Let's see...punch in your telephone #"...after listening to the list of 7 options, have you forgotten the one you think you want? Next, "we're sorry, but our automatic system this morning is not working...please yell, in Spanish or English, what do you need?...sorry, we cannot understand your reply...please speak slowly and enunciate clearly....sorry, we still cannot understand your request. Please hang up and try again next week!" This message is coming from India. Dumbing down?

b- It's Friday evening...usually that means eating out for me, and a sit down restaurant is just too costly and time consuming. That left, for the first time in many months, a trip to Dave's place, for chili, a small salad and a baked potato. After sitting down, with only three other diners in the entire dining room, on a Friday evening, I began to notice the food selected. Let's see...the lid came off the chili to find a mass of thick goo (OLD!). The sealed two-pack of crackers were Ok. Off the cover for a small salad found a handful of green leaves lining down on the bottom of the plastic container...my salad? And the baked potato?...also goo, burnt potato stuck to peel! I liked the small cup of iced water. Dave, I sure wish you were still around to clean up this dumbing down of our American society of eateries. In the meantime, NO MORE dining at Dave's.

c- My last time having business at a DMV: "Ma'am, I would like to explain what I need...", I politely said to the woman everyone has to 'go through' for anything at the DMV front desk.
"I don't have time to sit here and listen to you...I'm busy...."
I sent a letter back to the DMV "Customer Service" in Richmond, Va. Two weeks later received a reply, stating that "they" checked with that person at the front desk and that nothing like that occurred!...hmmm. By the way, a letter is being sent to the Governor's office!

d- "Tell him that I'm in a meeting." That was a LIE! I had stopped to ask someone in charge of a construction project when a certain feature would be hoisted on top of a building and overhead that person say that to a secretary down the hall. That was a dumbing-down offense! That was an insult and, again, a lie. I, instead, went to another source later in the week and got an answer.

e- So, squire has created a new term...ADEPTING-UP!, making it the opposite of dumbing-down. When I, you, observe someone conscientiously going the extra kilometer and adroiting, too, please pause a moment in time to thank them in person or write a LETTER to a CEO or e-mail with praise of their character. Here's where I'll mention Whitney, a cashier at the Williamsburg, Va. Walmart*. I did write a letter of praise to the manager there and to a CEO at the corporate office in Arkansas!
For the record, this sociologist creates words when the one in the dictionary is not available...therefore, 'ADEPTING-UP' was created to mean moving up with highly skilled abilities!

84- WEEKEND PONDERABLE....."WHISPER IN THE DARK!"...

One night this weekend?...whisper in the dark, anything, to anyone, even to yourself. Why?...creates an absolutely unique subtle and refreshing feeling...go for it....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

83- AMERICA NEEDS A BIT OF SILLINESS and ABSURDITY, EH?....

A) What if we changed the names of our virile and tough sports teams: ...to the Detroit Butterflies?
B) ...to the New York Kitty Cats?
C) ...to the Dallas Flapjacks?
D) What if every driver in America suddenly remembered where their car's turn signals were located, and they used it to properly turn?
E) Wouldn't it be rather neat if everyone in American society looked out for our 'elderly' as if they were their own respected grandparent?
F) Could we move the Eiffel Tower to Navarre, Ohio?
G) Will the WORLD finally realize that China pulled some unethical stunts this summer by lying about some of the gymnasts being 16?...the girls are not to blame, though, they were told to participate. But it appears as if China will get away with the cheating at the Olympics...how do we, Americans, tell our young people that the World let China cheat and our youth played by the rules?...eh?
H) Does an 'egg cream' have an egg and ice cream in it?
I) When observing an aquarium, why do some elite poke at the fish?
J) What if you ordered a Big Mac at a drive-thru...and asked them to delete the two patties...also delete the cheese and the sauce...and then to scrape off all of the sesame seeds on the top of the roll?.....well?
K) Paint the Golden Gate Bridge a soft purple color?...or a bold paisley?
L) Has a 'boogieman' ever lived under your bed?
M) What if they gave a WAR and nobody came?
N) Do you spread on the peanut butter first or the Smucker's for your 'wich?
O) Have you ever chased a rainbow...and found one of the ends?
P) Do you remember your absolute fave Halloween costume as a kid?...why does it seem like the kids have all of the fun on October 31st?
Q) Is our national icon, the Statue of Liberty, located in New York City?.....(nope, New Jersey!).
R) How do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky...Louieville or Louisville?....(sorry, it's pronounced Frankfort).
S) Should a S'MORE be officially voted in by billions of Americas as our fave
finger lickin', lip smackin' snack?...e-mail any camper you've ever known!
T) Aha...what do we call that little dot over an "i"? (Try a "tittle"....)
U) I forgot...when we reached New Year's Day in the year 2000, did all of our computers crash or what?
V) When was the last time you experienced a "brain freeze" from eating ice cream too fast?...or slurping a Slurpee too quickly?
W) An ice cream cone....do you always lick around the edges with your tongue OR bite into it?...or an equal amount of licks and bites?
X) How many noodles, average, are in a can of regular-size Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup? The company years ago actually counted them!
Y) At a Baskin-Robbins, when you order a sundae, do you get a half red cherry or a whole one on the summit?
Z)

Monday, September 22, 2008

82- MIGRATORY SMALLER BIRDS Are In DANGER IN OUR SOCIETY!.......

Never thought about it? Most of us take for granted the smaller birds that live around our neighborhoods a portion of your year, depending in which region you live. You should know that many of the species migrate!
And did you realize that they usually get their flight bearings at night from the skies?...honest. And did you know that, with more and more urban areas out and about, really large urban areas, that tens of thousands of the smaller birds are becoming disoriented when the night lights throughout those urban areas are confused with the stars? Thought you didn't know that. Neither did I for some time. And what happens when just one little bird becomes confused and disoriented? They will tire quickly, trying to get their bearings....and die. How do we solve the massive problem? I need your help!!!!!

81- WANT SWEET DREAMS AT NIGHT?....

Latest studies point out that one who sleeps with REAL flowers in the bedroom have 'sweet dreams' during the night!...'sweet' interprets as meaning, I believe, positive dreams.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

80- EARLY COCA-COLAS at the OLD-FASHIONED SODA FOUNTAINS!...

When my grandmother, Willie, was a young girl, she told me about going to the old drugstore in her small town and to its soda fountain area. The soda 'jerk' would jerk back the large handle up on the fountain to mix the syrup with the phosphates. (fizz). The Coca-Cola syrup was squirted in the bottom of the Coke glass, and then the soda jerk would jerk the lever to add the fizz...mix with a long spoon and add more fizz. Then he would squirt, from another nozzle, the cherry syrup, mix up that original Cherry-Coke and add ice!
She also, as a child, liked Chocolate Cokes. They were popular, too. Soda fountains jerks could mix up Lime Cokes, Lemon Cokes, Vanilla Cokes and even 'Amonia Cokes', too.
And you thought Cherry Cokes were modern and came in a can or plastic bottle?
You've just experienced another 'social commentary'.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

79- MoonPies...and a RC....!

So, what is a MoonPie, you ask?...and a RC?
It's a southern cultural thing! The Chattanoog Bakery in 1917 baked the very first MoonPie. It consists of two cookies, each originally about four and a half inches in diameter, tasting like graham crackers. Between the two cookies is a layer of marshmallow about one-fourth thick. The flavor is then drenched with a generous coating and you usually have a choice of chocolate, vanilla, banana or cocout flavoring. Then they're wrapped in a clear cellophane to show you which flavor you want.
Can you believe that those first MoonPies cost you a nickel?
Double Decker MoonPies came out in 1969. Today, they're sold in packages of twelve. "Moon Pie' is a registered name!
One famous person in history is purported to have said, "Let them eat MoonPies..." Another famous person is thought to have uttered, "The only thing to fear...is running out of Moon Pies."

RC Cola was a popular soda back in the '50s, especially because it was a large soda in a glass bottle, larger than others and was a quick snack. In 1934, Chero-Cola was reformulated and became Royal Crown Cola...and a hit! Both teamed up for a snack deal for a whopping cost of a dime. An RC was a full 16 ounches of soda.
In the 1950s "Gimme an RC and a Moonpie" and "Moonpie" by Edwin Hubbard came out. Ron Dickson's "The Great American Moon Pie Handbook" was published in 1985, and several children's books with Moon Pie in the title helped.

For the record...those popular early sodas, like RC and Dr Pepper, are different today! Amounts of carbonation have been taken out and "sugar" added to make them sweeter and more like that OTHER soda...well, go figure.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

78- HAVE YOU HUGGED A TREE TODAY?.....

I previously mentioned creating a program named T.A.T.---"Trees Are Timeless!" T.A.T., one by one, congratulates businesses, companies and individuals for intelligently saving individual and stands of beautiful trees from the sawmill. Nature takes, slowly, time to create any tree on Earth. And how long does it take to saw through it and yell "TIMBER!"....?
Does anyone realize just in the Amazon region of South America how, daily, thousands of acres of trees are being slaughtered for wood AND to raise crops or cattle? AND how this affects the rest of our World in terms of weather?

So...have you hugged that old tree that's been around for decades in your neighborhood? It just may be history tomorrow, guys! And, if it takes a handful of you holding hands to reach around the tree, you've got a BIG, really LARGE tree! Then, why cut it...does anyone have an ethical right to do so?...well?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

77- TASHA TUDOR!...Starling Burgess...BELOVED AMERICAN ILLUSTRATOR!...

Tasha Tudor, 1915-2008, was one of America's best-known and beloved illustrators. Her first book, "Pumpkin Moonshine", was published in 1938. She earned kudos and a huge following of admirers for her illustrated children's books. She was a silent and strong supporter of living an early American life and did so in New England all of her life. And quietly very private there.
She also was known for her general sharing of how she accomplished her artistic talents by creating special Christmas cards for many, thousands of them over her lifetime. And she, naturally, loved the season of Christmas, looking back over her lifetime of artwork and her simple lifestyle. OH MY GOSH!...forget about her "Sparrow Post" begun for her children...you can look that one up, please! Tasha, even up in the years, traveled out and about America spreading her message of sharing one's talents. People loved her wherever she ventured in her long early American dress and shawl and gentle ways. Alas, she visited Williamsburg once, but this guy, at the time, didn't know about her...duh!
I fell in like with Tasha Tudor some years back and introduced her video "Take Joy" to every Sociology class, wanting the students to make up their own minds about her way of life and art.
My suggestion? Venture to a library soon and check out "Take Joy...wait and see!
Tasha Tudor illustrated close to 100 books, the last in 2003 with "The Corgiville Christmas".
She was devoted to her own Corgis and had, at one time, as many as 13 around her Vermont home.
Her many crafts helped her excel in so many ways...cooking, canning, cheese-making, ice cream making, doll making, farm animals and her beloved flower and vegetable gardens. Did I mention her astoundingly prolific volumes of artwork?
Tash Tudor may be gone physically from American life (she passed away this year), but she has left a legacy for us to continue admiring!
Over time, have been collecting a good 26 or more of her books on eBay to enjoy and belong to her e-mail club. Suggest that you 'google' for more titles or go to eBay. Just received her last illustrated 'Corgiville Christmas' (2002) from eBay....beautiful.

76- PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION..."FACTORIES"?...INSIDE A SCHOOL THAT DOESN'T WORK!

I'll set the standards first...most persons think and analyze in terms of empirical knowledge...what they see, hear and read around them. That's normal. This examination will explore why the direction, generally, of public education is headed for a factory near you, with too much individualism thinking and creativity gone awry. Every school is different, and one cannot, by far, speak for all. Some of us can speak only from the schools closest to us. There are, of course, plenty of schools, administrators and educators who do not fit into the coming empirical situations but other situations will be brought out. Any hasty generalizations are definitely not included.
1) SOLs: the rush for "accountibility" of teachers has been a farce over the past ten years, especially via the SOLs. The 'tests' were mysteriously composed by 'committees' of those who should have known all of the skills necessary to compose them in the first place. I know in particular about the World Geography SOL. At first teachers had no guidelines, really, about the perimeters or extent of World Geo material. Teachers were left, if lucky, up to their own instincts as to what should be taught in their classes. Eventually, guidelines were created somewhat.
And that World Geo 'test" had come down to 70+ questions...out of thousands and thousands of World Geo possible facts that should be studied in a good World Geo class! So, over these short years, all of this comes down to a hit or miss test for 70+ questions that determine whether a fresman in Virginia passes or not. And we're still not sure exactly how the pass-fail line works when the test is graded and returned. For some time, too, the SOLs have been returned late, past, often, the time that schools were given the option of students not having to take the final exam, like a carrot dangled in front of them, if they passed that SOL.
No where on the SOL "test was there an opportunity for a student to use his or her native intelligence or learned skills to solve posers and advanced problems on the total scope of World Geography! Those mystery commitee persons practiced for years on our children trying to figure out how to make and grade the SOLs. And, by the way, the public still doesn't understand what has transpired in full! A "factory" is what some of us call the entire process.
It's called TEACHING TO THE TEST!...it's called a "factory'.
2) Hiding the real state of the union message within your local school!
The public and parents do not see what actually happens behind closed doors, only what administrations want you to see...that's what is called a conspiracy, meaning two or more collude to elude the truth. Over the years at a local school, "who is in charge here" cropped up with consistency...a pattern of major concern for the safety and health of students and staff. Once, the electricity for the entire building went off...for hours. it was discovered that there was NO plan on what to do and the emergency power was not operational! Candles were passed out for use as all sat in darkness for all of that time. Finally, the school administration and powers at the central office of the school system called for buses to bus everyone home.
Happened again...and again over time!!
Another period of time bomb threats were called in, and everyone was sent out into frigid weather...no time nor mention of how to secure freezing weather clothing. No plan again. Students wandered around the campus, trying to keep warm. Some even started a campfire. And finally many gravitated to cars to sit in to keep warm. Immediately, they were told to "get out" of the cars. Buses eventually came. No one was allowed, on a Friday, to retrieve clothing or books before being home!
Another time, another bomb threat.... Students congregated on the parking lot, with a group grabbing one small boy, with many others watching, and beating him. A brave girl squeezed in and shielded the pumelled boy from kicks and hits. No adminsitrators around but one teacher who protected both the both and girl, dispersed the MOB. Not one 'thansks' was given to that teacher by any administrator in any form!
Another incident after a school day...one teacher came outside, leaving for the day, and came upon two boys beating a lone boy. Not one helped at that point, just standing around watching...mob rule. The teacher moved in between the two beaters and lone beaten boy and called over and over for help. No adminstrators nor teachers came. One teacher was seen leaving quickly. The teacher who did get involed was covered with blood...no administrator afterwards thanked that teacher for helping with that mob rule!
Another time...and still another bomb threat. Students and staff were sent outside...warm weather. It was discovered that ALL of the administrators were off campus, and one secretary had to figure out how to handle the immediate threating safety concern for all. Nothing, no decision came forward for some time, except NO bathrooms!...NO returning to the building!
3) Working my way through high school and college at a small grocery chain, I was excited to finally get to teach and get away from persons who often were petty and vindictive, etc. WRONG...those kinds of people are in every part of the world where we work for a living. And education is no exception by far.....
4) The Peter Principle!..."...an employee within an organization will advance to his or her level of incompetence and remain there." Boy, do I think of a few known over the years! And this type of declared PP is a menace who undermines a school when entrenched. One would head up to the principal's office checking out the latest, and make a special trip to the main division's office compound poking for what the rest of us called the "nasties". Didn't matter one iota whether any "nasty" was the truth or not. Anyway, think about what kind of person would do that to a fellow educator...see? And even worse, if an administrator had any semblance of smarts, the PP would be reprimanded for what he/she was! Not the case in any of the cases of a PP. They were allowed to perpetuate their nasty actions...just like in a factory.
5) Administrators as Peter Principles!..."I can think of only one administrator who stood high above, with excellent principles and adminstrative skills, since beginning teaching over 25 years ago," a Business teacher admitted in a private interview, for fear of retribution.
6) Retribution!...sneakily getting revenge by an administrator on an educator who speaks out or disagrees with dubious policy is a common practice under the table inside enough schools. The administrators who have done it, do practice it, are as unethical as society gets. The unethical dirty tricks are all practiced below the table, cleverly and out of the public's view.
Ethics?...cleverly kept away from the public's knowledge?
7) Are you beginning to recognize a pattern here in just one school system? Maybe it's time to clean house a bit, starting at the top and working through the ranks of some administrators who have forgotten, or never knew what creative and inspirational teaching was all about...maybe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

75- PONDERABLE FOR THE DECADE!....

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from medicre minds!"....Albert Einstein

Monday, September 15, 2008

74- PHOBIAS And FEARS, OH MY...I#2...

1) Topophobia----performing or public speaking!
2) Trypanophobia----fear of needles!
3) Achlophobia----crowds!
4) Keraunophobia---fear of thunder!
5) Ophidiophobia----snakes!
6) Gephyrophobia---bridges!
7) Gymnophobia----fear of nudity!
8) Bagoniphobia----fear of beards!
9) Hamartophobia---fear of sin!
10) Arachneophobia---spiders!
11) Phasmophobia---fear of ghosts!
12) Parthenophobia---fear of girls!
13) Lyssophobia---a fear of insanity!
14) Acarophobia---insects!
15) Scotophobia---fear of the dark!
16) Triskaidekaphobia----fear of the no. 13!
17) Timbromania----an obsession with postage stamps!
18) Gimmepizzanow---an obsession with thin crust pizza...with mushrooms!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

73- "DEAD POETS SOCIETY"..."PAY IT FORWARD"....

Bravery...creativity...thinking outside the round box? If you ever need a bit of "stand-up-and-say-YEAH", would suggest that you go to YouTube and type in Dead Poets Society to target the very last scene in the film, with Robin Williams.
No matter what, I simply like Pay It Forward...you decide.

Friday, September 12, 2008

72- FAIRY RINGS...FAIRY CIRCLES...HONEST!....

Some people, in other countries, call them 'elf circles' or 'pixie circles', and they occur naturally as a ring of mushrooms. I've witnessed them twice. Once a ring was in a grass field beside my school, about 15 to 20 feet in diameter. It was close to being a perfect' arc. Before I could find a camera, though, the marching band had trampled it. The other ring was in a horse pasture, and one of my students called me on a Friday afternoon, excited. However, by the time I got there the next morning, early, the horses had trampled the area. That one was much larger!
The fungus, mushrooms, are usually found in forest areas. At times grass rings may appear as a darker green arch.
I have always been fascinated with real 'fairy tales', as a child, especially when a GOOD teacher read about them at the end of the day in class. We put our heads down on the desk top and listened, enthralled. Her tales, read to us, usually took place in European settings...European forklore! Settings were often neat places where elves gathered to dance!
Oh, I realize the scientific reasonings (you can look those up), BUT the imaginary happenings surrounding these Fairy Rings are what I am in like with...period! Oral traditions of folklore, like the Celtic folk superstition, claim that the safest way to investigte a ring is to run around it nine times, enabling the human to hear the fairies dancing and frolicking.
Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act II, Scene I)"...he says, "And I serve the fairy queen,/To dew her orbs upon the green" and "To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind"....
Victorian era Fairy Circles art came into vogue in European countries.
As a Socratic-style educator, YOU are invited to seek out more on these current Fairy Ring happenings on YOUR own, whenever and where you can find them, quickly capturing the evidence on film. Oh, especially dig out a children's folklore book or three in your attic or head for the local library to borrow one of the books to relive, uh, this imaginary world of Fairy Circles...honest!

71- THANK YOU, AMERICA, ASIA, EUROPE And SOUTH AMERICA For Your Support!...

A) Thank you, America, for listening to "the Squire's Way" since last December! As you have noticed right away, my 'blogs' of social commentaries are easily readable, to the point, candid, a bit of humor and extremely varied, plus, always giving you the opportunity to add your 7 cents. You just never know what subject will come up on the next blog. A major news program now feeds all of the blogs across America! And the blog now is read throughout countries in Europe (like Sweden, Romania and Spain) and Asia (like Thailand, Japan, Singapore) and South America (like Peru, Ecuador, Venezeula), that's now 43 countries, via Hi5 and here in America via FaceBook. Oh, originally it was named "the Squire's View". That's why you, at times, see the two different names. My "long lost 2nd 'cuz' from Ohio" suggested the new name! My name, by the way, is really Squire...that's my story and am sticking to it, too! I also receive e-mail about the blog via an e-mail site mentioned within this blog...thanks.
B) My first novel, The Serpentine Bond!, has been completed and is now, slowly, being placed onto WORD...it will be over my original 550 pages. The plot is about 7 university students who form a unique bond over their 4 years of study at a large southern university. On their last night before graduation, they, kiddingly, with the help of some bubbly, concoct a plan that begins to come true 10 years later...a huge mystery develops with a race on to stop "it" from fruition before the country is seriously affected. Only problem? Which one of the 7 friends, a BOND, is doing it all? Well, now....
C) A second novel, Meet Me at the Wild Cherry Tree!, is also being planned. Yeah, it's one of those romance/love kinda stories. More later.
D) For practice, over the years, over 110 newspaper essays on a wide variety of subjects have been published, along with scores of regional and national magazine articles, all to practice how by doing!
E) The Serpentine Bond! plot was composed as far back as the early 1990s, with ideas and plans and clippings kept, tossed in a box for later us, like now.
F) Along the way, a children's book, Barefoote T-R-I-P-S, about the neat adventures of a family of triplets, was creatively written with a tinge of fantasy.
G) The Town of BlueButtercups(tm) was created, with over 100 unique original characters drawn and illustrated on paper. There is Skelli(tm), "the world's oldest living unicorn who lives in a treehouse, with a hottub on the 2nd floor!"...JelliButton(tm)...NutMeg Quarter(tm)..."Silly-Cats"(tm)...Persimmon Woods(tm) and many more!
H) Thousands of slides are catalogued (slides make much better pints!) and have been and are another creative branch of my artwork. Williamsburg-In-Color(tm) and Americana-In-Color)tm) have, for some time, been exhibited and sold at local Williamsburg art shows, including specializing in the Restored Area pics!
I) So, for all of you over the years who have followed and supported the creative artworks of 'the squire', my heartfelt appreciation goes out...loyality means everything in the world of creative art and the written word!!...squire

Thursday, September 11, 2008

70- ....9/11/01....

We all remember where we were on that Monday morning...this author was preparing for the 2nd period class and turned on a TV to catch the latest news before beginning an American government class. I stood in amazement at that moment gazing at a blue sky New York background and what had to be an accident...it wasn't. There were tiny tears for some time as I was transfixed to the tragic events unfolding before my eyes and mind.
Today, much was relived and more tiny tears.
I was a proud American seven years ago seeing and hearing about how my fellow Americans pitched in to help with and stand by each other in New York City...in Virginia at our Pentagon...at the field in Pennsylvania. And I am an even prouder American teaching American government and especially being and living here.
WE WILL NOT FORGET! WE WILL PROTECT OUR COUNTRY'S rich heritage and democracy standards to the hilt!...we ARE Americans!!

69- GO FIGURE!...WHY ARE WENDY'S BURGERS SQUARE?....

1) Here's a good chance to think out a poser...the art of thinking! Almost all hamburgers in public and at home are round. The originator of Wendy's, Dave Thomas, when he first started out, came up with a simple but brilliant plan to make his all-American burger a success up against McDonald's and Burger King. WHY did his advertising plan WORK with a square one? And it wasn't simply because it was square...much more than that.
2) What little square burger has become an icon out in the mid-West by steaming them with chopped onions and selling 'em by the bag?
Can you figure out these two burger posers?

ANSWER: Well, have you figured it out? I'll help...the late Dave Thomas had figured out that his fresh SQUARE burgers would hang out of the ROUND buns, making them appear to be larger!!! And WHITE CASTLE are the little burgers that became famous. They are also square and can be purchased, now, in the frozen food section around the country. However, you need to nuke a few at a time to obtain a meal!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

68- SALVIA...A HIDDEN DANGER IN OUR SOCIETY!....

Salvia Divinorum is a member of the mint family that is currently being dried...and then smoked in our society! And, since it's labelled as a herb, is legal to purchase. Why should you be concerned, NOW, about salvia? It's being used as a hallucinogen and works on the part of the brain that controls perceptions. Don't believe me as to its potency with the youth of our society? Go to YouTube.com and check out over 5,0000 vids that show users tripping out on this "herb".
And why do I bring it up? I DON'T want to see them in serious trouble!!
I have always, without 'preaching', expressed my concerns over the use of 'drugs' by students and of excess alcohol use but do understand when someone does become addicted and needs help from others and us.

Monday, September 8, 2008

67- FRIENDS.......

I always go back to and begin with the scene near the end in Fried Green Tomatoes where Evelyn finds Ninny sitting on her suitcase outside where her home used to be. "Evelyn, someone stole my house...you know what I think is the most important thing in life is?...friends!...."
The first observation? There are so many forms of friendship to consider....more to come.
1) The "non-backstabber" totally loyal friend---when you find someone like this, cherish their
friendship to the fullest extent...they, no matter what, will stand by you through thin and
thick in return.
2) "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light" (Helen Keller).
Getting to the point of preparing and learning to creatively write many styles has been a planned and long journey. One of my inspirations early on was to view a play ("The Miracle Worker") on Broadway about Helen Keller's life and grow to respect her as a national treasure.
3) I know, right now, many university coeds who are developing friendships that will endure all of their lives. They are learning to depend upon each other in close settings, especially when temporarily down from grades or 'love' problems or back home pressures. Their new college friends will be there, they're learning, listening, not judging.
4) LISTENING...the value of any friend often hinges upon someone who will be quiet and simply listen to them....
5) "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." (Henry Ford)...and vice versa.
6) Yes, it seems to be significantly valued when friends evolve into, with time, two who deeply love, not infatuation, each other...BUT the process takes time! Movies and TV have falsely led too many young persons and any agers to "believe" that friendship can be instantaneous, like instant oatmeal or instant coffee. The process takes work and care and giving.
7) Once again, the concept of "I'm in like with you" has signicificance as a step to a deeper friendship..."I'm in like with you as a friend."
8) Private moments...good friends keep what is shared in the kitchen in the kitchen.
9) My paternal grandparents, Willie and Carl, were friends, too!
10) Your pets can be honored friends, without reservations!
11) Nature can be a friend to some...Native Americans understood that concept. As that Philosopher major, this guy is in sync with the natural world: sitting on a hill in the countryside as the sun sets during summer...trout fishing in a gorge...exploring a 'wild' cave with utter quietness...gazing about an ancient bank barn, with the sunlight filtering through weathered siding cracks...wading along the ocean edge early in the morning...standing above 'Custer's Last Stand' in Wyoming...the natural world is my friend, too!
12) Holding hands while taking a walk, with leaves falling a bit...sweaters...conversations! Thinking back...I believe that the neatest "picture memory" for me is "seeing" an older couple doing just that one fall...friends and sweeties!
13) A true friend is someone YOU simply LIKE, from inside...you'll know it when you feel it!
14) Once saw two little girlfriends sitting outside an ice cream parlor on a curb...one girl had an ice cream cone, the other didn't...BUT, the one with the cone looked over and then moved her hand, and cone, to the other friend who took a lick...back and forth, forth and back...since it was warm, the ice cream began to run down both faces and all over their hands...and arms...and legs....was, uh, chocolate! Who cared!!

66- REMEMBER FONDUE DIPPINGS?...FONDUE REVIVAL COMING?

I think it was the '80s in our society, and someone recently mentioned that, like other fads, the fondue craze was about to sweep America again!
Special fondue pots back then became communal pots for hot melted mixtures of cheeses and wine, and 'oh mi ga' hot, thick, melted and bubbly chocolate. People even brought their own specially designed 'spears' for stabbing fruits or meats or breads, with groupies sitting around the fondue table. If someone's speared pear chunk fell off into the fondue goodies, one lost a turn, I'm told.
No, I stand corrected, the spear dropper had to kiss a spear stabber! Whatever the custom, I wonder what happened to all of the fondue pots after the '80s? Did they wind up, over time, at yard sales throughout America?.....did famous potee users put their's on eBay? Maybe they've formed a society of Former Fondue Potees and intend to scrub up all of them and bring them out to surprise the rest of us in American society for this coming Christmas, a fondue revival? And this time EXTREME DARK chocolate will be melted, with a dash of, say, sherry or margarita mix.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

65- LUXEMBOURGEOIS....'Ech hun dech goer'...I L-O-V-E Y-O-U!.....

Navoho---'Ayor anosh'ni'
Romanian---'Te iubesc'
Japanese---'Anata ga daisuki desu'
Danish---'Jeg Elsker Dig'
Hindi---'Hum Tumhe Pyar Karte hae'
Irish---'Taim i'ngra leat'
Belarusian---'Ya tabe kahayu'
Turish---'Seni Seviyorum'
Yiddish---'Ikh hob dikh'
Sioux---'Techihhila'
Tahitian---'Ua Here Vau Ia Oe'
Hawai'ian---'Aloha Au Ia'oe'
Icelandic---'Eg elska tig'
Cheyene---'Ne mohotatse'
Filipino---'Mahal kita'
German---'Ich liebe dich'
Georgian---'Mikvarhar'
Italian---'Ti amo'
Pig Latin---'Iay ovlay ouyay'
Polish---'Kacham Ciebie'
Latin---'Te amo'
Cherokee---'Tsi ge yu i'
Czech---'Miluji te'
Hungarian---'Szeretiek'
Sign Language--- -,\,/
Swedish---'Jag alskar dig'
Welsh---'Rwy'n dy garu di'
Spanish---'Te quiero/Te amo'
French---'Je t'aime...Je t'adore'
English---(have to look that one up)


Hey, figured it out? English alphabet was used, not the original country's alphabet 'cause this 'puter doesn't have them. All of these say...."I love you!" Will add more in time. My cultural point? No matter how one says it around our world, the expression has the SAME meaning if true and meaningful...right?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

64- JUST A THOUGHT OR THREE...#2...

"It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority!"
...our own Ben Franklin said that waaay back in the late 1700s.

But, you know something, I wonder how many people today have any true understanding whatsoever of HOW to question, WHEN to question and WHAT to question? I feel that too many Americans question incorrectly. TV continues, now, to demonstrate a 'free-for-all' attitude, possibly dating back to that infamous Jerry Springer show, and continuing on today with the major news "experts" taking on opposing views. Try respect...manners and a thorough knowledge of what the heck you are questioning and why! Speaking "out" withOUT one iota of knowing what they're talking about and especially hearing some comment on TV that sounds OK and using them, true or not, to fortify their own questioning, I shake my head in amazement. Also, have we forgotten that old style of actually LISTENING to the other 'side'?
Hey, think for yourself...reason out for yourself, then get passionate, please, with respect!

Friday, September 5, 2008

63- GOSSIP!...UNDER THE TABLE SOCIETAL SICKNESS.....

Gossip..."is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others."
Ask anyone, gossip usually has a negative connotation, but the same 'anyones' will often concede that they like to hear the 'dirt'.
A prime example of gossip fodder, recently, was dished out against Todd Palin. The rumor mills dug up the fact that he had pleaded guilty to a DUI! The gossip spread quickly, pushed fast and hard. Oh, did I mention that one important fact was left out, intentionally? The Gov. of Alaska's husband was 22 at the time! Make a difference?
A high school senior, excellent athlete and headed for college, was walking across a golf course late one night, went over behind a tree to relieve himself....period. A "friend" knew that and spread the word the next day in school that the guy was involved in a perverted act. Gossip spread rapidly within the confines of a public high school, and, by the end of the day, everyone was calling him a pervert. He went home after school and...ended his life.
There are no "checks and balances" for gossipers...it's all stacked against the one invovled, without the right or ability to TRY to undo the harm done. There is no opportunity to ask "how do you feel about the gossip"? Once the sickness of gossip begins, it feeds upon itself.
The early Virginians had a method of using stocks and pillories to punish!
This sociologist refuses to gossip, or to listen to it, period. As a Philosophy major, this collegian spent many hours and papers searching for the TRUTH and making sure that everything written or spoken and everybody was afforded an opportunity to listen and be heard! Power? Is the concept of ethics important in here?
The double agent?...plays both sides. I knew a 'teacher' who practiced that. The bloodhound agent?...sniffs out the slightest, uh, garbage. Same 'teacher'. The complainer?...I confess that I have to be alert to myself becoming a complainer that will provide fodder for another.
I believe that the lowest level of such gossip comes from a person who pretends to be your friend, and, at the first hint of gossip, jumps to stab you in the back and believe the garbage. Am I right?

Time to get unserious, though! Time to take that one ripe banana in the kitchen fruit bowl, lightly toast both sides of a fresh bagel and whup up a 'wich! Let's see, squire, remember to peel the 'nanner' from the opposite end of the stem...slice it in those little buttons...slather a smidgeon of real MAYO, MAYO, on the toasted bagel halves...neatly lay out the 'buttons' on the bottom half...close it together slowly...AND open wide...YUMMY for the tummy! Hey, why not even venture out to Baskin/Robbins or Jerry & Ben's this evening and go for it with a banana split? Hit the Rec Center tomorrow!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

62- TREES.......

"I never knew the full value of trees. Under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company." (Thomas Jefferson)

When one tree is unnecessarily cut, it seems to me like the beginnings of a forest are forever gone. This historian has developed a 'thang' for trees! As a child growing up in the country in sight of a small town, would take a gunny sack full of pine cones, a small pick and head out, walking, about the nearby hills, dig a quick hole, drop a cone in and cover. After college, remembered to drive by on the same country roads...there were tall pine trees everywhere!
It's totally fascinating that one tiny acorn can grow to become a huge, magnificent spreading white oak, with that growth slowly taking ever so long. It's also fascinating, in a completely different direction, that within a matter of minutes that same century-old white oak can be cut, and it's very life severed forever.
Does a tree understand?
If you ever venture to the Colonial Capital of Virginia, Williamsburg, mosey (neat word) over to the old Courthouse of 1770, and the first Court House Green, and eye that huge, spreading oak.
Like a little secret, on that same visit? In the 1940s, to keep modern traffic away from the Restored Area of Colonial Williamsburg, a road tunnel was dug, tunnel put in place and covered back up with soil. The Colonial Parkway, therefore, actually runs under the ground through that Restored Area...by that old Court House. Shhh...if you walk over near the Stocks and Pillory, in the grass near that Court House, you'll find a large round metal cover. If you lean over, you can hear the busy traffic below! There was a ladder down there for escaping in case a problem developed, like the Russians coming. "The Russians are coming...the Russians are coming!"

Do YOU have a fave kind of tree?
This sociologist and naturalist created a special program called T.A.T., "Trees Are Timeless", to recognize the efforts of individuals and groups who openly value TREES, especially in what we call a "NO Cut!" zone..."Give me a live, growing tree, and I'll give you a breath of fresh air around yourself!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

60- SQUIRE LONGS TO SEE A MONADNOCK, AGAIN....

A monanock is a small mountain that sits alone out and away from any nearby physical features, usually a plain. People who love and appreciate geography find them visually fascinating and have done so for centuries. This avid researcher, historian and photogapher of my native Virginia grew up in the Shenandoah Valley around two monadnocks, Betsy Bell and Mary Grey. Those names came from the Scotch-Ulster settlers coming into the historic valley in the 1660s.
I also have fallen in like with the Monadnock region in New England's New Hampshire. People, way back, have always sensed that a monadnock, seen from far away, represents a unique mystical feeling.
Next time you travel I-64 or neighbor Rte. 250, past Charlottesville (C-Ville), West, up and over the Blue Ridge Mountains past Waynesboro and into the Shenandoah ("Daughter of the Stars"), you can see immediately Betsy Bell and Mary Grey halfway across the Valley and rising above the surrounding plain. As a matter of fact, Betsy Bell Mt.'s summit is a city park in Staunton.
Yes, the Squire longs to see the New Hampshire monadnock region and the two in the Valley. Have you noticed, maybe, that our Tidewater region is void of mountains, but that we do have so many other neat natural features not in the mountains. I'm sure, also, that just in America alone there are many more monadnocks waiting to be noticed. Now, you know what a monadnock is.....

Monday, September 1, 2008

59- AMERICANS LOVE THEM BANANAS!....

But you need to relearn the bestest way to peel one! Go to the opposite end, away from the end where you pulled one away from your bunch, and peel. See how easy it flows? Now you know!
My grandfather told me, as a boy, how he remembers going to the small family markets and seeing a huge BUNCH hanging upside down out front. Customers would stop by and pull off what they needed, a smaller bunch. The early store owners would buy the huge bunch from someone at a port. Today, we call the handful of bananas attached a bunch.
A finger? One banana is called a 'finger', by the way.
You might as well know that there are many kinds of bananas around the world. The kind we have gotten use to and like are the yellow skin Cavendish. If one travels to Asia, their bananas will be different, as will the different ones from South and Central America or Mexico. The larger ones, plantains, are popular South of the Border and cooked or fried. And there are tiny honey ones. Yes, even red bananas from Mexico and Ecuador.
Every banana lover has their own prescribed degree of ripness wanted. Some like them green, firm with a bit of yellow. The sugar inside has not developed fully, with them giving a tart taste. Others, life myself, like them with slight brown spots and ripe!
What kid hasn't partaken of a peanut butter and sliced banana sandwich? Elvis liked his grilled with butter. Oh my gosh, give me some banana puddin', please, with that homemade custard and chocked full of 'banila' wafers and baked with that browned whipped stuff on top.
Smooth, chunky or super chunky banana sandwiches? And some new-timers even claim that the banana is THE 'perfect' food....? Hey, do you slice your yellow Cavandish banana lengthwise or across in little round buttons? No matter which way, the small slender slices tend to slowly slide on the smooth slippery peanut butter and pop out of your super special sandwich! Can be fun. Know what I mean?

58- THE "NEW" KIND of APOLOGY in OUR SOCIETY?....

This year, in our society, a "new" kind of apology seems to be spreading: "This hurricane is what the Republican Convention deserves!" When the speaker of those words was caught and revealed to the public, he apologized. That makes it all right?
When a "friend" said some mighty hurtful, cutting gossip statements about her supposed good friend behind her back, sleeping around, she was caught in the lie. She then played the apology game quickly and considered her pissant transgressions all forgiven, and, worse yet, expected it!
"Your children are little creeps!...just kidding...sorry...didn't mean it." Any openminded person knows that children are many things at diffferent times. When another person makes such a hasty statement, seeing and especially knowing only what they see at any given time of a family, and makes an assumed JUDGEMENT to others, then it is totally unfair. And deserves a reality check!
No way...someone like that needs more than simple atonement. How does the element of trust regain its importance? Not sure if ever....someone gets hurt in the wake of the 'apology'.
"Hey, did you read the blog about Alaska's Governor Sarah Pailin's little baby actually being her 17-yr.-old daughter's child? You know, the one born with Down's Syndrone? Not true? Oh well, I 'apologize'....."
This "new" kind of apology in our society will not hack it...agree or disagree?

It's NOW February 2009! Do you SEE how this "apology technique" has caught on and is rampant throughout our American society! Michael Phelps...the former governor of Illnois...the new governor of Illinois "forgetting" some important conversations and then remembering? The rationalization of "apology" making it immediately OK when making errors is, honestly, RAMPANT. It's actually a COP-OUT, an excuse, a justification to get out of legal responsibility. "Monkey see, monkey do." As soone as one did, and got away with it, making it all right, the process spread rapidly...right?
Look, now at the baseball player, 'A-Rod'...he lied, over and over, for some time, but that's OK 'cause he admitted the illegal activities finally, thinking it will all be erased!