Saturday, May 30, 2009

293- OUR SUSAN BOYLE.........

She is, no matter what, my hero. You go, Scottish lass! Do that little jig after you sing. You're an absolute original amongst a sea of nondescripts.....

Addendum: anyone notice how, in recent weeks, the sickos have come out their webs and "attacked" Susan? They're freaking cowards, scum. Innocent Susan Boyle was thrust into the stupid limelight and was from a small town with small town ways. And she wasn't a mirror image of all of the on-camera images standing, or sitting, before the camera. You know, the "perfect" hair and face and teeth and smile. Susan is simply an original, thank heavens or something or anything!

And why does all of this garbage remind me of Gov. Sarah Palin?....hmmmmm

Friday, May 29, 2009

292- UPDATES On THAT NOVEL AND THOSE BLOGS, THREE Of 'EM, NOW!.....

The Serpentine Bond! (First novel...coming closer!)
http: thesquiresview.blogspot.com/
http: TheSquiresPoliticalViews.blogspot.com/
http: TheSquiresMtTales.blogspot.com/
.....Meet Me At The Wild Cherry Tree! (Second novel...being planned...300+ pages...romantic tale!)

a- The blogs continue to feed all across America and, via hi5, are now read in 41 countries of the world, including the Philippines, Australia, Romania, Nepal, India, Japan, Greece, Peru, Cyprus, Turkey, Macau, Venezeula, Tawain, South Korea, Kosova...and 26 more!

b- THE SERPENTINE BOND! was honestly first thought of back in the '90s, with notes and thoughts and ideas and clippings thrown into a bankers box....then another and then another. Knew that there would be 7 university coeds and guys, including their names, who meet, become collegiate chums and bond! Kaipo (Maui)...TRENT (California)...TABBI (Montana)...FIZZ (New Hampshire...RAIN (New Orleans)...BUTT (Texas) and ROCKWELL (BOONE) from Virginia. I fell in like with that name of RAIN! SEVEN, in history of course, is a unique number...for me. For years, their adventures were formulated and scenes composed in a notebook, separately. The 'citing part came from organizing all of them and bringing them together to form my tale. Hey, that was my system...it worked!

c- That first novel is really 600+ pages and explores the lives of 7 first year collegians who meet on an old, historic and highly respected university campus to study. They become close friends, a bond, and learn to enhance their many weekends on exciting ADVETURES, including a covered bridge...weekend on a haunted lighthouse...weekend exploring an 18th century mansion in ruins...a rustic ancient barn...a ghost farmhouse...and, that's enough to reveal here! Their weekend late night confabs are brilliantly explored behind the serentine brick walls of a secluded university garden, with so many social issues, using my fave "Socratic-style" of learning and thinking!!!
But the 600+ first novel, though, ends up with a whooping mystery that will shock America during the 34th chapter! By the way, guys,

d- It was first composed in a handwritten notebook to get me close, very close to the 7 characters and detailed plot. That took 2 years or so. Then, THE SERPENTINE BOND! was carefully moved onto WORD. Next, in progress now, every page and chapter, 34 of them, is being carefully and slowly tweaked, page by page, once again for authenticity and especially for detailed use of thoughts and words. I remember my Senior high school teacher saying, often, that a really good author rewrites...rewrites....rewrites and then rewrites some more. NOW, I finally understand what she was telling us, me. The reader will NOT know who "done it" until the very end...the last page! I would even like to have sealed the last chapter in the book for anyone who has a habit of "cheating" when they read a novel and sneaks a peek to the back before reading the good parts.

e- One of my secrets to creatively writing is to have ways to "pause" in between working on SB! to maintain "writing fun".... That's where the first blog came into being and especially now: http: //thesquiresview.blogspot.com/ is exciting for me to compose...it is a true "social commentary" on so many varied sujects! Readers often are so positive in sharing with me, in person or e-mail, the unbelievable numbers and amount of subjects. You'll have to read them to see. And another "pause" to maintaining and keeping fresh my SB! writing is my personal adventures out and about the local area, with Waller Mill Park as a fave! This summer I will be going back to the "serpentine one-brick wide garden sanctuary walls" to see where the ided originated.
I will also be going over the Blue Ridges into that historic valley to see Steffey Street and Buttermilk Spring Road where my grandparents lived out in the country.

f- The national magazine, "Farm and Ranch Living", has published quite a few. Regional magazine articles, especially in the western areas of our State, over the years, have been published...many. "Virginia Wildlife" published my very first published article, about trout fishing in the North River Gorge in the Shenandoah Valley. I will always appreciate, too, "Farm and Ranch Living" magzine for their mentorship in publishing many of my national articles! But, once again, I have a favorite style in that direction...local newspaper essays. They began as humor and satires, then into more involved social commentaries. And have since moved into "local treasures" with lots of pics. Now, the essays have moved further into the entire State of Virginia, using, always, my archives of thousands of slides/prints. Recently, the first one in that state ADVENTURES theme was about our covered bridges and lighthouses. Others on the list in the future include...well, you'll have to wait and read in the Virginia Gazette. I do have the list composed of future ones! By the way, nearly 100 newspaper essays have been written and published over the local years! The Virginia Gazette has been a true mentor. A Tidewater area mag is set to publish an original article, too. Oh, forgot...another secret to becoming an author is to learn, practice and do creatively write MANY styles. And, yes, this guy always stops, when asked, and shares some positive reinforcement to would-be writers...always!

g- MEET ME AT THE WILD CHERRY TREE! is a current "fairy tale". This is the title for the 2nd novel coming up in the future. It is a romantic 300+ page novel, with an old-fashioned twist! Using all of the secrets to writing so far, this one will definitely move along at a faster clip!!! Clue? Involves a treehouse...two who meet one summer, as "kids", and do not see each other again until thirtysomething...hmmmmm. I've got the title, YEAH, and the basic plot. Now, all I need is all that neat middle stuff! As NBC's Ann Curry (someone I admire) would say, "WATCH ME!"

291- I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N.........

a- Children revel in it! But what happens as they "mature"? As a sociologist, this guy has a therory...ANYONE, and I mean anyone, can develop and enter into your own world of imagination. You have no limits. If anyone dares place a limit on or around you? Don't allow them!
Walt Disney was not a brilliant artist, but, he did have within him that exciting world of potential imaginations. He would observe a tiny house, once, and "saw" a character that would make history around the world! I told you the true story, once, of how he wanted to name his mouse character "Mortimer." His wife insisted that Mickey would be much better. The rest, of course, is that history!

b- Walt Disney was born in Chicago, went through childhood and into adulthood as an 'ordinary' person, like the rest of us. However, he nurtured his wonderful world of imagination and developed the power to create within his own mind. He "saw" more than that little mouse scurrying around in his garage...he "saw" the tiny furry creature talking and moving, delighting a new world of film. And I earlier in a blog told you how he wanted to name his little mouse 'Mortimer'...and his wife, Lilly (Lillian), persuaded him to use the name of....Mickey! Ever seen those first Mickey Mouse short films? Still fascinates me that Walt Disney and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. would sit in a special seat in the back of the original Williamsburg Theatre to view and chat about a film...in the darkened theatre!

c- The Town of BlueButtercups(tm) is my bestest creation and composed of many unique, original characters, critters, who come alive in bold, vivid colors on paper. My fave creation is Skelli..."the world's oldest living UNICORN who lives in a treehouse with a hot tub on his 2nd floor!"(tm) Oh, there's an elevator inside the tree trunk to take the aged unicorn up to the 2nd floor or down.
Close to 100 original charaters have been created. A second fave of mine is "JelliButton"(tm). There's "g. daddy longlegs"(tm)..."Wishy Washy"(tm)..."Mr. Spots"(tm)/giraffe..."Srag"(tm)..."dina sour"(tm)..."fiddlesticks"(tm)..."Latr-Alligator"(m) and "Afta-While Crocodile"(tm).
Silly-Cats has 11 original cats, like "Shagnasty"(tm)..."Turnipseed"(tm)..."Pyjamas The Snub-Nose
(tm)..."S'nuss"(tm) and "MADbadKAT"(tm).
And there's "Ham 'N Jam"(tm)..."'Lasses"(tm)...."TooLoose Moose"(tm)..."Hack 'N Sack"(tm)..."the s'MeerKats"(tm)..."'Tee"(tm).
"The Ugly Bros"(tm)..."SkeeterEater"(tm)..."Glama Llama"(tm)..."Char 'N Bar"(tm) and "T-Bone Tooter!"(tm).
Newer faves are "Signed: God!"(tm), "Just Plain Fishin'!"(tm)and one that's a BIG surr-prise coming out when THE SERPENTINE BOND! meets America and the world. It's already been created on paper, painted and ready with a series of situations, and this original charater is strictly for college and university collegians!!! Little secret? Drives a little MG-Midget.

d- Nearly 100 have been introduced so far, over time, with neat T's coming later.

e-

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

290- THE HEN, GANDER And TWO GOSLINGS!....

What a scene the other morning! Across a side street, a Canada goose, hen, crossed to the other side and waited. Her two goslings (term until they fledge/fly) slowly walked towards her, with the gander following closely behind, guarding the safety of all three and keeping careful watch over the parade. I do HOPE that everyone driving is as careful and caring as this guy et vous!
Later, I searched through my wildlife books to discover more about specifically the Branta canedensis.

FAMILY...their entire lives evolve around a bond, a family. They do mate for life. However, if one dies, the other chooses another mate, for another mating life. The life span of a Canada goose can go as high as 24 years!

Alas...I wanted to capture a photo of the four walking in a line to the other side but had to turn around and come back. By that time, the fabulous scene had changed! HOWEVER...it's locked securely in my "photo-shop" mind to write about later.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

289- MEMORIAL DAY.....24 NOTES!....

For most Americans, when "Taps" is played by a bugler, something inside of us stirs a special patriotic feeling for anyone we know, in memory, from the past. Only 24 notes comprise the simple but awe inspiring tune, especially when dualing buglers are involved. I once was fortunate to be on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery near our Tombs of the Unknown Soldier up on the hillside, overlooking the grand Potomac River, when two buglers, separated a distance, matched notes, one after the other. Not a word was spoken in the small audience...some even shed a tear or three. The breeze swept through at times, creating a need to lean forward to catch every one of those 24 notes.....
I shall never forget.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

288- D-O-N-'T Q-U-I-T!....A LESSON LEARNED!...

This "Don't Quitter" purchased an iPod Nano from Sears back in February and sent by mail. The instructions somehow played a game of seek and hide. A call was made to the local area Sears...electronics guy over phone had not learned the art of communicate. Went online to Sears, being told to find the instructions there. That was like trying to talk with a "live" person at ANY company or business!
Went to the library and looked up corporate NAMES in the trusty Standard & Poor volume. Found one for customer support and wrote, explaining all. No reply for weeks. Finally, wrote the Chairman and CEO of Sears in Illinois and asked for HELP!
Within four, count 'em 4 days, received a phone call from the CEO's rep in Texas, apologizing and vowing to send me, STAT, the needed instructions. Of course, this non-rocket scientist will have a bit of fun learning how to set up and operate the iPod that any kid can do! Ha...only kids can do it I'm told, by the way!
And the moral to the story?....DON'T QUIT!, especially when you know it's the right thing to do...figure out a *#@+ way to solve your problem...right?

If you don't try...you don't get!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

287- WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT OUR AMERICAN SOCIETY? II.....

Today, May 19th, this photographer was driving through Colonial Williamsburg after lunch and noticed a couple over to my left, on a side street. He was standing at an easel, painting a scene. She was seated in a beach chair reading a book. WHAT a pastoral scene...the married team was on the grass by a pasture on Francis Street. So, I turned and came back around in back, parking...with Nikon.
And my adventure became a neat experience, with husband and wife...together. I have never seen, before, an artist out and about with spouse, much less reading in the warm sun. They were visiting from New Jersey, and the brief chat with them was enlightening!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

286- I GIVE UP?...I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW TO EAT A CRUNCHY TACO WITHOUT INSTANT MAJOR CRUMBLING!....

For real! No matter how this guy tries to attack a simple crunchy taco, with contents, the popular hand food crumbles, away, from all directions. And shredded cheese, lettuce and that UFO "meat" always winds up either in my lap or on the little yellow car's floor! I choose not to give up, but, instead, purchase a safe bean burrito with that green stuff inside whenever ordering fast-food in a drive-thru...case closed.

Eat, or dine, in the car? After a strenuous workout at the local Rec Center in late afternoon, this guys has to stop and have a snack! Anyway, it's my life and my car....

WHOA!....do they still have bells up on top of Taco Bells? Hmmm, a Taco Bell bell? Ha, betcha you don't know at this very moment!

Monday, May 18, 2009

285- DO DREAMCATCHERS WORK?....

In the Ojibwa culture, back in the '60s or so, America discovered the dreamcatcher. It's a handmade woven willow hoop with a loose web said to catch "bad" dreams, filtering them to slide down the feathers hanging down to disappear with the light of day. "Good" dreams, however, could pass through, unfiltered, on to the child sleeping. They were originally created to protect the Chippewa children.
My fave area of Sociology, by the way, has always been CULTURE and CUSTOMS.

Friday, May 15, 2009

284- "ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM!"....A LOGIC LESSON, ONE OF MANY, THAT YOU NEED TO LEARN!....

As someone who majored in Philosophy, the fallacy of "Argumentum ad Hominem" is a must for anyone to learn and understand out and about our society..."attacking the person and not the argument!"
A fallacy: "A statement or argument based on a false or invalid point."

1- HASTY 'G'....."Your Honor...the testimony of this witness cannot be admitted becauses she is not trustworthy!" Fallacy! That's a "Hasty generalization" and attacking the entire credibility of a person, without knowing them...see?

2- "You are much too lenient with your students, Prof. Mare."
"Ha, Prof. Shank, who are you to tell me that. Just last week I overheard three of your students talking in the hall, complaining about how much work you were piling on them." Fallacy...heresay and another Hasty 'G' attacking Prof. Shank.

3- "We need to increase the state sales tax! The governor has gone "mad" for the last three years by spending, spending, spending...." Fallacy...the blame was placed on one person, solely. Anyone knows that there are, except in Nebraska, two houses in a state's government for those(?) checks and balances.

4- Just because someone expresses an opinion doesn't always mean that it's the truth or that it's false. Don't let the actual facts get in the way, and uncovering the necessary facts is all important.

5- "Look at him...he looks guilty!"

6- "Everyone knows that a cheerleader is ditsy...why should she be elected the Prez of the SCA?"

7- "No way will he be my choice for Dept. Chair (to the principal)...he thinks he's too good for the rest of us!" "ad hominem"....

8- "I'm NOT voting for her...what does a woman know about how to run a country's government?

9) "I strongly oppose the death penalty!".....it is a fallacy, fact, that if someone who espouses that opinion degrades the one who speaks out in favor of this point, and not the argument's points, then, that is what is a fallacy, attacking the person and not the argument!

10) Begging the Question
(Circular Reasoning...Pitito Principii)
"Your resume looks good, but I will need another reference."
"Sally can give me one."
"Good, but how do I know that Sally is trustworthy>"
"I can vouch for her...."

11) Appeal to Ignorance
"You cannot prove that God does not exist, so He does."

12) Appeal to Pity
(Youth was standing before a judge, convicted of murdering his mom and dad) "Your honor, before you sentence me, please have mercy on me because I am now an...an orphan...."

13) Appeal to Peer Pressure
"Chuck likes the plan that people on welfare should work when they can find jobs. Friends laughed at him and called him a facist....and wanted to ostracize him from the group. Chuck recants and abandoned his plan to put people on welfare to work to avoid rejection from his group of friends!"
(...more....)

283- 'MINE THAT BIRD"...THE UNDERDOG HORSE WON THE KENTUCKY DERBY!...WOW!!...

Who cares if he didn't win the Preakness! "Mine That Bird" WON the Kentucky Derby!! Hope you've stepped aside from the other news and checked out this gentle racing horse! "Mine That Bird" was far back in the pack and did the impossible...nosing out the rest!

Super filly, "Rachel Alexandra", wins the Preakness Saturday, May 16th!!

And Saturday, June 6th....at the Belmont! Will "Mine That Bird" win?

He didn't!...but he did win that first time during the Kentucky Derby!!!!!!!!

282- HEY...WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT OUR AMERICAN SOCIETY? I......

These are the first two stories in this series found in our news media, this week, that I've uncovered with good, inspiring news!

a- The two dogs were on a busy New York City expressway this week! You've got to look for this "live" tape about a dog protecting his actual mom after she was hit by a car. In the tape, you'll see the offspring standing guard over the mother lying on the street, with him daring anyone, officers, from coming close to the injured dog, his mom! This proves the bond between two related animals exists, right? The rest of the story? The injured dog was taken to a vet and will be OK. The protector was finally persuaded to stand down! BRAVO to the dog! I'm trying to uncover the names of the two dogs. Don't you wish all humans possessed this "stand by your dog" character?

b- The American soldier in Afghanistan! When an American platoon, on a 24-hour on duty, were called out to do battle, one dressed quickly and leaned up against the redoubt. But...he had on his pink "I love New York!" boxers below the redoubt. A visiting A.P. photographer snapped a pic of the soldiers ready to do battle, with one leaning on the redoubt with those boxers. Great pic! When the pic turned up in the NY Times this week on the front page, someone, of course, tracked his mom back to Fort Worth, Texas. She quickly defended her patriotic son simply by saying that she knew her son, Zachary Boyd! WAS so into being a soldier and protecting what America stood for and had to be her son. That he once played golf in those pink boxers back home. BRAVO to this unique one-of-a-kind 19-year-old from Fort Worth...this patriotic solder! This pic gave all of us back home a lighhearted moment in an otherwise downer year.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

281- FARAH FAWCETT.....NO MATTER WHAT...WE ARE WITH YOU!....

You are strong...every indivdual is worth their weight in platinum! Sometimes an individual has to lay down and make a point, but you have the untimate choice to do so with YOUR life.....
You have made the individual choice to, in our society, show the world that your life, even though ending as we know it, will be remembered far beyond the grave. If an individual sees it as an absolute ending, then, all of the pluses gained during a person's like are nil....?

280- HMMMM...SHOULD MARIJUANA USE, IN OUR AMERICAN SOCIETY, BE LEGALIZED?....

As a longtime Socratic-style educator, I value bringing topics out from the shadows, with absolute intelligent discussions, with deep background research, listening to all sides and debating!! From much experience, I know immediately, also, that a few will "attack" me by claiming that I, moi, am advocating "weed' use....not true, of course. I personally DO NOT like the use of enhancing "drugs", even careful about cold "medicine"...and DO NOT even partake of alcohol, period. BOTH are my pesonal choices and NOT "attacks" on anyone else, period! This guy has always, out front, spread out the initiatives, like here. ...let's continue.....

1) Now, back to the actual poser: should marijuana use, in our American society, be legalized? (Aside from permission given for medicinal uses.) Marijuana will be define using my Heritage Dictionary: "The cannabis plant...a preparation made from the dried flower clusters and leaves of the cannabis plant, usually smoked or eaten to induce euphoria."
2) (Con) One argument against legalization declares that it leads, will lead to dangerous drugs, like a stepping stone!
3) (Pro) One argument for legalization states that it is not a "dangerous" drug, that millions and millions of $$ are being transferred under the table already without any taxes being assesed at all. That if the sales were brought up on the table, strictly sold and checked by a responsible governmental agency, millions and millions of local and state tax $$$ would go now into the state and local coffers and not in the pockets of the sellers!
4) (Con) Another argument against legalization involves already existing religious social standards set in place for decades. That there is a definite generation gap, with the younger generations generally favoring its use alreay, and the older generation fixed to social standards in place for some time.
5) (Pro) Another argument for legalization...there's no real way to curb the sale and especially use of "weed"...too many people use it already, behind the scenes. That many other countries around the world generally have relaxed views and conderns over the use of marijuana.
6) (Con) Marijuana is much stronger now...can become addictive.
7) (Pro) "It didn't hurt me!" one user admitted.
8) (Con) Legalizing, selling and advertising it, face up to it, will be aimed at 'teens, getting them to move into the stronger stuff! Like cigs and beer, the youth of America will sooner or later get it!
9) (Pro) "I don't have to smoke it anymore. There's a pill out there for me to take and "feel good."
10) (....more).....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

279- I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE GHOSTS And SPIRITS WHO LIVE OUT And ABOUT AMONGST US!......

Hmmmmmmm....ponder that one for a spell, guys!....

(Note! Whenever I use the word "guys" in anything I write, this author is used to referring to EVERYONE as "guys"...it is a respectful term, period!!)

278- PONDERABLE For THIS WEEK!.....

"WISH IT...DREAM IT...DO IT!"
I once met someone jogging along a woodland trail who paused and told me that they easily had enough experiences and could write a bestseller novel, maybe two, just like moi! "Why don't you?" I asked.
"That first paragraph just doesn't seem to want to flow, get started....", they replied. "But I could if I wanted to....."

The biggest difference between the one who DOES write that bestseller novel, which is 1% of us, and the one who doesn't? "WISH IT...DREAM IT...DO IT!"
I continue to appreciate that ancient Chinese adage: "The longest journey begins with but the....uh, first step...!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

277- MY INDEPTH RESEARCH On VIRGINIA'S C&O OFFICIAL TRAIN STATION COLORS, FROM PRE-1925 TO POST-1925!!...

This historian has traveled to every standing Virginia train depot left standing across my native State, photographed them and recorded notes. Also, have copied dozens and dozens more pics of depots not standing. Each one, today, has been pinpointed on a trusty official VDOT map (red dots) to show the extent of our once neat railroad system in Virginia...more that just the C&O. And that brings me to what the official colors for early C&O depots were allowed within their system. Thanks to the C&O Historcal Society (am a longtime member) I even obtained the drawings from their archives.

a- First...those official C&O depot colors are described in their logs. And then I will reveal why one restored depot in Virginia is definitely incorrect for our local area! Two newspapers were respectfully given copies of that information.

b- According to the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society's indepth research and archives, standard C&O depots were painted, before 1925, in "Colonial Buff" (LIGHT YELLOW) and trimmed in white and terra cotta. After 1925, the standard depots were painted medium gray, with light gray trim. Both were for frame buildings and were the official colors for the C&O operation. This historian NOW has copies of the three (3) standard C&O drawings for pre-1925, post-1925 and brick depots like the present one in Williamsburg.

c- This careful researcher did visit the Norge Depot (J.C.C) often over a period of a month to do detailed measuring while this station was on the old C&O tracts. And DID build a detailed, scaled model of the Norge Depot, using the later light gray color. My purpose was to encourage and nudge locals to actually SEE what the building would be like, envisioning SOME TIME before it was actually removed and restored in another location, just knowing that enough money would be raised to move it!

d- After it was moved and restored to the present JCC Library area, and much to my, AND OTHERS' chagrin, OUR Norge Depot was painted a strange yellow! Who made that decision? I, for one, worked with and followed the restoration from beginning to fruition and never once was asked for an input. This historian gladly, earlier, went out to locations to promote raising funds and support for the Norge Depot, each trip taking the detailed Norge Depot model. I also donated four (4) of my pen and ink drawings of local depots for our depot museum.

e- Remember, earlier, I noted that this historian had visited, recorded and photographed EVERY standing depot in my native Virginia...nearly 180! That's EVERY standing depot in Virginia. NOT A SINGLE ONE had been painted that strange yellow color!!!! The farthest one out, that I researched and photographed, west, was Appalachia. There is a large one in Bristol, with Marion...Pocahontas...Foster Falls...Narrows...Paint Bank...Staunton...Lyndhurst...Charlottesville...Winchester...Oak Ridge...Manassas...Woodford...Emporia...Williamsburg...Franklin...Weirwood...and Exmore to name some!

f- This historian has determined that the restored Norge Depot is NOT painted correctly for our James City County area restoration. It appears more like a cartoon version, but "someone or ones" are determined to keep it painted that way. Who? It is important to this historian and to our older, rural "community" that the Norge Depot be painted according to the official C&O standards that I uncovered, thanks to the COHS...a pre-1925 "Colonial Buff"!!!!! I have those official drawings right here in front of me at this very moment!

g- ....and I urge you to drive out to the restored Norge Depot by the JCC Public Library, park and ponder. Then, I ask that you then take a short drive down Rte. 60 to the Lee Hall Depot, in upper Newport News and observe their official depot color!
Lastest...I drove down Rte. 60 recently to recheck. Lee Hall Depot will soon be moved off the tracks, saving it. OH, guess what color it was painted? Hmmm....the offical pre-1925 "Colonial Buff." And it looked genuinely early C&O vintage!

h- This early Virginiana depot aficionado rests my case. And what do I suggest that all of you who appreciate and care about accuracy for our local treasures, like our Norge Depot, do? Ask that the strange non-standard color of the depot NOW be quietly changed back to the standard "Colonial Buff"...that's the light, cream yellow you see at Lee Hall and all over Virginia with a pre-1925 date!...thanks...rss

276- "WATERBOARDING"...DESCRIPTION...A SOCIAL COMMENTARY!....

After viewing someone actually being "waterboarded" via tape, you will then know, understand and hear different sides of the debate, being bounced about in the public eye. As I did back in the '90s, actually being a witness for a Virginia execution, this Socratic thinker likes to think deeper than the average Yogi Bear on national issues. I was a "witness for the condemned" in the '90s in order to think and speak semi-intelligently. And would NOT like to be a witness again! You can read a paper I wrote for a Virginia/Charlottesvile magazine on what I saw, felt and surmised by "googling" to Ron Squire Steffey..."Witness for The Condemned."

1) the person is handcuffed and often shackled...laid down face up...cloth is placed over his face...water is dripped or poured into cloth.
2) when they breathe and/or asked quuestions, the person breathes in water..water is also dripped and/or poured onto his chest. This volunteer that I watched in the video lasted for 24 minutes of "interrogation" before he shouted "stop!"
3) "Coercive interrogation"....?
4) "It was horrible!...I felt like I was gonna drown. The guys around me, waterboarding, were in total control of what I could do or not do." (comments from person on tape.)
5) Point: "We're at war! War that someone else declared upon us!" During war, measures for protecting the homeland, America, must be in place?
6) Point: "How do we deal with terrorists? They want to KILL US!!!!
7) Point: "It was a "torture warrant" signed by the President?"
8) Point: Accountibility?...who along the line was accountible and to whom?
9) U.S. Senator John McClain: "It's not about who they are, it's about who we are!"
10) The crawling caterpillar...inside a box with the person...torture?
11) Sleep depravation...torture? Did it work? Did "they" keep us, as a nation, safe from anothe 9/11 for nearly 8 years?
12)

NOW, the next step to pondering this delemma is........(more)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

275- OK, HOW DO TRUE, DECENT VIRGINIANS PRONOUNCE THE HONORED NAME OF OUR REVERED AND HISTORIC CITY OF NORFOLK?......

Wait until you hear what's being done on some of our public airwave TV stations by some of their TV "personalities"....ready to hear? And, the historically proper pronounciation IS "NOR-FOLK!" and NOT the ignorant, vulgar "nor-f**k", as used by some on-air personalitites in Tidewater, Virginia! And, by their expressed ignorance and doing it full well knowing how offensive it is, using OUR public air-waves to mispronounce OUR historic Virginia name of NOR-FOLK, it's time for the rest of us to object and send them packing back to the state whence they came!!!

1) More and more personalities at two Tidewater (Va.) TV stations repeatedly refer to our NorFOLK as NOR-F**K. When I politely and respectfully asked, by e-mail, for one station and the "on air" personalitities to pronounce Norfolk historically correct, using the original "NOR-FOLK," they declined, stating that that's the way it's been prounced in our Tidewater region for some time, therefore, making it THE correct form. But they, using their own air-waves "power" supposedly granted by the FCC to degrade Nor-FOLK, are in the wrong. The local TV on-air personalities ARE the ones leading, trying to lead the incorrect and vulgar pronounciation in the public. And I , and others, definitely feel that they are doing it intentionally!!! This ultra-liberal ignorance will be addressed in the coming months..."wait and see!"

2) NORFOLK is a very old and proper English word and is historically derived from "NORTH FOLK"....not from "North F**k." That means, by the way, "folk from the North." Suff-FOLK, nearby, is derived from "South Folk" and, of course, not the coarse "South F**k."

3) The TV station's pronunication is false, incorrect and, I believe, done to elicit a degrading and demeaning reaction beneath all of us who are respectable native Virginians and those many who join us in deploring the crude, rude pronunciations of "Nor-F**k and "Suff-F**k." Ignorance begets ignorance, and we Virginians are not about to succumb to such crass "liberal come here" use of a revered historically correct word like our NorFOLK!

4) And the argument that this is a trivial matter won't begin to fly! The FCC grants public airwaves stations the right to use OUR FREE airwaves but with certain responsibilities. This U.S. government prof, for years, has done my homework and will respond soon...to the FCC who does make provisions and written forms for invididuals and groups, on public airwaves stations, to express our conserns!!

5) NORFOLK is simply NOR-FOLK!...."north folk! NOT Nor-f**k!"

6) Let's see....parents and hundreds of thousands of local Tidewater residents...do you want your Academy publicly referred to as NOR-F**K Academy? NOR-F**Kers? What do you think?

7) STAND UP FOR SOMETHING, BUT AT LEAST STAND UP for something and make your opinions known!

8) Hey...isn't it strange how those same Tidewater public airwaves TV stations this week, 5/13, had a news story about a woman, with child, who was upset about finding the very same word, "F**K", in a Happy Meal...and the station broadcast an interview about the use of the PROFANITY? For the record, I politely submitted one of their "3 vents". And they did not use it on air, using that power of ignoring me!

8) Someone says that they don't care if it is pronounced incorrectly, with the blantantly vulgar way?....but try using the word in your religious service next time. Don't go to religious serivces? Have your young children use it around your home. AIN'T that right?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

274- SO, WHAT IS LOVE?...VII.....

This sociologist, at times, when time, will ask mature couples out and about society, who are holding hands as they walk, what is the secret to their marriage. Did that this week, 5/6, while checking out fresh fruit at a local supermarket. Neat experience listening to them talk about why they still are a team.
But, my love story this time involves someone I know who works at the Monticello Branch of the Williasmburg, Va. Post Office. When I asked him how he and his wife had remained together as a team for a number of years, he replied with a smile and pride: "I'm more in love with my wife now than when we were first married..........."

273- FOUR CHEERS FOR KFC THIS WEEK????.......

Have you heard what one of our largest businesses in American society is doing to stimulate the economy in the heart of our country, Chattanooga? And it's all originating NOT from the federal government, but by KFC! KFC offered $3,000 to the Tenneesee city to help repair potholes. In return, however, chalk spray would mark the repairs as "Refreshed by KFC." Well, the entire episode got out of hand when PETA, upset, offered Chattanooga $6,000, vetarian lunches for the road crews AND spray paint "KFC Tortures Animals" to each refreshed pothole! That is now the rest of the story. By the way, I believe that Chattanooga eventually and quietly backed off.....

And America could, this week, via some TV stations, download some KFC coupons for a free sample box of their new grilled chicken. Yes, this sociologist did, but, as I went out and about town on errands, gave all three coupons away!

272- DOWN And DIRTY TRICKS In The WORKPLACE!....

Ever wonder if anyone who works in your business, office, plant, local government operations and even elected officials, in a position "higher" than you, would ever pull a D & D trick on you to make sure that you don't move up the ladder of deserved accomplishments, especially behind your proverbial back? Ponder that for a moment or three. So many friends and persons have trusted and shared with me, over the years, dirty tricks played in their workplaces. And I am a firm believer that the concept of KARMA, according to our Western philosophy, WILL kick in to right the wrongs!!

a- Dirty tricks need to be brought out into the open! People, from many walks of life, have been quietly and privately sharing their concerns on this subject of blacklisting...blackballing for years. And what makes it sickening? It deeply hurts someone's inner well-being and in the workplace where $$$ and advancements are being stymied, clandestinely, by those "cowards" in the shadows pulling strings.

b- Play the game, or you, they, don't move up....

c- Empirical knowlege...actually seeing somethig happen is one of those burdens that enough have witnessed in too many businesses, plants, local government, elected officials and, yes, schools. In public schools, persons I've known have revealed lowdown decisions by "henchmen" for a superintendent to send a letter of "non-intent" to continue a teacher's employment. The teacher, with a family, was given a flimsy excuse of taking a day off without just cause. Investigation into the trumped up action revealed that the teacher was at their highest possible salary, with time served, and that the school system was, behind the scenes, wanting to toss out those high salaried teachers to make room for beginning ones at much lower salary, "saving" big bucks! The game is difficult to expose, but the ends here, and with others, is on the way to connecting.
Another case, I'm told, involves a V. Principal who has privately admitted to being in that position to "catch" anyone who doesn't conform to the "higher up's" OWN rules of teaching. That V.P., more and more others are saying to each other, should be canned and sent to work at the nearest convenient store! And you believed that inside some schools' systems were consistently highly intent upon what is best for your children? But what about those "hidden decisions" behind closed doors, to school staffs and teachers, affecting their economic lives and families?

d- Someone shared how they were treated at a local convenience store, recently.
One woman had worked within that store's system for 20 years and was an absolute "terror" and was still working regularly. A newer employee was excellent in handling the public, picked on by that older employee constantly. When the newer one finally, politely, complained to a higher upper? She, not the pissant, was moved to an area that she did not like!

e- And IN a school.... Once upon a time there was a principal who had become paranoid, believing that some teachers were out to "get him". He, behind the scenes, made sure that they did not receive good teaching assignments, made derogatory remarks outside of hearing range and took away extra-curricular assignments expertly handled for years. In particular, teaching assignments that had been earning national recognition for years, were mysteriously switched to the assignments reserved for first-year teachers! Remember, we call that a DIRTY TRICK!
Well, now, some found out that this particular principal had been, for some time, bucking for a "plum" job in his district...not getting it! When he did move to another district with a "plum" job, within a year or so, guess what? He disappeared, not hacking it. K-A-R-M-A......

271- "BIZARRE FOODS!"...REALLY WEIRD FOODS!....

This social commentary takes a look at "Bizzare Foods", with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel. I have to admit, the BF program is absolutely original in creation and execution. And I admit, though, to taking a peek at times...and cringing. There will be a few examples here, well maybe, to describe the TV program. They usually double-gross me out, but the ratings are up and strong for BF. It is done with quality and takes the viewers all over the world for locale shootings. If you like and appreciate common foods, or learning about them, from hundreds of other civilizations, go for it! Worms and ALL parts of pig are just not my thing, including those Rocky Mt. oysters! NO tripe apply!

By the way, just once I wish that Andrew would say something like, "YUCK!...EGADS!...SPIT, QUICK!", instead of always, "I love the texture...the presentation is awesome...the way it slides down my throat is exciting!"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

270- "YOU KNOW...uh, YOU KNOW...like, YOU KNOW...like....."

This sociologist tried to listen to an interview, recently, with a "popular" TV personality. "You know" was inserted 19 times within a ten minute interview. It became so irritating that this guy signed off for better things to do, like preparing Cajun Dirty Rice from scratch, sans fiery hot spices.
What's going on in our American society that more and more persons cannot communcate using reasonable forms of the standard English language? I've already addressed the use of..."ahs...uhs...ums" in an earlier blog. A Toastmaster grad would be aghast at listening to some of our public speakers and governmental "leaders" while they TRY to communicate to thousands of fellow Americans!

269- RON SQUIRE, The WORDSMITH!....

Don't have the right word or phrase to use? CREATE ONE!

a- "For the smell of it!" (Since we're not "allowed" to say "hell.")
b- "Get the flock outta here!"
c- "Bee charmer....!" (From "Fried Green Tomatoes.")
d- "M'anazin'....!" (MORE than something that is "amazing.")
e- "Intellectual intercourse...." (Respectful, intelligent & knowlegable discussion between two or more!"
f- "Soul-hood...." (Anyone can have a soul-hood, caring!)
g- "A surr-prise...." (An extra-special surprise!)
h- "An anatomical juxtaposition of two oribicularious muscles in a state of contraction!" (a kiss)
i- "...a tiny tear or three...." (Lots of special good tears!)
j- "That's a 288!" (Double-gross!...yuk!"
k- "Double-ugly! (Something that is revolting.)
l- "Don't should on me!" (I should have but didn't....)
m- "To fall in like with...." (FIRST before "falling in" love....)
n- "It's a 'fig-newton' of your imagination!" (Play on words..."figment"....)
o- "That irrigates me...." (Really pissed off....)
p- "I'll MAKE a good day, thank you!" (Means YOU are in control, with YOU doing it!)
q- "PMP...Positive Mental Power!."
r- "Thang....." (Play on words...country for 'thing.")
s- "There are no exterior motives here...." (Only the "truth" is involved...no forked tongue spoken here...."
t- "OK, you're receiving twenty lashes with a wet noodle!"
u-

268- HOW TO DEMONIZE GOOD AMERICAN FOLK, LIKE GOV. SARAH PALLIN and CALIFORNIAN CARRIE PREJEAN.....

....in the Miss USA beauty contest! This despicable social "custom" in recent months has turned even dirtier and more negative, especially for pissants who HIDE behind anonymity...that means C.S. (old college expression for the smelliest of all....) cowards!

A) After the latest election, such downright blasphemous treatment of those who are best described as mainstream average citizens (by some newspapers and public news organizations), has been intensely attacked! And those include Alaska Gov. Sarah Pallin, daughter Bristol Pallin and recently Miss USA's Carrie Prejean from California. They have been, are being savagely pummeled as public personalities. And the "attackers" have it down pat on how to dig into any and every piece of garbage they can try to pull up or fabricate to destroy them.

B) Fair treatment? When the Vice President's daughter was caught on camera doing some form of DRUGS, recently, how was she treated by those same news media in comparison with the constant barage against the Pallin's and Prejean? Hmmm, the V.P. daughter's display and use of drugs disappeared....

C) And a like kind of sicko cowardly attacks have been used, anonymously of course, by C.S. cowards, to attack innocent persons on some of the Internet sources like FaceBook and others along collegian lines. The sicko pissants think they're "getting even" with someone or "cutting down" someone to their size by, anonymously of course (cowards), posting downright lies. Again, the term used earlier when in college was a C.S. sicko coward! You can surmise what the C.S. means. If that same coward had someone post a dirty lie about them, they would cry FOUL...run, crying back to their mommie, sucking their thumb!

D) That's what a coward does when caught! And sobbing that THEIR First Amendment rights were tarnished or unfair.
Carrie Prejean...be strong! Many of us are with you, "standing" with you and the truth. Gov. Pallin and your brave daughter...bravo for speaking up and out about your own beautiful daughter. I, and many silent others across our country, continue to stand with you for your bravery, courage and honesty...and breaths of fresh air.
So, what appears to be more and more standard American sociey fare, disagree with someone? Attack, tear down if that pissant doesn't agree with you...how dare they disagree. Who cares what the TRUTH is? Who cares if someone is lying through their rotten teeth?
BUT, enough of us, like the Pallin's and Prejean, are not sitting down to take it but standing up to, with dignifty, to push the S.O.B.s aside.

E) As Thomas Jefferson said once, paraphrasing, that our American society, indeed, needed a bit of "revolution" every once in a while to correct the earlier examples of what's being doing to the Pallin's and Carrie Prejean...like the trashing of decent people's honor and names, cowardly, anonymously, on Internet spots. You go, TJ!

F)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

267- OUR AMERICAN SOCIETY'S HEROINE!!!....

ELIZABETH EDWARDS....I have the absolute highest respect and admiration for this woman and fellow American, and she is in my, our, positive thoughts NOW and years to come. A big WOW!!! Don't know what and who I'm talking about? Ask, out and about, please. And if someone tries to evade the ppremise of Elizabeth Edwards being a heroine by saying that she kept her mouth shut? Won't fly! Often, a wife does "love" her husband to the point of overlooking faults that others would find as downgrading...she has children, too. No excuses need apply for all of those looking on from the outside 'cause they are not on the inside!!!

For the record...this essayist, author and blogger always tells IT the way IT is, right down the middle...know what I mean, jelly bean?

266- EVOLUTION and the HUMAN BODY PREDICTION?....

Prediction: an obscure scientist from Idaho will soon announce that some humans will come with cellphones already attached....eventually making it easier while driving in a car, standing in line at the supermarket or sitting and dining in a crowded restaurant!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

265- "THE" MOST ROMANTIC SONG....?

"WOMAN IN RED"....in 1986, by Chris de Burgh...on his album "Into the Light." Can hear a portion of it on some lyric sites...you decide!

"I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They're looking for a little romance, give hal a chance
And I have never seen that dress you're wearing
Or the highlights in your hair that catch your eyes
I have been blind.

The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek
There's nobody here, it's just you and me
It's where I want to be but I hardly know
This beauty by my side
I'll never foerget the way you look tonight.

I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright, you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turn to me and smiled, it took my breath away
And I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight.

The lady in red is dancing with cheek to cheek
There's nobody here, it's just you and me
It's where I want to be, but I hardly know
This beauty by my side
I'll never forget the way you look tonight.

I never will forget the way you look tonight
The lady in red, the lady in red
The lady in red, my lady in red
I love you."

The artist wrote about and was singing to his....WIFE!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

264- THUNDERSTORMS....THUNDER BUMPERS!.....

a) Spring and summer thunderstorms, since kidhood, have scared me something fierce...until recent years. This evening a powerful rainfall, threatening with darkening skies at dusk before letting loose, poured straight down with a steady pace. The recently planted hanging flowers on the porch were pulled in a bit and seemed to really enjoy the refreshing indirect rainfall. All of the leaves were given a steady dousing, along with the blooming flowers. As soon as flowers are expended, they are clipped to stimulate more later and most of the summer season. The rainfall this evening, without much thundering and bumping, reassured me that storms can be enjoyable in a more friendly way.

b) Another earlier blog describes being caught, trout fishing up in the North River gorge of the Shenandoah Valley, in the middle of the mountains, taking refuge on the porch of a cabin on the the side of the mountain at a Scout Camp.
To get a feel for being in the center of a summer thunderstorm, another time, this guy waited out the storm in a picnic shelter in a country park. The pounding sounds and splashing visual sights totally surrounded me as I sat on a bench (in the middle) jotting down thoughts and images fresh for my memnory bank. They were recorded on paper and in that memory bank for use one day in the next novel and newspaper essay....
I label the experience as an ADVENTURE! An earlier blog describes the importance of ADVENTURES! in your life. They always add a splash of natural vanilla extract or smidgeon of nutmeg to your otherwise normal life!

c) Ahhhh...remember the smells after a rainfall?

d) Maybe...when was the last time you, after the summer rain, tossed adulthood thinking aside and waded through puddles? We are so....primed to forget or toss aside some of the neat, simpler playing in life. Thank something inside a "kid forever" that allows a neat person to wade in a puddle...swing so high that they think they can go all of the way around in a circle....and, ever so carefully and slowly, eat a doughnut around the intact circle inside, leaving the hole's inner ring! C'mon....try it once...again.

e)

263- LOVE THEM DOLLAR STORES?.....

This sociologist admits to slipping into those "dollar stores" out and about my town, whenever I see one. I realize that enough clunky products exists, but it's FUN, never knowing when an item will jump out from a shelf and yell, "Buy me! Take me home!" Be careful, though.
1) Shampoos and conditioners...many tests on these products have concluded that there is little difference between "dollar store" ones and the fancy expensive ones! By the way, do you buy a shampoo or conditioner according to the exciting fragrancies?
2) Cheeses...nope!...contain high concentrations of veggie oil!
3) Kitchen utensils...good deals!...the stores always have a wide variety of them on the wall, like pizza cutters, funnels, whisks and gadgets. Only problem? We have a tendacy to stock up and use a gadget once, and they accumulate in a counter drawer...right?
4) Batteries...nope!...carbon-zinc in most of them drain the energy quickly, making you use too many of them...here's where quality brands that you are familiar with DO last for some time!
5) Those cute pieces of jewelry? NOPE!, you know their origin, with the possibility of LEAD...too many of those "pieces" slip through the checkers on the docks and get on our shelves!
6) Household cleaners...if you check the ingredient labels, you'll discover that they contain, often, the same ones in the brand names..as your grandma used to say, "If they work, use 'em!"
7) Toothpaste...be very careful....
8) Party favors, like popular gift wrap supplies....go for them! It's your individual creative wrapping skills that counts! Bargains on boxes of facial TISSUES, too!
9) Oh mi ga!...stay away from the el cheapo electrical supplies!...too many are duds and possibly dangerous!
10) And THE BEST "dollar store" purchases? SPICES..they're a good deal and usually are assigned the same cooking status as those expensives ones imported from the Far East!!!

262- WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR CHIA PETS?....

They became......(drum roll)....TOPSY TURVY, the upsidedown wonder!
YOU supply the plants...YOU supply the soil! And, in a short time, when you look out your back door, you will have beautiful red tomatoes that are growing out of those holes. All you have to do is water and pick...all summer. All you initially have to do is make one(?) payment of $19.95 + that neat extra S&H fee when a 2nd one comes with the first one.
If you produce 50 fruit, tomatoes, it's only costing you 80-cents each +, not counting those neat extra S&H fees, tomato plants and potting soil costs. I'm surprised that you can receive a hanging container for $19.95, however.

Thinking back to a simpler society.....can I still adopt a Chia Pet in 2009? Will my Mood Ring still tell me if today is "happy"? Will today be sunny for Hula Hooping this afternoon? Are your Pound Puppies safely stored away in the attic? And, more importantly, are your Beanie Babbies and those cuddly Cabbage Patch dolls still being adopted out and about American society?

Friday, May 1, 2009

261- COMING?....A BILL TO IMPOSE INTERNET SALES TAXES........

Yes, Americans, a bill will soon, I believe, be introduced in our U.S. Congress to IMPOSE an INTERNET SALES TAX on all items now free of sales taxes across State lines. Some States now collect them. Online retailers, like Amazon, would be the Tax Collectors!
Think...you will then be paying that sales tax for Tennessee if you purchase an item on the Internet from there, PLUS their shipping charge...eBay, too, along with all Internet purchases!
And if an item cleverly notes that shipping is free? Hey, that hidden shipping fee will be "inside" the purchased price!
Did I hear someones say recently that taxes WERE NOT going to rise for the huge majority of us????? Can you say...A LIE?
That's my "social commentary" for today!

260- MY PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY III......

"It's not what happens to you in life, but how you respond to it!"
(I admit...this one is a bit difficult to handle...right?"