Sunday, August 30, 2009

371- ***IN MEMORIAM FOR TWO VIRGINIA TECH STUDENTS!....

Heidi Lynn Childs (18) and David Lee Metzler (19)......

Our prayers and sincere thoughts go out once more to Tech students. Metzler was a sophomore industrial and sytems engineering major from Lynchburg. Childs was a sophomore biochemistry major from Forest, nearby, and both attended Heritage Bapist Church. Both were respected Hokies and worked with Christian efforts. The site is in Montgomery County's Jefferson National Forest, and about 15 miles from the Tech campus.
They were murdered....as soon as I hear any word, will share!
(9/16th...no update so far....) Reward is being set for information!

Friday, August 28, 2009

370- AND THE MOST ROMANTIC LOVE STORY SONG IS......?

...."You're Beautiful" by James Blunt!
You can listen to the ballad on an Internet site. A guy sees a beautiful coed and admires her from afar...and finally realizes that...... Do you have your own personal song? Share, please.

369- "SOME MORE?"?......WHAT?...

A) These campfire goodies, many decades ago, were first called 'some more'..."I want 'some more'...." No way, Jose! We grew up calling them, properly, "S'MORES!" If you've never, around a campfire, pulled out two graham crackers, an entire Hershey's bar (plain) and at least two LARGE white marshmallows, you don't have the correct ingredients. Lay chocolate across bottom cracker...fits. That graham cracker, by the way, has to be a two-part whole-wheat flour rectangular one.
Need a hand-trimmed stick from a nearby bush and a glowing campfire. Impale the marshmallows and gently, slowly, turning until they blacken, without falling off. Takes two hands, now, to place the 'mallows onto the candy, then quickly toss the stick and squeeze the top cracker down on both toasted 'mallows and candy, to melt them, fuse them together!
Maybe we should have called them, too, 'sloppy S'mores' for it's common for 'stuff' to smear around your face. And who cares!

B) THE NEWEST "SUPER-SLOPPY-S'MORE!".....really sloppy but soooo gooooood!
Prepared exactly the same way, BUT....use a VERY DARK CHOCOLATE flat candy bar. Scoop a dip of REAL CHOCOLATE ice cream on top of candy, and then carefully lay the two or more toasted almost-to-a-crisp 'mallows on top of ice cream....slightly squeeze together, with a second graham on top. OH MI GA! I'm working on one right now, this very moment! Gotta attack this creation a bit faster, too. Don't need a napkin, but will just lick my fingers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

368- A TALKING POTHOLE?...YEAH, YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT THIS LATEST G.E.I.C.O. TV COMMERCIAL!...

This talking pothole is sooo clever, quaint and original! And 2 cheers for G.E.I.C.O. for FINALLY coming out with such an original TV commercial, instead of that little green critter or a talking bundle of money with eyes!
Haven't seen the talking pothole, yet? She has a neat, honest country accent, and the entire TV commercial is witty, impressive and memorable! Please look for it...see for yourself.
While working late last night, on WORD, with The Serpentine Bond!, I realized that this fave "pothole" commercial was on...and jumped up and ran over to see, becoming immersed in this totally neat...pothole commercial.

367- "I'D LIKE TO CHECK YOU FOR TICKS...."....

Now that I've got your attention....have been practicing listening to and learning to appreciate "country" music for a few years! Heard this tune earlier in the summer. Yes, I DO LIKE COUNTRY music, now!...Shania Twain...Brad Paisley...Garth Brooks...Taylor Swift...Gretchen Wilson...Carrie Underwood...Keith Urban...Rascle Flatts...Faith Hill...Kenny Chesney...Alison Crouse...Sugarland! Remember Johnny Cash?

Monday, August 24, 2009

366- NEAT PERSONS #1, OUT AND ABOUT!.....

His name is BILL! And he works at the counter in the Monticello Branch of the Williamsburg, Va. USPS!
I've been coming by this newer branch to pick up my mail since it opened. BILL is one of those one-of-a-kind genuinely sharp USPS employees who always goes the extra mile to help and to make sure that we are treated fairly...always!
And another secret? Once, in a brief conversation about the local public library where his wife works, he shared a remarkable truth...that he was more in love with his wife now than when they were first married!!!
OK, tell me how many guys would share than truism? Really?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

365- AN OTIS P. T. SUGGINS BIT OF WISDOM!....

Should one, YOU, ever feel justified in "tootin' your own horn"?
"THAT's A BIG OLE YES! If'n YOU don't, the truth, good thangs about you, will continue to be hidden or IGNORED. YOU need to have people know what you accomplish, especially when the 'world' don't up and tell ya!"

364- SCHOOL CLASS METHODS THAT WORKED!...(PART IV)...

Applied Economics...begun at the school.

a- Students were in on my original first class, with creating methods to enhance a novel approach to learning about the REAL, practical, world of economics. One of their 'hands on methods/lessons" was to study about capitalism, entrepreneurship. They formed a corporation and sold stock, to themselves only (their decision), in a business that they had chosen. Each morning, for two weeks, well-planned, each one came to school early for their business---to sell their own prepared sandwiches and cookie items to the rest of the school in the Commons only. In preparation, they invited the local health inspector to teach them the rules and regulations of handling food products.
When the business was so successful each morning, an administrator, behind the scenes, gave them, through me, an edict that they had to be back in their first period (us) by the last bell or----. Someone in the cafeteria, too, very early, watched from behind the scenes our every move. (Interesting note: that same person decided to open up for 'breakfast', later). The students responded by bustin' and making it all work! At the end of that class entreprenurial lesson, venture, they dissolved the corporation (rules) and were paid dividends according to how many shares each had bought. Some had much faith in their business, a few bought only one share. When each one received a dividend check (real $$$)? Some had earned as much $100+!! That same administrator couldn't believe the students had earned so much $$$.
b- Our Applied Econ classes, each semester, had a local businessperson as our mentor and advisor! The students really appreciated the local Chamber of Commerce director one semester as their mentor. Another mentor was from Busch Gardens.
c- Business guests every week! Auto sales, local entrepreneurs, insurance agents, real estate agents, ice cream shoppe owners, a stock broker and restaurant owners were some of the guests. We also were invited out to businesses to see how they operated. One, a Wendy's, was memorable...why are Wendy's burgers square? (Know why?) But the neatest trip was to the local Busch Gardens Amusement Park before it opened one morning. After the different dept. people talked and mingle with them on operations, WE were given a ride on the Loch Ness Monster (closes this year)....AND treated to pizza for lunch...just for the students!
What a class! Those hundreds of students, over the years, MADE it work!
D- Did those three classes and their innovative methods EVER earn ANY honors? Hmmmm...what do you think?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

363- AMERICA'S HEROES #7!....KEITH ZEIER!....

Keith Zeier, Marine!, wounded while serving US in 2006 in Iraq, made a personal decision NOT to let his serious injuries keep him down! To raise more than $50,000 this Summer for the 'Fallen Heroes', May 16th, he participated in a 100-mile, that's 99-miles plus 1, marathon!!!! Took Keith, our hero, 31+ hours to complete, and he did complete the marathon! PLEASE, from this Socratic-style educator, 'google' to Keith Zeier, YOURSELF, to read more of this hero's story.....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

362- SCHOOL CLASS METHODS THAT WORKED!...(PART III)...

The use of FILMS as a teaching method in sosh! and American government classes: we used it for years in our two classes, like some progressive college/university classes do now! The method included an indepth packet for them to create their own important points as they veiwed each film. They set up their questions...they made their deductions...they related American government facts we had studied to points in the film! Students, mostly seniors, appreciated the originality of the setup for the method. After their viewing of the film and completing their analysis of a film, we conducted that necessary confab, discussion, with each one having the opportunity to add whatever they wanted to say outloud! I set the tone by explaining that THEY were actrually in charge of the discussion, with manners! They could decide when to break into to talk. A college-style textbook, by the way, was their lesson plans quide!
Because of the societal nature of sosh!, the sosh! students often made suggestions for viewing, with the same "grading" packet method as the American government classes.

A) "The Notebook" in sosh!...they loved it...and acted like college students with it! Nicholas Sparks...2004.
B) "A Time To Kill" in A. government...lots of legal and courtroom material...book by John Grisham...1996.
C) "Rabbit Proof Fence" in sosh!....classes were mermermized and into the history of that time...and how Molly and friends endured!! Showed it to government once they heard about it, relating it to our own Native American history.
D) "Tasha Tudor" in sosh!...my introduction of this artist to my students was marvelous for them! The late Tasha Turdor once came to Colonial Williamsburg for a cultural visit!
E) "Cirque du Soleil"....everyone fell in like with this "new" circus concept without animals...the music...the humor...the dance!
F) "An Amish Family Life"....I added this and another Amish culture video for them to understand the Amish way of life, finding two excellent daily life films to explore!
G) "RiverDance!"...another excellent cultural video on music and dance for sosh!
H) American government....The Shawshank Redemption"...we viewed this film for a number of years, using the above indepth educational methods. Hmmm...funny how an administrator was asked by the students to talk with their class about a decision he had made about not allowing "Shawshank" in their SENIOR class. Afterwards, in the hall with no witnesses, he accused us of setting him up when he couldn't answer them. The funny part came when he, soon afterwards, refused my Senior government classes from viewing this film, suddenly....hmmmmm. That's called "leverage."
KARMA? This Philosophy major believes in the Far Eastern philosophical concept of KARMA...justice eventually prevailed here.
I) "The BAKA"...excellent National Geo film about the "small people" in an African nation...sosh! students, for their first time, were "exposed" to a culture far from our America! They loved it!
J) "The DREAMTIME"...another totally excellent national Geo film, on the original Aussie's (Aborigines) culture...sooo good!
K) "The RUSSIAN CIRCUS"...yes, National Geo...this sosh! class film gave my students yet another view of a different culture outside our American culture. As always, the soshers! have a special original 'packet' to, on their own, analyze this culture and score their own grade.
L) This educator would tape, for Gov't, segments from actual courtroom cases on TV...students viewed all of the case but the decision rendered by the judge...sudents then, like a judge, had to ponder and write down their decision for the case and their own reasonings, all in a special packet...for that all-important grade! - Those SOLs....(coming....)

361 - SCHOOL CLASS METHODS THAT WORKED!...(PART II)...

8) GUESTS in AMERICAN government classes....For years, our guests included judges, prosecutors, lawyers, a FBI agent, CIA agent, policepersons, an ABC agent and a State Trooper...all were invited to our classes for the day. We had a respectfulful confab every class, each semester. Both sides could ask questions, face to face. This uique teaching method was a total success for the students and the guests!...and me! Not a single administrator positively reinforced the students' participation and their efforts.
9) Invitations to join another class confab...we tried it once...no more takers...worked!
10) As a Senior Class sponsor.... Our "Signature Wall"...our Prom...designed and created the original "Signature Wall!" at my school. This contribution, I ahve to admit, was this guy's bestest leagacy. Two long halls were originally set aside, agreement with that administrator. This guy KNEW that it would become a success, to hold a 4'x8' flat particle board, painted school color blue, with a title date in gold at top. 1990 was our first year in place, with each year, later, following suit with the blue and gold, BUT different year. A 4'x8' sheet of plastic sealed over top the 'Signature Wall" after every senior for that year had a chance to sign it in a prescribed same-sizle small block.
Educators and students from around the State came to chck it out and to use the idea in their own style back home. And the tradition DID live on going all the way down one side. Remember, we originally had an agreement to have thee "Signature Wall" go down the opposite side of that hall! In the meantime, art cases were added in that hall???? Thru the grapvine, this guy heard a couple of years ago that the entire "Signature Wall" walls would be taken down and stacked away!!!....that was at least 15 walls for posterity. Are our legendary "SIGNATURE WALLS" continuing?
11) EVERY HALL NAMED.... That same 1990 class, officers, created a plan that named every hall with a special name...and sign!
12) As a Junior Class sponsor...our JUNIOR/SENIOR Prom for 1990 was absolutely a remarable success, due to the small group of Junior Officers who worked with it! We designed a huge indoor water fountain on a raised platform, fountain, shooting higher. This guy, for weeks, quietly copied old annual pics and current pics to creat a slide show that was projected high above on a huge W&M Hall pull-down screen to entertain all evening. Two teachers, one in English and one in Auto, couldn't cease thanking all the officers!
13) Our PEP RALLY REVIVAL...Pep Rallies, for years, had been "turned off." One of my Senior Class officer groups decided to tackle that issue, too. And we did plan and executed a NEW Pep Rally for the first time in years!
14) Our "CAN CASTLE"...was created by one of my SCA groups for Thanksgiving. Instead of just collecting cans and boxes of food, we designed a unique "CAN CASTLE." The "Can Castle" was built up in the main Commons so that all students could participate individually, not compete as a class for prizes. Was different and a visual effort to share with the community later, via the local Salvation Army. Have not seen this creative giving program done before or since!
15) The "HOLIDAY TREE".... Yes, we were forbidden to use the word Christmas" in any way, and even words that were connected to "Christmas." My SCA called it a "Holiday Tree." Had to use an artificial tree, too, in the main Commons. And elementary school class volunteered to design and create "Holiday" ornaments. Students could bring "gifts' for under the tree that were given to the Salvation Army later.
15) The SCA OFFICERS for a couple of years, with Scottie as Prez....sometines I think back at the five coeds that year and what they accomplished! Bravo!
16) American gov't..."Original Research!" We had a large list of possible "original' subjects (they come come up with one, too) connected to government. Their task was to first learn methods of researching, then search out info, without knowing where they were headed...could NOT know the outcome first! An example for one involved whether our federal gov't had or had not been "hiding" UFO data? The researcher also was responsible for personal interviews to gain data. They knew that the PROCESS was important, carrying them over to other assignments in their own life and for future education.
17) A "sister" school.... One SCA group of officers had the original plan to choose and form a 'sister school' concept with a school out of the immediate area...another SCA!
18) This educator, in class, DID NOT espouse my personal political views and especially DID expect students to intelligently and with forethought speak out and share their own views and thoughts in front of each class...and with the right to agree or disagree with other's opinions!!....always.

(I do not care, when I turn around, if there is not one person behind me or beside me. If the project is good and right, that's what counts for me? However, it was gratifying to turn around and see many, over the years, standing BESIDE me!)

(It's time, now, that a bit of history was truthfully shared. Thousands of students over the years, thanking them always, knew that all of the creative projects mentioned here were appreciated! These dynamic groups and classes, during the '90s, and part of the next decade, have not been duplicated...not one! Thanks to thousands....)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

360- AMERICA'S HEROES #6....ZAC SUNDERLAND...

This Calilifornia 16-year-old, when he began his trip around the world in a yacht, June 14, 2008 and arrived back on July 17, 2009 at the age of 17. Did I mention that he was the YOUNGEST to accomplish that circumnavigating feat?

I girl, 16 this summer and an excellent "sailor" in Europe, was ready to sail alone around around the world, but a court stepped in and denied her from sailing alone!
Is this a case where gender is trumped? Is it safer for the guy than the girl? Ponder.....

359- grits...Grits...GRITS!.....

Ok, are/is GRITS plural or singular?
Our Southern society, over the years, has been famous for the use of GRITS on their everyday menus. Old-fashion folk would never think of preparing instant grits, instead, cooking a pot from "scratch." Baked grits...grits with bacon bits...cheddar grits...fried grits....with GRAVY, yeah!...more?
Usually, grits are a side to eggs, bacon, ham...in other words, for breakfast. By the way, breakfast comes from "break the fast", sleeping over night!
The Amish and Mennonites always served up a hearty breakfast on the farm, and PIE was a standard fare. Not sure about "them grits."
Serving GRITS good 'n hot with a meal is a given, and they're not just for breakfast, anymore!
So....do YOU like "them grits?"

Friday, August 14, 2009

358- SCHOOL CLASSROOM METHODS THAT WORKED!...(PART I)...

My Sociology (sosh!) classes and American government classes! These following teaching methods, especially the students' participation over the semesters and years, were the personal highs for this educator...I loved 'em!

1) the sosh! "Culture trip"....
Every semester sosh! students chipped in a small amount and rented a good
bus or two, not a Yellow, and explored far beyond their studies on cultures.
They left early in the am, first stopping at the U.Va. Lawn area, getting a feel
for future university life and local history. Proceeded, next, up to Humpback Rocks at Afton...climbed to the top of the Rocks...explored, below, the old farm site. Then headed down into the Shenandoah Valley, stopping to explore the
American Museum of Frontier Culture at the edge of Staunton...Scots-Ulster, English, early American and German farms. They loved it! Then, pointing out Mary Baldwin College and Bridgewater College along the way on the backroads.
Stopped in Dayton at their Farmers' Market....had to "drag" them away,
especially the parents. Pointed out James Madison U. and then a few miles
north, on Rte.11, to Meems Bottom Covered Bridge! Told them a cultural
ghost story as the skies darkened for night. Hnndreds and hundreds of
sosh! students loved that "culture trip" every semester, over the years. Funny
thing...not a single administrator or teacher ever acknowledged the terrific
value gained from the students' experiences all those years!? Parents always went...each semester they had to sign up early to get in....
2) the sosh! "Parents Day" and "Friends Day".... Each semester in sosh!, parents were invited to sit in on their classes, being treated like another student...students and a parent could ask any question about parenting or students. Students brought snacks for all, until a principal decided it was not to be. "Friend Day"...with permission, a student could invited a friend from another class to sit in and talk about, interact about "friendship!" Students loved doing it! Funny thing...not a single adminstrator ever positively cheered the method. But, in time, suddenly and mysteriously, that program, too, was "stopped."
3) "PONDERABLES!"..... Every day, in both classes, a handful of "ponderables" were written up on a special place on the board...object? Each and any student could think and respond, one at a time...with their right, respectfully and politely, to express their thoughts, opinions...THEY had the floor! Then, anyone could agree, respectfully, or disagree, with what the first one stated! The "ponderables" were varied, everthing...current topics...statements...feelings. Years afterwards, would see a former student, and they would always mention "Ponderables" as being their top part of class! Funny thing, not a single adminstrators ever mentioned its value as a teaching, educational tool!
4) American government "COURT DAY!".... For years, every semester, we planned and spent the morning at the local Courthouse. The seniors sat in on REAL justice, everyday cases in action. Judge Zepkin would pause later in the morning, and students could ask questions while he sat on the Bench! Then we were taken on a tour, then downstairs to the holding rooms and the security control operations room. At each locational step, the Courthouse staff went the extra mile with my students. EVERYONE loved it! This teach always threw in a little reward by stopping, for lunch, at a nearby Ukrop's shopping center. Not a single administrator in all those years expressed any appreciation to me or the classes as a class, especially those HUNDREDS of students over the years...same for the fellow teachers.
5) the sosh! FIRST-GRADE CLASS VISITS EVERY SEMESTER.... My soshers!, individuals or small groups, composed 'tales' and a compilation booklet for the first-grade class. And we went. Juniors and seniors together in the neat class of first-graders. They broke up into small groups and paired up...ones beginning their educational journey and new friends who were completing their own high school journey, with most going on to college! The young students had written their own tales, and both agers shared, together. They went to lunch together...went to RECESS together. My soshers! LOVED it each semester. Funny, again, not a single administrator, or teacher, EVER thanked the sosh! classes--classes that were ALWAYS packed each semester--for their creative, exciting teaching method. One "lesser" administrator DID "pick on", try to create 'trouble' for the class method. That same "lesser" adminsistrator admitted that their job at school was to search out the "troublemakers." That's an educator? I'm not sure whether the first-graders or my soshers! got the most out the visit!
6) Our AMERICAN government class was spotlighted in the world news media for communicating with the everyday people of Cuba. The NBC Today Show with Katie Couric interviewed the class...was on live TV one morning. My students, on their own, wanted to listen and make up their own minds about whether America and Cuba should sit down and talk! CNN News came to the school to partricipate in a forum. Cuban TV came to interview the students. A Florida Representative cam to the class with a forum. One administrator did slip the word to me that it was okay to participate. Two Cuban diplomats came to the school to hand-deliver the letter from Pres. Castro to me...and the class, and we were invited to, as a class, go to Cuba. This guy received boxes of handwritten letters from ordinary Cubans expressing their like of Americans. Under the table, I was informed that the class could not go...I, hmmm, could. I refused to go without my class! No support whatsoever was shared by anyone, nor from administrators.....
7) AMERICAN government BREAKFAST..... Students wanted to hold a breakfast, in A. govt., with a confab to discuss current topics in America. We did...they brought all of the ingredients and prepared the meal. Was quite successful. However, after a time, we were told that "it" was no longer to be...gone! Hmmmm.....
8) Sosh! "CASE STUDIES"....thousands liked and loved the Case Studies over the years!! With this original and unique method of teaching, each student, in an always full class, was responsible for, prepared for and shared a "case study" of, for and by themselves...each one had their own day to present! They could bring in "stuff" to show and tell from their life. That student had the spotlight. All the others, including me, took "notes" in a special packet that eventually grew to 30-33 separate case studies. After each case study, classmates could, respectfully and politely, ask them questions about opinions and further details on what they had already shared. At the end of a month or so, this guy prepared a "test" consisting of comments and descriptions taken from each case study, and the class, as a "test", was responsible for solving WHO all 30-33 fellow classmates were! THAT, by the way, was an indepth method of teaching all the way from beginning to the conclusion. THEY were involved all the way throught the learning process method!
Did I mention, too, that they all learned how to go indepth with a case study, and they learned about each other?

357- NOTABLE QUOTES #1......

"Some men see things as they are and ask 'why?' I see things that never were and ask 'why not?'" (Robert Francis Kennedy) However, RFK did not originate this adage....

WOW! Goes along with that powerful ponderable earlier about every American citizen having the right to question authority, too.....squire

356- NEATEST ADVENTURES!!!!!......

a) Flying a small airplane at night...ok, for only a few seconds...friend, with a license, stopped by one evening, asking me if I wanted to try a new adventure! He was adding hours on night flying and landing! There are two sets of controls, by the way!
b) Getting lost, for a short time, in a "wild cave"....check it out in an earlier blog!
c) As a child, seeing a group of "men" going bonkers in the neighborhood when a black bear wandered into the area...bear climbed a tree...saw them shoot the confused bear! Embossed in my memory bank the tragic scene.
d) Catching a ride on a loooong freight train...and then, later, jumping off with two friends!
e) Seeing Michelangelo's "Pieta" (sculpture of Mary holding Jesus) in person in New York!
f) Cruise in Hawai'i...won the trip with an original recipe for a doughnut!...really fell in like with Maui (one of my The Serpentine Bond! coeds comes from Maui!)
g) Trip to a SuperBowl in New Orleans...fell in like with the Big Easy...won the trip!...Joe Montana (no kin to Hanna) was the quarterback!
h) Being interviewed by Katie Couric on the NBC "The Today Show"....
i) Seeing my very first article published in a magazine...was in the Virginia Wildlife Mag ...and about trout fishing in the North River Gorge in Augusta County's Appalachian Mountains! (Still remember an English teacher telling me, as a HS senior, that this guy would never amount to much in creative writing.)
j) Seeing the Beatles sing in person...oh, were off-key.
k) Was invited to spend a week, one summer, on a Mennonite farm in the Valley. Volunteered to do everything the family would do, including getting up at 5 or so...(oh mi ga!)...working in the fields...learning to milk cows...slop the pigs...swing on a rope in a great, huge barn, then drop far below to the hay...feed the chickens (liked that) and help learn to bake bread! Those meals were soooo good! NO TV...no radio/music.... And went to prayer meeting and Sunday country church. By the end of the week, this guy was beginning to buff up a bit and get use to the schedule. I NOW understand much better and appreciate their way of life!!! Yes, that old Native American oriverb of walk a mile in my shoes was a truism. And another by the way...grew up in the Church of the Brethren, originally called the Dunkards. Way back they were kin to the Amish and Mennonites. Helped me, then, to get in touch with my original heritage, roots!
l) Invited to a social, in Senate Office Bldg., for Sen. John Warner's election as one of Virginia's U.S. senators. Wife, Elizabeth Taylor.....
m) Entered a Statewide regional competition for the Virginia Storytelling Festival in NorFOLK. Earned a 1st there and went on to Charlottesville for the State Storytelling competition. Told an Uncle Remus tale, "the Tar Baby", using the dialects and voices of each character...hmmmm, was declared a Virginia Storyteller winner...an honor much appreciated.
n) Volunteered, as a teen, to fight a forest fire. THE most difficult task EVER physically tackled. Was on the side of a mountain and fall warm! Smoke...a line of intense fire moving rapidly forward. When the wind shifted, we had to drop below a shin ribbon of fresh air. BUT, the most difficult and laborious part of fighting a forest fire came afterwards when we walked , slanted, through the forest, with a heavy water tank on my back, and doused EVERY spart, especially digging them out.
o) Visited, quietly, many different kinds of church services over the years, including a Catholic service in New York City's St. Patrick's Cathedral and a tiny church on Maui by the ocean.
p) Being invited onto a British SUBMARINE...and exploring throughout it!
q) Being invited onto an American BATTLESHIP and AIRCRAFT CARRIER in the NorFORK harbor! Huge ships...if tis true that one could stand on the edge of the flight stage and fall off, easily! I didn't....
r) Listening, late one Saturday night in New Orleans, to The New Orleans Preservation Band! All of the musicians were seniors and came in around midnight, after playing at different clubs. They jammed with their instruments, and this guy jammed in my mind for an adventure and experienced worth millions to me! The neat, little older lady pounded away on her upright piano with such passion.... The Cajun emsemble even had a washboard musician. What a thrill for ron rascal!
s)

355- "NOW YOU KNOW" DISCOVERIES #3...THOSE EARLY RESUME JOBS!....

Enough of us have earned $$ throughout the years....
a- As a munchkin, sold packages of seeds around the neighborhood!
b- Also sold small "Lucky Clover" salve tins....
c- Cleaned out my great-Uncle Sam's (real name) chicken house!
d- Picked veggies in his garden!
e- Picked fruit, for two elderly ladies, in exchange for local history stuff!
f- Took care of a piano teacher's flower garden after practicing!
g- Delivered newspapers via 'Shank's Mare'...on foot!...NEVER again!
h- Dug, one summer, natural gasline ditches looking for leaks...now know that many of America's towns are ripe for blowing up! This town had a stacked list of gas leaks underground. Digging, once, I hit a leak that spewed up through the ground...was terrified! Forman simply stuck some mud in small pinhole..."We'll send a backhoe over this week!" Discovered that natural has no detectable smell, with a "smell" added to pipes for us to notice!
i- Carved little wooden cross necklaces while at summer camp!
k- Worked one summer at a burger place!
l- One summer as a pool lifeguard!...great!
m- Supermarket, learning most jobs there...bagged groceries...produce dept. (learned so much there)...and as a cashier! Would go in very early to help unload trucks...muscles.
n- Educator!
o- Local art shows....original photographs...fun and successful!
p- Also, same art shows, with hundreds of created artworks..."BlueButtercups(tm)"...

All of these added to my life's WEALTH of EXPERIENCES...........
and what about you? Have any unusual or just plain usual jobs on your resume?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

354- Q-U-E-S-T-I-O-N AUTHORITY, WITH INTELLIGENCE, POLITELY, RESPECTFULLY But With PERSISTANCE!....

Again...."It is the first responsibility of every citizen to QUESTION authority!"
Our early icon American founding father, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, pondered that truism way back in the late 1700s. But he, and I, stress the absolute need to be respectfully polite in doing so. Think and know what you are questioning BEFORE you question. Jot your points down, first, to aid your clear thinking and delivery....and believe in what you ask and say...that's what I call being passionate!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

253- LOVE THOSE "URBAN LEGENDS!".....THANGS THAT GO, UH, BUMP IN THE LATE NIGHT AIR!!!.....

1) Waller Mill Park after dark, after closing! Two have shared with me what they heard after closing last summer, in June, and one year later this June. Gates were closed...a little girl's voice was heard counting outloud in the direction of the present bike and hike trail that once upon a time were the RR tracks from the main C&O line over to Camp Peary. An urban legend tale long ago mentions that there was an accident along those RR tracks involving a little girl.....
2) 1910 cave-in in downtown Staunton...at least four sinkholes suddenly appeared in the middle of this old town. One two-story house disappeared completely. A man and a boy, entrepreneurs, paddled people, for 10-cents, around on the small lake, until it too slowly disappeared. An urban legend spread, back then, that there was a huge subterranian lake under that town. This adventurer did, once, wade in a submerged creek down, underground, to a waterfall in the center of that town...Central Ave. at W. Beverley...ALL underground, being able to look up under store buildings that very few have ever known existed! Did I see any urban legend "monsters"? Maybe for another blog....
3) Our Lake Matoaka urban legend: at times, after midnight, something in the dark waters of the many fingers of the Lake created a sudden clatter of ducks and geese into the air! Just before the Lake's squawking episode all is an eerie quiet...noisy frogs stop their clamor...the insect sounds cease. Something long and dark is said to glide through the water, with a strange head and neck, only, protruding a bit from the water. Once, a few students set out to record, sight and sounds, after midnight one spring late night. They made their way far back into the small coves and fingers of the Lake, deep into the woods, where very few had ever ventured. The three crept along the Lake edge that adventurous night after midnight. What they observed and heard that night was recorded in one's notebook...those notes mysteriously has since disappeared....
4) Richmond, our Capital city....have read about a parcel of urban legends there, especially in Hollywood Cemetery and around the 1925 train cave-in on Church Hill, East Broad Street. (Can check an earlier blog on that 1925 train cave-in)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

352- the squire's FAVE ROMANTIC COMEDY OF ALL FILMDOM?......

........."You've Got Mail!" Anyone else have a fave romantic comedy film?

351- THE FILMS Of JOHN HUGHES....REMEMBER ANY OF THESE?....

"Sixteen Candles"..."Pretty in Pink"..."Weird Science"..."Ferris Bueller's Day Off"..."She's Having a Baby"..."Uncle Buck"..."The Breakfast Club" to name some. He produced, also, "Mr. Mom"..."Planes, Trains & Automobiles" and "National Lampoon's Vacation"....
We mourn and HONOR our American filmmaker....

Monday, August 3, 2009

349- "NOW YOU KNOW" DISCOVERIES #2...."I YAM SOMEBODY!"...

This personal declaration is simple but soooo important as to your worth....I AM SOMEBODY! Do not ever allow anyone to dimish your personal worth or importance, especially to yourself...and to friends and family. You are the only one who can allow someone, anyone, to get into your mind and diminish your very own psyche, being! And who declared this? YOU DID!

348- "NOW YOU KNOW" DISCOVERIES #1!...."CREAMED CORN"....

The "real" creamed corn is not what you think....
The old-fashioned creamed corn was prepared way back during the farm era of early America. Using fresh corn ears from the garden, a knife was used to cut off the kernals of corn, straight down from top to bottom, row after after row. Then, the knife was carefully pressed into the just sliced rows to squeeze out the MILK from the cob, all in a large shallow bowl or pan. The sliced corn kernals and cob milk were simmered, creating a thickened dish. Add a bit of seasoning, too, to suit taste. NOW you know...NO MILK, as you know it.

347- "PMP!"....."POSITIVE MENTAL POWER!!...."PMP!"....

Power to your, MIND (to the 'people', too)! If you think that you are a quitter, you are....
As Otis P. Suggins often says after milkin' the cows early each morning, 7 days a week, "Thinketh...then make it happen if'n you feel it's the right 'thang' to do! By the way, neighbors, cows on a farm don't take a vacation, nor do they understand DST!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

346- CHANGE?....I DON'T WANNA CHANGE........

.....our American basic traditions gleamed slowly over the past 200+ years!
I don't wanna change our rich heritage, from all 50 States, that has taken our country ahead of the others in so many ways, like "democracy" and going the extra mile for our "neighbors"....
I don't wanna change our history, with faults, in order to appease a small group!
I don't wanna change our U.S. Constitution in favor of the U.S. Supreme Court...only, as it dictates in the Constitution, through the process in the Legislative Branch!
I don't wanna apologize to the rest of the world for being an American!
With all of our evolving societal problems, at times, over the decades, I am PROUD to be an AMERICAN, today, tomorrow and next year!!
I do wanna change my shirt....when you see me out and about, look for the RED patriotic T-shirt. People keep trying to trade me for it, or ask where I got it! Got it at JCP...that's James Cash Penney's place.

Oh, by the way, is there anyone who will stand up with me, believe in the philosophy shared in this blog?...rss

Saturday, August 1, 2009

345- "FRIED GREEN TOMATOES"...The Film!...1991!...

Adapted, sorta, from "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe", written by Fanny Flagg. Suggest you go back and READ the book!

Tells a story, with flashbacks.
a- Evelyn Couch b- Ed Couch
c- Idgie Threadgoode d- Big George
e- Sipsy f- Ninny Threadgoode
g- Ruth Jamison h- Buddy Threadgoode
i- Buddy Threadgoode, Jr j- Frank Bennett (boo-hiss)
k-Rev. Scroggins l- Curtis Smoot (Valdosa sheriff)...
m- Grady Kilgore n- Smokey Lonesome ( my FAVE!)

Scenes to watch...a- near beginning, when Ed and Evelyn drive up to closed Whistle Stop Cafe and Evelyn "sees" a train pass!...(foreshadowing)...b- young Ruth, young Idgie & Buddy stroll along dam...c- early on picnic by train tracks!...d- flashbacks...e- hey, there are just toooo many neat scenes, so, you'll have to view the entire film for the first time or for your 16th time!

OH MI GA! At the very last scene, was Ninny Threadgoode actually....Idgie? Hmmmmm....

344- "POMMES d'AMOUR".....LOVE 'EM?....

The French called TOMATOES "pomme d'amour"...'apples of love' (not sure why).
The Italians called them "pomi a'oro"....'golden apples' (even more not sure why).
But the Aztecs were the first to cultivate the FRUIT and liked mixing them with chilies!
When some Spanish travelers brought them to Europe during the 16th century, the word spread in the European countries that tomatoes were poisonous. That belief, in turn, in the 17th century, carried back to early America, and that's how we find the story of Thomas Jefferson eating a tomato in public near Monticello.
This historian, and tomato lover, has a habit of dining on a tomato, or tomahto, every day, when possible. And, since childhood, liked-----'mater sandwiches!
The bestest tomatoes, I believe, are the ones straight from the garden, with a quick rubbing off of dirt, and attacking the entire fruit!

THE BESTEST 'MATER SANDWICH: two slices of fresh thick homemade bread...a slathering of REAL mayo on inside top and bottom...thick round slices of garden 'maters laid gently on the mayonnaised bottom slice...a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper rubbed between my thumb and index finger over the 'mater slices....and then gently laying the top mayonnaised slice of bread on top of the 'maters!...lastly, slicing across the middle with a fave knife, making two individual 'wiches to savor, slowly, with sweetened iced tea in a GLASS, never a cup! (I think I hear someone muttering right now that a slice or three of cheddar cheese on the 'maters are their fave style...go for it!)