Saturday, February 27, 2010

468- "WHO YOU GONNA CALL WHEN THE WORLD NEEDS HELP?"....

A-M-E-R-I-C-A, that's who!
I dare anyone to tell me that our country, our United States of America, is a pissant nation!
Let's talk about Haiti...
Let's talk about, now, Chile ('Chil-a'). Once again, what nation will, quickly, go to the rescue of our neighbor in southern South America. Hey, watch and see!
This guy has gotten to know many of the students, over the past handful of years, who come to work for a few months in Williamsburg, Virginia. One was from Chile and just left for a special tour around D.C. He has, by now, learned of the earthquake hitting his homeland, including a tsunami. My thoughts go out to him, his family and Chilean neighbors. Have heard no word....
And now OUR Hawai'i is under a Tsunami alert!
Latest...NO tsunami for our 50th State! Did spend a week in Hawai'i and was concerned about the tsunami hitting the beaches there!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

467- THIS COLORADO TEACHER IS A H-E-R-O!..A TEACHER WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE!.....

This Littleton, Colorado Math educator, Dr. David Benke, got involved and tackled a shooter right after the sicko began to fire, hitting two students. One is now out of the hospital, and other remains. Dr. Benke was coming out of his Deercreek Middle School and saw the (former 1992 8th-grader) shooter, standing outside the school door. Another teacher came by and pitched in to help subdue the shooter, also.
Deercreek, by the way, is not far from the carnage scene at another school, Columbine High School.
A teacher hero!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

466- A REVELATION?...ABOUT OUR U.S. CENSUS!....

Here's what this American government educator has discovered.
Our U.S. Consitution does not say that all AMERICAN CITIZENS in our country must be counted every ten years. It does, however, state that ALL PERSONS must be counted. So, for years, OUR census has only counted, or tried to count, all persons. That matter whether they are American citizens or not. Again...HOW MANY PERSONS.... That also means that it is possible for millions of non-citizens every ten years to be and will be counted, falsely inflating figures for the U.S. Representatives distribution for all 50 states and qualifying for state and local funds! See...what happens if a state is in a position on the map where large numbers of persons currently live and not as legal citizens?
That every ten year count is important. It decides how many U.S. Representatives will be selected from each state, meaning the number of Reps for a state may change up, down or remain the same. There are 435 (+3 from D.C.) seats that never changes in number.
Also, our U.S. Census counts trickle down throughout the system to localities, helping to decide who gets what and how much.....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

465- music...MUSIC...M-U-S-I-C!!!!....

A) Pause a moment, or three, for all of you billions of FILM admirers.... Suppose that your fave film had NO music and no musical score...whatsoever? Not a peep.... My beautiful daughter, Sarah, now grown up, liked 'Dirty Dancing' and had a crush on that dancer guy.
B) Cousin Brucie...Cousin Brucie...Cousin Brucie! This DJ continues, after all of these years, with two shows, now, on XM-Radio! He's a walkin'-talkin' expert on rock 'n roll MUSIC.
C) And guess who, when out and about during the summer and all over my native Virginia's 'blue highways" and country roads, rolls the windows down and plays loud music while searching for ancient barns, abandoned farmhouses, swinging bridges and old standing train depots? Do the cows in the fields mind?
D) All of them, in the fields, do turn and stare. Once, saw cows in a second field, removed, move for a closer look or to listen to the music!
E) ....but friends know that freakin' COWS are always, out in the country, stampeding TOWARDS me! It's actually serious, not a joke. This guy, when out and about photographing the countryside, barns, old depots and especially abandoned farmhouses ("GHOST FARMS!"), I have to continually be on guard for freakin' cows. They chase me...they try to come through a fence towards me. One of my essays published tells how, at age 10 or so, my grandmother Cline (Rockingham County in Shenandoah Valley) asked me to go across her meadow up to ancient barn on the hillside. to fetch eggs for her baking. Scared, I entered the old barn door...adjusting my eggs inside the dark, dank barn. Was a raised walkway all the way down the middle on the main barn floor. I was safe on tha raised walkway with a fence on sides. Found a few eggs along the way, then decided to jump down into one of the stalls where I had seen a chicken. Was dark.
Felt under the stall, in the hay, for a nest of eggs.
All of a sudden...heard a deep, rumbling throaty moan.....(More to follow.....).....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

464- YOUR FAMILY?....WHO WAS YOUR WONDERFUL, To-Get To Know, GREAT-GRANDMOTHER?.....

A) And I discovered that my great-grandmother's name was---ESTHER! This researcher even uncovered an early photograph of her and have pondered a bit on what she was like, how her voice sounded. Also, uncovered a series of handwritten diaries from my great-grandfather, John Marshal Steffey, with his full 1894-style beard. Found, too, the basement ruins, with floor plan, of their late 1800s homeplace. With the help of a relative's recollections as a child, pieced together what that neat 1-1/2 story home was life. So, a detailed model of my early ancestor's homeplace was fasuoned from balsawood, one of my hobbies. Over twenty (20) detailed, scaled models of local buildings and Virginia barns have been created!
B) My aim and goal, though, is to influence YOU in uncovering YOUR ancestral background...folk! THAT is another secret to slipping excitement into YOUR life!
C) In case you've ever had a bit of curiosity about where you came from, why not take the first steps, yourself, and begin that looong journey into uncovering your ancestral family! Better yet, ask a relative to join your search. This guy, as a little boy, was introduced to building Tuco puzzles, learning needed skills in life, like sticking to a puzzle, project, until completed...focusing intensively upon, often, just one needed piece...learning to visualize the total picture AND how it would eventually be when completed!
And that puzzle skill, yes, carried over into my search for my family going waaay back.
D) Again, my goal is to influence YOU into searching for YOUR family history. Begin to begin....
E) If nothing more, Google to Ancestry Search/HOW...or head for your fave library to check out one of many possiblities...they're there!
My research partner is a 2nd cousin, Charlotte Ann, from Ohio. She has really gotten into learning how to and uncovering our Steffy/Steffey ancestors. We share....

Monday, February 15, 2010

463- DREAM CATCHERS...NOT JUST A CUTE MOBILE HANGING From The CEILING!.....!....

Dream catchers actually come from an early Native American tradition based on a respected belief that dreams are filled with purpose and meaning. Our early Native Americans carefully designed a dream catcher for a definite purpose...to allow no vital "good" message from within their dreams to be lost, and to banish any "bad" trying to come into and through the hole in the center.
That carefully designed and constructed dream catcher is a----hoop with feathers, crystals and beads joined together in a web-like net, resembling a cobweb, with a hole in the center, too.
Your traditional positive thoughts protect YOU from any harm while you rest and sleep.
"Good" dreams are retained and "bad" dreams are vanished as they drop though that hole in the center.
As a Sociology educator, the study of CULTURES has always fascinated me!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

462- "LOUIE, LOUIE...."...THE REAL WORDS TO THIS "MYTH" AFTER ALL OF THESE YEARS!.....

This sociologist uncovered the REAL, original lyrics to this popular song that, for decades, listeners thought WERE the real lyrics! I will tell you what they honestly were....AND what the lyrics were thought to be, but were a myth, passed along by word of mouth by the youth of that era, until generations accepted them as TRUTH! Those youth wanted the lyrics to be?....on the "smutty" side.
The song actually was about a lovesick sailor's story to a bartender, Louie! Stories, over the decades, circulate that if one played the 45 RPM at 33-1/3 RPM, it would yield smutty lyrics.

"Louie, Louie,
me gotta go.
Louie, Louie,
me gotta go.

A fine little girl, she wait for me;
me catch a ship across the sea.
I sailed the ship alone;
I never think I'll make it home.

Three nights and days we sailed the sea;
me think of girl constantly.
On the ship, I dream she there;
I smell the rose in her hair.

Me see Jamica moon above;
I won't be long me see me love.
Me take her in my arms and then
I tell her I never leave again.

(However, adolescents, by word of mouth and notes, for the next handful of years after "Louie, Louie" came out in '53, wrote their own "sexier" versions that circulated and continue on today!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

461- READY For OUR NEW "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" QUARTERS?.....

1) Appears that there will be 56 new "America the Beautiful" quarters for us to collect! The first five come out this year, including "Hot Springs National Park" (Arkansas)..."Yellowstone National Park" (Wyoming)..."Yosemite National Park" (California)..."Grand Canyon National Park" (Arizona)...and "Mt. Hood National Forest" (Oregon).
2) The new quarters begin this year, 2010, and conclude in 2021!
3) Our Virginia is honored with only one..."Shenandoah National Park" in 2014!
4) This historian just ordered the first "America the Beautiful" quarter..."Hot Spring NP"....

460- NATIONAL ISSUES FORUMS...THE TIME HAS COME!.....

This sociology educator now realizes that there has been a National Issues Forum for a number of years, thanks to a comment from "Connie"...go to http: //www.nifi.org/
My suggestion would be to elevate the Forums to include grassroots (local) America. With that larger sector of American society, the entire country should and will get involved. You'll appreciate this additional site above and its nonpartisan philosophy...again, thank you ,"Connie", for enlightening me!

1) and the main concern? To focus NATIONALLY, on national television, for millions of concerned Americans to see different sides, and beyond, of the national issue! With our recent modern and advanced systems of communication, Americans will be able to text or e-mail their own personal opinions during the Forums almost instantaneously, with input! WOW...imagine the ramifications, finally, of such a total National Issues Forum!!!!! All of America would and could be talking about the issues at hand!
2) another issue?....Stem Cell Research.
3) this week (2/23/'10) there was an attempt at creating a NATIONAL issues form on "healthcare"...but the attempt was poorly executed by the prez! As a FAIR and honorable "moderator", the "leader" MUST not inject his/her own agenda into the forum. This one was totally inept from the leadership position. He talked and talked and talked, to hear himself talk, to place himself on a pedestal instead of openingly and fairly allowing each person to present.
When an "opposition" speaker finished, not agreeing with the moderator, the moderator commanded the last word, cutting apart what was said, trying to be in command! At the conclusion of the looooong 7+ hours, once again the moderator did not correctly sum up both sides of the issue, but instead uttered a threat that a 51-vote would be used, no matter what, to push through his own agenda! It has been clear for some months that an America majority, in general, do not like nor do not want the "healthcare bill", as pushed by the prez.
This attempt at a national issues forum was NOT the proper way to utilize such a potentially important way of informing the most Americans! We'll keep trying, though.

459- OK, THIS WEATHER PROGNOSTICATOR MISSED THE BIG EAST COAST SERIES OF SNOWSTORMS BY ONE (1) YEAR!....

Publicly, and in this earlier blog a year ago, this guy, after consulting with the weather experts in Stingy Hollow up in the Shenandoah Valley, had predicted that Virginia (Williamsburg) would experience a great BIG SERIES of snowstorms...that it was time! I admit it! I was exactly one year too early. It's now February 2010...look outside, guys!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

458- WILL THERE BE A U.S. POSTAL SERVICE (USPS) IN 2014?....

Our U.S. Society, whether we like it or not, has been evolving, changing for over 200 years!
Think back just in the past ten years or so...the Internet Age.....think back....
Some of us predict that USPS, the Post Office, has failed to understand the Internet world and what was coming...e-mail is one example!
And some of us predict that, by 2014, Post Office buildings will not exist as we know them: quite a few less in numbers and different when we walk inside...very different. That is, if the thinkers and doers can get their act together and save what's left. Stamps? Collecting those stamps will become quite a collectors' item, much more so, for stamps as we know them will not exist....(more....)

457- TWO JAMES MADISON U. STUDENTS CHARGED WITH FELONY, THROWING SNOWBALLS......

A) Yes, this past Saturday, two JMU collegians were charged with a felony for throwing "snow missles" at a snowplow operator and an unmarked police car. Gosh, did anyone with the Harrisonburg Public Works Dept., plowing snow, and the police dept. in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, overreact? Just because the snowplow operator had so many snowballs thrown at the windshield...and the unmarked police car policeperson had lots of snow thrown into the open car window when the door was opened, does that mean the two JMU students deserve a felony charge?
What do YOU think?
B) What was the outcome of this case according to a Harrisonburg newspaper?
-Both pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, with a deal reached with proscutors.
-They received probation and 8 hours of picking up trash.
-Originally, they were charged with throwing a missle (snowball) at a vehicle in use in a public place....and they threw a missle (snowball) at an occupied vehicle, a felony!
-Plus, the two must submit letters of apology to officers involved in the case.
C) And what does this sociology teach think about this case? BOOO...the weather at the time was during a snowstorm! I feel that the policepersons definitely took a personal stance, allowing personal "feelings" to get involved, maybe even realizing that the "perps" WERE JMU STUDENTS!...the two COLLEGE STUDENTS were and did NO harm to both the huge, mighty snowplow and the persons inside the unmarked police car, who were, by the way, NOT touched with the snow, safe inside the car! In my opinion, they overreacted...BOOOO II....
Therefore, in my opinion of the case, the two JMU students were overcharged because they WERE university students, period!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

456- "WHO DAT?...WHO DAT? WHO DAT SAY DEY GONNA BEAT DEN SAINTS?".....

This is, this past weekend, the chant of team support by the fans of the New Orleans Saints!!
This sociologist won't listen to any negative gar-bage that this phrase is improper English. It UNITED, it is UNITING one of our top fave American cities!
This guy was fortunate to have attended a SuperBowl at the SuperDome in New Orleans, the Big Easy, before the flood and remember and was heavily influenced by the old city. One of my seven characters, RAIN, in my 600+ page novel, The Serpentine Bond!, is THE university student from The Big Easy. She's a strong coed, who knows where she is headed. The shingle hanging outside her small suite of offices in the Garden District, one day, will tell her and the Big Easy that she has "arrived."

1) The expression originated way back in early minstrel and vaudeville shows in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Was picked up by jazz and big band performers later in '20s and '20s. Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet, mentions it in his "When Mindy Sings." And later in his lyrics to a song, "Who Dat Say Chicken in dis Crowd?"
2) Today, NFL is once again trying to introduce a civil suit about the expression's ownership. No way will it fly...expression is in the "public domain." Look at the brieft history above.
***No matter what, again, NEW ORLEANS, The Big Easy, simply NEEDS this morale boost at this given time, period!!!! You go, New Orleans...you go, New Orleans Saints and all those citizens who remained or came back to rebuild THEIR CITY!

Monday, February 8, 2010

455- WAS/IS THERE REALLY A "LITTLE DEBBIE"?......

MOST DEFINITELY! And do YOU have a fave?
In the early '60s, company founder, O.D. and Ruth McKee, created a line of snack foods but needed a name. They chose their little granddaughter, little DEBBIE! An artist, hired to draw little Debbie, originally did so in B&W, using her fave play clothes and straw hat. Little Debbie's parents, didn't discover the snack foods, until they first were on the shelves.
The very first Little Debbie cookie was the Oatmeal Creme Cookie...still sold, and the unique family pack carton costs 49c. Within a short time, the Nutty Bars Wafer bars and Swiss Cake Rolls were added, and are still sold. Today, in 2010, there are 75 varieties going strong across America on the shelves.
Again, what is your fave??

Sunday, February 7, 2010

454- THE WORLD'S MOST FASCINATING HISTORY MYSTERIES #10..."CLEOPATRA and MARK ANTONY".....

One of the "World's Most Fascinating History Mysteries" and "history's most famous love stories" is Cleopatra and Mark Antony"
And was the last Egyptian queen, 51 BC to 30 BC, actually beautiful?
1) The actual burial site of Cleopatra? With persistance and perspiration, it appears that the site may be coming close to being discovered, soon, out amongst the sand dunes of Egypt. (I'll keep you up to date....)
2) "Beautiful?".....some historians say not! Coins from her era show her with a hooked nose and masculine features.
3) With historic proof, Cleopatra was intelligent...charming...ambitious...was the only one in her "kingdom group" to speak Egyptian...persuasive...quick thinking...charismatic...and could speak nine (9) languages!!
4) Mistress of Julius Caesar....did she marry him?
5) Mark Antony and their great love story....(coming.....)
6) William Shakespeare's influence?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

453- THE "AH-FACTOR"..."UH, LIKE, YOU KNOW".....

One of the very first "squire's view" blogs introduced this same subject two years ago, for your consideration!

A) As an enthusiastic grad member of the Toastmasters Club (International), this educator honestly learned sooo much and for listening to other speakers trying to communicate...sooo much.
B) And the fine art of communication means almost everything when in front of or at a local meeting...on television...a U.S. Senator or U.S. Rep trying to express their views in public...a teacher standing in front of a class sharing how the U.S. Constitution selects our president...a Frost poem...or a President giving a State of the Union Address.
C) Someone at a Toastmasters' meeting is appointed as the "AH COUNTER" and gives a count after each meeting's speech. The GOAL is to earn a "O".
D) TIMED...each speech is timed! If the speaker cannot get across the main point/s within a prescriped time, they didn't "pass' that speech. There is also a set schedule of types of speeches to be given to earn a Toastmasters course grad degree. All types of speeches have to be passed by the group to graduate!
E) As a philosophy major, earlier, an excellent Logic class and prof, taught us the centuries-old classic methods of listening to someone and deducing whether the TRUTH was imparted. Whether they were making sense and getting to the point.This collegiate class was and still is my all-time fave! In another earlier blog, portions of that class were explained for you.
F) In conclusion...LISTEN carefully to someone talking in any venue, trying to "persuade" you. Do they constantly use AH...LIKE...UH...YOU KNOW? If they do, that's a shame. They are turning you off, NOT communicating 100%!
G) In my opinion, then, this researcher simply feels it is a FARCE that the current prez is an "excellent" speaker and communicator. Using the data above, he does not pass the Toastmaster course! I, and many others, when jotting down what he is saying, CANNOT follow him for he constantly jumps around. And his "AHS" and "UHS" and "YOU KNOWs" turn us off in trying to listen. He IS nowhere near a good speaker, communicator. When the "press" continually says that he is, people think that he is. That is, logically, a FALSE conclusion. USE YOUR OWN INTELLIGENCE, listen and think for yourself.
H) And who was or is an excellent communicator in national forums? One, for sure, was Ronald Wilson Reagan...Bill O'Reilly (minus his lack of manners with guests)
I) And former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is, today, a totally excellent speaker. For the record, this Toastmaster grad decided to observe, for some time, Gov. Huckabee's speaking abilities on TV during many venues to figure out why. He is soooo good, smooth and comes across with a rare sense of honesty, intelligence and caring!! The Gov. uses no notes or crib sheets nor writes notes on his hand!
J) Listened and observed an interview on national news this past weekend. As a Toastmaster grad, counted the number of just "YOU KNOWs" used by the national speaker. She used "YOU KNOW" 12 times within five (5) minutes before I switched to another news program, too iritating to listen to more from her!
K) "Meet...uh...our...uh...uh...White House...uh...Press Secretary...uh...ah...." I also highly suggest that the main White House person learn to observe himself with the very same speaking problem! An 'ah counter' would run out of paper listening to any of those talks or speeches...listen!
L) The bottom line, though, is one of HOPE! We HOPE that everyone of the 'ah counters' will observe and realize how they look and sound to and for anyone TRYING to communicate with them, be it one on one, in a group or huge autidence.
M) This Toastmaster grad has noticed that ministers, speaking in those huge auditoriums, are quite adroit with speaking without the use of those irritating 'ahs' and 'you knows'.... And why? Practice...being highly cognizant of how they speak and project in front of, maybe, a mirror or with a mate or friend.
N) Some examples from "M" include: the Rev. Billy Graham (my mother's favorite)...the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr....televanglist Joel Osteen (my fave)...the Rev. Robert Schuller (did listen to him in person....)..........more.....

Friday, February 5, 2010

452- WILL THE REAL "EGG CREAM" COME FORWARD AND TRY A SIP??....

If you're from Brooklyn, Manhattan or 1990s Williamsburg, Va., some of you will know about the legendary classic called an "EGG CREAM!"
The legend goes that, in the 1890s, Louis Aster, a Jewish immigrant, who owned a candy store, created the first EGG CREAM using his fountain-formula recipe. Over time, the classic cold beverage crossed over into Manhattan during the 1920s by Moisha Zambrowshy at his lucheonette in the Lower East Side. Customers lovingly nicknamed it the "poor man's ice cream soda."
So...what is it and how do you prepare the delicacy?
1) Fizzy Seltzer water is "jerked" into an old-fashioned ice cream soday glass, about half-way way up.
2) Cold whole milk is added on top, creating a good inch of foam up to the edge of the top of the glass.
3) Then...carefully drizzle a bit of good chocolate syrup, using a nozzle container, across the foam! Slip in a long straw and SLURP away.

The Williamsburg Drugstore use to serve them at the back of their store in their old-timey lunch counter area! When Colonial Williamsburg, Inc. came along, holding the lease, they would not renew the drugstore's lease. C.W. wanted "modern" stores in OUR Duke of Gloucester Street "downtown." That's what we call LEVERAGE.... This historian also firmly believes in....KARMA!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

451- WHICH "SIDE" of Your BRAIN ARE YOU?...IT'S MORE INVOLVED THAN THAT "SIMPLE" DECLARATION!...

A) Maybe the best side should actually be a more "balanced brain." One of the most interesting sections of my Sociology classes, over the years, was the presentation of data and theories on the "left and right" sides of our brain. For years, the predominate question appeared to be whether "you" were one or the other. Now, another approach is beginning to become important...how to bring the two together to form what could be called a more "balanced brain!"
B) "Experts" have concluded that the Left Brain is more articulate, to the point, orderly and literal, good at understanding directions...abstract concepts. But tend to become flustered when things are not clear.
C) The Right Brain tends to be more visual, better at summarizing, intuitive. Picking up what's not seen....but lacking attention to detail. (Remember...we're dealing with generalizations.)
D) But...some of us believe that we can begin to learn to use a more balanced brain, the best elements of each side, with both sides working together to confront the world and society in front of us! I like and appreciate that challenging concept....