Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Monday, August 30, 2004
446 The RNC in New York City
I truly hope the main stream media can find something to talk about and focus on other than the protestors, even though I believe in the long run, they will make the Democrats look like a bunch of fringe lunatic losers.
There will be bloggers there who may be a better source of the news. WSJ online has an article about the bloggers credentialed for the Republican convention. Will it be different? Maybe:
"Some Republican convention bloggers also took shots at the Boston bloggers. Asked what they learned from Boston, some of the New York bloggers characterized the Boston coverage as self-absorbed and overly preoccupied with celebrity sightings. The Republican bloggers said they'd stay more focused on the issues and the convention itself -- a chance they'll get next week." Free link here.
Ben Domenech, a blogger I've never read, said in response to this question:"What did you learn from the Boston coverage? Just about everyone blogging from Boston had a completely misguided attitude towards convention coverage. The interesting part isn't talking about Michael Moore or Jon Stewart, but how the Michigan fan and the Ohio State fan get along after four cases of S'more Schnapps at the 25th Annual Gala to Stop Intellectual Piracy (which is just like normal piracy, except without the plunder and wimmins)."
445 The President at Ft. Meigs, OhioOnly a thick filter of hate can cause one to say President Bush is not an effective speaker. We heard his entire speech Saturday live on a Toledo TV station (as near as I can tell, there is not a word about the speech in the Toledo Blade except to note on Friday that the President would be in Northwest Ohio on Saturday). Fort Meigs on the Maumee River was built in 1813 to protect northwest Ohio and Indiana from British invasion. I'm sure there is symbolism here someplace, lost on the local media. The speech was in front of about 15,000 party faithful who cheered no matter what he said or how. But from our living room, we could be a bit more discerning.
I’ve never worked for a national campaign except for stuffing a few envelopes for the Democrats back in the early 70s, but I plan to call the Franklin County office when I get home and offer my services.
444 School StartsLast Thursday I had to wait 20 minutes at the coffee bar while the clerk prepared huge vats of coffee for the teacher in-service day at Danbury schools. Then this morning I saw many students waiting at the end of the drive-ways and lanes for the bus. What was interesting and was probably just a phenomenon of first day, were the number of families and parents waiting with the children. I saw only one child standing alone. The Danbury website only has last year's schedule up--for the taxes we pay here in Lakeside (virtually no school age children), the least we should get is a current website I can show you!
443 I know it was a legal product, but. . .Somehow, this system looks a little odd when tobacco growers get a piece of the settlement pie.
"A year after the nation's tobacco companies reached an agreement with the country's attorneys general to pay billions of dollars for tobacco-related health-care costs, the companies made another agreement with the 14 states that grow tobacco.Daily Reporter
Four of the country's largest cigarette manufacturing companies established the National Tobacco Grower Settlement Trust to compensate tobacco farmers for lost sales and encourage them to branch out into other crops.
As a result of the settlement trust, Ohio tobacco farmers will receive more than $70 million over 12 years.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
442 Last week-end of the seasonThe end of the 9th week at Lakeside was dynamite! The symphony closed out its 41st season Friday night with Berlioz, Bach, Shostakovich and Dvorak. The pianist, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, knocked our socks off and even kept me awake.
Than Saturday night Hoover auditorium was filled almost to capacity to hear the Fifth Dimension, popular 60s-70s close harmony group. Two of the originals are still in the group, Florence LaRue and Lamont McLemore, and the other three are equally talented, Greg Walker, Willie Williams and Van Jewell. If you ever have the opportunity (the schedule looks like they perform perhaps once or twice a month), they are well worth the price and trip--putting on an outstanding two hour show.
The Annual antique show with about 25 dealers was Saturday afternoon. Patty and I went--we used to see the items from our mothers' and grandmothers' homes--now we're starting to see "antiques" from our homes since we've both been married over 40 years. Sunday morning the four of us attempted to attend church on the lakefront at the pavilion, however, the wind was blowing the rain all over the chairs, so we left for breakfast at The Abigail. Our house guests left about 10 a.m.
The gates went up at 8 a.m. Sunday. They will temporarily come down next week-end for the Barbershop show. We'll be here to see our friends Andy and Mary Frances who keep a sailboat at Port Clinton and come over for that, then we'll return to Columbus to enjoy the Labor Day Art Show.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
441 Clean up timeThere is a web site (free) to check your web page for bad and outdated links. LinkScan/Quick Check is easy to use. However, when I fed it my URL, it found many things to warn me about in my template--something over which I have no control. Also, I had numerous messages about inserting some code inside others, which made no sense to me at all. But HTML is a foreign language to me, so I suppose I don't know all the nuances of the language. Also, it found mistakes in things I had quoted, and I also have no control over those. In general, it was a pretty clean site.
Friday, August 27, 2004
440 They don't make things like they used to--Thank Goodness!Our neighbor Jack just stopped by and gave us $20 for our wicker chair we bought in 1989. We had put a price tag of $25 on it and had planned to put it in the yard this morning. He's also a client, so we cut a deal. It was part of a 4 piece set we bought 15 years ago for $200. Last night we bought a very nice resin white rocker for the porch and needed to make some room.
This cottage (actually a house built in 1943 with hvac and plaster walls, but it is customary here to refer to a second home as a "cottage") was my first opportunity to decorate something with a "theme" or unified color scheme. We chose the colors cream, light blue and pink/mauve; blue carpeting, and coordinated wallpaper borders throughout--sandpipers in the kitchen, geese in the master bedroom, light houses in the guest room, and nautical things in the bath. The basics of furniture came with the house--desk, couch, bookcase, kitchen table/4 chairs, 1 bedroom suite, and a nice 1930s cedar chest.
It was fun to go to the hardward store in Marblehead and buy things for the kitchen and bath. I bought blue plastic dishpan and dish drainer and mat, a blue plastic tall wastebasket, a blue plastic laundry basket, some small table lamps in blue and cream ($9 ea.), miscellaneous kitchen utensils like knives, forks, salad tongs, scissors, a canister set in blue, etc. There was no Wal-Mart around (I don't think I'd ever heard of it), so I went to a Kresge's in Sandusky and bought valances and bedspreads, and inexpensive,thin towels (dry faster in damp air). I had the fun part; my husband had the hard stuff like preparing, patching and painting the walls and woodwork, left unattended for 40 years and quite dirty.
This is our 16th summer here. I look around and all the cheapo plastic stuff and bargain basement linens are still being used and have held their color. True, the cottage doesn't get used 365 days of the year, but it all has had heavy use.
One item they truly don't make any more the way they used to is light bulbs. We found some light bulbs in a box when we moved in. One bulb we inserted in a floor lamp in 1988 is still working.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
439 The Colors of Summer--Fading FastI've had my eye on them all summer--the pepper colors in the produce section of Bassett's. There is a watercolor class this week, so today I bought them and will take them to class to share.
Green bell pepper
Yellow bell pepper
Orange bell pepper
Red bell pepper
Lime green banana pepper
Dark green jalapeno pepper
I'm taking along a simple white bowl, a dishcloth from the 1950s (trimmed in primary colors), a knife with a wooden handle, and a large onion.
Unfortunately, I never use peppers in cooking or salads. Still, I'm hoping for a pretty painting.
Update: The painting
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Reasons to Celebrate a 50th Wedding AnniversaryWhile looking for something else, today I came across my file of letters, 1980-1990. I wrote my parents once a week, usually, and then would periodically retrieve my letters which my mother saved. It gave me a good diary in the days before blogs. I've been married 45 years, so finding this letter giving my own parents advice and reasons they should celebrate their 50th made me realize we'll be there soon. Apparently, Dad had decided early that there would be NO 50th celebration. His word was law in our family and he and I knocked heads often. I wrote this letter almost two years before the fact, so it was apparently an item of family discussion. I won--they did have a wonderful celebration in August 1984.
I wanted to ask you again to reconsider about having a 50th wedding anniversary reception. I really do consider it an important milestone, not only in your lives, but in the lives of your children and grandchildren. Maybe it isn't the kind of thing you normally enjoy, but it only happens once.
It is unlikely that your whole family will ever be together again (children and grandchildren) in the same location--our ages and locales are just getting too divergent. Julie, Dave, Karen, Cindy and Greg are all adults now, and by the summer of 1984 even your youngest grandchild will be a teen-ager. This would probably be the last time we would ever all be "Home" at the same time. Even that idea may not be appealing to you, but that's not a very good reason to NOT have a get together.
One of the most significant things I remember about Grandad [my father's grandfather] is that he never wanted anyone to have a family reunion, so the only time I ever saw some of my cousins on that side was at his funeral. I think it was the first time I met Sharon [cousin 3 years older than me]. The logic of his reasoning is beyond me--we did all get together, but he missed it.
You were married during the Depression, survived the war years, struggled through business ups and downs, maintained your cool with four teen-agers, redeemed the empty nest with new careers and interests, suffered the loss of your parents, siblings, grandchildren, and helped mend broken relationships. I don't want you to celebrate the fact that two handsome, smart, naive kids got married in 1934, but the fact that those two young people were able to support and love each other and the many people whose lives depended on them.
How about punch and cake at the church, and about two days when everyone tried to get to Mt. Morris at the same time--lots of pictures and memories for my children and their cousins to tell their grandchildren. And if their recall is only that they talked to their 2nd or 3rd cousin whom they never saw again, well, what's so bad about that?
The two of you have always lived around family--you probably don't even realize the sense of connectedness and security that gives you because you take it for granted. But we don't--so we have to settle for a few intense, hectic days once in awhile to have that same sense of belonging. I hope you will rethink your decision not to have a 50th wedding celebration.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
436 Thoughts on colorLibrarian in Black who writes about technology for the rest of us sends along this tip about a neat cite for determining color for web pages: 4096 color wheel. I don't insert color changes very often in my blog, but I can if I want to.
Saturday evening on our way to our favorite restaurant, I noticed a man standing on top of the water tower, and a tall crane (very tall). The tower was getting a new coat of sky blue paint. Somewhere I read that central Ohio has only 37% completely sunny days. A pale gray would be more appropriate for hiding a water tower. Leaving the restaurant I saw a sky blue Thunderbird convertible, almost the identical color. Very pretty.
Since I've been at the lake most of the summer I haven't had much opportunity to enjoy the new paint jobs in my office and the guest room (done in mid-July). I'm looking forward to getting some pictures hung--I like the butter cream and khaki combination, but it's pretty dull. It's the same colors as the dining room and living room, but because the room is so much lighter, it looks completely different.
The electric yellow walls and the green and black drapes are now history for the guest room. In theory and the names on the paint chips, the walls and trim are some sort of shade of green, but you'd guess white walking past the door. We've got some furniture to move around, (my parents' bedroom furniture from the 1950s will reside there), and then I'll hang the green South Hannah Avenue street sign, where we lived in the 1950s. I purchased it in 2002 when the town was having a street sign sale.
It's back to the lake today. I'm getting minivan-lag.
Monday, August 23, 2004
435 The Ban on Stem-Cell Research? There is none.I didn’t know Charles Krauthammer had been in a wheelchair for 32 years. He has a bit more credibility in my eyes about drawing a moral line on complex medical research than political pundits usually have. He’s also right to point out the dishonest flailing of President Bush about “stem-cell research bans.”
Here’s what the President said on this issue in August 9, 2001, and if this sounds like a ban from a man who consulted with ethicists, scientists, lawyers, doctors and theologians before committing a word to paper, then you need a new dictionary, Mr. Kerry.
“In his Aug. 7 radio address to the nation, John Kerry three times referred to "the ban" on stem-cell research instituted by President George W. Bush. What ban? Stem-cell research is legal in the U.S. and has been so since human embryonic stem cells were first isolated in 1998. There are dozens of groups studying them, including major stem-cell centers recently launched at Stanford and Harvard.
Perhaps Democrats mean a ban on federal funding for stem-cell research. But, in fact, there is no such ban. Through the Clinton years there was a ban. Not a single penny of federal money was allowed for any embryo research. In his first year in office, however, President Bush reviewed the issue and permitted the first federal funding of stem-cell research ever.“ Charles Krauthammer, Why lines must be drawn. Time Magazine.
As a result of private research, more than 60 genetically diverse stem cell lines already exist. They were created from embryos that have already been destroyed, and they have the ability to regenerate themselves indefinitely, creating ongoing opportunities for research. I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life and death decision has already been made.
Leading scientists tell me research on these 60 lines has great promise that could lead to breakthrough therapies and cures. This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell research without crossing a fundamental moral line, by providing taxpayer funding that would sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos that have at least the potential for life.
I also believe that great scientific progress can be made through aggressive federal funding of research on umbilical cord placenta, adult and animal stem cells which do not involve the same moral dilemma. This year, your government will spend $250 million on this important research.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
434 Which shill is President Bush?Jerusalem Post's Bret Stephens asks
Pretty soon, the Anyone But Bush crowd is going to have to decide: Is the American president an Israeli shill or is he a Saudi shill? Does he do the bidding of the insidious pro-Israel neocons or of the insidious pro-Arab oil lobby? Is his foreign policy everything his father's was not – and therefore disastrous – or is it an extension of it – and therefore equally disastrous?
Like other liberal Christian churches (the Lutherans, the Episcopalians, the Unitarians, the United Church of Christ, the Quakers) the hatred and condemnation of Israel has grown so strong that advocates for Israel are not permitted to make presentations to these congregations anymore. If Jews want to speak abut Israel, they have to be from the far-Left, and they must come to trash Israel (and help bury it). On the other hand, any representative of the International Solidarity Movement is sure to draw a full house and be warmly welcomed.And of course, there is the National Council of Churches statement, always out there to warm the heart of a Palestinian. Calling themselves "leaders" is a bit of a stretch. "Echoes" is more like it.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
433 Week 8 ends at LakesideIt's back to Columbus today. It has been so cold and rainy at Lakeside this week my heart goes out to the young families sitting in unheated cottages with 2 or 3 little ones. Our place smells like a damp gym towel, but it is a real house with walls and hvac. I don't usually run the heat in August, but this week it clicked on a few times.
Wonderful programs this week. Lots of music. Last night was an innovative group from Toronto (who will be playing in San Diego tonight--how's that for jet lag?) called called Pavlo. The guy looked like he was making love to his guitar. It was sort of Greek cum Spanish Flamenco.
Thursday night was a real treat with a 5 woman jazz group from Detroit, Straight Ahead, teaching us about the contribution African American women have made to jazz. Beautiful impersonations included Etta James and Aretha Franklin.
August is symphony at Lakeside, so our own Lakeside Summer Symphony in its 41st season performed on Wednesday with Dick Feagler (Cleveland radio personality?) narrating Peter and the Wolf.
Tuesday an amazing sister group, 12, 14 and 15, The Strings of Gold, played violin, viola and cello. Their music was as beautiful as they. Monday we skipped West Side Story (movie). Sunday night a quartet from Findlay, Ohio known as Messiah performed.
Also this week I took "Perspective Drawing" at the Rhein Center taught by my husband. This was his second week to do this, and I was in Columbus with the painters during the first week. He's really an excellent teacher, but I'm afraid I'm hopeless. I never seem to find the vanishing point or the picture plane. Our friend Bev from Columbus helped again, but also taught her own classes in dried flowers and "fish printing." She lodged at the "artists' house" and had a wonderful week.
Friday, August 20, 2004
432 It wasn't Ladies' Night at the Hardball GameMichelle Malkin was invited to Chris Matthews' show to talk about her book. Instead, she says, she was ambushed to speak about "Unfit For Command," after some cutesy male chauvanism from Matthews about her looks and age. (The sort of thing that coming from a Rush Limbaugh would have gotten a conservative fired.) I didn't see the interview, but here's her story:
She was tossed from the show during the second half and never got to talk about her book. She concludes:
"Matthews frantically stuffed words down my mouth when I raised these allegations made in Unfit for Command that Kerry's wounds might have been self-inflicted. In his ill-informed and ideologically warped mind, this transmogrified into me accusing Kerry of "shooting himself on purpose" to get an award.
I repeated that the allegations involved whether the injuries were "self inflicted wounds." I DID NOT SAY HE SHOT HIMSELF ON PURPOSE and Chris Matthews knows it.
. . . Only someone who had not read Unfit for Command would interpret what I was saying the way Matthews did. The book raises questions by vets, many of whom were with Kerry, about whether there was or wasn't enemy fire during the Dec. 1968 incident that led to his first Purple Heart."
"What I take away from all this is that the Democrat Party waterboys in the media are in full desperation mode. I have now witnessed firsthand and up close (Matthews' spittle nearly hit me in the face) how the pressure from alternative media sources--the blogosphere, conservative Internet forums, talk radio, Regnery Publishing, FOX News, etc. --is driving these people absolutely batty."She provides links to the show transcript. Her new book is In Defense of Internment.
Update: As of 9:18 on Aug. 21 Malkin had 99 trackbacks (to other blogs) for her article about the Matthews ambush.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
431 Best College LibrariesYou'll need to buy it or subscribe to see the whole list, but the Princeton Review does include the top 5 (great library) and the bottom 5 (This is a library?) college libraries at the on-line site, for The Best 357 College Rankings.
I checked my Alma Mater (U. of I. at Champaign-Urbana) and see it is #1 for having too many classes taught by grad assistants. Things haven't changed much, I guess. Actually, because I was a foreign language major, I had mostly regular professors. In Library School, I can only recall an occasional PhD candidate as a teacher, and they were pretty good. Many years later I took entry level math (not required when I was an undergrad) and had an excellent grad student who was a high school teacher of math. He was outstanding because he knew how to teach.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
430 What's for dinner?“A world devoid of tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup and tomato paste is hard to visualize. Could the tin and processed food industries have got where they have without the benefit of the tomato compounds which colour, flavour, thicken and conceal so many deficiencies? How did the Italians eat spaghetti before the advent of the tomato? Was there such a thing as tomato-less Neapolitan pizza?” Elizabeth David (1913-1992) An Omelette and a Glass of Wine Food Reference.com
Tonight I'm fixing lasagne out of a box. It's a brand I haven't used before--one skillet dinner. Toss a salad, cut up some fruit, and we're ready for a feast.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
429 Reading through a favorite magazine
Except for the issue on exotic homes, I love reading Architectural Digest. It can amuse, amaze and appease me for hours. For instance, in the September issue there is an ad for a 10,000 sq. ft. Tuscan Villa in St. Louis for $1.6 million. It is gorgeous--built in 1912. Built around the same time was a cottage on our street with a fraction of the space and no permanent interior walls or heating system. It is really cute as cottages go and has a view of Lake Erie. Its price is $850,000. Per square foot, the Tuscan Villa is certainly a better deal.
* * *
"We didn't speak a word of English when we came here". . . the first year was rough. . .he got over the language barrier through television. "I had no friends. . .I'd choose certain words and practice them in front of the mirror. My role model was Ricky Ricardo." Samuel Botero, b. 1945 in Colombia, an immigrant who rose to be a top international designer, pp. 136-137. It's fortunate that modern education theorists didn't get ahold of him and cripple his initiative and English. I love inspiring stories about immigrants.
* * *
One other thing gay men have in common with straight men is the "trophy" partner. Looking through AD, I often see gay partners (both in work and life) where one is about 20-25 years older than the other, just like their straight clients. Some of the women designers appear to do it in reverse, and have a wealthy older husband to cuddle up to and to finance their business.
428 Bloggers for BushThis is not my list; I don’t write a political blog--and some on this list don't either, but they seem to support Bush. It resides over a Captain’s Quarters, and that seems to be about all he does. But I noticed this blogroll and thought it might be a useful list. There are probably triple or quadruple this number of blogs against Bush.
Blogs for Bush Blogroll
Little Tiny LiesPara-Bellum.Net
Knowledge Is Power
Red Line Rants
Slings and Arrows
KalblogRight On Red
MJG’s Political Blog
Mark A. Kilmer's Political Annotation
Pardon My English
The Evangelical Outpost
The Doggy Diaries
Blogs For Bush
Bush Over Kerry
427 A Few Good Women
Claire is a PhD student in 17th century studies who blogs her thoughts about gender, academe and the English language (her job that supports her studies, as near as I can tell). She works as a Language Centre Assistant, Durham University, cataloguing, digitalising and organising language materials which makes her sound a lot like a librarian (to me, anyway). She is British, but has worked in Italy and speaks fluent Italian.
Amy Ridenour works for a Washington DC think tank, The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative/free-market public policy foundation located just a little bit north of the U.S. Senate. She blogs about “anything of interest to our staff and the many interesting people we work with and talk to.”
Today she comments that “I haven't actually counted the news articles, but it looks to me as though MoveOn.org's new ad about the swift boat veterans ad is getting more establishment media coverage than the swift boat veterans got when they unveiled their ad.” Now there’s a surprise.
Miss Apropos is a “Navy granddaughter, an Army brat, an Air Force spouse, and a Marine Mom.” Woman, I salute you! On August 16 she posted this, which she found here and probably defines her politics:
Here is a perfect way to start your day.
1. Open a new file in your PC.
2. Name it "John Kerry."
3. Send it to the trash.
4. Empty the trash.
5. Your PC will ask you, "do you really want to get rid of John Kerry?"
6. Answer calmly, "yes," and press the mouse button firmly.
7. Feel better don't you?
It could work, she says, for "Michael Moore," "The United Nations," "Madonna," "[Insert First Name Here] Baldwin," ohhh, the list is ENDLESS!
Ambra is a very young black, conservative Christian who yesterday blogged about the “Oreo Barbie” that was recalled (she thought that marketing team should be fired.) She’s written a long three-parter on “Why I am a Republican.”
I'll write more later. Have to run to art class.
426 The OlympicsI've added a new blogger, Pejman Yousefzadeh, to my blogroll. He is so prolific that his bio on the web ran about 10 pages with photos of the hospital where he was born and the elementary school he attended. He is a first generation American of a Jewish Iranian heritage. I liked the August 16 entry about the American Olympic basketball loss:
“I don't want these people representing me. Bring back the amateurs. Bring back the college players. They know that the name on the front is more important than the name on the back.”
425 Kerry's Revised Budget PlanA former campaign aide for McCain’s 2000 Presidential bid, notes this interesting media failing in this campaign:
"One of the more curious developments in the presidential campaign is that the media has a strikingly different standard for Democratic and Republican candidates. Senator Kerry litters his stump speeches with countless proposals, but even now, has not provided voters with a careful accounting of how his plan fits together. That job has been left to others."
Kevin Hassett steps in to correct this and provides the links and analysis here, and goes on to summarize:
“. . . the net increase in the deficit associated with Kerry's proposals is on the order of $2.2 trillion. . . . Senator Kerry's health care proposals. . . would add more than $900 billion in federal outlays. Education expenditure accounts for nearly one quarter of Kerry's new spending, with almost $500 billion added over ten years. A $400 billion expansion of military personnel and benefits for veterans comprises most of the remainder of Kerry's spending plans, with the balance distributed among numerous social programs and increases in international aid. . . . [Kerry and surrogates] repeatedly have made the claim that they will restore fiscal discipline if elected. They have also promised to adopt a "pay as you go" rule that will guarantee deficit reductions. But they do this at the same time that they promise voters the moon and the stars."
With tech stocks tanking in the past month or so, as they did in 2000, I wonder if Kerry is elected, will the Democrats blame him for a slump that took place before he took office? Well, obviously not, but just thought I'd ask.
Monday, August 16, 2004
424 Conservative Foundations on the IncreaseIf you set up a foundation to protect your assets and continue your good works, the next generation or the board of directors would probably undo your plans:
It's not that conservatives don't set up foundations--they earn the money in a capitalist system, then their heirs do all they can to undo the system. So if the left were successful in making this a completely socialist planned economy, eventually we'd have no philanthropies at all. They would have killed their golden goose! The report goes on to point out what a little money and good ideas can do:
. . .organized philanthropy, like the academic world, remains firmly in the grip of orthodox liberalism. Among the largest foundations in the United States, liberal foundations have been well represented by such stalwarts as the Ford, Rockefeller and MacArthur foundations, the Carnegie Corporation and the Pew Charitable Trusts--which list combined assets of some $25 billion and annual expenditures of more than $1.2 billion. By contrast, there is not now, nor has there been in the recent past, a conservatively oriented foundation with sufficient assets to make this list. These liberal foundations alone outspend the main conservative foundations by a factor of at least 10 to 1. When smaller foundations--like the Heinz Foundations--are added to the list, the disparity is more like 20 to 1. CRC News, July 21, 2004
The conservative investment in ideas, though modest by liberal standards, has paid large dividends. There exists today, in contrast to the 1970s, an impressive network of think tanks, journals and university programs supported by conservative foundations, which are engaged in different ways in promoting the cause of liberty and limited government. As a result, there is now a robust debate in American intellectual life between conservatives and liberals. The one-sided debate, dominated by the left, is a thing of the past.
423 The Imbalance of FameThere is an article about blogs and their influence in the August 2004 issue of Wired. (I'm practicing putting the subject and verb first in my opening sentences as instructed at a journalism tool kit site.) I saw a phrase that shocked me--"the imbalance of fame." The clear, fold-out chart was in Wired's favorite colors--lime-green yellow and cobalt blue with a hint of thalo, lined in cadmium red with a touch of simple black.*
Apparently, the "inbound" links are now the thing to watch. Slashdot is way behind New York Times in visits, but is 5th in the chart of inbound links--more than Fox News and Reuters. Anyway, why shouldn't the government correct this imbalance of fame just as it does the wealth imbalance? Why can't I have, by government regulation, some of the cache of the NYT or Slashdot blog sites, even if they have more inbound links? My readers, Sylvia, my sister, Bev, Adrienne, Greg, Michael, Sherry, Hip Liz and the rest are no less important than those thousands who click to all the news that fits. After all, NYT had a head start, so I should be moved up just because of my lack of experience, education and staff to even out the odds. Oh yes, and my gender and age.
Why should I be struggling down in zone 5 when CNN, WP, Wired, Salon and Instapundit get all the perks? I'm heading for the mall in DC to start a protest for all us little bloggers who are not getting our fair share!
422 The Blackout of August 14, 2003 studyHere's what I wrote last year about the enormous blackout we experienced:
"The Blackout of August 14 only affected Lakeside for about 4 hours. I had popped a beef stroganoff into the oven at 3:45 and headed for music class. At 4:10 the AC and lights went out and the class coordinator stuck her head in and said, "We're working on it." Dr. Taylor had distributed most of the music, so we really didn't need the overheads. It's not that unusual to have short power outages. But when I left at 5:15 I overhead some people saying, "It's on the whole peninsula."
When I got back to the cottage, Bob told me it was the whole northeast and southern Canada. So we called Phoebe, and she said it hadn't affected Columbus, but the outage went as far south as Delaware, OH. Our radio needed 4 C batteries, so I sat in the car to listen to the news, finally remembering my walkman was in the car, and it was working.
We didn't want to open the frig to put away the half cooked dinner, which would only have heated up the cold food, so we headed to Abigail's, which fortunately has gas and was serving dinner--everything except coffee which used electric percolators. Dinner was by candlelight and no one seemed too concerned. We knew the auditorium had a generator because years ago we were watching a Shirley Jones show and the power went out. When we got there, there was one lonely light bulb in the ceiling, and the stage lights. The performance hadn't started by 8:15, but then all the lights came on and they waited a bit so people who hadn't wanted to walk home in the dark could get there. The program was a young woman from Ireland and a 3 piece band.
Toledo and Detroit were still struggling on Friday, and on Saturday I heard on WJR that Detroit would still have its "DreamCruise" with 30,000 extra cars and about 1,000,000 additional people, plus the start of the state fair. They were still without traffic lights! But people are conserving water, and told not to use the AC. This is some of the hottest weather we've had all summer--haven't really had any 90 degree weather until now.
The political parties will of course be blaming each other, but there is enough blame to go around, with reports going back many years that the system was overloaded and antiquated. I heard some of these grids are 40 years old. With all the computer and tech stuff we have now, with almost everyone having air conditioning, it is hard to imagine that no one's been able to correct it. I guess de-regulation has something to do with it. Monopolies are always more efficient to regulate and all these smaller companies need to cooperate on a plan to upgrade. It certainly is a wake up call, and outlined for terrorists exactly what to do--just bring down a Canadian power plant, and you can shut down the U.S. most important cities!"
Last Thursday I read a summary in the Wall Street Journal of the year long blackout study and was surprised, or maybe not, to read that none of the theories that were being thrown around last August and September turned out to name the culprits. The Final report of the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force is ". . .a prosaic tale about dozens of small things that went wrong with a few obvious policy lessons." 1)sagging transmission lines came into contact with trees, and 2) inoperative computer software.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
421 Identity theftLibraries, churches and educational institutions that use our Social Security Numbers to track members, clients, students and staff with huge accessible and hack-easy databases need to rethink this very risky method of record keeping.
On August 5, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed H.B. 204 to establish what will be called the Ohio Privacy/Public Records Access Study Committee. The effective date of the legislation is Nov. 3. Establishing a study committee 4 months out that won’t report for 12 months may not be much of a change in a practice long overdue, but it is a first step.
“The purpose of the study committee is to discuss concerns related to personal information contained in public records, including identity theft and fraud, and dissemination of such information through the Internet. The study committee, which will have 12 months to report recommendations to the governor and Ohio General Assembly, will also review legitimate uses of personal information contained in public records by businesses, government, the legal community and the media.” (Bulletin, ONA, August 13, 2004)
Why libraries and universities like Ohio State haven’t figured this out on their own with their usual committee structure, I don’t know. All those talented and politically savvy folks and they can’t clean up their own backyard with a little common sense? I intend to make my voice heard on this one.
Another privacy issue is having all our homes and neighborhoods (photographs, plot plans, floor plan sketch, and land plats) on the internet. As a business, we used this service (state gov’t) many times and sometimes I’d pull up the color photo and floor plan while my husband was still having a first interview with a client. But it is also available to all sorts of mischief makers who might not have gone to city hall and requested the information for a fee the way we used to do it.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
420 Republicans elected Bill ClintonI voted for Bill Clinton (first term), but I was a Democrat then, so why wouldn't I? I didn't dislike George Bush (41), but party loyalty kept me from looking too closely at the man who we would put in office. I liked Al Gore and thought he balanced Clinton's very obvious (even then) personal failures. Later, when my Republican friends ribbed me, I reminded them that it was the defection of conservative Republicans over to Ross Perot who moved George and Barbara out of the White House. Clinton could not have won without the Republicans.
Now it looks like it could happen again. Harold Lamb in his August 14 column says it better than I could, but I do see the defection among some of the most prominent bloggers who formerly were strong Bush supporters. Some don't like the Federal Marriage Amendment; some don't like his wild spending on social programs (me included); some impatient pundits think the war hasn't had the intended results (conservatives should look at the 15 years following our Declaration of Independence). Lamb warns Republicans that it could happen again--they'll put another really poor Democratic president into the White House for 8 years.
Friday, August 13, 2004
419 Myth Mary Ann
We haven’t seen the “Mary Ann Knowles” chemotherapy-myth ad from Kerry around here. The myth the Kerry people are touting here in Ohio is that Bush is shipping jobs offshore. Pathetically angry actor/workers gnash their teeth over an Indian with good English taking jobs. This is one ad I’m surprised the Republicans don’t speak out about and identify the big lie. Maybe they aren’t lies at the level of Kerry's Purple Heart, or his Senate testimony as an angry ex-soldier, but they are lies, and they are more recent.
Even Kerry-friendly fact checking websites know it is incorrect and have said so. The legislation that encourages US corporations to set up shop elsewhere is decades old and President Bush had nothing to do with it. Plus, they left because corporations were being taxed out of competition with foreign companies. Do you suppose “President” Kerry will lower taxes on corporations?
“US manufacturing employment was in decline for nearly three years before Bush became President. It actually declined by 544,000 between the peak reached in March, 1998 and when Clinton left office, even as the economy added nearly 7.8 million jobs in all categories during the climax of a roaring economic boom that ended a few weeks after Bush was sworn in. In fact, 238,000 of those manufacturing jobs were lost in Clinton's last six month alone, showing that the decline was well-established even before Bush had spent a day in office.” (FactCheck.org August 11, 2004)
FactCheck.org has numerous examples of the Kerry ads attributing words to Bush he never said.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
418 If I'd only knownThere was a period of time in the 1960s when we didn't own a car--only had a bicycle. Then there was a period of 2 or 3 years when I'd let my driver's license lapse (another story, very sad). Finally, it looked like I'd need to start driving again after about five years as a passenger/pedestrian. So we selected the rock bottom, cheapest American car on the market--a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere and the end of the year sell-off. It had a heater, but no radio. That's how basic it was. Light, bland as oatmeal with skim milk, blue. When we were through with it, we sold it to my Aunt and Uncle in Illinois and they drove it a few more years.
Imagine my shock and awe last week when I glanced through the full page ad in the WSJ of August 4 and saw one listed in a Collector Car Auction.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
417 A new book on Bush--Who Knew?Ron Kessler's new book is titled A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush . An interview with the author appeared on August 9 at National Review Online. I was particularly interested in what Kessler says about Bush's interest in reading.
Kessler: Besides the diversity of his friends, I was amazed at how deeply Bush personally researched why kids can't read. Nationally, 40 percent of fourth graders cannot read a simple children's book. Among blacks and Hispanics, the proportion is as high as 65 percent. The reason is that in the 1970's, liberal educators decided that teaching kids to read with phonics — sounding out words — was dull. Instead, they said kids should simply be given books to read. Somehow, they will become excited by the books and guess what the words mean. In other words, under this approach, called whole language, kids are not taught to read at all.I'd make just one suggestion, and that is that "whole language" was being taught in the 1960s, and a version of it in the 1950s. There were four children in my family, and depending on who we had in our early grades, some of us were taught phonics and some weren't. My husband was not taught phonics in elementary school in Indianapolis in the 1940s. It is a crippler.
Bush personally called experts in the field to try to figure out what was wrong and develop a program to restore phonics to reading instruction. The result in Texas was a drop in the percentage of third graders who could not read at grade from 23 percent to just two percent, including additional help when needed. Bush is trying to do the same thing through the No Child Left Behind Act, which John Kerry voted for but now says he wants to gut.
Ironically, the New York City public schools still use a form of whole language, yet I found the toniest private schools in New York all teach phonics.
"Of course we teach phonics," Beth Tashlik, the head of the Collegiate School's lower school, told me. "You can't teach reading without it."
So you have parents who most oppose Bush sending their kids to schools where kids are not taught to read because the schools refuse to adopt the method Bush is trying to abolish.
Monday, August 09, 2004
416 What are Libraries up to now?Shark Blog comments on August 9 about some libraries plans to use September 11 for anti-administration purposes:
"The employees of our nation's taxpayer-funded libraries are turning their communities' public intellectual spaces into an outlet for partisan propaganda. The September Project, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, attempts to trivialize the September 11 attacks by using the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 to forget about the Muslim terrorists who slaughtered 3,000 people and instead fixate on the imaginary administration attacks on civil liberties in the course of preventing future acts of mass murder."
The programming that he lists is all in Washington state, and he closes this blog with the following:
"It's unfortunate that our public libraries are turning themselves into fountains of Michael Moorish partisan propaganda. If you live in King County outside of Seattle, you might want to think twice about voting to approve the King County Library System bond levy, on the ballot this September 14. Naturally, the people who work for KCLS will do whatever it takes to confiscate your money so they can indoctrinate you about civil liberties. But you can still vote no. For now, at least."
The Shark Blog
Sunday, August 08, 2004
415 Update on Trip to Buffalo
Day Two, FridayWhen you tour Frank Lloyd Wright sites, you get an earful of his colorful history which included financial disasters, personal tragedies, love affairs, devoted students, and love-hate relationships with his clients. His career took place during a time when people communicated in letters, not by phone or e-mail. This exchange between Wright and his client William Heath in 1927 about a proposed gas stations for Buffalo is a classic example of what researchers have to work with:
"Dear Mr. Wright: Your letter of the 12th received, you say herewith sketches etc., but the herewith were not therewith, whereof we do not know wherewith they are; so we can not return them or comment upon them."
The long letter is quoted in the excellent article "An Ornament to the Pavement: Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo Gas Station," by Patrick J. Mahoney, Western New York Heritage, Summer/Fall 2003, Vol.6,no.3, pp. 18-35. Mr. Mahoney, a practicing architect, is the Vice President of Graycliff Conservancy and our very informative tour guide when we visited that home south of Buffalo on the cliffs of Lake Erie in Derby, NY.
We'd arrived at Graycliff at the end of a busy, exciting Friday that had started with a tour of the Butler Mansion, across the street from our hotel. Buffalo at one time was the 10th wealthiest city in the United States, according to our local tour guide, Marilyn. On Thursday evening after we'd checked in, she gave us a walking tour of the historic district, Allentown, where we saw many colorful turn of the century (the last one) homes, more modest than the mansions lining Delaware Avenue, but certainly quite posh and lovingly restored.
On Friday morning we had the Butler Mansion tour, now used as Jacobs Executive Development Center, which has been through extensive renovation. It was designed by McKim, Mead & White and the original drawings which were discovered in 1990 were on the wall.
We visited two neighborhoods that had FLW homes (no tours, private residences), the Davidson residence (1908) and the Heath residence (1904). We toured Forest Lawn Cemetery, which offers historic tours called "Sunday in the Cemetery." We were there to see (but not photograph) the construction of the only mausoleum designed by FLW. It was not built because of the client's financial losses during the Depression. It is now under construction and the 24 crypts will be sold to help finance it.
Then we had lunch at Ulrich's Tavern, Buffalo's oldest tavern, sort of a German-Irish, blue collar-white collar pub that only locals like Marilyn can find. From there we drove to the restored Larkin Warehouse. The owner gave us a tour of this wonderful old warehouse now used for law offices and businesses. Larkin was a soap manufacturer that developed a marketing scheme that used premiums which soon became an industry in and of itself. An area of the first floor has been set aside as a museum of Larkin products and premiums. This is also the site of FLW's famous Larkin Administration Building. The link will provide its interesting design, history and demise, which I encourage you to read. The closest we could get to this masterpiece was to visit this pier.
Day 2, Afternoon and EveningThen we drove to the lovely old community of East Aurora, NY to visit the Roycroft Arts and Crafts Community. Wright and the executives and their families of Larkin were all bound together. One of the Larkin executives was Elbert Hubbard, a brother-in-law of the founder, John Durrant Larkin. Hubbard was the brains behind the premiums with soap marketing scheme. After making his fortune, he sold his share, and founded Roycrofters in 1893. He and his wife died when the Lusitania was sunk in 1915. Hubbard wasn't divine (as he claimed in his personal credo), but his influence on the arts and crafts movement and Frank Lloyd Wright was significant.
From East Aurora we drove to the lovely "Old Orchard Inn" built in 1880, snuggled in the hills of western New York, with some exciting moves by our bus driver Roseanne, who didn't like narrow roads or low viaducts. We didn't have much time as we needed to be at Graycliff before dusk, but we had a wonderful meal--ham or chicken, with carrots, potatoes, salad, and drinks.
After snaking our huge bus out of the Inn's parking lot and detouring around underpasses Roseanne thought were too low, we finally got to Graycliff where the pleasant staff gave us flashlights, because we were losing the sun setting over the glorious Erie. No photos allowed on the inside, but we got some good shots of the outside of the Martin's summer home (another Larkin executive who first brought FLW to Buffalo) and the chauffeur's cottage.
Frank Lloyd Wright had a 33 year relationship with the Martin family, and designed the home of Darwin and Esabelle Martin in Buffalo. She apparently thought the house not easy to live in and too dark, so she wanted something to capture the sunlight on this cliff on Lake Erie because her eyesight was failing. Our tour group had visited this site in 1995 when it still belonged to a Hungarian group of monks and was in very poor condition. It is being lovingly restored by the Graycliff Conservancy. Our 2 hour "hard hat tour" was superbly led by Mr. Mahoney, whose personal collection of FLW drawings hung in the visitors' center and gift shop.
An exhausted, but fat and happy tour group, returned to the hotel in Buffalo, to rest up for day 3.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
414 Frank Lloyd Wright TourWe'll be leaving to do a short bus tour of some Frank Lloyd Wright sites and some other places along the way of interest to architects. Here's the plan, but it sounds a bit fluid.
8 a.m.-- leave Columbus, drive by the Penfield House in Willoughby, OH, drive to N. Madison OH to the Staley Residence for a tour and lunch with owner
Late afternoon-- arrive in Buffalo--stay at Holiday Inn
Walking tour of historic Allentown district
9-11:30 -- Tour Butler Mansion and the Wilcox Mansion, site of the T. Roosevelt inauguration
noon--lunch at Ulrich's Tavern
1-2:30-- tour Frank Lloyd Wright designed Mausoleum, Gas Station and Boat House
2:45-5:15-- Drive to East Aurora to visit Roycroft complex and Vidler's 5 & 10 store
6 pm-- dinner at the Old Orchard Inn
7:30-- Twilight tour of "Graycliff" the Darwin Martin summer home on Lake Erie
9-noon-- hard hat tour of the Martin-Barton complex
noon-- leave for Canada, lunch along the Niagara River
afternoon-- Niagara on the Lake--walking tour, shopping, boating
Evening-- Dinner at Betty's in Chippewa, ON, CA. Stop at Table Rock to view the lights on the Falls
mid-morning-- breakfast/brunch at the Towne Restaurant before leaving Buffalo--possibly drive by the Rubin, Feiman and Dobkins Residences in Canton and/or the Weltzheimer Residence in Oberlin, OH
Early evening-- Arrive back in Columbus.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
413 Gas explosion increases neighborlinessThere was a gas explosion on Columbus' west side (Hague Avenue) Monday afternoon. It took 12 hours to cap it and 1300 homes lost power. Homes were evacuated. The power surge blacked out many homes beyond the danger area, and the outage stopped on my daughter's street--the south side, and she is on the north. Three of her neighbors are storing perishables in her basement refrigerator, and the next door neighbor (the only one on that side that lost power) has a power cord running to her kitchen from our daughter's home.
412 Foster RoseOn June 29 I wrote about having friends (clients) over for dinner at Lakeside. They gave us a lovely small blooming, deep pink, rose plant. As I gave them a warm thank-you, I whispered a quiet good-bye to the poor dear thing, knowing I would kill it within a week. When it started to look droopy, my husband took it outside and dug a hole beside the house and "planted" it. "It needs a lot of sun, and I don't think it is an outdoor plant anyway," I opined.
A few days later it wasn't there. I really hadn't expected it to disintegrate--just wither and die. "Where's the rose plant?" I asked. "I took it over to Dick's house," he said. "He's got a small white rose plant blooming along the drive-way that looks just great." Yeah, sure, I thought.
Dick agreed to foster our rose plant. It loves it at his house and is blooming like, well, like it never wants to go home again.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
411 It will never be September 10 againWe were married on September 11. Apparently, people who choose that date today can just about have their pick of accomodations, because who wants to associate a wedding anniversary with a tragedy? Even in 1960, I knew life would never be September 10 again; my life would be forever changed by what happened on the 11th.
And so it is today. It will never be September 10 again. Even if Osama is caught, or killed or brought to trial, his movement of hate for western values will outlive him. The security measures we've seen this week in New York is our future, regardless of who is our President.
We have two candidates. One says we will respond when we are attacked. The other says we won't wait for an attack--we're on the offensive. Lives will be lost either way. But the one candidate sounds like he is living September 10 all over again.
410 The Longest MonthAt the reception on Saturday some people commented on my poem that had been published in The Lakesider, July 31. Of course, I assumed it was my "Last day of July" poem, because I'd submitted several. But it wasn't, as I discovered when I looked through the paper that evening. It was my poem about February.
There are two possibilities why the editor chose this one. 1) She is from the area and lives there in the winter, unlike the vacationers who just see the "perfect days." 2) She's of the school that believes poems shouldn't have rhyme or meter. The third possibility, I suppose, is that it fit the space!
The Longest Month at the Lake--February
In the winter
when the snakes sleep
and the deer run
to the islands
on the ice flow
and my blood's thick,
cold and lonely
I will welcome
any stranger who waves,
any acquaintance who stops,
and any mail addressed to occupant.
Monday, August 02, 2004
409 The Perfect DaySunday, August 1, was the perfect day. The sky was clear with wonderful views of the islands and cool breezes. There was an ice cream social on the lawn of the Hotel Lakeside which drew such crowds the Friends of the Hotel raised $5,000. On the lawn was a band from a neighboring community playing rousing Sousa marches with lots of oompas from the brass section, and up the street the Ladies Club was having its annual book sale, $.50 a box after 4 p.m. There was an inflatable jumping gym set up in the park, and the three blonde child prodigy violinists were also performing in the park.
We four moved some chairs around on the pavilion deck as the sun changed positions and enjoyed the crowds, music and watching the children frolic on the sandy beach with our visiting Indiana relatives. Yes, a perfect day.