Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The last day of July

This is a rerun from July 31, 2004. Our friend Jane mentioned 3 years ago did buy a cottage.


Lakeside streets and cottages could tell you a thousand love stories--the community is over 130 years old. The vacationers seeking a beautiful place to worship, learn and have fun first arrived by steamship (ended in 1939), and rail (ended in 1930) and interurban (ended in 1939). Bridges and high ways brought changes that come with automobiles, but they didn't change why people come here. Our neighbors (in Columbus) stopped by the cottage yesterday returning from upper Michigan. They had never been here. "We've been here an hour and a half," Jane said, "and I want to buy a place."

And there are other love stories--this poem was inspired by a young couple I saw under the street light last summer on the last day of July. This one, however, is about a summer love story from the 1940s.
It was too late for summer love,
They cried that day and said good-bye.
Cicada announced at sunset
It was the last day of July.

As August waited at the door
The sun slipped down more quickly now.
They strolled along the Lakeside dock
and to each other made this vow.

"We'll dance and swim and sing once more
when next July we'll meet again
with kisses sweet in pale moonlight
on the corner of Third and Lynn."

He shipped out for the Philippines;
She left for school at OSU.
During July in years to come
They both recalled that lovely view.

The lovers young did not return
to stroll the lakefront side by side,
'til this year each saw the other
with great grandchildren at Lakeside.

It was too late for summer love,
After hello they said good-bye
with a kiss for their own sunset--
It was the last day of July.

Practicing with the camera

I'm practicing with the new camera, and have uninstalled the Easy Share software since it had all sorts of "stuff" I didn't need and didn't seem to let me use what I was used to. So this is the cat, using the zoom, using the laptop all reinstalled, without the software for the camera, but I still have to figure out how to make a smaller file. The instructions, which are really poor, are in four languages. Hope there's more on the web.


A pricey week at home in Columbus

Yesterday when I was at Meijer's buying groceries I stopped at the camera counter and bought a Canon Selphy CP720. I'd never even considered buying a printer for photos, but when my niece Cindy was here last week she showed me some views on her digital camera and asked which I'd like to have (of the family when she visited in Illinois). She pulled out a small, padded 6-pack cooler, and inside was a little 8 x 6 printer and she also had room for her camera and all the cords and instruction books in it (plus a soft drink on top). She said it was a lot handier than trying to remember later what people wanted. It probably isn't as cheap (about $.28 a print) as taking it to Wal-Mart or CVS, but for traveling as they had been doing for a month, it worked well. Hers was an early model with a docking station. The one I bought just needs to have the photo card inserted and you can select from the viewer on the top. The clerk at Meijer's was very helpful and also explained the Kodak Easy Share in detail, but they didn't have any.
Then this morning the wallet started to leak again around 8 a.m. at Kohl's with the 15% senior discount. I bought a pair of KEDS that I think will work for our trip to Ireland--I really wanted the taupe color but there were none in my size. I took my walk in them today to start breaking them in.
Then I went to Staples to pick up my laptop which I had left for a tune up and a software re-install. It had failed 2 weeks ago when I was at Lakeside (big blog withdrawal). The re-install removes all the files I had, but they were primarily photos and I think I'd captured most on disk. I had a nice comforting chat with Mike the tech; he told me which stuff was outdated and what he replaced it with and it did all the software security updates which I hadn't bothered with. I had a $29 Staples reward check, and $6.00 for returning ink cartridges, so my total with tax was only $26.43. I haven't turned it on yet. Fingers are crossed for a happy ending and more blogging at Lakeside.

I stopped at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop and bought 7 china soup bowls that almost match my good china. I'd waited months for them to break up the set (didn't want the whole thing, only the bowls), and finally got them for $4 a piece. They are not the fine quality of my Syracuse china (now discontinued), but if I turn down the lights, who will know? Although I am in trouble if I invite 6 for dinner. If I tried to buy replacement china to match my set now, I think I'd pay about $70 per soup bowl, if I could find them (Countess pattern).
The cheap china bowl with the expensive china plate. Pretty good match.

Then it was back to Staples to look for the Easy Share digital camera I couldn't get at Meijer's. I had a $30 coupon for a $150 purchase. The camera was $129, a 2 gig card about $19, and a box of paper for my new little printer brought the price tag up. But as it turned out, they were also out of the Easy Share. The clerk called the Hilliard store (didn't know there was one), so I went there for my next purchase.When I got home I mentioned to my husband that gasoline was $2.51 across the river, but within the hour when he went back, it had gone up to $2.69. Now I have a couch full of boxes, equipment, instructions, software, paper and a shoe box.

New photos

on the reunion blog (Mt. Morris High School, class of 1957). By clicking on the July archive, you can see most of them. The scrapbook history of the class reunions over the years kept by a classmember is going to be put in the town library for awhile, according to the newspaper. She did a wonderful job.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Lakeside Plein Air Paintout and Show

Because my computer was down in the middle of the month, I couldn't tell you about the Lakeside Plein Air Paintout and Art Show, July 13-15. It was great fun watching these artists work. And when they displayed their art on Sunday (you could buy a wet, fresh painting), it was during the wooden boat show. I wouldn't have thought to combine the two, but the boats were great subjects, and didn't move, and people who came to see one show also enjoyed the other. You can see the grass was a bit dry, but there have been some nice greening rains since then. From this amateur's eye, it looked like a smallish masonite board, sanded and primed offered the artist the best rigidity and hope for withstanding the changes in the weather. Although I did see one or two watercolorists, most artists were using oil, or acrylic with an extender which kept it from drying too fast. Watercolor dries quickly even in the studio, and outside, well, in a blink, so you'd better have great control.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Have your interests changed over the years?

It's interesting to look back and see how our interests change over the years. It's really a fluke that my husband was willing to go 3 days last week without my good cooking and company at the lake house just so he could sail! And with other old guys who have been sailing most of their adult lives, too! In the fall of 2004 I won sailing lessons by entering my sugar-free apple pie in a fall festival at Lakeside. I had no interest in getting wet, so my husband decided to use the $65 award for lessons in summer 2005. It turns out he loves sailing and is good at it, although he had never shown any interest before. In a few weeks he is going to take the advanced course (same instructor).

I'd never heard of blogging until the fall of 2003, and now I have eleven blogs, and am totally out of control. But that's not such a big stretch. I'd always written essays and long letters to my family and friends, and in the 90s began writing fiction and poetry. Research and publication were a requirement for my job at Ohio State University Libraries. So blogging is just a different way to publish and chat without the pressure of a deadline or peer review. However, blogging was a bit of a fluke also in that I started because I didn't like the harassment on the Usenet groups.

My husband had been an exercise instructor at the downtown YMCA for many years when he was a partner in Feinknopf, Macioce and Schappa. When he became a sole practitioner with a home office, he joined an aerobics class at UALC, our church--the only guy. The women were mostly young moms, and they invited him to become a Bible School teacher which he did. He taught VBS for 13 years and found out that he loved teaching children. And now he leads the women's aerobics class, too.

For about 20 years I was totally consumed with my children's lives--feeding, teaching, health, values, friends, schooling, teen angst, various crises, and finally the dreaded empty nest when I had to find another focus. Then from 1986 it was my reconnection with a career, promotion and tenure, conferences, organizations, publication, etc.

Thirty years ago I would have never dreamed that topics like retirement, 401-k plans, osteoporosis, nutrition or exercise could become so interesting. My reading tastes have changed completely--in fact, on Thursday I think I'll tell you 13 things about JAMA.

There were other life changes too--moving from being a humanist liberal/Democrat to a conservative Christian/Democrat to a Christian/conservative, for instance. Spiritual and social changes really rearrange your activities and friendships. Some things never changed--I never believed in evolution even though I was taught nothing else from first grade through graduate school and could fake it in science and biology classes, and I've never believed abortion was a just solution for either mother or child. Unlike many conservatives, I think the culture's gone too far to outlaw either one regardless of incredulity or cruelty to the unborn. Those two issues are very political, yet I've not swerved on them from liberal to conservative.

As a liberal I would work for social issues because I believed I could change other people's behavior and morals and make a better society. Liberals have an incredible smugness about their own power. (Living with teen-agers changed that closely held belief.) As a conservative, I no longer believe that, but am often involved in the same activities just because it is the right and Christian thing to do. Matthew 25 commands followers of Jesus to visit the sick and imprisoned and to feed and clothe the poor, not to change human society, but because those people are Jesus in the flesh.
    "And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?" And the King will answer and say to them [on his right], "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." And He will also say to those on His left, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me." (NASB)
As a liberal I had no hope or good news to offer anyone except maybe training for a job, or a Sunday visit during a prison term, or holding their hand as they died. Really temporal, cultural stuff. Not much in the scope of things is it? Not that conservative Christians are always politically conservative (I wasn't for a long time), or even that they do what Jesus explicitly commanded. However, study after study have shown that a solid belief in the work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf creates a much more generous and open spirit, than a socialist or humanist mentality, which seems to create more turmoil, dissension and a stingy spirit. But even if the research and polls didn't say that, he will know a sheep from a goat (Matt. 25:32-33), and I want to be sure that the good news comes first.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Comments on the News

Gonzales--would you be able to reconstruct without any errors anything you said or did a year ago, last week, this morning? The only good thing about the Democrats' witch hunt into executive privilege territory is that it keeps them from doing what their party faithfuls elected them to do.

Michael Vick--before his fighting dog problems, I'd never heard of him. If he's done even a fraction of what he's accused of, he should be ashamed (although people who do this have no shame). However, thousands of dogs are killed each year because their owners abandoned them or didn't train them and they became problems. Professional athletes are frequently in the news for beating up women, and you don't hear nearly the outcry as you do about this. T-shirt manufacturers don't pull the product. I won't link to any dog fight photos, but it's a terribly cruel sport for which millions cheer and gamble. Hmmm. Sounds a bit like football, doesn't it?

Nifong--He's apparently apologized, now let's see if the Duke faculty can display a bit of class and do the same--both the 88 and the others who just stood by. I'd fire the bunch, but I'm sure they are hiding behind some sort of legal protection, something they weren't willing to offer the lacrosse athletes of their school. I sure wouldn't send my kid to Duke if these clowns are any example of their faculty.

BET--I read about BET's new reality show displaying outrageous, ill mannered behavior by blacks. Now that's a help, isn't it? If people are idiots, what makes the producers think they'll shame them into some manners? I'm betting some of the investors in this travesty are after the green, regardless of their color, and they won't all be black. It's the only color that matters in the entertainment world.

Ward Churchill--Three investigative panels of the University of Colorado found phony baloney Ward Churchill rewrote history to fit his personal and political views and refused to take responsibility for his academic misconduct. So of course, he is suing. Between Duke's 88 and Colorado's Churchill, it's not a good year for academic administrations. Colorado should have booted him much earlier just on the strength of his smarmy lies that he was a native American. Time for some cage cleaning.

An immigrant's story

This morning on a local call-in radio show (Bob Connors, 610 am) I heard a Columbus immigrant counter a caller who had apparently called before I tuned in saying something negative about the Somalis. This immigrant caller I heard was Somali and had lived in the U.S. about 20 years, 10 in Columbus. His English was accented but grammatically perfect. And here's the general points he made.
    All Somalis who come to the US are legal immigrants who comply with all the government regulations. It cost him about $3,000 to bring his wife later, of which about $1,500 is legal fees for an attorney to make sure everything is done correctly. There are about 25-30,000 Somalis in the Columbus area, although he admitted to not knowing the exact number because no one tracks them. There are about 200,000 in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area, and a large group in Maine. He said Somalis succeed where others here much longer--hundreds of years (I think this was a reference to African-Americans)--do not because they "build their house." They help each other and establish small businesses--groceries, gift shops, bakeries, restaurants, clothing stores, etc., gradually moving up the socio-economic ladder. There is even a small shopping center in Columbus that has all Somali businesses.
We are not helping illegals become established by offering amnesty and encouraging them to continually break the law. It is possible to do it right, as this man, now a citizen, demonstrated.

The stuff of urban legends

I know a young, beautiful woman--early 30s I think--who married the wrong man when she was very young. A sweet baby and nasty divorce followed. She lacked a college degree or a trade so she began waitressing in an upscale restaurant and did well. There she met a businessman who noticed her people-skills and who offered her a job in marketing for a small TV station. She took the job, and again did very well--she used the same engaging personality and attention to her customers that she used at the restaurant. Recently she was offered a position in a larger market and took the plunge. The offer? $133,000 a year.

Now, I heard this story from her dad, and let's say he exaggerates a bit, because I think she inheritied his charm and sales skills. Even if you shaved the salary some, it's still a pretty good story, don't you think?

Naturally aged skin

That'd be mine. Yes, I stayed out of the sun--haven't had a real sun tan since I was 19 (although skin damage starts very young), and I'm not a smoker. But I am very fair. Sun, cigarettes and pale skin are the big three for wrinkles. So can this be reversed? Yes, according to a new study in Archives of Dermatology, 2007; 143:606-612.

The study was done on 36 residents of nursing homes with an average age of 87 using topical 0.4% retinol lotion, 3 times a week for 24 weeks on the arms.
    "Conclusions: Topical retinol improves fine wrinkles associated with natural aging. Significant induction of glycosaminoglycan, which is known to retain substantial water, and increased collagen production are most likely responsible for wrinkle effacement. With great skin matrix synthesis, retinol-treated aged skin is more likely to withstand skin injury and ulcer formation along with improved appearance."
Or you can put on 20 lbs. and fill out your own wrinkles (that's not in the article, but is from personal experience).

WebMD summary
ScienceDaily summary

What you do when young and eager on a field trip

Kathryn has a great story about a botany trip she made in college when she dreamed of being a botanist. She goes on to tell about a find of an extinct animal reported in the news, but I thought the first part, where she promises us some stories about how her views have changed is interesting. It's also a good example of how college students can get a bit manipulated by their professors.

Friday, July 27, 2007


What happened in Ohio in 1963?

There's something very odd about Ohio's adoption laws. If a person was adopted before January 1, 1964, their files/records are open (to the adopted person) with two pieces of ID and $20. If they were adopted between January 1, 1964 and September 18, 1996, their records are sealed and you'd better be ready to move heaven and earth to find out who you are (were).
    An adoptive person older than 21 and who was adopted between Jan. 1, 1964 through Sept. 18, 1996 can petition the court that granted the adoption to request Vital Statistics to search for releases received from the biological parent(s). If a release is found, a notice is given to the court to release the adoption record.
Does this seem odd to you? Ohio Department of Health

Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of the so-called open adoptions--B-mom picking out advantaged couples from essays and interviews, exchanging photos, A-mom inviting B-mom to the birthday parties, etc. Most of the cases I know of the interest in exchanging information drops off on both sides after a few years. It's the developing child I think about. What activist group or social worker ever decided it would be easier emotionally to know your B-parents knew where you were, or had your photo from your toddler years, but still went on with their lives without you? Who decided there would be less guilt and depression by parents who surrendered a child just because they chose the adoptive parents?

That said, an 18 year old should have complete and open access to all the documents, the originals and the doctored. S/he is no longer a baby who needs privacy and protection, but an adult who should have the same civil rights as the rest of us.

Can you take a picture for us?

Sure, they said . . . and then they posed.

We don't know their names, but they are friendly neighbors, and then they took our photo.

My husband has cleaned out the basement--says all the dead spiders are gone (this will make my SIL happy who will be there next week and is not fond of them). Very few houses in Lakeside have basements--and that's definitely one of the negatives--spiders. He's had some glorious days of sailing--even went to East Harbor with S.O.S. (Society of Old Salts). He says the programming on Wednesday and Thursday was terrific. Our friends Dave (also an architect) and Pam from UALC came up for a few days and they got together. This was their first visit to lakeside. A print of one of my husband's watercolors of the miniature golf course was presented, matted and framed, to a donor at the program Wednesday evening. This was a big surprise and thrill.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Goldfish and wine

Our dinner guests, my niece and her family from Florida, went to Cincinnati first for a Reds game, then stopped to see the Pete Rose display and the museum, then got caught in a traffic tie up. So I'm alone, munching goldfish crackers (Pepperidge Farm) and sipping Merlot. Usually, I don't allow crackers in the house--for the obvious reasons--I scarf them down. We're having pork roast, gravy, baked mashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, sliced garden tomatoes (thanks to my daughter's neighbors), cukes and peppers sliced, and lemon fluff pie with cherry topping. I think I've eaten half of the goldfish crackers.

Everybody talkin' 'bout peace ain't passin' it

Sunday I had the opportunity to hear a sermon by Tony Campolo, professor emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University and an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church, at Lakeside Sunday service at Hoover Auditorium (I'd already attended worship on the lakefront). Regardless of what you think of his theology or the larger umbrella of "the emergent church" you'll never hear a more entertaining Christian. He even jokes about being a bald guy with a son named Bart and a daughter named Lisa. He's a member of a predominantly African American congregation, and can preach it with patois better than anyone I know. If you were to hear it on a recording, you'd never guess he's an Italian American.

I always listen carefully for the gospel--not the social, feel-good, do-gooder peace and justice gospel, but the real Jesus-died-on-the-cross-for-your-sins, because without that you're just kiddin' around, giving people false hope that they can get into the kingdom with good works. And he did mention it--at the end of the sermon. If you're in a liturgical church that sings traditional hymns and has a lesson from the NT and OT, you can fill in what the preacher misses. But why should you need to?

Thirty some years ago I had the impression that Prof. Campolo and I were on the same page. Of course, I'd been a works-Christian most of my life before 1974, so maybe it was just that with the fresh blush and bloom of the Gospel, I didn't notice that some people who called themselves Evangelicals had become bored with the Good News of Jesus and wanted to "move on." Or maybe he came to the conclusion that there were no unbelievers in the pew. Wrong. If the folks aren't saved, Tony, there's not much point to a stunning sermon about the spirit.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen--13 Words for sheep

Feminist librarians say naming (cataloging and classification) is a form of power. Yawn. Librarians always say that about information, i.e., knowledge is control, power, etc. That's why they have such fabulous salaries and get government appointments. Ha. But other professions besides librarians and government bureaucrats also name by gender, role, age, economic value, hierarchy, etc., too. Like sheep farmers. One time I saw a list of 50+ English words for sheep (most of New Zealand and Australian origin where sheep are essential to the economy), only a few of which I remember. Here's a few I found on the Internet . . . plus a poem. Just because I'm a formerly powerful librarian.

Photo by JD Lasica

1) buck - uncastrated male sheep
2) dam - sheep mother
3) ewe - female sheep of breeding age
    Two tooth ewes (not pregnant)
4) ram - entire male animal that has reached sexual maturity at around six months
5) wether - male sheep castrated at an early age before secondary sexual characters have developed. A bellwether is a sheep with a bell leading the flock (also called a mob).
6) hogg - a sheep up to the age of one year; one yet to be sheared
7) hoggett - castrated male sheep usually 10 to 14 months old.
8) lamb - young sheep still with its dam (mother) or up to five months of age. Qualified as
    ewe lamb or
    ram lamb or
    Cade lamb - regional term for an orphan lamb
9) shearling - regional term for sheep up to first shearing
10) Gimmer - regional term for a young ewe that has not yet born a lamb.
11) Tegs - regional term for fat lamb in second season
12) Theaves - another regional term for a young ewe up to first lambing.
13) Tups or tips - male sheep, usually an entire breeding male ram
My sheep poem
by Norma

Buck, dam,
Ewe, lamb,
Wether, hogg,
Hoggett, ram--

tups, tegs, tips,
Theaves, shearling--

Waltz Matilda, waltz!*
*Waltzing Matilda is Australia's unofficial anthem. The spell check says it has never heard of any of these words.

Shocked and awed researchers

One of these didn't shock me, but several did.

74% of the 3% who suffer from "restless leg syndrome" seem to have evidence of a gene link according to recent articles in the NEJM and Nature. And naturally, someone's looking for or promoting a drug for it. Have you ever wished they'd just stuff that human genetic code back into the family's closet of skeletons?

The mega-veggies diet low in fat didn't give breast cancer survivors long term protection anymore than the 5 servings a day diet with average fat of the control group. Even though both groups also decreased caloric intake over time, both had small increases in weight. Seems some physical activity is needed. JAMA, July 18, 2007, (v. 298, no.3)

If government health care is so great (according to Democrat candidates on the campaign trail), isn't it odd that doctors are dropping their Medicaid patients? Ever wonder why Obama and Miz Clinton want to Fema-tize health care? Maybe they don't like black people and poor people?

Soda pop, diet or regular, seems to be adding to the metabolic syndrome problem--that's high blood pressure, high glucose levels, pre-diabetic, etc. Now this is just anecdotal and purely my own observation, but I've never seen a person of normal BMI who drank a lot of or was panicked without soda pop. I think Americans drink about 50 gallons of soda a year, Canadians about 30 and Brits about 22. So you see, someone is getting my share since I drink maybe 3-4 cans a year. People can be addicted to the carbonation, the sugar, the sugar substitute or the caffeine, or a combination of two or three.

Some people get it

John and Debbie for instance. They are from Southern California, but they eased into the Lakeside scene like oldtime midwesterners. There are risks inviting people to a tourist spot that isn't so touristy, where the pressures of the real world just start to slip away after 24-48 hours (for some it takes longer; for others it never happens). Another risk is you might try to keep them too busy, thinking they will expect constant activity. But these newlywed relatives knew they could walk around, chat with the folks, watch the boats, or lean on the fence and take in miniature golf.

Our friend John B. loaned us his golf cart, so we did the "tour" of the RBA houses that my husband has designed new or the remodeling to remove some of past disasters of the 1950s when people tried to modernize 1890s and 1920s cottages. We had five evenings of great programming, and a ferry ride to Put-in-Bay, good eats at the local restaurants and on our deck. We put them on the plane this morning early, and hope to see them again soon.

Brother and sister grew up a continent and 10 years apart but are happily making up for lost time. You're only a child a brief time--it's never too late to be a family even if your parents couldn't do it.

Lakeside is Open

Now that I'm back in Columbus, I'll download (and upload) a few photos of some of the Lakeside scenes I've been saving but couldn't use. (My laptop has failed; my PC won't read discs, so I need some tweaking of my technology.) The "season" at Lakeside is 9-10 weeks and includes cultural and spiritual programming from about 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some of the businesses, which include small restaurants, a coffee shop, deli-style shop with fresh flowers and delivery, ice cream shops, a tea room, several gift shops, candy store, sundries, artists' cooperative, a dress shop, movie theater (only one in Ottowa county), bicycle repair and golf cart rental, and Cokesbury book store, have varying opening and closing hours. I'm usually the first customer at Coffee and Cream, which opens at 6:30 a.m. where I catch the news and read the paper. Sloopy's and Dockside have been selling snacks and pizza by the slice at the concerts in the park on Sunday evenings. What Lakeside doesn't have is any establishment that sells alcohol. This helps contribute to its nice atmosphere for families with children. When you visit one of the islands or another tourist area, you can immediately see the difference.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


With Roger in the coffee shop

Now the hotel computer is down! Am I a jinx or what? But Roger brought his lovely Mac into Coffee and Cream, so I'm alerting my "regulars" (AZ, Bev, etc.) that I'm down for the count until I can get back to Columbus.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Back to the Lake, pt. 2

We arrived around noon on Thursday, and found we had an invitation to our neighbor's 90th birthday party, so the four of us enjoyed hamburgers and brats from the grill and were able to chat with some friends and neighbors. It's always fun to show first timers our little community and watch them gradually decompress from the real world as the peacefulness sinks in. Deb had been here many years ago when her daughters were about 12 and 13, but she doesn't remember much. My husband took them to several of the cottages for which he was the architect, although we'll use a golf cart for the BIG tour (I think there are about 33 or 34). I ran into Roger and Judi from Atlanta area who are in town for a few days--always great to see them and catch up on their growing family. We met in 1989 when we were both new homeowners. They moved south around 1994, but their hearts remain in Lakeside.

The program Thursday night was "Irving Berlin; The American Dream in Song" a multimedia presentation of the life and work of Irving Berlin. I loved hearing the old songs, and one or two with which I wasn't familiar. The female vocalist, Erin Kufel was just outstanding. At my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, the grandchildren gathered around the piano and sang, "Always," for them, which was popular when they were dating. Tonight is Gaelic Storm, an Irish group, and tomorrow night is the always popular OSU Alumni Band. I see that the community theater offering July 31-Aug 3 will be "You can't take it with you," but we won't be here to enjoy that.

Back to the lake

We picked Debbie and John up at the airport in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon--flight was just a few minutes late. We got them settled at our home, showed them around a bit, then met our daughter and SIL for dinner. Wednesday we did some sight seeing in Columbus and drove out to our son's home--bringing home some lovely cukes from his thriving garden.

We visited the State House and the Supreme Court building (Ohio Judicial Center) to see the art work and had lunch at Schmidt's in German Village, splitting a cream puff four ways. There's an interesting display on censorship in the education center of the judicial center--the whole education center is worth seeing, but this particular exhibit is very good and a piece of art in and of itself. I don't know who wrote the content, but although we now smile at some of the films the judges were required to review, one can definitely see that despite censorship, the steady downward spiral of the entertainment culture has continued. We also drove through the campus of Ohio State University, but it is a bit difficult to see. The main library is being gutted and is inaccessible for about four years, the student union is being torn down, the oval was closed to automobiles over 30 years ago due to student riots. We did jump briefly out of the car and looked at Mirror Lake. Foliage is so dense I could occasionally point to a roof top and say, "That's the building that was reconstructed to look like the original . . . ."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

13 summer looks that look uncomfortable or unsightly

1) Thong underwear
2) No underwear at all
3) Thong sandals
4) Crocs--any color, but especially bright pink or lime green--on men
5) Lacy, fringed, irregular hem lines on women,
6) 3-4" high heels and the bottom of bare legs
7) Laptop computers being lugged around with a purse and large bag
8) head bands
9) back pack purses on rounded shoulders
10) Heavy, beaded jewelry
11) Something dangling from the ear that isn't an earring
12) women with bare backs and a tattoo
13) and fringy, thinning pony tails on middle-aged men

Inside our alphabet soup

of federal agencies--FDA, USDA, HHS--I find it hard to believe we didn't already have someone doing this.
    "WASHINGTON (Reuters) Jul 18 - The United States is forming an import safety panel to report to President George W. Bush in 60 days following a string of incidents that have raised questions about the safety of products from China, the White House said on Wednesday."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The Rule of Six

For you young mommies (or even not so young) here's an interesting post on The Rule of Six, by author Melissa Wiley, who homeschools. I raised my children with this Rule of Six (and probably seven or eight if you add in something about nutrition and/or health and sports) without thinking about it, and I'm sure my mom did too. Melissa started out with five

• Good books
• Imaginative play
• Encounters with beauty (through art, music, and the natural world—this includes our nature walks)
• Ideas to ponder and discuss
• Prayer

and then also added "meaningful work" to make it six.

If I can add some hindsight here. . . It doesn't always result in what you hope or expect, because these are people, not programmable robots. Children come into this world with everything in place--physical features, personalities, talents and intelligence--everything except their values, and those they can accept or reject. Some children will never enjoy reading as adults, some will never be imaginative or musical; some will hate art shows or never pause for a beautiful sunset, some will want to discuss ideas you care nothing about and find meaning in things you'd keep in the closet or they may prefer silence and being alone; you might be Pentecostal and find out you've raised a Catholic nun, and the work they choose may not be your idea of "meaningful." Just two examples: I have two brown thumbs, can kill any house plant that isn't artificial, and my son loves to garden; I loathe any task that might require knowledge of how an appliance works, but my daughter thinks nothing of installing a ceiling fan or light fixture. Without advice or example from me, after their 20s, they discovered these interests.

My advice is follow the rule of six because it will make a parent's life more interesting and enjoyable, and any child can benefit from that.

So much for cover design

Are library staff visually challenged? It was bad enough when they started throwing away the book jackets (which often included information not in the book), but now they are obscuring the cover too!


This ad has bad karma!

And it should go down in the Annals of Stupid Ads. Have you heard (radio) the ad where the guy and girl are splitting up because he has grown lobster (or crab) claws. He accuses her of discriminating against him because she doesn't like his hands (claws), and she accuses him of being a non-volunteer who isn't contributing to society, so he has grown claws. Stupid, your name is the Ad Council. It gives new meaning to Dumb and Dumber.
    A nationwide study among 18-24 year olds conducted by the Ad Council and Lightspeed Research in March 2007 found that 95 percent of 18-24 year olds believe “what goes around comes around” and the vast majority (69 percent) believe in “karma.” Additionally, young adults are more likely to attribute the positive experiences in their lives to their positive behaviors (75 percent) as opposed to having “good luck” (56 percent).
I'm a Christian. We don't believe we are good because of what we do, but we do believe in one who was good on our behalf. Karma is a hindu belief--you get to come back, and come back and come back until you get it right. In that faith, you get what you deserve. In Christianity, you get what you don't deserve--mercy and forgiveness and a new start. With "karma" if you're bad, or don't pay attention, well, you just might end up with claws instead of hands. It's sort of works Christianity without the cross.
    God's plan made a hopeful beginning
    But man spoiled his chances by sinning
    We trust that the story
    Will end in God's glory
    But at present, the other side's winning
    -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, July 16, 2007


We're losing the tall race

I'm not surprised we're not the tallest country anymore. Holland now has the record. We used to be a predominantly European nation. Have you seen the height of the 12 million illegal aliens? I'm only 5'5" and I'm way taller than most of the guys I see on the construction crews, you know, those jobs Americans don't want?

Are dads less handy these days?

There's an interesting discussion going on over at the Juggle, the Wall St. Journal work blog. Tom Weber admits he has to call in his own father when something around the house needs to be fixed. My husband is pretty handy, but we do call on our son for advice on the cars, and our son-in-law on many tasks, particularly trimming our bushes or moving furniture. I literally don't know which end of the hammer to use. I think I get that from my dad. If he owned a tool, I never saw him pick it up. My mother did everything around the house, including painting, wallpapering, wiring, plumbing and carpentry and the outside stuff too, like gardening, mowing and climbing ladders to hang storm windows and clean gutters. I really hated that, and vowed I'd never do it. That's why I say I got it from Dad.

Remembering Lady Bird

Rick Librarian has some personal memories and book ideas for remembering Lady Bird Johnson, a really classy woman. She will be missed. I heard an interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin on Saturday about Mrs. Johnson and her relationship with LBJ. She lived at the ranch while helping LBJ with his memoir. If all she is remembered for is environmentalism, it will be a pity.

Monday Memories--Visitors from California

This week we'll be hosting my husband's sister Deb and her husband John who live in California. Last summer we traveled there to be with them when they got married. We had a great time doing things together and seeing the sights. This photo is Deb and me together at their home last September.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas

Millions of dollars in damage and thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed in the recent downpours and flooding. Oil spills are preventing returns for clean-up.

We don't have cable here (Lakeside), so perhaps there's been significant Katrina-type coverage, but I've only seen a few minutes on the regular news and a couple of inches in the paper. I think they can't quite figure out how to blame George Bush or to make it about race and poverty. But stay tuned.

Crash risk in general aviation

There was a brief article in the metro section of the Plain Dealer yesterday about a pilot killed in an ultra light. Jonathan Gamble, 65, died at the Portage County Airport just after take off. He was a very experienced pilot.

The death rate for general aviation is much higher than for commercial aviation. The April 11, 2007 issue of JAMA examines this and why with improved technology and training, not much has changed in the last 30 years. General aviation flights are 82 times riskier, and account for most of the deaths and injuries caused by flying. JAMA. 2007;297:1596-1598.
    In an examination of the crash risk of private flights, researchers found that general aviation flights averaged 1,685 crashes and 583 deaths each year from 2002 to 2005, accounting for 91 percent of all aviation crashes and 94 percent of all aviation deaths. Small aircraft flying at low altitudes make general aviation flights especially vulnerable to adverse weather conditions. For general aviation pilots, flying out of “see and avoid” conditions into conditions that require them to fly using their instruments is the most perilous scenario for pilots who have not obtained an instrument rating. Additional risk factors include pilots flying while intoxicated, sudden incapacitation (heart attack or other health issue), older age, being male, having a nonconformist flying style (e.g. being a daredevil) and having a prior record of an aviation crash or violation. Physician pilots are also found to crash at a higher rate per flight hour than other pilots. From a summary in a press release

Laura Bush

Despite being dissed by some cranky members of the American Library Association who don't know a good opportunity for positive PR when they see one, Laura Bush's numbers remain high. There is a great article about her in the Wall St. Journal week-end edition.
    Mrs. Bush nudges the conversation along toward a point she wants to make: Fighting disease in poor countries also pays other tangible benefits, including expanding economic growth and liberating women. Sometimes this happens with the smallest of projects -- like providing clean drinking water to a school:

    "Especially the economic part of it, the girls who are kept out of school because they are the ones looking for water, or . . . have to walk however far to the water well and bring it back, and so they aren't in school. And that's one of the reasons the clean water, the PlayPumps [merry-go-round water pumps] that we inaugurated in Zambia are very important -- and they're in a schoolyard -- so that if girls don't have to search for water for their families, they're more likely to be educated."

    If reporters pay close attention to what she says and follow up on it, they are likely to find that Mrs. Bush is willing to take controversial stands. On her recent flight to Africa, she told journalists traveling with her that the U.S. needs to be "efficient and effective" with foreign aid money. No one on the plane asked what she meant.

    For one thing, she supports using the most effective defense ever developed against malaria -- an insecticide called DDT, which has been vilified by environmentalists even though it was essential to eradicating the disease in the U.S. decades ago."
You go girl! Article here.

Whose line?

Hoover Auditorium (seats ca. 3,000) in Lakeside was packed last night to experience "Whose line is it anyway" with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. With help from the audience which supplies ideas, they improvise skits, and even a little opera. I was laughing so hard tears were running down my cheeks. Both performers appear on the TV show by the same title.

Earlier in the evening we met with other donors at the train station for a reception and pep talk from the chairman of the Foundation Board, Dale Knobel, and Kevin Sibbring, the President of Lakeside. We saw lots of friends, ate too many yummies, and heard some great music.

The art show opened Thursday and I think it is one of the best we've had here. My husband has sold two of his paintings, and we bought one by Robert Moyer. I think he will be teaching at the Rhein Center in a week or two. I think he is a terrific artist.

We pick up Deb and John at the airport in Columbus on Tuesday and then will return here on Thursday.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Upkeep for the Joneses

One of the cottages I passed on my walk yesterday had the name, "Upkeep for the Joneses." Here at Lakeside, many people give their cottage a name, and it sometimes is passed along to the new owner. Ours doesn't have a name, but we tell people we live in the Thompson cottage, the previous owner's name. He died in his 80s and was born on that site in the previous house.

Robert J. Samuelson writes about the happiness scale in the Washington Post, and syndicated elsewhere (I saw it in the Cleveland Plain Dealer). Although much wealthier than they were in 1977, Americans still rate about the same on "happiness." So money doesn't buy happiness.
    In 1977, 35.7 percent of Americans rated themselves "very happy," 53.2 percent "pretty happy" and 11 percent "not too happy," reports the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. In 2006, the figures are similar: 32.4 percent "very happy," 55.9 percent "pretty happy" and 11.7 percent "not too happy." Likewise, in most advanced countries, self-reported happiness has been flat for decades.
Go figure. After the basics are satisfied, we can spend a lifetime chasing something we think money will buy. My husband says the happiest people he ever met were the Haitians he got to know last February on a mission trip. By our standards, they had nothing.

One of the happiest people I've talked to recently is suffering (without complaint) from a post polio condition, and is retiring soon with a very limited income. She talks enthusiastically about selling her home and moving into a small apartment on her son's rural property. She has a very full life of service to others, some as a missionary with YWAM and is joyful and excited about life.

No social scientist can explain this. And although she is a committed Christian, even that isn't an explanation, because I know many Christians who aren't happy even if they do serve others and they aren't pleasant to be around. I suspect she was born with some "half full" genes.


My former daughter-in-law is a beautiful woman--but she must have thought she needed a lot of help, because I keep finding her cosmetic bottles at our summer cottage. I've benefited from her hand lotion, moisturizer (hair), nail polish remover, and shampoo. She was (is) also a great cook, and bought a lot of spices I'll probably never use, but I haven't thrown them out. After the break up, we also lost our step-grand daughter (now 16), and today I came across some of those reminders, too. I opened the sewing cabinet and found the little dollies and crayons and coloring books I bought for her when she was around 3 or 4. We'd sit on the deck and have tea parties. They looked up at me with their eyes wide open, waiting.

I could have taken geology!

This week at Lakeside I attended an interesting series on the Great Lakes. Two were taught by Prof. Charles Herdendorf of OSU, "Geologic History of the Great Lakes," and "Shipwrecks of Lake Erie,"--fascinating stuff, both. A third one was a viewing of a new film by WGTE (Toledo) on the human experience along Lake Erie. I think that one is available from them. But it was the geology lecture that was the most interesting--probably because I never had any in college, so I was starting from zero. I enjoyed it so much, it made me wish I'd taken that instead of chemistry for my science requirement. Funny, too, because I'm a 6 day creationist, but I don't mind a bit learning about all those millions of years of erosion of rocks and seaweed becoming petroleum, or the 4 glaciers that covered Ohio, or the many changes in the size of Lake Erie, or that there used to be many more lakes in the Great Lakes area--a huge one in Canada. One recent event he mentioned did really amaze me. He said the Atlantic Ocean is getting larger and the Pacific smaller. Has nothing to do with melting glaciers, either. It is the shifting plates under the oceans. In just my life time the Atlantic has expanded 6 ft. Don't build near the shorelines, folks.


If you ever have a chance to hear Prof. Herdendorf, grab it.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Green architecture

Because my husband's newsletters come to my e-mail, and we still get 3 or 4 architecture magazines, I see a lot of articles about green architecture. I read so much green, I'm getting moldy! Now there's a watch list of endangered buildings and cultural sites, and global warming has been added to the list of problems. This year New Orleans made the list because of global warming and Iraq's cultural sites made the list because of political conflicts (nothing political about this list, right?)

New Orleans is a mess because of the political graft and corruption at the parish, local and state level. From the governor to the mayor to the levee boards. It is and was run by Democrats who managed to create a helpless, poverty mired population through a victim creating welfare state. They must like it this way or Ray Nagin wouldn't have been reelected.

The people of Iraq have been liberated from a terrible dictator, whom unfortunately we helped along the way to total power. He's gone now, and let's see what they can do. It won't be our type of democracy, and there are days when I ask who would want what goes on in our halls of Congress?

Which do architects value more? Preserved cultural sites or mass graves of religious and political conflict? Don't answer, I think I know the answer. We got out of Korea with a truce 50+ years ago, and our military are still there and the people of North Korea have been starved because of our "peacemakers." We fled Vietnam in disgrace, and millions died. Now there are Americans who want to continue this inglorious tradition. Baffles me, but I suppose there are Americans who want to be sure that no country ever asks for our help.

Hands off the sports program, Dr. Gee

Gordon Gee, a former President of Ohio State (1990-1997), will be the new OSU President. At Vanderbilt he shaped up the sports program. I see he's not happy with the graduation rate of the OSU football players. He thinks the system is "broken." If college is supposed to prepare a young person for the real world, and some want to be professional sports players, why do we care if they graduate? Bill Gates didn't graduate, and he's done OK, and he did even play football! If the young, large necked guys don't graduate from OSU, and don't play NFL, but later decide to try a junior college or technical school because they see the light, what's so terrible. Would they have done better if they never had attended the largest university in the country? The OSU football program actually makes money, and it funds the programs like women's basketball and volleyball that run in the red. People don't fill that stadium to see scholars smash mouthing each other.

Graduation rates are way over rated, as are degrees. Librarians have degrees; lots of them. Knowledge is supposed to be power. Ha. We can't even get a librarian appointed as Librarian of Congress.

Friday morning from the lobby

of the Fountain Inn in beautiful downtown Lakeside, I'm working away at my other, other blog. Yesterday I read an interesting article about weight, hormones, age and activity level in Real Simple, July 2007. My friend Bev had left it at the cottage. So I've written down 20 tips from that article, and invite you over there to read them.

Last night's performance was a fabulous guitar ensemble--a teacher and 3 of his students. Really blew us away. We also had a pot luck dinner with other artists from our Rhein Center which is really booming. We attended the opening of the Lakeside Art show also yesterday afternoon. Really--a knock your socks off show. We bought #307 by Robert Moyer. It's not a happy palette but fabulous composition and watercolor technique. We usually buy art either for my birthday or our anniversary, or both. Also the Amish quilt show is this week--that's always a popular feature.

Time to head for the coffee shop, and then a looooong walk along the lakefront to burn off the effects of all the good food I've been exposed to this week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen from the hotel lobby

1)Yesterday my laptop failed, so I walked to the hotel in the dark where I'm typing at 5:15 a.m. At least no one is around.

2) The time hasn't been set to EST on this machine and it says I'm up even earlier.

3) I spent a lot of time yesterday taking photos for a photo essay, but can't download them.

4) I don't want to reload the software because I'll lose all the great photos I downloaded last summer and this summer.

5) My home computer has stopped reading CDs--it keeps telling me to "insert CD" and doesn't recognize them.

6) Sounds like it is time to call a computer whiz guy to spend some time with both of them.

7) In the meanwhile, I won't be visiting many Thursday Thirteeners today.

8) To my right is the fire extinquisher

9) next to it is the water fountain.

9) Then on my left there is a large chalk board and an artificial plant.

10) The chair is very uncomfortable.

11) The tiny table (seems to be from a kindergarten class 50 years ago) on which the computer is sitting is so low that my knees won't fit under it.

12) So I'm sitting side saddle.

13) I hope you're grateful for this Thursday's Thirteen.

Blogosphere and the Terrorists

Daniel Henninger has an article about how terrorists are using the new media in today's WSJ. Read it here.
    There is no more unchallenged verity in our times than that the World Wide Web, the Internet, is a boon to mankind. But as with nuclear or biological warfare, the Web is a dual-use technology. Technically adept Muslims, using out-of-the-box PC software and hardware, are outputting an electronic torrent of slick Web sites, discussion forums, videos, e-magazines and long-form movies, all with one purpose--to incite Muslims to join the jihad against the enemies of Islam in Baghdad, London, Glasgow or New York. Forget those Iraqi attack videos on YouTube; this is a sophisticated, globally distributed propaganda operation.
They need to be careful--once their ladies find out about shopping on the internet, they might have another revolution on their hands! They can't keep them buried in the 7th century forever.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


My laptop has failed, so unless I want to run down to the hotel each time, I won't be blogging much.

Praised for his bravery

After the Koran toting Muslim men had been led away, the British judge praised the bravery of civilians who were sitting in court, Angus Campbell, 43, and Arthur Burton-Garbett, 72, who tried to stop Razmi Mohammed as he fled the scene of the bomb attacks in London. Campbell is a fireman, and Burton-Garbett a former soldier. Seems the terrorists defense was that a car bomb loaded with nails and metal wasn't intended to maim or kill.Story at BBC News

Stress? What stress?

Back story. Dave, a mild mannered librarian, joined the National Guard a few years ago, and is now back in his dangerous job as a politically conservative information specialist. He quotes from a British article about the stress that librarians undergo. His view is a bit different.
    Basically, the study defines librarians as "stressed" because they're underpaid, hate their jobs, and have high absenteeism. I'm sorry, that situation sucks, but it's not real stress. Dealing with IEDs and sniper attacks is stressful; having two BI* sessions in a day isn't. Even during the new, toned-down Basic Training, I found myself pining for the days when my big worry was being swamped at the reference desk by students working on some of our least favorite assignments. Unfortunately, most of us in the West live such spoiled, sheltered lives, that we have little idea what real hardship looks like."
In the USA, we have hip, young, tattooed and pierced librarians who love their value-free environment as they contribute to the greater good of society by stocking the shelves with anti-Bush and anti-Christian materials.

*BI means "bibliographic instruction," whereby librarians teach classes how to use the catalog and databases. We used to call it "user education," but I think some students got the wrong idea because I used to get questions on how to grow marijuana when I worked in the agriculture library.

The Russian Internet

You've probably wondered about the Russian Internet, haven't you? Well, Eugene Gorny has written his thesis on this topic, and it is in English, so much easier to read than his blog. Check it out here.

Defending the Bush Tax Cuts

We all know the Democrats intend to raise taxes when they take over in 2008. It's not like they hide their plans. Mike Volpe at Proprietor Nation reminds us to beware of some of the biggest lies, myths and distortions about taxes by reviewing what he knows about basic economics:
    "How many Democrats uttered the words, "tax cuts for the rich". Of course, this is an outright lie. Every tax bracket, including but not exclusively the rich, lowered their rate. The Democrats proclaimed that in dollar terms the rich got the overwhelming piece of the tax cuts. Well, in the words of any third grader, duh. The rich make the overwhelming amount of money and pay the overwhelming amount of the taxes. 3% of 50,000 dollars is a lot less than 3% of 1 million dollars. Of course, the rich got the biggest part of the tax cuts, their pool is by far larger. A millionaire pays more in taxes than most people make in income. They played the traditional class warfare, pitting the wealthy Republicans versus the middle class of the Democrats. Well as Gregg Jackson pointed out in "Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies" targeted tax cuts, the kind the Democrats bemoaned, are nothing more than a form of communism, where the poor are propped up on the backs of the wealthy. Furthermore, logic tells us that it is the wealthy, not the middle class, that creates jobs. A three percent tax cut for someone making fifty thousand may put more money in their pockets, but they won't hire any new workers as a result of it. A millionaire on the other hand, is something totally different."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


A common language

In developing her theme on why Americans can't afford to lose their common language, Peggy Noonan lost me with this phrase:
    "She's one of a small army of advertisement giver-outers in New York."
Giver-outers? Surely a professional writer can do better than that. "She's one of a small army which gives out advertisements in New York," or "She's one of a small army of advertisement distributors in New York." And she used the phrase twice. Ah, New York, New York.
    "Europe is lucky: All those different cultures and languages are bundled up all close to each other and next to each other. They learn each other's languages with ease."
Oh really? "Close to and next to." With ease? In Denmark, I had to use my hands to order a cup of coffee in the airport; in Estonia, I found people who spoke Russian much better than Estonian. In Finland, the Vietnamese and Somali immigrants can speak Swedish because Sweden controlled the country for so many years and it is still required in the schools. But the Finnish Laplanders (Sami) aren't necessarily happy about speaking Finnish since their people reside in four countries.

I personally think it is great to learn several languages-- the children in Haiti learn four, not that it has stopped endemic corruption or built a decent infrastructure. But which languages should they be? Do our illegal immigrants speak decent, educated Spanish, let alone understandable English? Yes, a common language would be great. Starting with our best known writers.

The world's most active poet?

In the late 1970s I worked in the Agriculture Library in an agricultural credit program at Ohio State University. It was a terrific job--I think I worked 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., had summers off, and got full credit towards retirement. The job lasted about 3.5 years, and then I moved to the Latin American Studies library (I think that was the name then) in the Main Library (Thompson Library, now closed for remodeling), where I worked with John Bennett. He had a PhD in Romance Languages, was working in the library, writing and publishing poetry in his off hours. He was a good companion and interesting co-worker, even if I didn't understand his poetry. It seemed he had something new every week--or at least month. I looked at the OSUL NewsNotes today, and he's still at it.
    John M. Bennett, Rare Books & MSS Library, has published a book of collaborative full-color visual poetry, D RAIN B LOOM, Puhos, Finland: xPress(ed), 2006. 147 pages. Co-author is Scott Helmes.
I found NewsNotes by browsing Knowledge Bank, a digital archive of things published at and by OSU.

Would your dog walk under an umbrella?

IPWatch offers an obscure patent each day, and I thought this dog umbrella (2003) had possibilities--not for any dog I've ever known, but someone might have one. Take a look.

According to the site, the term intellectual property is now commonly used to refer to the bundle of rights conferred to owners by each of the following fields of law: (1) patent law; (2) copyright law,; (3) trademark law; (4) trade secret law; and (5) the right of publicity. The About Us page says: "IPWatchdog.com is dedicated to providing a free, reliable and easily understandable resource on intellectual property law and related topics. We promise to demystify intellectual property and explain to you what it is, why you would want to consider obtaining intellectual property and how to go about obtaining worthwhile protection. We also explain various pitfalls to avoid, as well as what you can do to help yourself."

Today's cartoon really speaks truth to me.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Run Cindy, run

Cindy Sheehan needs media attention the way the rest of us need oxygen. Since she "resigned" and "sold" her Crawford property, she's been out of the lime light. Her big mouth and her deceased son are her only claims to fame, but I think there are politicans in both parties who have less going for them. At least she is passionate. So she may run against Granny Nancy, the rich, smooth, slick Californian just a few heartbeats from the presidency.

Good luck, Cindy. What you lack in smarts, you make up in guts.

What we learn from nature about God

I love a visit with Pastor Brad. He's been on vacation, backpacking in the wild. His spiritual refreshment was not what you might expect.
    Since the advent of the car and paved roads, it is fairly easy to get a good view from a mountain top somewhere. You can simply drive to some "Look Out Point," put the car in park and enjoy the view. You cannot do that in the wild. In one day, my friends and I had to walk over four mountains, carrying 35 lbs. on our backs, fighting the heat and exhaustion just to get to a decent campsite. Not only did we have to contend with heat and fatigue, we had to fight ticks, chiggers, biting flies, and even snakes. And it rained. In fact, the wood was so wet that we could barely build a decent fire.

    So what did I learn from nature? It's fallen. Instead of fruit trees, the ground grows thorns and prickly things. There is almost nothing edible in the forest, and even that which is edible is fairly lousy. Except the occasional blackberry, but even that gift comes with thorns. Even clear mountain streams can prove lethal if the water is not filtered and treated before drinking.

    The Bible teaches that "the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:20-21). So even the beauty of nature is tainted with the corruption of the fall. I could not see God as clearly as I wished in nature because it is fallen as I am fallen. Sin permeates the natural world and obscures the glory of God.

    So as I walked over the cursed land I dreamed of a day when the Creator will liberate His creation from bondage. I imagined a day with no more thorns, chiggers, mosquitoes, and ticks. Even the earth longs for the day of redemption. Together we groaned for the return of the King.

Monday Memories--the old oak tree

Last week when we were in Illinois we visited the woods where my cousin and her husband are building their retirement home. As my aunt and uncle aged, it became difficult for them to care for the property which can become overgrown in just a matter of a few years. But Frank had been patiently reclaiming it, just as they had done over 30 years ago, and we were able to walk back to an area where our families had breakfast in the woods under a beautiful oak some 30 years ago. 50-100 years ago this wooded area was pasture, and the soil is packed hard by cattle hooves. We found our opening, but the magnificent oak was dead. It was alive last summer, Frank said with a final glorious burst of color in the fall. The extension agent thought perhaps it had been struck by lightening. So many happy memories here. Good-bye old friend.


The Flowers of Lakeside

Yes, our streets are really this close to the houses, and people do rest in hammocks.

A walk along the lakefront.

The Patio Restaurant, where fresh donuts are made every morning.

This is a WWI memorial for the soldiers from the township, but I suspect the cannon is from the War of 1812, because there was a famous battle on Lake Erie.


The Four Freshmen and Kelly Crum Delaveris at Lakeside

Saturday night the crowd at Hoover Auditorium were enchanted by the mellow jazz renditions of the latest reincarnation of the Four Freshmen, who were big stuff (remember "Graduation Day?") when I was in high school. This group actually began in the late 40s, were really big in the 50s and early 60s, slipped out of sight but continuted performing. I think the last of the original group retired about 10 years ago. But they were fabulous. Then on Sunday at Family Night in the Park, we were treated to the Latin sounds of the 50s-70s of Brasileira with Kelly Crum Delaveris, a graduate of Upper Arlington High School who sings in Portuguese. She and the Four Freshmen recently performed with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in Columbus at a Stan Kenton salute. You probably know what the FF sound like, but here's a link to listen to Kelly.

Updating genealogy

I don't have my genealogy database with me on my laptop, but today I noticed at the Brethren Genealogy listserv that the FamilyHart database had been updated--524,488 people and 182,471 families. It is a Pennsylvania Dutch family, so I took a peek at the list of surnames. Yup. We're there. Well, not me personally, because only one of my grandfather's brothers (George d. 1944) is listed. But if you are related to any Shirks or Wengers, you'll find family there. My great grandmother, Nancy J. Wenger is (according the the FamilyHart DB) a 10th generation descendant of Hans SCH√úRCH. The Schurch family originated in Sumiswald, Bern, Switzerland. There are many spellings of the family name in America including Shirk, Sherk, Shoerg, Schrock. And a lot of Hans! I think I tracked Nancy back to Anna Burkhart Shirk, then sort of lost Anna in the mists of time. I think Anna married a Wenger and they had a son who immigrated. I'm not a real genealogist, I only have copies of a few wedding certificates, death notices and draft records. I rely on the kindness of strangers who do the heavy lifting.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


U.S. military deaths

According to a story in the Plain Dealer (AP), as of Saturday, 3,603 members of the U.S. military have died since March 2003, 2,952 in hostile action. Most of the Iraqis who have died, have been killed by other Iraqis, or other Muslims passing through who don't like their fellow faith members because of something in the 7th century. Iraq's boundaries, by the way, were drawn up by a woman who thought they could all just get along. But back to Americans. In that same period of time, over 5,500,000 American babies have been legally aborted (estimation based on Planned Parenthood statistics for 2003 and 2004). Even if you figure 1/4 may have miscarried or died of problems in utero even if not disturbed by the medical profession and their mothers, that's a lot of little people. It's a future city, isn't it? In a generation, it could be a small country. And also, during that four years, over 24,000 teenagers have died in automobile accidents, and over 1,200,000 were injured. That's how AllState figures it--and just changing the legal driving age to 18 so their brains could mature could eliminate a large number of those deaths. Why doesn't AP make little gray boxes in newspapers for our dead children?

More on talk radio and fairness

After some excellent links to commentary (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was a keynote speaker at ALA recently and beat the Fairness horse for applause) Heretical Librarian pretty much sums it up
    Whatever form it takes, it is clear that the Democrats' impending assault on talk radio has nothing to do with "fairness" or "diversity" or "media consolidation"; rather, it is a naked attempt to silence conservative talk radio. After all, why is there all this concern about ensuring a fair representation of views on public airwaves, yet no concern about the equally one sided dominance of liberal and leftist viewpoints at public universities? Besides, does anyone really think that liberals would even be making an issue of talk radio if Air America had been a roaring success instead of a bankruptcy ridden failure?