Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Family Photo--The generations

In the black and white photo taken probably in August or September 1935, we see my uncle John and his wife Opal holding baby Evelyn, John's parents (my grandparents) Joe and Bessie, and Bessie's parents (my great grandparents) Bill and Leanor. Evelyn was the first grandchild and first great grandchild, so this is what I'd call a Four generations photograph. By the time I came along, there were so many grandchildren it was no big deal, but I did live on the same block as my great grandparents, so there is a photo of me at age 5 with her.

Fast forward 58 years. Now here is a real generations photo! In the color photo taken in July 1993 in Mt. Morris, IL, we see the descendants and spouses of Joe and Bessie, who both died in 1983. At their 60th wedding anniversary in 1972, they had 23 grandchildren and 31 great granchildren, but I'm not sure what the count was 21 years later. Aunt Opal is the only one from the b & w photo still alive at the 1993 reunion. She is the white haired woman in the dark shirt with sun glasses in what might be called row 3 a little to the right, sitting next to me in the pink dress. Evelyn died in 1978. I think one of Evelyn's sons is in front of Aunt Opal. My husband is behind me, my daughter behind him with her hands on his shoulders, and her fiance, now husband, behind her. My parents are next to me with my sister Carol next to Dad and my brother in front of him. My other sister was at the reunion but isn't in the photo.


What I knew about retirement after 18 months

Tomorrow it will be seven years since I retired. Officially, I retired on October 1, 2000, but I had some vacation and sick leave, so August 31 was the day I turned in my keys. I stayed late that night, left in the dark, and shed a few tears as I hauled out the last few boxes. Today I came across a note I'd written to a fellow librarian 18 months later in February 2002 to let her know how retirement was going. I had written an extensive plan, called "Post Employment Plan" and made it public on my web page (no longer have that), so I was catching her up on how things were going.
    "I’m enjoying a lot of the things I said I'd do--and trust me when I say I had absolutely no hobbies (except reading) and was a bit concerned which is why I made my plans so public. Accountability. But I am taking a writing class, a Spanish class, a painting class, and ballroom dance (for the second time since 2000--slow learner). We did the Alaska cruise in 2001 and will do an Atlantic seaboard cruise this fall [this was changed to a land tour due to a hurricane]. I'm in a book club with Marti and Adrienne, and in the Visual Arts Ministry at our church. I've got a genealogy software program, have entered about 3,000 relatives, and discovered that I am my own 6th cousin because of all those Tennessee marriages of 1st cousins. Also have found an occasional "love child", and that has been REALLY interesting. For a year I did try helping an international student with English, but decided the age gap was a problem (I was older than her parents). I never did take up roller blades--have some hip pain, so I'm sticking with walking at the gym at Bethel and Olentangy. Bird watching has been tough--can never find the little suckers. But I do sit on the deck of our condo and try it, and enjoy watching the condo crew show up to mow the lawn. I'm going to be the guest poet at an "open mic" poetry reading in April, and will be in a barn painting show to celebrate Ohio’s bicentennial. Also had a piece published in "Stories of Ohio; Tales my grandparents told me" (if I'd do the genealogy research, I could join Ohio First Families).

    If it costs less to be retired, I haven't seen it. Too many things to do. But time is money, and I'm a billionaire. My advice about retirement is the same as you've heard elsewhere. The health insurance is a real problem--it is now 1/3 of my retirement check and was 1/7 when I started. I'm wondering if health premiums might be 100% by the time 65 rolls around [it isn't]. You all know what the stock market has done to your funds, so adjust and be cautious. I bought TIAA-CREF SRAs every year I worked, and haven't used it yet [still haven't], but it is a good idea to have something besides your pension. Because of STRS, I get nothing from Social Security, but every case is different--so make an appointment and check it out if you are nearing retirement age."
Then in October 2003, I started blogging. I think I may have posted this before, but can't find it. Plus, it's just fun to read it.

Only Republicans get booted for bad behavior

Democrats don't seem to care--there are a number of Democrats under not just a cloud, but a downpour, beginning with Teddy letting a young woman drown, Jefferson of Louisiana and his cold cash and misuse of the national guard, Ray Nagin wanting a chocolate city after he let welfare residents sink or swim in New Orleans, and flowing right up to Hillary who's been accepting funny money from a man named Hsu (pronouced shoe). And don't tell me about how Republicans run on "family values" so it's about hypocrisy. Bunches of Democrats won election in 2006 by switching to, "I just found Jesus," during their campaigns.

"It seems like a high price to pay for toe-tapping and hand waving, but Craig pleaded guilty rather than dispute the charges. He has to take responsibility for that action as well, and as a Senator, he knows that his credibility depends on actions in and out of Washington. The accusations and the guilty plea reflect poorly on him and poorly on the GOP if they try to shield him. Basically, Craig embarrassed himself, and the party doesn't want to pay the price for Craig's individual actions." Captain's Quarters.

What Bill says about Hillary

Dick Morris, who is no prize for ethics and morality himself, contradicts a few critical points in Bill Clinton's commercial for his wife's candidacy. For instance, Morris points out:
    Hillary considered (threatened) running for governor of Arkansas in 1990 when Bill didn't want to, so after doing some polling, he decided to run for a 2nd term.

    "Hillary's main extra-curricular activity in law school was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a federal agent. She went to court every day as part of a law student monitoring committee trying to spot civil rights violations and develop grounds for appeal."

    "Hillary interned with Bob Truehaft, the head of the California Communist Party. She met Bob when he represented the Panthers and traveled all the way to San Francisco to take an internship with him."
There are other allegations that shouldn't be too difficult for bloggers to verify. But there's enough here to sound pretty scary. Most of this was reported by Carl Bernstein in his new book about Hillary, but Morris provides his insider take just on the dishonest commercial which paints a totally different Hillary--even has her in different places. But would Bill Clinton lie?

Thursday, August 30, 2007


A delightful group of young people

Christiane Anampour couldn't grasp the difference between women who dress modestly and radical muslims who force women to wear burkas and keep women out of school in her program on CNN, but the community of Saline, Michigan gets it. Last week at Lakeside we enjoyed a program of fiddlers from the high school in Saline (also included guitarists and cellists). The girls all wore swingy, fashionable skirts and collared shirts, and the boys wore neatly fitted jeans and collared shirts. No one was over weight or anorexic; no one was tattooed; no one had nose or eyebrow studs; no one wore too much make-up. What a fabulous group of young people, and Michigan should be proud.

Now in their 14th year, "The Saline Fiddlers represent the positive side of today's youth while reflecting the rural traditions of Saline and ultimately the country. The performers, all students at Saline High School, earn their places through competitive auditions based on musical ability and personal integrity. Each Fiddler balances academics, sports, school organizations, church activities, jobs and social lives with this demanding commitment to music."

How to stomp out artistic talent in children

Backstory: Some teachers from our local Wickliffe Progressive Elementary school went to Harvard this summer to attend Project Zero Classroom 2007 (usually zero means worthless, but perhaps I'm behind the times). They studied with Melissa Rivard and Mara Krechevsky for a week, which the participants called "a great opportunity." Upon returning, the participants shared what they learned at an in-service day, and it was reported in our local SNP newspaper.

Here's the technique that caught my eye, and I hope the journalist got it WRONG!
    "I'm excited to use the thinking routines, where children are making extensions or connections," she said.

    Instead of a child creating a drawing, then explaining to the other students what the picture means, the other students will talk about what they see in the drawing.

    "This leads to discussions," she said. "Instead of just telling the information, the kids are creating it by thinking about it."
Oh yuk! I suppose it depends on the age of the artist, but if Johnny has worked very hard drawing his dog and her puppies playing in the kitchen, and the other kids decide it is a cow and her calves entering a barn, I think it's the last time he'll be willing to try his hand at drawing.

None of these techniques sound new to me--my kids were getting this "let's have the children discuss their own ideas" instead of telling them things so they have meaningful content from which to draw even in the 1970s. My children graduated from high school not knowing which came first, WWII or the Vietnam War (both were ancient history by the time they finished). It wasn't popular to teach facts or time lines, but I'm sure they had fascinating discussions filled with their own fluffy ideas.

This was drawn by a 10 year old Chechnya child. It says, "Family" at the top, and Mama, I, and Papa at the bottom. It's from a war site, but I hope no one tried to get the child to draw pictures of bombs or torture. The drawing ability, balance, design and use of color are wonderful, and show that this child had some traditional art training and didn't waste her time in frivolous discussions of her classmates' drawings.

Polygamy might be better than nannygamy

Polygamy will be the next change in marriage law. After the gays push through same sex legal unions, there will be no reason to limit it to two consenting adults, or three or even adults. They already have a political action group to decriminalize it.

Polygamy has some benefits, according to an ABC program I watched the other night about a community of polygamists in Arizona. Legally, the man (a school teacher) has only one wife, however, their community and church recognize both women equally. The younger one is hoping he'll take a third wife, because she needs some help. There are seven children, five by wife #1 and two by wife #2. The women are close friends and help each other; the older one helped the younger with a difficult birth. The older wife goes to work in an an office, while the younger one stays home to care for the children. She's pooped.

I saw an ad for a nanny in our local paper. Truly, it sounds like this family needs polygamy, a wife #2, not a nanny. Here's what "young professional couple" wants
  • nanny to work 2-3 days full time, with possible full time
  • prior experience with newborn (the "delightful" girl is 3 months old)
  • pediatric CPR training
  • First aid certificate
  • college degree
  • interest in child development
  • car
  • driver's license
  • references
  • must pass background check
  • caring, experienced and energetic personality
  • willing to do housekeeping
  • be able to cook
  • do the laundry
  • run errands
My advice to mommy (or daddy--the ad doesn't say but I suppose it could be a same-sex couple) is: stay home with the baby for awhile if you are this anal about proper child care. These are the delightful years. There's no committee meeting, conference or promotion worth missing those smiles and kisses.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The Atlanta Fashion Police

Did you hear that someone in Atlanta's city government wants to outlaw baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs by amending the indecency laws? This is the silliest thing I've ever heard. If men want to look stupid and ridiculous, want to cripple their legs and look fat, well, let them. They are probably looking that way because mama and the government check has been coddling them.

But what's the excuse for older women who ought to know better? Look at the cover of this catalog. If you are 5'10" and weight 100 lbs, with the figure of a hanger, you possibly can look good in this. But for most women, if your BMI is 26, it will instantly bloom to 30 if you wear these outfits. I've seen Amish women in more flattering and feminine outfits than these.

We must be winning in Iraq

Based on yesterday's top toilet news stories on which the MSM focused, I've concluded that we must be winning in Iraq. Mothers who toilet train infants and a Republican senator that knows all the hand signals and footsy-wootsy stuff to pick up men in restrooms seemed to be all they could talk about. Talk about "elimination communication!"

Update: It seems Craig's shoe is a bigger story than Hillary and Obama's Hsu. Sex can work up more voter interest than corruption, apparently.

The power of a web

Yesterday morning when I returned to the house from coffee (about 7:30), I noticed the garage door was up. Must have forgotten to push the down button when I looked for the eclipse, I thought. When I pulled in and pushed the down-button in the car, the door went down and right back up. Must have not pulled in far enough, I thought, and got out and looked. No, there was plenty of clearance. I went into the house and told my husband there was something wrong with the garage door. Later when I came back from running a few errands, the door was down. When I asked what the problem was, he told me there was a spider web on the bottom of the far side of the door with a leaf caught in the threads, and the leaf passed over the light beam that signals something is in the way of the door (which is very heavy and could crush a child or a bicycle). I'm amazed both at the power of the little spider (who probably rode back from the lake with us on the side mirror of the van), and the technology put in place due to injuries from garage doors.

This leads me to the thought that technology cannot always protect people, especially stupid risk takers. Within a 1/2 mile of our home yesterday, pitch black outside, I thought I saw something in the headlights of the car in front of me where the street splits to a Y, so I slowed down (I was already only at about 30 mph because of just having left the drive-way). Yes, there was a biker in dark clothing, including a hooded sweatshirt so not even his pale skin reflected light. There were no lights or reflective tape on the bike. He had apparently stopped because he'd taken the wrong leg of the Y and was waiting to change lanes. I just shook my head in disbelief. There must be an angel riding on his handle bars offering to light his way, because truly this man was a very dim bulb.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's baaaaack

Orange and avocado. Hot colors of the late 50s and again in the 70s. Is it time again? I didn't think so, but here it is in the September 2007 Architectural Digest.

For more choices, visit Eastern Accents.

Tara Parker Pope to leave me to my own devices

I never miss Tara Parker Pope's health columns in the Wall Street Journal. They are readable, timely, and easy for the layman to understand, and most important to me, she usually leads the reader to her sources. Last week she wrote about firing up the grill and why women might want to think twice:
    "Postmenopausal women who often ate grilled barbecued and smoked meats had a 47% higher risk for breast cancer than low meat eaters." From Epidemiology, May 2007
She offered these tips: 1) Microwave food about a minute before grilling; 2) eat lots of vegetables with your grilled food; 3) Use marinades; 4) flip your food often; 5) cook red meat medium or rare; 6) cook at a lower temperature whether in your oven, stove or grill. I think that's a really helpful summary of research we wouldn't ordinarily read.

But today she announced it was her last column:
    "In recent weeks I have been reflecting on the power of information to improve health."
I think I know how she feels. "Information" is the most over rated value we have and as a librarian I learned that early. Information isn't wisdom; it isn't action; it doesn't come with a guarantee it won't be misused; it doesn't build relationships; and it definitely isn't power. Librarians have learned that and increasingly spend their time fiddling with IT gimmicks that will manipulate the information, parsing it into i-pods or applets or digital snipplets.

She writes movingly about her own mother's health crisis. Using her skills at manipulating information Tara was able to find their second best choice for oncologist who was a complete bust (first choice was taking no new patients), because he was rude and dismissive both about her information skills and her mother's health. A chance remark by her mother put them back with their first choice because she had been his patient years ago. They pursued together the best options for her mother, and for awhile she was cancer free, but it returned and claimed her. Pope clings to the idea that everyone has the power to take control of her own health, and that taking charge didn't save her mother's life, but made the end better. But if it hadn't been for that chance remark. . . all the information in the world and the wonders of the internet for her to search wouldn't have led them to the right doctor.

More on TPP

That's why it's called risk

Sometimes it is good when Rush Limbaugh has a guest host. The guy he has on today, Mark Belling of Milwaukee, has been explaining the mess with the subprime loans better than any I've heard. He's been trying to pound it through the listeners' heads with rhetorical questions, "that's why it's called risk."

  • How far do we go with government bail outs when people make the wrong decision?

  • What about all those people for whom it was the right decision? Many people bought their dream homes and were able to ease into homes they might not have purchased otherwise.

  • What about the banks and Wall Street companies who bought up those loans and now want a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bailout of a bad investment?

  • Are the people who borrowed the money (at a risk) really worse off than they would have been paying rent for three years (at a higher monthly cost than the loan) and getting nothing back?

  • When real estate goes up, it's a huge windfall for some. What about them? They took a risk and won.

  • What are the unintended consequences of the government bailing out poor credit risks?

  • What if the decline is a good thing--a correction in the market?

  • What if the house was over valued when they bought it? Is that my responsibility?

  • This might be a terrific time for people who are savvy investors to buy a house. Prices had gone out of reach for many, and are now more reasonable again.

  • Many of the people who took out 2/28 loans were also offered fixed loans for 30 years at a slightly higher monthly cost. If they had done the prudent thing, paying a little more now for more security later, they wouldn't be in this mess.

  • Because new rules are being put in place, we're making it impossible for people caught in the first mess, to get out of it.

  • This is a small percentage of a small percentage. We won't know for 5 years if this correction is really a tremendous opportunity for the market to correct itself. Do we want to meddle with the market before we know?

One problem I can see coming is that those who bought a home at a fixed rate with money down in a neighborhood where others bought with ARMs and no equity are going to see property values fall as banks foreclose, neighbors file for bankruptcy or owners abandon their property. Next, rents are going to start going up for everyone, because there will be former home owners out looking for a place to live.

Either way, if you haven't been putting money aside for the inevitable rainy day, your wallet is in for a surprise.

Power of the blog

About four years ago I blogged about my Fornasetti plates. That entry gets quite a few hits. The link to a gift shop no longer works. Somehow, Alice, the friend who gave them to us as a house warming gift in 1965, found the entry and has e-mailed. How nice to hear from her. Bill died about four years ago, but we remember many happy times with them in Champaign-Urbana, IL. Here's the face I was blogging about--Julia by Piero Fornasetti.

Please disobey our laws

It's not only our administration that is suggesting this to illegal immigrants. Our church governments, usually made up of people who don't reflect those of us in the pew, are saying it too:
    You’re driving into a major city taking in all the sights and sounds. It looks like any other major metropolitan area when suddenly you see a large sign suspended above the highway. It monstrous letters it say, "Please make every effort to ignore our laws!" You're taken back for a moment as you continue your drive into the city. Certainly they can’t mean that – but soon you find they do. Everyone you encounter is doing whatever they desire and totally ignoring all laws. Stop signs mean nothing, speed limits are ignored and people take whatever they want from local merchants without paying. You have found yourself in the city of Evangelical Lutherans. Cue theme music and closing credits.

    The above scenario is no more bizarre than what happened at the recently concluded annual General Conference of the Evangelical Lutherans Church of America. On the closing day of the Conference a resolution was passed by 538-431 vote pleading with the leadership of the denomination to ignore their own church law. Oh, and this was immediately following passing another resolution upholding their church law. Confused? Welcome to the Lutheran Twilight Zone!" Bob Burney
We only need to look at history to see how this will end. Either the liberals will take over, inch by inch, vote by vote,* or the conservatives will pull out (taking most of the money**) and form another synod with other disaffected congregations or synods. ELCA is losing members and money with this fight that's been going on for eight years.

Then among those who believe marriage is God's plan for one man and one woman and that pastors should not be openly living-in-sin whether straight or gay, there are ordained women pastors in ELCA. Well, the guy-group (mostly straight, but also some gays) is still smarting over losing that battle years ago (women have been ordained in some Lutheran churches for over 50 years), so it's raising its ugly head again and that will split the conservatives. How many protestant "fellowships/ congregations/ denominations" are there? 30,000? I'm not sure this is what Martin Luther or John Calvin or Menno Simons had in mind, but there it is--testimony to the whole world that where two or three are gathered in His Name, there will be a fight over the dress code or baptism or music and a new denomination will be born.

*This was a back door, political maneuver brought up at the last minute at the Chicago Assembly, with the press alerted and waiting in the halls to report the outcome and spin it.

**ELCA national office still shows our congregation (UALC) supporting them. However, our "benevolence payments" of $662,618 goes directly to the Southern Ohio Synod, and not to the national office. It's been that way for four years. These funds, and an additional $400,000 for other mission work, do not pass through national's office. This is another way to "spin" support for non-biblical viewpoints.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Who will the Democrats go after next?

The best quote: "I strongly urge President Bush to nominate a new attorney general who will respect our laws and restore the integrity of the office." — Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. He's never met a law yet that he respected because they aren't written for his kind. They hounded Ashcroft and bayed at Gonzales. They don't fool me. They just don't have anything else to do. What scares me is the "tit for tat" [retaliation] that will go on if the Democrats elect the next president. The Republicans just might get some backbone. Scary, isn't it, that our elected officials will spend all their time combing through e-mails and old phone records, attempting to catch each other in misstatements.

The end of summer

Technically, it's not over, but we came back to Columbus today. This morning I walked along the lakefront to take a few pictures. . . and then the batteries died.

Then back to the cottage to pack up. Sigh.

Monday Memories--Thank you, Indy Barb

Last week we received a DVD with photos of my husband's class reunion prepared by Indy Barb the reunion committee. My, oh my! What a lot of work they put in on that! At least I think it was her [she says in the comments it wasn't]. By the time the disc got to my hands, it was out of the envelope. Just adding all the names to the photos must have been a huge task. Reunions are only as successful as the committees, and we both graduated with people who are willing to work hard at it. Not only did it have the reunion photos (3 days--a dinner, an alumni gathering on the campus, and a picnic), but she'd also scanned a large part of the important class photos from the yearbook. We have the '57 yearbook, but many people have lost theirs over the years, so I know they will be thrilled.

BMOC. A class officer. I think I might have been too, however, his high school was larger than my town.

My husband on the far right--credit says they were having a mock political campaign. Looks like it was Ike and Adlai.

My husband always knew he'd be an architect, and Tech was certainly the place to go! Here he is (on the left) with one of his models. I remember this one well. It used to travel around with us from apartment to apartment when we were first married incorporated into a table.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I wish I watched more TV

Then I would sit in a chair and do nifty exercises with little weights for my upper arms. Yesterday I went to the antique show here at Lakeside. I was bending over to examine an "antique" that I know was from the 1960s, and I glanced down at my bent right arm. The flesh from my front upper arm had sort of fallen in little ripples into the crook of my elbow! So I immediately straightened up. But I must have hit my hand, because today I have a huge black bruise about the size of a silver dollar on the back of my right hand, just like Dad used to get--but he was old! Then this morning after church we were watching the DVD of my husband's class reunion (Arsenal Technical High School, Indianapolis, which I will write about tomorrow). There weren't many pictures of us, but they did catch us on the dance floor, and Oh, I thought we just looked so super, but photos don't lie. We had the same turkey wattles as everyone else.

I'm not sure TV will help my neck, but it's worth a try.

Are Democrats stupid?

No, but they know the American people, and they may be right. If something doesn't work, we just keep doing it, or electing it hoping for better luck next time. The Democratic candidates for president are on the road to New Orleans, the most corrupt, the most patronage puffed, the most crime ridden city and the most bamboozled by the Democratic party (as of August 2005--Katrina Hurricane) in the United States. It will be another attempt to lay this at the feet of President Bush, which is so absurd I do wish the man would step on them with his big cowboy boots and just lay it all out about whose responsibility it was that the city was sitting on leaking levees controlled by parish boards, that its public housing was filled with poor blacks with no hope, that its government health care was the pits, that the streets were swarming with criminals and that the Mayor and the Governor never did a thing to evacuate those projects even with all the warnings they had, letting the buses drown in the flooding and the criminals take over while they evacuated their cabinets and family members.

But here comes another black, Democratic savior for the Democrat racists in NOLA--Barack Yo'mama Obama
    The Gulf Coast restoration, Mr. Obama said, has been weighed down by red tape that has kept billions of dollars from reaching Louisiana communities. As president, he said, he would streamline the bureaucracy, strengthen law enforcement to curb a rise in crime and immediately close the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet in order to restore wetlands to protect against storms.

    Mr. Obama also said that he would seek to lessen the influence of politics in the Federal Emergency Management Agency by giving its director a fixed term, similar to the structure of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FEMA director would serve a six-year term, under Mr. Obama’s plan, and report directly to the president.

    Mr. Obama, an Illinois Democrat, and several presidential hopefuls are scheduled to arrive in Louisiana this week to highlight how New Orleans has — and has not — recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Democrats have sought to use the city as an example of what they believe was among the Bush administration’s greatest domestic failures. Jeff Zeleny, NYT, Aug. 26, 2007 Jeff, how'd you keep a straight face writing this drivel?
Over a million volunteers from every state in the nation and every imaginable religious group have headed to NOLA in the last two years to pull it out of the mud. I'm guessing they've done more than all the federal FEMA dollars and reelected-Nagin nonsense combined. And I think that is under reported.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Visiting some new links

Sometime soon, when updating my template I'll be adding Lady Light, The Sandusky Library Archives, and Rev. Jesse Peterson. Rev. Peterson has a column in Worldnet Daily and writes on issues important to African Americans, families, and particularly fathers. He's a Conservative. Recently he wrote about evil using the analogy of the movie Grizzly Man, where the man who loved grizzlies is finally killed by them, because that's just what wild animals do.
    "Not surprising, of course. Be as nice as you want; at the end of the day, grizzlies are grizzlies – wild animals that will kill you when it suits them.

    Evil is the same way. No one needs to provoke Kennedy, Dean, Reid, or the NAACP. They serve the side of destruction. That's just what they do.

    No matter what you do, no matter how nice you try to be, no matter how genuinely you try to have a dialogue, no matter how much money you give, evil will never cease to be evil. Liberals, black and white, will attack conservative white Republicans as racists regardless. Ask Bill Bennett.

    Or ask President Bush. He's invested more government money in black America than Bill Clinton. He's put more black Americans in prominent leadership positions than Bill Clinton. He's been a fine moral example, unlike Bill Clinton. It doesn't matter. Evil people love Bill Clinton because he is one of them. Those who oppose President Bush hate him because he's good. They will forever oppose him for this reason. Just recently, Congressman Charles Rangel called President Bush the modern-day "Bull" Connor." Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Here’s a great library blog from Sandusky, Ohio--the history of the area written by the library’s archivist. We are close to Sandusky when we are at our summer home on Lake Erie, so I’ll be visiting Sandusky History frequently. According to the blog The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center has a collection of about 10,000 photographic images documenting many facets of the history of Sandusky, Erie County, the Lake Erie islands, and the Firelands region. The blog has a lively writing style and includes scans of many of these photographs as well as items from the newspapers. Like many public libraries, it began as a subscription, private organization for a literary club and was supported by a women’s group before it became a public, tax supported institution:
    "The public library in Sandusky can trace its roots back to 1825 (only seven years after Sandusky was founded), when a subscription library was created, called the Portland Library. F.D. Parish, one of the city's first lawyers, was the first librarian, with about 300 books under his care. This organization was succeeded around 1840 by the Sandusky Lyceum, a literary study society; the Lyceum was in turn replaced by the Philomathesian Society in 1845. In 1855, the Young Men's Library Association took over the role of public library for Sandusky, until 1870, when the Library Association of Sandusky was founded. This organization was commonly known as the "Ladies' Library Association," because the membership of its board was composed entirely of women of the community. In 1886 the Library Building Fund Association was created to raise funds for the construction of a library building. In 1895, the Library was incorporated and became the first free public library in the community." From the first entry.
Lady Light Blog will be a new link probably listed in my Faithful bloggers group. Most in that list are Christians, but she's a Jew and the title of her blog is Tikkun Olam. She writes about her faith and Israeli politics, throws in a little humor and some good photos. Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Zit-geist: what's your favorite teen movie?

I probably won't be seeing the latest teen coming-of-age movie, Superbad, although it's not getting bad reviews. Raunchy. I can't find the title of my favorite teen movie, because I've only seen parts of it on TV, never the beginning or the ending. From the clothing, I'd guess it was made 1950-52. The plot: new teacher comes to town, rents a room, falls for young dude with hot car. When school starts she finds out the guy is a high school student. Anyone know the title? Is it on DVD?

Here's some of my favorites:
    The old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney films from the 30s and 40s are fun to watch--they were always putting on a show

    Any of the moon-June-croon musicals of the 1950s

    Rebel without a cause (1955)

    The graduate (1967)--Benjamin's a bit beyond teen years, but close. Katherine Ross was so pretty--she's my age.

    American Graffiti (1973) This can bring tears to the eyes of a 50s grad

    Grease (1978) Not as good as the 50s, but cute

    Karate Kid (1984) Macchio and Morita--great team

    Breakfast club (1985) Trying to figure out my kids!

    Back to the future (1985) Loved it; much better than the sequels

    Pretty in Pink (1986) Molly had a great career, didn't she?

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)--always think of my kids cutting school

    Sister Act (1992) Yikes, 15 years ago--OK, not strictly a teen movie, but takes place in a school. Whoopi and Maggie, what a team

    Shattered Hearts (1998)--Made for TV. Star athlete and top student, both college bound, fall in love. He is struck down by cancer. Very sad.

    Almost famous (2001)--main character is a teenager who follows a rock band

What I want for my birthday

I stopped at the gift shop in Lakeside this morning to take a photo of a ring. I'm showing it to dear husband, or DH, as some of you call yours. That isn't my hand--I'm taking the photo. Now I've shown it to him, and I hope the rest is history. I don't wear much jewelry and this isn't my birthstone, but I thought this would be nice with the occasional dressy outfit. Plus, it's a size 5--just calling my ring finger's name. What do you think?

Civil War Week at Lakeside

I'd planned to blog about some of the great lectures and musical programs this week at Lakeside that feature the U.S. Civil War, however, Tell Toledo has done such a good job, I'll just refer you there. I will add that the power point failed for Randall Buchman's talk on Mr. Lincoln's 11 train trips through Ohio (last one was the funeral train), so he did the whole thing without visuals. But you know what? When a guy is as good as this retired professor, it didn't make a bit of difference. We could see everything he described!

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Rev. Jacob Frank Schulman and his wife Alice invested 25% of their income each year (married in 1954). He died in 2006 at 78 with an estate of over $20,000,000. Over the years they have been donors to various Unitarian causes, a branch of Christianity to which he converted in the 1950s. The story was in the WSJ today.
    From his obituary: "Dr. Schulman was born March 26, 1927 in Nashville, Tennessee. He had an outstanding academic life with degrees from the following institutions: B.A. - University of Oklahoma; S.T.B. - Harvard University; D.Min. and D.D. - Meadville Lombard Theological School; M.A., D.Phil.,B.D. - University of Oxford.

    Mr. Schulman was ordained in the Unitarian ministry in 1954 at the Arlington Street Church, Boston, Massachusetts. He served many congregations: Arlington Street Church, Boston; First Unitarian Church, Worcester, Mass.; First Unitarian Church, Youngstown, Ohio; Emerson Unitarian Church, Houston, Texas; Unitarian Church of Horsham, West Sussex, England; and Huntsville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in
    Texas. His last position before retirement was as Chaplain and Dean and Fellow in Theology at the Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. Mr. Schulman was also named Minister Emeritus at Emerson Unitarian Church of Houston and at All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist, The Woodlands, Texas.

    Frank Schulman was a prolific writer of books, pamphlets, and articles on topics from "Blasphemous and Wicked: The Unitarian Struggle for Equality, 1813-1844" (1997) to the pamphlet he edited, "Ralph Waldo Emerson Speaks." In addition, he was a sought-after lecturer, delivering the Berry Street Lecture (1981); the Minns Lecture (1982); and the Billings Lecture (1983). Mr. Schulman also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War."
However, if you're not interested in the pay of a minister and scholar, you might also consider sending your 18 year old to a state school instead of a private, or ivy-league college, and investing the difference each year in the stock market for the long haul. Your student will probably come out of this decision at age 50 or 60 thanking you and piling flowers on your grave. Plus s/he won't have that huge debt at graduation.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Thirteen--How I spent my summer

We have a summer home on Lake Erie in Lakeside, Ohio, a Chautauqua community established in 1873, which offers many activities and learning experiences. Here’s a few of the things I did this summer, but not all at Lakeside.

1. Reunions in Indiana and Illinois: Attended the 50th class reunions of Arsenal Technical High School (Indianapolis) class of 1957 and Mt. Morris High School (Illinois) class of 1957, seeing many friends and some former faculty. Had great family get-togethers with my siblings, their children, my parents’ siblings, my husband’s siblings and their children.

With 2 of my nieces

2. Science and social science: Attended several geology lectures by Charles Herdendorf (OSU) about the Great Lakes and sunken ships. They were so interesting I wished I’d taken a geology science elective instead of chemistry. Also attended lectures on Asia (Korea and Taiwan) by Eugene Swanger, always fascinating. Civil War lectures this week were detailed and informative on Lincoln and battles of the war.

3. Endured three laptop failures, losing all information when the software was reloaded. I had to blog from the hotel lobby a few mornings. I've reloaded for the 3rd time, and I'm NOT updating some of the available software, including MS thinking that may be the problem.

4. Enjoyed two ferry trips to Put-in-Bay, once to visit friends who have a cottage there and tour the island, and then with my husband’s sister Debbie and her husband John from California. New visitors' center is wonderful. Great restaurants.

5. Enjoyed lots of early morning cups of coffee at Coffee and Cream where I watch the news channel and read the papers, planning my blogs, and chat with other vacationers and residents. I see lots of daddies on early a.m. duty with kiddoes in the p.j.'s.

6. Helped some of my neighbors rescue feral kittens, finding a home for one of them. Saving the world, one kitten at a time.

7. Writing: Took a writing class with Patricia Mote at the Rhein Center for the Living Arts.

8. Art: Attended a watercolor workshop one evening, but another class I’d signed up for was cancelled. Attended two lectures with Rustin Levenson, an art preservationist and restorer. Purchased a painting by Robert Moyer from the Lakeside Art Show. My husband has sold 7 of his paintings and many prints, which will help finance the trip to Ireland in the fall. Toured the Ohio Supreme Court Building and State House to see the art (in Columbus). The Court building was a WPA project and has murals, mosaics, decorative plaster, bas-relief sculpture and bronze ornaments and a very interesting law library open to the public.

9. Food: Maintained my winter weight loss despite the constant temptations of Lakeside’s business district--delis, ice cream shops, fresh do-nuts, and Abigail’s Tea Room. Tried a delicious blueberry dessert I saw in the Plain Dealer--twice. Also yummy visits to Schmidt’s, Salvi’s and Rusty Bucket in Columbus with friends and family.

10. Movies: "Amazing Grace" and "Away from Her." Julie Christie is still beautiful. However, because it is about Alzheimer's, it's a bit of a downer. Lakeside has the only movie theater in this county.

11. Read: A book of short stories by Alice Munro, one was the story on which the movie "Away from Her" was based. Also listened to two audio books on my walks, and read numerous journals and blogs. From my own bookshelves I loaned 2 novels. Borrowed a book on Canada travel for a future trip, and brought along 2 on Ireland which I haven't opened.

12. Walked: not quite the 250 miles I want to do before September 3, but I’ve got a few days left to do some more. I think I've done about 150.

13. Attended some fabulous programs at Hoover Auditorium and other Lakeside spots, including Phil Dirt and the Dozers, Mike Albert the Big-E, Chapter Six, Verb Ballet, Banu Gibson, "Whose line is it anyway?" Gaelic Storm, Johnny Knorr (dance band with dancing), 8 performances by the Lakeside symphony, Mary Wilson, Brasilia, and The Dodworth Saxhorn Band. There will be a few more programs next week but we'll be back in Columbus.

Well, that about ties it up for the summer. Family, friends, great programming, good food, and of course, many sunsets, a lot of rain (although we haven't flooded yet in this area), church on the lakefront, and blogging.

Check out other TT-ers at the Thursday Thirteen Hub.

Poetry Thursday

I can't find that I posted this poem which I wrote in July 2003. It is based on two incidents 57 years apart.

Pet in the Road at 163 and 269
July 27, 2003

You are sleeping tucked away in bed
when I see your pet.
You are dreaming of the beach
as I pass at 6 a.m.

You didn't see her slip out the door
for that one last chase.
You realize she is missing
when no friend is waiting.

You hide your face and hot tears
when the stranger stops to help.
You turn to your big sisters,
but they are all crying too.

You will keep her in your heart
though your arms are empty now.
You will weep years later
as you pass a pet in the road.

You just never know

I've learned a lot about food allergies reading Janeen's blog who has children with food allergies. You'll be surprised by what's in your wine that could cause an allergic reaction.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Balancing work and children

It’s not something you usually see a homeschooler/blogger writing about--it seems to be a conflict that employed mothers have. But Sherry, who writes a wonderful book review blog says:
    "I have this theory that it’s important for children to see you doing something you love —for me that’s reading and blogging— at least some of the time. Not that I read and blog just to show my children how important those activities are, but I think for them to develop a love for reading, they need to see me reading. Engineer Husband loves science and math, so as they see him doing science and math, they begin to enjoy those subjects, too."
As much as I respect her book reviews, I’ve just got to disagree a little bit. As reported here before, some children will never enjoy reading, and will not grow up to be readers, and particularly will not grow up to be library users, even if they do read books. My children always saw me reading, I read to them, and I taught them to read, and I took them to the library to check out their own books, and they always received books as gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and for no reason at all. Phffft. One doesn’t read at all and hated school; the other loved school and will only read books in hard cover that she personally has purchased and only by a select group of authors.

Here’s my take:
    Far sighted children are less likely than near sighted to be engaged readers, even with glasses for correct vision

    Athletic children are less likely to chose a good book to entertain themselves

    Children who are intuitive and sensitive and love a crowd to charm, are less likely to hang out in libraries or hit the books after school

    If your son is a stud muffin, he's much less likely to be a reader than if he's a geek.
Children are born either readers or non-readers, in my opinion. You can stifle it, discourage it, make it difficult for them to get books; their friends can tease them, or exclude them for reading, but if they are readers and derive pleasure from it, they will find a way--billboards, cereal boxes, instructions on games, crawlers on movie screens. The non-readers--well, you can lead them to the library and load them up, but you can’t make them like it. Neither of my adult children have library cards.

This mother's advice: read to your children because you like the story or pictures, and it is good cuddle time. There are other things more important than reading.

Soldier-moms have work-family conflicts

Now isn't that a big surprise! Women in the Air Force who have served in war zones have a work-family conflict that might be related to PTSD. Weren't the feminists warned this might be the case back in the 70s when they were still insisting there should be were no gender distinctions and differences? Story here. The study was presented at the American Psychological Association annual meeting in San Francisco this month, but I don't see that it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, so be advised.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Againstocrats--a review

You'll find the complete review of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to remake Democratic politics by Matt Bai, reviewed by Fred Siegal in City Journal. After exposing the fleshy pink underside of the power hungry billionaires and Moveonskis, he gets to bloggers. My personal favorite:
    The bloggers, for their part, are as emotionally stunted as the billionaires, but as inhabitants of "a fantasy game inflected world," far less literate: "The Daily Kos and other blogs resemble a political version of those escapist online games where anyone with a modem can disappear into an alternate society, reinventing himself among neighbors and colleagues who exist only in a virtual realm." Bai adds: "One of the hallmarks of the netroots culture was a complete disconnect from history—meaning basically anything that happened before 1998." Unlike the radicals of the 1960s, who knew something of the anti-Stalinism that had preceded them but dismissed its significance for their time, the bloggers take pride in their ignorance. In the eyes of the bloggers, "the more history you knew," explains Bai, "the more bogged down and less relevant you were likely to be."

    But if they were short on learning and thinking, they were long on "profanity, hyperbole, and conspiracy theories." America, the bloggers believe, yearns to be governed by Deanlike Democrats, but is thwarted by so-called moderates willing to compromise with the Republican foe. Like sixties radicals, the bloggers see moderates as the real enemy, but unlike them, they have no positive ideology. Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, founder of the influential Daily Kos blog, insists, "I'm not ideological at all, I’m just all about [Democrats'] winning."
You'll not find a more interesting or well-written on-line journal than City Journal. Summer 2007 issue now available.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Memories--Mamas and Papas

Enjoy. John Phillips and his daughter MacKenzie and 2 other drop outs from other groups sang here at Lakeside maybe 10-15 years ago. I think they may have been called the New Mamas and Papas. I have one of their LPs--left behind by a tenant who ran out on her rent ca. 1966.

Sugar: the new oil

Have you seen that new TV show CANE being advertised where the voiceover proclaims that "Sugar is the new oil?" Here's what's happening in Brazil with sugar as a biofuel. As seen at this Dept. of Commerce website.

• Brazil is the largest sugar cane producer (425.7 million tons produced in 2006/07 harvest).

• Brazil is also the world's biggest ethanol exporter (3.5 billion liters exported in 2006 or US$ 1.6 billion). The United States is the largest buyer of Brazilian ethanol when both direct and indirect exports are considered. The U.S. Government’s Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) exempts imports from the Caribbean from payment of $0.54 per gallon import tariffs, encouraging Brazilian alcohol exports to that region. As a result, recorded exports to destination such as El Salvador, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica are generally destined for the U.S. market; however, exports tend to occur, for limited periods, when gas prices spike in the United States.

• World’s leader in ethanol production (Brazil has 351 producers who generate an output of 18 billion liters/year. About 15 billion liters are destined for internal Brazilian consumption and around three billion are exported.)

• The sugar-alcohol sector’s annual revenue is about US$20 billion (2006).

• 86 new ethanol projects should result in investments of US$17 B (US$14 B in new plants and US$ 3 B in existing plant expansions).

• 80% of flex fuel cars (filled with either alcohol or gasoline, or a mixture of both). In 2006, 1.4 million flex fuel cars were sold in the Brazilian market.

• Alcohol production average cost in Brazil: US$ 1.06/gallon (excludes freight and taxes)

• Petrobras’ large distribution and logistics network in Brazil has always played a key role to boost the ethanol program. The company is investing US$340 million through 2011 to expand its export ethanol infrastructure.

• Petrobras is Brazil’s largest ethanol buyer through its BR Distribuidora subsidiary.

• Petrobras is building ten micro ethanol refineries adopting a family production model. Petrobras is also partnering with Japanese Mitsui to build 40 plants to export ethanol to Japan.

The United States and Brazil are exploring ways to partner on developing second-generation biofuels.

Opportunities may exist in the future for US companies in the biomass to liquids (BTL) and lignocelulose arenas.

Just a thought. Burning sugar sure makes me hot. I wonder what it does for the environment?

Glut of teachers in southwestern Ohio

Today's paper reported (AP) that school districts in Warren County are being flooded by applicants for job openings. More than 3,000 applied for 63 positions in Mason; 2,000 applied for 21 positions in Springboro near Dayton; and Lebanon had 800 applicantsfor 30 jobs. Even assuming that some applicants applied in all those places, that's a lot of teachers looking for jobs.

Guess who the union protects? The ones with the most experience--I'm not sure they can even accept entry level positions if they are willing. The districts are making the most of their dollar by hiring new grads. Starting salaries are around $34,000. Positions have been eliminated in some of the districts in that area as people move to the suburbs.

Feel badly for underpaid teachers? Study shows the average hourly wage is $34.06, and the districts with the highest pay like Detroit, New York and Los Angeles have the poorest test scores.

Ohio Birds and Biodiversity

is the title of an interesting blog with some great photographs by Jim McCormac. Great photo of the paparazzi who just found a dragonfly. Britney and Paris look out!

Really terrific photos of unusual flora and fauna with explanations. I didn't know frogs attacked and ate birds, but he's got a photograph of one doing it.

Lemon Cream Shea Butter

This is so yummy on your skin. I just love Shea Butter (butyrosermum parkii) which comes from a nut tree in Africa. I noticed a jar of J.R. Watkins Lemon Cream Shea Butter at Wal-Mart and bought a 130 g. jar. Marvelous! It's a Canadian company, and they have a web site from which you can order. J.R. Watkins Catalog Other ingredients include cocoa seed butter, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil and a lot of unpronounceables, but I don't care. I just love shea butter. Do nut based cosmetics bother other people with nut allergies, I wonder?

Annoyed Librarian's Blog

I hope s/he doesn't become so popular that there is a reveal or outing. I'm sure s/he loves the job. AL has passed the 100,000 viewers site meter mark and always garners many comments. AL has become a sounding board for many frustrated, unemployed librarians who were lured into expensive graduate programs with tales of shortages in librarianship. Librarianship is a very liberal profession, 223 to 1 liberal to conservative, but even libs need to eat and pay rent. Today s/he is skewering the Librarian 2.0 Manifesto published in the August issue of American Libraries, line by line, which is itself a take-off on Library 2.0.
    "I will create open websites that allow users to join with librarians to contribute content in order to enhance their learning experience and provide assistance to their peers."

    I don't want anyone contributing any content in order to enhance their "learning experience." If they want to contribute content, they can get their own website. Or better yet, a blog. Any moron can start a blog. (No wisecracks!)
Anti-2.0 manifesto

Wiki-wacky wonks and wobblies

Conservatives should be making a stronger presence in using wikis on the internet. Not all are Wikipedia. All sorts are cropping up in every field, but the liberals are running away with this genre. There is a new Encyclopedia of the Earth that is well financed, supported by liberal think tanks and non-profits, and because it is free, you just know that's where the school children will be going. There is a complete book included chapter by chapter, "Climate Change and Foreign Policy" by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a Canadian (i.e. global) non-profit. Its agenda: promote the needs of the poor through limits set by the state on technology and social organization or some similar socialist/progressive/Marxist chatter.

I'm sure the contributors to the enclyclopedia will have a long line of credentials behind their names, drawing on our finest academic departments from our most liberal universities. Someone with more sleuthing experience than I, like American Daughter or Amy, needs to take a look at this.

I'm 100% in favor of taking care of God's creation--after all, it's the marching orders for Christians from the Bible, but not when animals, plants and political parties come before human beings in a pantheistic based faith promoted by the left.

PS: You won't want to miss the article on Totems (animal worship in the form of carved statues) and how it can be the basis for environmental laws. It's in the same section as fundamental legal rights for animals.

Successful in starting businesses

I saw a small item in the WSJ that successful business start ups are more likely to come from the top 25% income group than the bottom. Well, doh! You mean having educated parents who stay married and provide you with the better things in life really makes a difference? Who'da thunk it.

Didn't Ronald Reagen say something about the difference between a small businessman and a big businessman being the government getting out of the way: see the quote here.

Al Qaeda's Travel Agent

Be sure to check out Joe Lieberman's opinion piece in the WSJ today. He says,
    When Congress reconvenes next month, we should set aside whatever differences divide us on Iraq and send a clear and unambiguous message to the Syrian regime. . .
His suggestion is that we stop all flights into Damascus International to close off Al Qaeda's supply line and stop the murders in Iraq. Of course, it really is a no brainer. However, we've learned since 9/11 that Democrats have no interest in protecting us or the Iraqi people, they only want to bring down the Bush administration. Bush is the #1 enemy, is their rant, and they are sticking with it. Anything that makes sense even from a fellow Democrat, doesn't stand a chance.

Everyone's talking about the weather

It really doesn't make much sense to discuss the weather on a blog, but I will anyway. That's not particularly fascinating for someone in Florida or India. We're getting dumped on big time here in northern Ohio--the drought is definitely over. Yesterday storm after storm rolled in and I even turned the heat on for awhile, even though it is supposed to get in the 90s again in a day or two. To walk to Coffee and Cream, the coffee shop, this morning I tied two plastic bags around my feet covering the bottom of my jeans, put on a hooded rain coat, wrapped my notebook in a bag, wore the coat over my purse, and carried a beach umbrella. There were no puddles less than 2" deep, but the bags held, and I was mostly dry by the time I got there. The fabric above the bags and below the jacket was a bit damp. I threw the bags away, having brought two extra ones with me, but when I left, the rain had slacked a bit. Now it is back, and it looks like a river running down our street. Toledo and Detroit are cancelling a lot of events. I'm signed up for guitar lessons today, but if this keeps up, I won't make it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The son who transcended his father's failures

A very interesting article about Arthur Miller's son, who was hidden away most of his life because he had Down Syndrome.
    Daniel Miller, they say, is a "guy who's made a difference in a lot of lives." They also say he is someone who, considering the challenges of his life, has in his own way achieved as much as his father did. The way Arthur Miller treated him baffles some people and angers others. But the question asked by friends of the father and of the son is the same: How could a man who, in the words of one close friend of Miller's, "had such a great world reputation for morality and pursuing justice do something like this"?

Great Travel Blog for midwesterners

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a really nice travel blog, especially if you live in the midwest. I've seen a lot of things for Ohio that I didn't know about. To my knowledge, it hasn't covered the Fall Warbler Symposium here at Lakeside September 8-9 (although it may be in the archives). I picked up the brochure at the hotel--didn't know there was such a program, but then I'm not very knowledgeable about birds. For details you can visit one of the sponsors, or this blog. Speakers include a biologist and ornithologist,, acoustic monitor, field guide authors, and globe trotting tour guide.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


A perfect score

My husband took advanced sailing this week. Their final day was a sail to East Harbor (about 2 miles) where they had lunch and sailed back. As I've noted here before, Lake Erie is the most treacherous of the Great Lakes because it is very shallow, and a wind can really whip up the waves. By noon, the wind had picked up and the next class to sail got stranded at East Harbor, because it wasn't safe to sail back. The staff had to motor over and pick them up. By 1 p.m. when I went down to the dock, the waves were crashing over it.

He just walked in carrying his score for the week--he got of perfect score. Only he and a high school girl he was paired with who took her first lessons this summer, got a perfect score for all the summer classes (taught each week). So, all you old guys, take heart--you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I'd asked him earlier in the morning if he was going out today, but he said NO, he was going to work in the yard. But he's so thrilled with the scores, he's heading out. Who knew that the skinny, athletic kid I married 47 years ago would grow up to be a skinny, athletic old sailor?

It's new notebook time

This notebook, with a pink/coral hydrangea design by Tina Higgins, is all used up. I started it June 13. Looking through it, I see many things I never added to the blog, so you are welcome to them. In May 2006 I listed 44 items I didn't blog about that were in the used up notebook. In October I listed over 30 blogging leftovers I didn't use. Here's the summer of 2007 list.
    1. EPA estimates of removing 100 lbs from the trunk of your car. I may still use this one in a weight loss blog, about removing excess from your own trunk.

    2. Fashion advice for Father's day. This was a photo essay in the Columbus Dispatch. Idea was not to be so sloppy and don't wear clothes too big.

    3. Amnesty. Biggest issue of the summer. I probably used these notes, especially about Ted Kennedy's role in this mess.

    4. Where Bush has failed conservatives--think I used some of the notes in various blogs.

    5. Anne Graham Lotz quote about a PBS special on her Mom (Mrs. Billy Graham) that managed to never mention the name of Jesus.

    6. FBI hiring 4,564 agents since 9/11 and what they are looking for (sounds like all the same skills that librarians treasure).

    7. Alli--that new weight loss product that has the side effect of oily discharge. Yuk.

    8. Diabetes death rate lower in men than women--may have noted this.

    9. Nicotine patch success rate same as placebo.

    10. Global pedophile ring--ring leaders are British.

    11. John McGoldbreck, MD--reader writes to WSJ on how his family has more money now that they live on one income. I may still use this one--looks good to go up against the Dims for wanting to raise taxes, and the Repubs for not doing anything about the AMT.

    12. Bush vetoes stem cell bill.

    13. My stolen identity.

    14. 70 year-old wearing shorts to the coffee shop. This didn't seem too alarming after I got to Lakeside and see most 80 year-olds in shorts.

    15. Direct and indirect costs of heart failure, CHD and stroke.

    16. Direct and indirect costs of obesity as identified in workers' comp claims (Arch. of Int. Med.: 2007;167:766-773).

    17. Cleveland's crime rate--problems with police and firefighters as perps.

    18. NOLA's deaths up 47%. Look at how cities run by Democrats for decades are faring.

    19. Cream cheese use at the free snack table at Panera's. Guess who?

    20. Alison E. Burke, medical illustrator. I like her stuff.

    21. God and the blow fly. Illustrates all the reasons I don't believe in evolution. Using a hbc bear, the ODNR staff observe the blow fly maggots at work. It's an incredibly complex and precise schedule, and the information is used to determine time of death in humans.

    22. Death of Bob Evans, 1918-2007.

    23. My IQ test in elementary school, 126.

    24. $54 million pants litigation. This was so well covered by comedians and reporters, there was no need for me to weigh in.

    25. Where is your reading nook? Based on a Home Magazine survey.

    26. WSJ subprime article based on 3 complaints out of 60,000 loans in 2006-2007.

    27. Value of $1 million. Gas prices.

    28. Democrats and Talk Radio--why they can't walk the talk.

    29. People who grieve for those in Darfur, but are willing to kill the unborn. You know who you are, and I don't get it.

    30. Wellness seminar. My way is too boring.

    31. Wearing the U.S. flag on your butt.

    32. Jill Rappaport [Today show] how many trees died for her home in the Hamptons? (Architectural Digest, June 2007)

    33. More people in Cleveland die without a verb than in Columbus.

    34. My favorite lunch.

    35. Plain Dealer travel ideas.

    36. Campbell's Soup is going to market canned soup to Russians.

    37. How to kill an already struggling state--Michigan. John Dingell's idea for a carbon tax.

    38. Separate is not equal; it is better. Why the ACLU wants Cleveland to scrap successful one sex schools.

    39. Sanctimonious celebrities and environment issues.

    40. Friendships--how many in a lifetime? On the decrease according to PD reporter John Campanelli's figures.

    41. National ice cream day.

    42. Barns. A barn in Burton Township in Geauga Co. had been cleaned up for the wedding of the owner's daughter.

    43. Going green is anti-female.

    44. Mega veggie diets and cancer.

    45. Nationalizing health care--what Obama and Hillary want.

    46. New Harry Potter book. (no need to report)

    47. What if Obama's mama had been black?

    48. Novak's Prince of Darkness book.

    49. Cleveland Public School scores, as reported in the PD, compared to the rest of Ohio and private schools and charter schools.

    50. Democrats and the poverty theme. This one will definitely need to be resurrected, especially in light of John Edwards' investments in funds that hold subprime loans for homeowners in New Orleans.

    51. Short term missions by Christians.

    52. Silly car ads--I'm looking for 13 but only have 9.

    53. Hurricane statistics.

    54. 13 reasons to read JAMA--this is in draft form, but essentially finished.

    55. Large companies that recruit the disabled. I found 13 points in an article featuring Walgreen's plan--might use it for a TT.

    56. Photo of Tom Drake (movie star, dancer) in the paper. He's the uncle of my sister-in-law.

    57. Meeting Roger's daughter-in-law in the coffee shop.

    58. The faith of scientists in science.

    59. The conditions of local bridges.

    60. hyphens

    61. Student loans, based on Ana M. Alaya's article. This was almost too easy to poke fun at, but I may still use it. Predatory lenders are causing a college grad to take a roommate and ride the train because of high repayment amounts.

    62. Review of "The two income trap" by Amelia Tyage, apparently doesn't tell the whole story--biggest increase in costs since the 70s is our tax bill (140%), and Democrats want it to go even higher. Reviewed in WSJ by Todd J. Zywicki (hard to read my writing).

    63. James B. Stewart on the amazing economy which just keeps expanding despite the perfect storm.

    64. Pay raises: who gets the biggest. War for talent: 1) signing bonuses for IT, finance, administration, marketing and sales. 2) Flexibility

    65. What dredging of the St. Clair River is doing for Lake Erie and to Lakes Huron and Michigan.
My goodness, that's a lot of stuff I didn't write about. Once I put the notebook in the cabinet, it's pretty much forgotten.

Judge John Plough needs to go

Earlier in the summer it was reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Judge John Plough of Portage County got into trouble for gaming and gambling on the people's dollar. He got the internet blocks removed for his work computer and his employees in January and then it was reported (by an employee he fired) he was visiting gaming and gambling sites. Many employees waste millions of hours on the web, but I think judges should display a better example. Plough was already under investigation for a long list of issues, including displaying a volatile temper.

Now today's PD reports he has a habit of arresting public defenders who aren't prepared--even if they've only been assigned the case for one day. Some say the intention is to intimidate the defendants into guilty pleas.

This sounds like a guy who needs to be removed.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Family Photo--Uncle and Nephew

My uncle and brother-in-law enjoying a family get-together over the Fourth.

Democrats get chewed out and up by the Daily Kos crowd

Today's Opinion by Kimberly Strassel:
    "If the liberal blogging phenomenon deserves to be known for anything, it is the strategy to intimidate or silence anyone who disagrees with its own out-of-the-mainstream views. That muzzling has been on full display in recent weeks as Mr. Moulitsas [Daily Kos] and fellow online speech police have launched a campaign against the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. DLC Chairman Harold Ford, Jr. was even thwacked last week for daring to speak to this editorial page (my sincere apologies, Mr. Ford)--the clear goal to discourage him from making such a free-speech mistake again."
No, the Soros Kossacks don't allow any centrists. Look out, party faithful.

Mary Wilson of the Supremes

will be performing at Lakeside tonight. The original trio was Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Diana Ross. I can't figure out who is who in this YouTube, but I notice all the dancers are white kids.

Chapter Six at Lakeside

Last night's program at Hoover was a male vocal group of 6 handsome young men who met in college in Illinois Chapter 6, a jazz a cappella ensemble. I rarely stay for an entire program, but these guys were terrific. If you're ever within driving distance of one of their shows, don't miss the opportunity.

The reason there are 7 in the photo is that one is the writer and arranger, although he also came on stage for one number. A really fun group.

Confronting global warming fundamentalists and alarmists

There is no conservative theological basis for the current belief of environmentalists that humans [are] principally consumers and polluters rather than producers and stewards and that nature knows best, or that the earth, untouched by human hands is the ideal, according to this testimony by David Barton before the U.S. Senate Environment Committee
    "The reason for skepticism among the conservative religious community on the hotly debated issue of man-caused Global Warming is based on lengthy experience. Recall that twenty years ago the scientific community asserted that fetal tissue research held the solution for many of the world’s health problems; science eventually proved the opposite.

    Similarly, in the 1960s, environmental science alarmists warned that the Global Population Bomb would soon doom the entire planet and that by the year 2000, economic growth would be destroyed and there would be a worldwide unemployment crisis; yet the worldwide unemployment rate this year was at 6.3 percent – hardly a crisis by any measurement.

    In the 1960s, environmental science alarmists similarly claimed that DDT harmed humans and caused cancer, thus leading to a near worldwide ban on the use of DDT and now resulting in the deaths of between one and two million persons each year from malaria. In fact, four decades later, the scientific community still has found no harm to humans from DDT, so the World Health Organization, the Global Fund, and U.S.AID have once again endorsed the use of DDT in fighting malaria 20 – after millions of lives were needlessly lost.

    And let’s not forget that in the 1970s, aerosols were considered a leading cause of harm to the environment, but recent reports note that "Aerosols actually have a cooling effect on global temperatures” that helps “cancel out the warming effect of CO2." Environmental science has a demonstrated pattern of announcing strong conclusions, and then reversing itself following further time and study. . ."
Read the whole piece, with references which I've removed. Also, if you are a member of a main line protestant church, your left leaning leadership has bought into the alarmists' argument and may be pushing BUZZ orange t-shirts so 3rd world peoples can sleep under insecticide soaked nets.

The most interesting job in the world

Yesterday and Tuesday I attended lectures by Rustin Levinson, president of Rustin Levenson Art Conservation Associates. She received her conservation training at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum and worked at the National Gallery of Canada and the Metropolitan Museum of Art before beginning a private conservation practice. She has studios in Florida and New York City, and summers in Lakeside. Couldn't get better than that. I know just the young lady from Columbus, a recent college grad with an art background, who should look into an apprenticeship with this woman.

On Tuesday she showed photos of damaged art and what can be done about it. She explained the tools of her work--ultraviolet light to detect over painting, infrared light for under drawing, radiography, x-ray, cross section samples, evidence from the painter's records like letters, notes or sketches, notes on the back of paintings, and the artist if still alive. She also briefly went over supports, grounds and paint, including the odd materials some artists use, which make restoration so difficult (mayonnaise, house paint, wax).

On Thursday she showed us examples, before and after, of 33 of her 2006-2007 projects. It was an amazing list of artists and projects, ranging from the Tom Loftin Johnson mural in the mess hall at West Point, to a Maxfield Parrish mural, Old King Cole in the St. Regis Hotel in NY, to a DeKooning to Salvador Dali. One interesting story she told of a project was repairing damage to a watercolor called "Sugaring off" in Vermont by a Gruelle dated 1954. It was done for a mural, but no one has been able to locate the mural! I think she said the artist is a brother of Johnny Gruelle who created Raggedy Ann.

Rusti has co-authored a book, "Seeing through Paintings," Yale, 2000, and has chapters in "The expert versus the object" ed. by Ronald D. Spencer, Oxford, 2004 and "Tiffany Chapel at the Morse Museum" Winter Park, 2002. It would definitely be worth a trip to Florida to see the Morse Museum of American Art. She also writes articles on conservation at the Chubb Collectors web site.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Lenders are tightening their standards

Apparently, you're going to need a good credit rating and 10% down to get a home loan. Now that's a shocker, isn't it? Sounds just like 1961 (6%), 1968 (6.5%) and 1988 (10%) the last years we took out a mortgage--although in the 1960s banks wouldn't figure the wife's income in the mix. WSJ had another story today in its series about the subprime market problems. Like the Tiger op ed piece I put into poetry a few days ago, this story uses an Hispanic family. There were a few details in the piece that I'll put at the beginning instead of the end:
    When the Montes bought their house
    they had little savings (no amount was given)
    not-so-great credit (no information on score)
    were eating out as a family twice a week
    paying $70 a month for piano lessons for one daughter
    planning college for the other
    taking vacations in Lake Tahoe
    had 2 car loans (make and model not given)
    When they got the home loan
    they didn't read the small print
    there is a prepayment penalty--$12,000 before 3 years
    didn't realize their property taxes would jump $3,000 because of the new valuation based on their purchase price
    they got a 2/28 loan, which means it can reset after 2 years for as much as 30% more in the payment amount when it floats to fixed for 28 years
    their payment on the 2/28 was $3,200 a month, not adding in the increase in property taxes
    their mortgage, which was actually 2 loans, covered only the interest, which means they were not building equity
I'm guessing that a person with the discipline to have a good credit rating and a savings account would have started putting money back immediately by eliminating the restaurant meals and vacations and piano lessons, knowing they had only two years before the crunch would come. But they didn't. They counted on refinancing the house, fantasizing that home values would continue to go up. They didn't, and the house is now worth less than they paid, plus they have no equity built up. They hope to hang on to the house by working some additional part time jobs and making the cuts they should have done two years ago.