Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Being a fan of Huey, I had to go. Thankfully, I had some great company. THAT made this year's FWA much more enjoyable than past years. (more about that later)
Most often, cameras of any kind are not allowed inside these music venues. This year, they allowed still cameras but not video cameras. I guess they didn't realize that many of the new digital cameras have the ability to record video as well.
In case you don't recognize the name "Huey Lewis", here is a small clip of one of his songs.
Friday, May 23, 2008
(Thank you, Veterans, for protecting our freedoms!!)
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War. In fact, several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Columbus, Miss.; Macon, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Boalsburg, Pa.; and Carbondale, Ill.
In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America's wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. (Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, is celebrated each year on November 11.)
Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
Several Southern states continue to set aside a special day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Once upon a time a man told a small village, "I will buy monkeys for $10 each."
Since there were many monkeys in the forest, the villagers caught them and sold them to the man.
As the supply of monkeys diminished, the villagers' efforts slowed, so the man offered them $20 each.
They renewed their efforts but the supply of monkeys diminished further, so he increased his price to $25.
Soon no one could even find a monkey in the forest.
The man increased his price to $50, but announced, "Since I must go to the city on business, I authorize my assistant to buy monkeys on my behalf."
As soon as his boss was gone, the assistant told the villagers, "My boss has collected lots of monkeys. I'll sell them to you for $35 and then, when he returns, you can sell them to him for $50."
The villagers rounded up all the money they could and bought as many monkeys as possible. Then they had monkeys everywhere...
... but they never saw the man or his assistant again.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
With the NRA National Convention being this weekend in Louisville, KY, I thought I would post out Bill of Rights as ratified by our founding fathers...
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed a desire in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several states as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution. viz.
Articles in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress and Ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Tonight I had what might be called a genuine brush with mortality. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s a situation where I have never been.
I have an aunt who is in the golden years of life. She is my mother’s sister. When I was younger, I would spend a week or two of my summers with she and my uncle. When I was in a very difficult place in my life several years ago, she graciously opened her home and provided me a place to live. I have always been able to share things with her, and she with me…whether it be things happening in our lives, or feelings about situations others (friends and family) were in. We can just sit and talk. I have often considered our aunt/nephew relationship to be unique in that way.
When I saw her this evening, I found out she had been to a doctor’s appointment earlier in the day. She had gotten some news that literally shook her. I won’t get into the details of it, but I will say it’s not good news.
As I came into the room, she was on the edge of the bed talking on the phone. It’s a king bed so I just stretched out and waited for her to finish her conversation. I could tell she was having a difficult time and at one point, she reached out and I held her hand.
As she hung up the phone, she began to share with me some of the sadness she was feeling. She told me of some things about which she was worried. She expressed how she wished she had done a lot of things differently. She cried, I cried. I have never seen her this way and it moved me.
I know for a fact she has lived a wholesome and righteous life. She has set the example for others I can only wish I had been able to do. I can only wish that when I am in my golden years that I have the kind of relationship with my spouse that she and my uncle have.
I reminded her that everything happens in His time, not ours. I illustrated it by telling her how I had come there for one reason, but ended up just being there for her to just talk to. Neither she nor I had anything to do with it. God knew that I needed to be there at that particular point in time. We could not have humanly known it!! I feel like my presence was needed, yet neither of us knew beforehand why I happened to decide at the last minute to be where she was at that point in time.
I know she is going thru a difficult time with the decisions ahead, and all I can do is simply be there to listen as she shares. After all, listening is what I do best.
II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, it’s fair game.
III. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.
IV. Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.
V. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy. Kids swimming in a fountain? Okay. Somebody entering their PIN at the ATM? Not okay.
VI. The following can almost always be photographed from public places, despite popular opinion:
accident & fire scenes, criminal activities, bridges & other infrastructure, transportation facilities (i.e. airports), industrial facilities, Superfund sites, public utilities, residential & commercial buildings children, celebrities, law enforcement officers UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, Chuck Norris
VII. Although “security” is often given as the reason somebody doesn’t want you to take photos, it’s rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a company’s trade secrets.
VIII. If you are challenged, you do not have to explain why you are taking pictures, nor to you have to disclose your identity (except in some cases when questioned by a law enforcement officer.)
IX. Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will, and can be subject to legal action if they harass you.
X. If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you don’t have to give it to them. If they take it by force or threaten you, they can be liable for things like theft and coercion. Even law enforcement officers need a court order.
What To Do If You’re Confronted
Be respectful and polite. Use good judgment and don’t escalate the situation.
If the person becomes combative or difficult, think about calling the police.
Threats, detention, and taking your camera are all grounds for legal or civil actions on your part. Be sure to get the person’s name, employer, and what legal grounds they claim for their actions.
If you don’t want to involve the authorities, go above the person’s head to their supervisor or their company’s public relations department.
Call your local TV and radio stations and see if they want to do a story about your civil liberties.
Put the story on the web yourself if necessary.
Friday, May 2, 2008
While I was talking to the superintendent about concealed carry laws and the Second Amendment, an older gentleman came in. This man was "up in years" and I'm sure he was well into his retirement. Why he was even there I don't know. But I'm glad he was. He hopped right into the conversation and we talked for a few minutes about what caliber to carry, law enforcement and a couple other things.
I don't really recall how it came up, but the older man said, "Back when I landed in Normandy..." My eyes widened and I am sure I had a look of surprise on my face. The contractor said, "You were there?" The older man said, "I landed on the beach on the fourth of the invasion. My buddies and some of my close friends were falling all around me."
The contractor and I, almost simultaneously said, "Thank you, sir."
We each reached out to shake his hand. His grip was firm. His only reply was, "It was something that had to be done."
His cell phone rang, and we parted ways, but as long as I live, I will never forget the moment that I was able to shake the hand of a TRUE AMERICAN HERO!!
I wish now I had gotten his name, but alas, I did not.
If you can read, thank a teacher.
If you are reading this in America, thank a VETERAN!
To each and every man and woman in our Armed Forces, currently OR formerly, I THANK YOU!!!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
When I left the BB&T Building, I noticed a group of people gathered in front on the monument holding a sign saying, "Quit work - join us."
I honestly have no idea what this is about...but found it interesting. As I left the parking deck and turned onto Lexington Ave to head south, this group of people had started marching, if that's what you can call it. So I reached down and grabbed my camera and shot this....