To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

About Me

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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trees



This little cell phone I have is neat - what the camera will do! Here's the same picture! It's one that was made 8 or 9 days ago while there was still a lot of snow in the back SE corner of my yard.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Minority

This morning I was one of a minority.

The city has neighborhood associations, which meet monthly. Giving a short report at each meeting will usually be representatives from the area police precinct, fire station, library, and the city councilor's office. Those attending can tell about problems in the neighborhood, such as a vacant house, possible drug dealing, a problem with garbage pickup, a clogged culvert, etc. Sometimes there will be some neighborhood event, either set up by the city councilor, a local church, another near-by neighborhood association, and so on. Sometimes a donation is requested for something.

Today being a national holiday, Birmingham had its 25th annual "Martin Luther King, Jr., Unity Breakfast". Each neighborhood association could buy a table for 8 for $200, plus individuals could also buy a place ($25 each). At our last neighborhood association meeting, we were all asked who could attend and would like to attend. My across-the-street neighbor Anthony and I were asked - so we did. The doors opened at 7 a.m.

The day started off crazy. Anthony is on disability, and does not have an alarm clock of any kind! He asked me yesterday to call him at 6 to wake him up. I called 16 times. After 4 rings, his phone went to voice mail. When I saw no lights on in his house, I walked over, rang his doorbell 3 or 4 times, and pounded on his door. He got up ... and we made it.

At our table were 3 ladies and 5 men, of which I was the only Caucasian. (I wonder - if they are African-Americans, then am I an English/Scots/Irish/Cherokee-American?)

A tangent: When I was small, my family lived on the invisible dividing line between blue-collar whites and what I would call middle class blacks in an area called Fountain Heights. There were other blue-collar whites in the house behind ours, and in the duplexes to one side of us. Next door was a vacant lot, then a house owned by a black gentleman who owned some sort of business. Across the street from us was a brand new brick house owned by Dr. & Mrs. Boykin. She was a school teacher (college-degreed) and he was a dentist (a lot of college). We lived there from the time I was 4 or 5 until I was 8 - late 40s until the summer of 1952. I remember waking up during the night to a lot of noise ... someone, probably the Ku Klux Klan, had set up a big burning cross in the yard of some family who lived a little farther in the block where we lived. There was also some bombings, including Dr. & Mrs. Boykin's house, though their house was not completely destroyed. In the early 60s, I worked in the phone company's operations' building, across the street from Kelly Ingram Park, where the notorious events with dogs and fire hoses happened. God made everyone, and none of this hate ever made sense to me. Look up the words to "Carefully Taught", a song from the musical "South Pacific".

Back at breakfast: The emcees were 2 people from a local TV station: a white lady and a black man. At the tables on the stage were a state senator, representative, judge, city councilor, rabbi, a couple of preachers, etc., each who spoke maybe 5 minutes. Mayor William Bell was keynote speaker, and talked for 30 minutes, and surprisingly held my attention.

Breakfast was edible: coffee, juice, water, scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, a biscuit, and butter and jelly.

A chorus sang from 7-7:30. They also sang the National Anthem after a high school color guard presented the flag. (Actually, everyone attending sang the National Anthem.) Near the end of the program, everyone also sang what is called the Negro National Anthem: "We Shall Overcome". (I wonder if there is a "Caucasian National Anthem", an "American-Indian National Anthem", etc.) Everyone at our table, and I think at all the other tables, stood and held hands to sing that.

The program started about 7:40 and was not over until 9:30 or so.

Except for being half-asleep because I'm no longer used to being up at 5:30 a.m. any more, actually the program was fairly interesting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Many are cold

... but few are frozen ... except here. At 11:30 a.m. it was still only 22 on my front porch. At least there's been no more snow but what we have will be here awhile. I'm fine food-wise, except that I'm out of my junk food! ... potato chips and sour cream!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

D'ya' ever ...

... have a song that begins to bug you, going around in your brain? Maybe it's the weather or because of what I've just written, but "Mele Kalikimaka" is my brain-broken-record.

Here's another fitting one, though it's not sing-song-y:

"The sun is shining. The grass is green. The orange and palm trees sway. There's never been such a day in Beverly Hills, L.A. But it's December the twenty-fourth, and I am longing to be up North."

I'll let you look up those!

Mahalo.

The trip to Hawaii



I would have had a better time if I'd had someone about my age to pal around with, and go with on shore excursions. My cabinmate was nice, very pretty, young at heart, but was old enough to be my mother.

I'm a bit of a trainiac, and one shore excursion I signed for included a boat ride on the only navigable river in Hawaii, and a train ride. Wouldn't you know that that trip was canceled ... And of course I was interested in a luau. It was at the Kalamaku Plantation on Kauai. Turned out about 1,000 people attended the luau. I was seated WAY in the back of the huge pole barn, and it was late afternoon, and I don't see well. I couldn't see what was happening on the stage, and with all the chatter of the drunks I was seated with, I couldn't hear much. I ate a little then wandered around the grounds alone until time to get back on the bus and go back to the ship.

I did ride "The Liberty" at the Dole Plantation, and rode the train (with an actual steam locomotive) at the Kalamaku Plantation. The "Hanalei" was one of the passenger cars.

I got lucky in one instance. I love music, and had researched native Hawaiian music on line ahead of time, and bought some CDs. The first Sunday afternoon there, the hotel where I stayed was a short distance from an outside mall, not quite a flea market. I found a music vendor, and told the seller things I liked. On the only shore excursion that my cabinmate and I took together, I asked the driver about music. (I was always seated at the very front of the tour buses because of my eyesight.) He asked who I was familiar with, and I named some. He asked, "Do you have ...'s latest?" I said I didn't. He told me to wait a minute when we got back to the ship. Turned out that he was one of the producers for Na Leo ... and he gave autographed CDs to both my cabinmate and me!

Vacations





Thanks to a good friend of mine, in April, 1997 or '98, I got to go to England, Holland, and Germany. The flights (Pittsburg to Gatwick/London, and Dallas to Honolulu) were terrible - because they each took 8 hours.

Here's 3 pictures of the NCL ship, the "Pride of Hawaii", that I was on in 2006, and one of the airplanes I was on, on that trip. Of course you can click on any picture to see it bigger.

Warmth!

No, not here! Still ice and snow though it's 34 now on my porch. I changed my FaceBook picture recently to one made in June, 2006. It was taken at the overlook by 'Opaeka'a Falls, Kauai, Hawaii. A good description and picture of the falls is on wikipedia.

(Our local newspaper has a travel section, and that picture was printed in the paper. I wanted to show that people who do not see well - notice I'm holding my white cane - do go places and do things. It was a bit windy, as you can see from my bangs. That's my sunglasses on top of my head.)

I got to go on a tour with 13 others, all acquaintances from the church of Christ (we got to attend worship there with the church near Honolulu one Sunday, and had worship on-board the ship the other Sunday). Each of us flew to Honolulu (some on a Thursday, some Friday, I arrived Saturday mid-day), then got on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship on Monday afternoon.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was that Monday morning when I rode the city bus and went by myself to the Dole Plantation. I really liked the Dole Plantation, and I enjoyed the bus ride because it wasn't "touristy", plus I wanted to compare the Oahu transit to ours here in Birmingham.

My hotel roommate, then cabinmate, was a lady from Atlanta who was 20+ years older than me. While the trip was OK, I didn't feel like it was worth the approximate $3,000 I spent for it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mo' Snow!

Here's two more I made this morning. Yeah, yeah, to all you Nanooks of the North, what's the big deal? Well, here in the "sunny" South, even this much snow and ice is enough to paralyze the city. I've seen a couple of pickup trucks pass by, but the newspaper carrier didn't show, not sure about the garbage truck, the fixed route buses are running (but who'd want to stand out in this mess and go anywhere?) ... and mid-afternoon, I saw 3 or 4 ATVs whiz by, a few more cars, and even some teenage boys out walking! Me? A good day to crawl into a box of yarn!

What a "pane"

... or "looking at the world through" ice crystals!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The WEATHER again!

Pretty bad when lately that's about all I write about, huh?

Friday was beautiful - cloudless and real sunny and about 60 degrees! I did have to wear layers because the wind was cold, but I rode the fixed route bus to buy some groceries. At least the bus ran on time.

Yesterday was sunny but cold, so except for getting the newspaper and walking to the mailbox, I stayed in.

Today? Ha! We did have morning worship (9:30 - 11:30) but the 5:00 service was canceled. (One couple has to go to Maine in a day or 2 to the funeral of the man's sister.)

The garbage truck comes by my house about 6:15 Monday and Thursday mornings, so about 5:30, I decided to take 2 little sacks to the street. Wrong ... the front steps were already getting slick. I looked outside about 8:15 this evening, and there's a good inch of snow covering my whole back deck.

I rather doubt that anything will be moving tomorrow - and that includes the newspaper carrier, the garbage truck, the mail carrier, the buses ... When I start to 2nd guess myself about having quit my job, I'll think of this weather.

Today's "Garfield" comic strip was this: Garfield was outside and one snowflake came down. He stomped it. Then a couple more snowflakes came down, and he stomped them. Then a LOT of snow started falling. He went inside, crawled in bed, and covered his head. John lifted a corner of Garfield's cover. Garfield said, "Wake me at the vernal equinox".

Amen. Hope YOU are warm.

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