Friday, November 4, 2011

Mac OS Issues Revisited

As the tale ended in October, we were just days away from our conference and my fingers were crossed that the fix we had put into place was going to work (at least for the duration of the conference.) On Thursday afternoon, as I left to set up for the conference we were still operating well.

Friday morning arrived and it wasn't pretty. Doctor arrived and I expected the usual computer hand off, but NOPE! The MacBook had crashed yet again during the evening. So here we are at the 12th hour and it is time to punt.

I pull out my HP and got to the ball rolling. The big trick was downloading the new PowerPoint from my email (27 mg) and a sketchy connection to the internet in our conference room. After a bit of juggling things were set for the morning (or so I thought). There were videos that had been embedded into the presentation, that of course weren't on my computer. If that's all we have fall apart then it will be okay.

The conference was able to get off and running with minimal delay due to the availability of my working PC! It did put a crimp in what I usually do during the conference - providing tech support, sending emails immediately to members during the session so that requested information/materials are there waiting for them before they ever leave. And the biggie - sending emails back to the office so that my post-conference to-do list is waiting for me; it beats the heck out of a list on a little piece of paper.

Fast forward to Monday - Back to the phones to speak with yet another Senior Adviser at Apple, the adviser that whom we had been speaking with wasn't in and had not answered my phone message. Needless to say by this point - the experience with Apple has left a bad taste in my mouth. Hours and hours of trying to resolve the issue with very little progress. Our new Senior Adviser reviewed the information from the case, had me do a couple of things, but then said that the case needed to be referred up to Engineering. Good grief! That could take forever. While we were waiting on a response from Engineering it was suggested that we prepare just in case they sent back a recommendation to reinstall the OS. Okay sound advise.

I backed up the Mac using the built in TimeMachine (very cool piece of software); and just for good measure did the Office for Mac upgrade and backed up again.

No response from Apple before the end of business on Monday. We were left hanging and waiting. The only choice was to just wait on a call or call daily and check to see if they had responded to the adviser. My mission became to call daily to check on the progress of this case and to see if there was any way to poke the engineers into moving faster.

I guess it was Tuesday near the end of the day when I checked back again and finding no reply. It was time to talk with Customer Service - the Doctor was heading out of town on Thursday and we were getting back down to crunch time yet again. Customer service didn't keep me long they moved us up to the Management Division.

I've been dealing with Sebastian now for the past several days - not being in the technical support department there wasn't much he could do except watch and see when the reply came back from engineering. He was very good at returning my daily calls and following up on the status of the case.

Around 3:30 on Thursday I got the call from Sebastian that a reply had come down. He connected me with a new Senior Adviser and off we went to see if we could get the Mac straightened out. After checking on a couple of setting that the engineers wanted to know about the fix was to delete the "Lock" folder from Safari. Something in this folder was screwing with the virtual memory.

Not being able to duplicate the error at will, I attempted to cause it to appear but to no avail. So yet again as I left for the day, the MacBookPro was actually working. I've still got my fingers crossed that it will continue to be working on Monday when the Doctor gets back and continues to work fine from now on out.

The plan is to check back with Sebastian on Tuesday hopefully to close the case for good, but we shall see...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

CHHS 30th Reunion Class Photo



If you would like a higher resolution photos than the ones posted on Facebook please email me and I will be happy to send it to you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mac OS Issues

Apple has been the bane of the boss' and my existence today!

It seems a simple trip to the Apple Genius bar to update the OS, get more RAM and have iCloud installed has turned into a exercise in futility.

I don't know what's going with their product, but the Mac OS X Lion (10.7.2) has been on the fritz for the last two days. I'd wager to say that I've spent about six hours or more on the phone with Apple support hacking away at this issue. The boss' MacBookPro has 8 GB memory and over 500 GB free hard drive space, yet he gets this lovely pop up window that says, "Your Mac OS X start up disk has no more space available for application memory."

Two calls on Monday followed by a trip by the boss to the Apple Genius bar, wasn't doing much to create a pleasant nor productive computer owner. It has been particularly tough since he is in the middle of doing time-sensitive work. It was hoped that the late night at the Genius bar would have done the trick, but alas that was not to be.

So back to the phones I went this morning spending a staggering 135 minutes with the first level tech support. Then after just a couple of hours of operation it was time to try it again. Thankfully I was able to go through the issue relatively quickly with the tech who determined that it was time for me to speak with a Senior Advisor after another 95 minutes, I've got my fingers crossed that it is finally fixed.

In finally getting to an alleged "fixed" state, in the past two days I've: verified the hard drive, emptied the library cache (in two different places), gone through several safe mode boot ups; deleted conduit folders and files; deleted CTLoaders; toyed with the idea that there was a bad stick of RAM (thus the boss' trip to the Genius Bar); changed trust levels on certificates; done a SMC reset; PRAM reset; reset all the caches; performed another safe boot; uninstalled and reinstalled Safari; and verified and repaired permissions.

The Senior Advisor left us a direct line back to her should things go awry and a recommendation that Office for Mac be upgraded to 2011. I think that since things are kinda of sketchy that the upgrade should be put off just until we are passed the next few critical days.

So as I left for the day, the MacBookPro was actually working. I've got my fingers crossed that it will continue to do so for many more days.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ring Explosion

A few months ago I purchase a darling double butterfly Le Vian ring. Much to my disappointment, one of the side diamonds fell out after only wearing it for four days! Not to fear, back to the store and the ring was completely covered under the Le Vian warranty and off it went to have the stone replaced. I had hoped that this process would only take a week or so, but it was well over a month until the ring arrived back to be picked up. So here I promptly went back over to the jewelers on Wednesday to retrieve it. It was lovely and good as new.

That was until Thursday evening when the diamond above the one that had been replaced fell out!! Talk about being truly perturbed. I'd only worn the darn thing for about 10 days and here it was broken once again and I was sure it was going to end up being gone again for another month! In lieu of going through this over and over I decided to return it and just be done with it - I really didn't want to spend all my time back and forth having it continually repaired.

With that in mind I returned to the jewelers and found that I was past my 30 return period. Needless to say I wasn't the happiest of campers. The manager definitely understood my frustration and proceeded to speak with one of the on site jewelers. It appeared from a quick look under the microscope that the prongs holding the stone in place were too short and that was what was causing all the issues. With a promise of overnight repairs done in house, I left the shop satisfied.

That brings us up to Saturday evening when all the fun really began. I arrived back to pick up the ring and the jeweler who was doing the repairs met me at the counter. He had that "look" that something wasn't quite right. Boy was that an understatement. He said that when he applied heat to the ring to re-tip the prong the ring blew up!

Turns out that the original casting had air bubbles in the metal and when the heat had been applied the air expanded and the rest is history. I didn't see the end result but I bet it was a spectacular show. As a result of the poor casting a brand new ring is winging its way here.

On another note - the cameo ring that picked up in Italy suffered a terrible accident. About mid-summer the dog's leash got caught under the cameo and nearly ripped it off. It had been able to be put back to visually normal but the ring wasn't nearly as strong as it had been. Picking up computer case on Saturday finally dealt the ring a death blow, the band broke in half. Since I was already at the jeweler's picking up - I was able to find out if it was repairable. Much to my joy it is and won't take forever nor cost a fortune either!!

Watching Television and Choosing a President

I had an interesting conversation this week about the political landscape and I heard the best analogy as to the condition that the voters are finding themselves in during this election cycle.

Fade in on a couple sitting on the sofa, neither in the mood to actually go out for the evening (there is nothing that is compelling them to go - no movie, play, etc.) There they sit flipping through the 100's of channels not finding anything to watch.

The wife says to the husband, "You go ahead and watch sports." He takes the remote and flips over to the sports channel only to find figure skating, ping pong, and a bridge tournament. Definitely not what he was looking to watch.

He then hands the remote back to his wife and say, "You go ahead and watch a movie." She flips through the movie channels and and comes up with nothing that she wants to watch either.

Together they finally settle on a rerun of CSI, not because they want to watch it, but because there is nothing else for them to choose from.

So here we are waiting to find a candidate that we can get behind, become passionate about, one that we just don't have to settle upon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jesus Comes to Visit

I heard a really interesting story this weekend at a family get together. It seems one of the cousins had a cat show up at their house a couple of years ago on Christmas Eve, clawing at their door. One of the youngsters in the house thought that the cat might be an angel so they fed it and fixed it a place to sleep. The cat was gone the next morning. The at Easter the following year the the cat showed back up and spent Easter with them and even did a little Easter egg hunting with them.

Now if that wasn't weird enough, the darn thing showed back up the very next Christmas, and once again stayed for the one day. That brought us up to Easter this year when the cat once again showed up!! This time he has decided to stay around. Well since he had been showing up at all the religious holidays, they named him Jesus!

It seems that Jesus, wasn't too pleased when they tried checking out his 'package'. In fact, he even bit her. I guess that he didn't take too kindly to being checked out like that. The other possibility was that he was prison cat and might have been abused - which have been good reason for him to be a little testy.

The story doesn't stop there. Jesus has come to live with them on a more permanent basis. He has taken to sleeping on the front porch rail and intimidating the other feline residents of the house, Puss & Stumpy. It has gone so far that Jesus has actually run Puss off (she's been missing for a few days now).

Once I quit laughing I knew that this was one story that I had to share. Knowing that it is a true story only makes it that much funnier. I do hope that you got a laugh out of it as well.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hurricane Aftermath

We awoke up Sunday morning to find that the second largest tree in the backyard had indeed become uprooted and was wedged between two others at the edge of the yard. The upper canopy was also entangled with about five to six others. The Hickory that was next to it also was going to have to come down as well, its roots were all entangled with the large oak. We also had another uprooted tree at the edge of the back property line that was leaning onto another tree. Not to mention the limbs that had fallen out or were hanging on the tree in the front yard.

We had a couple of tree guys stop by the house during the morning hours to give us estimates on getting the trees down. One who was local gave us a fairly good price; and we even tried to go with them asking them to put together a contract. They told us they'd be back in an hour and they NEVER showed back up or even called. (We've passed their house several time since and there they all are working on cars or motorcycles in the garage. Obviously they didn't really want the work.)

The gentleman we did finally go with was from South Carolina - Came right out, wrote up the contract, showed up when he said and did a SUPER job. The tough job for them was to get the wedged tree down.  It was really stuck between the oak and holly near the end of woodpile. It was a real thing of beauty to see him top one of the large trees and it just swung harmlessly passed the neighbors porch. Took some real talent to do that. It took them two days to get all the trees down, cut up and limbs hauled to the edge of the yard, but it was so worth waiting for him to get back to our house.

While they cutting trees Walter was busy loading the trailer with the branches and hauling them off to Rockwood Park. By the time the tree guys were done, Walter was caught up to them in limb removal. He had only two loads that he had to take off the next day to finish up the yard. Walter has been a busy guy splitting the cut wood. He has a couple of really awesome woodpiles going on out in the yard.

Meanwhile over at Mom & Dad's house - there were trees down everywhere. No just uprooted and tilting over they were all the way over, 50 trees in all. Five fell right near or on the porch. Dad has been our working feverishly to delimb the ones that had fallen in the yard, and get them all cut up and moved. It has taken a while for them to even find out what it is going to take to get the trees taken care of and for someone to come out and even give them an estimate on the damage to the house. I guess it all has to do with the amount of work that is now out there for contractors to do. No one wants to over extend themselves when they aren't sure that they can complete the work.

As power stated coming on around the Richmond area,
those who were still without were beginning to show
signs of frustration.
The power outage was the biggest thing that we had to deal with during the week after the storm. Our water heater held out fantastic. We both were able to get a shower every day for through Thursday (the water was very tepid by then.) We had been anticipating have the power restored on Tuesday, then Wednesday, and then Friday. On Thursday the whole situation got the best of me when we were out of propane as I went to fix dinner. Walt went out for the refill and just as he pulled back into the driveway the power came on! I really should have sent him out for propane a few days earlier if I'd known it was going to work that well. The power restoration only lasted a few hours. It went back out after midnight. Even though it didn't stay on - it had been on long enough to reheat the water in the water heater. Yeah! one more hot shower. It surely was tough leaving out from a dark house with all the rest of the houses in the neighborhood lit up as I was leaving out on Friday morning. Sort of depressing. We finally had full power restoration by 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Hurricane Chronicles

Went into work for a few hours this morning. It was amazing how quiet the office was even with the wind whipping around outside.

As I started for home the rain was beginning to fall, but the winds were the most notable indication of what was to follow. The streets were littered with clumps of fallen leaves and a multitude of pine needles. There was the occasional limb, but nothing significant.

Safely home and snug inside the winds increased and the trees swayed. The two large trees next to the street took quite a battering. I was expecting them to give way and fall over at any time. Their canopies make the perfect sails to catch the gust of wind and propel them right over (just not this time). After much huffing and puffing a limb did break out of the one on the corner, just as Kelly was pulling up to the house. It gave her quite the scare.

The kids spent the afternoon out - at the indoor shooting range. Well at least they were dry and had something to do.

After dinner was well over our real excitement began. We lost power at 6:45 pm right at the end of Dire Hard. Darn it - missed the part where he blows up the plane full of bad guys at the end. Well maybe next time. It wasn't too long after that, that we made the rounds checking out the condition of the yard when we discovered that the 2nd largest tree on the property had begun to uproot. We knew it was only a matter of time before it went on over. Luckily it was falling towards the back of the yard and the woodpile. With any luck it will make it all the way to the ground by morning and we won't have to call in anyone to take it down. Additionally there are more branches down in the front yard with one big one still hanging from the tree (that's the one that is going to be difficult to get down). Maybe it too will come down by morning.

In the middle of everything, Walter got an urge to go out for a Coke from Sheetz, since it was before dark we thought it probably the safest time to make the run out for 'supplies'. I have never seen so many people at Sheetz. It was almost unbelievable. I don't think that I've ever seen a line like that before. Not even on a holiday weekend with other things closed.

I did talk to one woman there who said that she couldn't get home due to all the trees being down. In talking with her I discovered why our power was out, it seems that a tree had come down on Newby's Bridge Road and hit the power pole just around the corner from the house. Last time we lost power to a car hitting that same pole and knocked it out. Took about 16 hours to get it back that time. So we shall see how long it takes this time - although that was an isolated incident and not part of a larger over all event.

The drive home from Sheetz turned out to be the real adventure of the night. We took one of the side streets home only to discover a tree across the road with the power lines down as well. NOT GOOD. We reversed direction and tired another route. Not to be out done by the first road block the 2nd had a huge tree across the entire intersection. Backing up and making it to Gregory Drive we headed on over to Fordham only to find yet another tree across you the road. We weaved around through a few more streets and finally made it back out to Hull Street. Where we proceeded to come home right back on Fordham. Home at last Walter went out to check for more damage and to check on a neighbor or two.

I had the house all lit up with candles and was getting settled in while waiting for him to get back - which took forever. He had gotten together with a number of the men in the neighborhood and cut up a tree that was across the side street next to us. It didn't take them long at all and reminded me of the evening that our tree had been struck by lightening & fallen. (The men had all come out with chainsaws to get the road opened up.

Walter has definitely become part of the neighborhood.

Tomorrow we shall see what the final tally of the damage is.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Shook Up - Earthquake in VA?!

Today has been a doozie! I started out the morning seeing what looked like a 6-inch piece of gray string on the floor. Turned out what I thought was a string was actually a dead snake in my bedroom floor. One of the lovely four legged children, must have brought it in from going out to potty during the night. The cat use to bring me presents like this, but now the dogs are getting in on the action. It was 'sweet' but I surely hope that they don't get into a habit of bringing things like this into the house.

Then there was the earthquake this afternoon, the very first one that I've actually felt. Amazing! I had been through two others before and never even knew that they had happened. Today however was a totally different story. We were all visiting in the conference room when the ceiling tiles began to shake (sort of like when a heavy duty AC unit kick on), but then there was the noise that sounded like a freight train. Since the office has a train track behind it I ducked outside to take a peek. No train derailing, but the windows on the daycare center next door were ripping. It was quite surreal to watch.

UPDATE: There have been several aftershocks. Nothing big, but aftershocks nonetheless. Heard on the radio that the earthquake was a 5.8 and that the last time there was one of that magnitude here was in 1871. There was also a rumor that the Washington Monument was leaning, which turned out to be incorrect but the monument does have cracks which has caused the National Parks Service to close the Washington Monument until repairs can be made.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School

Time for college students to start getting back to school for the fall. Classes started this today for John Tyler and boy are they having some issues. Walt tried to get into his class and it came back with an error telling him to try back later. The second class is also having problems. You would think that the community colleges wouldn't be plagued by this type of technical difficulty since they do operate year round.

If Walt's frustrated I can only image how many other students are suffering from the same thing. He gave it a full hour and tried again. No luck, the system is just having major issues. After a couple of emails to his professors he found out that the system is actually down and was told to try back again tomorrow. What a great way to start the semester off. Unable to actually go to class.

Here's hoping that things will be better tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great Turn Around

So sitting at the front desk this morning, getting things under way and in come two sales people making cold calls on various offices. We're polite; take their information and promise to pass it along. Then it happens.

They ask a couple of questions about the office and before they know it we've got one scheduled for a hygiene appointment and the other all set to give us a call back to get hers scheduled after her move.

What a way to turn the tables! It was a great way to start the morning.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

365 Project Year 2

I wasn't too sure that I was going to begin a second 365 Project, but after much encouragement here I go again.

I began year two on 7/15/2011. I decided that by posting this as a single blog entry it would be easier for others to check back here and follow the progress as opposed to trying to keep up with several Facebook links. (Facebook only allows 200 photos per album). I will be adding the link to the last 165 images when I get to that point in time.

I'm looking forward to what the next year of photos will look like.

365 Project Year 1

After seeing a couple of people on Facebook proposing to take a photo a day for a year. I jumped in with both feet. What an interesting way to chronicle the year. It turned out to be a really interested experience - it is amazing what you see if you just look around.

The majority of the photos that were taken for this first year (7/11/2010 to 7/10/2011) were taken on the route between my home and the office where I work.


First 200 days of images
Remaining 165 days of images

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Phone Issues

The office phones have been giving us a devil of a time over the past month. At first is was an intermittent issue, but it has gotten down right ridiculous.

Our first major issue was easily explained by a cut line when a subcontractor was laying FIOS cables near the office. Then the next go round was just a week or so later and was caused by a cut in the line as well. (The cable installation had moved further down the road.) Then beginning Monday our phones began acting like cell phones, dropping calls and then ringing busy afterwards. Not a great way to run your business - appearing to hang up on customers randomly.

Finally I was able to get a good report into Verizon on the 20th and they were suppose to go ahead and test the line to find out what the issue was overnight and get back with me. Did they? NO!

So here we are today, sitting and waiting for the technician to arrive. I know that there is a Bigger issue than just our office. Oh by the way, the tech was suppose to arrive at the office at 5:00 p.m. I have yet to see him and it is after 7:00 as I write this.

Right now I'm on hold with Verizon, trying to get some information on what's going on. Betting 10 to 1 that the Tech has driven by the office and since it is closed has just moved on to something else. We shall see.

Well after staying on hold for 15 minutes when the rep picked up the phone hung up. I'm beginning to think that I can't win for losing on this one. Now I'm back on hold once again. I just hope that the line connects long enough for me to get some sort of an answer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vanishing Hard Drive Space

I nearly had a meltdown last night after discovering that my hard drive space was down to only 8GB. Now the last time I had this issue it turned out to be multiple restore points had been made while installing a very large program - which had to be installed a couple of times to get it right. No worry - just delete them and off you go.

Well that certainly wasn't the case this time. Of course I did all the usual things, emptied the Recycle Bin; deleted any stray files, but that didn't even begin to free up any space.

In desperation I Googled, "suddenly lost hard drive space" and there I found my answer amongst one of the first search results. A post on the Volume Shadow Copy Service by Benjamin Day supplied me with all the information that I needed to get myself back up and running. Seems that my computer had 157GB allocated to shadowstorage.

The real question is why did it suddenly change? For now though, I am very happy to to have been able to go from 7GB to 170GB using only two commands.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Annoying Emails

This past weekend started out pleasant enough, that is until I received a flurry of emails to just about everyone of my email accounts from the same individual. Not only did they send the emails to me but they cc'd my siblings, mother and a nephew too! Way over the top.

Now I am NOT that hard to find. In fact there is a contact email address on this blog site, so I'm not really sure why they thought it was necessary to send so many yet they did.

Turned out that the individual was making a request for some exclusion of information on my genealogy site. Not a problem. Tell me what needs to be excluded - and for heaven's sake where it's located. I haven't a clue where every piece of information is located on ALL those pages. Anyway, the request that I received was vague and I had removed information previously on this family way back in 2003. In responding to this particular individual I sent a link to the removed information page to remind them that it had already been removed.

This started what was to be a very stressful weekend. Another flurry of emails descended upon me with demands that additional information be removed. I removed the information and replaced it with a statement that the information had been removed by request. Yet this was not good enough for the individual in question.

A barrage of messages were sent to me through Facebook - all while I was sleeping. Apparently there are some people who can't let things go during the night. So that when I awoke there were at least six messages all about removing the information that I had already removed. Plus new demands that I change the genealogy pdf that I have been giving away for 15 years! After sending what I thought was one last message that the information had been removed and the pdf wasn't going to be changed, I was done with this individual. Or so I thought.

More emails plus a phone call plagued me Sunday. Complaints that the information that I had was incorrect - but wait - they'd already ask me to remove it from online (which had been done). I had become quite frustrated by the time the phone call came, which had immediately been preceded by yet another email. Now I will admit that I was a bit put out and not as pleasant as I normally am, but come on. When someone has asked you in writing three times to leave them alone and then they still contact you, they are pretty much getting what they deserve.

After letting this individual get to me for most of the day on Sunday, I finally broke down and called our local police department's non-emergency number for information to see what recourse if any that I had in this situation. They advised me to send one last email to the individual and inform them that I did not want "any contact" from them, and provide them with the code section that the police offer had provided me. Done!

Now did that work...No! I received yet another email. I didn't reply and even held off doing anything until Monday evening - but the content of the email disturbed me enough to actually go down and file a police report. I didn't swear out the warrant for the individual's arrest - I still wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were just being hardheaded. Yet I still can do so if I receive any further contact. The police department will keep the report on file for a year so hopefully I can just let it drop, but if need be it is there.

In combating this individual I have found out some pretty useful information.
  1. You can BLOCK an individual on Facebook, whether they are your friend or not.
  2. It is possible to BLOCK phone number on your home phone line (if you know them) so that if the individual calls they will receive the message that you are not accepting calls at this time.
  3. There is a law in Virginia Section 18.2.152.7:1 that deals with annoying or harassing email; other sections also deal with electronic devices and phone calls.
  4. You can file a police report - that will remain on file for a year.
I hope that no one else has to deal with a situation like this, but if so I hope that just some of the things that I learned will be of value to you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Busy Month So Far

First Phase of House Repairs

Walter has been the busy beaver at the house. He has jumped right in and started in on some major home repairs. He has begun replacing any and all questionable pieces of cedar siding on the house. It has made for an quite the colorful looking house - current siding, new primed boards, and a few unprimed board thrown in for good measure; not to mention the caulked areas.

There were a couple of unexpected challenges that came up as he started working on the angled portion of the front of the house.  It seems that the rain had collected behind one of the shrubs and created the perfect environment for mold and rot to occur.

Wednesday's Progress

After a consultation with several builders and a pest control company - turns out that it was just a minor issue and was easily resolved.  Walter changed the orientation of all the siding on the front of the house to horizontal and this will prevent any future problems. 

This evening he was has been out on the ladder almost since he came home from work.  It's too late for an updated photo (no light), but he has gotten the siding up two rows above the window.  Now the really hard part - cutting the angled boards for the rest of the area.  I do believe that his goal for tomorrow is to at least have the siding up on most of the area.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!
I'M 100% for PASSING THIS ON!!!
Lets Take a stand!!!
Obama: Gone!
Borders: Closed...
Language: English only...
Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!!!
Drug Free: Make a drug screen mandatory for anyone on welfare and/or food stamps!
NO freebies to Non-Citizens!

We the people are coming!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

Spent yesterday afternoon celebrating Father's Day with my Dad. We had a great lunch and I surprised him with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Huguenot Springs Confederate
Cemetery Memorial Day Service

I attended this Memorial Day Service sponsored by the J.E.B. Stuart Camp #1343 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Huguenot Springs Cemetery Foundation.

The day was spent honoring those that are serving, have served and those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The Keynote Speaker spoke on "The History of Confederate Memorial Day and Recent Research on the Confederate War Dead". The presentation was quite informative and instructional.

The service ended with an Artillery Salute, followed by the playing of taps.

Truly an event to remember.



Event Photos - Black & White
Event Photos - Color

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Awkward

In response to the prediction that the Rapture was going to occur on Saturday, May 21, 2011.
Oakland minister & radio host, Harold Camping predicted that Judgement Day would be Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. ET.  Obviously this did not occur, millions did not vanish nor were there any reports of anyone vanishing.  I've been attempting to check out his radio website just to see what he had to say, but have not been successful - apparently his site is too busy and unable to handle the load of visitors.

The image above is going around on Facebook in response (photographer/artist unknown).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paranormal Investigator Update

The owner of Ecto XB contacted me shortly after my first post. Turns out there are several videos on YouTube of the lights in action.



Here is the link to the channel where other videos are located.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Paranormal Investigator in Richmond

ECTO-XB
I could hardly contain my surprise when I was on the way home from work this evening and passed by this vehicle in the parking lot of a local mall. It took me three passes in the parking lot to get just the pictures that I wanted. It made for a great picture of the day.

Who would have thought that there was such a thing here in Richmond. I did do an internet search in hopes of finding out just what the company was that had these vehicles as their 'company' cars, but it was not to be. If anyone finds out I'd love to post a link to their site.
I kept waiting for the lights to start flashing.

It really did make me wonder just which store they were in and if I was going to see someone in the "GhostBusters" jumpsuit running out of the store with a steaming containment unit.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ahhh! Inner Peace

Inner Peace:

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, 

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, 

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, 

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment ,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

...Then You Are Probably .........

The Family Dog! 

And you thought I was going to get all spiritual didn't you..?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why is DVI like a candle, a feather and a wooden spoon?

Dear Friends,

Spring is in the air and Passover and Easter are just around the corner. Spring cleaning is, in fact, a form of spiritual cleansing, and what better way to feel that this task has been completed than to support the charity nearest to your heart?

Passover is a celebration of the Jewish Exodus, when we were freed from slavery in Egypt. Every year we say "Next year in Jerusalem!" but do we consider that present-day Jerusalem is a city suffering from extreme poverty? Isn't extreme poverty a modern form of slavery? We imagine ourselves walking in the footsteps of our ancestors in Egypt, but can we imagine ourselves working for $1,000 a month and struggling to feed 6 kids or more in modern day Jerusalem? To prepare for Passover, we clean out our homes and to be certain we were thorough, we check the corners with a candle, a feather and a wooden spoon. But when it comes to spiritual cleansing, what is your candle, your feather, your wooden spoon?

Easter is a celebration of Jesus' resurrection, the holiest holiday in the Christian calendar. Remember that Jesus welcomed the little children when he said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (NIV) Matthew 19:14. How can we imagine ourselves embracing the suffering children in modern day Jerusalem?

As you know, DVI is a truly free clinic and run on a shoe-string. DVI treated 3,579 children in 2010, more than ever before. Our patients are referred by the welfare services and from a variety of shelters, which house children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or other reasons. Every year, new children's shelters approach DVI, requesting dental care and instruction for their kids. Whatever else has gone wrong in their young lives, they walk out our doors pain-free with healthy smiles. The kind, caring, quality treatment these children receive at DVI gives them a real chance to break out of the cycle of poverty.

But the need and the demand for our services are growing. Help us keep our doors open 5 days a week and not send any child away.

Help DVI and Sponsor a Child!
  • $180 will sponsor one child
  • $360 will sponsor two children
  • $1,800 will sponsor ten children
  • Or any other amount you wish to donate.
This support will be used to sponsor preventative oral health education and dental treatment. You can provide a Jerusalem child with his/her first toothbrush, oral health education, relief from pain and suffering - and a healthier lifestyle and a real chance at academic success! Let us make a better day for Jerusalem, together.
  • The easiest way is to contribute directly through DVI's PayPal account.
  • Alternately, donations can be made to the American Friends here, or by checks payable to DVI and posted to DVI, 29 Mekor Chaim St, Jerusalem 93465 Israel. For US taxpayers, please send checks to American Friends of DVI, c/o Dr. Robert Lipner, 12 East 41st St Suite 1100, New York, NY 10017.
  • Canadian taxpayers can send checks to the Canadian Friends of DVI care of Dr. Stanley Jacobson, 428 Melrose Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5M 1Z9.

On behalf of everyone here at DVI - Happy Holidays!
Michelle Levine
Director of Development and International Relations

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Once Upon A Time
by Kermit Kirk

You drive by Copeland Funeral home on the left and Mutt Williams places of business on the left and right before crossing the little bridge over straight creek. The Christian church on your right. And then the pride of the little town is in view on your right, St. Charles High School. Across the street from the school a Saturday baseball game is in progress between St. Charles and a team from the semi pro Lonesome Pine league. Most of the players are local and have worked all week at a coal mine but weekends they play baseball. All seats are taken in the small stands and parked cars surround the small Esso station and train depot on the left. Behind the Depot a noisy steam engine is sorting out and lining up empty Coal Gons to be pushed to several different coal mines a short distance, some to the north and others northwest of the town. A railroad track runs northwest to Virginia Lee, Bonny Blue, VIC and other coal mines. Another runs north from the depot, crosses the little creek behind the old sycamore tree and Jake’s Place and all the other buildings, destination, Kemmerer Gem, Benedict and Monarch coal companies.

Everyone is not at the ballgame. Several regulars are sitting on the little bridge railings sheltered from the sun by the sycamore tree listening to a country song that is being blasted from the outside speakers over the entrance door at a café next to the theater across the street. Woodrow ‘Mainline’ Wilson is busy shining the shoes of his first customer of the day under the tree “How’s it going Mainline?” some one from the railing asks. “Going back to Alabama” is his answer.

“What for, did you leave your girl friend back there?”

“More pretty girls than one.” is his reply.

Across the street the other little board walk bridge is exposed to the sun--no sitters there. The meat market is as ‘busy as a bee’ with customers stocking up on meat and groceries for the coming week. Next door Inside a long narrow hot dog stand workers are trying to keep up with the demand for hot dogs. Customers stand in line to enjoy a Saturday hot dog washed down with a coke. Next to it a line has formed at the theater to buy tickets to the double feature. The marquee reads, Wild Bill Elliot “Show Down” and Lash Larue “Bad Man’s Gold” both B westerns but at that time, the late thirties and early forties they were the choice of many movie goers especially the young.

Joining the theater on the other side is a barber shop. One of the barbers Claude Myers, sits in a barber chair and stares out the window as he awaits his first customer. A topless cap sits on his head revealing the top of his head which is partially bald. A long billed sun visor sticks out way beyond his nose.

Next to his shop is the café where the music is blasting out over the speakers. Was it the ‘Victor Café’? I can’t recall for sure. But I do remember a Mister Rogers being the proprietor at one time, He was a stern burly man and able to handle any one that had one too many and gotten out of hand. His wife, a robust pretty woman that I thought was out of place in the tiny kitchen that she supervised. Food orders were relayed to her through an opening and she would place the order there when it was filled. Usually hamburgers but a full meal was always on the menu if you desired it. Cold beer was brought to the booths and poured in ice cold glasses, but some preferred to drink it from the bottle. Song selections could be made from the booth, drop a quarter in and listen to three and at times as many as six songs for a quarter.

Down the street from there was another juke joint and a couple more other places of business.

Now I head back up the street toward the theater again. I look through the window at the barber Claude Myers as he strops a razor and lathers up a miners face and begins to shave him.

Privately owned taxi cabs fill all spaces at the taxi stand parked nose to the curb in front of the theater. I smell popcorn from the theater and stop to buy a bag. I notice the hot dog stand is still very busy and the meat market grocery store is still a bee hive. I walk across the board walk bridge and notice that Shoun’s Drug Store is loaded as usual with young folks nursing a coke before going to the next movie. Straight across the street is Jake’s place. It’s a two story red brick building, the best constructed building in town. He and his wife make their home in a nice apartment on the second floor above his restaurant. All sorts of folks gather in the restaurant. Beer drinkers, street walkers, business men, bootleggers and church goers including the church pastors. It is known as the nicest place to eat in town in spite of being a popular place to booze up on beer. A long line of bar stools are usually taken. Nice tables and chairs fill the middle of the floor space. The tables are covered with clean linen and place settings. Roomy booths line the outer wall. Jake is a no nonsense man and keeps a sharp eye out for any kind of bad behavior from any of the drinkers and will not hesitate to call the police chief and have him haul you away to spend a night in the calaboose in a back alley just up the street.

I keep walking north up the street elbow to elbow with people as now most everyone is in town for a Saturday night on the town. I see Claude ‘Crip’ Garber hobbling along using his walking cane as he puffs on his pipe. Then I meet George ‘Washington’ Reynolds another one of the town character’s coming down the street. He is unshaven as usual and wears a new pair of overalls over his old ones. He looks at my bag of popcorn. I hand it to him saying, “You can have it George.”

“Hell no,” he said. “I’m about starved to death, I want a hamburger.”

I fished in my pocket for a quarter and handed it to him. He took it and never bothered to thank me but I did see his eyes brighten up and a trace of a smile showed on his face.

Across the street Miners Department store has customers milling around in the store. The St. Charles hotel looks occupied. Music blares from another joint and next to it. And loud noise comes from a pool room as the balls are racked. Now back to my side of the street I pass another pool room and Gurnie Tester’s barber shop. Next to Gurnie’s shop a small building houses the St. Charles bank. I keep walking and end up at the skating rink which at that time was in a large tent owned and operated by Clay ‘Cowboy’ Barker. A little ways beyond there a foot bridge crosses the creek to a cluster of homes along the creek and on a the hill above. Across the street a large building houses a grocery and feed store. Haynes auto repair shop is on the same side of the street.

I stand and look north to a small neighborhood called Kirk town. Beyond there its only a short distance to another small community, Turners Siding. Then a short distance from Turners Siding to Kemmerer Gem, Benedict and Monarch mines and coal camps where hundreds of miners live and work.

I turn and start back down the street with intentions of going to the depot landing where you could always find Dru Ely sitting with his legs dangling over the edge of the landing telling stories to a small group of miners. He was a master story teller.

Then all of a sudden I am shocked that I see nothing the way I just described it. Empty lots covered with weeds where once a familiar building stood. A few buildings still remain but most are boarded up and unoccupied. A small clinic on the right serves the few people that still live here and the ones still living in the mining hollows. The mining camps have been torn down and the mining property is off limits to the public. There’s not one business left in a town that once had a Kroger store. You can’t buy a loaf of bread or a jug of milk.

The train depot burned down many years ago. The High school building is now used for a grammar school. The building that housed the meat market is gone along with the theater, hot dog stand and barber shop. The brick building that housed Shoun drugs burned to the ground a few years back. The old sycamore tree died and was cut down in the 1980s.

Woodrow ‘Mainline’ Wilson, the old black man died before then and is buried in the town cemetery. They buried Claude ‘Crip’ Garber in the Pennington Memorial cemetery on highway 421 one mile from the Kentucky state line.

George ‘Washington’ Reynolds rests next to his brother Shelby in a little cemetery along side the road that leads to Duffield, Virginia.

The red brick building where once people of all types mingled with each other and got along is gone along with a couple more buildings that sat along side it. A new church building takes up some of the empty space.

I stand and look at the space where the red brick building once stood and I see a Miner’s Memorial wall under construction. A walkway reaches out to the sidewalk. Benches beckon for you to sit down. Shrubbery and flowers grow in the nicks and corners.

Hundreds of red bricks have already been mortared to the wall with names etched in them. ‘In Memory Of’ if they have passed on, or ‘In Honor Of’ if they still live.

I try to read some of them but tears fill my eyes and I walk away. But I did see last names, Carter, Turner, Corbin, Parsons, Bryant, Martin, Osborne, Wright, Poe, Sprinkle, Long, Hendricks, Pennington, Laningham, Hall, Elliot, Barker, Province, Holeman, Bailey, Woodward, Thompson, Tester, Baird, Delph, Thomas, Kirk, Muse, England, Baker, Hobbs, Jones, Crusenberry, Edmonds, Shirks, Fleenor, Collingsworth, Britt, Capps and Rogers.

Harden Stapleton and his wife Jennie. I was pleased to see that someone remembered Woodrow ‘Mainline’ Wilson and Claude ‘Crip’ Garber. But I failed to see the George ‘Washington’ Reynolds and Dru Elys names. I hope someone remembers them. It is so sad that most coal camps and the coal mines that supported them have all disappeared throughout the Appalachian mountains leaving small towns like St. Charles, Virginia nothing more than a ghost town. But thank GOD we still have people that strive to preserve our past history for future generations.

Thank you for coming along on my walk through a bustling town of long ago. I might want to add on to this later on. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Go Rams!

Even the Richmond skyline is cheering for the VCU Rams.

This shot was taken from the Northbound side of the Lee Bridge, around 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Almost Conference Time Again

Heading into the home stretch in getting ready for another conference this weekend. Printing, making slide, copies, stapling and stacking. I'm beginning to think that I'll never get all the stuff into the car! Other than that piece of logistics, things are coming along nicely.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

You Have To Love Real Justice
Allegedly an actual personal ad from the "Savannah Tribune", Dec 2009

To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me In Downtown Savannah night before last.
Date: 2009-05-27, 1:43 a.m. E.S.T.

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message.

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket.. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason.. My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... isn't it?!

I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. [That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again].

After I called your mother or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful! I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]

I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.

Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what's going on with that? Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target. The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.).

In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you. but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path you've chosen to pursue in life. Remember, next time you might not be so lucky. Have a good day!

Thoughtfully yours,
Alex

The Ostrich

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders.

The man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke," and turns to the ostrich, "What's yours?"

"I'll have the same," says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order. "That will be $9.40 please."

The man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment. The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke."

The ostrich says, "I'll have the same."

Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.This becomes routine until the two enter again. "The usual?"asks the waitress.

"No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad," says the man. "Same," says the ostrich. Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, "That will be $32.62."


Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table. The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer.

"Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?"

"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there."

"That's brilliant!" says the waitress. "Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!"

"That's right..Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there," says the man.

The waitress asks, "What's with the ostrich?"

The man sighs, pauses and answers, "My second wish was for a tall chick with a big ass and long legs who agrees with everything I say."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Victory!!

Success!

The trash is gone! I should have made that phone call a long time ago. So glad that it and the smell are out of here.

What a great way to start Spring.

Fun at Best Buy

Turns out that I was woefully misinformed by the guy at the Best Buy (toll-free number) that I spoke with on Thursday morning. The extended warranty had never been transferred over to the television that I purchased after the first one was stolen. Which he told me on Thursday that it had been. FAIL.

While I was waiting in line at the Geek Squad desk I did notice a row of pictures of the employees, just my luck that Chuck wasn't there today or he'd have gotten the situation under control in no time. (lol)

So it took about 45 minutes of messing around with the Geek Squad (who could not have done anything about this at all anyway) and the Customer Service desk. They even had to call the "bridge" to find out how to handle it. The result is -- no warranty and I'll just have to buy another television.

I'll probably go out this evening to look for one. I really am not looking forward to it. Just a big pain. Grrr..

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Television Trouble

The last couple of days the television has been acting up. It kind of reminded me of the old tube televisions that have to 'warm up' before the picture actually forms.

I was going to live with it until I received a call from Best Buy yesterday evening. Turns out that they wanted me to extend my extended warranty. Talk about timing. Just when I was thinking I was going to have to purchase a new set, I find out it is still under warranty!! And not just by a day or two - a whole month before it expires! Yippee!!!

We're running it over to Best Buy this weekend to have it either repaired or replaced whichever they will do under the warranty. Either way I won't have my own private version of the Northern Lights on the screen every time I turn it on.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Battle of the Trash Pile

Feb 17, 2011 - The trash pile is growing.
The neighbors began piling their trash up in a trailer in their backyard just after the first of the year. It is really becoming an "issue". The neighborhood cats are clawing through the bags in search of table scraps. There have even been raccoons in the area before and I'm sure that this collection of stuff would be of interest to them.

The loose trash is now beginning to migrate its way into our yard, either brought over by the cats or the wind. It is just some lovely walking out and finding other people's trash in the yard and next to the house.

I was hoping that Walter talking to the neighbors was going to help, but it turns out was a total waste of time. The owners aren't really interested in doing anything about the mess.
Mar 16, 2011 - The trash is now almost as tall as the truck in the
background.  I'm hoping the the county hops to it and gets this
stuff outta here before the really nice weather gets here.

I've finally resorted to contacting the county, Department of Environmental Health, who knew there was such a thing. They tell me that they will get the situation taken care of, but I'm not seeing any movement. In fact, they were out there this evening adding more to the pile.

With the warm weather fast approaching, this has got to end. I won't be able to open the windows let alone get outside and actually enjoy the yard with the stench that is already beginning to waif this way. Yuck!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Email Gleanings

Sex After Death

A couple made a deal that whoever died first would come back and inform the other if there is sex after death. Their biggest fear was that there was no after life at all. After a long life together, the husband was the first to die. True to his word, he made the first contact:

"Marion ... Marion "

"Is that you, Bob?"

"Yes, I've come back like we agreed."

"That's wonderful! What's it like?"

"Well, I get up in the morning, I have sex. I have breakfast and then it's off to the golf course. I have sex again, bathe in the warm sun and then have sex a couple of more times. Then I have lunch (you'd be proud - lots of greens). Another romp around the golf course, then pretty much have sex the rest of the afternoon. After supper, it's back to golf course again. Then it's more sex until late at night. I catch some much needed sleep and then the next day it starts all over again"

"Oh, Bob are you in Heaven?"

"No...I'm a rabbit in Saskatchewan

Montana Ranchers

The Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service were presenting an alternative to the Montana ranchers for controlling the coyote population. It seems that after years of the ranchers using the tried and true method of shooting or trapping the predators, the Sierra Club had a "more humane" solution to this issue.

What they were proposing was for the animals to be captured alive. The males would then be castrated and let loose again. This was ACTUALLY proposed by the Sierra Club and by the U.S. Forest Service.

All of the ranchers thought about this amazing idea for a couple of minutes. Finally an old fellow wearing a big cowboy hat in the back of the conference room stood up, tipped back his hat and said; "Son, I don't think you understand our problem here...these coyotes ain't screwin' our sheep...they're eatin' em!"

The meeting never really got back to order.
Aunt Mildred

Aging Aunt Mildred was a 93-year-old woman who was particularly despondent over the recent death of her husband. She decided that she would just kill herself and join him in death.

Thinking that it would be best to get it over with quickly, she took out his old Army pistol and made the decision to shoot herself in the heart, since it was badly broken in the first place.

Not wanting to miss the vital organ and become a vegetable and a burden to someone, she called her doctor's office to inquire as to just exactly where the heart would be on a woman. The doctor said, 'Your heart would be just below your left breast'.

Later that night........ Mildred was admitted to the hospital with a gunshot wound to her knee.

4 Worms Church Sermon!

For those of you who missed church on Sunday, here is a recap!  Four worms and a lesson to be learned!!! A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.  The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol- Dead
The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead
Third worm in chocolate syrup - Dead
Fourth worm in good clean soil - Alive.

So the Minister asked the congregation - What did you learn from this demonstration?

Maxine was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,'As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!'   That pretty much ended the service.

57 Cent Church

A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was 'too crowded.'

'I can't go to Sunday School,' she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.

Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: 'This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.'

For two years she had saved for this offering of love.

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.

He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there....

A newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.

When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.

Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, 'Acres of Diamonds'.

This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.

Michigan Weather

It's winter in Michigan

And the gentle breezes blow,
70 miles per hour at 52 below!
Oh, how I love Michigan
When the snow's up to your butt;
You take a breath of winter air
And your nose is frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
You may think I'm a fool.
I could never leave Michigan,
Cause I'm frozen to the stool.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yard Clean Up

Special thanks go out to Sean & Dean who just about spent the whole day over at the house helping us clear out the rocks and downed limbs in the yard. Dean even took the chainsaw to about 50 small stumps in the backyard. Now it doesn't look like a field of spikes, all nice and safe now. We don't have to worry about people cutting through the yard and falling on one of the pointed stumps. Much, much safer.

Walter & Sean took off a huge load of rotted wood and miscellaneous debris and then came back and started on the rocks. Glad that we were able to get those over to Diane & Ryland - much nicer to have them go to someone that is going to use. It'll be cool to see what they do with them.