Saturday, September 29, 2007

Colonial Williamsburg 4

I noticed that this is my 201st blog. When I first started I thought one blog every two weeks would be good. Yet within a 17 monhts I have hit the 200 mark.

Below are the last pics from Colonial Williamsburg. The first are of some characters, tradesmen and actors. The last is if the Anglican (Episcapal) Church that was constucted in colonial days. The church has four services on Sundays and over 240 families in the congregation.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Colonial Williamsburg II

Here are some more pictures taken of Colonial Williamsburg. This set is of the Capitol which is a two building H structure connected an arcade. The one side housed the General Court building (completed in 1703) and the other the House of Burgesses (completed in 1705). On the second floor are three committee/conference rooms, secretary/clerk offices.

The first picture is a look at the Capital from Duke of Gloucester Street, the main street. The side that faces Duke of Gloucester is the court side. The second picture shows the two sides.

The above is the court room. Below is a meeting room and lastly the House of Burgesses that has a Parlament type look with two sides of benches and secretary tables in the center with the speaker at the end.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hang-ups and Crazy Laws

This country has some significant hang-up as evidenced a sampling of some crazy laws on the books in various jurisdictions. I cannot imagine the mindset of those who voted to institute them. Though some may go back more than a hundred years I am deeply troubled why current lawmakers do not repeal them when they are drawn to their attention.

The only acceptable sexual position in Washington D.C. is the missionary-style position. Any other sexual position is considered illegal.

In Oxford, Ohio, it's illegal for a woman to strip off her clothing while standing in front of a man's picture.

In hotels in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, every room is required to have twin beds. And the beds must always be a minimum of two feet apart when a couple rents a room for only one night. And it's illegal to make love on the floor between the beds!

In Oblong, Illinois, it's punishable by law to make love while hunting or fishing on your wedding day.

In Nevada sex without a condom is considered illegal.

An ordinance in Newcastle, Wyoming, specifically bans couples from having sex while standing inside a store's walk-in meat freezer!

In Norfolk, Virginia, a woman can't go out without wearing a corset. (There was a civil-service job-for men only-called a corset inspector.)

Any couple making out inside a vehicle, and accidentally sounding the horn during their lustful act, may be taken to jail according to a Liberty Corner, New Jersey law.

A state law in Illinois mandates that all bachelors should be called master, not mister, when addressed by their female counterparts.

An excerpt from brilliant Kentucky state legislation. "No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club". The following important ammendment however is to be considered here: "The provisions of this statuate shall not apply to females weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it apply to male horses."

In Kingsville, Texas there is a law against two pigs having sex on the city's airport property.

In Cleveland, Ohio women are not allowed to wear patent-leather shoes.

It's safe to make love while parked in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Police officers aren't allowed to walk up and knock on the window. Any suspicious officer who thinks that sex is taking place must drive up from behind, honk his horn three times and wait approximately two minutes before getting out of his car to investigate.

In Connorsville, Wisconsin no man shall shoot off a gun while his female partner is having a sexual orgasm.

The owner of every hotel in Hastings, Nebraska, is required to provide each guest with a clean and pressed nightshirt. No couple, even if they are married, may sleep together in the nude. Nor may they have sex unless they are wearing one of these clean, white cotton nightshirts.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Colonial Williamsburg 1

Today Evie and I visited Colonial Williamsburg. This is an awesome place to visit for a long day or over two days. Following are some pictures of the Governor’s Palace. In the entrance and hallway are hung swords and muskets of various types. Each musket was kept oiled and ready for use. Besides the size of the home, the swords and muskets are what greeted visitors…an early version of shock and awe.

To the left of the mansion is the servants’ quarters and to the right, support offices and quarters above.

Throughout the town are characters dressed for the period and artisans making crafts in the same way they did in the 1750s to 1770s.

More pictures to be posted in the following days.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

48.8 And Awe

Computers have become such wonderful instruments. From time to time I come across something that creates a moment of awe. One such moment happened as I saw the figure 48.8. I have 48.8 days of music on my i-pod. If I put it in a player, started it to play each song once nonstop, my i-pod play the last of the 4,984 songs just before 5 p.m. on 7 November.

I am amazed by the how large a pile of records, or even CDs that much music would represent. And I hold it all easily in my hand or pocket. Yes, it is a moment of awe when one thinks about it all. And I can still add about 35% more music.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Drive To The Office

The other day it dawned upon me that the 15.1 mile trip to the office was a very pleasant one, both time and scenery. My route along Arlington Ave goes through mainly residential areas with a few sections of office buildings and strip malls. Along the way there is plenty of green space. There is no blight or industrial sections. The end of the trip parkland dominates the trip. Below are some pics I took Monday through the windshield.

The first is coming into the heart of Arlington as comes out of 5 miles of residential areas. The second is an old pic of the Marine Corps Memorial, which is a monument I pass on the way to the office.

The above is part of the George Washington Parkway that I travel along after leaving Arlington Ave. Below is coming out of the GW Parkway by the Arlington Cemetary before crossing the Potomac. Up the hill you will see the old Robert E Lee Mansion that is at the center of Cemetary. The last, behind the bridge is Kennedy Center which is just before I take a ramp into our building a quarter mile later.

Above the sight that I see crossing the river...the Lincoln Memorial. The following two is the river I travel along after crossing the bridge. The second, you can see Georgetown in the distant, and the spirs of George Washington University.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oakton Marching Band

Evie shot a video of Josh's band marching on Friday night. This is the second performance. More cleaning will take place and the visual affects added. The link to the video is on the right side just below that star and the tag day announcment.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Labels We Use

Ideas are communicated through the language. Marketers and politicians are particularly gifted in carefully selecting the words and phrases they use. In the late 60s the Democratic Party proudly embraced the term “liberal”. During the back end of the Regan years the Republican Party started a attach negatives to the term “liberal”. Essentially they started to do what Marc Anthony did in a speech by repeatedly using the phrase “these honorable men” to describe the Senators who assassinated Julius Caesar.

By the time the Clinton administration came along the Republican right stepped up its assault on the term so much so that “liberal” was so tarnished that its attachment to a politician had a negative impact upon that individual’s chance of being elected. Rather than fighting the term, the Democrats are pushing the “progressive” to describe themselves and their ideas. As the other part of their strategy, the Democrats are starting to firmly glue all the negatives of the Bush administration to the word “conservative.” Every failed idea is being called the conservative solution. I can see that in six to ten years from now few Republicans will embrace the word and will start to seek for a new term since the word will recall to the electorate’s mind a plethora of deplorable and failed policies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lasts and Firsts

Last night Josh completed his first college application which reminded me that we have been and will be going through a series of firsts and lasts. These series of lasts and firsts started five months ago and over the next twelve months. Though the lasts and firsts are/will be mostly associated with Josh, each will experience a few lasts/firsts of their own. Such lasts and firsts are a natural part of going through transitions. Knowing that one is going through them helps increase the special nature of the lasts and firsts.

Here are just some we recognized as they have taken place or know will be occurring.

Orkney week – Josh and Evie and I
Marching band camp – Josh
Cap Band trip – Jonathan (he is no longer in the band)
Last DYB event – Jonathan (he is no longer in the band)
Seeing Nana for the last time – Dave
Oakton classic – Josh, Dave and Evie
Christmas concert – Josh, Dave and Evie
Spring concert – Josh, Dave and Evie
Oakton marching band event – Josh, Dave and Evie
Classroom day at high school – Josh

Crossmen show – Josh
A girlfriend being brought home to meet mom and dad – Jonathan
First college application – Josh
First day at college – Josh
First DCI championships – Josh
First college marching band event – Josh
Josh being away from home longer than three weeks – Dave and Evie
Journey with a girlfriend to visit friends for a weekend – Jonathan

There will be others and the list will grow.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Joshua

This evening we were out to Outback for Josh’s birthday dinner. As per family tradition the person who Josh turned seventeen. In the last two years I have witnessed him move from childhood to being a young man. Over that period he has developed not only in physical stature but also critical thinking.

His drive for independence and dreams have marched onward. He challenges his father. He speaks clarity regarding his professional dreams and he keeps focused upon the steps that are necessary to achieve those goals. Last year I watched him do his initial audition for the Crossmen on trombone. I watched him prepare in a month for fingering exercises on baritone that would be demanding for those in the top seats at Star Lake or National Music Camp while preparing at the same time for District Honor Band auditions and keeping up on his classroom studies.

His traveling monthly to San Antonio and then traveling across the country for two and half months was difficult upon a parental heart. Though difficult it is all part of letting go. Seeing him move away from Salvation Army music and recognizing that there is a good chance that he will not be a Salvationist musician in three to five years has also weighed upon my heart. Hence our focus is upon helping to ground him in the faith as it was with Jonathan in 2000 and 2001.

The DCI quarterfinals were broadcast into theaters. That night there were over 50 student from Oakton in attendance, and another dozen who could not get in because the tickets were sold out. When the Crossmen were announced I became teary eyed as the students from his school cheered strongly for one of their own. As I did in Allentown as he took the field I fought back the tears of pride.

I am proud of how he has developed. Josh is thoughtful and determined. He is handles his various tasks with a high level of responsibility, so much so that few at Oakton were surprised that he had the discipline to handle DCI demands. We constantly hear from band parents that they are impressed by his balance, commitment, teamworkd, responsibility and leadership.

Josh, happy seventeenth.

The four who enjoyed Josh's birthday meal along with him at Outback were Evie, Jonathan, Maggie and myself.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Barnum Bailey Is Still Right

This fall season ABC has a new reality show. They put a group of kids between the ages of 13 and 17 (or 18?) together for forty days in a dessert town without supervision. They were to govern themselves and could do whatever they wanted. Everything was recorded for the show.

Parents had to sign a contract that absolved the producers, owners of the land, the network and all persons associated with the show from legal action even if their child was raped, became pregnant or HIV positive and for any physical or emotional damage that may result.

I am aghast at what parents would be willing to allow in order for their children to get on television. I for one will not watch the show one minute as it rewards such behavior of parents and the network. Regrettably the show will be a hit across the US and Canada. What Barnum T. Bailey said over a century ago is never more true today. There are suckers born every second, suckers who put their kids in such a position and suckers who watch it. It also indicates that we have very
openly debased thinking people in the offices of major networks and not just in tabloids.