Friday, December 19, 2008

I can stop.... Of the top selling cars these are the top fuel economy cars for 2009:

Two Seater Smart Fortwo Coupe
Smart Fortwo Convertible
Minicompact Car Mini Cooper (manual) 28/37
Subcompact Car Toyota Yaris (manual) 29/36
Compact Car Honda Civic Hybrid 40/45
Midsize Car Toyota Prius (hybrid) 48/45
Large Car Hyundai Sonata (automatic) 22/32
Small Station Wagon Volkswagon Jetta Sportwagon (manual, diesel) 30/41
Published by the EPA

Notice that none of them are from US Car Companies! Not one... Ford does make the list below 30 MPG... which is just sad.
Bush said the automakers have faced serious challenges for many years: burdensome costs, a shrinking share of the market and plunging profits. "In recent months, the global financial crisis has made these challenges even more severe," he said. (Yahoo Article)

I love only half the story! Why is it that the news (any news source) only reports one side of the story? What we really need are some new integrity laws for the news organizations. Like those in England... Yes, like most people, I like reading news that supports my own views... but there is only so much cotton candy you can eat before you have had enough.

The US car companies are not making profits because they are not offering products that most Americans want to buy! It does not matter how much something cost. It only matters that it is desired and that the public see a value in the product. Shrinking shares means that more customer desire and see more value in your competitors product. (higher fuel economy, better durability, and better service) Maybe it is time that our car companies take a survey of what is selling and make more of that product... and less of things that are not selling... This is basic business. How many SUVs have to set on the lot before you stop making them? How high does gas prices have to go before you make a 80+ MPG hybrid? They have the technology and have had it for years... Their sells figures should tell them what people are buying and what they are not buying!

Are these low gas prices fooling anyone? We and the gas oil companies have seen that we will, even if we do not like it, pay $4 and $5 per gallon for fuel... It will be there again and sooner than you think.

So ask yourself this: the next car you pick... what are you looking for in it? That is the question the car companies should be asking. The car companies have been giving the oil companies what they want for years... (oil companies recorded the highest profits of any us companies and the car companies can not pay their debts?) I think the oil companies should bail them out not the people... after all that is who has been calling the shots in the car industries for years.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tis the season! The cards are all addressed, the tree is all together, even the hall is all decked! I fell sorry for you if your shopping is not done for the malls are all packed!

Next week I get to travel south to see the folks. Brian will not get to go this time... He has an appointment on Wednesday right in the middle of the week and I have obligations on both the this weekend and next... I do wish he could be there, but I understand. A friend commented about I seemed down, truth, I am down a little. It has been very cold the last few months and the cold weather alway make me hurt just a little more for the warm beaches of home. That with Christmas and my last visit home was November 2007... I think some of it is home sickness. I know that sounds odd coming from me. If you know my family you know that there is much sadness there and may wonder why I would miss that. Christmas was one of the few times the folks seemed normal and some of my happiest memories are around the season of Yule.

So many things change in life... all the time. I have become a much more open person... It is funny that what is on the outside, is often not a good indicator of what is on the inside. I let so few back home get close to me. Most of them only want to know the Kenny that left 20+ years ago. Sad, he was only a shell of a person... only skin deep. You know, like the protective crust the covers the sherbets in your grandmothers freezer. That shell was to protect a young gay boy from the people and family of a small town... I don't fit into that shell anymore it is like wearing a shirt 2 sizes too small. I have had a good laugh at many of those I went to school with and it seems that all the kids in high school in the 80's are now on facebook... the funny thing is those that join my friends list but them disappear from it a few days later... when they realize I am gay.

Then there is the entire other side of it... money. I have the greediest family... I will not say all of them are... just most. Kevin is not... he had rather do without than ask for help, which is why I do what I can for them often. Most of the others just want my signature on a blank check. My father and step mother accused me of taking a 40, 000 cd that they could not find back when Mom passed! ... this after asking me to sign over 20 acres of Kent farm to him which he turned around and sold to strangers...outside the family without telling me he wanted it to sell! I know what happened the money but I would not tell him... Mom gave it Aunt Silvia who died a few months after Mom... and not that I am on a dirt roll I must stop myself before I get to my brothers three girls.... while it would feel great to get it out. I just do not have the time. I am just going to say: Drug dealing, stripper, drop outs, won't work, living with/off Kevin and Darlene, father of there kid(s) is or has been in jail... that is enough. Those statements apply to more than one of them at a time! They have the nerve to ask for money, a new car, or something else each and every time I see them. It kills me that they will not get jobs and work for money to buy the things they need or want! I do not understand that at all.

Well I feel much better... it is warmer and raining (love the rain) and I got a few things off my chest.... I can breath! It is going to be a great day!

Sorry for those that had to read this session... but thanks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This is the current class! Notice that Shurti Buckley joined us for a few days.... nothing like have the Vice President for one of the Marriott Hotel Chains making a trip from DC to see you. I still have my job and the hotel is still a Marriott so I guess we all did well!

She was really great and the hotel managers in my class loved her! I think she will do very well for the Fairfield Brand!

Maybe she'll need a extra person on her Brand Team? (BIG smile)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Missing Home.... The last time I was home on the farm was November 2007... over a year ago now. I have a case of home sickness. Now I know that three days on the farm and I will be more than ready to get the hell out of there, but right now I miss the sights, sounds, and friends there. Most of the homesickness comes from the memories I have of growing up on the Kent farm, but those are just memories and they grow fonder with time. Often the reality of the farm is not as appealing. Plus I just do not have much in common with my family. They dis-owned me for years and it, sad to say, had no effect on my life. I had a difficult childhood. My childhood best friend's Mom and Dad where more family than my own most of the time. At 14 I started working (at the Chipley Motel) just to have more independence from my family. Now that is not to say my parents were not good to me... they gave me everything I could ask for and more. They just did not have any idea how to relate to a gay son. I did not make it easy for them either. I was so full of emotions... and I focused all the negative one on them. They got all the hate and frustration. There was no one they could have turned to for help in such a small town, so they did the best they could. I did the best I could too, I ran as fast and as far as I could as soon as I could. Huntingdon, Chipola, UWF, North Carolina, Alabama, New Orleans, Pensacola, Arizona, Panama ... the list of places goes on and on... Time flies when you are never in the same place more than a few years (or weeks)

Still I get homesick for the farm. Week after next I will make a trip down before Christmas. I so want to go and dread it at the same time. It is hard to make nice while I am there... and harder the older I get. For years now every trip down I end-up with my feeling hurt and not wanting to return for a long time. One of these trips I'll not be able to hold my tongue and say exactly what I feel and think. Then I'll be dis-owned again for 10 more years.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I think I am still on Tuesday!!!! The day did not end.... it just keeps going. Awhhhhhhhhh! Hey we fire at home!!! Brian installed the fire-logs at home in one of the fireplace?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Today the pilgrims are working threir way through the first days progresses. This fair cold day is befome long.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Well, Thanksgiving came and went with much food and some friends. The week seems to have sped by at a rapid pace. It is time to pull everything together for the last group of pilgrims for the year. As 2008 comes to a close I am left with an odd feeling... mixed feelings too. While I really do enjoy the work I do, I just am not feeling the love. In other words, I do such a consistently good job that no one seems to take notice anymore. The fear that has everyone worried has not helped... so the economy is down the drain. Those who should be worried are the CEO's and Owners of companies... they are the ones not making the extra 5 million this coming year like they had hoped. If they invested poorly, they may even lose a million or two. So I ask why is the average executive so upset? If you make less than $250,000 a year you will not even notice... After all you not being able to buy the new Lexus next year is really low on your CEO's worry list...if at all.

The real truth is that this is the times when savvy people make more wealth for themselves.

Enough with the economics lesson... my feelings of neglect will lead me to a more profitable position for myself. When I am happy I do not look for new opportunities...shame on me... when I am unhappy like now, I look each and every day for something better. As much as I like what I do... there is always something I will like better out there if I just look for it.

My advise is never burn your bridges (wolves are not chasing you) but do not be afraid to cross new one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A spy must have been listening at the inn in Southwark, called the Tabard! We are undone by their treachery or their careless gossip. It matters not which now in this late hour. Yet with much additional hard work our event may be saved. For an event we will have and all others shall fall short in compare.

Hail! Our Ladies of the hour who will right this deed most foul. An event, an event we still will have!

"Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour,
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tender croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages),
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blissful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is Fall! It is odd that this year so many of our friends are heading out to do non-traditional Thanksgivings. Cruises with the family, vacations without family, or just celebrating with friends. For the last four years for me and the last 8 years for Brian tradition was not the same. Mom made the holidays for my family and without her it just has not been the same. I know for Brian it is much the same. I have vacation the week of Thanksgiving but am not looking forward to it. It will be a home coming but home was never a place I overly enjoyed. Yes I miss my friends and some of my family and some of the places that remind me of childhood good time I once had there. This is a time of giving thanks for all that we have and hold dear... this year it is difficult to remember that and to remember those things in our life that we hold most dear...and no money is not one of those things... no matter how many friends think that is all I care about. Odd that most of the things I am thankful of are my memories. Fond memories, dear friends, and the light from within those are the things I am most thankful for this season.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two days ago I had a very unfortunate case of mistaken identities. Have you ever noticed how much the Eggnog and Egg beaters cartons look alike?

I love Eggnog and like a cold glass of it in the mornings...well two days ago I must have been a little too sleepy still, because I poured myself a tumbler full of what I was sure was Eggnog... A few seconds later I knew something was to right as I bent over the kitchen sink coughing... The first thought was "so that is what eggnog taste like when it turns bad" The truth hit me as I reached for the carton to see the expiration date and realize that it was egg beaters not eggnog... I think that made me even sicker.

So be warned! Eggnog and Egg beaters are not the same.

Friday, November 07, 2008

First let me start by saying this is going to be a rant!

I do not care what any one's opinions are concerning same-sex marriage. The only opinion that concerns me is my own. After reading a yahoo news link about the legal battle over this issue and seeing a map of the US with all the states that have band same-sex marriage in one way or another marked in red, I am now seeing red! It is a sin for everyone of us that can read and write not to learn from our own history... to not see the same mistakes being made again and again... to listen to and follow anyone (including our Presidents and other leader...including religious ones too) that teaches, preaches, or wants us to HATE! Yet a majority of Americans are doing just that.... sinning and following the twisted logic of those spreading hate.

Slaves faced these same thing! Supporters of slavery used religion. the Bible, fear, and yes, hate to lead others into supporting their views... Slavery way supported by as many pulpits as plantations in the South!

The right to vote was denied the fairer sex based on and supported by the same groups! A good wife stayed at home and keep her house clean, raised her children, saw after the needs of her husband... and had no business worrying about politics... that was for men... they would not understand it.... the bible says they should stand by their husband so they do not need a separate voice because a good wife supports her husband... Preachers, husbands, and politicians all supported keeping this right and this power from them... saying it was right because it is in the Bible!

Inter-racial couples... same thing (even though we in the US had millions of inter-racial children from slavery) It was ok to sleep together, just not marry outside your race.

Equal pay... still fighting that one! but you do not hear about it anymore because it widely considered wrong and anyone doing it is a racist, sexist, or something worst... so why is the average pay for minorities less for the same jobs... Why do women on average make less for the same job and hold fewer high paying jobs than men in many fields like Science?

It is wrong to discriminate against anyone! And yes I am being discriminated against... Even though, Brian and I have been together for 12 years, I have yet to receive the same tax breaks a heterosexual couple has received for 12 years... we can not take each others name without paying for a legal name change... we have to have detailed legal wills to insure if one of us dies the other will inherit... we still after 12 years are not considered a family by the state and federal government that we pay taxes too.

So why should we stay and support a state or country that neither serve, nor protect us... in fact ... they have both worked very hard to pass law and amendments to discriminate against us. England supports us.... Canada does too... and we could gain citizenship anywhere we wanted....

So I do not care what any ones opinion is on this subject... I view anyone that has a differing view than 100 % zero discrimination as a sinner themselves, a bigot, and a spreader of hate. I have no room for discussion on the issue of same-sex marriage... and while I maybe polite and not say it to your face...I have said what I think here.

I am being discriminated against!

It is a fact for me not just an opinion.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yesterday was one of the longest days! After leaving Atlanta in a 15 passenger van that had bad shocks and a shaky driver at 6am .... we arrived for our company's retreat, team building, "what brown can do for you", time to reflex and plan... other wised known as Destin, Florida. I grew up by this place so it was no big surprise, but everyone kept going on about the beaches... well for all my Florida friends this is it! It is a sand-bar in the bay... not on the gulf and not really a beach... no sand castles did I build. The condo was very nice even if they did pack up 4 to a condo (three bed room condo) sorry for the guy on the sofa.... maybe next year man. We had our state of the company talk yesterday and there was really nothing new and last night we had the recognition dinner... it was all sea-food...with one chicken dish. The meal was fine the sales teams worm introductions were heart felt, but the rest was just a little over the top... ok that was an understatement. So afterwards I had two glasses of wine and a beer to easy my spirit and slipped away from what appeared to be an all nighter at Harry T's around midnight. It was good to just get away from the crowd that really included many I would never invite into my own home (followers exception). And now I am getting ready for what I am sure will be a fun filed day of team building craziness.... yea me!

Monday, November 03, 2008

I have a follower! I know a few friends read this blog and I get the odd comment here and there, but know I have someone that has stood up and said I follow this blog... well I have heard she has an addiction... but I do have to say I like the new feature... or old one I never knew was there. I can follow others blogs now.

It is funny how blogs have changed. When I started, late in the game as it was, I wanted everyone to read my ideas and views on the world around me... now I have just put both my facebook and myspace accounts to private... and deleted many friends that were only people I had worked with. It was like a light bulb coming on... I would not want these people in my home, why would I want them to know what I share with my friends and family. There are very few I work with here in Atlanta that I would invite into my home. Sad to say that I have many more co-workers that live from Seattle to DC who are welcome. This fact is reflected in many ways with my work. The local company I work directly with has changed so much in the last 8 years. Unfortunately, the changes are not for the good. When I started in 2000, people really cared about and mentored each other and their staffs. Their culture was more than words... you did not have to be told what it was you could see it in each person, in each action the company took. What the company was doing was communicated to each person at the same time. Everyone was proud to recommend the places and things we did. Those days are only memories now for the few that still hang on... hang in there.... hoping that things will improve... that the spark will return again. Now the company is all about profit first and foremost. At the expense of everything else... their culture, their people, their dignity... none of that matters now. 90 days of "vacation" every five years can not make up for no pay increases for 5 of 9 years I will have worked for them, December 2009 when next I can receive an increase. It is not all about the money even though this is a business for me as well as them. Like any business venture, there comes a time when no matter how much you love it, you have to move on or go under. I have never been one to run a business into the ground... not ones I have managed for others nor ones I managed for myself.

That time is here now.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

There is nothing better than a fresh new fire to warm your hearth until spring. ummmm warmth!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Thanks, Bec! That is a great second movie... This can be a movie-thon ... What are some of the other great -ween movies? And what dates work?

Monday, October 06, 2008

It is my favorite time of the year again! Anyone up for a movie night?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Has anyone seen the new HBO series True Blood? It is a real treat... mixing racial issues with homo-phobia issues, with all kinds of hate crimes in the context of what if vampires came out of the coffin (out into the open). There are so many plays on issues from religious extremest, to equal rights activist... I have enjoyed myself watching it... It shows the best and more often the worst we can be to each other... mostly over our on fears, but rationalized with traditions or faith or dogma... I am sure those that need to see it will not watch it, but I am enjoying it very much.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I am going to ask a loaded question...

What about the 2000+ years of man before the God of the Bible? I know man was around longer than 2000BC... but what about their souls...spirits...beliefs...and here comes the loaded part... their gods?

I know the Bible says Jesus' death forgave all the sins of man that came before.... they had no knowledge of our God nor our heaven. In the bible it also says we should have no gods before God... which means it is building on the belief in other gods to start with...and many places in the bible reference other religions of the time... meaning it is building our religion on what came before. The bible compares Christianity by saying it is the true and only religion to these other faiths and followings of the ancient times. I know, many of you are already pulling up quotes from the Bible to explain away all these questions... save your time. I did not go to seminary school for 2 and 1/2 years not to know that for every point in the Bible there is at least another verse to counter it. (many times 10 or more) I am looking for what makes one religion more valid than another, one faith stronger than the next, and if the gods and faiths that came before are not real than why include their gods character (s) into the stories in our Bible?

Again with the loaded part, and why the proof you are so sure of does not translate over into the many different beliefs and churches of Christianity... which is the true one... Baptist, Catholic, LDS (Latter Day Saints)... the list goes on and on....

This is what happens when you unpack and find an old study bible with lots of long forgotten notes poking out of it at midnight under a new moon.... burning questions (pardon the pun)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hell Week...Day Three.

That is all I am saying.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It is truly amazing what you can find on the internet. An old friend (there is much more that I will not retell here, but a few close friends will know the entire history) is living his dream and doing amazing things. Despite what some may think, I was incredibly happy for him when I read this staff detail sheet. ... so much so I posted it on my blog

Bravo, Bravo!

Darryl H. Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Music and Drama. He received his Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Florida. He teaches Stage Diction, Stage Movement, Acting Styles and Directing. He is trained in the systems of Arthur Lessac, The Alexander Technique, Constantine Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Sanford Meisner, and Anne Bogart.

As an actor, Mr. Thompson has an extensive resume with such roles as Tom in The Glass Menagerie, Jonathan in Arsenic and Old Lace, Emcee in Cabaret, Arnold in The Boys Next Door, Scrooge in The Christmas Carol, the world premier of BING, BANG, BOOM, Brother Boy in Sordid Lives, Crumpet the Elf in Santaland Diaries, and toured in Greece as Adam in As You Like It.

Directing credits include, The Laramie Project, ‘night Mother, Rumors, The Tempest, The Chalky White Substance, Unheard Voices: the slaves’ narratives, and Lost In Yonkers.

He has also worked with several Broadway and Hollywood talents including Larry Alford, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Demme, Peter Palmer, Ken Howard, and Yanci Bukovec, and the New York based Shakespeare Aquila Theatre Company.

Mr. Thompson is the Vice President of Houston Theatre Company, Unhinged Productions, and serves as Director of Grants.

giant Sequoias... it's not a toy cabin... they are just that damn big.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yesterday a friend reminded me of one of those places that hold great wonder for me and for many... the Great Redwood Forests. There is such power in these places... the power of centuries of nature doing what nature does best...growing.
My friend has been blessed to have touched the past and felt the power of all those years, and by sharing her experience has also sparked new desires in me to visit these sacred giants of the past, present and future.
Thank you

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Family Tree for the
Greek Ancient Religion

Monday, September 15, 2008

The power of the sea has such a draw of it's own. What a perfect location for a mandala.

I really love this one and wish I could wind it's paths to find my circle within.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I would love to use the pattern (in the brick work) on my lower patio.
What think thee?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It is the barking cows again! No where is safe....just run.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It is the rain that makes me miss the farm. Lazy summer days (yes hot) and the wonderful 15 minutes shower every afternoon that would cool everything off... watching the rain and day dreaming with nothing to do and no where to go...

I completely understand why Mom like it so... the peace and slower pace of life (and everything else) down on the Kent Farm is so relaxing... I have only been one other place that reminded me of it... the Fairfield Farm in Hume, VA.... only it was not as beautiful... and not home. Climbing the 200 year old oaks or just walking down the dirt roads... playing in the fields... or shooting the cows with bee-bee guns until me and Kevin got caught... running from barking cows in the woods... hanging out in the old hay barns... having to cut the front yard...which was 10 acres and took two days on a riding mower... all the little things I miss from time to time.

One day I'll move back... one day my family will call me to move back... one day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I should start by saying I am stepping up on the soapbox now! The subject of electric vehicles (EVs) has been on my mind for some time now. It makes me very angry with BIG business and with the average person who believes everything the media says... First I will start with this drilling for more (closer to shore) oil... yes there is oil there, yes we could drill for it, yes on the other side there would be accidents and spills and clean-up and damage to the eco-systems that are there... both sides have very good points. The only think that get me hot about it is who will profit from this oil.... will oil companies promise to lower the price of gas below $2.00 a gallon if we let them drill and sell that oil... will the government drill it itself and give it to the needy or use it to control the price of gas by flooding the market with it when the price goes up... to all of these you know that answers are NO! The oil companies will profit from it, the government will help them do so and say it is to help the economy (funny since the oil companies are the only segment that has been making record profits the last 3 years.) You and I will still be paying $5.00 a gallon for gas because the truth is the price is not fixed to the price of a barrel of oil...never has been. If you need proof then the % of the increase in a gallon of gas would equal the % increase in a barrel of oil... you can look up those numbers for yourselves.

(I say no to giving the oil companies any more unless they agree to fix the price of gas... there is only one thing that scares the Big Energy Companies more than the gas price regulations...)

That brings me to the second thing: Why can American car companies make EVs when it is the law but have to develope them for 2 years when it is not required by law? The California law that required every car company to offer one EV (zero emissions) to sell any cars in that state was amazing! Ford, Toyota, and GM all three produced EVs for the CA market as if over night... and when the law was repealed all pulled their EVs with claims like they were unsafe, too expensive to keep up over the long term, not enough demand to support the line... I love all of these because... I still see the Pintos on the road that explode if you hit them... no one recalled and did a mass crushing of them... I do not think I ever saw an EV1 explode. Next, when has a car company ever cared how much you are going to spend to repair you old car? (That would be NEVER) and I love that each company the produced an EV for the CA... only release the minimum amount required by law and each had a wait list of people wanting those cars and now the Rav4 s sell on ebay "used" for 20,000 more than when they were new... that does not sound like a lack of demand. It sounds like a lack of supply! So why are the car companies so afraid of EVs? If you follow the money (much like you can in DC to find the rats) it leads right back to the Big Oil Companies.... That is why you hear all this talk about Hybrid now not all electrics... The demand is so high that they are having to give something and they have to spin it like they are doing the right (green) thing... Well this is a wakeup call! Electric Cars came first...before the combustion (gas) cars...

I truly hate the Oil Companies (all of them) and hope I see them all out of business in my lifetime!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Last night, after the party was over and all the guest had left, I turned on the television for some down time about midnight (or later) I happened into this movie in the middle and was captured. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont sucked me in with its charming London scenes... plus I love Joan Plowright. It was not the light, mindless show I was searching for but I could not turn away. So many things in the movie made me think of Mom, and Grandmother Kent, and how family can become an ugly word. The idea of being more attached to your 'family' of friends than your blood family stuck very close to home for me... too true it is for me. What do you do when you have little in common with your family, other than the blood in your veins? Should you feel bad when you call or email a friend half way around the world twice a week but you have not called or seen you brother who is only 6 hours away in 10 months?

I must buy the movie now and see it from the beginning. There are very few movies that move me as deeply as this one has. I weeped for the last 5 minutes of the movies and into the credits... yes I know many of you will think that is just me... and it may have been that it was just too much to drink and being drained by the party ... but I am not talking a single tear, like Titanic... it was uncontrollable sobs... Brian did not even pick on me for it.

The movie has been on my mind for 24 hours now... I just can not get all the horrid questions about family verses the family we make for ourselves out of my head.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Dragon.con 2008

Well, where do I begin...

First with the panels we saw.

Torchwood: Gareth David Lloyd and Anthony Lewis. Gareth told some amazing stories and all I am going to say is he can text me any of those pictures...anytime. It was a great panel.

Deep Space 9: Avery Brooks seemed to be stoned out of his mind. I felt bad for the other stars on the panel. enough said...

Andromeda Reunion: Kevin Sorbo is very full of himself, but also very funny. He likes to tell off-color jokes... some funny, some no so much... over all good panel.

Now the stars we just met because I happened to be in the right place at the right time...
I held the door open for Adam West (Batman). It pays to be nice.

We were in James Marsters (Spike) entourage...we crossed the street together. He was very nice, but much shorter in person. James is also very grey, but his leg has healed nicely.

The next day we were in Michael Rosenbaum's (Lex) entourage at the very same crossing. Michael was also very nice, very thin and looks much better and younger with hair. He is totally addicted to his i-Phone...and he has a nice ass...never thought about it but his is a sexy bad guy.

We saw many, many more stars... some looked like they did (Erin Grey (from Buck Rogers)...amazing) and some that looked their age... Lou is still BIG! (just not green)

Brian and I had a great time, but missed both Bec and Tracey... Next year you both have to excuses.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Last week the topic of stained glass came up while I was talking with one of our shire mates. In the late 80's I worked with Bob Chipman in Montgomery where I helped design and make stained glass windows. Ok, I did most of the dirty jobs like sealing the windows, but I did enjoy the work and the company. I learned an incrediable amount stained glass work and repair from Bob during my time in Montgomery. The idea of me teaching a class on period stain glass also come up. How many would be interested in taking a class? To design and make a small window (maybe 18x18 inches). It would be a hands on class (the way I learned), but observers would also be welcomed. How does this sound? Does anyone do period stained glass work in the area?

Creating stained glass windows

  • The first stage in the production of a window is to make, or acquire from the architect or owners of the building, an accurate template of the window opening that the glass is to fit.

  • The subject matter of the window is determined to suit the location, a particular theme, or the whim of the patron. A small design called a Vidimus is prepared which can be shown to the patron.

  • A traditional narrative window has panels which relate a story. A figurative window could have rows of saints or dignitories. Scriptural texts or mottoes are sometimes included and perhaps the names of the patrons or the person as whose memorial the window is dedicated. In a window of a traditional type, it is usually at the discretion of the designer to fill the surrounding areas with borders, floral motifs and canopies.

  • A full sized cartoon is drawn for every "light" (opening) of the window. A small church window might typically be of two lights, with some simple tracery lights above. A large window might have four or five lights. The east or west window of a large cathedral might have seven lights in three tiers with elaborate tracery. In Medieval times the cartoon was drawn straight onto a whitewashed table, which was then used for cutting, painting and assembling the window.

  • The designer must take into account the design, the structure of the window, the nature and size of the glass available and his own preferred technique. The cartoon is then be divided into a patchwork as a template for each small glass piece. The exact position of the lead which holds the glass in place is part of the calculated visual effect.

  • Each piece of glass is selected for the desired colour and cut to match a section of the template. An exact fit is ensured by grozing the edges with a tool which can nibble off small pieces.

  • Details of faces, hair and hands can be painted onto the inner surface of the glass in a special glass paint which contains finely ground lead or copper filings, ground glass, gum arabic and a medium such as wine, vinegar or (traditionally) urine. The art of painting details became increasingly elaborate and reached its height in the early 20th century.

  • Once the window is cut and painted, the pieces are assembled by slotting them into H-sectioned lead cames. The joints are then all soldered together and the glass pieces are stopped from rattling and the window made weatherproof by forcing a soft oily cement or mastic between the glass and the cames.

  • Traditionally, when the windows were inserted into the window spaces, iron rods were put across at various points, to support the weight of the window, which was tied to the rods by copper wire. Some very large early Gothic windows are divided into sections by heavy metal frames called ferramenta. This method of support was also favoured for large, usually painted, windows of the Baroque period.

  • From 1300 onwards, artists started using silver stain which was made with silver nitrate. It gave a yellow effect ranging from pale lemon to deep orange. It was usually painted onto the outside of a piece of glass, then fired to make it permanent. This yellow was particularly useful for enhancing borders, canopies and haloes, and turning blue glass into green glass for green grass.

  • By about 1450 a stain known as Cousin's rose was used to enhance flesh tones.

  • In the 1500s a range of glass stains were introduced, most of them coloured by ground glass particles. They were a form of enamel. Painting on glass with these stains was initially used for small heraldic designs and other details.

Detail from Canterbury Cathedral, 13th c., showing Thomas Becket

Source Wikipedia

Today Isabella returns from London. Leaving her new home for her old. Some how that seems backwards but I think she will see London again. While I have missed my dear friend greatly these 7 months, part of me wishes she had stayed in England. I have to remind myself that just because I could never be happy living in Chipley she may. I know she will have a hard time slowing down to the small town life again, but maybe she'll discover some of the hidden joys of the peacefull country life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I realized last night why I enjoy the dawn so much. For all my friends that know I am no lover of getting out of bed before noon if I do not have to... this may come as a surprise that I love watching the quite dawn. The peace of this time of the day seems to stay with me for the rest of the day... filling me we a calm that escapes my simple words. Quite, clam, peaceful, beautiful, still, a time that no other shares, alone but in a good way.
Last night I took in a movie (Wanted) and on my way home at midnight on a work day, the streets were empty and the air was cool. No one else seemed to be awake. I felt the world sleep in a peace that no city can have during the light of day. This all reminded be that when I was a night auditor for hotels in college, how much I enjoyed getting off at dawn in the winter months, with the sun just peeking over the trees and building... it was the end of my work day... like 5 o'clock for other jobs. The joy of being off and the promise of a new day to make my own combined. I still enjoy this part of the day/night as I did back then... Of neither night nor day but tied to both.
I watched the sun rise this morning for almost two hours. From misty cool blues to the first red rays of light. It was so incredible... I know I will never have the words to express the true vistage or all the wonderful feelings and emotions that it stirs within me. I am not a creature of the night nor of the day... I am a creature of the dawn.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, a group of friends attempted to surprise Tanita as a (very) belated birthday party at the Shakespeare Tavern. So much for the surprise... my Lady was much too cleaver to not figure something was afoot, so we had to tell her in advance of our plans and she loved it. The play was A Midsummer Night's Dream. The cast was excellent... and some were very cute too.
I must encourage any who have never ventured to this Tavern... it is well worth the trip... (park at the hospital) While Brian liked it, I may have to attend future plays without him. I grew up with Shakespeare and love it dearly... so I must become a member and see the rest of their season.
It is a must see! Best MSND I have ever seen! Two Thumbs up! Ha Zahhh!
I did not know we had such a talented theatre company here... that is what living in the suburbs will do to you.
Thanks Lisa for the Great Idea... Thanks Ester for setting the dates and getting the tickets, and Thanks Tanita, most of all, for having the best 21st birthday party!
(actual reviews not used in blog, dates, names, and locations may have been changed to protect all parties, Actual age of birthday is based on the same formula used to calculate the price of a gallon of gas and is just as actuate.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It has been so long since my last blog here... I feel as if I have lost part of myself. Between the house closing 2 weeks later than first had been planned and the crazy move (I hate moving)! We are still adding and finishing things to the new house. Today, they arbor people come out at 7pm to give us the quote. Shower in the master bath (glass only) will cost twice as much as we guessed... and the list goes on.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It was a long road and we still have a little further to go, but this is our new home. The oak floors still need to be matte finished, and a dozen other odd things need to be fix or finished. The phone and cable wiring/jacks all need to be installed (every room). Plus the papers and checks need to be signed and exchanged. As much as I am ready to move in today, it will have to wait until everything is completed. June 17th (Tuesday) is our closing date and June 18th is our moving truck/ furniture delivery day. As with the last house... nothing stays. We are getting a new living room set, new kitchen set, new refrigerator, new washer & dryer the same day we move in. Later we'll pick out either a formal dinning room set or a baby grand piano (you know which I want) and a guest bed room suite. We have not decided if we are keeping our current two matching computer desk or picking out new ones. We have not picked a date for our first party, but there will be one... this house was made for entertaining and entertaining we will do. There is so much to do and so much that has had to be planned that the stress has gotten to both of us... so tomorrow we are making a quick mini vacation to Biltmore for some relaxing country peace...right after we stop by Best Buy to setup the washer and dryer delivery... then peaceful relaxation. (But it is all worth it) We are very fortunate that we had a great Realtor who sold our house in 45 days for full asking price... Robin Lemon Rocks!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Well, this morning was a great wake-call... it was from our Realtor saying we had an offer on the house, and that a second offer would be coming in by noon. Great Tidings! It is difficult for many good gentles selling their castles these dark days. We are counting our blessings and pray for a return on our own little lake front chateau.

To all our good friends, thank you so very much for all the suggestions and advice. Every little kindness helps.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I have been Spammed! Evil blog spammers! GO AWAY!

A deed!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I found this on THL Simon the Wanderer's blogs with the following permission to forward. I found this to be very good information. Since I have been in the SCA for only 3 years and have just found what I want as a device, it is all good.

Please feel free to forward this and use this as you see fit but please give credit where credit is due.

This advice has been given to many a newcomer and so far none have told me that it was bad advice and many have thanked me for it. I am thankful to the variety of people who gave me the pieces and parts that I have compiled and now give to you.

So, you’re new to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and you want to do it all! Well, come check it out, find out what you like and explore. You might find something you like that you never thought you would. But first, a word of advice.

In your first year DON’T.

That’s right DON’T.

DON’T register a name.

DON’T register a device.

DON’T join a household, guild etc.

DON’T attach yourself to someone as in an apprenticeship or squiring or other such thing.

DON’T register your name. Once you have registered it you are more or less stuck with it. Once people are used to calling you something they’re gonna keep on calling you that name, yes you can un-register the name but that doesn’t mean people will stop calling you that. The truth is that you will likely find a name or persona that you think is cooler later on. Chill out try a few on and see what sticks. Most newcomers in my experience change names a few times before they settle on one.

DON’T register a device. Same reason as not registering your name really. A device is a symbol that will come to be recognized as you. People will see it and think of you. People will see you not with it and wonder what is wrong.

DON’T join a household, guild etc. Hang out with them, get the lay of the land and the internal politics, have fun, get to know people. If they’re cool now, great! But really if they’re cool now, then they’ll be cool in a year just the same. You may find that you like hanging out with them but don’t really wanna join up. That’s okay. Then again you may choose to join up after that year and you’ll be a better member for it!

DON’T attach yourself. Those kinds of things in the SCA are viewed as permanent and forever. Yes, you can get out of them but it is a BIG deal when that happens and people will talk for years about it. I keep hearing about one split that happened over 15, yes that’s fifteen, years ago. Take your time get to know what you really want to do and what the person is really like and what their reputation is. Once you DO get attached to a person you WILL ALWAYS be judged in that light and will ALWAYS be associated that way. So get to know the person well before you get attached as a squire or apprentice or other such thing.

There are plenty of stories in the SCA of people having registered names or devices and wishing they hadn’t and being "stuck" with it. And even more stories of having joined a household or guild and wishing they had spent more time getting to know people and things before they had.

Take your time, explore things and research them to your hearts content.

And if anyone gives you any guff over not registering your name or device, or joining up with a household or guild politely tell them to lay off.

I am an apprentice and my Laurel has NEVER registered her name or a device. NEVER. You simply are NOT required to do it. Anyone who says otherwise is flat wrong. The truth is that you should wait around to figure out what you want to register for certain before you do. There are Kingdoms that if you do not have a registered name and/or device you may not be eligible for awards but you are still not required to register either.

Just remember you are here to have fun and learn and the SCA is a great place to do that. But some things are forever or close to it in the SCA. Take your time and don’t make the mistake of choosing some things too early.

Ian the Green

Chatelain - Shire of Grey Gargoyles
Region of the Midlands
Middle Kingdom

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Not a lot of information in this video, but some great war sceens and it is put together well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Call to ARMS!
Have you ever noticed how we deal with each other? Some times we push to get our way, and sometimes we give to avoid a fight, but most often we just do not care unless it is about ourselves. I am guilty of all of these and I am sure many more that I would hate to admit. We are all guilty of them... it is what makes us human instead of just another animal.
We can all improve on some element of our lives, careers, friendships, and the list goes on for ever... None of us are perfect. Nor can any of be perfect... we can only try (sometimes our best, sometimes not) to be better.
Next time we want to improve the world each of us should look at our own imperfect selves first, then try to help each other try to be better.
The wisest man know that he can never know everything, but he keeps trying.
When next you (and myself) feel the call to ARMS, and to defend yourself try to remember that the other person is just as imperfect as you, and that if you both work together, you both get a little closer to perfection.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Well today started out at 3am. Catch a 6am flight. Arrived in Anaheim at 9am. Call Bri at home, then called Bec in London... that is a hell of a time change... 9am here is 6pm there. I have a hard time keeping up with the 5 hours from Atlanta/London.

It must be a busy er time here because the Taxi cost $5 more this time for the same trip I took just a few months ago.

So you may ask why do all this.... so I could visit the Happiest place on Earth, of course! I walked over, had lunch, then rode the three things I did not get to ride last trip. Indy's Adventure, Matterhorn, and the Haunted Mansion. All three were amazing. I also rode Pirates again and a few others that I liked. The Haunted Mansion was not themed with Jack, so that must have been a special for Christmas. The best ride, Indy's Adventure, but I have to say the Matterhorn was wilder than it looks.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I have to say the new park in Kennesaw is nice. We had people come up and ask us about our group...and it was not the cops asking us to leave. Well, not before I left due to the cold and not feeling all to well.

New people came to Heavy and Fencing (not the same new people either) and 5 please asked us what we did, and Icky's friend may dump him completely after talking to all of us non-fighters...(sorry Icky) and while dancing did not happen (too cold and TOO COLD) we did have a great selection of dance music played and many requested Dancing next week, and the following week.

Best of all the subject that will not die, but which can kill all other subjects, did not come up..... thanks for small miracles.

I look forward to the Practice after next... as I will be in Anaheim next Tuesday. I may have to bake some meat pies... (the ale will have to wait until we are in the new house... the smell may drive away buyers)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The "subject that must not be named" goes on and on... the closer to making a final decision the more complex it becomes and some wish to postpone or split it in to two subjects... like we need TWO "subjects that must not be named"

It is not like the double mint twins... it is not double the fun.

Yet... it is for other to choose... to maketh one or two... or not.

Quote: Do or do not... there is no try.” Yoda

Saturday, February 23, 2008

After much searching (I have forgotten what I was searching for) I found this saying. I do not why but it makes me think of the SCA and how non-SCA-er see us. A good laugh followed... I shared it with Brian...he did not get it. Oh well maybe it is an SCA thing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The subject that must not be named has surfaced again.... but was contained and not allowed to spread.... The known world is safe ... for now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Many of you know my family or know of my family, so let me introduce some of them to you. This is my brother and part of his large family. Kevin is very much a jokester. Like father, like sons with the pranks and good natured fun. My sister-in -law is center and I do not know a braver more up beat person. Darlene has been through more than 90% of us could ever image and is still the center of the family and still keeps my brother inline...well as much as anyone person ever could. Their three girls are from left to right: Sarah (youngest), Lori (oldest), and Lisa (Jan-middle). The two kids (Tye and little Jade) are my brothers grand kids by Lori and her husband, Jacoby (standing behind her)

This is taken out side the Kent farm (was pink and white) My brother also has two sons by his 1st wife, Dewayne and Andrew both are in school in Tokyo and have been for a few years now.

A truly remarkable one ever said it was easy being family...but if everyone will smile for the camera we can make them think it is.

Friday, February 15, 2008

There is always someone with a camera in the group. Yes this is work! Why do you think I love my job. Marriott conferences are hard work... this just happened to be on a free night at Disneyland. It is all location, location, location.

January's Conferences are pasted now it's getting time to ready ourselves for the March Conferences. Same location, lots more people. The real enjoyment is seeing and spending time with all my friends from around the world... if only for a week.

I can not wait until March.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Well, I have recovered from the Shires business meeting, or extended dinner that followed for those of us not wise enough to go home after the meeting. There is now a topic that "must not be Named" less it return to take over another Dinner or meeting. After meeting dinners must be held at restaurants that close... At no time may I join an after meeting dinner if it is held at a 24 hours establishment... no matter how hungry I am... no matter who is going... no matter how many are going. As I discovered Monday night (really Tuesday Morning) I lack the skills needed to just leave a dinner and go home at a normal hour. For the record, 1:30am is not a normal hour to leave and 2am is most definitely not a normal hour to return home.

Two key learnings:
The Subject that "must not be name" is to be avoided at all meetings and dinners and after meeting dinners must be held at restaurants that close.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It is time to replace water faucets and update light fixtures in the house. We plan to sell it in March and the buzz words are "curb appeal". So many things to do.... Our builder (now KB Homes) do a half ass job on our house... The bathroom light fixture does not have an electrical box behind them... so when I pulled one of them down to replace it this morning, the 30-69 minute job became a weekend project. Oh, and there is no studs in the wall to even mount a box to... So we have to replace it with the same (POS) lights or call an electrician to correct what KB Homes skipped. Oh and we did pay for two independent inspections during the build... that was money well spent...

Well Now I am moving on to replacing the faucets, before returning the light fixtures to Home Depot... One down, two to go!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yes! It is another trip down memory lane. This stop is Easter 1973 or 1974. We lived in Charleston, SC and would make the yearly or bi-yearly trips to see the folks in Florida. These photos are of a visit to the Kent Farm. It is also one of only 2 photos I have of my Grandfather Kent. He would die of cancer only a few years later. One of my favorite memories of Grandpa was on the farm on one of these visits when I had followed him out to the barn. He had gone to get a fence post and when I saw the post I told him (so I am told) that I was too little to pick it up and he was too old. I remember following him everywhere and remember the post, but my mother and grandmother liked telling the story so even though I do not remember what I said I have heard it over and over again. So now I am telling the story for myself being that everyone else has passed away.

Sorry about the color in these photos. My parents left this roll of film in the glove box of this little green Vega until they sold it a few years later... then had them developed to see what was on them. I had almost forgotten that the house once was Pink! My brother Kevin now lives in the old Kent House and it has been gray with white trim for a very long time now. My grand Parents were farmers and I only remember my grandfather in overalls...even at church.

One last note... Mom had me and Kevin in matching plaid pants and if the chickens cared that we matched.

It is funny what you miss as you get older.