Monday, December 12, 2005

Lightedballs for Christmas

My street, Ridgeway, must have 300 or more large lighted Christmas balls hanging in the oak trees. My neighbors across the street, Jonathan and Anne, started it all. They decorated their trees first. Then they were really rambunctious and held after Thanksgiving "learning" parties. Two articles in our local newspaper, one last year, and one this year, have been written about the Smiths and the lighted balls. This year's article tells how to make the balls in three easy steps (if you can believe that!). It is difficult to take a picture of lighted objects, but here you can see just the number of lights looking east down the street perpendicular to Ridgeway. I will work on getting a blurry picture of Ridgeway later.

Our street really gets a lot of traffic in December so I have to be really careul to always have my black dog on a good leash when we venture out for her to do her business.

Prima is afraid of a moving bush, a plastic bag or a bag of leaves, but cars don't phase her in the least even though I tell her they are dangerous and bad etc.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Guilford County Jail in Greensboro

Some members of the League of Women Voters visited our county jail in early November. One of them wrote up her impressions and one took photos. All of these are posted on the League's Click on the jail report or the photos or both.

It is going to be a costly undertaking to replace, remodel, expand or otherwise do something about our overcrowded jail. Citizens should know of the problems. Society needs to come up with a solution to the drug problem in our midst.

My personal suggestion is to take all the "sickie" ads off TV. Talk about a drug culture, but I diverge. Check out the jail.

Enjoy December with the hustle and bustle.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Website for The League of Women Voters

The local League has moved its website to Sometime this week, I will post a page about the Guilford County jail visit by League members. Two groups of us have visited now. Big decisions must be made in Guilford County concerning the jail. If you live here, stay tuned and be informed. Further, go visit.

WalMart: The Movie

On Monday night, I saw the movie. Several organizations are showing it in Greensboro and Faith Action has it available for checkout.

This is a movie Americans should see. We need to pay attention to the largest corporation in the world. The employees of WalMart are well informed by WalMart of how to get state and federal benefits. What a service! What this means is that the benefits, such as health, of WalMart are so expensive or so non-existent that the employees are told where to get other assistance. Further, it appears that WalMart employees are infused with loyalty, so much so that they work off the clock instead of getting overtime. How sweet and how family friendly!

Of course, there is the problem of where do such low wage, low benefit earners such as WalMart employees and others, such as recent arrivals in the US or those on the less commercial sides of town, shop??? Well, WalMart, of course. So those cheap prices keep people coming. One of the interesting aspects of this film though is the talk with the Chinese workers who produce the goods. They are not treated any better and the hours are even longer. A typical toy costs less than $1 to produce and retails for $15.

So really, at what price low prices? And think about this, many of those low-priced items because they are replacable with a newer, better gadget end up in the landfill. Do we have a value problem here?

For those who haven't read Barbara Ehrenreich, you may want to read about her experiences at WalMart in Nickled and Dimed.

You might think that the Waltons with all their megabucks might be really generous, but the movie says they are not big contributors. The CEO who shares a room at a convention or stockholders meeting, only makes 27 Million per year.

In my neighborhood, we still have a hardware store. It is not fancy and noone greets you when you enter and certainly noone makes a commercial about meeting there for coffee, but it is a functional store, has what I need most of the time, has a person who answers questions, and makes great keys! Search out your locally owned store. You might like it. And one more thing, the prices are just fine!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Getting out of Iraq

Brad Miller and David Price introduced a resolution about the Iraq war on the House floor last night. Read all about it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Greensboro City Council Candidate Forum

The League of Women Voters held the Greensboro city council forum last night. It was good. Please check it out on Channel 8 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This meeting was taped and will be cable cast on GCTV Channel 8 at 9:00 a.m. on October 31, November 2, 4, 7.  Also check the League of Women's Voters Guide. In a few minutes we will have responses from all candidates with opposition posted!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Alpaca Sweater pictures

Alpaca Sweater Sale

My church has a sister church in Manazo Peru. The ladies of Manazo have a cooperative. They knit sweaters all year and then we sell them one weekend in November at our church. The sweater sale this year is the evening of November 11, 5-8 pm, 10am - 7 pm November 12, and 10am-2pm November 13. The sweaters are beautiful, soft, and warm. We have a veriety of selections for men and women and a few small sizes. If you live in Greensboro, come and get a sweater for yourself or for a gift. I am posting pictures of my sweaters. I keep the house cool and wear one all the time. In Greensboro we can wear these sweaters outside most of the cool season.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Wow, one of our local universities, just put on Urinetown, the Musical. We think UNCG is the first college/university to perform this fairly recent New York musical. UNCG's theatre and music departments did a wonderful job. I think many, if not all the shows, were sold out, and I know the audience gave a standing ovation at least twice and maybe always!

The musical is one with an ecological/environmental message. The natural resource in great shortage is water. Our newspaper recently ran articles on the current and probably oil shortage. It is not as though this is not real world stuff. We should be thinking about these resources and our use in the US. Urinetown helps us think about this in a cleverly executed play with good music. In the process though we enjoy this play. It spoofs the musicals of the 50s with the full skirted heroine, the rich girl, poor boy love story, the follow your heart theme. Then there are the scenes that are almost Les Miserables, a little of Jesus Christ Superstar, a touch of Annie. Those are just some I spotted.

So this brings me to the head in the sand, judge the book by the cover letter written to our newspaper and the comments that followed it. The lady did not even see the play, but UNCG and Greensboro can do better. Better than what? Better than alerting us to shortage problems in a fun way??? I don't get it. I just don't know why people continue to prejudge. It is good that this lady can publish her view. I just wish it were an informed one. This region has been suffering from a drought, almost two months without a good rainfall. Right now we are in a cloud thanks to hurricane Tammy. Our ground is wet at last and there are even a few puddles. This may not be enough to bring us out of the drought, but at least our trees are getting a drink and hopefully we will have enough water to get us through so we can continue to drink and flush the toilet.

The play is entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival so maybe you will get an opportunity to see it. Let us hope so. Thanks, UNCG. Keep up the good work and if it is controversial, yay.. make the people think before it is too late.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Independent Examination of Katrina's "handling"

I encourage you to go to Moveon and sign the petition for an independent commission to examine how we did not know how to behave concerning Katrina.

Here is what I said on my note with the petition:"We need to quit looking for the mote in all other world government eyes and look in our own. Let us have an independent commission examine what went wrong with Katrina. I doubt anyone who wanted a Homeland Security office wanted it to be ineffective, chaotic, and dumb. It appears that those of us who watch a bit of TV and read the newspaper knew more than Mike Brown."

I had been thinking about the mote idea when I heard Kofi Anan today talking about UN reforms and when I thought about Bill Maher's "letter" to Bush last night about bringing democracy to Iraq. You should catch that if you did not. Maher was really right on target about the length of time it took the US to do such things as free the slaves, give women the right to vote, and to pass a voting rights act.

I have no confidence that we are safer now than before 9-11 or Katrina. I didn't before, but I certainly did not expect to see the level of incompetence we had with Katrina. The news of the mayor of New Orleans ordering evacuation was heard around the US. His action probably saved many, many lives. The school bus use is still unclear. Some evidently were used and some just drowned with many people. Now are we going to blame him for taking some action as opposed to none on the parts of many???

If you read this, you should do a search on the Internet in your own area for plans for emergencies. Start asking questions of people running for office and of your local "first responders." Oh, and do go to the NY Times for Wednesday, Sept 14 and read Maureen Dowd, one of the US's smartest redheads!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gulf Coast Relief

My Congressman sent this out this morning. I thought it was thoughtful and that others might want to read it and perhaps respond to one of the organizations helping on the Gulf Coast.

Dear Friends:

I had not seen the evening news when I wrote the e-mail late yesterday about our October 10 event. I did not know how desperate things in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast had become. The news just gets worse each day.

We must all carry on, but I know that there are more immediate concerns right now than an October political reception. The link below is to agencies that are providing hurricane relief. Esther and I are contributing to America's Second Harvest (, the national food bank network. Esther is on the local food bank board, and she is confident that the food banks know how to deliver food quickly and efficiently.

Martin Luther King said in his speech at the March on Washington that we cannot walk alone. The tragic loss that millions of Americans are suffering now should remind us of that. We have to take responsibility for one another, and help others on faith that we would be helped if we were in need.


Here's the link to a partial list of relief organizations:

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Civics 103 A Journey Through the Justice System

If you live in or around Greensboro, I hope you will consider signing up for and attending the five sessions of Civics 103. The League of Women Voters and co-sponsors are providing this minicourse free of charge. We have many great guest speakers and the justice system is something everyone should know something about.

Y'all come as many people thing we say.

For more info check out this web site.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Take Action

The world is full of problems, starvation in Niger, genocide in Darfur, refugees from the Central Highlands in Cambodian camps, potential drilling in the Artic Wildlife Refuge. I urge you to write the President, your US House member and your US Senators and tell them what you think, what you know, and make a suggestion or two about what they can do. Hopefully our actions can and should be peaceful, but exert some pressure where needed. Do stay informed and let you views be known.

Writing letters is pretty easy if you are on a computer and you have to be to read this. Just go to or or Remember all of these are .gov, not something else.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Class Reunion Pueblo Central High School 1956

Several of us from the class of 1956 are looking for our lost classmates. Lost classmates are those for whom we do not have a current address. We are first looking in the cities or near the cities where we had an address for an individual at one time. After that we are branching out. If you happen upon this blog and know one of our classmates, please refer them to our class website. The website contains two email addresses whereby a class member may make his or her whereabouts known. The 50th reunion is September 9, 2006. Details will be mailed and also posted on the web site.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Goofing around with pictures

I needed to make a card for my grandson so I made this for the front of the card. First, I "stitched" photos together to get the background. Then I cut the Dalmatian out of a photo my granddaughter took with my camera. I put the dog in front of the buildings and then I just kept putting him there. Each dog was on a separate layer so I could move them until I liked them.

I know I should have fixed a certain aspect of this photo. It will be obvious to people who look and the rest can forget the comment.

The dogs of Prague are very well behaved. Most of them are not on leashes, they stay right beside their masters/mistresses and walk calmly. In front of the grocery store, you can spot patient poodles waiting for their owners. Pretty neat how they are so well behaved. I didn't see any contankerous Corgis though.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry Potter

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting review/interpretation of the Order of the Phoenix, the book just before the Half Blood Prince. It is worth reading for the interpretation that Jonathan Last puts on Harry Potter. His view, if accurte, would put to rest those who think the books are only about witches and wizards. Find it if you can. I didn't check yet to see if the article is available on line. Jonathast Last is on the online editor for the Weekly Standard. If you don't know what that publication is, you may want to look it up.

Here are two bridge pictures from Prague.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Praha or, as we know it, Prague

First off, I think we should start calling cities by the names everyone who lives in them or close to them call them. So rather than Prague, we should say Praha.

Second, I think travel books should list the name of the places you will see and read on street signs in the language of the country/city. So for example, in Praha, you will see Karlov (or something similar to that) Most, not Charles Bridge. It is fine to put Charles Bridge after Karlov Most, but not make Charles Bridge prominent in the book.

Karlova Most is a pedestrian bridge. Many jazz musicians and other artists occupy the sides of the bridge. Thus, in addition to the statues of religious figures/saints on the bridge, a pedestrian sees and hears some of the street artists of Praha. American music has been transported to Praha and enjoyed by Americans and I hope, by the natives of the city. That is, I hope the performances in public places are not for our benefit, but because the musicians like and enjoy performing Dixieland.

First Blog Entry

I am testing this means of posting photos and comments. I just returned from Prague and have under two thousand digital pictures and a few tiny movies. I don't see where it says you can include little movies/videos here, so I will need to learn about that.

I am also wondering if using a blog would be a good way to locate some of the Pueblo Central High School class of 1956. How many of us are out there searching, but haven't yet joined or some other service?

I already learned that it pays to know a little HTML if you want paragraphs!