Friday, July 27, 2007

My Blogger World....

I came across an interesting website that allows you to pull up a list of 193 countries so you can indicate which ones you have visited.

My list of various countries visited would be rather short but I did indicate the countries where viewers of my blog reside and that becomes quite a visual display.

The 54 countries of my viewers are colored in red on the world map and it shows that nearly 30% of the world's nations are represented.

Comments about what's listed and what's not on the site often are quite testy, many are politically incorrect and a few are ignorant of basic geography.

Many people maintain that Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland are 4 separate countries rather than the simple United Kingdom option that is given.

Taiwan SHOULD be listed separately instead of being included as part of China say others. And Hong Kong is not listed at all.

One complainer wanted to know why the nation of Texas was missing.


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

ALL Statues Should Be White Marble...

A fellow blogger proposed we start a picture category called "Stand By Your Statue" as an ongoing visual meme.

Since I like to dig around in my stacks of photos, I quickly searched for a few candidates and came up with a king that had been royally pooped on in Montreal.

Wonder if any city has ever erected a statue of a pigeon?

Roaming around downtown in Atlanta, looking for the famed replica of the New York City Flat Iron Building, I had to stop when I came across this bronze lady reading a paper.

Either the birds have not found the memorial for Councilwoman Barbara Miller Asher yet or statue cleaning maintenance is much better in Georgia than it is in Quebec. However, her briefcase did have cigarette butts in it.

I try to wear my Tilley wide-brimmed "sun hat" everywhere I go and this bust in Seattle caught my eye since Chief Seattle must have heard the same advice from his dermatologist.

This monument was in a park at the bottom of a steep slope headed to the mill, near the river.

A tour guide had just pointed out that it was NOT a great part of Seattle to live in during the busy heyday of lumbering. There were many, many accidents and lots of destruction caused as logs were sliding by on the greased road.

Fortunately, there were not many homes here..mainly just bars. The area originally was called Skid Road.

Today we call such a place Skid Row.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, July 20, 2007

Where did THAT come from?

A few days ago I noticed a large cactus plant in my neighbor's yard was looking sickly. The usually bright green leaves - or fronds or whatever they are called - were fading to yellow. It had become a nasty looking color that looked very unhealthy.

Then I looked up. And then, up some more. Like 20-25 feet high. That was not always there! What the heck was going on here?

I guess I already knew it was a Century Plant (Agave Parryi) but it had just been sitting there for about 10 years (that I knew of) and had zoomed up "almost overnight." We're talking about trading the cow for some magic beans and Jack and the Beanstalk.

I chatted with the neighbor who said he thought it was about 25 years old and, once it started to bloom, the stalk jutted up almost fast enough to see it move.

It peaked out in about two weeks and then yellow flowers appeared on the top. Way up high. The bad news is now it will wither and die. All the energy was used up to bloom and make this marvelous display.

An article in The Post and Courier Garden Section June 10 said small "baby" plants will pop up around the base after it dies.

Since I missed seeing something as big as a telephone pole spring up, I probably will not be elected to be the head of our Neighborhood Watch.

[Full disclosure: I used PhotoShop to eliminate telephone, electric and cable lines.]

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pick a card, any card...

So I reached into my box of business cards before heading out the other night and realized I was down to just a few.

Hmmm. Apparently 100 business cards - for a retired person - lasts about 2 years.

Almost to the day.

Well, there were some changes to make. I had been notified that as of July 1, my ZIP code for Hanahan would change to 29410 and my old cards had the old ZIP. I also ordered a rubber stamp with "Read My Blog" and the URL, to stamp on the back.

I had PhotoShopped the store-bought cards to change the ZIP but obviously didn't match the typeface very well so I didn't mind ordering another 100. Should take me into the year 2009.

Unless they change the phone prefix.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 13, 2007

VERY Little Known Fact About Me...

OK, you're right. I never was on the cover of TIME magazine (nor any other national publication).

But, the picture of my 1968 college graduation is appropriate because it represents my best kept secret.

Recently Jared, one of my fellow bloggers, tagged me to do a meme listing " 7 things people did not know about you.".

As I thought about it, I remembered 1985 when the State of Florida routinely asked for "proof" that I was a college graduate - as stated on my resume - when I was appointed to the staff of the Florida Division of Tourism in Tallahassee.

I realized I had none. I had no framed diploma. No transcript. All I had was this doctored magazine cover and a picture of me on stage wearing cap and gown with the Bishop in San Diego, being handed something.

Then it all came back: I had been allowed to go up and receive a BLANK piece of paper with my class, on the condition that I attend summer school and earn the final 3 credits I needed. Which I did.

But that was 17 summers ago. I needed to call USD in California and get something in writing or I could be fired for falsifying my academic credentials. Missouri government had not asked for any documents. Wow.

The Registrar's Office was skeptical at best. "We get calls like this from people who had attended but never graduated," I was told. "Can't remember it ever being 17 years later though." Any names I remembered had died or retired.

Finally a sympathetic young priest said I sounded sincere and panicky so he agreed to search through hard copies of very old records stored in boxes in the basement and would call me back on Monday.

That was a LONG weekend.

He called and said he had found the missing document and my record was being updated to show I HAD graduated. He was sending a copy of my updated transcript and added "for $10 we'll send you that diploma you've been waiting for."

Bless you Father.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

Harley Hah Ha.....

The corporate people at Harley-Davidson seem to have a sense of humor.

Or they REALLY like Senior Citizens. The more senior the better.

This all started with a piece of direct mail addressed to my 91-year old Mom, offering a free gift if she took a demo ride on a motorcycle. Preferably a Harley-Davidson.

Mom had me write back and decline the demonstration ride. Her doctor didn't think it would be a good idea and she reluctantly had to agree.

Mom did suggest that a free t-shirt would help ease her disappointment. They sent her a corporate one from headquarters in Milwaukee. And a skull cap.

Since all this started, I have noticed quite a few Harley shirts, caps and jackets and I salute their marketing skills.

At a Harley store here in Charleston, I have seen outfits for babies and young children; teddy bears in motorcycle gear and expensive leather and denim jackets for sale.

Above all, they appear to like people and listen to feedback from customers. Even non-buying customers.

Labels: , , , ,