Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good-bye's been fun!

Halloween, pumpkins, costumes, the is good!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What's on YOUR Mind?

Ever since I was really small, I have been surrounded by music. Mom use to break out in song mid-conversation because everything reminded her of a song. Now I am a bit too timid to just belt out a song when there are people around, though my daughter will do it without a mind to anyone around her, but often there IS a song playing in my head.....over and over. Today was no exception. With very little prompting, a song that I have not heard in years by a band I didn't know played over and over in my head. So I just had to come and find it. It was not on radioblog where I generally go to find a tune to post, but I did manage to find an old video from the sixties on YouTube....go ahead...sit down and have a listen to the inside of my mind:

So, tell me, what's on your mind?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

You Might Be 7 if........ like to make faces at cameras

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is the World Just Plain Stupid?

Here I go openly discussing one of those taboo subjects again. I have a bur up my tail, so bear with me while I am removing it.

Earlier today I was forwarded an email from someone who really should have known better. I suspect he wanted to gauge my reaction. It is a chain letter that was created to incite fear and hatred. It was entitled "Is the World Just Plain Stupid?" The SPAM article points out why there should be profiling of Muslims between the ages of 17-40 and it includes the comment:

"So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone because of profiling."
I replied to the email by sharing some random thoughts in my head.....

I'm not sold that it is completely a Muslim Issue. I think young men in their mid-teens and early 20's are impressionable.....and I think that those under 40 are more likely to fight for a cause they believe in or that is created by desperate living conditions. I think a handful of extremists are using their religion as a conduit to manipulate others and as areas become unstable....such as Afghanistan & Iraq, recruiting becomes easier. As with most Easterners, Muslims are very much family oriented and they are brought up in a more collective thought as opposed to individual thought. They are willing to do whatever is necessary to better provide for the family. Sacrifice is necessary and expected. I imagine there are plenty of Muslims and non-Muslims who are desperate and who can become manipulated into believing that exchanging their life for the sake of the family's well being is justified.

I often wonder about missionaries going to the various corners of the world telling other cultures that their religion is bad and that if they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, then they will be damned to hell. If these same Christians hear the reverse, how kind are they to whomever is delivering the message? Sure there are plenty of well meaning kind souls who do not think through what they are saying. One example is a devout woman I know well who told me one day that the reason the West is so prosperous as compared to the East is because of our demographics. She went on to explain that the West was for the most part Christian and the East is not. This proves that by taking Jesus Christ into our hearts that He is thereby rewarding the West. OK...won't go there, suffice it to say I disagree on a point or two.

Many groups have committed heinous acts of terror. Just a few of these groups include the Sons of Liberty, la Terreur, the Irish Republican Army, The People's Will in Russia, Ku Klux Klan, Mau Mau Uprising, The Weather Underground, the Palestine Liberation Organization, various paramilitary and guerrilla groups, the Nazis, Slave traders, etc ....and we will not discuss the actions of White Europeans toward the native populations of North & South America and Africa during colonization.......the tide seems to ebb and flow and someone always feels the need to step up to the plate to commit more atrocities in the name of progress. Too many people look at their fellow man and scowl at the differences. We are all so very much alike as a species - in that we are able to think and breathe and love and hurt - that it dumbfounds me why variety is not more appreciated .

For the record I do see a need for profiling, but not in such a way that incites hatred.



I received a second email in response to my reply while I was typing this up:


I do not disagree with your thoughts. Most Muslims are great loving, peaceful people with strong family associations. But I do believe "radical Muslim extremists" (including some radical clerics) are influencing the ignorant, poor and impressionable young Muslims. I believe these radicals are destroying the world as we know it to be today. They threaten their own Muslim people who disagree with them. The majority of good Muslims who are threatened are afraid to face the radicals. UU Fellowship had a member who was an Iranian. He said his family left Iran because "Those people are crazy!"

I am very concerned about the world my grandchildren will live in"

I welcome any and all thoughts on this subject.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Something is Amiss on Maybank.......

This weekend I was driving down Maybank Hwy near the James Island Piggly Wiggly where I found myself confused and unsure whether to speed up, slow down or stop. For the first time in my life, I came across a light that was green and red at once. Luckily, my phone has a of course I just had to pull over and take pictures of this oddity. Turns out that the red light was staying on continuously while the green and yellow lights took their scheduled turns.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

FSOT Registration

The race has begun. It is registration time for the first FSOT (Foreign Service Officer's Test). As seating is limited, you may want to act now. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Seven Random Facts about Me

Very interesting that Jason has tagged me for this as I had just been discussing with mera bhai that seven seems to follow me.

1. I was born on July 16, 1969 at 8:31 am (511 minutes) just 61 minutes before the Apollo 11 blasted off at 9:32 am.

2. On the wall by my computer I am looking at a hand panted scroll I have had framed that was my great, great Aunt Lucille's. She was a secretary in the FS after World War II. While living in Tokyo, she was taking Chinese cooking classes from Nancy Chi Ma. I have two of her cookbooks from the class. I asked some Japanese visitors one day whether it was Japanese writing or Chinese writing on the scroll. It turns out that the writing is Chinese. They looked it over laughed and shook their heads and decided that they must have misread it because it said something about happy cooking. :)

3. My favorite book is The Adventures of a Simpleton by Grimmelshausen. I think I will read it again once I finish the Dune books. I am on the Machine Crusades and my husband keeps asking me..."Is THIS the last one?"

4. My first job was as a hostess at Applebee's in 1987. I was 17 and helped with the opening of the first one in Charleston. It is still there in North Charleston across from the Mall. (Other firsts include being in the first test group for the Teacher Cadet Program during my senior year in high school & grade when I was in the first test group for Charleston's SAIL program.

5. My favorite class at CofC was Anthropology. After that class I tried to sign up for Archeology, but my advisor scolded me because Macro Economics was more appropriate AND required for a business degree....I'm still regretting having listened to him.

6. In the second grade my teacher was telling us about the moon and the moon landing on July 20, 1969. I raised my hand to volunteer that I knew when the Apollo 11 blasted off. I was told that that was impossible as there was no way we could reach them moon in four days. I learned that day, at so young an age, that my teachers did not know all the answers and that nothing is impossible.

7. This Summer is my 20th HS reunion......aaaaaaaaaaaccccckkkkkkkkk!

OK, I tag:


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Just Another Night at the Joe

Here is the view from the backside of the Charleston Riverdogs Stadium on taken on this very day. The kids are all geared up to see Stephen Colbert throw out the first Pitch. It is all that Baby Bear could do to stop for a photo over the Marsh...and then he was off to the Suite of our host Container Maintenance Corp. (Thank you, Vinnie!)

I did get a video of the pitch, but it is not very video as my camera prefers a closer range, but what can I do? ....and here we are with Colbert greeting, Charlie the Riverdog while Chelsea hangs out with the Pig.

Just a little way into the first inning, the heavens began raining on our parade. It is not so obvious here except the field was covered in case the rain know, to keep the field dry et al.

The game was postponed for 2 hours. Lucky for me, I was nice and dry in a suite. Luckier for me Stephen Colbert was hanging out at Buzzy Newton's Suite a few doors down. There were numerous Colbert sitings reported that had many non-suite ticket holders being sent away. Stephen Colbert did come out on the balcony to sing "Take me out to the Ball Game". Me and a few friends hung outside of Piggly Wiggly's Suite to try to get a glimpse. My coworker, Nicole, even slipped in briefly with the Phillips party to invite him down to our suite.

A little later all the suites received a sweet treat. It was Americone Dream Ice Cream. Colbert's very own flavor that was put out by Ben & Jerry's. I did stash 1 for myself, but after the game there were actually 4 left over, so I wound up with two to save for all posterity. Since it was transformers night at the Joe I also took home a Riverdog's Transformer beach towel just for Baby Bear.

Well the game did get rained out. When hope was lost, I told Papa Bear to get the tab while I visited the facilities. I had to hang outside the facilities while two ladies dilly dallied. It was just me hanging out there. Oh...while I waited, Stephen Colbert exited the suite and passed by me to leave the scene. So here is my chance to get his attention...What do I say? I say...."Blake Hallman is funnier than you are!" (Sorry, Blake...please forgive me!) He did not even glance at me. It was rather silly of me to use a friend like that, really. At least last year I managed a photo op.
I returned to the suite and unloaded my story to all who would listen. We were one of the last ones to depart as we were having a grand time with good company. The rain had finally let up, too. The kids and I were at the elevators waiting for Papa Bear to catch up when once again, Stephen Colbert makes an appearance. He returns by way of the stairwell with his bodyguard. As he passed by us, Mary called out "HI STEPHEN!" He responded by turning to her, and seeing that she was a child...his face lit up, he smiled broadly and he yelled "Hello!" back to her. Obviously, she handled herself better than I did.
All in all, I'd say it was a grand evening.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Four Little Monkeys.....

Look who's hanging around Mammaw's & Pappaw's place!
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As Time Goes By....

Something pretty cool happened just a little over seven years ago.....

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Rainy Day Drive

I was able to take off early from work to run an errand. It seems I picked quite a day to do so as it rained all afternoon.

The traffic on 17 was unusually heavy at 2pm. The cause was obvious once I saw the Sofa Super Store. The devastation from the fire was all I have heard from the new...including the National news. As NPR noted this was the greatest loss of firefighters in the US since 9/11. It was difficult not to pass by very slowly and gawk and feel the loss.

A memorial site has been created on the side of the road with flowers, wreaths and crosses in memory of the 9 firefighters who died this past Monday.

I finally made it to the site of my erand. After negotiations that were greatly prolonged by Papa Bear I was on my way home. What? I didn't tell you what the errand was??? How very rude of me!!! on.

Here is your first clue......a very clean and pristine interior.

OK, OK....I will tell you! Remember that vehicle I had that refused to start after all the love I put into her? no? Well, it happenned three weeks ago ....and today I finally settled on the perfect replacement........Isn't she beautiful? :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Athens on Maybank Highway

Due to some recent auto issues, my family is having to experience the just once car syndrome. Papa Bear has been chauffeuring me to and from from work. The traffic this afternoon convinced us to stop at Athens for dinner rather than deal with the bottleneck at Harbor View Road.

To entertain the kids, I whipped out my new refurbished Blackberry Pearl which is a steal with Cingular....err...or is it AT&T these days?...with a 2 year contract. While waiting for dinner....everyone tried out the new camera gadget on it. Unfortunately, I was the guinea pig.

Here is Mare Bear's photo work.

Here is Miles Child's work (with a little help from Papa Bear)

and here is what happens when you give kids free reign in a restaurant!

Now for the FOOD! I had the veal parmesan.....

Papa had the gyro platter.....

Mare Bear had the greek chicken..... and not pictured was Miles Child's pasta that he chose only to put olive oil and parmesan on...and asked for seconds. There was also greek salads, garlic bread and adult beverages.

After all is said and done....there is a big ditch...ummmm play area for kids to let off some steam before you pile them in the car car for home.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Retiring so young??

After 20 years serving in the Army, my brother has retired.

I couldn't find the Army song, so the Air Force song will have to do. After all he was attached to the JSTARS for the past 5 it should be OK.

My sister-in-law owns a dance academy and made arrangement to tie in my brother's retirement with her recitals. The theme was a salute to the she planned the retirement before choreographing the dances....that is why the backdrop so dramatic. Family and friends watched a matinee of the younger performers (ages 3-12) at 3:00 pm. At 5 pm there was a ceremony that listed by brother's biography for the 20 years he served in the army. He was presented awards, plaques & whatnot and then was released back to his wife as a civilian. He then thanked personally everyone attending and gave members of the family attending flowers or military coins. The family then formed a receiving line to greet everyone and we had cake and drinks and talked. I left with Miles at 6:30pm because he would not have lasted for the evening performance of the age 13+ dancers... and attend a late dinner. Here are some photos of the ceremony: