Thursday, March 29, 2007

Holy astronomical pollen, Batman!

The Washington Post says: "Atlanta's pollen count hit 5,499 particles per cubic meter of air Monday, the highest this season and the fourth-highest in the 12 years that the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic has kept records. In South Carolina, the pollen count hit 4,862, according to the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center in Greenville. A reading of 120 is considered extremely high in the Southeast. A lack of rain, which scrubs pollen from the air, is blamed for the high count."

Do a rain dance for us, would you?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I just discovered Kevin Nalts

Maybe I am the last person in the Universe to find this, I know I'm the 557,070th to view it, but I just discovered Kevin Nalts.

Viral Video interview and his Farting in Public are hilarious. His site is dedicated to online video, trends in online video, and how to make money from online video.

Nalts said: "This weekend we did two similar videos, which are currently topping the list of most discussed and highest rated comedies on YouTube. It began when my nephew’s friend, Spencer, showed up at our house eager to make a video. He’s been watching my videos, and volunteered to do practically anything. So on Saturday, we took Spencer to the library with a fart machine..." To watch, search "Farting in Public" on Youtube or click here.

Check it out!

This week's stories

The editor put the story I wrote about the Gentleman Scribe on the Living section's front page, and I am so thrilled! It was a pleasure interviewing Mr. Moak, his passion for calligraphy and his long-term commitment teaching it to newcomers was inspiring.

Gentleman scribe: Art of calligraphy alive and in Mike Moak

And, he used the hilarious story about the escaped sheep this week too. I can't say enough good about the farmers who helped me learn the situation, especially Jeff Welborn, and also Sgt. JT.

Story: Sheepish herd goes on the lam

And used the cutie-pie photo of a kid getting a haircut on the back page so it was in color. All in all a good week of writing and I am so grateful, because it means sharing good people with more good people.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Matting is harder than I thought

I bought 12 frames for the photography show, starting next week, that my pictures will be in. I thought I was clever and bought nice wood frames with a wood matting already inside. Woe is me, though. My 8X10's are exactly the size of the hole and lining it up without showing the white strip around the edge of each photo is near impossible.

I've got 5 hours to fool with 11 more and git um straight. We'll see.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eats down South

Specials today at the Ila Restaurant, served buffet style:

Chicken Livers or fried catfish. Fried Green Tomatoes, Speckled Butter Beans, Squash Cassarole, and cobbler. Cornbread an extra 25 cents.

Or you can always chow down at Pastor Billy's Cuban Restaurant, Wall to Wall Bible Verses & Christian Music. Always on special, Shredded beef, fried beef, roast pork, or pork BBQ. Best eats in Jackson County and as Pastor Billy says, ‘in order to be successful you give God all the glory!’

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What did they do before TP?

At Charlotte Bond's house, a historic house a famous local doyenne inhabits, and opened for a tour of the Ila Homemakers' Club this morning. Corncobs! That's rough, man.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

dun dun...dun dun, don't go in the water!

I watched the 30-year anniversary edition of Jaws tonight. Can you believe it‘s been thirty years?! I can’t.

I remember it was like yesterday. 1976. My friend Peggy’s dad owned a 44 foot trawler. Every summer he took a trip from Narragansett Bay in RI, where I grew up, to Nantucket. His kids each got to take along a friend or two for the weekend jaunt. Peggy asked me and it was OK with my parents, and off we went.

We had a blast going from the well-known (to me) waters of the Bay ‘across the ocean’ to Nantucket. We’d heard buzz about this shark movie they were filming in the harbor. People said it was real scary. Were looking forward to seeing the action and activity. When we arrived, we found out that the film crew had just wrapped, but the floating platforms in the harbor were all still assembled. And the rubber shark, named “Bruce” was still hanging around.

One of the more daring things Peggy’s brothers liked to do was jump from the top of the cabin house into the water. It looked like fun, so I gave it a try too. And it was fun, but I kept thinking about that durn shark. Every time I jumped from the platform, which was 20 feet above the water, and ended up in the deep, our legs thrashing, I was convinced a shark was about to tear off my legs. It was definitely creepy.

Watching the movie 30 years later, I realize again that it’s a great film. Riveting, suspenseful, entertaining. I’d forgotten a lot of it. And for thirty years, I have not been in ocean water over my head. So even though Bruce the shark was blown up at the end, who has the last laugh?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Newspaper articles

Since being hired as correspondent for the Athens Banner Herald, North East Georgia' daily newspaper, I'm starting to get on a rhythm and stories are appearing more frequently. Photos too. Here is a story I wrote about a new subdivision going up in our county in which all the houses are built through Habitat for Humanity.

Also some photos! of the Recreation program, girls' softball tryouts. I cannot tell you what fun I am having doing features for the Living section, and taking photos of the community. It is a blast.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

PeepsTown springs up

In a strange case, reported here for the first time, a town sprang up overnight. Last night, apparently whilst the local residents were busy with their schooling and farming and doing and then sleeping, the squat and oddly yellow residents of the County’s newest village, named “PeepsTown” moved in.

It is not known what industry the residents will undertake, nor whether they are church going folks. One rumor has it that they are Baptists, but that they baptize by fire rather than water, fearing the liquid would melt them into an undesirable goo. One can always spot the baptized Peeps due to their crusty caramel exterior and their peaceful demeanor.

They are especially active around Easter, particularly enjoying to surprise little children when they awaken Easter morning to find their little baskets. One must admit to their yellowy cuteness as they hide in happy glee under the strings of plastic grass, knowing that delightful children’s squeals will soon commence.

However, this is the first time the Peeps have banded together to form their own town. The Mayor has been called to help settle the minds and hearts of apprehensive residents as to whether this new development is an addition to the neighborhood or a threat. The Mayor has said that if the development is deemed an addition he will lobby to have the water line extended.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

World's worst pet

I just finished reading John Grogan's book "Marley & Me: Live and love with the world's worst dog". It was a completely charming and wonderful book which for me, captured what life with a dysfunctional pet is like.

Anyone who had ever met Abby I knows what I'm talking about. Difficult from the get-go, at age 6 weeks, Abby I was a terror. Abby I attacked my friend Elaine on the day Abby came home. She attacked my husband, my father, everyone who ever met her. She even attacked the air. She growled, she clawed, she stalked, she refused to be petted. I guess that was the most heartbreaking thing, she hated to be touched.

Kennels would not take her, the vet had to tranquilize her before letting her out of her crate. Once, a burly plumber came and he fled, saying, "I didn't know you had a mountain lion in there!"

She played 'catch the acorn' like Mickey Mantle, she jumped the highest I ever knew a cat could go. She was funny and smart and she waited for me beside the door every time I came in. I guess in her weird way she loved me.

I love her so much and I miss her every day.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Week's end round up

Yay! I've been accepted as a participant in an upcoming photography show to be held at the library. It'll be my first so I need to get the digital pics I want to submit professionally printed out and then buy some 8X10 frames. Move forward, try new things, yikes, it's nerve wracking to put myself out there with my art and photos but it's exciting too.

I put up a new entry on my agriculture and arts blog, A friend of mine had sent me the photo of the cow with its head stuck in a chair and agreed to let me put it up.

The country life...the other day I went out to get pics of chickens to submit for the weekly I contribute to. I spent a pleasant half hour with some great folks and loved seeing the chicken house. Imagine, 11,000 chickens inside! I'd never seen a rooster! I loved learning about the commercial eggs versus store eggs (store eggs are not fertilized). I was thinking of where I was a year ago, the longest and pretty contentious meeting in Gray's history had just occurred - lasting till midnight with lots of negativity- and I wrote a blog entry entitled "One Tired Editor." A year later, pics of chickens! LOL!

I manned the checkout desk today at the Friends of the Library Book sale. I watched twin boys, about 7 years old, very seriously take their time choosing their books and videos. One was carrying and oversize Pinocchio hardcover that kept falling out of his hands. I offered him a bag and he was so delighted. Those two were so cute I could hardly stand it.

I've been invited to the Women's Club supper tomorrow night. The supper is taking place at 'the clubhouse.' Cool! I can't wait to see it. And I'm looking forward to meeting the women who put it on.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Never forget

Feeling melancholy for some reason. I miss my friend. I was thinking of the flag we bought together on September 11, 2001, right after the second tower was hit. I was Googling around and found out about the USS New York and then got this from Wikipedia:

Twenty-four tons of the steel used in the construction of USS New York came from the rubble of the World Trade Center, with seven tons melted down and cast to form the ship's "stem bar" — part of the ship's bow. The construction workers reportedly treated it with "reverence usually accorded to religious relics," touching it as they walked by.

USS New York (LPD-21), is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. The ship is designed to deliver a fully-equipped battalion of 699 Marines.

Shortly after 11 September 2001, Governor of New York George E. Pataki wrote a letter to Secretary of the Navy Gordon England requesting that the Navy bestow the name USS New York on a surface warship involved in the War on Terror in honor of September 11's victims. In his letter, the Governor said he understood state names are currently reserved for submarines, but asked for special consideration so the name could be given to a surface ship. The request was approved 28 August 2002.

The ship's motto: "Never forget"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Library Book Sale

I've been asked to become the Library Fundraising Chair on the Friends' Executive Board. It's fancier than it sounds. I love the folks on it, they have been great and welcoming. I was a Gray Public Library Trustee and volunteer back before I started The Monument Newspaper, and I worked to help out with their book sale too so I was interested to see how "my" new library does their sale.

Hard covers are tagged at $1 and soft covers are 50 cents. In Gray the books were less expensive but I think people will pay $1 for a hardcover, I know, I bought 8 of them!

The Friends ask a local publishing house to donate, and they receive 41 boxes of fairly new books, all hard covers. Handling all those books is hard so they've made an arrangement with the local jail, who send out inmates to unload the skid and tote in the boxes. The inmates all come away with a free book of their choice.

Expensive or rare books are sold on (an ebay outlet) or for closer to their retail or market price.

The Gray library has a wonderful downstairs in which the book sale books are always at the ready arranged alphabetically on shelves. Most libraries do not have such luxurious space and this one is no exception. The day that the skid arrived folding banquet tables are set up in the meeting room and as the inmates brought in the books the volunteers were ready and we unpacked them onto the tables. The idea at first was to get them out of boxes and then when the empties were taken away the books were alphabetized.

They know what they are doing, for sure, and within three hours over a thousand books were unpacked and alphebetized. I'm staffing the checkout table Thursday night on the Friends' preview night, and again on Friday from 10-12 when it opens to the public. Happy reading and remember to support your library!