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Thursday, August 30, 2012

CHICAGO - Dawson Across the Country Ride



George just phoned this picture of Millenium Park in. They are in downtown Chicago.

DOAK CAMPBELL STADIUM - Buying Tickets For Florida State Football Games


Doak Campbell Stadium is a beautifully enclosed brick stadium seating 82,000. The field runs from northwest to southeast - although they label is north and south.



On the north end of the stadium is Bobby Bowden's statue. I am not comfortable with that. I was at the unveiling of the statue - Bobby took time to chat with us about Pennsylvania. Ironically - this statue gave Penn State fans the idea to put up a statue of Joe Paterno. Even God said to not make any graven images of him.

Ever since the Penn State Football Sex Scandal broke loose a year ago - everyone is judging the value of college football. Some people think it has become too professional. Coaches - administrators - and the NCAA are making billions of dollars while the players are slaves - working for a lottery ticket that might get them into the NFL. 

At some colleges - it is almost impossible to buy tickets for the games. People are on waiting lists for years - some even handing down their tickets to family members in their will. It is a pay to play situation. At FSU - if one wants to buy a premium season ticket - they must pay a ransom - anywhere from $300 to $25,000 - just to have a right to buy tickets that now cost anywhere from $45 to $85. 

ISAAC spared Tallahassee

Isaac missed Tallahassee by miles - but we still got lots of rain.

It has been quite a while since a big hurricane hit Florida - and even much longer since Tallahassee got one head-on. 

Isaac has been giving us rain off and on for the last 3 days. One could look into the blue sky and see the clouds going from south to north - swirling counterclockwise around the storm. The blue sky would turn to overcast - then we would be pelted by heavy rain. There was not much wind with the rain - and I have not had to pick up and branches or leaves from our yard.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ISAAC - Hurricane Skirted Tallahassee - New Orleans is Getting Pounded

Update Wednesday at 7 AM - we got a little bit of rain last night - the ground is dry now. It is still overcast - but there is no wind at all. I do not think we got anything near the 2 inches we expected. there are no branches or leaves in the front yard. The storms stayed right on the computer track. It is slowly passing over New Orleans as a Category 1 hurricane - 80 MPH winds.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BUCAS - New Italian Restaurant in Our Mall


This chain moved into the former Ruby Tuesday at Governor's Square Mall.

See more about the restaurant

DOAK CAMPBELL STADIUM - Better Phone Serivce


Doak improvements include improved cell service for some
tallahassee.com
The start of a new college football season often means changes to the game-day experience, and Doak Campbell Stadium will feature its share of improvements for 2012.
For starters, AT&T and Verizon have both made upgrades to improve cell phone service at the stadium. While there is no guarantee that all phone calls and data transmissions will go through the first time -- particularly when the stadium is filled to capacity -- FSU assistant athletic director for marketing Jason Dennard said customers of those two companies should see improved service.
“If you have Verizon or AT&T, you should have better luck,” Dennard said.
Another change is in the way students enter the stadium.
“In the past, students would go online to get their tickets, and then they’d get emailed a PDF copy of their ticket with a bar code on it,” Dennard said. “Then they’d bring that with their FSU card to the gates.”

SWEET CAROLINE removed from PENN STATE football game playlist


Touching me - touching you


STATE COLLEGE -- Neil Diamond’s "Sweet Caroline," a popular crowd participation song at sporting events nationwide, no longer will get air time at football games in Happy Valley.
Penn State University officials on Monday announced their decision to drop the song from its play list at Beaver Stadium.
Immediate speculation on Twitter, other Internet message boards and news sites centered on whether the lyrics "touching me, touching you" had anything to do with the decision, given the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal and continuing accusations of a cover-up by top school officials.
Penn State denied those claims.

REPUBLICAN CONVENTION - Chance of Rain


Welcome to Tampa

Monday, August 27, 2012

RICKARDS HIGH SCHOOL - This is the High School of Our Tallahassee Home






James S. Rickards High School is a public high school in Tallahassee, Florida. Rickards was ranked 49th inNewsweek's list of 1,000 top high schools in 2009,[1] due to the high number of AP and IB exams taken by its students. As of 2009, 1249 pupils were enrolled.[2]

Rickards has hosted an International Baccalaureate program since 1994, creating a culturally diverse mix of students and a varied ethnic focus. The school has many programs that demonstrate cultural diversity and equality, one of which focuses on traditional dance and clothes.

The school's mascot, originally the Rickards Redskins, was changed to the Rickards Raiders in 2000 because of controversy over the term redskin and its racial connotations. The school colors are blue and gold.
Rickards is notable for its award-winning Mu Alpha Theta and National Junior Classical League teams, as well as its marching band, which is heavily influenced by Florida A&M University's Marching "100" under the direction of Mr. Quincy Griffin.
Alumni Village, the designated Florida State University housing unit for FSU students with children, is zoned to Rickards High School.[3][4][5]

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lance Armstrong has a bad day today - Neil Armstrong had a worse one.



DAWSON's RIVER - Camping on the Missouri


South Dakota - Right now on the bank of the Missouri River where Lewis and Clark spent their first winter living with the Mandan Indians. We visited the village site late this afternoon.

Editor - George and Joel are heading east on their grand excursion across the USA. They are in a VW Van and a tent. Photo from iPhone. No mistaking Joel's white hair.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

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PATERNO by Joe Posnanski - A Book Review


 

Tragedy
Lulu pre-ordered the book Paterno by Joe Posnanski from Amazon. For $14 it would be delivered over the airwaves on August 21st - its release date. We woke up early that morning and the electronic file arrived as promised. This would be the first time I would read a book - cover to cover - on the Kindle. I think it is the first book I have bought on the release date except maybe for maybe Howard Stern's book  - and /or Bill Clinton's book that I bought in large print.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LITTLE BIG HORN - George and Joel Heading East



George and Joel reports - Aug 22 - 9 AM

We are slowly headed east as we left Glacier this past Sunday which is located in the NW corner of Montana.   We had stops in one of the cleanest city we have seen on this trip: Ft. Benton.  It has so much history that it was difficulty to leave but as we have committed to stops in Chicago and Cincinnati on certain dates we had to leave.

ALABAMA's Newest Library Science Professor



Melissa graduated from FSU last year. She is now a new professor at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

PATERNO - Joe Posnanski - Book Review Posted Above

I remember writing book reports back in the old red brick Tamaqua Junior High School on the banks of the Schuylkill River. I will be writing another shortly.

Last night - Amazon downloaded Joe Posnanski's new book - Paterno - onto Lulu's Kindle. It cost $14. I will have to wait my turn.

Monday, August 20, 2012

FORT BENTON Montana - Dawson's on a Camping Trip



George and Joel Dawson are far from home.

Our neighbors - George and Joel are on a camping trip. They are traveling in a Volkswagen van pulling a small utility trailer. They spend some nights in hotels - other nights in their tent.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

FSU LATE NIGHT LIBRARY SIGN - Auction on Ebay


Late Night Library Sign with Harry - Wayne - and Dave

Thousands "studied" at the Late Night Library, a bar just off the Florida State University campus in the 1980s and 90s. To preserve its "memory," the Friends of FSU Libraries is auctioning off the sign, completely framed and backlit, ready to hang.  Pictured with the sign is Harry Everhart (left), who stood between it and a bulldozer to rescue it for posterity, Wayne Wiegand (center) Friends President, and David Powell (right), retired FSU Law Professor who built the frame and backlit the sign.  Bidding on eBay starts at $1,000 on Sept 5th., and ends at 10 P.M. September 21st.  All proceeds go to an FSU Library endowment fund FSU President Eric and wife Molly Barron established last spring.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

BRIGHTON BEACH - We Went Here About 10 Days Ago

I just looked up the current water temperature - 50 degrees in August.

The beach was covered with rounded pebbles. No worry about getting sand in your swimsuit or shoes.

The pier extended almost a half mile out into the English Channel. Lots of great beach food - rides - and carnival stuff. Lulu bought cotton candy - she says it is the best in the world - crunchy.

On one of our side trips from London - Lulu and I went to Brighton Beach. Brighton is an old fashion holiday resort town. Queen Victoria had a palace there. Just like everyone in Tamaqua went to the Jersey Shore when we were kids - everyone in London goes to Brighton Beach if they want to swim in the ocean.

We took the train from Victoria Station on a one hour jog south. When you got to the train terminal - it was just a few blocks walking to the beach.

The beach has no sand - just pebbles. The water is very cold - 50 degrees compared to 85 in Gulf here in Florida. It did not stop the locals from swimming - the very white locals with blue lips.



Lulu had fish and chips at this restaurant right on the "sand"


This was Queen Victoria's Pavilion. Some say she spent too much time here. 

Hail to the ENVIRONMENTALISTS

George Will of The Washington Post wrote -

Forty years after “The Limits to Growth” imparted momentum to environmentalism, that impulse now is often reduced to children indoctrinated to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Lomborg calls recycling “a feel-good gesture that provides little environmental benefit at a significant cost.” He says that “we pay tribute to the pagan god of token environmentalism by spending countless hours sorting, storing and collecting used paper, which, when combined with government subsidies, yields slightly lower-quality paper in order to secure a resource” — forests — “that was never threatened in the first place.”

My comment - I did not write this - but I wish I did. Sometimes George Will Is Right On - Even A Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day.

MACHINE RAGES AGAINST PAUL RYAN


Republican Vice Presidential Candidate
From The Huffington Post
Paul Ryan has previously cited Rage Against the Machine as his favorite band, but the group's guitarist isn't returning the niceties. In a blistering op-ed published Thursday night on Rolling Stone's website, Tom Morello blasts Mitt Romney's new VP choice as "the embodiment of the machine our music rages against."
In painting Ryan as antithetical to progress, Morello compares the Congressman's appreciation of RATM to Charles Manson's love for The Beatles and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's liking for Bruce Springsteen.

Friday, August 17, 2012

CARBON DIOXIDE - At Its Lowest Level In 20 Years

Natural Gas Fracking Well in Pennsylvania

Harry Wrote - 

Carbon Dioxide is a pretty harmless gas. It is produced by our body in our breath. It is also the product of burning - whether is be wood - coal - natural gas - gasoline - diesel fuel. Scientist called it a Greenhouse Gas. The more carbon dioxide in the air - the more the earth's atmosphere traps sunlight heat in - causing global warming. 

In the past I have been an advocate burning coal as a major fuel in our country. We have more coal than the Arabs have oil. We are able to make coal into a type of gasoline for autos. We can heat our homes and factories with coal cheaply. But coal adds more carbon dioxide into the air than natural gas. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FSU FOOTBALL - Mark Stoops - The Future Can Wait



From Today's Tallahassee Democrat

Stoops wants to be a head coach, but in no rush

“I’m not worried about that whatsoever — the when and where and why. I’m just worried about right now and helping this team win. And that’s the truth.”


MARK STOOPS


By Corey Clark
 

This much was certain after Mark Stoops concluded his 25-min­ute press conference with the local media recently.

The Florida State defensive co­ordinator wants to be a head coach someday, but he’s not going to take just any job.

“I‘m in a great situation,” said Stoops, who is considered a rising star in the profession.“I’m in a situ­ation where it’s one of the top coor­dinator jobs in the country. We have great players. Coach (Jimbo Fisher) has a fantastic structure. It gives me the ability to coach these guys and be successful. I mean,
 what else can you ask for? So it’s a great situation here.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

JOHN ORLANDO - On Romney's Tax Returns


Daytona Beach News-Journal
Thursday, August 9, 2012

Release the returns

Previously John Edwards, a Demo­crat, ran as a candidate to become his party’s nominee for president. He did this in spite of knowing he had fathered an illegitimate child. Had he been elect­ed and then this story was revealed, he would have created turmoil beyond be­lief — a situation that would have caused immeasurable harm to the pre­sidency and, in all likelihood, his resig­nation or impeachment. When I learned of this, along with the rest of the United States, I was incensed with his arro­gance and disregard for the well-being of our country.

IPADS - Selling Like Crazy



 
Steve Jobs introduced the iPad.
At the London Olympics - Apple gave out these little jewely quality iPad and iPhone pins.
When Apple made the first iPads - the critics went wild. They had very few specifics to complain about so they chose to mock the name as if it were a new feminine product. Apple created a completely new niche product - and in a couple short years - Americans can't do without it.

BLOG FORMAT - How Do You Like My New Web Page Format?

If you are a regular reader - you have noticed I have changed my web page layout.



This chart shows where my readers are from the last week.



I use the free web server called blogger.com - a service owned by Google. I have been posting my web page faithfully with them for 7 years. There has never been a charge nor a hint of one coming. If you like - you can post ads on your page and make money that way - but I have resisted. You would get paid my the number of "hits" on your ads. Hits is the name of the game in modern media. One day I got 1800 hits when I wrote a story about Elian Gonzalez - the Cuban custody battle boy.

LONDON - Last Picture Before Coming Home


We took the Tube to Heathrow Airport. Lulu made a feverish attempt to put her remaining pound notes to good use. 

As we were taxing out to the runway - I noticed this strange craft in front of Virgin Atlantic's service building. It did not take too long to realize it was a composite dummy airplane that is used by emergency crews to practice fire fighting and rescue work. The front looks like a Boeing 747 - the back looks like a DC-10 - and the wings look a bit like a Boeing 767. Notice the burn marks on the body from practice fires.

Since the plane looks pretty permanent there - I can imagine getting ready for takeoff and seeing that plane burning away with people jumping out of it. Gotta love those Brits.

Monday, August 13, 2012

LONDON SIGN - Moon Beever


This place was just down the street from our apartment. See Lulu.

LONDON - Transportation During the Olympics

Typical London Red Bus - that is a sweet ride in the top front seat.

Typical London Black Cab - seats 5 in the back.



From London Transport - During the Games - the subway Tube carried over 60 million passengers - an increase of 30 per cent compared to last year - that’s more passengers than at any time in the 149 year history. The local DLR trains carried over 6 million passengers - an increase of over 100 per cent compared to last year and London Overground trains carried almost 6 million passengers - an increase of 47 per cent compared to last year. Again - that’s more passengers than ever before. Traffic on the roads kept flowing and buses coped well.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

CAR OF THE DAY - Routemaster Diesel Hybrid

This is the NB4L - New Bus For London - Routemaster

The bus has 3 doors - front - middle - back. Note the Wenloc statue in foreground. Wenloc is the symbol for the London 2012 Olympics.

Friday, August 10, 2012

GEORGE DAWSON - Sent This Picture of a Scamp from Montana

Scamp Fiberglass Travel Trailer

My friends George and Joel are on the camping trail. They sent this picture of a Scamp trailer to me. Every time I see one I have to tell my story of the one we had. 

In 1977 - when Lulu and I sold our newspaper - we were flush with cash. We bought a trailer like this and a 1977 Chevy Chevette - a very tiny car. We decided to make a tour around the USA in our Chevrolet.

The 1977 Chevy Chevette was red and had a 1600cc engine. It also had automatic transmission and no air conditioner. The Scamp was made of fiberglass. It weighed 900 pounds. We towed it with a 1000 pound rated bumper hitch - just three bolts into the bumper.

ROMNEY TAX RETURNS


Heathrow Airport - 9 Hours Home

Lulu met Mnazakan Iskandaryan. He won a gold medal in 1992 in Greco-Roman Wrestling. Note the Russian teammates behind him. I was surprised when she posed with him - he really liked it.


These frames are stupid - but we are a sucker for them.

We took the Piccadilly Line (blue line) directly from our apartment to Heathrow Airport. It took about one hour and made 15 stops. The train was packed for the first 3 stops - then it thinned out. We were able to get seats and ride sitting down the whole trip with our 6 bags stacked up. We took along a stroller for the kids and we used it to haul our big bags.

At the airport we had an hour to kill - and plenty of left over pounds to spend. Soon we were winging to Atlanta - the ride was smooth most of the way. Seats were full and they served two nice meals. 

Then we had one more flight from Atlanta to Tallahassee - our bags were booked right through. When we got to Tallahassee - the bags were already waiting for us. As we got off the plane - the warm/humid air of Tallahassee hit us - there was no mistaking where we were. Just like snowbirds fly to Florida in the winter - many folks leave Tallahassee for the cooler mountains up north in July and August.

Our friends Joel and George are camping in the Rockies. We have wan other neighbor that spends the whole summer in Miane. Before long we will all be together cheering for the Seminoles.

We are back to laundry - vacuuming - mowing the lawn - raking leaves - and soaking up the AC. Lulu's pool looks good - the pool guy did his job - the grass is cut - JC did his. It will take a few days for jet lag to go away - but we are home.

THE DAWSONS - Are Following Lewis and Clark's Trail West In Montana


George Dawson wrote -

We are now at the beginning of our third week of our trip and are getting into the routine of setting and breaking camp on the road.  Now that we are in the Northern Rockies and finally out of searing heat, we are enjoying being outside considerable more.   In the past couple of days we have not been driving all day long but taking time to raft, hike a bit and really relax.  Here are some short notes from the past two days of my journal which I have attempted sporadically.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Today we are taking on the Bitteroot Mts which we can cross in four hours or so but which took Lewis and Clark five weeks.  We will be driving and walking today and tomorrow on top of the footprints of Lewis and Clark where they experienced some of their toughest days on there great exploratory adventure.  They crossed these mountains in September and October, 1805 and returned headed east in May and June 1806.  There are roadside markers and place names related to that expedition all along our route (US 12).  

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Tuesday August 7th - Last Day in London - Now They Know How Many Holes It Takes To Fill The Albert Hall.

 Across the street in the background is the Royal Albert Concert Hall.


On Sunday - Monday - and Tuesday - all our guests left London for home. Lulu and I were lonely and homesick so we just decided to tour the city by foot - bus - and subway - just the two of us.

We walked to Hyde Park where the Triathlon was going on. They also had giant screens set up so people could watch Olympic events if they did not have tickets. 

Then we went to see the Royal Albert Hall and the Prince Albert Memorial. Queen Victoria pined over Albert for 50 years after he died. 

Next we walked south to the Victoria and Albert Museum - an impressive collection of buildings similar to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington - no admission fee. Portions of the paintings - jewelry - and statuary reminded me of the Louvre in Paris. 

After all that walking - we had a dinner at home on leftovers from our frig. 

We were tempted to make one more try to get Olympic tickets - but watched the events from home instead. 

The next morning we had to leave the apartment at 8 AM - take the blue line subway to the airport - then we had a 9 hour flight to Atlanta. We ended up spending the night in Atlanta - and then flew into Tallahassee at 9 AM this morning.

We have been away from home for 40 days - almost 6 weeks. I will be posting a review with a picture form each day.


This is the Prince Albert Memorial in Hyde Park

 Lulu is dwarfed by the giant statue and hall.


In Hyde Park is the Princess Diana Memorial Pool. It is a granite circle with water flowing through it. Kids can play in it - some strip down to their underwear and wade in the water.

At the Victoria and Albert Museum you can see damage left over from the World War II Battle of Britain. I have my hand in a hole made by a big piece of shrapnel from a bomb. Brits will never repair these holes - they are badges of honor.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

BURLESQUE SHOW - Harry Burlesque Virgin Last Night

In order to become more well-rounded - Harry along with his escort Lulu - saw their first burlesque "art" show.

The Duchess Theatre is within walking distance of our apartment. Yesterday - while walking by - Lulu suggested that we get tickets. At the box office - tickets ranged from 20 pounds in the rafters to 60 pounds in the prime stalls. We were lucky to get the "producer's seats" according to the ticket seller for 40 pounds each. They were third row from the stage - exactly in the middle. 

The 8 PM show filled up quickly. The agent reminded us that there is no plot to follow. It is just comedy - dancing - singing - and "entertaining." To my surprise - I would say 90% of the crowd were women - mainly small groups of ladies out for a night of drinks and fun. It is not the kind of crowd I expected to watch a burlesque show.

The entire cast was 8 women between the ages of 25 and 29. They appeared in many states of dress and undress - imitating singers like Madonna and Lady Gaga. There were plenty of suggestive routines and dialog. The women at all times appeared in some sort of garments - even if they were only pasties and a g-string. There was no total nudity. 

I was surprised at what talented singers and dancers they were. They were all in excellent shape and coniditon - not an ounce of cellulite anywhere - not in any way bovine.

After 2 hours of getting the audience to participate in clapping - singing - dancing - just like that it was over. Lulu was a good sport - she seemed just as interested as I was. After the show - we walked home.

DR KATY TRAN - Celebrates Her FSU Graduation Watching Her Sister Amy Play in the Olympics

Harry - Lulu - Katy Tran - Jarrad Turner - Susan Tran - Phap Tran. The picture was taken in our London backyard today - where we had the big party a few days ago. We were having so much fun celebrating - we forgot to take a picture.

About 3 years ago - our family was introduced to Katy Tran by our old Pennsylvania friend Sally Bair. Sally emailed that her friend had a very special daughter who was coming to Tallahassee to work on a PhD in Sports Psychology. Katy flew to town alone - and it seems like yesterday that she used our guest house as a base to get organized in town. Then when we got the brick house Katy stayed there.

Katy lived in Tallahassee to complete all of her coursework in 2 years. When she left to take a job in North Carolina - we were sad and worried that she would be another ABD (All But Dissertation) that had come and gone from Tallahassee - never to be seem again - no degree.

But Katy got a job that allowed her to do her research while she was working with the sports teams at Campbell University - the Camels. She returned to Tallahassee to defend her dissertation and complete the program in a near record 3 years.

As graduation neared - Katy's sister Amy was selected to the USA Field Hockey Team. Katy chose to see her sister play in London. Through some good luck - we were able to help Amy get an apartment at the FSU London Study Centre. She became our neighbor one more time.

Although the USA Field Hockey is out of the medal round - we were able to have a graduation party for Katy on Florida State soil. Katy's Mom Susan and Dad Phap came to the party along with her fiancee Jarrad Turner - also working at Campbell University in North Carolina.

Jarrad and Katy plan to marry in October.

The Biggest Difference Between Brits and Americans Is We Share A Common Language

It is 10 AM our time - 5 AM back in Florida. Lulu and I are sitting around the breakfast table - enjoying a little afterglow of the 5 weeks we spent in London.

All of a sudden - an unexpected knock comes on the door. Since everyone else has gone back to the States already  - we wondered who it could be. The manager was at the door - reminding us that it was checkout time at 10 AM. Lulu and I expected to leave tomorrow morning early.  We asked the manager to go back to the office to check the books - meanwhile Lulu and I got on the computer feverishly looking for a place to spend our last night. I wanted to go west of town - and stay somewhere we never visited - Lulu said let's just stay at the airport.

In a few minutes - the manager came back apologizing for his mistake. We were booked until tomorrow at 10AM. He did say - "a man was coming in - would 11 be okay?"

I thought - wow - we are taking on a roomer. I thought maybe it was a custom over here. I quickly figured we could live with that - I could negotiate a lower price - since they were opening up the deal. It turns out the guy was only coming in to lay down an alarm cable - not stay with us. We all had a good laugh.

Sometimes - even English to English - things get lost in the translation.

We will be leaving here at 8 AM tomorrow - taking the blue line subway west from Russell Square Station to Heathrow Airport - then flying to Tallahassee via Atlanta. We will spend Wednesday night in our own bed on Seminole Drive.

LONDON OLYMPICS - Big Jack and Kobe Bryant

Jack Robinson and Kobe Bryant

1948 Olympic gold medalist Jack Robinson shows Kobe Bryant the Olympic gold medal that he earned in London 64 years ago. Robinson visited with the entire 2012 USA Team Thursday. He spoke to the team about the differences between this Olympics and the 1948 games. The team then went out to beat Nigeria by scoring 160 points and winning by 80 points - both Olympic records.