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Friday, January 30, 2009

FSU Beats Duke in Overtime - Takes Over First in the ACC

By Corey Clark
From Tallahassee Democrat

It was more than a battle of the top two teams in the ACC.

On Thursday night, at the Civic Center, it was a battle of two of the top teams in the country.

The Florida State women, ranked No. 18 in the nation, overcame a six-point deficit in the final 40 seconds of regulation to force overtime and then dominated the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils in the extra period on their way to a 82-75 win.

"Duke is a very good team," said FSU senior Tanae Davis-Cain. "But I know this year's team — we believe now. We believe that we are good."

With good reason.

It was the ninth win in a row for the Seminoles, who improve to 18-4 overall and 6-0 in the conference — taking over sole possession of first place in the ACC. It was their fourth straight win over a ranked team and their second straight over a No. 3 team (FSU beat Texas A&M earlier in the month).

"I don't think any of us came into this game with any fear," senior Mara Freshour said. ". . . We're not playing the name on the chest anymore; we're just going out to win. And I think that our confidence right now is really allowing us to do that."

Duke, which had beaten FSU in 27 of the previous 29 games, led by as many as 12 in the first half, by 10 with 12:41 left and by six with 45 seconds remaining after the Blue Devils' Abby Waner hit two free throws.

But 11 seconds later, FSU freshman Cierra Bravard made a layup and got fouled and hit the free throw to cut the Seminoles' deficit to three with 34 seconds left.

Duke's Karima Christmas then missed the front end of a one-and-one and FSU senior Mara Freshour drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to tie the game with 23 seconds left.

"Our coaches expect Tanae and I to be taking those shots," Freshour said. "If me or Tanae aren't taking those shots, we're going to get chewed out for it."

There was no chewing-out Thursday night. Just pure elation from the 3,157 on hand when the game-tying 3 went through the net.

In overtime, Freshour hit another clutch 3 to put the Seminoles up by four and then two more free throws to ice the game with 23 seconds left.

Freshour finished with a season-high 21 points. Davis-Cain finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, Jacinta Monroe had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks and sophomore Courtney Ward added 11 points and a game-high 10 assists against the Blue Devils, who had won 15 straight before Thursday night.

"You have to credit Florida State," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "They played a fabulous game. They outplayed us in many ways, particularly in the backcourt."

Said FSU coach Sue Semrau: "This was another team effort. You continue to see different people step up at different times."

Duke was led by 16 points from Jasmine Thomas. Waner and Chante Black had 14 points each for the Blue Devils.

But thanks to a stunning comeback in the final 40 seconds in regulation, it wasn't enough to knock out the still-undefeated-in-the-conference Seminoles, who have won their first six ACC games for the first time in school history.

"We're not worried about anything else other than beating the opponent we're playing," Monroe said. "We're just playing hard and going after it and getting wins."

And they've got nine in a row. And counting.

The Seminoles will try to make it 10 straight when they host the No. 8 Maryland Terrapins on Monday night.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Golden Thursday Follows Black Wednesday

We just got home from a girls basketball game. Florida State and Duke were tied for the lead in the ACC - both with perfect 5-0 league records.

Duke went ahead by as many as 13 and it looked like a second dismal night in a row at the Tallahassee Civic Center.

With about 7 minutes to go the Lady Seminoles started to whittle the Duke league down. At the end of regulation it was tie.

In overtime it was all FSU. The final score was 82-75.

Last night we all left the arena with our tails between our legs. Tonight - it was never a doubt. FSU is in first place in the ACC - even if it is just girls basketball - we will take it. Any time you beat Duke - it is a good one. Only kidding.

Happy Birthday Drew :-)

Black Wednesday for Everhart Family

The Georgetown Hoyas lost at Cincinnati - Duke lost at the Buzzer at Wake Forest.

But the absolute worst one - the one we witnessed - FSU was losing by 13 points to North Carolina with 10 minutes to go. They worked their way back to a lead at the end - then a tie. Finally - Carolina got the ball with 3 seconds left and 94 feet to go. As the buzzer sounded - a Tar Heel player threw up a long three point shot. Poof - the happiness was over. Carolina won in Tallahassee.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We Spent Monday in Black Hawk and Central City - Two Old Gold Mining Towns


About 40 miles west of Denver is Black Hawk and Central City. At one time they were two of the most productive gold mining towns in the world. After the gold petered out - the towns almost became ghost towns. Then around 1990 - Colorado allowed the towns to become gambling meccas.

The towns sit at about 8500 feet above sea level so it is quite a climb up from Denver. All the way it was snowing and the highway conditions weren't great. Fortunately - we were in a casino bus - and could enjoy the scenery both ways.

If we were expecting big Vegas style casinos - we would have been disappointed. Most of the casinos were very small - not much bigger than our living room. A few large Vegas style casinos are there - but they are not the norm. When we went into some casinos - we were the only customers. There were mostly slot machines - but quite a few poker tables - blackjack tables - even some Texas Hold Em table. The slot machines were pretty old - you still inserted coins and they paid off in coins.

There was a small shuttle bus that went up and down the valley for tourists to go from town to town and casino to casino. Walking outside was difficult with the wind - cold - and blowing snow. In many places - they had heaters on the sidewalks - so this weather must have been normal.

There were a few museums and lots of old empty buildings.

We are at the Denver Airport now - and just got called - we are upgraded to First Class for the trip home. They must have heard that the Trailing Spouse was on the plane.

Note - we got home safely in Tallahassee at 11 PM.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday in the Denver Area - 12 Inch Snow Blizzard and 12 degrees - How Will We Ever Get Into the Mountains or Home

When we arrived in Denver last Tuesday - the temperature was 71. We had three straight days of 70s - setting a record high for the city for the date.

Lulu has been busy all week attending meetings - workshops - and conferences at the ALA/ALISE Convention. The convention is over now and we have Monday left to do a little touring. We are going into the mountains today. Unfortunately - we are having a blizzard. We have decided not to rent a car for the drive up the front range.

Instead - there are two old mining towns at about 8000 feet above sea level that are also casino destinations. They offer casino buses every hour that make the 40 mile trek to the small mining towns of Black Hawk and Central City.

Instead of fighting the cold - wind - snow - ice - in a rental car - we will cruise in the safety of a casino bus. Hopefully when we get there - we will be able to get around to the different attractions - not just sit around gambling.

Temperatures back at home in Tallahassee today and tomorrow are forecast to be 70 and 76. We leave Denver Tuesday at 3PM - hope to be home at 11 PM. Unless hopefully - we get bumped.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One of My Favorite Things About Denver - Hybrid Buses

We have been in Denver now for 6 days - where did it all go? I have seen a lot of neat things - but by far my favorite are the hybrid buses.

Denver has made 16th Street into a walking mall. The only allowed to drive on the mall are the hybrid buses.

"Buses powered by GM's advanced hybrid propulsion technology deliver significantly better fuel economy than traditional buses and produce up to 60 percent fewer oxides of nitrogen emissions and 90 percent fewer particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. Other benefits of the buses include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life; providing 50 percent faster acceleration compared with conventional diesel buses, and operational sound levels approaching that of passenger cars."

In common language - the buses are quiet - clean - and uses less fuel. They are easier to take care of. The diesel engine runs at an idle at roughly 1000 RPM's. You hear none of the rough acceleration or engine brake noise. There are no big puffs of black smoke - as a matter of fact - I did not see nor smell any smoke at all.

The diesel engine is hooked up to a generator that makes electricity which is stored in a battery. The battery is hooked up to electric motors inside the wheels.

The buses go up and down 16th Street all day - one bus comes roughly every 2 minutes. The buses stop at every street corner.

Sidewalk restaurant tables line the street. When the buses go by quietly less than 8 feet from your head while you dine - there is not a bit of odor to ruin your lunch.

Finally - the best thing - you ride the buses for free.

Draw A Picture of What Money Does For A Living

Dear Mrs. Jones,
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.
Mrs. Smith

Saturday, January 24, 2009

No One Ever Called Her Molly Brown - I Toured Her Denver Home Today

Margaret Brown lived most of her life in Denver. She was born in Missouri but moved to Leadville to find a rich husband. She met Jim Brown and married him right before he struck it rich in the gold mines. They moved to Denver - bought a big house - and Margaret set out to spend her husband's money.

In a classic case of a miner not wanting to leave the mountains - Jim returned to Leadville and the mines. They separated but never divorced. Margaret traveled all over Europe enjoying the high life and buying art for her homes - one in Denver and one in New York City.

She became famous for surviving the sinking of the Titanic on her way home from Europe in 1912. Legends of her leadership on a life boat inspired the making of a Broadway show and movie about, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." No one ever called her Molly and certainly not Unsinkable. That was part of the legend hatched by Hollywood.

She was a strong supporter of a woman's right to vote. She even ran for the US Senate three times - never winning. She also was an advocate of union formation for the miner's. She kept company with the famous Mother Jones - another legendary union organizer.

Denver has preserved her home - a large Victorian mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. Today I took the tour - unfortunately - they would not allow me take pictures inside. The house is made of blocks of rhyolite - a very hard lava rock.

Margaret Brown looked a lot like my Mom except she had more expensive clothes. She was 5' 8" tall. She also enjoyed driving her electric Fritchle automobile all over town.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Denver was Home of the Fritchle - One of the Best Electric Cars - Way Ahead of Its Time

While touring through the Denver State Museum yesterday - I stumbled onto a most interesting car. You all know how I enjoy electric vehicles - they are so quiet - clean - and efficient. The Fritchle was way ahead of its time boasting a 100 mile range in 1905.

In the early 1900's - the electric car was very popular with women mainly because you never had to get out to crank start it. Oliver Fritchle who was from Ohio - moved to Denver and made an electric car with incredible range. Not only did he build the cars - he also built the batteries.

The Fritchle had a battery weighing around 500 pounds and a small 8 horsepower electric motor. The car was controlled by switching the motor on and off as needed. Its elegance was its simplicity. It was steered by a tiller - but one feature way ahead of its time was the braking system. When you applied the brakes - the wheels served as a generator to charge the battery adding even more range.

To market the car - Frichle drove it from Nebraska to New York City. He averaged 90 miles per day on roads that in most cases proved to be unpaved horse paths. This is remarkable enough but that he did it in November when cold weather saps the battery's power - the trip seems almost miraculous today.

Fritchle built the cars and batteries in Denver and sold about 1800 cars during the 10 years he produced them. Several things lead to the car's demise. First - his car cost $2000 so when Ford produced the Model T for $700 - people chose cheap over efficient. Second - the country did not develop a network where batteries could be charged. One had to use the car only within 50 miles of home so they could return for a re-charge. Finally - when the electric starter was invented for the gasoline engine - cars no longer required the dangerous task of crank starting.

There are only a few working Fritchle's existing today. Jay Leno - the TV entertainer owns one and drives it regularly. His wife says that it is her favorite car because she can sneak up on wildlife because the car is so quiet. The car in the Colorado National Museum is working fine 100 years later. The owner loaned it to the museum and drove it there personally from his home.

In 1923 - Fitchle built the first hybrid car - it had a small gasoline engine to recharge the batteries if one got stranded away from home. He also marketed and sold 80 windmill generating systems to make electricity for this car and also for people that lived far from the power grid.

I presently own an electric scooter/bicycle that goes 20 mph and gets 40 miles on a charge. It may have a fancy controller and the engine is constructed right in the wheel hub - but it does not come close to matching Fritchle's range and comfort.

I was a science teacher for 33 years and one of my pet subjects was electric vehicles. PPL - the local power company in Pennsylvania had a prototype electric car that they would bring to my school to take the kids for rides. In 1974 - a company called Citicar marketed a glorified golf cart that went 25 miles at 25 mph. They sold a couple thousand - but could never compete with the power - speed - and range of gasoline powered car.

Fritchle was ahead of his time. If our colleges and government would work on finding a better battery - we could all be driving an electric car that is as quiet - dependable - and non-smelly as Fritchle's was in 1905.

As I type this story at my hotel - I can see the quiet hybrid city buses going up and down the main street - 16th Street Mall - in downtown Denver. Fritchle would have been proud.


Click on the headline to see the original story about Fritichle's trip to New York City.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New White House May Use Macs

One member of the White House new-media team came to work on Tuesday, right after the swearing-in ceremony, only to discover that it was impossible to know which programs could be updated, or even which computers could be used for which purposes. The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing. The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos.

Denver Has Record Setting Heat Wave to Welcome The Trailing Spouse

PICTURES - Union Train Station of my youth visit in 1962 - Capitol is iron dome covered with copper then gold - up in the dome with a group of school kids - the Colorado House Chamber in Capitol - - City Hall and Rockies from the Dome.

Lucky me - I am in Denver for a week to attend three library conventions. I know - it sounds so exciting. The ALA - AASL - ALISE are having their conventions back to back to save money on travel for the participants. One does not expect to have the greatest weather in Denver in January - but mother nature has rolled out the red carpet here. Yesterday - broke a 59-year record for high temperature. It was 72 degrees and bright sunny. Along with Tuesdays 71 - today is supposed to go over 70 too. After three straight days of 70s - it is supposed to drop down into the 40s and 30s for the rest of the week - but we are very happy so far.

Let me try to get this straight - ALA is the American Library Association - AASL is the American Association of School Librarians - and ALISE is the Association of Library and Information Science Educators. Lulu is active in all three groups and someone has nominated her to be president of AASL. She will be doing a little campaigning here this week - the election is April. As a school teacher I found conventions to be boring - but Lulu looks forward to these winter and summer meetings to see her friends and just "talk library." I get to do what I always do - carry her bags - and fetch breakfast. After that - my time is my own.

Denver is a pretty place. It is at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains - but most of the city is on the High Plains. It is very flat and a great place for all the bikes and motor scooters I see zooming around town. All over town they tout being one of the sunniest cities in the world with over 300 days of sunshine. Since we have been here it has been 3 out of 3. Also - it is a dry area - with relative humidity in the teens.

Downtown is modern with lots of neat places to eat - drink and shop. They have the neatest system on hybrid buses. They are quiet and non-smelly - and the best part is they are free. One comes every 90 seconds - you just hop on and go.

In the center of town is the Colorado State Capitol - a beautiful granite building with a big golden dome. Inside - it is the most ornate capitol I have seen so far. There is lots of local granite and some of the prettiest pink marble. The brass ornamentation is pretty - almost overdone. I was surprised at how open everything was. After going through the metal detector at the door - you could roam free. As a matter of fact - this is the only place where I ever walked right up into dome. At the top - all the doors and windows were open for some breathtaking views. Yesterday - I could easily see the airport - 30 miles away. The view of the snow-covered front range of the Rockies is beautiful - like a giant wall of snow and granite.

Lulu is very busy with meetings - but we plan to get up into the Rockies the last couple of days. Pikes Peak - world famous for its road all the way to the 14,000 foot summit - can be seen from town. Unfortunately - the cog railroad only runs on weekends in the winter - so Lulu will miss out on that. We plan to visit some small towns up in the mountains on Monday.

Elevation - yes Denver is called the Mile High City. There is a marker on the capitol steps showing 5280 feet above sea level. Most of the snowy areas are west of here where the towns are above 9000 feet. It is much colder up there and the snow sticks around all winter.

There is a town called Blackhawk at 8500 feet that is full of old fashioned buildings and casinos. Leave it to Lulu to find a virtually free bus ride to that town. We will be traveling with the daily slot machine pullers - it must run in the family.

In 1962 - a 14 year old boy scout traveled all the way from Tamaqua to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. His train stopped in Denver where he toured a young more wild west type of town. The Union Station brought flashbacks of that wonderful trip. Other highlights of that trip included a night's stay at the YMCA in Colorado Springs and a bus ride to the top of Pikes Peak.

More pictures will follow - I have to get outside and enjoy some of this 70 degree weather. Who knows - by Friday we may be under two feet of snow. Oh well - in this dry almost desert air - it melts quickly.

Just 5 days ago - I was on the Gulf Coast of Florida watching the whooping cranes arrive in sub-freezing weather. Today - I am walking around Denver in shorts sleeves and balmy room temperature air. Al Gore was right.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eagles Out to Protect Pennsylvania's Honor - The Pottsville Maroons

In 1925 - the Pottsville Maroons defeated the Cardinasl at Comiskey Park in Chicago - claiming the NFL Championship. A week later the Maroons played an exhibition game with the college national champion Notre Dame team - beating them 9 -7 in Philadelphia. The NFL took away the Maroon's title and attempted to give it to the then Chicago Cardinals - but the Cards refused out of honor. A few years later - the Bidwell family bought the Cardinals and decided to claim the title they did not earn. Since then - the Cardinals have never won a title. We call it the curse.

Today at 3 PM - the Philadelphia Eagles play the Cardinals in Phoenix for the NFC Championship. The winners go to the Super Bowl in Tampa. To keep the curse on the Cardinals - the Eagles must win the NFC today. So this game is even more important than the coming Super Bowl.

The Pottsville Maroons were only in the NFL for 3 years. The team was made up of working class coal miners that during the week built their muscles by hauling coal cars out of the mines by hand. They were a rough and tumble bunch that represented an area and era which was "different" even in their own time. For one game that season - the "entire town" chartered a train to Atlantic City for a game. They all attended church - then paraded to the train station. When arriving in Atlantic - they marched almost lock step down the main street to the stadium - and won.

For 55 years - I lived in Schuylkill County - about 15 miles from the place where the Maroons played their home games. The field is the parking lot of a shopping mall now. But as President Obama said of those middle Pennsylvania folks- they cling to their guns and religion - but they also cling to their coal cracker and football heritage.

When the mines closed down - many Pennsylvanian spread all over America looking for work. But for 4 hours today - our hearts and minds will be with the Eagles hoping they keep the curse on the Cardinals.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Whooping Cranes Arrive For Winter

St. Marks Wildlife Refuge is 7 birds richer. A crowd of 2000 well wishers welcomed the birds. They flew over at I am guessing - 2000 feet. I did not get many good pictures - they came directly at us out of the sun.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Trailing Spouse Was Trailing Cranes This Morning

This morning I got up to see the whooping cranes. Since I live on the South Side - I figured it would be fun to get up at 5:30 and drive down to St. Marks to see the whopping cranes fly in from Wisconsin. As I drove down the Woodville Highway - I wondered how many of my fellow Tallahassans would brave the coldest morning of the year to see these giant birds arrive at their new winter home. They are real "snow birds" flying south for the winter - picking our community to stay a while.

After teaching earth science for all those years up north - it was time to check out one of my lesson plans in real life. The whooping crane is the "national bird" of the environment movement. I remember back in grade school that they were on the edge of extinction. The insecticide DDT caused the crane's egg shells to be too soft. An entire generation of environmentalists took on big industry to try to prevent extinction of the whooping crane.

Fast forward 50 years. DDT was banned and the whooping crane population was turning around and getting larger. Several whooping cranes were "summering" in Wisconsin. Now a group of environmentalists was trying to re-establish their migration pattern of "wintering" in Florida.

The neatest part is that the scientists that were working on this project would care for the cranes by dressing up in bird costumes. Even neater than that - they were being led south by an ultralight airplane "disguised" as a mother crane. It was this unusual pairing that had attracted me to St. Mark's this morning.

After a nice slow ride down Woodville Highway my car approached the Riverside Restaurant - close by to where people were told to assemble to see this strange fly over. Cars were making a slow U turn and heading back north. People were leaning out of car windows to say that the "flyby" was postponed.

For one quick second I thought of the news last night on TV - you know where a flock of birds was sucked into the engines of a jet - causing it to do a "water landing" in the Hudson River next to New York City. Surely - these two events weren't related in any way. But for one second it crossed my mind.

Probably tomorrow being a Saturday - the crowd in St. Marks will be bigger - and the traffic will be greater. I wonder how much pollution will be put into the air by us "environmentalists" on the way to watch a flocks of whooping cranes being led south to Florida for the winter by an ultralight airplane disguised as a mother snow bird. Two national news stories about birds and ariplanes in 24 hours. Only in America and only in the Big Bend of Florida - and I am happy that I retired from the science classroom to live here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Madoff-LITE Spends Night in Tallahasee

This story written by Bob Gabordi - Editor of the Tallahasee Democrat -

Allow me a second to speak for my kind: men.

Marcus Schrenker, dude, what were you thinking?

Take a look at picture No. 2 in our photo gallery. Marcus is depicted looking rather handsome, standing in front of a car I can’t afford and a private plane I can’t afford with his arm around his wife Michelle that I … well, I better stop there.

Other photos in the gallery show his home I cannot afford on a reservoir.In short: Wealthy and successful; lots of toys; fine home; even finer wife. Everything a man could want.

Sadly, incredibly, other photos show the results of all of that being not enough for the man. A crashed plane and what authorities believe might be evidence of his plot to fake his death.

Schrenker is at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital this morning, still recovering from what seem to be self-inflicted wounds. When he recovers, Marcus is being taken to federal court. He would be held at Gadsden County jail, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t have anything nearly as comfortable to sleep on as his home in Indiana.

It might be a while before he goes there again.

Schrenker, who was flying alone Sunday, is accused by authorities of jumping out of his six-seat Piper after setting it on autopilot and allow it to head toward heavily populated areas along the Florida-Alabama coast. It crashed in a swamp within some 75 yards of some homes in East Milton, according to the sheriff’s office. He apparently used a parachute, though later might have suffered self-inflicted wounds.

Schrenker landed in Alabama, where he retrieved a red Yamaha motorcycle with full saddlebags in a storage unit rented the day before his flight. He drove to the KOA campground in Chattahoochee, where the owners helped identify him for federal authorities.

The photo gallery shows a lot of this and our stories better explain the details.But Marcus Schrenker has a whole lot of people wanting even better explanations.Let’s start with the good people of Indiana, where he is accused defrauding investors of hundreds of thousands of dollars while president of Heritage Wealth Management.

As with his faked death, the rest of his life story gets complicated. A story on says that Schrenker had convinced a lot of Delta Air Lines pilots to allow him to manage their pension plans. He offered to represent the pilots in their fight against Delta when the airline tried to eliminate their pensions during its bankruptcy proceedings, but never sh

He never showed up to a 2006 hearing. Just dropped out. The pilots were left to fend for themselves and ended up with a smaller than hoped for settlement.

Schrenker, who has a history of keeping a shady past hidden from investors, no doubt now faces as much media spotlight and sunshine as a man can handle.Some reports say the lovelyl Michelle was in the process of a divorce, too.

Oh, well. Take a good hard look at photo No. 2: It was a beautiful life while it lasted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honda to Sell New Hybrid in April

Honda Motor Company will introduce a new hybrid car - the Insight - in April. They plan to sell 100,000 of them in the first year. It looks alot like a Toyota Prius - seats 5 - and will sell for $19,000 - about $5000 less than Prius

Honda introduced a small two seater hybrid - also called Insight - about 10 years ago. Sales were poor because it only seated two people and had no room for luggage.

Click on the headline to read a review of the Honda Insight comparing it to the Toyota Prius

Trailing Spouse Accused of Paling Around With Terrorists

On Monday night - The Trailing Spouse was seen in the presence of an accused terrorist. Doctor Bill Ayers was speaking to a full house at the Florida State University Student Center. The Institute of Liberal Studies paid $5000 to have Doctor Ayers speak about the American Educational System.

Ayers has written 16 books and over 150 articles on the subject of the American educational system - particularly elementary education in the inner city schools of Detroit and Chicago. The professor from the University if Illinois - Chicago has been named Citizen of the Year for his good works in the field of educating kids in our cities. But the FSU students were more interested in Ayer's history of being the founder of the Weather Underground - an organization that took credit for bombing government buildings in the 1960's in an attempt to end the Vietnam War. Although Ayers was never convicted of the crimes - many hold him personally responsible for those bombings. Although Ayers has been quoted many times as saying he did not do enough to end that war - he still tap dances around his part in the bombings.

Although one person interrupted Ayer talk and was escorted form the room - the full house was very professional and cordial to him. Many students in their rebellious phase - enjoyed "Paling Around with the Terrorists."

Personally - I never experience nor participated in that segment of the 60s - I was too busy going through my second decade of the 50's. I was too busy enjoying my draft lottery number of 347 out of 365 - knowing I would never be drafted. Meanwhile a few of my friends came home from Vietnam in a body bag. Although these men died working for our country in a meaningless cause - I am ashamed that I did not do more to stop it than just feel sorry for my friends and classmates when they were drafted.

In the following video - Ayer tries to explain his subversive history -

One of the really neat things about living in a college town is all of the neat things that happen on campus. Most of them are free. Not only is it fun to attend the events to see the likes of Jane Goodall - Walter Cronkite - Steven King. It is fun seeing our next generation of bright young citizens and their interesting perspectives.

I am glad that FSU invited Doctor Bill Ayers - and I am happy with the reaction of Tallahassee and FSU to his appearance.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Seminole Myron Rolle Chooses Oxford

All-American Myron Rolle chose to attend Oxford on his Rhodes Scholarship and study medical anthropology. He completed his bachelor's degree in pre-med in 2.5 years at FSU. He is hoping to earn a master's degree at Oxford in one year.

Rolle plans to enter the NFL draft in 2010 and eventually setup a clinic in the Bahamas.

Rolle had skipped half of his senior year in high school to enroll early at FSU.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Second row to see bill ayers at 7:30

"the whole world's watching!"

Bill Ayers
Weather underground founder

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Planned to See Inauguration With Keith - But Trailing Spouse Called to Duty in Denver

January 20th will be a big day for our country. All of last year - I told Keith that if Obama won the election - I planned to come to Washington and stay at my his apartment and attend the ceremonies with him. On January 4th - Keith moved into his new apartment on U Street. We dropped by to see it on our December trip home. U Street is an up and coming neighborhood in DC - not too far from the White House and/or his old apartment in Adams Morgan.

Even before the election - Lulu was planning a trip to Denver. The American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians are holding their mid-winter conventions there. We accidentally booked our airline tickets for Jan 20th - not thinking about the election. Since I am flying on a companion fare ticket (translate as cheap) - I can't change my travel plans without losing the ticket.

As Barack is being sworn in - I will by crossing America at 30,000 feet. We will spend a week in Denver in the winter. Lulu will be attending all of the convention events - I will be touring around the area - Pike's Peak - Colorado Springs - Rocky Mountains - and just enjoying the city.

Keith - on the other hand - is a true inside the beltway guy. The locals are complaining about how the ceremonies will interrupt their lives - just like people in Orlando complain about the success of Disney. If they have to sit in traffic one extra minute - they complain about the tourists invading "their" city. Many of the locals have rented out their homes and plan to leave the city to get an extended holiday and make some extra cash.

My job is to convince Keith to get out into the city and see as many things as he can. I am hoping he will take his camera and shoot tons of pictures to get the feel of this historic event.

In 1973 - back in my Republican days - Lulu and I drove our little two cylinder Honda to Nixon's swearing in. Just a little over a year later - he would resign in disgrace - and the party of balanced budgets and "less is more" died on the vine. We slept in the car - and warmed ourselves in the office of our representative Gus Yatron - a former school teacher and fellow Kutztown State Teachers College graduate. I'll never forget how warmly he greeted us - and how remarkably close we stood near the podium when Nixon was sworn in. It felt almost like a coronation to see Nixon standing there at the top of the steps with that "regal" grin on his face. Just 18 months later - he was flying across the country at 30,000 feet when Gerald Ford was sworn in to replace him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Florida State Seminoles Lose to Duke by 8

Lulu and I love going to FSU basketball games - both boys and girls. We live about a mile from the arena and usually go to the game on our Vespa scooter. We are able to park for free and also beat the traffic home.

Usually the arena only fills two times a year for boys basketball games - Duke and Carolina. It holds 15,000 but usually 6000 is a good crowd. Such is life at a football school.

This year FSU has a very good team filled with a lot of young talent. Half of the players are freshman and many games they start 3 rookies. Their record is 13-3 after the 8 point loss to Duke.

We arrived at the Tucker Center at about 1:15 for the 2 PM game. Lulu and I split up - trying to find the perfect pair of tickets at the right price. Many times - Lulu is lucky enough to get free surplus tickets from the season ticket holders. Usually we pay $5 to $10 - no more - on the street. For the Duke game - we even considered $40 a ticket if they were close enough to the court. Face value is $20 - but in Florida one is allowed to sell sports and concert tickets at whatever price the market will bear.

Today - I scored an excellent pair of tickets for $20 each - just 8 rows right behind Duke's Coach K. I could almost paint his bald spot.

The summary of the game is simple. Duke won the first half in the low scoring game - 19 to 14 -but when they came out for the second half thanks to the aid of some "Duke refs" Duke went ahead by 21 points. FSU stormed back in the last 7 minutes - but could not catch up. Duke won by 8.

Someone has already given us tickets for the Carolina game - so there will not be many ticket scalping challenges left this year - unless the Seminoles tear up the ACC. Everybody loves a winner.

FSU's football team is stocked for next year. If this basketball team holds together - they have a promising future "next year" too.

We like rooting for Duke because two of our family went to school there. But when you are cheering against the Dukies - you can really see how the refs favor Duke.

Friday, January 09, 2009

George and Joel Dawson on the Way to the Keys

Our neighbors - George and Joel Dawson are on the way to the Florida Keys. It is about 650 miles each way. George's brothers - Bruce and Joe - have homes along the Gulf Coast - so they have two nice places to stay along the way. Joel's sister from Australia is also visiting and went along on the trip.

Here is a picture of Bruce's boat and pool. By the way - this is Bruce's winter home - he has another one on the Ohio River and another boat there.

George took this picture with his iphone.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nothing Better Than Shopping in Downtown Allentown on a Cold Icy Day in January

The funeral was over at about 1 PM. After enjoying a lunch of talking with old friends and family at the fire house social hall - Lulu and I had 4 hours to kill before catching our plane at ABE Airport. They changed the airport's name to LVI - Lehigh Valley International - we were not fooled. The old terminal where John Kennedy and Richard Nixon flew to town on the campaigning trail in 1960 is still there.

Funny grayhead tangent - when John Kennedy's car pool came through Tamaqua in 1960 - many students extended their lunch hour to get a chance to see history. When they tried to get back into the school - the principal stood in the doorway in his best George Wallace and Lester Mattox imitation - marking the mostly Catholic kids illegally absent and sending them home for getting a glimpse of their hero. Such was life in a waspy Republican-dominated coal town.

A trip to Allentown would not be complete without shopping on busy Hamilton Street. Nancy wanted to pick a few things up at Hess's - a shopping landmark of her youth. Picture 3 shows Nancy with some of her past shopping treasures. How about a piece of that "mile high strawberry pie" served in the Hess's patio with the dress in Picture 2. Just down the street was Trout Hall shown in Picture 1. All those years of shopping with Cousin Ruthann - little did they know that the oldest house in town was nearby - where the William Allen Family lived. Just 2 blocks form Hess's was the place where they hid the Liberty Bell when Philadelphia was occupied by the Brits in 1777 in the Revolutionary War.

You can see in Picture 4 what we were up against. The temperature hovered around 32 degrees - the cars and grass were candy coated with ice from the night before - but we experienced mostly rain.

We left ABE at 5 PM - and after a few delays in Atlanta - were safely at our home in Tallahassee by 11PM. The 36 hour trip did not give us much time to visit other friends. It would have been nice to visit for a happier occasion. But life goes on for the rest of us. It makes one realize that our years of life are finite - and the best way to celebrate Aunt Ethel's life is to enjoy every person we meet and every second we have.

The New Scranton Door Opener

Scranton man opens neighbor's door with chain saw

An eastern Pennsylvania man may face up to 37 years in prison for tearing open a neighbor's door with a chain saw. Police say 34-year-old Robert Kane began sawing through the front door of Jamie Zaleski's apartment in Scranton while Zaleski and several friends ran out the back.

Kane was angry because a friend of Zaleski's parked in front of his house across the street. Police said when Zaleski asked who was at the door, Kane said it was his worst nightmare, told him, "Open the door or I'll cut it down," and started sawing.

A jury convicted Kane on Tuesday of charges including attempted burglary, attempted criminal trespass and terroristic threats.

He was held in lieu of $20,000 bail. A sentencing date wasn't immediately set.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Reliving Crashing the Royal Court Motel Pool in Honor of Aunt Ethel

Allentown is having an ice storm - Lulu refused to let the weather defeat her spirit.

Ruthann is Aunt Ethel's daughter. Every summer Nancy and Ruthann would spend a week in Wildwood NJ with Aunt Ethel and the rest of the family. The Royal Court Motel next door had a pool - but the kids were not allowed to go there. One day - 40 years ago - Nancy and Ruthann - crashed the pool in front of the whole family. Everyone was lined up on the balcony as the two brave souls showed their ever present defiant streak.

Last night at midnight - they defied the management at the Sheraton Allentown Airport - and swam in the 90 degree water when the pool was closed.

Aunt Ethel's viewing was last night. Today the funeral is at 10:30. Aunt Ethel would have been proud.