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Monday, August 31, 2015

Our Pine Crest Cottage at Knoebels Grove Amusement Park in Elysburg PA

We are sitting in the Philly Airport waiting for our plane home to Tallahassee. We had a wonderful week in the park with family and friends. 18 family members showed up - along with 12 friends. 4 of my former students surprised us with a visit. Lulu and I spent 7 nights there. Our family spent the 3 night weekend.

Several people have asked for pictures of the cottage - here is a video with pictures to follow.

The park sits in a heavily wood glen about 15 miles from Bloomsburg PA. There are several cottages and camp sites scattered around the park. Admission - parking - museums - and entertainment are free. One pays to enjoy the rides. There is a wonderful selection of reasonably priced food - including the famous sit-down restaurant - The Alamo. Rides cost from $1 to $3.

The extended family enjoyed a swim in the giant cold pool which included several slides.

A highlight of the trip was enjoying a train ride with cousin Carl - he is an engineer at the park.

Temperatures in the day rose to the low 80s - in the evenings it dropped into the 50s. We had no rain at all. We were able to sleep at night with the windows open.

We had a camp fire that we used almost every night. We also grilled a lunch for 14 on Saturday.

Knoebels Grove is a diamond in the rough in the Anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania. It has been selected by several magazines as one of the top family amusement parks in the country. It has topped the list as the number one bargain in America.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Today I drove this 63 year old tractor

Wayne bought it new in 1952. It has never left his 34 acres farm. It is here in Pennsylvania Deutsch country.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

We Spend Sunday Afternoon On The Bair Farm

Sally Bair in the Gardens in Hegins
When did Harry Meet Sally? Back in 1992 - when very few people had email addresses I met Sally Bair. Sally was a media specialist that lived in Hegins PA. Hegins is only 30 or so miles from my home in Tamaqua PA. I want to tell you about the first time I have ever been in Hegins. It was yesterday.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tamaqua PA - After 3 Stops "Pub Crawl" Turned Into "Cub Prawl"

Lulu - Linda - and Lori - enjoyed and evening at a few of Tamaqua's finest places. Here they are in the completely restored Tamaqua Train Station's Vonz Restaurant.

Old Davis Funeral Home

When I was a kid growing up in Tamaqua in the 1950's - the Davis Funeral Home was the place to go when you died. In those days - Tamaqua had hardly any people of color - so most of the "heritage riots" were between Catholics and Protestants. If you were Welsh or English - it was said you could not get to heaven without a stopover with Tommy Davis. It was the happening place in town  - old money to be sure - they even sponsored a Biddy League baseball team - The Davis Morticians. I was not sure what a mortician was - but we were thankful they bought us all shirts and hats. 

In the 1970's - when Tommy Davis retired and moved to Arizona - son Dick and his wife Jan took the helm of the business. They lived upstairs and kept the property in outstanding shape. Later - they sold the business and moved to Arizona where they maintain their home today. 

This morning Lulu and I were walking around down - visiting folks in the Hi-Rise. We took a few pictures of the complex. 

Lulu's Homestead - 45 Years Later - Tamaqua PA

Lulu - age 15
Dr Lulu - age 61
We are staying at Lulu's childhood home for a couple days - heck we are even sleeping in her old bedroom. She was 16 years old when she voluntarily left this peaceful placid country estate for a larger horizon. She has now been an Everhart almost 3 times as long as she was a Cox.

Tomorrow - we will be checking in at the Pine Crest Cottage in Knoebel's Grove Amusement Park in Elysburg PA. We are looking forward to many friends and family members coming to visit us. The place sleeps 10. We have no idea what the quality of the place is. We just know that the bill is paid - and we can't get our money back :-)

Next weekend - the Everhart 8 will be staying there together. Monday - we all return to our homes in Florida - Virginia - and Washington DC.

Dr Lulu is a professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee FL.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

COOL HAND LUKE - This Really Happened Yesterday In Neighboring Gadsden County

In Florida - to get in the Deep South - you go north. There is a trial going on here accusing the sheriff of releasing inmates to have conjugal visits in motel rooms - men that are supposed to be held without bail. The sheriff claims it is a long held tradition. But the best line is the last line of the story - scroll down - 

From the Tallahassee Democrat -
Young case wraps without ruling

Judge’s ruling in Gadsden County sheriff ’s case expected within two weeks

Karl Etters

Two days of trial in the case against Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young wrapped up on Tuesday.

Ajudge is expected to rule within two weeks whether Young is in contempt of court for allowing inmates at the county jail, including dangerous felons, to be released on hours-long furloughs without judicial authorization.

State Attorney Willie Meggs over two days presented incident after incident trying to show that Young continually ignored court orders by temporarily releasing
 inmates. Meggs has tried to show Young is in contempt of court since last September when he filed a petition that detailed two dozen cases in which inmates, who had sometimes been sentenced to the Department of Corrections, were allowed out of the jail to visit family gatherings and hotel rooms to meet women, sometimes unsupervised.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Library Story Makes Local Tallahassee News

Professors’ tool assists librarians

Copied from today's Tallahassee Democrat.
Byron Dobson

Democrat senior writer @byrondobson on Twitter

Two Florida State University professors have created a training site that they hope will assist librarians when working with patrons who suffer from autism spectrum disorders.

Nancy Everhart, left, and Juliann Woods, right, have created a learning guide to make libraries more comfortable for persons with autism.

The teaching guide, called Project PALS, was created as a learning tool to help librarians better understand some of the behavioral characteristics demonstrated by someone with the disorder, and how to make that person more successful in library settings.

Project PALS, or Project Panhandle Autism Library Services, is taught online using examples that can be reviewed at the person’s leisure. The training lasts about four hours.

The project was created by Nancy Everhart, a professor in the School of Information who studies the impact of technology on the leadership of the school librarian, and Juliann Woods, associate dean of research at the College of Communication and Information at FSU. Woods also is associate director for research
 to practice at the Autism Institute, who helped develop Autism Navigator, a Web-based early-detection tool that aids service providers in recognizing and serving children with ASD.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Our Apartment in Berlin - We Booked It

Our home in Germany. The picture is taken
from a park across the street.
Lulu was awarded a fellowship to do research in Berlin next spring. Today - she booked our apartment on AirBnB. She wanted an apartment near all the action and near Humboldt University where she will be doing much of her work. Her fellowship is funded by DAAD - a German endowment. 

In America - you would say the apartment is on the second floor - but in Germany it is called the first floor - the ground floor is not numbered. The picture above is our building (from google maps) - we will be by the open window in the picture on the second floor.

We got an apartment that sleeps 7 and has two private bedrooms with king beds in them. It also has a kitchen - living room - and one bathroom. I guess the "others" sleep on day beds or sofas. You can see the apartment layout here - 

Our place is close to Hitler's Bunker and about 2 blocks from the old Berlin Wall. 

We are looking forward to friends and family coming for visits. 

The living room has a flat screen 3D TV -
and 2 bright windows
This maps shows our Prenslauerberg
neighborhood. Our apartment is
marked by our reservation on the map.

Miners and Murder

From NY Times

ONE of the ugliest chapters in the history of Ameri­can labor is the story of the Pennsylvania coal mines in the 1870's. Child labor, starvation wages which could be spent only at company stores, racial discrimination (chiefly against the Irish), rule by company po­lice and every other tyrannous tactic of unregulated manage­ment were regularly employed by the mines and the railroads that owned them. The Irish re­taliated with their own kind of terror, to the extent that mur­ders of English and Welsh bosses, of policemen and even of other Irishmen were common­places in the Schuylkill Valley.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dr Melissa Johnston Recognized by the University of Alabama

Dr Melissa Johnston Honored

Every year colleges release an annual publication for the opening of the school year. Of the over 4000 faculty members at the University of Alabama - guess who they selected to highlight in that publication?

Melissa Johnston is one of Lulu's top doctoral graduates. She has already served as a professor at the University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama. Ironically - Kentucky was the national basketball champion when she was there and Alabama was national football champion when she was there. She is one of the graduates that has helped make Florida State University ranked Number One in School Library Media by the US News and World Report. Lulu was her advisor. 

Right before this publication was released - Mimi accepted an assistant professor position at the University of West Georgia. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Watching Our Home Television in Berlin

Our home television network fits in one drawer

We are going to Berlin-Germany for 3 months this February. We are renting an apartment while Lulu does research at Humboldt University. 

I have always said that if I had satellite TV and wifi Internet - I could live anywhere. Well thanks to Directv and Slingbox - we can watch all our channels including the Tallahassee news anywhere in the world. 

All we need is a good strong wifi connection and our home channels are streamed to our computer anywhere. We even have the ability to change channels and set the DVR to record things we want to see. 

It starts in a drawer in our guest bedroom. In that drawer is the Directv DVR. The DVR is hooked up to a Slingbox with a red/white/yellow RCA cord. The Slingbox is wired to a Wireless Router Bridge using a white ethernet cable. The Wireless Router ($20) sends the signal to our main Apple wifi router in the attic that is hooked to a Motorola Cable Modem. That sends the TV signal out to the world. Anyone with a computer on wifi can see the TV signal with the right code. Only one computer can watch it at a time. 

In the picture above you can see the Directv DVR (black) - the Slingbox on top of it (black) - and the Wireless Bridge (white) on top of it. 

When I bought the Slingbox - almost 10 years ago - it cost $100. The Wireless Router cost $20. There is no monthly fee for either device. You just pay your normal Directv bill - although you could send Comcast Cable programs or any programming over the Slingbox. 

We have even used this system in a moving motor home - watching  our home TV going down the highway. We have used this system almost 10 years.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Weekend At Destin - Shopping and Beaching

Lulu and Missy - 2 FSU professors
enjoying the Florida Emerald Coast
Josh and Harry - reminds you
a bit of Weekend at Bernie's
Waiting for Pompano Joe's
to open today for lunch
Watching the schools of fish
We spent the weekend at Destin Fl - shopping - beach walking - and eating. One of the nice things about living in Tallahassee - you are a short drive from some of the best beaches in the world. Destin has a double whammy. First - the white sands and warm emerald water are intoxicating. Second - a giant outlet mall stretches almost a mile long just yards from the beach. 

In Florida - you normally pay 7% sales tax on clothes. Since we have no income tax here - they have to get money to waste from somewhere.  In Pennsylvania - there is no tax on clothes. This week - for school shopping - Florida dropped the sales tax. This leads to a massive shopping season that rivals Black Friday. I am not much of a shopper - but I found 3 pairs of shoes just too cheap to pass up. 

We went along with Josh and Melissa - we have a lot in common - including homes with just memories of kids. 

We walked along the beach and saw schools and schools of fish - with big fish attacking little ones - it was our own little circle of life. 

We ate 3 meals at 3 different restaurants - Mexican - Italian - and "Margaritaville."

It was nice riding home in the back of a Mercedes black sedan. We stayed at a Sleep Inn.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Nancy Has Been Awarded A Research Fellowship To Study In Berlin For 3 Months

We plan to live near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin for 3 months.

We are going to Germany! It was just announced that Nancy has been awarded the DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst - German Academic Exchange Service fellowship.

Lulu will receive a Research Stay for University Academics and Scientists. The fellowship will fund her research in Berlin from February to May of 2016. Germany will fund her stay. Florida State University honors her receiving this fellowship by raising her base salary $5000 per year. 

Nancy is considered a world expert in the field of School Library Media. She will draw on this expertise to help improve school library media in both countries. 

I will accompany Nancy to Berlin for the 3 months while she does her research there. We plan to have a house or apartment in Berlin with room for visitors. 

It is all moving so fast. We just booked our round trip flights on American Airlines. We will be flying from Tallahassee to Miami to Dusseldorf to Berlin. The total cost is a $238!  Long story - FF miles. 

While in Germany - Nancy will be visiting universities - schools - libraries - collecting data for her research. 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Offer Accepted on Roadtrek Camper - Then We Changed Our Mind

Here we go again. I visited this camper south of town on Friday. I made an offer - yesterday it was accepted. We will probably complete the sale in the next 2-3 days. It has a Chevrolet chassis  and engine with a Roadtrek coach on it. Road treks are made in Canada - they are designed for summer and winter camping. They are very expensive new - over $100k. This one is older.

The camper has a full kitchen and bathroom. In the rear it has a king sized bed. In the front it has 4 captain's chairs facing forward. It has two air conditioners and a generator to make 120 volt AC power. Everything seems to work. The unit is 21 feet long - 7 feet wide - 8 feet tall.

It will be used mainly for short trips around Florida and trips to sporting events. With the back bed closed - you can seat a total of 8 people legally.

PS - August 4th - we did not buy the camper.