Friday, December 31, 2004

Dec. 31 New Year's Eve

Profile America -- Friday, Dec. 31. On this New Year's Eve, some 295 million Americans of all ages are ready to greet the year 2005:

Fifty years ago, the U.S. population was just over 162 million; a century ago, it was 82 million. To show how fast the nation is growing, by this time tomorrow, there will be some 84 thousand new babies on hand to welcome the New Year. Not only is the population growing, it is moving to new locations. For several years, the fastest growing states have been in the West. The population of Nevada jumped almost 9 percent in just two years, followed by Arizona at over 6 percent. Four states added nearly 5 percent -- Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Texas. The men and women of the U.S. Census Bureau wish you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year.


Chase's Calendar of Events 2004, p.642

Statistical Abstract of the United States 2003, pg. 7, Figure 1.1

Thursday, December 30, 2004

2004 - The Year's Anniversaries

Profile America -- Thursday, Dec. 30. Before closing the book on this eventful year, it's worth noting a few of its anniversaries:

50 years ago

  • Elvis Presley recorded his first song
  • The Supreme Court issued its landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling.
Seventy-five years ago
  • The stock market crashed, kicking off the Great Depression
  • The first Academy Awards were given' out -- best picture was the silent wartime flying epic Wings.
100 years ago
  • Glenn Miller and Fats Waller, swing and jazz greats, were born
  • Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, was born
  • Average life expectancy for a baby girl was 51 years and for boys 48. Now, those figures are close to 81 years for girls and 75 for boys.

Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at


Statistical Abstract of the United States 2003, t.105

Historical Statistics of the United States, p. 55

Ten Reasons Why Cities Mattered in 2004

Ten Reasons Why Cities Mattered in 2004

12/28/2004 5:03:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: Sherry Conway Appel, 202-626-3003 or John Pionke, 202-626-3051, both of the National League of Cities

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As we approach the end of the year, the staff of the National League of Cities looked at the most important domestic news stories of 2004 and developed our list of 'Ten Reasons Why Cities Mattered in 2004.' In no particular order we found that 2004 brought:

1) Disastrous hurricanes: In the paths of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, local law enforcement, emergency services, public works and other municipal officials implemented strict evacuation plans, conducted land and water rescues, coordinated after-event disaster planning and assisted in the clean up resulting in fewer deaths and restoration of business as usual within a relatively short period of time. Congrats for these often heroic efforts to cities such as Pensacola, Port Saint Lucie, Fort Myers, Orlando and Gulf Breeze in Florida and the coastal towns and cities in Alabama.

2) The Presidential Campaign: Cities and towns such as Waco, Texas, Columbus, Ohio, and St. Louis, Missouri, were called upon many times during 2004 to ensure a safe campaign, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with each visit to support additional police, fire and emergency personnel.

3) The Conventions: The cities of Boston and New York rolled out the red carpet for the Democratic and Republican Conventions this summer. The first Presidential election year since the September 11th attacks, the host cities faced numerous added security risks and were able to provide sufficient resources and strategic planning. Both Conventions went off without a hitch.

4) The War in Iraq: Thousands of municipal employees who are active in the Reserves and National Guard have been posted to Iraq. Overall, one-in-five cities were affected by significant National Guard and Reserve deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. With longer deployments and more Guard and Reserve units being mobilized, the trend is expected to continue.

5) Shortages of Flu Vaccine: City leaders worked with local health officials across the country to set priorities and advise the public on ways to reduce the threat of transmission. In A City Official's Guide to Public Health, NLC offered guidelines adopted by municipal officials on the best methods to prepare for public health emergencies. Southbury, Conn., First Selectman Mark A.R. Cooper has stopped shaking hands during the flu season to underscore his concerns with 'hand hygiene' and cold and flu transmission.

6) Information technology in transition: The city of Philadelphia joined others in offering their citizens ubiquitous high-speed Internet access. (On the down side, the General Assembly adopted a bill preventing other cities in Pennsylvania from offering this same service.) The Center for Digital Government named the most technologically advanced cities in America in four population categories: Virginia Beach, Va; Des Moines, Iowa; Denton, Texas and Ogden, Utah (tied); and Redmond, Wash.

7) Tighter Border Security in the Wake of 9/11: NLC leaders went to Nogales, Arizona to develop an action plan for local governments concerned with border security. Challenges facing these cities include drug trafficking and day laborer issues to thwarting terrorism. NLC is stressing greater collaboration between the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and local homeland security authorities.

8) Steep Oil Price Increases: Cities already strapped for cash had to dig deeper to pay for gasoline for their buses and vehicles, heating oil for their buildings and schools, and pass- through shipping and other costs as the price of oil rose to $50 a barrel. In 2004, three of five US cities and towns were less able to meet their financial obligations and expectations for 2005 are equally dismal.

9) No Child (or Teenager) Left Behind: As the President launches his effort to raise standards at middle and high schools, the National League of Cities is already working with five cities--Corpus Christi, Tex, Hartford, Conn., Phoenix, Ariz., San Jose, Calif., San Antonio, Tex.--to expand options and innovations in high school education. NLC's Network of Mayors' Education Policy Advisors (EPAN) represents 60 of the largest cities in 31 states and is assisting mayors in their efforts to be stronger advocates for K-12 school reform and school improvement, as well as to increase their awareness about innovative options in high school for their cities.

And Last But Not Least:

10) Cicada Invasion: As Brood X arrived on the trees, buildings and lawns in the Eastern United States, cities and towns from the eastern seaboard to Indiana and Tennessee provided the clean up.

Source: U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Ten Reasons Why Cities Mattered in 2004"

United States-Population 295 Million

Census Bureau Projects Nation's Population to Total 295 Million on New Year's Day

12/28/2004 10:51:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Robert Bernstein of U.S. Census Bureau, 301-763-3030 or; Web:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As our nation prepares to ring in the New Year, the U.S. Census Bureau today projected the Jan. 1, 2005, population of the United States will be 295,160,302, up 2,835,602 or 1.0 percent from New Year's Day 2004.

In January, the United States is expected to register one birth every eight seconds and one death every 13 seconds.

Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person every 26 seconds. The result is an increase in the total population of one person every 12 seconds.



News releases, reports and data tables are available on the Census Bureau's home page. Go to: and click on 'Releases.'"

Source: U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Census Bureau Projects Nation's Population to Total..."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

And Bingo Was It's Name-o

Trivia about popular game:

Census Bureau Daily Feature for Dec. 29 -- Bingo

12/28/2004 9:36:00 AM

To: Feature Reporter

Contact: Rick Reed or Tom Edwards, 301-763-2812, both of the U.S. Census Bureau WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature for Dec. 29 from the U.S. Census Bureau: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29: BINGO

Profile America -- Wednesday, Dec. 29. Several times a week in firehouses and community centers all over the country, people gather to play bingo. The roots of the game go back to a 16th century Italian lottery game. In the U.S., a toy salesman named Edwin Lowe observed a game at a carnival near Atlanta this month in 1929. Players put dried beans on numbered cards and declared "beano" if they completed a line. Lowe took the concept home to New York and refined it. The new "bingo" became a hit almost immediately and has grown into a $ 5 billion a year fund-raiser. Bingo is also played at some of the nation's 13-hundred commercial betting and lottery facilities, which generate revenue of nearly $4 billion a year.

Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at

Chase's Calendar of Events 2004, p. 606

1997 Economic Census, NAICS 713290
Source: U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Census Bureau Daily Feature for Dec. 29 Bingo"

Cincinnati City Sd schools - information

Mt. Healthy City Schools - Special Education

As we plan our move back to Cincinnati this coming Spring, I'm looking for information that will help us. The following comes from the Special Education page at the Mt. Healthy school district website:

The Mt. Healthy Schools are fortunate to have a parent mentor available to provide information and support to all parents, and especially those with children with disabilities. Rose Kahsar is the parent mentor. Her office is at the Duvall Center, and she can be reached at 522-1612.

In addition, a parent support group – Individuals of Mt. Healthy Participating to Achieve a Child’s Tomorrow (IMPACT) – meets monthly at Duvall. Through this group, information about special education issues is provided and parents gain insight about the entire spectrum of special education services. See the district calendar for IMPACT meeting dates and times.

Call your child’s teacher or building principal concerning the appropriateness of special education services. If your child is not already enrolled in school, contact the Special Education office at 728-4974.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Melting and The Leaking

What freezes eventually melts. All that snow we got last week is melting. This naturally comes with its own set of difficulties. I anticipate that waterways will become flooded from the large flow of melted snow.

Closer to home - inside our apartment, in fact - we're dealing with leaks: Close to our patio door, we have water dripping. Earlier this year contractors came to fix the flashing outside to prevent this from happening again. It looks like it didn't work.

The maintenance manager poked a hole in the ceiling to allow one focal point for the water to drain, so that we wouldn't have a huge bubble suddenly crash down on us. I've had to poke another hole. We had to move furniture out of the way, lay down plastic and place an empty garbage can underneath.

Similarly, we have a leak in our bedroom, at the window sill. I have a 44-oz cup collecting the water.

The management at the apartment complex told us that there really isn't anything they can do until the snow has melted so that they can get workers up on the roof. Our situation is a typical one in the complex right now, apparently.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve-Morning to Dinnertime

On a morning in which we could have slept in, we woke up at our usual time. We knew we wanted to get to the bank and the store before heading to Cincinnati to spend the evening with my family.

We got ready, putting on layers: I wore two t-shirts, three pair of socks, a pair of sweatpants, a pair of jeans, a button-down shirt, and a sweatshirt. Then I put my coat, scarf, and Santa hat, and boots on.

I took Jake outside to do his business. He's still confused, wondering what happened to his smells and usual peeing posts.

I went to our car. I tried the doors, but they were frozen shut. Ironically, we'd left the de-icing solution inside the car last night. I bumped the doors with my hips to no avail. Then I, Mr. Smartypants, kicked the door. As I did that, the rest of my body decided to land in the snow. I lay there for a little while before finally deciding to get back up.

Fortunately, Jennie later came outside and got the car started.

As we began to run our errands, it became obvious how blessed we were. We drove to the temp agency where I picked up my paycheck at 12:15 PM, even though the office manager said they had closed at 12 PM for the holiday.

We drove to the credit union, and I got in a line of 30 people at 12:30 PM, noticing a sign stating that they were going to be open until 1 PM. While in line I poked fun at the situation.

"Is this the line for the concert tickets?" I asked out loud to those around me. "No? Then maybe it's for the ferris wheel. Gee, I hope I'm tall enough to ride it."

Those next to me looked as though I was nuts, but I could tell I'd helped alleviate the tension. After all, the credit union was closed the day before because of the storm, and, all of us were in line for our Christmas money.

I thanked the teller for working on Christmas Eve and deposited my check. As I walked out, I told those in line, "They said I'm not tall enough to ride the ferris wheel. Darn it."

When we got home, there was a message from my uncle in Cincinnati. He'd been out shovelling for 4 hours, trying to make room for company that would show up at 6:30 PM. Snow plows had not been down their street. With below zero weather forecasted for that evening, he decided to postpone the get-together.

We suddenly had to make dinner plans on our own. Jennie, Keisha, and I got back in the car and drove to Golden Corral, a restaurant that has an all-you-can-eat buffet. We arrived at 3:25 PM, which was good, because they stopped taking new customers at 4 PM. We thus had plenty of time to eat, drink, and be merry.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 9

Here's a picture in front of our apartment. I could look from the top of the pile and see into our apartment on the second floor.

Jim Borgman, the Pulitzer-prize winning editorial cartoonist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, has a great perspective on the storm:
A thought to brighten your season as you slide to work this morning...

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 8

After Jennie went to bed, and I planned to head back outside to try to get our car into a parking spot. We told Keisha she could either play in her bedroom or lay down next to Mommy. We offered her that last choice because I’d waken her up early, and I knew she was still a little tired.

Armed with our shovel, Jake and I went to our car. He playfully dove into the snow, and I left him to do his business. I think he was a bit confused, as though thinking, “Hey! Where are all my usual smells? What’s this fun white stuff?”

Walking along an unshovelled area of our sidewalk, the snow was up to my knees. When I got to our car, I looked around and I saw that there were a lot of other cars that were stuck along the main roadway. I shovelled under the car and around the wheels. I also cleared the parking space. After awhile, I was able to get the car in the spot.

Jennie, Keisha, Jake, and I stayed inside for the rest of the day. We had left our shovel outside our apartment door, and, from time to time, some neighbors came by asking to borrow it. We obliged, and, they were considerate enough to bring it back when they were finished.

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 7

We’ve finished breakfast, and I retrieved our mail. Jennie’s mom sent us a Christmas card with $50 cash! Whoo hoo! Someone else in Cincinnati sent us a $100 gift card to Kroger. I think that person is an engineer-type because it looks like they used a ruler to make sure they printed the address in a straight line.

We also got Keisha’s progress report from her school for second quarter. She received High Honors for having 6 A’s. She got B’s in Math and Language Arts. Everything else was A’s!

We’re so proud of our learner!

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 6

As we sat down to eat, Jennie’s mom, who lives in Cincinnati, called. Apparently, customers of Cincinnati Bell, the phone company, get free long distance time for each game that the Cincinnati Bengals win:It sounds like they got a lot of snow in Cincinnati, too. Keisha played her new harmonica over the phone.

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 5

Jennie just came home. She needed two screwdrivers to fix the contraption on the car that controls the headlights because it broke off. She took care of that and came back inside. She parked part of the way in a parking spot across the lot. I’ll probably have to go back out there later to shovel so that I can put the car all the way in the spot.

For breakfast, I made potatoes with some sliced onions, some sausage links, toast, and some oranges.

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 4

Jennie’s still not home. I checked the answering machine, and apparently she left work shortly after 9 AM. Keisha’s decided to make her a card, and I’m cleaning up the kitchen to make some breakfast for her. We know she’s going to be really tired and frustrated when she does get home.

I’m watching Dr. Phil on CBS while in the kitchen. His program is about ADD and ADHD – alternatives to medication.

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 3

I just came back inside. The spot where our car was parked last night has close to a 12 inches of snow in it. Our road appears impassable; you can barely see that it was plowed yesterday afternoon. Only the cars that were not moved yesterday show how heavy the snow has been. The airport may report only 13.6 inches, but it appears to be at least 24 around here.

While Jake and I were outside, I saw a neighbor’s SUV stuck at the top of the hill. Another neighbor emerged from his apartment, started his SUV up, commenting that he needed to be at the Columbus airport for a flight at 5 PM this afternoon. He has to dig his way out. I helped sweep some snow off his vehicle for awhile.

Jake started whimpering. The snow is up to his shoulders, and the wind is blowing pretty hard. I decided to bring him inside.

I called Jennie’s work and found out that she had already left. We’ve no cell phone, and it appears that she’s not going to get very far in our apartment complex.

Keisha’s awake right now, watching PBS Kids in our bedroom. Regis and Kelly are on the TV in the living room. I’ve made me a cup of coffee with some cocoa mix in it. I’m going to head back outside to look for Jennie in a bit.

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 2

Jennie called awhile ago to say that she’s still at work, waiting for someone to relieve her. I told her the news about it being a record snowfall. It appears that the snow is tapering off, and the bigger concerns will be the cold weather (17 degrees F, -8 degrees C), high winds, and drifting snow.

During the night the precipitation changed from snow to a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain for a time before changing back to snow. I’m wondering if folks are going to have trouble getting car doors open.

Someone just called the radio station. He lives near the border of Clinton and Highland counties. He reported that he’s got about 5 inches of ice that’s keeping him from getting his door open. He’s decided to stay in bed in the meantime and listen to the radio.

Keisha stirs in her bed. I’m in no hurry to wake her. The radio just reports that the high today will be 22 degrees F (-5.6 degrees C).

The meteorologist on TV is talking. Here are some of what he's saying:
  • The previous record: 12.2 inches; 12.9 for the total
  • The current level is 13.6 and growing.
  • Some areas have had as much as 17 inches.
  • Now that the snow has ended, there are three big concerns
    1. bitter cold, with wind chills below zero
    2. snow drifts
    3. winds as high as 30 miles per hour
  • We have a chance to break the 1983 record low –13 degrees F for Christmas; the forecasted low for this Xmas –15 degrees F.
Okay, I gotta get me a cup of coffee, get dressed, take the dog out. I’ll be back soon.

Christmas Storm Chronicles, Part 1

Greetings from Dayton, Ohio USA!

I just found out that we’ve had record-breaking snowfall within the last 24 hours. At about 2 AM at the Dayton International Airport, authorities measured 13.6 inches (34.544 cm) of snow. This surpasses the amount that fell during the blizzard in 1978. And more is still coming down, although not as fast.

Last night, Keisha, Jake, and I were outside, digging the car out. She had a broom, I had a shovel, and Jake, our dog, ran around like the maniac he is when it comes to snow.

It was coming down at a rate of 1-2 inches (2.54 – 5.08 cm) per hour, which meant that, as soon as we had the car brushed off, we’d have to brush it off again.

I resolved to get the snow around our vehicle dug out as much as I could, to provide a clear path for Jennie to back out. Then we came inside to warm up. Keisha enjoyed a nice bath and fell asleep about an hour later.

At 10 PM last night, as Jennie woke up to get ready for work, I went back outside to dig the car out again. It almost looked like I hadn’t been there at all. After I finished, I put the shovel and broom in the back seat so that Jennie could have them with her as she drove.

She left at 10:30 PM for her 11-7 shift. She called me an hour later to let me know she arrived. Apparently the maintenance man was going around the nursing home, offering rides home to those staff that couldn’t get out. Some of the staff decided to spend the night in some of the Assisted Living units.

So many of the flights at the Dayton International Airport have been delayed and/or cancelled.

I’ve got the local CBS affiliate on TV right now, muted with the captions, so that I can listen to the radio show of the local country music station. The TV lists announcements on the bottom of the screen.

On the radio I just heard that people are calling in to find out when the malls will be open. The Fairfield Commons Mall will open at Noon; no word on the Dayton Mall yet.

Snow emergencies have been declared in surrounding counties. In some of the rural, outlying areas, people will be cited by police if they are found. Montgomery County, the most urban and where the city of Dayton is located, does not have such a system. The sheriff has stated that he’s confident in the residents here to have common sense. (lol)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Daytonians! Come See Me This Week!

Mood: Awake
Listening to: Bob and Tom Show, my daughter's CD player playing some Kids Bible Songs
Reading: nothing in particular
Eating: Honey Nut Cheerios, milk, toast with homemade jam
Watching: PBS Kids

Dayton, Ohio -- Hey Daytonians! Stop by the Kroger on Needmore Road today from 12 to 4 where I'll be playing and singing Christmas songs for the Salvation Army. I play the alto saxophone and the guitar and sing. While you're there, make a donation to the Salvation Army!

Scheduled appearances for the rest of the week are as follows:

Tuesday, 12/21: 12PM-4PM Kroger Needmore (Needmore and North Dixie)
Wednesday, 12/22: 12PM-4PM Kroger Siebenthaler (Siebenthaler and Klepinger)
Thursday, 12/23: 12PM-4PM Kroger Needmore (Needmore and North Dixie)
Friday, 12/24: 9 AM-3PM Kroger Needmore (Needmore and North Dixie)
For information on how to donate to the Salvation Army online, head over to their website:

The Salvation Army National Headquarters

Update: I found out this afternoon that the Salvation Army has finished its kettle campaign for the season, so I won't be playing tomorrow or on Christmas Eve.

TIME Person of the Year 2004: 10 Things We Learned About Blogs

TIME Person of the Year 2004: 10 Things We Learned About Blogs

Get Ready for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!

Sixth Harry Potter to cast its spell in July

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, announcing that she has finished the sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:"

"I know you all expected this to happen on Christmas Day, but I was sure that those of you who celebrate Christmas have better things to do on the day itself than fight your way into my study, whereas those of you who don't celebrate Christmas would definitely prefer not to wait until the 25th."
I remember devouring "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in two whole days. Of course I didn't do much else of anything, either (posts from June 2003):

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hauer Music

Hauer Music Co., 120 South Patterson Blvd. Dayton, Ohio 45402

Their logo has always made me think of Eddie Bauer, for some reason.

Bene Diction Blogs On: Frightening the Gnomes

Bene Diction Blogs On: Frightening the Gnomes

1. Create an entry with your best 5 entries of the year.

2. Send me the entry link at

3. I am going to repost your entry on The Corner

4. Subscribe to the RSS feed

5. Spread the word

6. Enjoy the fun.

Only 5, huh?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Observations from the Kettle

Mood:Tired, needing to go to bed
Listening to: the sound of the dying battery in our smoke alarm ("Change me! Change me!")
Reading:a book on the origins of Christmas carols
Eating: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and carrots
Watching: Deliver Us From Eva

Here are some things I've learned from serving at the Salvation Army kettles thus far:

Motivation for Giving

People have different reasons for giving money at the Salvation Army kettles. Here are some of my observations so far this season:

  • A kettle tended by a musician gets more donations that one tended by a simple bell ringer
  • People who do not give almost never make eye contact with the person tending the kettle
  • A lot of parents give their money to their child to place into the kettle
  • Some people give because they see me working hard
  • Some people will comment that they gave previously as a way of allaying any guilt they might feel for not giving now
  • A handful of people give because a certain retail outlet (the "bullseye" one) has refused to allow kettles in front of their store
On Being a Musician

Here are some other neat things I've discovered:
  • I love taking carol requests from the employees who are working at the store
  • People can here my saxophone from the very back of the store even though I play in the front entrance area
  • Everyone loves a "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "God Bless You", or a simple "Thank You"
  • I play my saxophone very well, I've been told a number of times
  • I switch from playing the saxophone to playing the guitar and singing from time to time
  • I call the guitar/singing portion the "comedy" portion because it often doesn't sound as well as the saxophone playing portion
  • A 34-year old man with a beard, singing and playing "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" is a riot
  • My impression of Elvis singing/playing "Blue Christmas" pales to the real thing, but I have a lot of fun trying
  • Kids just think I'm the coolest thing to see me playing and singing
  • I can play the saxophone while wearing gloves, but I have to take them off when I play the guitar
  • I almost can't believe I'm getting paid to play music and encourage others

Thursday, December 16, 2004

In the Year 1983... (Jason)

Ronald Reagan is president of the US

Sally Ride becomes the first American woman to travel in space

Marines are killed when a TNT laden suicide terrorists blows up Marine headquarters at Beirut International Airport

US Marines and Rangers invade the island of Grenada and evacuate hundreds of US citizens

The Soviets shoot down Korean Airlines flight 007

The Internet Domain Name System was invented by Paul Mockapetris

Ronald Wilson Reagan signs a bill creating Martin Luther King Day

Baltimore Orioles win the World Series

Washington Redskins win Superbowl XVII

New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup

Return of the Jedi is the top grossing film

"Every Breath You Take" by The Police spends the most time at the top of US charts

The A-Team and Webster premiere

In the Year 1970...

In 1970 (the year you were born)

  • Richard Nixon is president of the US
  • A federal jury finds the "Chicago 7" innocent of conspiring to incite riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention
  • The lunar spacecraft Apollo 13 splashes down in the Pacific after near catastrophe
  • The first Earth Day is marked by millions of Americans participating in anti-pollution demonstrations
    At Kent State University, National Guardsmen fire into a crowd killing four student antiwar demonstrators
  • A powerful earthquake claims 50,000 lives in Peru
  • 18 year olds are given the right to vote in federal elections
  • Tidal wave driven by cyclone from Bay of Bengal hits East Pakistan, killing hundreds of thousands
  • An anti-war rally is held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, attended by John Kerry, Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland
  • Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Andre Agassi, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Lopez, and Matt Damon are born
  • Baltimore Orioles win the World Series
  • Kansas City Chiefs win Superbowl IV
  • Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup
  • Tearjerker Love Story is the top grossing film
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is published
  • "The Long and Winding Road" becomes the Beatles' last Number 1 song
What Happened the Year You Were Born?
More cool things for your blog at Blogthings

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Usual Info, Visit From Dad, Kettle Kontemplation

The Usual Information:

Visit From Dad
My dad spent the better part of his evening driving from his job in Cincinnati to our place in Dayton and then to his home in Bright, Indiana. An easy three hours. He came to bring us packages and such. We hadn't seen him in over two years. Our lives had just gotten so busy that the distance seemed to far to make a trip to their place on the farm worthwhile. I hate the way that sounds, but I think that's the truth.

Kettle Kontemplation
I wasn't home. I had mistakenly thought I'd be off work by the time he was to arrive. Instead I had the evening shift. You may recall that I'm doing a few gigs with the Salvation Army this season, playing my saxophone and guitar while tending a kettle. It's true that people are more apt to put something in the kettle while hearing someone play Christmas carols than by hearing someone ring a bell.

I enjoy it because I get to get paid for playing music, encouraging people along the way. It helps me be in the holiday spirit.

Also, I was encouraged to see a woman who has a child in Keisha's school. I saw her at the school's holiday program last Thursday. My wife says that she's a morning news anchor for the local CBS affiliate. When this woman came to put some money in the kettle, I said, "Hi! I remember seeing you at the Jingle Jump last week." I could have made a reference to her job, which I'm sure others do when they see a local celebrity. But I didn't. And I think that encouraged her more.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Creativity Challenges

Dr. Rober Alan Black asks:

Do you want to increase your creativeness?
Do you want to expand your creative thinking skills?
Do you want to spark your creativity?
Do you want to learn fun ways to tap and improve your creativity in 15 minutes?
Head over to enrich and develop your creativity.

Somehow, For Some Reason, You Got Here

Mood: Deliberate
Listening to: Local album-oriented rock station, WTUE, 104.7
Reading: GIS for Everyone
Eating: bran cereal with raisins
Watching: Man on Fire, starring Denzel Washington

Thanks. I think it's interesting to review the recent referrer log:

Congratulations to 'Survivor' Winner Chris Daugherty

Yahoo! News - Highway Worker Daugherty Wins 'Survivor'

Chris Daugherty became the winner of 'Survivor: Vanuatu'. He hails from South Vienna, Ohio, about 40 miles east of Dayton. Congratulations to this hero from the Miami Valley!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A Lot of Reading - For Me

I recently checked my record at, and I learned that I've completed 30 books since I started tracking my reading with this service in January 2003. Pretty cool personal milestone.

NPR: Dog Tunes: 'Tails of the City'

Mood: Thoughtful
Listening to: Sound of this computer
Reading: nothing lately
Eating: pizza from Donato's, chicken nuggets, and french fries
Watching: "Robin Williams Live On Broadway" (oh my goodness!)

I heard the story about this album of Dog Tunes on NPR's All Things Considered this past week. What a neat idea for an album.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Stoking the Fire

It's a lesson I should have learned long ago as a child. Maybe I'll share THAT one some time in the future. For now, dig this...

Last night, in a vain attempt to stoke a fire in our fireplace, I did something stupid. Well, you could say that trying to light a soaked log that had been outside in the rain was stupid in and of itself, but this just makes it even more so. Fortunately I wasn't hurt. Much.

I've had some success in the past by using melted candlewax on the wood/paper mixture. Since this log was fresh from the outside, I felt that it needed some "encouragement". The lighter I'd been using had stopped working, and I noticed that there was some fluid still in its reservoir. That ought to stoke the fire, I thought. So I put it on the pile in the fireplace.

I resumed the dribbling of melted candlewax. Then, all of a sudden... WHOOOSH!! A "bubble" of flame burst from the fireplace long enough for me to notice -- then it was gone.

"AAAGGH!" I cried out, in shock. Apparently the plastic reservoir containing the lighter fluid had melted. I looked around me. Fortunately, nothing was on fire. I noticed that most of the hair on the back of my hands had been singed off. I checked the bathroom mirror, and I saw that my eyelashes were shorter now, having also been singed. A small part of my beard, too.

I could have ended up like Fire Marshall Bill from "In Living Color".

And though the material in the fireplace lit up for awhile longer, it still went out after a few minutes.

That manufacturers place warnings on flammable containers is a good thing, therefore, and these should be heeded.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

For the Person Who Truly Has Everything

The United States Census Bureau has released its latest Statistical Abstract, called "Uncle Sam's almanac," by Glenn King, the bureau economist who oversees its production.

The Statistical Abstract includes new tables each year to keep up with Americans' changing habits. Among the new items this year is data on where people performed volunteer work last year: of the 63.8 million volunteers, 35 percent at religious organizations, 27 percent for school or youth services, and 12 percent social or community service.

An abstract costs $35 for a softbound edition and $39 for hardcover, and can be obtained by calling the U.S. Government Printing Office at 202-512-1800 or the National Technical Information Service at 800-553-6847.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Official Homepage of Bob Zany

I recently saw his cameo in "Joe Dirt". Love hearing him do "The Zany Report" on the Bob and Tom Show.

The Science Channel | 100 Greatest Discoveries

Hosted by Bill Nye, whom you may recall from the program "Bill Nye the Science Guy" (BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL!) ("Science rules!").

The website contains a Eureka Quiz in which you can see how much you know about the greatest science discoveries of all time (BTW, I got a 9 out of 16).

For fun the whole family will enjoy - educational, too!


When we communicate, we build bridges.
We make the connections that enable ideas to flourish and actions to occur.
Healthy connections begin with clarity, and last only as long as we continue to invest in them.

spotted on a poster at the Dayton Job Center Job Bank

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Free GIS Stuff

I'm investigating a career that uses Geographic Information Systems, and I think it's a good thing that I've found some Free GIS Stuff.

Facts for Features on the Holiday Season

The U.S. Census Bureau today recently released Facts for Features on the Holiday Season. Some interesting trivia...

Can the Bengals Do It?

The Cincinnati Bengals still have a shot of clinching a playoff berth, after a fourth-quarter comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday. It's a bit of a long shot, but, if the Boston Red Sox can win the World Series against the New York Yankees, then anything could happen, right?

Bengals get long-awaited breakthrough win

At the Library

Mood: Pleasant, deliberate
Listening to: Sounds of books, etc., being checked out/in
Reading: Joke book (cannot remember the title)
Eating: Corn flakes, toast w/ strawberry jelly, milk, coffee
Watching: saw Patriot Games last night

I have an opportunity to be considered for a federal grant to get some training that would help me get a better job. I'm at the library doing some research on it. I find that getting out of the home helps me to not be distracted as much.

Monday, December 06, 2004

How I'm Doin'

Mood: Sleepy
Listening to: Oprah on TV behind me
Reading: finished More of the Rest of the Story
Eating: Whatchamacallit candy bar
Watching: the computer screen

That's all for now.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like

Mood: Full, content
Listening to: "Feels Like Christmas" mix of "World Christmas", "December", and "A Winter Solstice 3", among other things
Reading: Almost finished with "More of Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story"
Eating: Rocky Road ice cream
Watching: Big Fat Liar, Adventures in Odyssey, and Christmas lights that need to be hung up

... Christmas around our home.

I've got a part-time job as a "bell ringer" for the Salvation Army. Actually I play my saxophone and guitar. Yesterday I worked from Noon until 8 pm. My mouth was so sore from playing the saxophone for that long.

Today we got a cash advance on Jennie's paycheck so that we could take care of an overdraft problem with our checking account. Then we all went to Aldi, a bare-bones grocery store (barebones, i.e., no frills). We had money left over, so we got some Little Caesar's pizza, a 6-pack of Miller Genuine Draft, and some Faygo Ohana punch.

We came home, put the groceries away, ater dinner, and watched "Big Fat Liar". After that we brought the Christmas decorations out while watching Adventures in Odyssey. We've put the tree up, but we still need to string up the lights and decorate it.