Saturday, January 28, 2012

Busy two weeks...

On Tuesday, 17 January, we attended the monthly meeting of the Boyle County Genealogical Association, where I tried out my new (well, new to me but used) LCD projector.  I had bought the projector on eBay, and had to buy a special cable as well, which cost almost as much as the projector did.  But I presented a video and slide show on the cemetery cleanup workshop we did back in October 2011.  Everything worked quite well -- need to get a few bugs out of the projector because it didn't project ALL the picture, some on the right side was cut off.  But it worked fine otherwise.

On Saturday, 21 January, we attended the monthly meeting in Frankfort of the African American Genealogical Group of Kentucky.  I think I mentioned that I'm a contributing member (meaning that I contribute records but pay no dues and have no vote).  The meeting was a "meet and greet" in Frankfort, and we had a great time talking with many people, offering suggestions, and in general, just getting to know members of the group better.  I'm probably the most active member contributing records and files to the AAGGKY Yahoo group, but it's important to me to get African-American records published.

Dinner at "Rio Grande" Mexican restaurant was good, too!

On Tuesday, 24 January, we again drove to Frankfort, this time to a college basketball game.  I haven't attended a college game in person since January 1968, and we can't afford to see a UK game (plus I'd rather use the cost of tickets there to pay the electric bill).  So off we were to the Kentucky State University game against Tuskegee University.

Earlier that day, we had gone to see "Red Tails," a just-released movie about the Tuskegee Airmen.  We had planned on seeing the movie as part of my homework in my African-American Experience class.  And we had planned to attend a KSU game as part of that class as well, so to combine the movie AND a basketball game against Tuskegee was not co-incidental, but well planned on our part.

We had plenty of time between the movie in Danville, and the game in Frankfort, so for the second time in 4 days, we splurged on dinner.  This time it was at La Fiesta Grande, our FAVORITE Mexican restaurant in Frankfort -- they have a branch in Danville where we go for special events, though another Danville Mexican restaurant is our usual (and inexpensive) fare.

The game was close nearly all the way, though KSU never did take the lead, and it reminded me so much of high school basketball only with a smaller crowd.  Interestingly, the Lexington paper covers sports on about 90% of its pages, including every high school in the state and colleges in the southwest I've never heard of.  However, there was not ONE mention, even in the score listings, of KSU.  Why?  I don't know, but KSU is an historically black college.

The KSU band certainly delivered some spirited performances, but their rendition of the National Anthem was arguably the worst band performance I have ever heard.  A trumpet solo in the midst of the Anthem, tried to play it like a jazz tune, and the poor kid totally blew it.   Why can't people leave the National Anthem alone?  It's NOT a jazz, blues, or rock concert tune.

But what really concerned me was two groups of college women who were dancing to the music of the band.  I'm not a prude, but when the author of my textbook talks about the sexual objectification of women as being harmful to Black women, I think he was talking about these girls.  They were gyrating their hips back and forth, running their hands up and down their bodies, like the purely sexual objects one sees on music videos.  Frankly, MY daughter would never have been allowed to display herself like that in public, nor would she have wanted to!  And people wonder why rapes and teen or unwed pregnancy occur?  If I were a young man, I'd probably have been aroused -- and this was in public at a basketball game, for goodness' sake!  As an older man, I'm just disgusted.

OK, today, Barry is busy.  The sun is out (for the first time in days), the house is warming due to solar heat, and he's PLANTING LETTUCE!  Sunflowers got in their soil the other day, the portable greenhouses will be assembled today, and within a month, the greenhouses will be full.  Yeah, it's only January 28, but the average high for the month so far has been 11 degrees warmer than last year, only 2 days with a high colder than 32, coldest temp so far is 15, and compared to last year when we had snow actually on the ground from early December until mid-February, the snow this year has not yet lasted a day.  It's looked like November in Maine all winter here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Late October through December events

On October 28-29, I participated in a cemetery preservation workshop, conducted by Jonathan Appell, from Connecticut.  Appell was in Kentucky working with a large cemetery in Louisville, and we managed to get him over to Perryville for two days.  We learned how to clean stones properly, how to repair and reset stones, and in general, how to preserve them for future generations.  Just a few hints -- DO NOT use wire brushes, bleach, detergent, or other harsh chemicals.  Different stones made of different materials require different treatment.  Appell has a great website at for anyone interested in finding out more.
Re-setting a fallen stone.
 In December, one of our neighbors, being VERY pregnant, gave birth to a calf.  Then a few hours later, ANOTHER calf.  We've named them Christmas and Hanukkah -- even though they're not ours.

(L to R)  Momma, Christmas, and Hanukkah
We've named this one Hanukkah, born just after Christmas was born.  She was so small, her owner is feeding her in the barn, probably until Spring.

Trip to Washington DC 13-18 October 2011 -- THANKS Don and Jean!

From 13-18 October, Barry and I took a trip to Washington, D.C.  I've been there  many times, but the last 8 or 9 times were with a busload of 8th graders, and we only spent 2-1/2 days in the city.  THIS time, for four days, we could go where we wanted, see what we wanted, do what we wanted.  We stayed with two of my former students, Don and Jean, (and Chuck the Cat) who graciously opened their beautiful home to us.  They live only a few miles from the Washington Metro, in Fairfax, so we never had to take the car into the city.  The Metro is beautiful, efficient, fast, and CLEAN, unlike other subway systems I've seen (New York and Boston).  Highlights of the trip, other than Don and Jean's company and hospitality, are shown in no particular order because I can't get this blog editor to do what I want...GRR!

In front of the National Archives

The Capitol - Rotunda, under the Dome
Archie and Edith Bunker's Chairs, Smithsonian Institution
Space Shuttle Enterprise, the NEW Air and Space Museum in Virginia
Occupy DC

The President's helicopter, "Marine-1" leaving the White House
Union Station -- still a working train station, but with a great indoor mall.
The White House, North Front (the one you usually see on TV news)
The Pentagon 9-11 Memorial
A high school friend on the Viet Nam Wall

"The Wall"

Daniel Chester French's statue, Lincoln, at the Lincoln Memorial

A station on the DC Metro

Washington National Cathedral - damaged in the August 2011 earthquake

Washington National Cathedral

The US Supreme Court

The US Botanical Garden, left, and the Capitol, right

Reading Room, Library of Congress
The Capitol at night
Martin Luther King Memorial, the night before the dedication.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

August, 2011 - To Maine and the Kentucky State Fair

Since my last entry, many things have happened.  Much I have not written on, because it had become commonplace -- not much sense about writing about things that don't change much from day to day, though if this were really a diary, I would do so.

So, here's a run-down of events since June, 2011.

Aug 2-6 - Barry and I went to Maine camping.  Visiting family was great, but the weather didn't cooperate after the first two days.  It's no fun camping with rain, so we actually left Maine two days early.

Seeing my grandchildren was a treat.  Gannon explored our dish drainer, while Garnet simply enjoyed being held by Barry.  

The campground showed a movie outdoors one night, so we took the kids to it.  It was really their first drive-in, even though we "drove" the stroller.  Garnet in particular couldn't keep her eyes off the "screen," actually a large sheet hung from two trees.  

As usual, when we go to Maine, we meet friends in Waterville at our favorite restaurant in the whole world, Ming Lee's.  Alison and Glen, Pushpa, and Brenda joined us.  The real treat though, was harassing Brenda about her "Smart Car."  Here, Alison's trying to lift it with her cane.  

Another highlight of the Maine trip was being invited to the reunion of the Messalonskee High School Class of 1976.  Guess who the bald guy with the "Kentucky" shirt is in the middle?

After returning home from Maine, our next event was the Kentucky State Fair, August 23, in Louisville.  We spent the day looking at the exhibits, the dressage events, and wondering why on earth ANYONE would spoil a Krispy Kreme Donut with "Buffalo Style Chicken Breast with hot pepper cheese" or even a hamburger!

In August, I was elected president of the Boyle County Genealogical Association.  Barry had been attending meetings since we moved here, but this was the first time I seriously considered taking an office.  Since then, I've been busy writing newsletters and organizing meetings.

I also joined, as a contributing (non-dues, non-voting) member of the African American Genealogy Group of Kentucky.  I've been transcribing Black marriage records, none of which have ever been published, and have become quite active in this group, working with the co-editor of the Kentucky African-American Dictionary.

The next "blog" entry will describe events in October -- a trip to Washington DC, a cemetery preservation workshop, and the birth of twin calves next door.