...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. Geo. Washington Feb. 22, 1732
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (born 27 February 1932), also known as Liz Taylor, is an English/American actress. A former child star, she grew to be known for her acting talent and beauty, as well as her Hollywood lifestyle, including many marriages. Taylor is considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood's golden age. The American Film Institute named Taylor seventh on its Female Legends list.
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in Hampstead, a wealthy district of North West London, the second child of Francis Lenn Taylor (1897–1968) and Sara Viola Warmbrodt (1895–1994), who were Americans residing in England. Taylor's older brother, Howard Taylor, was born in 1929.
Here parents were originally from Arkansas City, Kansas. Her father was an art dealer and her mother a former actress. Shortly before the beginning of World War II, her parents decided to return to the United States to avoid hostilities. They settled in Los Angeles, California, where Sara's family, the Warmbrodts, were then living. Taylor appeared in her first motion picture at the age of nine in There's One Born Every Minute, her only film for Universal Pictures.
She was born with a mutation that caused double rows of eyelashes, which enhanced her appearance on camera. Taylor appeared in her first motion picture at the age of nine.it was Taylor's persistence in campaigning for the role of Velvet Brown in MGM's National Velvet that skyrocketed Taylor to stardom at the tender age of 12. Taylor's character, Velvet Brown, is a young girl who trains her beloved horse to win the Grand National. National Velvet, which also costarred beloved American favorite Mickey Rooney and English newcomer Angela Lansbury, became an overwhelming success upon its release in December 1944 and altered Taylor's life forever.
You can read the Kennedy Center Biography for Elizabeth Taylor here.
And a description of that evening in 2002 here.
|Elizabeth Taylor Rose|
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Arriving home, a husband was met at the door by his sobbing wife.
Tearfully, she explained,"It's the druggist. He insulted me terribly this morning on the phone."
Immediately, the husband drove downtown to confront the druggist and demand an apology. But before he could say more than a word or two, the druggist told him,"Now, just a minute, listen to my side of it.
"This morning the alarm failed to go off, so I was late getting up. I went without breakfast and hurried out to the car, just to realize that I'd locked the house with both house and car keys inside and had to break a window to get my keys. Then, driving a little too fast, I got a speeding ticket. Later, when I was about three blocks from the store, I had a flat tire. When I finally got to the store a bunch of people were waiting for me to open up. I got the store opened and started waiting on these people, all the time the darn phone was ringing off the hook. Then I had to break a roll of nickels against the cash register drawer to make change, and they spilled all over the floor. I had to get down on my hands and knees to pick up the nickels and the phone was still ringing. When I came up I cracked my head on the open cash drawer, which made me stagger back against a showcase with a bunch of perfume bottles on it. Half of them hit the floor and broke. Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up, and I finally got back to answer it.
"It was your wife. She wanted to know how to use a rectal thermometer.
"And believe me mister,
as God is my witness,
All I did was tell her."
Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins
Wonder no more ! ! !
It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic
The penguin is very committed to its family and will
"Freeze a jolly good fellow"
"Freeze a jolly good fellow."
You really didn't believe that I know anything about penguins, did you?
His wife looked at him calmly and said, "Why do you think I gave you the poison?"
A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and one night he's doing a show in a small town in New Brunswick .
With his dummy on his knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde jokes. Suddenly, a blonde woman in the 4th row stands on her chair and starts shouting, "Ive heard enough of your stupid ass blonde jokes! What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does the color of a person's hair have to do with her worth as a human being? Guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community, and from reaching our full potential as a person, because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes, but women in general and all in the name of humor!"
The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to apologize, and the blonde , "You stay out of this, mister! I'm talking to that little f---er on your knee!"
A couple made a deal that whoever died first would come back and inform the other if there is sex after death.
Space Shuttle STS-133 blasted off in the late afternoon sun at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 4:50 PM. It had been many months in the making originally scheduled for a November, 2010 launch, but was delayed because of equipment related problems that NASA officials were meticulous about fixing so all would be perfect!
It was loud, wonderful, and all I hoped it would be. I was in a special VIP viewing site along a causeway just a mile or so east of the Kennedy Space Center. I was still six miles away from the launch on pad 39A, but I reached out as much as I could with my big lens, and while it does not look like the stills you see in newspapers, that are shot from remotely controlled cameras, so close that no one can be near them….these are my shots that I saw, and as such are special to me, and hopefully to you as well. I was surprised most by the extreme orange brightness of the flames coming from the solid rocket boosters. The delay for the roar of the engines was fun to hear as by the time we heard it six miles away the Shuttle was thousands of feet into the air.
|Through The Steam|
|Clearing the Tower|
It is already hot and humid in Florida by mid afternoon, and on Wednesday when I flew into this area it was 80 degrees, with humidity to match, under a full sun. The day was about the most totally perfect weather day you could ever imagine, with temps in the mid 70s, full sun, soft breeze coming from the Atlantic and the Banana River, low humidity…superlative! There were about 5000 space fans at my viewing site all aching to see one of our finest achievements prove itself once again. Estimates are that as many as 200,000 people will be viewing the launch here in various viewing locating around the Kennedy Space Center and elsewhere.
|Six Mile Lens|
|Some of my 5000 Causeway Friends|
We were picked up by a NASA bus in a parking lot at 7 AM, driven to the Kennedy Space Center where we and our "stuff" we brought along, all had to get off the bus. We were free to visit sights at the Space Center, but we had to take our stuff with us. Mine was my checked suitcase I used to fly out here, now emptied of everything and holding the roller camera bag, with big lens, other lenses, batteries, and things like that. The suitcase also held my tripod and a special Wimberely head to hold the big lens and make it more steady and responsive.
It took two hours for us to depart and get out of our area, back into the public roadways and out to our parking lot where we met, and then it took me driving for two more hours to finally reach the hostel. It seemed many of the 200,000 people were in front of me as we crawled slowly back down Cheney Highway to where my hotel is located.
I rushed home and downloaded my photos making the images look the best I could, and have shared a few of them with you here. If you want to know more about this mission just Google STS-133 (STS stands for Space Transportation System)…duh!, and this is the 133rd shuttle flight. This particular flight it to be the final flight for the Shuttle Discovery, as it is to retire proudly and at some point be displayed properly so others can visit it up close and personal. This mission is one of re-supply of equipment on the International Space Station, and also the installation of the last USA modules to be attached to the Space Station. This module among other things includes a humanoid looking robot who will be able to perform functions on the station remotely, as I understand it.
That leaves only two shuttles that are still flying and that would be the Atlantis, and Endeavor. Endeavor is to launch sometime in mid March, under the hand of Captain Kelly!! His wife was the congresswoman who got shot in Tucson, Arizona a month or so ago, and hopefully she is going to be here for the launch. Atlantis at this point is available if a problem with Endeavor would occur, then it would be capable of being launched. I believe it may have a mission of its own if it is not needed as a backup, sometime later in 2011. Of course if Congress re-evaluates NASA funding, things could still change and perhaps other flights added.
Shuttle Discovery is the oldest surviving member of the fleet as has some momentous flights in its history. It was the the first shuttle to dock with the Russian Mir space craft in orbit. It was the first flight back into space after the tragic accident of the Challenger, and then again late the Colombia shuttles. In October, 1998 it took, 77 year old John Glen back into space for a memorable shuttle experience.
Friday will be a free day to see some other NASA exhibits I missed, and to walk along the Canaveral National Seashore, soaking up the surf and sun. Meanwhile Iowa is to get 1-3 inches of snow this weekend, so that may be what I am coming home to a few days from now. For the moment I am honored to be in this place, to see and share this momentous event. It is one I will enjoy describing to my incredible sweet and vibrant grandsons, Charlie and Quinn, and doing so several times as they grow older and want to know more. Thanks for listening….
Thursday, February 24, 2011
|Justin is our newest Master Mason|
|Justin being congratulated by Worshipful Master Marty|
|Justin and his grandfather (who just happens to be named Jay also)|
|Justin and two of his ISU Fraternity Brothers who are also Masons.|