Sunday, February 29, 2004

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes which include Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Cuba. [See Making Light]
Although publishing the articles is legal, editing is a "service" and the treasury department says it is illegal to perform services for embargoed nations. It can be punishable by fines of up to a half-million dollars or jail terms as long as 10 years.
Robert Bovenschulte, president of the publications division of the American Chemical Society, which decided this week decided to challenge the government and risk criminal prosecution by editing articles submitted from the five embargoed nations.

This development on the part of the government seems to me part of the long and gradual swing to the Right. I read this last night, and today, on reconsideration, I felt sure this presents a danger of serious erosion of First Amendment rights to freedom of speech:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abriding the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I never get tired of hearing or reading those words. I write this, being the eldest son of a woman who was detained illegally, along with her sister my aunt, because their father, my grandfather, the attorney Don Jorge Padilla, had defended the rights of the people in Jalisco to choose and practice, and express their faith.

So when I consider that the government is seeking to control, nay, even restrict speech, foreign though it be, I must express in the strongest terms and tone that we must protest this now, loudly and throughout the world, both in cyberspace and on the streets, and in the halls of government, and in our houses, workplaces, marketplaces, coffeehouses, bars, and eateries. (I added in another web log the following: also commend the tactics suggested, e.g., to send works to, to outsource editing to other English-speaking countries, even to just go ahead and edit the works, and take the punishment if it comes. I mean, there are plenty of laws such as the Blue Laws, which include prohibitions against any other act of sex other than sex in the missionary position, such as in the military. But how many people ignore or willfully break such laws?)

I raise my Weekend Edition coffee mug to toast y'all who have raised this matter and who are discussing it now. Happy Leap Day!

Am barefoot with my straw hat on, not quite ready to go out for a walk with my toddler son, Neujaltgeld, who's just fallen asleep in his bed. Bobby McFerrin is speaking to Chris, the host of From the Top. Outside, the sun is shining, it's short-sleeve weather. The wife is driving through the forest and swamps this minute, about ready to enter the little urb where we often shop for discount groceries and other items, and where I used to work as an engineer.

Ah, but I do enjoy good violin music! And with Mr. McFerrin's incomparable voice and effects, this is good listening. Also, eating some oat fresh rolls, drinking some coffee with the fresh milk we got from our farmer friends on the other side of the county. Their farm is small and organic.

If you haven't noticed, it's a Leap Day on a Leap Year, on the first Sunday (First Day in Quaker-speak) after Ash Wednesday (which isn't Quaker, but pardon me for being born and raised Catholic). If any of you can calculate or know the odds of Leap Day falling on a Sunday, please write me. Would it be 1:4 X 1:7 ? since the 29th would of course be during the last week of the month?

Saturday, February 28, 2004

While at dinner at The Pizza Place in a town 15 miles away, I realized that we have been half-hearted all along, about learning, about speaking, German in our family, as we had agreed to do. And I've been half-hearted about learning Arabic.
I sated my appetite with vegetarian pizza, cheese sticks, salad, beer, and water. Now it seems like so very much! Tonight I realized that the feeling of being glutted, even just a little too full, is not really pleasant. More likely, it is better for the heart and soul to be a little on the hungry side, and get used to being that way.
By the way, I gave up red meat for Lent. I think I'll expand that, and make it all meat but fish flesh.

Now I take a little space to offer an introduction to the arabic_learners' group, a place where a student of Arabic can practice, at least using the Roman alphabet approximation of the words and phrases, the communication in written Arabic. As we progress, I hope that we will get mikes and make use of Chat rooms and Instant Messaging to practice Arabic.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Time now, 05:33 EST Dark still, cold, just heard the sound of heavy rain. The furnace just came on. I've got to go over to the green aluminum sided rectangular building to go over the class sign-in sheets and quickly file hand receipts for new books I distributed.
I opened our new Smithsonian yesterday and scanned most of it last night, stopping at an article on the endangered Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus, of Morocco. Photographer Enrico Ferorelli provides excellent photos to senior editor John F. Ross' story, Monkey in the Middle.

Outside, I can hear and even feel with my feet on the planking of the floor, the rumbling of the motor and vibration of the mass of a couple 18 wheeler tractor and trailer trucks moving north on our little asphalt ribbon of a highway.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Time now, 14:11 EST. Outside, cold, damp, cloudy. Inside, smell of bread baking, sounds of children playing, Nora Jones on my earphones, singing Turn Me On; ( "sittin' here waitin' for you to come on home, and turn me on...")

Just posted my resume' on another jobs/career development website. After I get finished with my VA paperwork, I need to find and contact the Interpreters' and Translators' Association here in the Peach State. Well, will have to search later tonight, after my classes. (After dark, over here)

In Haiti, have the government rebels reached the city of Port-au-Prince yet? A M. Petime' spokesperson for the rebels, said that they would be there by Monday. I think I've been busy with the classes I teach, and the organizing of a neighborhood crime watch, and my own children. I've not even had time to relax and really listen to the world news, instead, catching it on the fly. After I had twice done the edit on this, posted it, I was cleaning more of one of my mailboxes out, and read the following posted on the New York Times' site by LYDIA POLGREEN and CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS yesterday. "They're moving in our direction, but we're not there yet," said an administration official briefed on the talks.
But when was this said, and when was it filed?

"Representative Kendrick B. Meek, a Florida Democrat, said the United States should intervene immediately... Senator Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican who has visited Haiti more than a dozen times in recent years, expressed disappointment at the opposition's rejection and said the United States should prepare to use force." These lines excerpted from Christopher Marquis' article today in the New York Times. When are these politicians going to say that we're enough involved? Many, including much of the military, think we're stretched far too thin now. If the Administration is serious about its much vaunted War on Terrorism, they have to convince such as DeWine and Meek to focus their energies in supporting the resolution of the problems to which we've stuck ourselves, as with the proverbial tar-baby--especially Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. Not too mention this monster of a bureaucracy, the Homeland Defense.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Good day! I've been up since before 05:30. Now it's 06:20, have read my e-mail, and am listening to NPR, sipping black tea.
Early voting already going on in our county. Might I vote early, or do I have to have some commitment which will keep me away from the polls next Tuesday? I want to vote now, but maybe I'll learn something that will help me make an even more informed decision.

On G.W.'s Air Force record, I must say that you can't really depend on military records being all-inclusive. As a former clerk in the military myself, and recalling my own frustrations with the records departments at various posts in which I served, I can tell you that it's too easy for something to be left out. I know that I did my best, and I believe that I was thorough in my own records keeping, but my experience with my own records in Personnel Services was frustrating. I had to walk my own Spanish language results up to Personnel Actions, because someone at the Education Centre dropped the ball. Not Fort Stewart, not Fort Richardson, but I won't say where... Could have been anywhere, I suppose. And now that I've seen my military experience print-out from the Ed Centre, I'm surprised they have me recorded as being a parachutist in 1995, when I was not; but they don't mention my Air Assault school, so I guess we're even... The point is, it's not really reliable to depend on National Guard records when attacking Mr. Bush. That irritated me so much, that I felt irritated with the Dems who brought that forth. Here's what Wilkipedia has to offer on the Air National Guard period of our President's bio.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Time now, 02:45 EST Not long ago, got done telling stories to my daughter, l'il Annie-Franck, who maybe had night-mares, though she didn't know the word. Just,"Papa, I saw the lady, who suddenly made a mouth like a zero, and turned away."

She had me tell stories, about the first horse I rode, a pony, at the Knox County Fair in Illinois; about why we were driving through Iowa in December, looking for the surviving Fox and Sauk who they say, live in Tama County. I told her about the white People, who came with guns and liquor, wanting to settle the land. How it didn't work out, how angry men with guns made them leave, go West across the Mississippi to Iowa, Oklahoma, and other places.

She asked me to tell her more horse stories. I told her about how I rode horses on my cousins' ranch near La Barca, not far from el Lago Chapala, the Chapala Lake, which then had much more water. How a large green and multi-colored parrot, my Ti'o Francisco Xavier, bit my mother's toe. She kicked it across the patio, where it lay still. Suddenly it revived with a squawk and a jeer,"A la porra contigo!" (To the whipping-stick with you!) Am not sure of that translation; should anyone have better, please give it up. Maybe, "To h-ll with you?"

Finally, my daughter slept, while I told her how my mother as a young woman would play so beautifully on the piano the music of Enrique Granados. But I lay, wide awake, wondering what stories would my Ti'os tell about the parrot, the ranch, my grandfather, and struggling to raise their families in the failing economy of the 70's and 80's...

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Time now, 13:50. Just posted the bit about taking a walk in our charming, sunny Southern town. Well, we did get the doughnuts, for later, at the house. We did stop at the "restaurant with the big S," which is a chain, sells healthier food than almost all the fast food "joints," and we enjoyed a good repast, with our lassie, our laddie, the good wife, and yours truly.

So I'm back, didn't even take more'n a bit o' doughnut, maybe 'cause I had enjoyed a good "bocadillo" as one might call a sandwich in Spanish, if one doesn't want to impurify the Castillian with anglicisms. Yes, I know I'm pushing, struggling against the tide of fashion and historical etymological forces, but I will persevere in being conservative, even reactionary, when it comes to the language of my mother and her ancestors.

Since I bought a couple of little sacks of these chips yesterday on the road to X_________ down toward the Okefenokee, after eating some of the fattie snacks with Annie-Franck, I looked at the back of the package, and lo! and behold: Bible verses and a story on chips.

Since no one is paying me to advertise or promote any product now, I'll not mention the brand or manufacturer, but some of you may have seen them already. There's a folksy story by some character, real or fictional, I don't know. ( I may research this, but if you already know, be kind enough to give me a clue). Then there are some Bible references and passages, e.g:

_______Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the Life which I now live in the Flesh, I ________live by the Faith of the Son of God, who Loved me, and gave Himself for me.

_______John 3:16 For God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
_______should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.

_______John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

What key I hit, that just diminished the size of this font, I don't know, but let's see how it looks. I was trying to hit the dash key to put some indent in the words above. I know there's probably an HTML code or something that I can put, but I'm still very new and unskilled at this.
I've got to get busy; have some new educational software to persue and test-run for my ESL and Civics class.

Hello, hola, salut! Buenos tardes, buenos di'as to y'all on the other side of the Americas where it's till morning. Konichee wa to those in the Pacific where the sun may be rising or have risen.

Have returned a very little while ago from a walk in the town, to the Pig, as some call it, the Piggly Wiggly. We had stopped at the service station across the way, lookin' for doughnuts aftah Mass, doughnuts for to take back home n have wid our coffee, but first, Annie-Frank asked to go "to the restaurant with tha big S." She is our eldest, and our one and only daughter, so unless she has been acting badly, or it isn't feasible, we often give in. Yes I believe in spoiling them, sparing the rod, for now, because life can soon turn ugly, and you just never know when you'll have the chance to enjoy the blessings of today.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Bonjour! Buenos dias! So far, cool, cloudy Saturday, time now 0720. One kind is watchig an Irish cartoon, Jakers. My lad just woke; I hear his pitter patter and jibber jabber. Going to greet 'im. Now he's sittin' next to his sister on the bench, attentive to the tube. Am me. We had no television until a couple of years ago, when having returned from the Balkans, one of my mates says to me, "J.P. when I head back to Maine, you can have my television." ( I wonder how old Smart is doing these days? His wife died in a car crash, leaving him with an infant child. He came from somewhere between Lewiston and Portland, I think).

Have elections on the mind, these days. Yesterday, Iran held their bogus elections. They invalidated so very many progressive or moderate candidates. Looking at some back issues of the closest big city newspaper, I see a small AP article buried in the middle of the paper, "Khatami confined to home with back pain; Cabinet meeting postponed." Khatami had announced that his pro-reform government shouldn't hold the elections, since the Ruling Council disqualified more than 2,400 liberal candidates. An aide to Mr. Khatami told AP that the back problem was "exacerbated by stress."
The Islamic Iran Participation Front has called a meeting Monday--coincidental to our Ground Hog day--and was expected to announce a boycott of the polls. Nearly all of their candidates were barred from running in the elections.

And here in the States, Super Tuesday is approaching, which is relevant to me, since I live in Georgia, where one of those primaries will be held. Strange enough, I hear no one talking about the elections, not in the barber shop, nor at DJ's the only bar in our dry little county, where all you can get is a popular American brand of beer in the standard and light versions, both can and bottle. DJ's also happens to be a towing place. Behind the bar by the front of the building, on a corner table, sits a scanner which is always on, so patrons and DJ or his wife can listen in on the police and emergency channels. On weekends Nascar or football will be on, if it's not the local weather or news.

From the New York Times, 20
:... once in the Senate, Mr. Edwards voted for a trade accord with China in 2000, and he initially supported a bill to give President Bush sweeping new authority to negotiate trade deals.

Mr. Kerry has been a classic free trader in the Clinton mold, supporting free markets as the key to economic growth. He backed President Bush's push for fast-track negotiating authority. But now on the campaign trail, he stands side by side with labor leaders who oppose Nafta and pledges that as president, he would review the pacts he supported. once in the Senate, Mr. Edwards voted for a trade accord with China in 2000, and he initially supported a bill to give President Bush sweeping new authority to negotiate trade deals.

Mr. Kerry has been a classic free trader in the Clinton mold, supporting free markets as the key to economic growth. He backed President Bush's push for fast-track negotiating authority. But now on the campaign trail, he stands side by side with labor leaders who oppose Nafta and pledges that as president, he would review the pacts he supported.:... once in the Senate, Mr. Edwards voted for a trade accord with China in 2000, and he initially supported a bill to give President Bush sweeping new authority to negotiate trade deals.

Mr. Kerry has been a classic free trader in the Clinton mold, supporting free markets as the key to economic growth. He backed President Bush's push for fast-track negotiating authority. But now on the campaign trail, he stands side by side with labor leaders who oppose Nafta and pledges that as president, he would review the pacts he supported.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Good morning! O World! I greet ye with a blessing and a prayer for a little relief for each one of you who are suffering, and for each one of you who think that you have "it" made, a little more wisdom, a little more insight.

Sun shining, fairly warm outside. I sighted a bluebird on a tree. The bluebird then flew to the fence, chain-link, that bounds our property on the Northeast. Then, not fearing my 16 month old son nor my daughter nearby, it flew to the ground, and back to the other side of the fence, to eat some seed or something on the ground.

Now there is pleasant violin music playing from our radio. I see a woman walking along the street, greeting a man on a bicycle who slows and approaches her, speaking to her as he rides.

Just opened some mail from Oxfam, which pleads for money to support any one of their many projects, to feed the hungry, or assist poor farmers... One cause which I had followed years ago, and about which I'd not heard nor read anything in some time, is that of the coffee farmers and the people dependent on coffee for their livelihood. By this, I refer more to the growers and folk on the production side of the network, rather than the "middle" men and women.

Nathaniel A. Raymond, press officer for Oxfam's involvement in the movement to assist poor coffee farmers and coffee pickers, can tell you how the large coffee companies still make huge profits while the former toil, get paid hardly enough to provide for basic needs. Well, read for yourself...

One project with which I had involved myself and some friends in Bethel, Alaska, is Fair Trade. Am glad to see that the struggle for justice has not been abandoned, for the poor farmers and other workers in the coffee trade.

I have just heard Garrison Keillor read a poem by Ted Kooser, titled "Beer Bottle," from Sure Signs: New and Selected
Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press). It is posted in the Writers' Almanac.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Let's see how the linking to another resume' site works.

Later, I want drive the pick-up truck north, on a highway which I walked, picking up cans. Anyhow, got something else to check on that way. Idea: how about a little business for the many truckers who ply that route?

Good day, mates and strangers! Time now, 10:43. Have been doing job search stuff this morning. Updated my skills and c.v. on the Illinois Department of Employment Services site, received calls from my part-time job (teaching English and Civics) and responded to them.

Just got my voter registration card. How exciting! If any of you doubt the importance of one vote, check out the history of elections, including Al Smith's defeat back in the days.

Have been listening to Nora Jones. She's my new diva.

Going to post this now, while I do some more job research, and check a posting on the Mexican Revolution in Wilkipedia, concerning the P.R.I.'s efforts to suppress religion, and my grandfather's involvement in resisting this. Later, people!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Bonjour! Ca va? (Sa va? meaning, how's it going?) I very much would like to read how you're doing.
Here, it's 4:08 in the dark pre-dawn, in this small but not really sleepy any more town, nestled among the cypress and long-leaf pine forests and swamps of Georgia.
I woke up at half past midnight, and after a few minutes rose, knowing that I wouldn't sleep for a long while. So I've been online, browsing or web-surfing as one might call the "movement" of "going" from one site to another. Just finished posting an entry to the arab learners' group, on the topic of how to pronounce the name of Samarra. I would suppose that many outside the Fertile Crescent area might know the city for the news of bombings and fighting between American military and terrorists/Islamic freedom fighters, but as I learned the other day, it's actually a very ancient city with much history.

Before I forget, a few days ago somebody with ties to San Sebastian, Spain, posted a blog site which advances the cause of refugees and freedom fighters displaced by the Moroccan conquest of the former Spanish Sahara. I'll translate a few lines for those who don't know Spanish:
Gipuzkoa envРЈВ­a 120 toneladas de alimentos a refugiados saharauis, Dei@, 14.02.04.
LA CARAVANA mРЈРЃs solidaria partiРЈР“ ayer de Donostia con destino a los campamentos de Tinduf, en el sur de Argelia, donde conviven 167.000 personas que hace 28 aРЈР‘os se vieron obligadas a huir de su paРЈВ­s como consecuencia de la invasiРЈР“n marroquРЈВ­. Cuatro trailers y un camiРЈР“n llevarРЈРЃn hasta allРЈВ­ las 120 toneladas de alimentos recogidas durante los meses de diciembre y enero con la ayuda de 45 municipios, asociaciones, colegios y empresas de Gipuzkoa. >> mРЈРЃs
Guipuzcoa, one of the Basque countries, has sent 120 tons of food to Saharan refugees, according to Dei@, who posted this via Blogger on Valentine's Day. The Caravan mРЈРЃs Solidarnost left on the 13th February from San Sebastian (Donstia is the Basque name) destined for the camps of Tinduf, in the south of Algeria, where 167,000 people have settled for the last 28 years. They had to flee from their land as a result of the Moroccan invasion. Four eighteen wheelers and a truck van conveyd the 120 tons of food donations gathered during December and January with the help of 45 cities, associations, schools, and businesses in Guipuzcoa. --submitted by mРЈРЃs
Who is this organization whose philanthropic interest is the welfare of the displaced peoples of Spanish Sahara? A few searches via Google turned up nothing thus far, but there is an English-speaking organization called Center for Positive Practices, who have as one of their concerns, the refugees in this part of the Sahara.

Monday, February 16, 2004

_______Time now: 21:19. Weather, cool, partly cloudy. In the reconstruction of the life, one finds bits and pieces in the oddest places. In this case, in boxes stowed on the glassed-in porch, in a box marked "Alaska," which also had someone's name, whom I didn't recognize, but which seemed familiar. Ah well, no matter...
_______On little office notepads, with an airline's name and logo, I find written notes, in a style not too different from Papyrus:

The process
of coming to believe
restores me to sanity

Sanity=clean living=wholeness.

=>This belief gives strength
to move into action,
so that I may initiate my
next step on my road to recovery.

_______What one may ask, was I recovering from?

Let me count the things: Catholicism
Social Democracy
a university fraternity which will remain for now, un-named
a college-era romance gone sour
class hatred
latent memories of genocide
Mother's stories of revolution and exile
Judaism hidden within Christianity in order to survive
homelessness for 12 years
a deep yearning for love, knowing love

______And so it is, seemingly, ad nauseum, from the surface of the well of memories.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

As I begin this, it's 22:01 (10:01 p.m.) EST. Am watching and listening to a streaming video/audio of New York Times Channel presenting the happenings of the day, including the new agreement between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots.
Earlier this week, I came across a slip of paper on which, years ago, I had written a Roma saying which I found on a site by a young researcher of Roma (am trying not to say the G-word, so you may have to follow the link to find out more, if you don't already know the history of these fascinating peoples).

Prohasar man opre pirend -- Bury me standing;
Sa muro djiben semas opre chegende. I have been on my knees all my life.

Why had I written this and kept it for several years? To understand why, you would have had to be homeless for twelve years or so, and under-employed for many more. You would have had to be fired for speaking your mother's language--and I don't mean in a way that shut out anyone or interfered with the job, which was taking photos of tourists on a river boat on the Mississippi River.
Ah but enough of that chip on the shoulder bit. I'll save it for the "healing circles," as we used to call them in Bethel on the Tundra.

Bonjour! Man, how embarrassing! Not two days pass after entering my first page of the Blog, and I forget my username, though I probably had remembered the password. Listening to a piece on the NPR on Diana Mosely, a British citizen who became a friend of Hitler. Ah well, it takes all kinds, n'est-ce pas

Why would I be so absent-minded as to forget my own username? One might ask. I have been preoccupied with transitioning from my government job, as an engineer, to getting a position teaching, what eventually I hope will be full-time, fully certified. As it is now, I've got a B.A. in Modern Languages, but no certification. Back to school I must go! But enough about me, what's going on in the world?

Reading from the pages of the Amnesty Group 169 in Bath, Maine, the headlines discuss China and Tibet, Russian Federation, Iraq, the Victim Trust Fund of the ICC, and some local notes which by now are out of date. Two Amnesty Delegates, Eliza Moussaeva, psychologist and director of the Ingushetia branch of the Russian human rights group Memorial, and Bela Tsugaeva, the information manager for World Vision, who works in Ingushetia with displaced Chechen civilians, during a visit to the Russian Consulate in Washington, DC, last April expressed concerns about Chechnya, and also urged the Russian government, as a member of the UN Security Council, to support an effective human-rights monitoring presence in Iraq. They also met with State Department and National Security Council personnel, Refugee Council USA and the American committee for Peace in Chechnya.

They spoke in front of the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with AIUSA Advocacy Director for Europe and Eurasia, Maureen Greenwood, in the US Congress. They also went to the Holocaust Museum and Johns Hopkins University. The newsletter says they were also quoted on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.
(My 15 month-old son is now on my lap, so I must do this slowly. I've got him to stop pressing the keyboard with his hands, so now he's kissing the edge nearest us. Ah, well, when he started pushing on the edge of the desk with his socked feet, I let him stand up on the desk, but have hugged him, and placed him on the large, ugly faded orange and lime green but very comfortable armchair, and set a German Kindergarten songs CD which seems to keep him busy while I finish this. "Singen Yah Yah Yipee Yipee Yay!"
to the tune of "She'll be coming around the mountain.")
Anyway, Ms. Moussaeva and Ms. Tsugaeva have drawn much attention in this tour, which included a jaunt through Massachusetts and Vermont, to the matter of the many disappearances in the Caucasus, the torture and extrajudicial executions which have occurred in the regions affected by the Chechen conflict. They have urged Russian officials to provide information on those cases of "disappearances," to prevent the closing of camps for Chechen internally displaced persons, and to grant visas for Chechnya to Amnesty International experts. I encourage those who may be interested, and who care to do something to help the cause of those downtrodden in the Caucasus, to visit the site of the Amnesty International Russia Campaign.

I'm not pretending to be a very involved activist or member of any human rights organization. For years, I've abandoned my former activities of letter writing and whatever actions I may have done to advocate human rights. Maybe I can make up for that, now that I am between jobs, and can more easily re-design my life.
Students! you can register or renew your group's registration! Maybe after trimester exams, during Spring Break.

Ah well, this is only my second posting on MPbyoLO, so please bear with me. This is both a learning experience and an action of becoming, or transformation. Aloha!


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Hullo, hullo! Welcome to cafegroundzero, the meetingplace by the live oak, a blog by jean-pierre of memphis, the walker, the once aspiring poet, eldest son of Marie-Therese, daughter of el licenciado Jorge Padilla de La Barca. Too, son of Pete, who is son of Mary Allensworth, Mina daughter of Simon Weinburg who-sold-all-he-had-for-the-ocean-trip-from-Bismarck's-Deutschland's daughter.

Mission Statement: I invite you to join me in this mission, with your prayers, meditations, contributions, commentary, links to good places, warnings against bad ones, art, science, theology, and so forth. We will, I hope, and G-d willing, become part of what has been a flow toward a better world, or a better understanding of the world in which we live, or both.

The time is now 05:52 EST. The place is either somewhere in rural Georgia, USA, or just thanks to Blogger and their crew, a virtual spot in the cyber-universe. As I don't intend to grow roots through my tucchus into the wood chair which I salvaged from a place by a dumpsterin another county, I'm donning my jeans, socks, walking shoes, grabbing my wallet, and heading for a little fast food place in the centre of this town, for a walk, for a coffee, to watch the folk gather for their brekkie or coffee before they motor onward to their job, whether that be at the prison, the patrol, one of many farms or orchards nearby, the poultry factory or hen longhouses you sometimes see while driving through this onion country.

We'll meet soon enough. Good day! Recommended sites:


New Year Resolutions:

1. Be a kinder, gentler human being.
2. Learn how to balance my check-book and budget.
3. Practise chess at least once a week.
4. Work towards abs of steel, at least 4 times a week.
5. Re-read all of the Iliad, in at least two different translations.
6. Play with my children at least an hour each day.
7. Be a more romantic spouse.
8. Study and practice my Irish at least once a day.
9. Do at least one house improvement project a week, if possible.
10. Listen to Mid-day music every day for lunch, and make another contribution for the year, or double our yearly contribution.
11. Learn how to conjugate my verbs in Arabic.
12. Carve a Nativity set out of woods native to Georgia.
13. Attend the St. Patrick's day parade in Savannah.
14. Go to Mardi Gras in Lafayette, Louisiana.
15. Learn at least one programming language, most likely Visual Basic.NET.
16. Get my fishing rod fixed, and get a cane rod for my daughter, take her fishing, before Valentine's Day.
17. Save a little money, buy some Georgia municipal bonds.
18. Clean out the shed.
19. Clean out the back porch.
20. Listen to the Irish Music and Culture hour each Saturday, and consider putting public radio in my trust