Saturday, November 5, 2011

News: Andy Rooney. NP Free Days. Loan Fail. Foster Kids. George Foreman. Guy Fawkes. Cargo Trailer Dinette Table. "Fall" Back!


News, Old and New:


Fee-Free Days: November 11-13
"You'll get an extra treat when you spend time at a favorite national park, monument, or historic site this Veterans Day weekend: Entrance fees will be waived throughout the entire National Park System! So if you've been putting off a day hike or a weekend trip, mark your calendar to get in for free.
Find a Park Near You > >"

National Park Service. Photo Contest Winners - 2011
"For official descriptions of these NNLs, please visit the NNL Directory. Be sure to view the top three winners from previous year's contests."
1st place photo 1st Place
Hanging Lake, Colorado
Photo by Debra Miller of Highlands Ranch, CO
"Designated a NNL in 2011, Hanging Lake is a unique example within the Southern Rocky Mountains biophysiographic province of a lake formed by travertine deposition. It is one of the larger and least altered travertine systems in the province, where natural geologic and hydrologic processes continue to operate as they have done throughout the history of the lake. The site also supports one of the best and largest examples of a hanging garden plant community in the province."
2nd place photo 2nd Place
Archbold Biological Station, Florida
Photo by Reed Bowman of Sebring, FL
"Designated a NNL in 1987, the Archbold Biological Station encompasses the largest known relatively undisturbed tract of contiguous natural communities characteristics of the Lake Wales Ridge. The full range of moisture conditions (xeric-mesic-hydric) and most stages of plant succession are represented by high quality examples. Lake Annie is the highest quality water supply left in the system of valley sink lakes that extends northward from the site. A large number of endemic and rare species of plants and animals are located here."
3rd place photo 3rd Place
Monument Rocks Natural Area, Kansas
Photo by Rob Graham of Great Bend, KS
"Monument Rocks Natural Area includes pinnacles, small buttes, and spires of chalk of the Niobrara formation, and erosional remnants of sediments deposited in the ancient Kansas Sea of Cretaceous time. Designated a NNL in 1968, the site is a rich source of fossils of Cretaceous marine animals."

Renewable Energy Loan Fail, Again?

"Just as the White House announced that it would form an independent oversight team to review the overall health of the Department of Energy loan guarantee program, yet another clean energy company that profited from its piggy bank fell this week.

This time the company is not a solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing company like Solyndra--which received $535 million loan guarantee from the program and filed for bankruptcy this September-- but a Massachusetts-based energy storage company called Beacon Power that designs and manufactures various devices for electric grid reliability and efficiency.

Beacon Power was awarded a $43 million guarantee in August 2010 for the construction of a 20 MW flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York."

Deportations Leave Behind Thousands Of Children In Foster Care

"An unprecedented increase in the deportation of undocumented immigrants has left an estimated 5,100 children languishing in U.S. foster homes -- a troubling figure that could triple in the coming years, according to a November report from a New York-based advocacy group.
The Obama administration deported 46,000 parents of children who are U.S. citizens in the first six months of 2011, the ARC report says. Government data shows a total of 397,000 expulsions in fiscal year 2011, with half involving people with criminal records.
"This means that almost one in four people deported is the parent of a United States citizen child," said Seth Freed Wessler, the report's chief investigator and author. "ARC's research has uncovered a troubling collateral effect of these deportations: Thousands of children enter the child welfare system and are often stuck there."

"When we violate that commitment to keeping families together, when we take kids away from loving families, the result not only runs counter to the values that Americans place on families themselves," said ARC President Rinku Sen. "It also starts to look a little too much like abduction to be tolerable.""

More at:
From me: 

I think the USA is about the only country where if you are born here that you are automatically a citizen. 
In other countries, you are the nationality of your parents, no matter where you were born.
If we could change that one law, wouldn't that solve all of this?

George Foreman becomes oldest heavyweight champ

"Nov 5, 1994:  George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing's oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas.  More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel watched Foreman dethrone Moorer, who went into the fight with a 35-0 record. Foreman dedicated his upset win to "all my buddies in the nursing home and all the guys in jail."
Born in 1949 in Marshal, TX, Foreman had a troubled childhood and dropped out of high school.  Eventually, he joined President Lyndon Johnson's Jobs Corps work program and discovered a talent for boxing.

"Big George," as he was nicknamed, took home a gold medal for the U.S. at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. In 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, after winning his first 37 professional matches, 34 by knockout, Foreman KO'd "Smokin'" Joe Frazier after two rounds and was crowned heavyweight champ. At 1974's "Rumble in the Jungle" in Kinshasha, Zaire, the younger, stronger Foreman suffered a surprising loss to underdog Muhammad Ali and was forced to relinquish his championship title. Three years later, Big George morphed from pugilist into preacher, when he had a religious experience in his dressing room after losing a fight. He retired from boxing, became an ordained minister in Houston and founded a youth center.

A decade later, the millions he'd made as a boxer gone, Foreman returned to the ring at age 38 and staged a successful comeback. When he won his second heavyweight title in his 1994 fight against Moorer, becoming the WBA and IBF champ, Foreman was wearing the same red trunks he'd had on the night he lost to Ali."

Guy Fawkes Day in Britain.
"Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot..."                      Old nursery rhyme.

King James learns of gunpowder plot, Nov 5, 1605:

Guy Fawkes Facts
"Early in the morning, King James I of England learns that a plot to explode the Parliament building has been foiled, hours before he was scheduled to sit with the rest of the British government in a general parliamentary session.

At about midnight on the night of November 4-5, Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes lurking in a cellar under the Parliament building and ordered the premises searched. Some 20 barrels of gunpowder were found, and Fawkes was taken into custody. During a torture session on the rack, Fawkes revealed that he was a participant in an English Catholic conspiracy to annihilate England's Protestant government and replace it with Catholic leadership.

What became known as the Gunpowder Plot was organized by Robert Catesby, an English Catholic whose father had been persecuted by Queen Elizabeth I for refusing to conform to the Church of England. Guy Fawkes had converted to Catholicism, and his religious zeal led him to fight in the Spanish army in the Netherlands. Catesby and the handful of other plotters rented a cellar that extended under Parliament, and Fawkes planted the gunpowder there, hiding the barrels under coal and wood.

As the November 5 meeting of Parliament approached, Catesby enlisted more English Catholics into the conspiracy, and one of these, Francis Tresham, warned his Catholic brother-in-law Lord Monteagle not to attend Parliament that day. Monteagle alerted the government, and hours before the attack was to have taken place Fawkes and the explosives were found. By torturing Fawkes, King James' government learned of the identities of his co-conspirators. During the next few weeks, English authorities killed or captured all the plotters and put the survivors on trial, along with a few innocent English Catholics.

Guy Fawkes himself was sentenced, along with the other surviving chief conspirators, to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in London. Moments before the start of his gruesome execution, on January 31, 1606, he jumped from a ladder while climbing to the hanging platform, breaking his neck and dying instantly.

In 1606, Parliament established November 5 as a day of public thanksgiving. Today, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated across Great Britain every year on November 5 in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot.

As dusk falls, villagers and city dwellers across Britain light bonfires, set off fireworks, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, celebrating his failure to blow Parliament and James I to kingdom come. "



Ray did some more caulking in the cargo trailer, until Jim, the mechanic called to say that his car needed a new water pump, so he took off to get it.

Misty and I went to get Jay, and after Misty was done with her walk-about, I left her on their fenced porch and took Jay's sister's dog, Pepper for a walk.  He liked that.  No one had taken him walking since he arrived, so he had been confined to their house and fenced back yard.
It was the first time near-blind Misty and I had been apart when she was away from home, and her face had a concerned expression.  I hadn't meant to worry her like that.

Dinette-or-twin-bed Jay and I screwed the table pole holder on the bottom of the cargo trailer's table.   With careful measuring with a square, we centered the bottom pole holder on the floor between the dinette benches, and screwed it down.
With the thick cushions in place, we determined the length of pole needed, and drove to the RV store north of here to get it.

What you can't see, is that we built a slider out of some drawer runners underneath the table.  This allows it to be slid towards the left side to make it easier to get to the bed at the back, not shown.

Don't forget to "Fall" back tonight.

It started out as a 'jacket, turtleneck, thick jeans, and socks' day, but the sun warmed it up by midday.

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