Saturday, March 10, 2007

March Month Marching Marvels Part One

8:10 AM 0 Comments

“The public celebration of women's history in this country began in 1978 as "Women's History Week" in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women's Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women's History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women's History Month.” infoplease

National Women's History Month 2007 Theme:

Generations of Women Moving History Forward, is an expansion of the theme of the Houston Conference, “We Are Here to Move History Forward.” This theme recognizes the wisdom and tenacity of the generations of women who have come before us and those who will follow. Recognition of the historic anniversaries of 2007 presents special opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate the courage, determination, and steadfastness needed to move history forward.” .” National Women’s History Project

Mar. 2, 1904: Dr. Seuss' Birthday

The Lost Dr. Seuss Book: I Love My Job

I love my job, I love the pay.
I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss; he/she is the best.
I love his boss and all the rest.
I love my office and its location.
I hate to have to go on vacation.
I love my furniture, drab and gray,
And the paper that piles up every day.
I love my chair in my padded cell.
There's nothing else I love so well.
I love to work among my peers.
I love their leers and jeers and sneers.
I love my computer and its software;
I hug it often though it don't care.
I love each program and every file,
I try to understand once in a while.
I'm happy to be here, I am, I am;
I'm the happiest slave of my Uncle Sam.
I love this work; I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job-I'll say it again.
I even love these friendly men,
These men who've come to visit today
In lovely white coats to take me away.

Mar. 3, 1931: The Star-Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key

At a time when our loved ones – Family, Friends, Co-Workers, Fellow Men and Women are away at War, May we remember and never forget this song:

The National Anthem of the United States of America

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

March 11 DayLight Savings Time

Don’t Forget to Set The Clocks Ahead One Hour Tonight!

(part two of March Month Marching Marvels – next week – including green luck and the Easter Bunny! )

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Celebrate Black History Month By Accentuating the Positives

3:41 PM 0 Comments
Accentuating the Positives

“Originally established… 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African-American author and scholar, this event evolved into the establishment of February as Black History Month in 1976. This commemoration also has been referred to as African-American History Month. Both names are currently in use.

When Woodson established this… he realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of the public. The intention never has been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public's attention important developments that merit emphasis.

Since 1926,The Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH) has established the national theme for the month long celebration. The National Theme for the celebration in the year 2007 is From Slavery to Freedom” (from US INFO)

From Slavery:
“Charleston, SC was the major point of entry for Africans brought to America in the eighteenth century. Approximately three out of four enslaved Africans came to America through this port city, which had a black majority by 1790. In 1808, the foreign slave trade was abolished, but American-born slaves continued to be bought and sold until the Civil War.” (from The Aiken-Rhett House )

The first cargo of African slaves arrive in Lisbon with Antam Goncalves.
February 7. The first South Carolina law relating solely to slavery is enacted.
September 12. The Reverend Alexander Garden (d. 1773) opened a school for blacks in Charles Town. The purpose was to train them "in principles of Christianity and the fundamentals of education, to serve as schoolmasters to their people."
A black Christian church opens in South Carolina, reflecting the rapid growth of Christianity, the "white man's religion," among American blacks.
1790 SC Federal Census
Slave 107,094
Free Black 1,801
1800 SC Federal Census
Slave 146,151
Free Black 3,18
1810 SC Federal Census
Slave 196,365
Free Black 4,554
1820 SC Federal Census
Slave 258,475
Free Black 6,826
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Calhoun Street was closed in response to the Vesey insurrection. Reorganized in 1865, it became a focal point for black political activity.
Daniel A. Payne, a free black, opens a school for black children in Charleston.
1840 SC Federal Census
Slave 327,038
Free Black 8,276
1860 SC Federal Census
Slaves 402,406
Free Blacks 9,914
The Civil War: An estimated 250,000 African Americans, some of whom were slaves, serve as soldiers.
May 13 Robert Smalls, a black pilot, with a black crew sailed in the Confederate steamer Planter out of Charleston and joined the Union Fleet.
November The first black regiment was mustered into service in South Carolina. The First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers was commanded by Colonel Thomas W. Higginson, a white man from Massachusetts. During the war over 5,000 black South Carolinians joined the Union Army.
June 2 Harriet Tubman leads Union troops in a raid up only time a woman has led American troops in battle.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, organized by a black congregation, is established in Charleston.
November 13 The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery throughout the United States, is ratified.

(the above time-line is from Milestones in the History of Slavery)

For a more details on slavery in Charleston, SC, “Follow the African American Coastal Heritage trails and explore what our ancestors never imagined would become history” at The African American Coastal Trail

To Freedom:
“Both free and enslaved Africans helped shape Charleston’s economic and cultural life. Their agricultural knowledge is largely responsible for Charleston’s success. Ironwork, handmade sweetgrass baskets, she-crab soup and benne seed cookies are just a few of the well-known artistic and culinary contributions. Gullah, the Sea Island culture and language, continues to survive today.” (Charleston Area Convention and Visitor Bureau)

Serving Our Nation
2.4 million
Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2005. More military veterans are black than any other minority group.
(Source: 2005 American Community Survey. Data pertain to blacks of one race only.)

Among blacks age 25 and older, the proportion that had at least a high school diploma in 2005. In states such as Colorado, the proportion was even higher – 90 percent. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)
Percentage of blacks age 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or more in 2005. In many states, the rate was higher. Twenty-six percent of blacks this age in Colorado, for instance, had this level of education. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)
1.1 million
Among blacks age 25 and older, the number who had an advanced degree in 2005 (e.g., master’s, Ph.D., M.D. or J.D.). Ten years earlier — in 1995 — only 677,000 blacks had this level of education.
2.3 million
Number of black college students in fall 2004. This was an increase of roughly 1 million from 15 years earlier. U.S. U.S. Census Bureau

$88.6 billion
Revenues for black-owned businesses in 2002, up 24 percent from 1997. The number of black-owned businesses totaled 1.2 million in 2002, up by 45 percent since 1997. Black-owned firms accounted for 5 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States.
The number of black-owned firms in New York in 2002, which led all states. New York City alone had 98,080 such firms, which led all cities.
The number of black-owned firms operating in 2002 with receipts of $1 million or more. These firms accounted for 1 percent of the total number of black-owned firms in 2002 and 55 percent of their total receipts, or $49 billion.
The number of black-owned firms with 100 or more employees in 2002. Firms of this size accounted for 24 percent of the total revenue for black-owned employer firms in 2002, or $16 billion.

Homeowership – the American Dream
Nationally, the percentage of black households who lived in owner-occupied homes. The rate was higher in certain states, such as Mississippi, where it reached 56 percent.
(Source: 2005 American Community Survey)

The percentage of blacks age 16 and older who work in management, professional and related occupations. There are 44,000 black physicians and surgeons, 79,400 postsecondary teachers, 45,200 lawyers, and 49,300 chief executives. (Sources: 2005 American Community Survey and Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 602.)

For more information on the data in this section, see <>

Please note that this is the “18th year BellSouth has spearheaded the initiative, providing educators, parents, and visitors a method of identifying African-American role models for all youth, honoring notable African-American achievers with ties to South Carolina” at BellSouth in South Carolina.

Honorees like Marjorie Amos-Frazier, “The first woman to be elected to the Charleston County Council in 1974, she went on to even greater triumphs six years later when she was elected commissioner on the South Carolina Public Service Commission. Until that time, the commission had been a bastion of the state's white male legislators.”

On a personal note, I would like to add; born in Ohio –I had many African American Friends whom my Family and I would share in the enjoyment of playing together, dining, church attendance, school activities, picnics, sports, etc. As a child I never knew the world had racial lines. It wasn’t until about 1975, age 13 when we moved to Beaufort, SC and I attended the school Robert Smalls that I first heard the word ‘riot’. Isn't it sad my Readers that throughout history, humans - with all our knowledgeable intelligence have been far crueler to our own humankind, than any beast? Yet, thankfully the human race continues to persevere. Maybe because there are enough individuals, or communities, or positive efforts … to really make a difference! So lets just keep doing the best we can, rather as individuals or together - for the greater plan – and in the process let us never forget our roots, no matter where they began - for they were the seedlings of today’s many dreams come true.

"All men and women are born, live suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about... We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live."
by Joseph Epstein

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Vanna White in Charleston SC, Who What Else!

8:29 PM 0 Comments
“This month, South Carolinians are the lucky ones, asWheel of Fortune comes to Charleston for a series of show tapings to honor the home state of Vanna White. Vanna, born in North Myrtle Beach, has been one of South Carolina’s most famous faces since she joined Wheel of Fortune in 1982.” (Source: SouthCarolina Magazine)

Black History Month -- February 2007: Charleston’s African-American Heritage Honored:

“National Black History month has a special significance in Charleston, SC. The historical influence of African Americans in the South Carolina Lowcountry is reflected in the culture and customs that still resonate throughout the area…” (Charleston Area Convention and Visitor Bureau),ABC News 4

“The only tennis tournament offering the top junior players the opportunity to compete for a wildcard invitation into a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Tier I event will once again bring more than 400 regionally and nationally ranked juniors from 14 states (and Canada) to Charleston as SMASH Magazine presents the 6th annual SMASH Junior Cup on Daniel Island in Charleston, SC from February 23-26, 2007.” (Family Cirlce Cup)

Toy Soldier Show: 50 tables of new and antique toy soldiers, diorama supplies, and military books on sale and display. Sponsored by the South Carolina Military Miniatures Society. For more info call 795-8720:
Event Date Sat 3/3/07
Start Time 9:00 - 4:00
Location Patriots Pt Holiday Inn
Cost $3.00, children under 12 free accompanied by an adult
South Carolina Military Miniature Society)

Lynyrd Skynyrd & 38 Special show April 14th at the Ladson Fairgrounds!

From Charleston City Paper:
SOUTHERN ROCK FEST, The DJs at Q104.5 FM sure sound excited about what they're promoting as the Southern Rock Weekend at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds in Ladson in mid-April. In fact, the event is part of the annual Heritage Motorcycle Rally, which runs from April 12-22. Co-sponsored by Rock 104.5, the festival's main music lineup features Spartanburg's Marshall Tucker Band on Sat. April 14, the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd and '80s rockers .38 Special on Sun. April 15. The following weekend features modern country act Montgomery Gentry on Fri. April 20 and Illinois classic rock band REO Speedwagon, with support from Smashmouth, on Sat. April 21. Advance tickets for Marshall Tucker are available for $20, while advance tickets for Skynyrd are available for $30 (both at Check out and for more.”

100th Birthday celebration for oldest woman on Wadmalaw Island SC - Sun 4/15/07, this event is given by her children and grandchildren.

Stay posted my Readers for more Binding Ink! Thanks for Reading!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What Is Noisette Blvd Harboring Now

7:50 AM 1 Comments
Exit the former Navy base, recently erected Riverfront Park – turn right onto N. Hobson Ave following the sharp left curve, then immediately yield right onto Noisette Blvd. Rapidly approach the set speed limit of 30 mph, You will near the road laden train tracks and cross a trendy fishing bridge. But just before you make the final jagged left curve headed toward Virginia Ave., be sure to look on the left hand side and you will surely see what appears to be a wooden tunnel from Maryland turnpike or perhaps some strange wooden garden green house. Across the enclosed fence you’ll note some strange almost village lettering, Curious? I was! So naturally I went to the website. At first I was like - what does an odd shaped wooden doohickey have to do with film making? “Lost Trades is a collection of adventure based individuals with common goals: to bring about positive social and environmental change by building examples of human creativity, expeditioning to places of extreme beauty and documenting these voyages on film.” I began to explore some more and learned that Lost Trades is based on three Brothers from Woodstock, Vermont where the Brothers grew up in the mountains of New England. Somehow with only craftsmanship in their blood, a dream, and determination they came to Charleston, SC. July 2, 1999 on the Stono River, apparently on the old “Burnt Oak Plantation”; 9,000 hours invested - the three Brothers manual built ALLURA. A 50 ft. catamaran, 16,000 lbs. comprised of Okume Mahogany plywood and Douglas Fir, needing only 4 ft. of water when sailing. Certified for 77 passengers, the Brothers sailed the ALLURA to the Caribbean and started a day charter business.

Today, on Noisette Blvd. here in Charleston, SC is part of their GREENHORN BOAT SHOP. It is their MOBILE BOAT SHOP that they are able to pack up the entire warehouse and relocate to other 'port cities and coastal areas around the world.' Hence, the odd shaped tunnel is merely a 'giant tent with removable metal poles and a large tarp cover'. At the Navy Base Revitalization Project on Noisette Blvd, Lost Trades is building a 55 ft. Searunner wooden catamaran. Lost Trades also have an interest in Viking ships, canoes, kayaks, and rowing vessels. They offer apprenticeship and international exchange programs. “We build the highest quality sailing catamarans in the world, with the lowest low-tech tools. A few circular saws, jigsaws, sanders, and drills are all we need to create the ultimate sailing machine out of wood.” The website Lost Trades is a must read for more information on their history, expeditions, films, how to apply for apprenticeship… Meanwhile’ I am continuing to enjoy my rides to and fro work, noting the oblong progress on the craftsmanship. Wondering what their research has found for the 'renewable material for use in marine grade plywood' such as 'Airheart' vs the tropical hardwood. So Readers, be sure to take a look at the progress next time you are in the area! BTW: With as much rain water as Noisette Blvd tends to harbor after every down pour, Lost Trades might want to get started on those canoes!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Noisette Blvd Trains Ringling Bros

12:49 PM 0 Comments
Exit the former Navy base, recently erected Riverfront Park – turn right onto N. Hobson Ave following the sharp left curve, then immediately yield right onto Noisette Blvd. Rapidly approach the set speed limit of 30 mph and you will briefly see a train sitting on the right side of the tracks. Then suddenly traffic squelches to a halt as drivers note an almost cartoon caption sign – “caution 5 miles an hour– children at play’ –. As you near the road laden train tracks, the trains have almost reluctantly split, allowing traffic to cross the trendy fishing bridge. However, promptly caution for there atop the bridge stands another cartoonish sign “5 miles an hour– children at play’. Be aware my Dear Readers, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum/Bailey have come to town! That’s right, Ladies and Gentlemen Jan 31 - Feb 04 at the North Charleston Coliseum, The Greatest Show on Earth is in N. Charleston for our enjoyment! And on Noisette Blvd. sits their Circus bus and train! And I take great pleasure in my daily route to and fro work, noting the vehicles in front of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum/Bailey trains. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, taxis, … Knowing the Ringling Bros. and Barnum/Bailey Circus may be here to entertain the child in us all. However; for all the Ringling Bros. and Barnum/Bailey have always given us, it is nice to be reminded that behind the mask, the makeup, the tricks, treats, feats, and rings, they are people like you and I. People with Friends and Family visiting them. People visiting our town. People with kids. And so, seeing this on Noisette Blvd., has been for me, ‘the Greatest Show On Earth’.

"The dream is as much a part of the American culture as Ringling Bros. and Barnum/ Bailey itself: to run away and join the circus. For the human performers, animal stars, and crewmembers of the two unique editions of The Greatest Show On Earth, life on the road is the best life you could imagine!

The Red Unit and Blue Unit trains criss-cross the country 11 months out of the year, logging more than 25,000 miles as they bring America's Living National Treasure to millions of families in more than 90 cities! More than a mile long, each of the privately owned Ringling Bros. and Barnum/Bailey trains is an international melting pot of cultures and skills."
Ringling Bros. and Barnum/Bailey Trains

Sunday, January 28, 2007


1:58 PM 1 Comments
.My excursion began unpretentiously, my task simple – to define the lovely Mountain Laurel.

Enacted by the General Assembly as the State Flower for Connecticut in 1907 and Pennsylvania in May 5, 1933 . Mountain Laurel was first mentioned in John Smith's "General History," in 1624 specimens were sent to Linnaeus, the famous botanist, by the Swedish explorer Peter Kalm in 1750.

Linnaeus gave it the name of Kalmia latifolia, honoring the name his correspondent and at the same time describing the "wide-leafed" characteristic of the plant. In addition to being called the "Mountain Laurel," the plant has also been spoken of as "Calico Bush" and "Spoonwood." State Flower

However; for such an attractive plant, there is controversy. It is said that the Delaware Indians used laurel for suicide. Bees even produce poisonous honey from its nectar. I have found little on the internet to support the Indians suicide and even greater debate surrounding this plant being poisonous to animals. The following excerpt may have claim to such diversities:

“Mountain laurel is a very poisonous narcotic plant, the leaves of which were at one time used by some native North American Indian tribes in order to commit suicide. Because of its toxicity, it is a remedy that is seldom used in modern herbalism,but the leaves have been used externally in herbal medicine and are a good remedy for many skin diseases and inflammation.

Known Hazards: The foliage is poisonous to animals[21, 65, 76]. The whole plant is highly toxic[222]. Cases of poisoning have occurred when livestock or game birds have been eaten after they have ingested this plant[238].” Plants For a Future

As I continued my pleasure trip into the mountains, I cut across the beaten path of curiosity to ponder laurel and found:

A Laurel is a 16-17 year old participant in the Young Women's program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The name came from the Old testament, a laurel is a type of tree that in many parables people leaned on. -Wikipedia

The Laurel was the third English gold coin with a value of twenty shillings or one pound produced during the reign of King James I. It was named after the laurel that the king is portrayed as wearing on his head, but it is considerably poorer in both quality and style than the sovereign and Unite which preceded it. The coin was produced during James I's third coinage (1619-1625), five different busts of the king being used in these years. All the coins were produced at the Tower Mint in London. The laurel weighed 140.5 grains or just under 0.3 troy ounce, less than the previous Unite but almost exactly the same as the Unite issued under Charles I. -Wikipedia

I was about to 'rest on my laurels' when I finally came across,“Mountain laurel bushes are sometimes confused with bay laurel trees (Laurus nobilis), the small Mediterranean trees prominent in history and literature. The ancient Greeks and Romans fashioned bay laurel tree’s leaves into wreaths, to be worn as crowns by the victors in sporting events and military campaigns. When you think of Julius Caesar, you probably picture him wearing just such a wreath.” Landscaping

Its name "bay"--from the Anglo-Saxon--also means "crown," Nicholas Culpepper testified in 1653 to its curative powers in his Herbal, "Neither witch nor devil, thunder nor lightning will hurt a man where a bay tree is." SOUP OF THE EVENING

The term "baccalaureate," means laurel berry, and refers to the ancient practice of honoring scholars and poets with garlands from the bay laurel tree. Wikipedia hence a farewell sermon to a graduating class at their commencement ceremonies or an academic degree conferred on someone who has successfully completed undergraduate studies

Triumphant athletes of ancient Greece were awarded laurel garlands and was given to winners at Olympic games since 776 BC Today, grand prix winners are bedecked with laurel wreaths

“Ever since, the foliage of bay laurel trees has been a symbol of victory. It is still used as such for the Olympics. We even have the expression, “to rest on one’s laurels,” meaning to be overly content with one’s past achievements. It is also this more famous laurel that is used as a flavoring agent in cooking, often referred to as “bay leaf.”

The Greek word for laurel is dhafni, named for the myth of the nymph Daphne, who was changed into a laurel tree by Gaea

“In Greco-Roman mythology the nymph, Daphne was transformed into a bay laurel tree, to save her from Apollo’s unwelcome advances. Apollo was chasing this daughter of the river-god, Peneus through the woods when the magical metamorphosis occurred. The tale of her transformation has been passed down to us by the Latin poet, Ovid -- in the appropriately titled, Metamorphoses. Edith Hamilton, in her Mythology, relates the tale to us in English with her usual charm:

“She felt his breath upon her neck, but there in front of her the trees opened and she saw her father’s river. She screamed to him, ‘Help me! Father, help me!’ At the words a dragging numbness came upon her, her feet seemed rooted in the earth she had been so swiftly speeding over. Bark was enclosing her; leaves were sprouting forth. She had been changed into a tree, a laurel.”

Again we are reminded, “Muntain laurel, is related to its namesake, the bay laurel tree only in name. Indeed, the common name for Kalmia latifolia derives from the fact that, when Europeans encountered it in the New World, it reminded them superficially of bay laurel trees. But while the foliage of bay laurel trees is used as a culinary herb, mountain laurel is poisonous!” Oh but the aroma and benefits of the wonderful bay leaf!:

Attributed Medicinal Properties
In the Middle Ages it was believed to induce abortions and to have many magical qualities. It was once used to keep moths away, owing to the leafs lauric acid content which gives it insecticidal properties. Bay leaf has many properties which make it useful for treating high blood sugar, migraine headaches, bacterial and fungal infections, and gastric ulcers. Bay leaves and berries have been used for their astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emetic and stomachic properties. Bay Oil, or Oil of Bays (Oleum Lauri) is used in liniments for bruising and sprains. Bay leaf has been used as an herbal remedy for headaches. It contains compounds called parthenolides, which have proven useful in the treatment of migraines. Bay leaf has also been shown to help the body process insulin more efficiently, which leads to lower blood sugar levels.It has also been used to reduce the effects of stomach ulcers. Bay Leaf contains eugenol, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Bay leaf is also an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Bay Leaf has also been used to treat rheumatism, amenorrhea, and colic. Encyclopedia of Spices.

My, what a journey with just a simple mountain laurel in mind. I have found history and wonders and hopefully left you - My Readers with lots to ponder

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Unfinished Masterpiece

10:58 AM 2 Comments
Serendipity incidences have adorned my life for many years. The one spectacular serendipity moment I will forever treasure most is about my Daughter Violet. I had reluctantly placed Violet up for adoption when she was 1 year and 7 months old. When she was 16 years old I had gotten a P. O. Box so she could always have an address to get in touch with me, no matter where I moved. Shortly afterwards, the junk mail started arriving. One in particular caught my eye, the usual Frisbee CD disk from AOL to join their internet service. I would have disregarded the canister, except the password on the front stunned me. To this day I still have that very piece of junk mail. The password printed on the label, “BRING VIOLET’. Five something years later my Daughter and I have been blessedly reunited and I still get letters from my Daughter at that P. O. Box! Now that my Dear Readers is pure Serendipity!

Other occurrences of serendipity I have yet to unravel the mysterious ‘rhyme and reason’ for them. However; the below is a true story of the most astonishing serendipity in my life to date:

I worked with this Lady, Jen. In the course of developing a Friendship with Jen, I learned she wrote poetry and had a wonderful blog site. In fact, Jen inspired me to start my own, hence; my blog site ‘Binding Ink’. One day Jen resigned from her job. I never knew much more about her after that. However; I knew she kept her other job as a Night Manager at a local Perkins Restaurant. Sadly, October 7, 2006 a former Perkins employee robbed the place - shot and killed Jen.

Then toward the end of November, just so happen I was searching for a new residence. I had made calls to several apartment complexes. One LandLady, said there may be an opening in January if the Tenants decide not to renew their lease. Then suddenly a few days later this LandLady called, stating a previous application did not go through and there was an immediate vacancy! I was happy, signed, sealed, approved, and started moving in Friday December 22. Saturday things in the apartment started going wrong. The curtains I hung fell down, this – that and the other. All the while, I kept getting this vibe to check the mailbox here. I was like, heck I just moved in; why would I want to check the freakin’ mailbox. Meanwhile; I also kept thinking how much my taste in decorating had changed for the better and how the writing vibes in this apartment were strong. Any how; about 4 pm Christmas Eve I was taking my last load of empty boxes out to the trash and decided to check the mailbox. I brought the mail into my apartment and when I saw whom the old junk mail was addressed to, I about fell on the floor! The junk mail was addressed to no other then, Jennifer Skurow. My old Friend, Co-Worker, Jen! Remember, I never got to know her that well, so I surely never knew where she lived. Of all the apartment possibilities in any town, what were the odds of over 2 months later I would be living in Jens’ old place? Serendipity.

Yes, it is ever so sorrowful, amongst those Family Members, Friends, Co-Workers, Blog Readers whom will miss Jen; gone also is Jen’s talent, her poetry, that may never be known. For when Dominic murdered Jen that dreadful night, he also left the ‘literary world’ with an unfinished masterpiece. However; my Dear Readers, amidst the ‘sick’ events in the world, amidst the chaos there are rainbows and snowmen. And so just maybe in spirit or atom particles of anonymities; maybe Jen is here to encourage people like myself to establish their writings, their talents before it’s too late.

Serendipity, a Universal symphony whose tune can be heard by the most tone deaf person.

Follow-up Posts:

JUSTICE for Jennifer Skurow (15 months to the date of Jennifer Skurow’s murder, the alleged murderer is now going to trial.)

JUSTICE for Jennifer Skurow Prevails (Heather Olinger from CountOn2 News online, Thursday, Jan 10, 2008 - 09:32 PM states; “… man guilty of murder and armed robbery, and sentenced him to life in prison….”)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Art of Listening

12:47 PM 0 Comments
It seems to be a sick world. Rather one person or a group of people are doing something worse than the person before. Or someone is stricken ill, much worse than the other. It is a sick world.

Be Mothers killing their offspring like some innate, wild manly beast syndrome. Child molesters robbing fruit from the young before it is ripe. Mental Physical Child abuse – no excuse. Drug abuse, alcohol abuse, any reason as an excuse. Columbine High - Teenagers Gone Wild and We Don’t Know Why. Blame Syndrome guns, videos, parents, schools, manufactures, etc. anyone except our very own self. Crime is high – enjoy the tax free ride - free TV, free cable, three free meals, free pills, free medical, free dental, free education, etc. And what criminals haven’t already done to our society, others have done to us such as 9-11. Benefits, many murders are given the death penalty to die humanly for their gravely acts. Those without an immoral harden heart are at a disadvantage. In particular those people with illnesses, especially diseases without a cure such as cancer, aids… Sadly, these people die inhumanly. In the intervening time, these law abiding citizens must also bear atrocious unflavored m & m’s (medical and medicine cost) or do without. Yes, It is a sick world from the cradle to the grave.

However; sometimes life is merely a matter of perception. Is the world more good or bad? ‘Is the glass half full or half empty?’ For; in-between life and death, there is: serendipity, ironic, coincidence, and karma. Four words that merely seem to be complex, exchangeable synonyms. And due to individualism, the terms can be a matter of personal perception, personal choice on how you perceive them. As in, is disease a disease or dis-ease? For intellectual raison d'être, I will begin with my definition for these four words:

Serendipity: "the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely" Wikipedia

Ironic: when you say one thing but mean another; that what might be expected and what actually occurs

Coincidence: a matter of luck, a fluke; thinking about a song and then hearing it on the radio or thinking about a Friend and getting a phone call from that person

Karma: has to do with fate, personal belief

Oh, but the combination of ‘ick’ is a Universal symphony whose tune can be heard by the most tone deaf person; is the purest serendipity.

My belief is that essentially there is more to life than what our basic 6 senses are cognitively aware of. Again all this is just my conviction, and that is the Universe talks to us all. Note: one can call the Universe God, He, She or whatever. Yet, as certain as there is the wind for which we can not see, there is a voice-the voice of the Universe.

All one needs to do is understand the language. To each Country, Culture their own native tongue; foreign to many others. Any class of Aves-for every bird its’ own melody. Nature has ‘The Four Seasons’ language. Autumn paints its’ season in colorful leaves, Spring in fields of wild flowers, Winter in whiteness, Summer in heat. The Universe, a language all its’ own. The Universe is a voice that speaks a language based on sight. The HIF sight that is. Hindsight I-knew-it-all-along, Insight (intuition), Foresight (make provision for what may happen). “The hindsight into the past gave me new insight into the present reality that in turn provided me with a hopeful foresight into the future.” -Village Church

So no matter how 'sick' the world may seem at times. Remember for all the torrid rains there are rainbows. For all the avalanches there are snowmen. And through all the worldly chaos, the Universe does speak to us of its’ beauty, its' rhyme and reason, via 'serendipity, ironic, coincidence, and karma'. All we need to do is use the 'HIF' factor to figure out what the clues mean or where in life they lead. For this my Dear Readers is the true art of listening.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Celebrate New Year's Every Month of the Year!

7:44 PM 0 Comments
"Why celebrate New Year's only once a year? It’s possible to celebrate New Year's every month of the year (101 New Year's Days each year!). Celebrate Sekhmet in January, Chinese New Year in January or February, Noruz in March, Baisakhi in April, Buddhist New Year in May, Runic New Year in June, Armenian New Year in July, Shenshai New Year in August, Rosh Hashanah in September, Samhain in October, Dipavali in November, and Papal States New Year in December. Please note that the New Year's listed below are for 2002. Many New Year's Days, especially religious ones such as the Chinese, Jewish, and Muslim, change from year to year. We have tried to be as accurate as possible. If you find any discrepancies, please email the International Special Events Registry.

Nothing requires we celebrate New Year's only once a year. Indeed, before 1752, Americans celebrated New Year's Day on March 25th (Lady Day according to the old Celtic religion and the Feast of the Annunciation according to the Christian religion). Great Britain and its colonies changed their New Year's celebrations to January 1st when they changed from the old Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1751."
Celebrate Today

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Code Amber USB Flash drive Child ID

7:08 PM 0 Comments
Code Amber now endorses, and is your source for, the Amber stick, the first and only fully portable Child Identification system.

The Amber stick (tm) is the next generation of Child Id software. It is
fully contained on a USB Flash drive so there is no software to download
and install.

The software on the USB drive is password protected and the data is
completely encrypted to ensure your privacy. If the USB device is lost
the data is unreadable without the password which you set when you
first use the software (the password can be changed at anytime).

Simply plug the USB drive into your computer (all computers made in
the last 10 years have at least one USB port) and the software automatically
starts and prompts for the password. Enter your data and up to three
photographs of each child, pet or person you want to protect and done.
The Amber stick will hold information on up to 100 individuals.

If a child or person goes missing you simply hand the USB device to
the police officer and give them the password to the software. Almost
all police cars now have an onboard laptop computer which is connected
to the police station over a wireless network so the critical information
is available to the entire department within minutes. No more searching
for a photograph to scan or the need for the officer to take critical
descriptive information by hand.

Missing persons and Missing pets flyers can be printed at the click of
the mouse as well.

For more information on the Amber stick (tm), and to order through Code
Amber, please visit Code Amber

All sales help to fund the daily operation of Code Amber.

Volume discounts are available. Please contact us for details at

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thanks! From Around the World!

2:54 PM 0 Comments
Tis November! Images of Turkeys drum in our heads, tickle tempting our noses, as we loosen our belts one more notch in preparation for the Feathery Fulfilling Holiday! Meanwhile; across this vast world, numerous individuals consider Thanksgiving to be specifically an American Holiday, as images of Pilgrims and Indians bonding Friendships, emerge in their thoughts. For other world regions, Thanksgiving is essentially a Harvest related Festival, celebrated on a range of dates with an assortment of special names:

Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in the month of October.

Different sections of India , such as Baisakhi, Lohri, Onam, Pongal etc., have Harvest Festivals.

Asian Countries such as China, Malaysia, and Korea also celebrate their Harvest Festival on different dates. Each of their Harvest Festival has a folklore attached to it:

Chu Suk (Bountiful Abundance) is a popular Korean Festival during the Harvest season.

Kadazan Harvest Festival of Malaysia is locally known as " Tadau ka'amatan " (padi harvesting festival).

Africa Harvert Festivals include the Festival of Yams and Homowo (meaning hooting at hunger).

Australia Apple and Grape Harvest Festival

United Kingdom Harvest Festival is one of the oldest known festivals.

There are many more areas that celebrate a version of the American Thanksgiving. And all the Celebrations pertaining to Thanksgiving or Harvesting contain ‘One’ central Theme of commonality, giving Thanks or being Thankful.

So rather you are making another notch in your belt, cheering on your Football team, etc., may you be ever so ‘Thankful’.

And for those amongst different chaotic chaoses, personal challenges, for those without a belt to loosen, or enough food to fend the belly; One I include you in my Prayers. Two, if you do not believe in God, I still include yous in my Prayers. For God is not to Blame for earthly pain. Thus, I encourage you to please read an earlier post of mine, Is God To Blame Three, may you begin by counting the small things you do have. Cause it is in counting even the smallest that things begin to add up to an abundance of blessings, good fortune, luck, etc., people never realized they had.

For they whom do not stop to count their crops, can never know the true rewards of their suffering.

Monday, October 30, 2006

All Hallows' Eve

2:00 PM 0 Comments
Tis to be the Eve of Halloween! The Witches are already brewing their cider in black cast iron vats, made from the cavity fillers of the dead. Oh so many rotten teeth of those who once enjoyed many a Halloween treat. So go on, drink, drink! The cider is good, uh? Such is made from the finest red apples, grown in Salem and fertilized from the ashes of our wrongly burnt Conventionists. Phew you say, the reminiscent of burning Withes never existed. Bite you tongue and eat your words, for here are some court documents on the very trials of my Witch ancestors. Here, drink some cider to wash the blood from your very own bitten tongue. Oh yes, and it is the worms that give each cup that tingly tang! So til Midnight, I bid you all a Happy Halloween! Bytheway, the bats have now abstained for days, as they hang anxiously about waiting to feast upon the bare necks of the living, on this eerie night.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Clemson defensive back Ray Ray McElrathbey - Please Help

9:50 PM 0 Comments
Clemson defensive back Ray Ray McElrathbey appeared in a segment of the Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday, Oct. 20.

I have been following this story for awhile now and would like to share it with you. This is a real life story about Ray Ray still struggling to help his Family get out of the ghetto life of hardship, drugs, etc.. The below article is long, however; the story will touch your hearts and hopefully some wallets. Thank you for reading.

From my Local Newspaper: The Post and Courier, Charleston SC

Ray Ray's worries, pain far from over

Mother, rest of family still facing hardships
Friday, October 20, 2006


Tonya McElrathbey, mother of Clemson football player Ray Ray McElrathbey, recalls patting down Ray Ray for money when he was 8 years old, because she wanted cash to buy drugs.



Cornelius McElrathbey picked up the phone, paused for a moment, and started dialing his older brother's cell number.

The weekly rent of $176 was due, and the hotel was hours away from evicting him, his sister and their mother. Ray Ray already had swooped to their rescue a few weeks earlier, and mom was too embarrassed to plead for his help again on this weekday morning in mid-September.

So Cornelius, 16, reluctantly made the call that would ultimately extend the family's stay in what 13-year-old Brittany called "the worst hotel in Atlanta."

"It kind of felt sad," Cornelius recalled. "It was hard to ask him. But if he said no, we'd have been in the streets."

The television features, the newspaper articles and the adoration from strangers paint something of a fairy-tale picture of Ray Ray, a 20-year-old Clemson football player who is raising his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr because of their mother's drug addiction and father's gambling problem.

The courageous story is so heartwarming that the NCAA relaxed its stringent rules against extra benefits, allowing outsiders to provide Ray Ray with support - financial and otherwise - as he juggles football, school and surrogate fatherhood.

But beyond the feel-good vibes and the nice, tidy endings that have been applied, Ray Ray remains afflicted with worry and grief. Because he still has siblings who are stuck in the same unpredictable hell that he and Fahmarr managed to escape.

A few days ago, mother Tonya and the two kids were scraping by in Atlanta. Today, mom is in a rehabilitation facility and the children are with an older sister in North Carolina.

What's next? Ray Ray wishes he knew.

"There's not a happy ending to this, because they're going through the same thing I went through," he said. "People don't realize that it's not over for me."


'It's all around us'

Despair was the prevailing emotion last week at Sunset Lodge, a four-story hotel that overlooks the bustle of I-20 about nine miles southeast of downtown.

In August, Tonya made the decision to bring the family back to Atlanta after a failed attempt to reconnect with her husband in Las Vegas. The hotel stay was intended to be temporary, but Tonya lost her job at a warehouse after three weeks and had tried unsuccessfully to find employment elsewhere.

She has been cycled off welfare rolls, and the only steady support has been food stamps and a monthly disability check the government provides Cornelius, who has a mental disability. Tonya said her husband remains in Las Vegas and is essentially out of the picture.

Brittany attended a nearby middle school, and Cornelius took the city bus to Southwest Dekalb High. There was no desk for them to use as they completed homework, no table for Tonya to serve canned dinners that were heated by a small microwave.

Brittany and her mother slept in one bed, Cornelius in the other. There were no family pictures on the walls or the night stand - nothing around to remind them of better times and better places.

Outside, the sight of drugs changing hands did not raise eyebrows.

"The environment, the drinking and drugs and stuff, is so close," Cornelius said. "It's all around us."

Ray Ray and Fahmarr went home last weekend, visiting the ramshackle hotel for the first time. Ray Ray didn't like what he saw.

Brittany's big brown eyes, bright smile and bubbly persona lit up the drab and depressing surroundings. But her expression changed when she was asked about the 300 square feet that served as home.

"You can see when you drive up that it's nasty and it's not a place for a child," she said. "You wouldn't want to be here, would you?"


Hoping for change

From that same hotel room, Tonya, 40, began sobbing as she recalled her most haunting image from Ray Ray's childhood. Deep in the throes of her addiction to crack cocaine, she'd frantically rummage through his clothes searching for money.

One of eight siblings ages 7 to 23, Ray Ray spent most of his formative years bouncing around foster homes and living with coaches. His mother's problems began when he was 7.

That's about when she took Ray Ray to a crack house and left him in an adjacent room while she went to get high. She said she was stunned to read that revelation in a recent newspaper article.

Ray Ray and his siblings took turns standing watch at night so Tonya wouldn't try to sell the television. They also guarded the food so she wouldn't take that. When mom rifled through their pockets looking for cash, the money was hidden in their underwear.

"I think about that now and I'm like, Oh my God. What was I thinking?" she said. "Ray Ray would say, 'I don't have any money, Mama.' "

Tonya said she began to confront her addiction more seriously after her problems were broadcast to the world. She said pieces by ESPN, ABC, and other national outlets, following the initial Aug. 19 article in The Post and Courier, have made her "the most famous drug addict on TV."

Ray Ray has used the visibility of his story to find people who are willing to help. Last week, a day after she partied for most the night, Tonya agreed to commit herself to an inpatient facility in Atlanta.

Cornelius and Brittany are moving to Elizabeth City, N.C., where their 21-year-old sister, Sabra, lives with her 2-year-old son.

Tonya's problems began in the early 1990s when she started drinking with friends after her husband lost his job. That led to a few snorts of cocaine every now and then, but recreational fun quickly became a raging and relentless addiction.

Before long, she moved to crack. She said the only respite in the past decade came four years ago, when she joined a treatment program and discovered she was just the latest person on her mother's side of the family to suffer from depression and chemical dependency.

She said she stayed clean for two years before relapsing. In September 2005, she cleaned up enough to regain custody of Cornelius, Brittany and Fahmarr before she took them to Las Vegas.

Now, Ray Ray's fame and the reasons behind it have inspired her to try again.

"It makes me want to change," she said. "I want to get the family back together as much as possible. I want it where everybody can come back to our house or apartment to visit. And maybe barbecues in the backyard, dinners. You know, stuff that families do."


'What about us?'

The setting on the second floor of the hotel stood in stark contrast to the environment Ray Ray and Fahmarr enjoy at Clemson.

Ray Ray, a redshirt freshman defensive back who gained temporary custody of Fahmarr in July with Tonya's consent, uses an off-campus living stipend to rent a two-bedroom town home about five miles from campus.

After the NCAA relaxed its rules, Clemson set up a trust fund to help Ray Ray support Fahmarr. The most recent estimates have shown more than $60,000 in contributions in little more than a month. The money will eventually be put into a college fund for Fahmarr, and he will incrementally receive whatever is left as an adult.

Susan Spence, wife of Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence, has played a large role in taking care of Fahmarr. She gives him rides to and from school with her two daughters, and on Monday nights Fahmarr sleeps over because Ray Ray doesn't return from practice until late.

Ray Ray and Fahmarr have become virtual celebrities at Clemson as their story has grown. Meanwhile, Cornelius and Brittany watched it all unfold from the hotel with conflicting emotions.

"When they saw Fahmarr on TV, they said 'Oh my God, he is so lucky,' " Tonya said. "I try to promise them they're going to be OK. But they're like, 'What about us?' "

Cornelius and Fahmarr share a tight bond from years spent together in foster care. Cornelius said he experiences pride and relief knowing Fahmarr is in a better place, and he pledges to live by the example set by Ray Ray.

But when the credits roll on the glossy television shows, Cornelius and Brittany look around and wonder what their future holds.

"It kind of makes me wish I was there too," Cornelius said. "I wish I would have went with Fahmarr, but I know it would be too much for Ray Ray."


Hidden pain

Expressive and gregarious, Ray Ray rarely reveals his deeper emotions publicly. He admits to being tormented by the despair back home.

"I just keep it to myself for the most part," he said.

His oldest sister, 23-year-old Tanea, has no job and no home in Atlanta. She is trying to regain custody of her three children after two years without them. His two youngest siblings, 9-year-old Tatiana and 7-year-old Alanta, live with a grandparent in Decatur. Ray Ray feels as though he barely knows them.

"He doesn't show you he's worried or feeling pressure," Cornelius said. "But if you've been around him long enough, you can tell when he's keeping it in."

A little more than a month ago, Ray Ray had every reason to feel as if he was on top of the world. ABC News and World Report, which named him its "Person of the Week," was following him around with cameras. Two days later, ESPN would profile his story to the nation on College GameDay.

But after receiving the phone call from Cornelius that morning, Ray Ray was finding it impossible to be happy. He wired the $176 to his mother to stave off eviction for another week, and then the folks from ABC wanted him to be engaging and entertaining and enlightening.

He tried his best and managed to pull off the act. But deep down he hurt, because he knew his happy ending wasn't even close to the end of the story.

"When I think about it, I really don't know how I cope with it," he said. "I just take it how it goes."


On Oprah today

Ray Ray McElrathbey and his brother Fahmarr will appear on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' as part of Oprah's 'Childhood Interrupted' story.

When: 4 p.m. today

Channel: WCBD (NBC)


To contribute

All checks to the trust fund should be made payable to First Citizen F/B/O Fahmarr McElrathbey.
They can be mailed to: Fahmarr McElrathbey Trust, C/O First Citizens and Olson Smith Jordan and Cox Attorneys at Law, P.O. Box 1627, Clemson, SC 29633.


Reach Larry Williams at

Sunday, October 08, 2006

October Festival

2:01 AM 1 Comments

$It is October ! Fall is in the air!

The First Day of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere is September 23rd, 2006
The First Day of Fall in the Southern Hemisphere is March 20th, 2006

Autumn is the season during which most crops are harvested, and deciduous trees lose their leaves. It is also the season where days rapidly get shorter and cooler, the nights rapidly get longer, and of gradually increasing precipitation in some parts of the world.

A whimsical month jam-packed with festivities!

Yom Kippur sunset, October 1 – nightfall, October 2

Yom Kippur is the "Jewish day of repentance, considered to be the holiest and most solemn day of the year. Its central theme is atonement and reconciliation." Wikipedia

On October 6 the Mid-Autumn Festival (Traditional Chinese), Moon Festival, Mooncake Festival, or the August Moon Festival will occur.

Armed Forces Day (Egypt) October 6

October 7th Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Begins

Columbus Day Second Monday of October

Thanksgiving (Canada) Second Monday of October; November 23 (USA) fourth Thursday in November

Filipino American History Month (in United States)

Dartmouth Outing Club vertical Challenge

Halloween October 31

Don't Forget to Turn Your Clocks BACK ONE HOUR on Sunday October 29th, 2006

Most importantly, October is considered Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October symbols include bobbing for apples, pumpkins, witches, werewolves, the moon, etc. So for our October entertainment here are some moon words. May these words tickle your memories of joyous days:

In remembrance of New Orleans, I will start with:

Moon Song.

Once I tried to capture the rapture of the night,
Silly dreams I knew would disappear,
But it seems they left a souvenir,
One refrain eternally will haunt me, taunt me.
It came from nowhere the night that we met,
T'was like a melodious plea, wee moon song that wasn't meant for me.
Why is it always reminding me of a love dream that never could be.
Wee moon song that wasn't meant for me.
It came gliding into my heart, riding on a moonbeam from above.
Sorrow and this and the whole world blended in a rhapsody of love.
There I heard her singing to somebody else,
What I thought was my melody,
Wee moon song that wasn't meant for me.

Paper Moon(Paper Moon film)

Proof that Moon is made of cheese (Zoom in to maximum magnification! Move center button marked - up to max)

I love you to the moon and back (From a book about father rabbit and a child rabbit trying to prove their love for one another by expressing it with grandiose gestures and words. Each page, the characters try to one-up the other one with their declarations of love. At the very end the father rabbit says to the sleeping boy rabbit: I love you right up to the moon and back. Copyright © 2006 )

Blue moon (“There are in fact two definitions for a blue moon. According to the more recent definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a blue moon to occur, the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days). June 2007 will have two full moons: the first on June 1, the second on June 30—that second full moon is called the blue moon” -infoplease) Hence, Once in a Blue Moon.

Shoot for the moon
Artist: Norah Jones Lyrics

You've got nothing to lose
When you've lost it all
And that's a good time to choose
If you're gonna stand or fall

I've got a feeling
Things'll get better soon
Dreams are for dreaming
Dreams are for coming true

Shoot for the moon
Aim high
There's a billion stars
In an endless sky
And one is yours
And one is mine
Shoot for the moon
Aim high

You've got everything you need
If you've got a friend
Somebody that'll whoop your mule
Push you to try again

Pull back your arrow
Stand with your chin up high
Feel firmly planted
Sight with a single eye and

Shoot for the moon
Aim high
There's a billion stars
In an endless sky
And one is yours
And one is mine
Shoot for the moon
Aim high

Moon river (a song composed by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini in 1961. It was sung in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's by Audrey Hepburn)

Man in the moon (the Chinese Man in the Moon is called “Yue-lao”.}

My Dear Readers, consider yourselves ‘mooned' J, the Binding Ink way!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Come, Read With Me!

4:58 PM 1 Comments

By Eleanor Farjeon

What worlds of wonder are our books!
As one opens them and looks,
New ideas and people rise
In our fancies and our eyes.

The room we sit in melts away,
And we find ourselves at play
With some one who, before the end,
May become our chosen friend.

Or we sail along the page
To some other land or age.
Here's our body in the chair,
But our mind is over there.

Each book is a magic box
Which with a touch a child unlocks.
In between their outside covers
Books hold all things for their lovers.

Come Meet my new Friend, Eleanor Farjeon!:

“ELEANOR FARJEON (1881-1965) grew up in England in a house filled with books, and she and her brothers enjoyed reading stories to one another and writing their own. In America, Farjeon’s best-known work may be the hymn "Morning Has Broken," later recorded by Cat Stevens. Farjeon was pleased when The Little Bookroom won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Carnegie Medal, but she turned down another honor—Dame of the British Empire—explaining that she "did not wish to become different from the milkman." At her death, the Children’s Book Circle established the Eleanor Farjeon Award in her honor.” Editorial Reviews/About the Author

Morning Has Broken
As sung by Cat Stevens
lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

Eleanor Farjeon is described as been small, shy and quiet, and she wore glasses from the age of eight. Her parents contributed much to her career as a writer and poet. She had a vigorous imaginary life, especially with her older brother Harry (who became a composer). Though very shy and emotionally immature into her thirties, she was well acquainted with a circle of talented artists, writers and musicians. Eleanor Farjeon was a writer and poet and playwright.©

Here, let me introduce you to Eleanor Farjeon’s Family:

Her father, Benjamin Leopold Farjeon was a successful writer and novelist©

Maggie (Jefferson) Farjeon, her mother, was the daughter of a well known American actor (his father and grandfather were also actors)©

She had three brothers: Harry Farjeon (who became a composer), Joseph Farjeon and Herbert Farjeon (who were writers); she was 2nd in rank in the family.©

And these are some of Eleanor Farjeon’s Friends, (She was a friend of many poets, etc.):

D.H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare, Robert Frost, and his close friend Edward Thomas©

Eleanor Farjeon’s Bragging Rights:

©Awards Received:
Library Association Carnegie Medal of Great Britain, 1956
Hans Christian Anderson International Medal, 1956
Catholic Library Regina Medal of America, 1959
Children's Book Circle created the Eleanor Farjeon Award in her memory.
Piddock Day in NYC - a celebration based on one of her stories.

All About Eleanor Farjeon’s Work:

The stories and other writings of Eleanor Farjeon include for children: 30 works of fiction, most were collections of stories; three plays based on fairy tales, 33 publications of verse, and eight other books. Writings for adults included 11 novels, as well as plays, verse, and biography. Most are probably hard to find, though a number of her collections of stories were reprinted in the 1950's.©

(Please note the above text, marked © (about this wonderfully, delightful Author) were copied from Barry McWilliams - Eleanor Farjeon: A Story Writer. There you will find fantastic illustrations, many excellent links, especially links about Eleanor Farjeon’s Family and Friends.

The Reunion:

In 1955, The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon was originally published. In 2003, the New York Review of Books (New York Review Books ) reprinted this book. “In The Little Bookroom, Eleanor Farjeon mischievously tilts our workaday world to reveal its wonders and follies. Her selection of her favorite stories describes powerful—and sometimes exceedingly silly—monarchs, and commoners who are every bit their match; musicians and dancers who live for aft rather than earthly reward; and a goldfish who wishes to "marry the Moon, surpass the Sun, and possess the World." -Book Description

One of the many places The Little Bookroom can be purchased is at Powell’s Books, where ‘Your’ comments on Eleanor Farjeon’s book or many other books could give you a chance to win books from Powell’s Books.

Thanks for coming by ‘binding ink’ to read with me and making the acquaintance of our new Friend, Eleanor Farjeon.

Here's to the Kid in us All!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

7:13 PM 0 Comments
(In the LowCountry, SC) I was listening to the radio station; WJWJ-FM: 89.9, ETV Radio in partnership with Classical NPR News Station. “NPR (National Public Radio) is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming.” NPR includes News, Politics & Society, Business, People & Places, Health & Science, Books, Music, Arts & Culture, Diversions, and Opinion. ' provides years of archived show information', including many popular public radio programs; for instance Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, Weekend Edition Saturday, World Café, etc. and numerous other Programs. NPR also incorporates streaming Audio, Podcasting , and RSS News Feeds .

There is a simple form on NPRs’ website to find your local Radio Station or you can read the pdf version for a list of NPR Radio Stations in your area.

On September 8, 2006 I was listening to NPR radio broadcast, Talk of the Nation. Publicized as, “Biologist and Writer Edward O. Wilson talks about his new book The Creation. Wilson's appeal to preserve biodiversity is written in the form of letters to a Southern Baptist minister.”

NPR Transcripts Sample IRA FLATOW :

“IRA FLATOW, host: For the rest of the hour: science, religion and finding common ground. Is caring for the environment a matter of being a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, a Christian or a non believer? Can preserving biodiversity or finding global warming be something that all of us can work toward together?

My next guest thinks so – he certainly does, or more accurately he says we must work together. While admitting that he is a non believer,..”

(Some transcription by me from the actual broadcast):

Flatow: You seem to believe, based on what you write in your book, Everyone needs to spend time with nature. You write, Many people seem content to live entirely in this synthetic ecosystems. This in my mind is a conversion; it’s not in the human nature to be cattled and glorified in feed lines.

Wilson: Animals we raise in feed lots and take note that they seem to be contented, their not complaining very much. The animals raised in feed lots are very far from the full animal. They are not behaving; they are not working out their life cycle in the matters programmed into their brains and into the course of their developing physiology. ...Their is enough evidence that Human beings need nature, they need wild environments, they need at least pastoral environments, duplicating the early habitats of human beings in order to develop fully.

Here is the link to the complete audio boardcast or you can go to the NPR website.

From my research, I've learned; “Edward O. Wilson is a Professor and Curator of Entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He has conducted field research throughout the world and written more than twenty books…” The New York Public Library

E. O. Wilson’s latest book is titled, “The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth’. Ira Flatow’s name for the broadcast is, “Bridging Science and Religion”. However; the ultimate question already asked by NYPL is, “ Can we come together with our differing religious and scientific viewpoints to ensure our continued survival as a planet”?

What is your answer?

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, A Moment of Silence For This Day

11:03 PM 0 Comments
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.--- Max Ehrmann, 1927 from the poem Desiderata:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Blogger in Beta - Beware!

9:06 PM 0 Comments
Mystery solved! Thanks to Rhubard!

The foreign language I thought was in my Blog Post edit isn't bad! From Rhubard:

It's just standard "dummy text." Filler, if you will. See
Lipsum for more information.


Hey Readers, Rhubarb's sight has lots of "HELPFUL PICASA LINKS".

October 1, 2006

What the tee-total heck! I went into my layout - Add and Arrange Page Elements. Under Blog Post edit the post body has this:

Post Body
Lorem ipsum vim ut utroque mandamus intellegebat, ut eam omittam ancillae sadipscing, per et eius soluta veritus.

I hope that foreign language isn't saying anything bad or full of curse words! Does anyone know what it says? Or why it is in a foreign language?

Does anyone elses Blog Post edit say this?

September 27, 2006
The 404 errors continued sporadically, especially linking to individual posts. On Sun, 24 Sep 2006, I again went to Talk To Us and filled out the form. Although the problem was again resolved immediately; today-three days later, The Blogger Team was at least nice to e-mail me the following:

Thanks for letting us know about this bug with Blogger in beta. We'll look into it and hope to have it fixed as soon as possible. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.

Also today, the test Comment I posted on my Blog, Saturday, September 23, 2006 finally arrived in my e-mail for my moderation. Well, at least we know that the ‘Blogger Team’ is working vigilantly on the glitches involved with the Blogger in Beta, while being courteous enough to acknowledge us Guinea Pigs.

No sooner then I posted this and went to view my blog, guess what! Yes:

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


Please try the following:

If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Open the home page, and then look for links to the information you want.
Click the Back button to try another link.
Click Search to look for information on the Internet.

HTTP 404 - File not found
Internet Explorer

September 22, 2006 Blogger in beta Beware update:

Glitches continue as several 404 Errors are displayed. Have you gone to your Blog site only to find the 404 message? What are our Readers to think, we've abandoned them! When will Google ever resolve this!

Every time I see the 404 Error, I immediately go to Talk To Us and fill out the form. The problem is resolved within minutes. Only for the exact same issue to occur again and again!

Original Post (September 09, 2006):

We know wwww. However; are you familiar with the three b's? Well; after reading my below post, you'll understand why I call this new version, BBB (Blogger in Beta Beware):

Wow, what a stressful week! Some people under similar circumstances have said, if one more thing happens, I’m going to totally loose it. Unsure what that means; without a doubt, I was about to find out. For the straw that broke the camels’ back came at me from a bundle of hay spun in cow manure and left out in the pastures to bake in the hot sunlight for weeks. The straw pierced my last fragile nerve, however; guess what! I didn’t loose it! Someway instinctively, as if a matter of survival; I knew to just hang on. Because realistically, my familiar world wasn’t in fact ending; it just felt that way. Kinda like the kids’ poem Lion Hunt or various other versions Bear Hunt…:

“…Can't go under it
Can't go around it
Have to go through it…”

So what happened? The worse case scenario, an alert for all Readers, especially us Blog inkers. Blogger has a new version in the makings, currently available as Blogger in beta, combining all your Google accounts, e-mail, groups, Blog, etc. into one Google grasp. I read the information; basically all Blogger accounts will sooner or later, be switched over to the new version. In view of that, I decided to enroll now. Then out of the blue, I forgot my Password! I could not log in to my Blog! No, I didn’t have my password written down somewhere. How many of us really do that any how. Plus, if the password were written down, I without doubt would just as likely have problems remembering where I put that piece of paper. Besides, with the original Blogger, this had never been a problem. So I requested assistance from Blogger, only to receive this in my e-mail, “This account has already been switched to the new version of Blogger in beta. Please remember, to access your dashboard you will need to use your Google Account and password to sign in. If you need help with your Google Account password, please click on the following link: Sincerely, The Blogger Team”.

Yikes! That didn’t sound good and sure enough, it wasn’t. According to Google password recovery procedures, “We've sent instructions to the secondary email address you provided during signup. If you don't have a secondary email address, or if you no longer have access to that account, please try the 'Forgot your password?' link again after five days. At that point, you'll be able to reset your password by answering the security question you provided when you created your account. To prevent someone from trying to break into an account you're actively using, the security question is only used for account recovery after an account has been idle for five days. The Gmail team cannot waive the five day requirement or access your password under any circumstances. If you're unable to answer your security question or access your secondary email account, we regret that the Gmail team cannot provide further assistance.”

What! I never provided a secondary e-mail address when I signed up for Gmail. In addition, what if that was my only e-mail account, why would I have a secondary e-mail address? Five day waiting period! Furthermore; I can’t remember my password and they want me to remember the answer to my Security question! The Gmail team regrets that they cannot provide further assistance, how about my regrets. My Blog gone forever! Death via absent mindedness, how devastating.

Preparing for the ultimate demise, I asked my Roommate to suggest a name for my new Blog. Answer, unbinding ink. Not funny. However; before retiring for the night I prayed, God please help me remember my password. I usually don't get small Prayers answered. Or as the saying goes, God answers all Prayers, if it seems like a Prayer wasn’t answered, then the reply was most likely, no. Well I at least asked. And I kid you not, right before waking up, I saw a vision of the last time I logged onto my Blog, Sept. 4. I knew my password! I got up - wrote it down, turned on the computer. I almost was like, well this isn't going to be the password either, who am I kidding. Oh us Doubting Toms, Pessimists. This was indeed my password! Could I take this as a sign that God means for me to write, or is at least supportive of my writing? Oh, good old serendipity! I’ll leave that for another posting. Meanwhile; I highly suggest, do have and always provide a secondary e-mail address! Do write your passwords down, some place secure and where you can find them quickly. After all, God is busy!

Wow, what a stressful week! Please, could a Reader pass me the ice cream! Thanks!

Known Issues for Blogger in Beta

The latest on what's still a problem, what's getting fixed, and what's been taken care of, direct from the Blogger team.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Oppodeldocho,Goosetherumfoodle... Who is this Famous Author?!?

4:59 PM 0 Comments
Oppodeldoc,'Snob,'Rowdy-Dow,'the 'Lollipop,'the 'Goosetherumfoodle',Mr. Crab,Mr. Slyass,Mumblethumb,Fatquack,Mrs. Fibalittle,the "Owl,"the "Toad" and the "Mole". Which American legendary Author compiled these names?

“'Oppodeldoc,'–thus desecrating the greatness of the illustrious Roman emperor so named and 'Snob' is the nom de plume of Mr. Thingum Bob.” All originating in the Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq. (1850) by Edgar Allan Poe, of course.

Conceivably, many may better recognize this renowned Author via these lines:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."

With that example; combined with the following, could Poe himself – not his works, be best described as macabre?

A Predicament
by Edgar Allan Poe

“My eyes, from the cruel pressure of the machine, were absolutely starting from their sockets. While I was thinking how I should possibly manage without them, one actually tumbled out of my head, and, rolling down the steep side of the steeple, lodged in the rain gutter which ran along the eaves of the main building. The loss of the eye was not so much as the insolent air of independence and contempt with which it regarded me after it was out. There it lay in the gutter just under my nose, and the airs it gave itself would have been ridiculous had they not been disgusting. Such a winking and blinking were never before seen. This behavior on the part of my eye in the gutter was not only irritating on account of its manifest insolence and shameful ingratitude, but was also exceedingly inconvenient on account of the sympathy which always exists between two eyes of the same head, however far apart. I was forced, in a manner, to wink and to blink, whether I would or not, in exact concert with the scoundrelly thing that lay just under my nose. I was presently relieved, however, by the dropping out of the other eye. In falling it took the same direction (possibly a concerted plot) as its fellow. Both rolled out of the gutter together, and in truth I was very glad to get rid of them.”

Macabre is "a term applied to a type of artistic or literary works, characterized by a grim or ghastly atmosphere. In these works, there is an emphasis on the details and symbols of death.” I might tend to agree with this description for Poe, except as a Writer, many of us can relate to the manuscript chaptered symbolic synonyms, the poetic dance by means of the pen betweenst romance and death. As well as an Artist with brush and canvas."~Wikipedia

Then how about describing Edgar Allan Poe as a Scientist?

Well, there is a website called Poe Decoder. “The Poe Decoder is a project started by a small group of Poe enthusiasts to make criticism and information on Poe and his work available on the Internet. The growing collection of essays in the Poe Decoder is written by qualified people with a great interest in Edgar Allan Poe. We want to provide you with accurate facts on one of the greatest American writers ever, and once and for all put an end to all the lies and rumors that surround his person.”

At Poe Decoder, is Juan Lartigue G.’s, Edgar Allan Poe and Science: A Cosmic Poet.
“The literary talent of Edgar Allan Poe is beyond dispute, but his activity in the scientific area (condensed in Eureka) has been sadly neglected or ignored. Only recently have some researchers undertaken the labor of re-evaluating it. This recent re-evaluation is long overdue, especially, those propositions related to Cosmology. This paper purposes extensions of those propositions, as well as additional commentary, relating, in particular, to Chemistry.”

In Eureka, Poe writes: "I design to speak of the Physical, Metaphysical and Mathematical—of the Material and Spiritual Universe: - of its Essence, its Origin, its Creation, its Present Condition and its Destiny" (Poe 1).

The publication by Juan Lartigue G. covers:

Decoding Eureka: Propositions previously discussed
1) On the Origin of the Universe
2) The Big Bang, the Expanding Universe and the Mind of God
3) Poe Anticipates Relativity
4) Poe Contemplates Other Universes
5) Poe Foresees Modern Cosmologists’ Black Holes and The Big Crunch
6) Successive Universes

Decoding Eureka: "New" Propositions
7) Extra-Solar Planets
8) The Non-Existence of the Material Ether
9) Chemical Affinity
10) Molecular Structure
11) Planetary Model of the Atom
12) A Strange Comparison

On my rummaging around to find one word to portray such an extraordinarily talented Author, I’ve also taken into consideration the mystery of his death. Did Poe die from drugs, alcohol, rabies???

According to a 1996 Releases - University of Maryland Medical News

“In an analysis almost 147 years after his death, doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center believe that writer Edgar Allan Poe may have died as a result of rabies, not from complications of alcoholism. Poe's medical case was reviewed by R. Michael Benitez, M.D., a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center. His review is published in the September 1996 issue of Maryland Medical Journal.”

"No one can say conclusively that Poe died of rabies, since there was no autopsy after his death," says Dr. Benitez, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "But the historical accounts of Poe's condition in the hospital a few days before his death point to a strong possibility that he had rabies."

Regardless of the ‘how’, isn’t it bizarre that Poe died as mad as he depicted himself to be in his writing? Still his legendary self lives on, even in music.

For example, Joan by Baez, Joan

Whence a Reviewer: Lawyeraau wrote:

“Edgar Allen Poe's poem "Annabel Lee", a lamentation about the death of a young woman, put to music and sung by Ms. Baez, is absolutely haunting and one of the best tracks on this cd. Her sweet, true soprano makes its poetic beauty soar and come to
life. It is an absolutely beautiful track and part of her early concert repertory. "North", a haunting poem about a search for a lost love, put to music and sung by Ms. Baez, is memorable.”

Several places on the net suggest Judy Collin also sung the song Annabel Lee.. However; I never found any supporting documents. Should anyone know a link to the CD, please let us know ~Thanks! Meanwhile; I did find some fantastic children’s’ songs and lullabies by Judy Collin! Baby’s Bedtime, 27 enchanting lullabies and Baby’s Morningtime, songs and poems sung by Judy Collin including The Pancake, The Violet, Twinkle Toes…

In conclusion, maybe there isn’t one word to depict Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps the finest description is by Wikipedia:

“Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, editor, critic and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of the macabre, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to narrative forms of the emergent science fiction genre.”