Month: February 2014

The Goose Poop Challenge….

Burns Park Goose Poop Plaque - 2The plaque pictured above use to be awarded once a year at a North Little Rock Burns Park annual event referred to as the “Goose Poop Challenge”. The object of the challenge was to see if anyone could get from one end of the ‘walking & bike trail’ to the other end which ran the length of the park without walking and/or riding their bikes through a pile of goose poop. Naw… I’m just kidding about the annual event but not about the goose poop or the daily challenge to avoid it. The photo below is a typical example.

Bike & Walking Trail - Burns Park(Click to Enlarge)

Well this week there’s good news regarding this issue (no pun intended) and hopefully a permanent solution has been implemented! The city has hired a new employee named “Shep” to address the problem and he started his new job yesterday after receiving his city employee identification badge picture below.

Shep - NLR Park Employee

Yesterday afternoon he was on the job at the park chasing off one of the many flocks of Canada Geese that pretty much homestead the park wreaking poop havoc on the walking and bike trails along with the numerous soccer fields in the park. The photo below caught him in action….

Shep-Canada-Geese-Burns-Park

A couple of years ago the park first tried the idea of trained dogs chasing off the geese by hiring a fellow who had a dog trained for such work and it seemed to work along with being the most humane option available and the least intrusive to park goers. Everything from having a mini-open gun season on the geese to scaring them off with noise makers was pondered in the beginning. But in the end the dog approach was the one most embraced by the overall public.

So welcome to our city Shep and good hunting chasing…. 😀

Yep, I’m a Headline Chaser….

I’m sure a large number of you have heard the term “ambulance chaser” which of course refers to such individuals that would actually try to follow emergency vehicles to the scene of some event with almost a thrill seeking mindset to see what magnitude of destruction or death has possibly occurred.

Well, I’m admittedly a ‘chaser’ myself but not of the ambulance chaser type. I am a “headline chaser”of sorts. I try to collect the headlines of my local newspaper and other major newspapers when some major world-wide event occurs of some consequence. It may be locally, nationally or internationally. As an example here’s a headline I kept from our local newspaper and later scanned when the computer and scanners came along….

Newspaper Headline 1

Not the kind of headline a Vietnam Vet would be thrilled to see but nevertheless, a significant headline. But now days I primarily use one website in particular which specifically publishes the front pages of most of the major newspapers around the world daily. It is the purpose of this post to share that website with you. It is where I find and download all the “Headlines” that I consider of interest to me. Others as well might be interested in collecting such historical artifacts. And if this is something of interest to you, be sure and check out the “Archived” section of past major news events. I have included the link to the website below.…

Newseum

When you select a page for downloading onto your computer, it will be available to save as a ‘jpeg’ file or you can save it in ‘pdf’ format so it will be easy to make it larger or smaller, as you so desire. Here are a couple of small samples from a couple of different newspapers I have in my collection.…

Newspaper Headline 2

Newspaper Headline 4

That’s it. Just thought I would share this site with any of you who might be interested in scrapbooking or collecting such things. 🙂

Doc Martin…. It’s almost springtime!

Doc Martin 2(Doc Martin & Louisa)

I’m a “Doc Martin” fan, plain and simple. “Doc Martin” is, if you’re not aware, an English television series that airs here in the United States weekly on PBS. It comes on here in the Central Time Zone at 8:00 PM on Sunday nights.

PBS has already announced that Season 6 would begin airing this spring. Reruns of Season 5’s first episode aired this past Sunday so one could surmise that the new Season 6 should therefore be anticipated to begin around mid-April or so. Eight weeks from yesterday would make April the 20th the Season 6 debut. At any rate, here’s hoping. 😀

Doc Martin 3

Season 5 was scheduled to be the final season but the popularity of the show forced the powers to be to reconsider and in the end it would seem the viewers won out. They decided to film another season. So… will Season 6 be the last season or will it not? I’m sure it will be late summer before we know the conclusive answer to that question.

I did notice the other day that Season 6 was available for purchase on Amazon. I have already purchased a box set of the first five seasons including a couple of ‘made-for-TV’ movies but I think I would rather just wait and watch it weekly when it starts airing. That way it gives one something to look forward too for several weeks. If I purchased the Season 6 DVD I would have watched it all probably in less than a week. Bad idea!

Doc Martin - Series 6 - 1

Ooops…. You’re not Governor Rockefeller!

Dizzy-Dean-Quotes-5

I’m not sure where I ran across it but the other day I happened upon a blog and the blogger was talking about celebrity types that they had encountered during their life through mainly happenstance. And whenever that topic surfaces as it always seems to do from time to time, I always remember such an occurrence in my life but with a measure of embarrassment and a big old grin.

In March of 1967 I was returning home from an 18-month tour in Southeast Asia. My flight, which had originated from San Francisco International, landed at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and I proceeded to the gate and waiting area for my connecting flight to Little Rock, Arkansas. At some point very loud talking broke out on the other side of the flight’s waiting area. It sounded like an argument but after a more serious visual examination from where I was sitting I deduced that it seemed to be a rather large man wearing a cowboy hat just exercising his booming voice while talking to some other individuals. As I continued to view the scene the man’s face seem to become more and more familiar. Then I finally realized, “Wait, this is someone important – some prominent individual.”

Now Winthrop Rockefeller had just taken office in January as Governor of Arkansas succeeding Governor Orval Faubus who had been governor of the state for six terms. And given the man’s size and the cowboy hat, which were common traits of Winthrop Rockefeller, I thought to myself, “That’s Winthrop Rockefeller, the Governor of Arkansas!” Of course my being from Arkansas and Rockefeller being a very prominent resident of the state and often the subject of news within the state, my conclusion seemed spot on. As to the cowboy hat, well he was a cattleman and had a huge ranch in the state and was rarely seen without the hat. And so it was that Sherlock Holmes didn’t have anything on me. The Governor of Arkansas would be on my returning flight to Little Rock.

As I approached my seat which was actually some three-quarters of the way toward the back of the plane I noticed the Governor was also sitting back there. There was an empty aisle seat right next to him but as I perused the seat numbers for my location there came a stark realization. “Oh my god,” I exclaimed to myself, “That empty seat next to Rockefeller is mine!”

We politely greeted each other as I took my seat. I noticed a few of the other passengers quite abuzz with regard to my seating companion. Then shortly thereafter a young man quickly made his way back to our location and asked my seating companion for his autograph and his response was a loud and clear, “Why shore you can partner!” The voice, the word ‘partner’, the accent, why are they so familiar I was thinking. Then one of the stewardesses stopped by and said, “Nice to have you on our flight Mr. Dean.”

After hearing that comment my poor little mind went into a catastrophic tail spin. I felt faint and incoherent. “You idiot,” I thought to myself, “he’s not Governor Rockefeller – he’s Dizzy Dean.” I could only give thanks I found out before I made some ridiculous political comment to him during the flight. The flight from Dallas to Little Rock is only about half an hour or so but that’s plenty of time for me to make a fool out of myself.

Dizzy Dean & Rockefeller Composite

In the end it was quite the enjoyable flight. We talked most of the way and he was extremely friendly. I was in uniform and he had asked me where I was headed and I explained I was returning from South East Asia. He was heading to Arkansas to do some fishing. Said he loved Arkansas and often came back to do some fishing. He actually was born in Arkansas so that pretty much explained why he returned to Arkansas to fish. And if you’re wondering, we never once talked about baseball. But it was my only time I was really ‘”up close and personal” with a celebrity type. I had a few other celebrity type encounters over my lifetime but none like this one. I still chuckle when I think about how wrong I was as to who he was…. 🙂

Movie Review – “Finding Neverland” (2004)

4-Star Post MasterFinding Neverland - 2004

Well I have to tell you in all honesty, I never saw this one coming! An absolute charming and entertaining film well worth watching in my opinion. I am a big Johnny Depp fan but had been a little disappointed in a couple of his movie roles lately. Not this one, he along with Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman and of course little Freddie Highmore all step up to the plate on this one and deliver.

It’s a somewhat biographical film based on the life of J.M. Barrie and his relationship with a family he befriends which includes Kate Winslet, her four boys and a rather overly protective mother-in-law. That relationship was the inspiration for Barrie’s writing of the play “Peter Pan”.

Oh and one more thing if you do choose to give this film a look, you ladies need to be sure you have a box of tissues handy and as for the men, just stuff a folded-up paper towel in your shirt pocket and hopefully no one will even notice those manly tears as they’re soaked up by the paper towel.

A Blogging Retrospect….

Blogging Cartoon

When I began blogging back in 2006 I obviously had not a clue as to where my freelance Cyberspace ‘career’ would lead me or where it would end up. Well it, along with me, ended up right here which is pretty much where we both started. And it has been to date a rather tenuous relationship. That can certainly be borne out by the fact that I have stopped and started blogging some five or six times since beginning. In hind sight I think I just might have had some sort of strange journalistic fetish for wanting to pick clever blog names just to show people how really clever I was but as far as the actual blogging part – eh!

I don’t recall quite honestly what did initially draw me into blogging but I have always enjoyed writing so certainly that probably provided the greatest amount influence. And then perhaps there was bit of ego there, I mean who wouldn’t want to know what I had to say or what I thought about this or that! And of course there’s all that wisdom I had to share that I had garnered over my then, sixty-five years.

I suppose blogging actually was like “Phase I” of the social networking phenomenon which would eventually follow, spearheaded these days by Facebook and Twitter. Most people these days seem to want to communicate with a minimum of words to include, I must sadly add, a minimum of letters going to use in creating those few select words. My generation might refer to it as the ‘25 words or less’ syndrome but now that “syndrome” needs to be updated to include the “25 letters or less” addition.

Nevertheless, despite it all after almost a year away from blogging here I am again. I suppose that despite the fact I have never heard anyone say it, “Once a blogger – always a blogger!” has to be true because when I publish this post on my blog it will be on the Internet and it is a fact that after it is published on the Internet, it is officially ‘true’.

Movie Review – “The Double” (2011)

4-Star Post MasterThe Double - 2011

This one caught me off guard I have to admit but… in a good way. It was a much better film that I was expecting. Richard Gere was excellent in the portrayal of his character and Topher Grace was just okay. I haven’t seen Grace in a movie roll but for a couple of films and it is still very difficult for me to get past his character in the television series where he starred for so many years, “That 70’s Show”. In this film I figure I finally let him get into character about three-quarters of the way through. But as for the film and its plot, well it was quite enjoyable and a real tongue and cheek spy thriller in my opinion. There’s a bit of blood and mayhem in this one but it doesn’t seem to get out of hand at all which is good if you want to keep my attention. This one is definitely a keeper!

Richard Gere & Topher Grace(“The Double” – Richard Gere & Topher Grace)

What were you thinking Zuckerberg?

Facebook Dislike Button

I have never really been a fan of Facebook and that’s because of an assortment of reasons, not just one thing in particular. And with regard to me personally and my peers (elderly folks), only about two out of the whole bunch that I know will even make an effort to respond to me if I mention the topic of Facebook. And those two who are actually on Facebook don’t even use it with any sort of regularity. We need a new Facebook term for those types of users so we’ll just call them ‘Facebook Constipationalist’ (and no that’s not a real word but it works). 🙂

Then after getting past that fact, it’s about as unorganized a conglomeration of information I have ever encountered in my life and I spent pretty my whole working career organizing huge amounts of information and data. So for me, going on Facebook is like volunteering for recreational waterboarding.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the premise of Facebook is great. Especially when it comes to family but the “friends” thing looks a bit out of control to me. I have 25 ‘friends’ listed on my Facebook account, half of those are family, and I have been on Facebook (off and on) since around 2009 or so. Most folks have well over a hundred or more people listed on their Facebook pages as friends. Well…. as long as “they think” all those listed names are their friends I guess that is all that counts.

And Facebook has this listing called “Newsfeed” where everything that all these different people post on Facebook appears listed one after the other like a newspaper column that just goes on and on and on and on. Who reads all that stuff? My money is on one person and one person only. The person who posted it is the only one that reads it!

There is one thing good about it I discovered about a month ago. My electric company has a Facebook page and it is the only place I can find out what is going on if there is a power outage – otherwise all their telephone services are automated and human beings are non-existent. You’re s*** out of luck if you don’t have Facebook.

Okay…. time to put a cork in it because I am sure I could continue on for a while yet. I’m sure I have offended a number of Facebook fans and users but as selfish as it may sound, I feel a hell of a lot better after this little rant so I am going to relish the moment for as long as I can!

Like/Dislike Buttons….

Computer - 002

I have been testing several versions of “Like / Dislike” buttons for use on my blogging site. Some of this ‘plugin’ software is free while other versions require a fee to work properly. The one I am currently using is a “TRIAL” version and only allows you full use of the software for 5 days. After that trial period it then only allows you 1 “Like/Dislike” button removing any others previously shown. So, if you have previously clicked a “Like/Dislike” button and have now noticed that it has disappeared from a particular post be assured that it was due to the software’s actions and not something I initiated, changed or deleted. As soon as I have settled on a particular software I will post another notification…. Thanks

***** UPDATE *****

Hopefully the issue regarding the “Like/Dislike” buttons has been resolved and I have decided to upgrade from the “Trial” version to the “FULL” version. All the previously ‘Likes’ have been reinstated and all is well again with regard to that button.